Oct 23, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 440 words, a 2-minute read.

Scoop: An internal memo on cybersecurity, obtained by Axios' Alexi McCammond, warns that "the White House is posturing itself to be electronically compromised once again." Read it.

1 big thing: Showdown at the classified corral

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

About 30 House Republicans attempted to force entry today into a closed-door impeachment hearing, violating decorum and forcing police to conduct a sweep for possible security breaches, Axios' Zachary Basu reports.

Why it matters: This standoff was a byproduct of Republican frustrations at the impeachment inquiry, which is being driven by the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees.

  • The Republicans are protesting a lack of transparency in the impeachment process, alleging that the inquiry is not legitimate because a full House vote has not been held.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tweeted that he was inside the House Intelligence Committee's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF):

  • "BREAKING: I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions. Still inside - more details to come.” (He later tweeted that the tweet was sent by staff.)

Reality check: Closed-door hearings are routine for committees, which include both Republicans and Democrats.

  • As former Rep. Trey Gowdy told former Rep. Darrell Issa when barring him from a Benghazi hearing in 2015, non-committee members aren't allowed, and "those are the rules and we have to follow them, no exceptions made."

The bottom line: Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, was scheduled to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and Ukraine.

  • That hearing was delayed 5 hours.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets in a show of support for the ongoing teachers strike in Chicago.

  • Union teachers and school staff members are demanding more funding from the city in order to lower class sizes, hire more support staff and build new affordable housing for the 16,000 Chicago Public Schools students whose families are homeless.
2. What you missed
  1. Trump gave a triumphant statement from the White House, claiming despite widespread criticism that while his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria led to a "short-term outburst," it resulted in a "great outcome." Video.
  2. A pair of anonymously sourced reports indicate the Ukrainian government felt pressure from the Trump administration to pursue investigations into the president's political rivals in the U.S. earlier than previously known. Go deeper.
  3. The Trump administration sued the state of California to cease its emissions trading market, arguing it's unconstitutional for the Canadian province of Quebec to be its partner. Go deeper.
  4. Scoop: The big names headed to Saudi Arabia's "Davos in the Desert" — hosted by the regime that murdered Jamal Khashoggi — include Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin, a long list of prominent financiers and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank. Go deeper.
  5. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took heat from Congress over misinformation, privacy, discrimination, Trump, and even the topic of the House Financial Services Committee hearing, which was Facebook’s cyptocurrency project. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Google has reportedly achieved a milestone by using quantum computers to solve a calculation in mere minutes that current machines could not complete in thousands of years, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

  • Why it matters: "Quantum supremacy," the achievement Google is touting, would represent a big but early step toward reliable quantum computers that could solve some currently intractable problems.

Go deeper.