☕ You're invited! D.C. readers, please join me tomorrow (Thursday) at 8 a.m. at The Showroom, 14th and L NW (not our usual spot!), for national security conversations with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) ... Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, top Republican on Armed Services ... and former White House chief of staff Denis McDonough.
Top House Republican sources tell Axios' Jonathan Swan and me that one impeachment survival strategy will be to try to distance President Trump from any Ukraine quid pro quo, with Rudy Giuliani potentially going under the bus.
A top House GOP leadership aide told me: "Substance is focus. [The co-leadoff witness, Bill] Taylor says [he had a] 'full understanding.' But from who? Not POTUS. That’s big."
House Republicans prepped from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the Capitol, going over questions members plan to ask, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
What the president is thinking: "Trump is frustrated with the slippery slope it creates [by] saying it's bad but not impeachable," the GOP member told Swan.
A top Democratic aide told me the party's goal for the hearings is "Mueller on steroids": "Simpler crime witnessed by credible people. Mueller did exceptional work but nobody read his 400+ page report (except a few of us masochists)."
🥊 P.S. Republican senators are "too busy" to watch today, per AP's Alan Fram:
👀 Keep checking Axios.com today for our constantly updating impeachment "speed screen" with "what matters" from testimony, tweets and talk.
From left: Bill Taylor, Marie Yovanovitch, George Kent. Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images, Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The American public has been left out of most of the impeachment process so far. Beginning at 10 a.m., we'll be looking live at the fourth attempt in U.S. history to remove a president from office, Axios' Alayna Treene writes.
Testifying today (side-by-side):
Testifying Friday: Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Testifying next week:
Democrats want appearances by several people who have refused:
Republicans also want to call Hunter Biden and the whistleblower.
The RNC is lining up supporters to publicly defend the president, including a conference call tomorrow for regional reporters with presidential son Eric Trump that is aimed at putting pressure on vulnerable House Democrats. Many of them represent districts that the president won in 2016. (AP)
"Home is here" rally: Dreamers cheer on the Supreme Court steps after attending DACA arguments.
Lanny Breuer, a White House lawyer who tried to defend President Clinton against impeachment in 1998, tells the N.Y. Times' Peter Baker for a front-pager, "Same Venom and Drama. But That’s About All":
It feels like our experience 20 years ago was "Mayberry R.F.D.," and Andy Griffith was our sheriff. ... As bad as we thought it was — and it was terrible, it was crazy, it was a rough and tough time — but for some reason it seems much simpler than today.
From the N.Y. Times front page the day after the Senate Watergate hearings began on May 17, 1973:
The Trump administration is considering setting up "web cameras to live-stream construction of President Trump’s border wall, going against objections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and senior U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials," the WashPost's Nick Miroff reports.
The Financial Times named Roula Khalaf as editor, succeeding Lionel Barber, who has held the position since 2005 and will step down at the beginning of 2020, ending a 34-year career at the publication, per an FT announcement.
6.7 million people watched Minnesota beat Penn State earlier in the day on ABC — the network's biggest audience for a noon college football game in three years.
P.S. A shoutfest with Don Jr. gave "The View" its biggest audience since Vice President Biden appeared six months ago.
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