Nov 1, 2019

Trump impeachment starts more partisan than Bill Clinton's

A shot you rarely see: Cameras were allowed in the House chamber yesterday. Above the flag, over the clock, is the press gallery. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

During the House's historic vote to set the ground rules for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, members shouted and booed as the votes popped up in lights on the wall above them.

Why it matters: The Legislative Branch embarks on its ultimate weapon against the Executive Branch with the two parties locked in corners.

  • You could see Republicans shaking their heads as the "Yea" votes soared.
  • Speaker Pelosi lost only two Democrats; no Republicans crossed over.

Flashback: It wasn't this stark 21 years ago, for the 1998 vote launching the impeachment of William J. Clinton: 31 Democrats joined all Republicans in setting up a formal process for considering impeachment, Paul Kane points out in the WashPost:

  • "Look, it's just a more partisan time," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), told Kane. "Each party is much more cohesive."
  • Sign of the times: "In 1998, two of Connecticut’s five members of the House were Republicans and three of Arkansas’s four-member delegation were Democrats. Today, ... Connecticut [is] fully Democratic and Arkansas fully Republican."
  • "Back in 1998, Clinton was dramatically more popular than Trump is today — his job approval rating never fell below 60 percent even as his personal scandals spun out into the open, month after month."
  • "Clinton’s highest [Gallup] rating, 73 percent, came the weekend the House approved two articles of impeachment against him."
Chart: AP

Tale of the tape, from AP: The only Democratic "no"s were Reps. Jeff Van Drew, a New Jersey freshman, and 28-year veteran Collin Peterson of Minnesota, one of the House's most conservative Democrats.

  • Both are battling for reelection in Republican-leaning districts.
  • Also supporting the rules: independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the GOP this year after announcing he was open to impeachment.

David Brooks writes: "Is it possible that more than 20 Republican senators will vote to convict Donald Trump of articles of impeachment? When you hang around Washington you get the sense that it could happen." ...

  • "And yet when you get outside Washington it’s hard to imagine more than one or two G.O.P. senators voting to convict."

Go deeper: The impeachment story beyond the formal vote

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

4 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.