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Former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake penned a Washington Post op-ed Monday, telling fellow Republicans that "it is time to risk your careers in favor of your principles" and calling upon them not to support President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

"Our country will have more presidents. But principles, well, we get just one crack at those. For those who want to put America first, it is critically important at this moment in the life of our country that we all, here and now, do just that. Trust me when I say that you can go elsewhere for a job. But you cannot go elsewhere for a soul."

The big picture: Flake was a vocal critic of the Trump administration during his time in the Senate and ultimately decided to retire in 2018 rather than seek re-election to a second term "at the cost of supporting this man."

  • Flake said that not supporting Trump should be an "easy decision" for Republicans, but added that he believes impeachment is a tougher question.
  • He said Trump's actions "warrant impeachment," but noted that "an impeachment proceeding at such a toxic moment might actually benefit a president who thrives on chaos."
  • "So although impeachment now seems inevitable, I fear it all the same. I understand others who might have similar reservations. The decision to impeach or not is a difficult one indeed."

Go deeper: Trump accuses Adam Schiff of treason, suggests arrest

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Kevin McCarthy's rude awakening

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kevin McCarthy is learning you can get torched when you try to make everyone happy, especially after an insurrection.

Why it matters: The House Republican leader had been hoping to use this year to build toward taking the majority in 2022, but his efforts to bridge intra-party divisiveness over the Capitol siege have him taking heat from every direction, eroding his stature both with the public and within his party.

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Vaccinations, relief timing dominate Sweet 16 call

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) speaks during a news conference in December with a group of bipartisan lawmakers. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Vaccine distribution, pandemic data and a cross-party comity dominated today's virtual meeting between White House officials and a bipartisan group of 16 senators, Senator Angus King told Axios.

Why it matters: Given Democrats' razor-thin majority in both chambers of Congress, President Biden will have to rely heavily on this group of centrist lawmakers — dubbed the "Sweet 16" — to pass any substantial legislation.