Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,149 words ... 4½ minutes.
President Trump is poised to win his long-expected acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial as soon as tonight (or perhaps in the wee hours).
Barring a tectonic twist, the big question is no longer whether the Senate will sink this afternoon's witness vote, but how long it takes to deliver a final verdict on Trump after the vote fails, Axios' Alayna Treene reports from the gallery.
After leaving the Capitol (photo above) right after the trial ended for the night at 10:41 p.m., Alexander announced with a statement that he'll vote against witnesses because "there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense."
Being there: Last night was the liveliest night of the two-week trial. Reporters shot up from their seats and sprinted down the steps of the Capitol as soon as the Senate adjourned.
What's next: The Senate reconvenes at 1 p.m. today and will begin up to four hours of debate, evenly divided, over the witness vote, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters that Republicans support moving to a final vote tonight, regardless of whether that means dragging out the trial into the early hours of Saturday morning, similar to the day they debated the ground rules of the trial until just after 2 a.m.
Some scenes for the history books:
Above, Chief Justice John Roberts, the presiding officer, reads questions from senators.
Below is an image of a Democratic exhibit that included a clip from the trial, and highlighted a phrase used yesterday by lead House manager Adam Schiff:
On what looked like the eve of his acquittal, President Trump counter-programmed the trial with a campaign rally in Des Moines ahead of Monday’s Democratic caucuses.
Pete Buttigieg has changed his tone for his closing appeal ahead of Monday's Iowa caucuses, swinging at both frontrunners: He calls Joe Biden a "risk" and says Bernie Sanders is polarizing, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports from Cedar Rapids.
Neither Biden nor Sanders mentioned Buttigieg or any rival Democrat in events Axios observed over the past two days.
Elizabeth Warren, who hosted a tele-town hall while she attended the impeachment trial this week, worked on this closing-argument pitch: Women are better positioned than men to win.
Sanders' closing leans on the consistency of his progressive record and his grassroots movement.
With Elizabeth Warren stuck in D.C. for the trial, her golden retriever, Bailey, is campaigning in Iowa.
Ginni Rometty with Ivanka Trump in Davos last week. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
IBM announced that Arvind Krishna, 57, who heads the company's cloud and cognitive software unit, will replace Ginni Rometty as CEO in April, Axios' Scott Rosenberg and Ina Fried report.
Rometty was one of 29 female CEOs leading S&P 500 companies.
Amazon said yesterday that it has more than 150 million Prime members worldwide who pay $119 a year for faster shipping and other perks.
Editor's note: The headline and story have been corrected to reflect the current number of Netflix global subscribers, which is 167 million (not 139 million).
President Trump plans to expand the White House Domestic Policy Council by appointing an official to focus exclusively on combating human trafficking, AP's Darlene Superville reports.
With sports betting now legal in 14 states, the American Gaming Association estimates $6.8 billion will be bet legally and illegally on Sunday's Super Bowl between the S.F. 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, AP's Wayne Parry reports:
If you think the game will be high-scoring, make a bet on the total, recently set at 54.5 points.
📬 Thanks for starting your day with us. Please tell a friend about AM/PM.