Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Officials in both parties tell Axios that — barring surprise new information — President Trump is on a glide path to swift acquittal at his Senate impeachment trial, despite a blizzard of evidence bolstering Democrats' accusations.

Why it matters: Trump has a decent chance of avoiding witnesses and of losing zero Republican votes on conviction. When the news of Trump's Ukraine scandal broke, few thought every single Republican in the House and Senate would have his back. Bill Clinton pined for such unity. 

  • A source close to House Democrats sounded morose after Trump's defense team made its opening arguments yesterday: "I think our team feels like we did everything possible and are going to lose anyway."
  • "It feels like maybe we’ll still get a witness, but more likely not, and even if we do it won’t matter," the source added.
  • "The GOP gamble is always that most voters don’t care about process ... Up to us to make them pay for this."

Yes, but: Don't rule out the possibility that the necessary four Senate Republicans will vote to allow witnesses.

  • But the Trump team seems confident they won’t.

Senate sources say that about the only way the Trump team could mess things up now is to be overly shrill and overplay their hands when they continue their case on Monday,.

  • The biggest way the Trump lawyers could do that is by delving deeply into the Bidens' role in Ukraine.
  • People in both parties echoed an observation of CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin during yesterday's coverage: "If you're winning, shut up. That's, I think, ... the guiding principle of what they're doing."
  • Yesterday's presentation was also short because Trump didn’t want his lawyers wasting time on Saturday, which he tweeted "is called Death Valley in T.V."

Go deeper: Impeachment trial draws shrugs — by design

Go deeper

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,778,331 — Total deaths: 974,436 — Total recoveries: 21,876,025Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,943,078 — Total deaths: 201,930 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the grand jury indictment of a Louisville police officer who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March in a botched drug raid that led to her death, saying in a statement the decision "does not answer" for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

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