House Democrats lay out Articles of Impeachment. Trump strikes deal on trade with those same House Democrats. And Warren takes on Buttigieg. The roundtable is here.
Liz Landers, Washington correspondent for Vice News. (@ElizLanders)
Annie Karni, New York Times White House correspondent. (@anniekarni)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
The New York Times: "What Will Be the Catchphrase That Defines the Trump Impeachment?" — "Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, trying to minimize the impeachment investigation of President Trump on Monday, pointed to the lack of memorable lines uttered by participants compared with impeachments past.
"'There are famous lines from Nixon, like "What did the president know, and when did he know it?"' Mr. Collins, a Republican ally and defender of the president, said during a contentious hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. 'From the Clinton impeachment, there was "I did not have sex with that woman."'
"In fact, Mr. Clinton said he did not have 'sexual relations' with Monica Lewinsky, a critical parsing of his activities. And the legendary line from the Nixon impeachment was actually delivered by Senator Howard H. Baker Jr., Republican of Tennessee, while trying to defend the president during his interrogation of John W. Dean, the former White House counsel.
"But Mr. Collins’s larger point was that the Ukraine affair had no catchphrase associated with it — and that was somehow telling, both because of the facts underpinning the case against Mr. Trump and because of how it would be remembered."
Washington Post: "FBI was justified in opening Trump campaign probe, but case plagued by ‘serious failures,’ inspector general finds" — "A Justice Department inspector general’s report examining the FBI investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign rebutted conservatives’ accusations that top FBI officials were driven by political bias to illegally spy on Trump advisers but also found broad and 'serious performance failures' requiring major changes.
"The 434-page report issued Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” when it initiated its investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, into the Trump campaign. In doing so, Horowitz implicitly rejected assertions by the president and fellow Republicans that the case was launched out of political animus or that the FBI broke its own rules on using informants.
"As the probe went on and the FBI sought court approval to surveil a former campaign aide, officials repeatedly emphasized damaging information they heard about Trump associates and played down exculpatory evidence they found, the report said. The bureau promptly indicated that it would implement dozens of corrective measures in response to Horowitz’s report and that disciplinary action remains a possibility."
NBC News: "Trump blasts FBI director Wray for backing IG report that 2016 campaign probe was justified" — "President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted his 'current' FBI Director Christopher Wray — whom the president appointed — after the bureau head accepted the key finding of the Justice Department inspector general's report into the origins of the investigation into Trump's campaign and Russia.
"That report, by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that the opening of the probe into Trump's 2016 campaign officials was not politically motivated — countering Trump's allegation that it was a 'witch hunt.' The report, however, did find that FBI agents made numerous missteps in the course of that investigation.
"'I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn't the one given to me,' tweeted Trump, who appointed Wray in 2017 after the president fired then-FBI Director James Comey. 'With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!' "
Politico: "Biden signals to aides that he would serve only a single term" — "Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he would serve only a single term.
"While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital."
PBS NewsHour: "These 4 changes helped Trump and Democrats agree to the USMCA trade deal" — "Democratic lawmakers and the White House are both claiming victory for changes made to a major North American trade deal that is now expected to win approval from Congress after more than a year of deadlock.
"The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is an updated version of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminated trade barriers between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. The initial USMCA agreement was signed by leaders of the three countries last November, but the new version has not been ratified by their respective legislatures.
"Before they would offer their support, Democrats demanded changes to the deal. On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats had reached a compromise with the Trump administration, even in the midst of bitter partisan rancor over the impeachment process."
This program aired on December 13, 2019.
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