- Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,183 words ... 4½ minutes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, 67, has given the clearest signal yet of how he plans to navigate term limits and join China’s Xi Jinping, 66, as a possible leader for life.
That includes Xi, who ended presidential term limits in 2018.
Putin didn't opt for the most straightforward choice: simply removing term limits.
Zoom out: Several leaders who aren't quite "president for life" have prolonged their tenures through controversial means.
Even Putin has lessons to learn from Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev. He left the presidency last March but continues to wield authority as chairman of the country's security council.
Worth noting: Nearly all "leaders for life," and in fact all 20 of the world’s longest-serving non-royal leaders, are men.
At an engrossment ceremony, Speaker Pelosi gives souvenir pens to top House Democrats after she signed the resolution to transmit two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate for trial.
House Clerk Cheryl Johnson and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, followed by the seven House impeachment managers, carry the articles of impeachment through the Capitol Rotunda in a procession to the Senate.
Lev Parnas, a close Rudy Giuliani associate and central figure in the pressure campaign on Ukraine, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow last night: "President Trump knew exactly what was going on. He was aware of all my movements. ... I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president."
The most important new claim Parnas made, Axios' Jonathan Swan writes, was that he had Trump's explicit imprimatur for his outreach to Ukrainian officials regarding the Bidens.
Between the lines: Parnas is not a particularly reliable narrator; he's been indicted on federal campaign-finance charges (and maintains his innocence).
What's next, from Axios' Margaret Talev: Parnas seems to want to testify at the Senate trial. But lawmakers may not have the chance to call him, or may choose not to.
A Parnas lawyer told Axios' Alayna Treene that he hoped providing documents and offering to testify would help Parnas in negotiations over his court case.
CNN microphones captured this nasty post-debate exchange between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders:
Tom Steyer to Sanders as he walks away: "I don't want to get in the middle of it. I just want to say hi, Bernie."
Jared Kushner to TIME's Brian Bennett:
One thing you have to remember when you work for President Trump is that you don't make the waves. He makes the waves.
Your job is to surf the wave as best as you can every day. And you have to always smile and have a sense of humor with it, because he's the one who's got the instinct.
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale: "Nobody has more influence in the White House than Jared. Nobody has more influence outside the White House than Jared. He’s No. 2 after Trump."
The day after signing a new trade deal with China, President Trump is expected to get more good news on his trade agenda as the Senate considers a new North American pact, AP's Kevin Freking writes.
The Treasury Department's inspector general is investigating opportunity zones, a provision in President Trump's tax cut "meant to help poor communities that became a windfall for wealthy investors," the N.Y. Times reports.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
John Chen is CEO of BlackBerry, but even he has to sometimes remind people the company is still in business, Ina Fried will report in today's Axios Login.
The company is generating positive cash flow and eking out a small profit, but Chen said in an interview: "We could definitely do better."
👋 Sign up for Kendall "The Ocho" Baker's popular daily newsletter, Axios Sports.
In what wildlife biologists call a rare gathering, five California mountain lions — notoriously solitary cats — are seen together Monday on home surveillance video at Chris Breutsch's rural home in Pioneer, Calif., east of Sacramento. (AP)
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