Julio Cortez / AP

No, Sen. Joe Manchin isn't going to become Energy secretary — the dream scenario some White House officials had for replacing a Democratic senator with a Republican, thereby gaining the 50th vote for Affordable Care Act repeal. But the New York Times reports that there's another, not totally implausible scenario — because Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez is going on trial soon on federal corruption charges.

  • If the New Jersey senator is convicted, he could resign, or the Senate could vote to expel him (it would take two thirds of the Senate to throw him out).
  • Either way, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would appoint his replacement — who would almost certainly be a Republican.
  • The odds: It's really not knowable until the trial begins and we get a better sense of the case against Menendez. For now, it's just another “what if" scenario. But it's not impossible.

Go deeper

Twitter launches warnings on election misinformation and delays

Photo: courtesy of Twitter

Twitter will start pinning notices to the top of all U.S. Twitter users’ timelines warning that results in next week’s election may be delayed and that they may encounter misinformation on mail-in voting.

Why it matters: Delayed election results are expected across many states that are handling unprecedented amounts of absentee and mailed ballots, which President Trump has baselessly called "very dangerous" and "corrupt."

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
31 mins ago - Science

NASA confirms water exists on sunny parts of the Moon

Photo: NASA/JPL/USGS

Water on the Moon might be more easily accessible than previously thought, opening up new possible avenues for future human exploration, according to a new study.

Why it matters: NASA is aiming to send people back to the Moon as part of its Artemis program by 2024, with plans to eventually create a sustainable presence on the lunar surface. That sustainability relies on mining the moon for its resources, like water.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pence no longer expected at Amy Coney Barrett's final confirmation vote

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence no longer plans to attend the Senate's final confirmation vote for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Pence aide confirmed to CNN and Politico on Monday. On Sunday, Senate Democrats claimed that his presence after possible exposure to the coronavirus would be a "violation of common decency."

Driving the news: Five of Pence's aides were recently diagnosed with COVID-19, including his chief of staff, who is currently quarantining. Pence has continued his campaign travel despite his possible exposure, which goes against CDC guidelines.