Sep 24, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 490 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: WeWork founder Adam Neumann is out as CEO.

1 big thing: Pelosi launches impeachment inquiry

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

31 months after the first House Democrat called for his ouster, President Trump faces the impeachment effort that could define the rest of his presidency.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moments ago:

  • “I can say with authority, the Trump administration’s actions undermine our national security and intelligence."
  • "The House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry."
  • "The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law."

The big picture: More than 20 House Democrats endorsed impeachment today alone, including Rep. John Lewis.

  • Democrats remain ~50 votes shy of the 218 to impeach, but momentum is moving in that direction.

Behind the scenes: Pelosi now sees a potential necessity for impeachment even if she dislikes the political impact it could have, Axios' Margaret Talev and Alayna Treene report.

  • On the merits, Pelosi now sees a potential necessity for impeachment even if she dislikes the political impact it could have.
  • One factor driving Pelosi's thinking: The White House has refused to turn over the whistleblower's complaint about Trump's actions.
  • Another factor: Pelosi is working to protect vulnerable Democrats who aren't on board with impeachment — assuming they get past the necessary 218 votes needed to initiate formal proceedings.

Between the lines: The White House still has a potential way to halt the escalating momentum for impeachment: turn over the whistleblower report.

  • The White House is releasing the transcript of Trump's call with Ukraine's new president, but that won't go far enough.
  • The chairs of 3 key Democratic committees investigating Trump have demanded the White House turn over documents related to Biden and Ukraine by Thursday, threatening "escalated measures" if the administration refuses to comply.
  • And the GOP-controlled Senate voted unanimously to urge the administration to release the whistleblower complaint to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Go deeper: See the full impeachment whip list

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the United Nations in New York City.

2. What you missed
  1. Trump used his address before the United Nations General Assembly to denounce "globalists" and "socialists" while taking aim at China, Iran and Venezuela. Go deeper.
  2. Massachusetts declared a statewide public health emergency and called for a 4-month ban on all vaping products. Go deeper.
  3. The Colorado movie theater where a 2012 mass shooting took place during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" will not show the forthcoming "Joker," per the Hollywood Reporter.
  4. Businessman Devin Sloane has been sentenced to 4 months in prison. Sloane is the 2nd parent convicted in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions scandal. Go deeper.
3. 1 📺 thing

Ice-T as Sgt. "Fin” Tutuola and Mariska Hargitay as Lt. Olivia Benson in a scene from "Law & Order: SVU.” Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC via Getty Images

Thursday's “cha-CHUNG” of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” will signal the debut of the show's 21st season — and a new record for the longest running prime-time live-action series in U.S. TV history, AP reports.

  • Show creator Dick Wolf will be breaking his own record: The original "Law & Order," which ran from 1990 until it was canceled in 2010, was tied at 20 seasons with "Gunsmoke," which ran from 1955 to '75, per Vulture.

P.S. Wolf plans to put an upcoming show on a streaming platform because its subject and language don’t fit on broadcast, per AP.

  • And, yes, it’s another spinoff ... "Law & Order: Hate Crimes."
Mike Allen