Jan 27, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Republicans take a "deep breath"

Photo: Senate Television via Getty Images

Despite the Bolton hullabaloo, the floodgates still aren't open on the Trump impeachment trial.

Why it matters: There won't be a witness vote for at least another few days, putting an edge on the proceedings but hardly shutting them down.

  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told reporters the Senate will have a vote on witnesses on Friday.

The big picture: There’s a growing sense on the Hill that the White House has a lot of cleanup to do to keep Republicans in line on witnesses, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • Most Senate Republicans are still waiting to hear the White House’s arguments, and have an opportunity to ask questions, before committing to anything.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told senators today to "take a deep breath and let’s take one step at a time.”
  • Sen. Mitt Romney: "I think it's increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton."

Speaking of John Bolton: The former national security adviser denied that he, his publisher or his literary agent coordinated with the N.Y. Times.

  • "Any assertion to the contrary is unfounded speculation."

Between the lines: Trump's team is working to portray Democrats' arguments on the Senate floor as a slanted picture of reality and not the whole truth, Alayna notes.

  • That includes making a point to frequently say "the House managers didn't tell you that" or "they didn't mention this."
  • A senior Democratic staffer responded by saying "they are cherry-picking the evidence. We aren’t cherry-picking the evidence.”

Inside the chamber: Sen. Bernie Sanders looked particularly frustrated that he's stuck in the Senate rather than on the trail, just a week before the Iowa caucuses.

  • He was staring straight ahead during presentations, not moving his gaze even for video clips, and was fidgety and slouched low in his seat.
2. Pic du jour

Ken Starr in 1999 and today. Photos: Karin Cooper/Getty Images; Senate TV via AP

Kenneth Starr, who served as independent counsel during the investigation of President Bill Clinton, kicked off today with a history-filled speech about the dangers of normalizing impeachment.

  • Starr argued that for much of early American history "the sword of presidential impeachment had been sheathed."

Live updates.

2. What you missed
  1. GM will invest $2.2 billion to retool its Detroit-Hamtramck plant for the production of electric and autonomous vehicles. Go deeper.
  2. The Supreme Court will let the Trump administration begin enforcing new rules that penalize immigrants who are likely to rely on certain public programs, such as food stamps or Medicaid. Go deeper.
  3. Michael Bloomberg is backing statehood for Puerto Rico. Go deeper.
  4. The IPO-pocalypse didn't last long: We're expecting an offering above $1 billion this week and another next week. Go deeper.
  5. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Soviet Army in 1945, and hundreds of survivors returned to the complex in commemoration. Photos.
3. 1 fun thing

Fancy new hotel for the D.C. crowd: The Riggs Hotel, opening Feb. 3 in the old Riggs National Bank building at 9th and F NW.

  • "On-the-nose bank jokes are few and far between, but the minibar looks like a safe (and contains the room safe), and bears a brass plaque featuring the Roman goddess of money," Bloomberg notes.
  • "The four 'First Lady' suites at the Riggs are the hotel’s pièce de résistance, with individual design schemes inspired by first ladies past."
Mike Allen