Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly look ahead from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
Tonight's newsletter is 2,166 words, an 8-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Leon Neal/Getty Staff, Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Contributor
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is inching toward a decision that could profoundly harm the "special relationship" between Britain and the United States under President Trump.
Driving the news: Johnson is expected to decide, as soon as this week, whether to defy Trump's request that he ban Chinese technology giant Huawei from the U.K.'s 5G wireless network.
Behind the scenes: "This is a highly consequential decision that the British prime minister's going to be making," a senior Trump administration official told me in a phone interview on Saturday.
Why it matters: The Huawei debate — which may seem abstract to many Americans — has become one of the most urgent foreign policy priorities of the Trump administration and one of the more serious tests of the U.S.-U.K. relationship in recent times.
Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been a leading voice, globally, in warning about the risks of allowing the Chinese company to embed itself in Western mobile networks.
The big picture: The battle over Huawei is what a "tech Cold War" begins to look like.
Between the lines: 5G mobile networks will allow humans and machines to communicate at unfathomable speeds. When people talk about the Internet of Things, they are referring to a world in which everything from driverless cars to home appliances to hospital equipment will be connected and constantly exchanging data.
Go deeper: Read the full story in the Axios stream
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
We are living in a measurably different political and media landscape than when the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges in 1999, Axios' Stef Kight and Alayna Treene report.
The big picture: These dynamics are setting the pace as President Trump’s legal team speeds through arguments to seek a fast acquittal.
Why it matters: What happens may shape how Americans view future impeachments.
Some other ways Trump's 2020 impeachment backdrop differed from Clinton's in 1999:
Then: Democratic president, Republican Senate, Republican House.
Now: Republican president, Republican Senate, Democratic House.
Then: Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Minority Leader Daschle negotiated ground rules for the trial.
Now: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer briefly met before the start of the trial, but talks failed once McConnell knew he had the votes to pass his resolution without Democrats.
Then: Former Sen. Dale Bumpers represented Clinton: “You pick your own adjective to describe the president's conduct. Here are some that I would use: indefensible, outrageous, unforgivable, shameless. I promise you the president would not contest any of those or any others.”
Now: White House counsel Pat Cipollone told Senators on Saturday it would be “a completely irresponsible abuse of power” to convict Trump. Trump has long insisted his call with Ukrainian President Zelensky — around which the articles of impeachment are built — was “perfect.”
Then: Vice President Al Gore broke ties in the Senate four times over eight years.
Now: Three years into the Trump presidency, Vice President Mike Pence has had to break ties 13 times.
Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images
Unlike the methodical, sometimes plodding, approach Democratic House managers took in three days of arguments at President Trump’s impeachment trial, Trump's legal team is making a play for clip-worthy TV moments accusing Democrats of a witch hunt, Alayna reports.
Why it matters: That's a strategy lawyers employ only if they're fairly confident they've got the votes to acquit and can shift to public relations tactics likely to motivate Trump's voting and fundraising bases.
What's next: Once the president's team wraps its presentation on Monday or Tuesday, senators will have 16 hours to submit written questions to Chief Justice John Roberts, who will read them aloud on the floor. Senators expect to use the full 16 hours they are given.
What we're hearing: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering limiting the amount of time between remaining procedural votes to end the trial as soon as possible.
The bottom line: If McConnell believes he has 51 votes needed to forge ahead, Trump could be acquitted as early as Friday, ahead of the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 4 State of the Union address.
Worth noting: Trump's schedule this week is loaded with a number of domestic and foreign policy items — from the potential unveiling of a Middle East peace plan to signing the USMCA trade deal — giving him plenty of opportunities to argue he’s focused on doing the work of a president, and not on impeachment.
Jared Kushner speaks on stage as U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman looks on during the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images
The Trump administration is expected to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan on Tuesday, sources familiar with the plan tell me.
Between the lines: The Israeli-Palestinian peace plan has been the most secretive effort inside an extraordinarily leaky administration. Not a single detail has leaked for three years about how the Trump administration will propose to divide territory between Israel and the Palestinians.
What to watch: Israel's internal politics are extremely fraught with an election on March 2. So it's significant that both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponent Benny Gantz will be visiting Washington this week.
Behind the scenes: The White House has reached out to the Jordanians, Egyptians, Emiratis, Saudis and a number of European countries to encourage them to issue supportive statements when the plan is finally released. It's unclear how much they have told them about the plan, but it's not believed to be much detail, per sources familiar with the outreach.
A sign for International Arrivals is shown at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo: Ted S. Warren/AP
President Trump is expected to announce an expanded travel ban this week, which would restrict immigration from seven additional countries — Nigeria, Myanmar, Sudan, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania, per multiple reports.
Between the lines: People from the countries covered by the expanded ban will not be barred from entering the U.S. across the board, WSJ reports. Varying levels of immigration and travel restrictions will be imposed.
Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, North Korea, Yemen and Somalia have already been affected by the earlier version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.
Photo: J.Castro/Getty Images
The House will return from recess on Monday, Alayna writes.
The Senate impeachment trial will continue this week.
President Trump's schedule, per a White House official:
Bonus: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will depart on Wednesday for his tour of Britain, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. He will return on Feb. 4 — the date Trump will deliver his State of the Union address.