May 24, 2019

Nancy Pelosi's impeachment power

Speaker Pelosi holds her weekly news conference on May 23. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

There may not be another Democrat in the country, besides Speaker Pelosi, who would have had the ability to hold off the rank and file's push to impeach President Trump.

The state of play: The view on the Hill seems to be that if Pelosi puts her foot down and says "no" to impeachment, then there’s no chance House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler or others will defy her wishes.

Yes, but: The pressure to impeach will keep growing.

  • If Democrats win in court to get Trump’s financial documents, some energy could go out of the impeachment drive.
  • But if Democrats lose in court, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to hold off impeachment.

Be smart: Ignore any Democrats who say you can always open an impeachment inquiry, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll impeach Trump.

  • In what universe do you see Democrats opening impeachment — which would be the dominant story in America for the foreseeable future — and then get to the end of it and say: "You know what? He’s kinda clean and legit!"

Go deeper: How an impeachment inquiry could make it easier for Dems to investigate Trump

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health