Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The writing is on the wall, top Republicans tell us: Democrats will likely win the House and undoubtedly move to impeach President Trump.

The big picture: Assuming Democrats win the House, it is inconceivable charges that Trump illegally paid off two women to protect his political campaign, corroborated by two longtime loyalists under oath, alone would not provoke impeachment proceedings. It’s equally inconceivable Robert Mueller won’t provide much more impeachment fodder when he reports his findings.

This is where the insane run of politics could hit peak insanity: Trump knows all he will need is 34 Republican votes in Senate to save his presidency, if he were impeached by the House and tried by the Senate. It takes 67 of 100 senators to remove a president from office.

  • Trump’s political superpower is his willingness to say, do and endure things most humans would never tolerate.
  • So those who know Trump best fully expect he would never surrender and bet his base is so strong, and Republican senators so fearful, his red wall will hold, regardless of evidence.

This wall would include:

  • True Trump loyalists.
  • Newly elected senators who credit Trump for helping them win.
  • Republicans running for reelection in states Trump won by 20 or more points.
  • Republicans in Trump states not up for 2020 reelection.

Why it matters: Yes, this is premature. But also yes, the thinking around Trump is turning to survival in impeachment proceedings.

Be smart ... An experienced Senate vote-counter, on why no one is likely to be #34 to save Trump: "If you lose 10 Rs on something like impeachment, you’re going to lose them all. I think it’s [preserve the] majority [in November] or bust."

Go deeper ... From Axios PM, "Trump's hell week: fear and fury," by Jonathan Swan:

  • "For the first time, I’m hearing real fear and concern in the voices of Trump allies."

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Trump and Xi to give dueling speeches Tuesday at UN General Assembly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping will address the UN General Assembly just minutes apart on Tuesday morning — with Russia’s Vladimir Putin following soon thereafter.

The big picture: Trump has promised a “strong message on China.” Xi, meanwhile, is expected to laud global cooperation — with the clear implication that it can be led from Beijing.

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