Axios Sneak Peek

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February 11, 2021

Today's newsletter — edited by Glen Johnson — is 562 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: 💵 Lawmakers raise campaign cash off impeachment trial

Illustration of a gavel on a stack of cash

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Members of Congress from both parties are using Donald Trump's second impeachment trial to solicit donations to their reelection committees, Axios' Lachlan Markay and Alayna Treene report.

Why it matters: Trump was a singular force in small-dollar fundraising throughout his four years in office, for both his supporters and critics. His impeachment trial may be lawmakers' last chance to use him as a grassroots money machine, and some in the House and Senate are taking full advantage.

  • "There are very few people fighting ALL of these battles in Washington, D.C.," said an email from the campaign committee for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). "But I’m one of them, and I’m asking you to stand with me today as I fight for you."
  • "Convict the white supremacist-in-chief," read the subject line of an email sent Wednesday by the campaign committee for Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.). "Will you make a donation and support Cori’s fight to hold Trump and every seditionist in Congress accountable?"

What they're saying: Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) told Axios: "If that's happening, I want to make sure that we're not doing that. A lot of times that's the wing of your operation."

  • “I’m not doing that," said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). "But every senator is his own independent voice. He’s got to make up his own mind.”

Go deeper.

2. Impeachment managers pressure Republicans with new evidence

Delegate Stacey Plaskett is seen during her presentation at Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.

Stacey Plaskett, a Democratic House delegate who represents the Virgin Islands, delivers her impeachment presentation. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

House impeachment managers today used previously unseen security video, unheard police radio calls and undisclosed facts to try to shock Senate jurors into a conviction in Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, Alayna and Axios' Glen Johnson write.

Why it matters: Alayna was with senators throughout the Jan. 6 insurrection and writes, "We all were isolated from the activity on that day." Today, the senators sat in their own chamber, audio booming like a movie theater, seeing the danger that nearly engulfed them. A nation of constituents watched along at home.

  • "Multiple law enforcement injuries," one officer screamed into his radio.
  • "They're throwing poles at us," said another radio call.
  • "The crowd is using munitions against us," said yet one more.

While the odds are still against Democrats convincing at least 17 Republican senators in joining them to find Trump guilty of inciting the Capitol attack, the impeachment managers forged ahead with a case that will make the final vote as difficult as possible for them.

Go deeper.

3. Scoop: Biden considering Lisa Cook for open Fed seat

Potential Federal Reserve Board nominee Lisa Cook is seen posing with friends.

Lisa Cook (center). Public Domain

President Biden is considering nominating Lisa Cook, an economist at Michigan State University, to fill an open seat on the Federal Reserve Board, people familiar with the matter tell Axios' Hans Nichols.

Why it matters: The appointment would be historic, since Cook would be the first Black woman to join the Fed. It also would reveal the new president's preferences for monetary policy and how he may reconstitute the Fed, including the chairmanship.

  • Chairman Jerome Powell’s term is up in February 2022, but presidents typically announce a replacement, or whether to renominate the chair, the summer before the expiration. That would be this summer — plenty of time for the financial markets to adjust to the change.
  • The White House declined comment and Cook did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper.

4. Top congressional tweeters

Data: Quorum; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Quorum; Chart: Axios Visuals

From Trump to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeting has become a big part of being an elected official.

Why it matters: Numerous representatives and senators have followed suit, and these are the ones who tweeted the most during the recently completed 116th Congress, according to data pulled by Quorum provided to Stef Kight.

  • By the numbers: Republican Rep. Billy Long of Missouri was the most active, with 265.4 average tweets per week from his personal account.

5. Pic du jour

President Biden is seen at the Pentagon, looking at a display honoring African American service members.

Photo by Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, both the first Black people to hold their office, look at a display at the Pentagon honoring African American service members.

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