👀 Happy Friday. Situational awareness: Federal prosecutors are investigating whether former FBI director James Comey leaked classified information about a Russian intelligence document related to the Clinton email investigation, the N.Y. Times' Adam Goldman scoops.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg are considered the leading 2020 Democratic moderates, but even they have taken positions to the left of Barack Obama — illuminating the liberal drift of the entire party, Alexi McCammond writes.
Trump campaign advisers say Democrats' leftward pull works to the president's advantage in swing states.
Democratic positions that are being called centrist would have been liberal dreams during the Clinton and Obama eras.
In a chamber where senators usually come and go, with just a few on the floor at a time, 99 senators stood when Chief Justice John Roberts arrived at 2 p.m. and took the oath to preside over President Trump's impeachment trial.
What's next: Opening arguments begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican who's willing to buck party leaders and who has a tough re-election fight, said in a statement — which, in a very Collinsesque touch, has seven numbered points:
While I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did [at President Clinton's trial] in 1999.
Two hours before the impeachment charges were officially read in the Senate chamber at noon, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog that works for Congress, ruled that the White House's Office of Management and Budget broke federal law in the Ukraine case:
Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA.
How it's playing:
Above, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walks away from the clerk's desk after signing an oath book swearing to provide "impartial justice" during the trial.
Below, Sen. Elizabeth Warren signs.
Alphabet Inc., the parent of Google, topped $1 trillion in market value yesterday, "solidifying the dominance of technology and internet stocks," Bloomberg reports.
Why it matters: "These four companies are by far the largest on Wall Street, and their huge size gives them an outsized impact on overall market direction. Together, they represent more than 15% of the weight of the S&P 500."
"Globally, the list is topped by Saudi Aramco, ... which went public last month and currently has a market cap of about $1.8 trillion."
As Donald Trump arrived in the White House, the country's national security agencies were already pivoting away from the global war on terror and toward a new era in which geopolitics was increasingly a contest between the US and two other superpowers, one fading and one rising. ...
"Russia is a hurricane," as Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator at the time, is fond of saying. "China is climate change."
Citi today will announce a $150 million Citi Impact Fund to invest in private-sector companies with a positive impact on society.
Microsoft pledged to become "carbon negative" by 2030 by removing more carbon from the environment than it emits "not just across our direct emissions, but across our supply chain," CEO Satya Nadella said.
Rolling Stone Washington bureau chief Andy Kroll writes that while the U.S. has made progress on election security since 2016, "many flaws remain":
Some counties and states still use outdated voting equipment and insecure election software: At the 2018 DEF-CON hacker conference, an 11-year-old hacked into a copycat version of Florida’s state election website and changed vote totals in less than 10 minutes. Only three states conduct mandatory, scientifically rigorous post-election audits to ensure the final vote count is accurate.
A sneak peek for Axios readers at a passage from "A Very Stable Genius," by the WashPost's Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, out Tuesday:
The night of January 23 , the first Monday of his presidency, Trump came face‑to‑face with House and Senate leaders from both parties at a White House reception ... At a long table in the State Dining Room, Steve Bannon ... could not stop looking at Nancy Pelosi. ...
Pelosi assumed Trump would open the conversation on a unifying note, such as by quoting the Founding Fathers or the Bible. Instead, the new president began with a lie: "You know, I won the popular vote." He claimed that there had been widespread fraud, with three to five million illegal votes for Clinton. Pelosi interjected. "Well, Mr. President, that’s not true," she said. "There’s no evidence to support what you just said, and if we’re going to work together, we have to stipulate to a certain set of facts."
Watching Pelosi challenge Trump, Bannon whispered to colleagues, "She’s going to get us. Total assassin. She’s an assassin."
Alyssa Nakken (nack-in) became the first female coach in Major League Baseball history when she was named an assistant under new S.F. Giants manager Gabe Kapler, AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley reports.
The context: The NBA has several female assistant coaches. The NFL's San Francisco 49ers, playing in this Sunday's NFC championship game, have Katie Sowers as an offensive assistant.
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