Feb 5, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon on a day for the history books: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 431 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Trump skates

Screenshot: Senate TV/CNN

Eight years after he was the GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney made history today as the first senator to vote to convict a president of his own party.

The big picture: President Trump got his acquittal, but it wasn't bipartisan, as Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) voted to convict.

By the numbers:

  • 52-48: The tally on Article 1, abuse of power
  • 53-47: The tally on Article 2, obstruction of Congress

In a Senate floor speech, Romney called Trump "guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust."

  • "What he did was not perfect. ... No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine."
  • "Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?"
  • GOP figures immediately lashed out, with Donald Trump, Jr. calling for Romney to be "expelled."

Why it matters: The way the Senate trial ended — with nearly every Republican declining to pursue new information about Trump's Ukraine activities — has raised alarms about the growth of presidential power and the refusal of Congress to stop it, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • By bringing the trial to such a quick end without calling witnesses — even as new revelations about Trump's activities emerged on a near-daily basis — the Senate made it easier for Trump and future presidents to do whatever they want as long as they have enough allies in Congress, presidential historians and congressional experts say.

The bottom line: In the end, the White House lawyers got their wish. Trump survives, and the voters will get to decide whether he should stay or go.

Screenshot: Senate TV/CNN
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: China Daily via Reuters

Chinese police officers operate a drone in Hubei province to spread information about the prevention and control of the new coronavirus.

2. What you missed
  1. There's a 12th U.S. coronavirus case, an adult in Wisconsin with a history of travel to Beijing.
  2. Jeff Weiner is stepping down as LinkedIn's CEO after 11 years in the job, handing the reins to the company's product chief Ryan Roslansky and becoming executive chairman. Go deeper.
  3. Joe Biden called Iowa's results "a gut punch" in a speech to supporters in New Hampshire. Go deeper.
  4. Spotify will buy The Ringer, a sports media company founded by Bill Simmons. Go deeper.
3. The women of the trail

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Glamour magazine spoke with "seven women in journalism who are covering the impeachment, the election, or both, about how they’re handling their workload during one of the craziest months in American history," including Axios' own Alexi McCammond.

  • Why it matters: "Their responses testified to sleepless nights, the value of fair and accurate reporting, and the near-universal experience of mom guilt."

Worthy of your time.

Mike Allen