Jan 15, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon. Today's PM — edited by Zachary Basu — is 455 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: House triggers impeachment trial

Pelosi flanked by her impeachment managers at today's presser. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

28 days after the House voted to impeach President Trump, two articles and seven House managers will officially move over to the Senate for the third impeachment trial in U.S. history.

  • Why it matters: Barring a last-minute mutiny, Trump will be acquitted — but new information that the trial brings to light could prove politically damaging, both for the president and the Republican senators who have sought to protect him.

Driving the news: Under the resolution passed today, impeachment managers have "broad authority to submit to the Senate any additional evidence the House may acquire on its own," according to Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)

  • That authority was teased last night with the release of a tranche of records from Lev Parnas, including a letter from Rudy Giuliani requesting a meeting with Ukraine's president "as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent."
  • House Democrats are also continuing to litigate a subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn, whose testimony they believe could bolster allegations of a pattern of obstructive conduct by Trump.
  • Outside the halls of Congress, investigative reporting and freedom of information of requests by independent watchdogs continue to yield new records and connect missing dots in the Trump-Ukraine affair.

The other side: A senior administration official told reporters on a call today that the White House doesn't believe the Senate needs to hear from any new witnesses, arguing that it would simply show that House Democrats didn't come "ready to present their case."

  • The official predicted that the trial would take roughly two weeks and culminate in an acquittal by Feb. 4, when Trump is due to give his State of the Union address.
Bonus: Data du jour

Source: NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, via AP

The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records.
2. What you missed

1. Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the "phase one" trade deal, marking a temporary reprieve after 18 months of trade tensions. Go deeper.

2. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his cabinet resigned after Putin announced major changes to the structure of Russia's government. What to watch.

3. Venture capital investment is seeping out from Silicon Valley to the rest of the country, but the West Coast still dominates the market by a wide margin. Visual.

4. Apple confirmed to Axios it has purchased Xnor.ai, a Seattle-based startup that specializes in putting artificial intelligence on devices rather than via centralized servers. Why it matters.

3. 1 boomer thing

Supreme Court justices pose for their official photo on Nov. 30, 2018. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"OK, Boomer" made its first appearance in the Supreme Court today, as justices considered the case of a federal employee who was in her early 50s when she sued for age discrimination, AP's Mark Sherman reports.

  • "The hiring person, who’s younger, says, ‘OK, Boomer,’ once to the applicant," Chief Justice John Roberts said as he conjured a hypothetical exchange to try to determine whether the older employee might be able to win a lawsuit.

P.S. Roberts will celebrate his 65th birthday while presiding over the impeachment trial on Jan. 27.