Nov 12, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 466 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi apologized to employees today after his interview with "Axios on HBO" garnered criticism over his suggestion that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a "mistake" by the Saudi government. Go deeper.

1 big thing: Impeachment during a not normal presidency

Pics from the Clinton (upper left) and Nixon impeachments. Photos: AP/File

This is a not normal presidency, so expect a not normal impeachment process when the House impeachment public hearings kick off tomorrow.

  • The big picture: "There are consistencies in the process — televised hearings, partisan rancor and memorable speeches — but each impeachment process also stands alone," the AP reports in a useful "then and now" preview.


  • The Clinton and Nixon hearings featured evidence from special prosecutors and followed extensive law enforcement investigations.
  • The Trump hearings feature the House Intelligence Committee assembling its case in the absence of a special prosecutor or Justice Department investigation.


  • The Nixon hearings featured Senate hearings that included the famous question, "What did the president know and when did he know it?
  • For the Trump hearings, expect the fireworks in the House, where Democrats run the show. Plenty of witnesses have already gone behind closed doors, with the public rounds starting tomorrow.


  • Nixon resigned in the face of likely Senate conviction, and multiple Senate Republicans told him conviction was coming.
  • For Trump, not a single House Republican voted yes on the proxy vote for an impeachment inquiry, and it's hard to fathom Senate Republicans voting to convict.


  • Clinton apologized for his actions, and Nixon complied with a Supreme Court order to turn over evidence.
  • Trump has called the Ukraine call that launched the inquiry "perfect," and his administration has refused to cooperate with the inquiry.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Giacomo Cosua/NurPhoto/Getty Images

High tide, or acqua alta as it is more commonly known in Venice, stood at just over 4 feet today.

2. What you missed
  1. A Monmouth University poll has Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential race in Iowa for the first time. Go deeper.
  2. John Bolton suggested in a private speech last week that Trump's experience as a businessman colors his relationships with foreign leaders — often for the worse, NBC News reports, citing six people who were there. Go deeper.
  3. "A Warning," has had more preorders than any other nonfiction book in Hachette Book Group history, the publisher announced today.
  4. Former President Jimmy Carter had "no complications" from brain surgery at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, according to The Carter Center.
  5. The Supreme Court won't block a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer by the parents of the children who died during Sandy Hook. Go deeper.
3. 1 historic thing

Photo: Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has its first Hispanic head in Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles, an immigrant from Mexico, the AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Gómez is "considered a practical-minded conservative in terms of church doctrine but has made clear his disappointment over key immigration-control policies adopted by the Trump administration," the AP notes.

The big picture: "Gómez succeeds Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, whose three-year presidency was complicated by the church’s clergy sex-abuse crisis."

Mike Allen