⚖️ Today is a day we'll always remember — one that will be studied as long as people study politics.
Ahead of today's historic House vote to impeach Donald John Trump, he dispatched a seething six-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi contending that a Democratic "partisan attempted coup" had treated him worse than "those accused in the Salem Witch Trials."
Why it matters: The bitter exchange is a fitting denouement for the 86-day impeachment inquiry, which changed few minds in the country — and none at the Capitol.
House Democratic leaders told caucus members not to cheer or applaud when today's impeachment vote totals are announced, and Democratic members described the day as sad and solemn, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Centrist Dems dodged reporters in the Capitol halls. But House Democratic leaders told Axios they feel confident and don't expect many defectors.
The mood on the Hill shifted this week as the vote neared.
Impeachment fatigue has been growing, with an incredible change in the audience from the first public hearing to the last.
To counterprogram impeachment coverage in prime time, President Trump and Vice President Pence will appear together this evening at a "Merry Christmas Rally" thrown by Trump's re-election campaign in Battle Creek, Mich.
The campaign will also run heavy online fundraising based on impeachment — a tactic that has already yielded millions of dollars — and will bolster it with online videos, a senior campaign official told Swan.
The Trump campaign will push two themes in online videos to counter impeachment, the official said:
Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP
The House convenes at 9 a.m. ET, and a final vote on impeachment is expected between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The drama won't be in the outcome. This NewsAlert broke on the AP wire at 5:11 p.m. yesterday:
Here's what America was watching last night at 7:08 p.m. ET, on Fox News (left) and MSNBC:
Companies saw the highest rate of CEO turnover annually through November since staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas began tracking the data in 2002, reports Axios' Courtenay Brown.
Why it matters: It's a record pace of change for corporate America, with high-profile CEOs exiting because of sagging sales (Under Armour’s Kevin Plank) or scrutiny over executive behavior (WeWork's Adam Neumann).
Thiel attends a meeting at Trump Tower in December 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Facebook's anything-goes political ad policy had a key internal promoter: Peter Thiel, a board member and one of Silicon Valley's most prominent supporters of President Trump, writes Axios' Scott Rosenberg.
Why it matters: The link, first reported by the Wall Street Journal (subscription), highlights Thiel's role as the key intermediary between Facebook HQ and the White House.
A new AARP survey by the Harris Poll found health care is the top issue driving women 50 and older ahead of next year's elections, Axios' Margaret Talev reports.
Health care was followed by immigration, terrorism/national security, guns and climate change.
Health care was an even-more pronounced top concern for rural and small-town women.
Methodology: The Harris Poll survey, conducted online for AARP, covered 1,924 women and 1,227 men ages 50 or older, and wasn't a probability-based sample.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, sentencing former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, a Mueller cooperating witness, to 45 days in jail — to be served on weekends — for years of financial crimes and deception (via N.Y. Times):
Why it matters, from AP: Gates is now the fourth Trump associate to receive at least some time behind bars because of the Mueller probe.
Agent Scott Boras expects to top $1.2 billion in contracts this baseball offseason following his nine-figure deals for Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, AP's Ronald Blum writes.
Scott Boras Corp.'s overhead includes 137 full-time employees, training centers in Florida and California, and staff in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Taiwan and Venezuela.
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