Dec 12, 2019

Lindsey Graham wants to "deep-six" Trump’s impeachment trial

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler opens the markup of the articles of impeachment yesterday. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Axios: "I'm not in the camp of calling a bunch of witnesses [in President Trump's impeachment trial]. ... I think as an American, the best thing we do is deep-six this thing."

The big picture: Many Senate Republicans told Axios that they trust Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's judgment on whether to accelerate the vote to acquit the president.

  • "Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses," The Washington Post reports.
  • Why it matters: That "could clash with President Trump’s desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes would damage its political rivals."

"Several GOP senators ... said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus," per the Post.

  • "The emerging Senate GOP plan would provide sufficient time, possibly two weeks, for both the House impeachment managers and Trump's attorneys to make their arguments before a vote on the president’s fate."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

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.

5 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.