Impeachment heads to the Senate. Democrats debate electability and gender. The U.S. and China strike a deal. The entire Russian government quits. The roundtable is here.
Kimberly Atkins, senior news correspondent for WBUR. (@KimberlyEAtkins)
Darlene Superville, White House reporter, Associated Press. (@dsupervilleap)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
Washington Post: "Eyeing swift impeachment trial, Trump’s legal team aims to block witnesses and cast doubt on charges" — "White House lawyers are trying to engineer the fastest impeachment trial in American history, aiming to have President Trump acquitted by the Senate without witnesses and after just a few days of proceedings, according to senior administration officials.
"Trump’s desire for a short trial has solidified over the past few weeks, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) delayed transmitting two articles of impeachment to the Senate because of concerns about how the trial would be structured. The White House, which previously supported a more expansive trial in the GOP-led Senate, has now accepted the idea that senators should make quick work of acquitting Trump.
“'I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we’d be going beyond two weeks,' said a senior administration official, who briefed reporters Wednesday on the condition of anonymity. 'We think that this case is overwhelming for the president, and the Senate’s not going to be having any need to be taking that amount of time on this.'
"President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial in 1868 lasted 11 weeks. President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999 lasted more than a month."
New York Times: "Lev Parnas Adds New Details on Push to Oust U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine" — "In April 2019, Rudolph W. Giuliani believed he was on the cusp of achieving an important goal: ousting the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch. As Ms. Yovanovitch’s standing with the White House grew more precarious, Mr. Giuliani texted an associate.
"'He fired her again,' Mr. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, told the associate, Lev Parnas. Mr. Parnas responded in kind. 'I pray it happens this time I’ll call you tomorrow my brother,' he wrote.
"The exchange was included in an array of documents released by House Democrats on Tuesday that offered new details on the shadow diplomacy campaign at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment and highlighted the effort to remove Ms. Yovanovitch."
Washington Post: "New book portrays Trump as erratic, ‘at times dangerously uninformed’" — "President Trump reveals himself as woefully uninformed about the basics of geography, incorrectly telling Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 'It’s not like you’ve got China on your border.' He toys with awarding himself the Medal of Freedom.
"And, according to a new book by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig, Trump does not seem to grasp the fundamental history surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"'Hey, John, what’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?' Trump asks his then-chief of staff John Kelly, as the men prepare to take a private tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, which commemorates the December 1941 Japanese surprise attack in the Pacific that pulled the United States into World War II.
“'Trump had heard the phrase ‘Pearl Harbor’ and appeared to understand that he was visiting the scene of a historic battle, but he did not seem to know much else,' write the authors, later quoting a former senior White House adviser who concludes: 'He was at times dangerously uninformed.'”
Politico: "State Department abruptly cancels briefings on Iran, embassy security" — "Congressional staffers sought updates following the president's decision to kill a senior Iranian general.
"The State Department abruptly canceled two classified congressional briefings Wednesday that were supposed to focus on embassy security and the U.S. relationship with Iran, Capitol Hill aides said, infuriating lawmakers and staffers seeking answers on the fallout from President Donald Trump's decision to kill a senior Iranian general.
"The cancellations also coincide with the release of documents suggesting that associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had put the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine under surveillance — an issue that touches on both embassy security and the president's impeachment."
This program aired on January 17, 2020.