Oct 28, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's newsletter — edited by Justin Green — is 492 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: The impeachment train is nearing the station

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

House Democrats took a key step today toward a 2019 impeachment of President Trump, while Senate Republicans are increasingly showing their hand on how they’ll handle the media ahead of a trial in 2020.

The big picture: This signals an urgency to wrap up impeachment by the end of this year, Axios' Jonathan Swan tells me. The more it bleeds into 2020 voting, the tougher the sell for Democrats, Republican officials say.

Just today:

  • Democrats will vote this week to formalize impeachment proceedings, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. As Politico's Jake Sherman noted, this is basically a proxy vote for a formal impeachment authorization.
  • Democrats will skip going to court in order to get Trump witnesses to testify, and just assume their guilt instead, House Intel Chair Adam Schiff said.

Between the lines: Axios' Margaret Talev emails that she thinks it means Democrats have gotten enough from closed-door sessions to make the case.

  • It’s also probably a recognition that the White House is going to stonewall all the top-level witnesses anyway.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, GOP senators are increasingly abstaining from comment with the "I'm a juror" defense, notes the WashPost's Robert Costa and Philip Rucker.

  • Tim Scott of South Carolina: “I don’t need a strategy for impeachment because I may be a juror someday."
  • James Risch of Idaho: “I’m a juror and I’m comfortable not speaking."
  • Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: “I’d be a juror, so I have no comment."
Bonus: Pics du jour

The bravery of our first responders is currently on display in California, where dry days and high winds are foiling efforts to prevent wildfires.

Photo: Christian Monterrosa

Above: Firefighters try to save a home in Los Angeles.

Below: A firefighter drags a hose closer to battle a grass fire in Knightsen, Contra Costa County.

Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News via AP

Go deeper: California wildfires spread by hurricane force winds

Double bonus: 1 very good dog

We still don't have a name for the dog injured during the raid that killed the head of ISIS, but President Trump tweeted a photo today:

Photo: President Trump

"We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!"

2. What you missed
  1. The U.K. Parliament rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempt to call a snap general election on Dec. 12. Go deeper.
  2. House Republican Greg Walden will retire at the end of his current term. He is the 22nd House Republican to announce that he will not seek re-election this cycle. Go deeper.
  3. Former Fox News employees are calling on their old network to release them from nondisclosure agreements in order to allow them to speak out about potential sexual misconduct during their time at the company. Read more.
  4. 39-year-old Jarrod Ramos entered a guilty plea for the mass shooting that killed five people at the office of the Capital Gazette newspaper. Go deeper.
  5. Today in gadgets: Apple unveiled its AirPod Pro model, while Google's parent company is reportedly in talks to buy Fitbit.
3. 1 🐓 on Sundays thing
Photo: USA Today via Reuters 

Popeyes is targeting Chick-fil-A by bringing back its chicken sandwich on a Sunday, when the legendary chicken sandwich chain is closed, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.

  • Why it matters: The sandwich helped Popeyes have one of its best quarters in 20 years, pushing its comparable sales to more than double what analysts had expected, reports Bloomberg.

The sandwich returns this Sunday.

Mike Allen