WRAPPING UP SCHIFF: Rep. ADAM SCHIFF (D-Calif.) — who has quickly been vaulted to a position of prominence atop the Democratic Party — wrapped up his prosecution of President DONALD TRUMP last night around 9 p.m. after three days of tight and compelling testimony.
HOW DO YOU JUDGE THE JOB SCHIFF and the Democrats did? Their rhetorical skills, their preparation and the depth of their argument have been roundly praised by both parties and most all observers. It’s very clear that Democrats knew exactly what they were doing by making SCHIFF the lead manager, and filling his team with talented orators. SCHIFF did seem to tick off Republicans, or at least give them a reason to say they’re ticked off — more on that below.
— WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT SCHIFF: NYT, by Sheryl Stolberg: “‘I have to say this,’ [Oklahoma GOP Sen. Jim] Inhofe told reporters Friday morning in the Capitol. ‘Schiff is very, very effective.’”
BUT SCHIFF WRAPPED yesterday by asking Republicans to vote for witnesses — an illustration of just how tough of a job Democrats have.
ON WITNESSES … THE LATEST THINKING in the Capitol among both Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans will not vote for witnesses. Smart money is on a 51-49 vote — although no one really has an idea at this point.
AN INTERESTING QUESTION TO PONDER: Politically, if you’re a Republican, can you vote for witnesses — and if witnesses fail, can you then vote to acquit? There are two schools of thinking on this: Yes: If you vote for witnesses, and they fail, you can vote to acquit because you can say, “I tried to get more information. The Senate said no, so I had to make a decision based on what we had.” No: How can you believe you need more information and then vote to acquit?
HAPPENING THIS MORNING: From a Dem aide: “Today, Managers for the U.S. House of Representatives will file a 28,578-page trial record with the Secretary of the Senate for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. The trial record serves as the evidentiary foundation informing the Senate impeachment trial and provides a permanent accounting to the Senate and the public of the evidence gathered against the President of the United States. This record does not include thousands of documents and testimony that President Trump is blocking from Congress and the American people.”
HOW SCHIFF IS PLAYING … THE NATION’S FRONT PAGES … Arizona Republic: “Trump ‘is who he is’” … Los Angeles Times: “Democrats end arguments with a dire warning” … S.F. Chronicle: “Last word from Schiff — oust him or it won’t stop” … San Diego Union Tribune: “DEMOCRATS PRESS OBSTRUCTION CASE” … Miami Herald: “Democrats say oust Trump or he’ll do it again; ‘he is who he is’” … Tampa Bay Times: “Schiff: Trump must be stopped” …
… New York Times: “DEMOCRATS PRESS CASE OF OBSTRUCTION BY TRUMP” … Charlotte Observer: “Trump ally Meadows takes defender role up a notch” … Portland Oregonian: “Schiff: ‘You know it’s not going to stop’”
REPUBLICANS NOT MOVED … JOHN BRESNAHAN and BURGESS EVERETT: “Trump finds nearly unwavering loyalty from Republicans after Dem case”: “Senate Republicans spent three days listening to the House impeachment managers present a comprehensive case for removing President Donald Trump from office — an elaborate, multimedia narrative laying out a wide array of offenses allegedly committed to benefit the president’s personal political fortunes at the expense of the nation.
“A small minority of GOP senators may ultimately end up mildly criticizing the president’s behavior in requesting investigations into Joe Biden and delaying military aid to Ukraine. But any expressions of disapproval are muted, or explained away as an honest mistake by a frustrated president who just wanted to fight corruption in Ukraine. …
“[I]t is very unlikely that more than one or two Republican senators are even considering a vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, far from the 20 needed to reach the 67-vote threshold required by the Constitution. GOP leaders and aides privately doubt any Republican will cast such a vote, especially after they hear from Trump’s defense team over the next few days, and particularly if a key procedural vote on hearing witnesses is defeated next week.”
NYT’S CARL HULSE on A1: “Few G.O.P. Senators Display Any Hint of Being Swayed by Democrats’ Arguments”
OUTRAGE OF THE DAY … BURGESS EVERETT: “Republicans livid after Schiff cites supposed threat to GOP senators”: “Lisa Murkowski thought Adam Schiff was doing a pretty good job prosecuting the case against President Donald Trump as he made his opening arguments. That is, until he read an anonymous quote warning Republican senators to vote with Trump or end up with their ‘head on a pike.’
“‘I thought he was doing fine with moral courage until he got to the head on a pike. That’s where he lost me … he’s a good orator,’ said the Alaska Republican, whose vote is crucial in the Democrat’s push to subpoena new witnesses and documents in the trial. ‘You’ve got to give him that. And he was moving right along with good oratory … it was just unnecessary.’
“The moderate Republican is one of the few unpredictable senators during the impeachment trial. But she appeared visibly upset during Schiff’s remarks, as did Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). ‘Not only have I never heard the ‘head on the pike’ line but also I know of no Republican senator who has been threatened in any way by anyone in the administration,’ Collins said.” POLITICO
THE TRUMP TEAM DEFENSE starts at 10 a.m. today. President DONALD TRUMP suggested Saturdays are the backwater of television, but the networks are taking the proceedings live with their top talent at the wheel.
IT’S A SHORT DAY TODAY: The session is expected to wrap around 1 p.m., and the Senate will take tomorrow off and return Monday.
WHAT TO EXPECT TODAY … JAY SEKULOW told a group of us reporters in the Capitol yesterday that today would be like a “trailer … coming attractions.” SEKULOW said they would be speaking a lot about JOE and HUNTER BIDEN.
— DARREN SAMUELSOHN and KYLE CHENEY: “Trump’s legal team to launch unbridled attack on Biden”: “It’s not the strategy most lawyers would take when a president’s job is on the line. But this is the Trump era and any norms from past impeachment fights appear to be out the window. More than anything, Trump’s lawyers are aiming to use their nationally-televised platform to stamp out any lingering consideration by a handful of Senate Republicans to join Democrats in demanding new witnesses and documents to aid their prosecution.
“Whether that plan works remains to be seen — a vote on the witness question looms next week and several GOP senators have suggested they’re still open-minded. Trump himself is a wildcard in that debate. He has at times demanded that Republicans call his own favored witnesses, including Biden, and at others has called for a swift rejection of Democrats’ case.”
— WAPO A1: “Trump’s defense team to target Bidens in counterpunch to impeachment charges,” by Rachael Bade, Bob Costa, Karoun Demirjian and Josh Dawsey
WHAT’S NEXT: We screwed up the timeline yesterday, so here’s what we expect going forward: WE ANTICIPATE the Trump defense will last today and Monday. Then Senate questions are TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY — Dems are expected to use this time, in part, to rebut the Trump defense. The debate on witnesses will probably be THURSDAY — probably a vote on witnesses, as well. If there are no witnesses, we’d guess they’ll close FRIDAY, and deliberate into SATURDAY. Vote could come next SATURDAY or MONDAY
— IF THERE ARE WITNESSES, this whole timeline is blown up, and the process will continue for weeks. (h/t the POLITICO Hill team)
BY THE NUMBERS … AT LEAST 30 SENATE DEMOCRATS have made 114 cable TV appearances this week (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC and ABC), per a Senate Dem source.
CALIFORNIA REP. DEVIN NUNES raised $2.1 million in the final three months of 2019. He has $7.1 million on hand. OHIO REP. JIM JORDAN raised $1.3 million and has $1.8 million on hand. Both men filed their reports yesterday — it’s due on Friday.
Good Saturday morning. PETE STARK, a former California Democrat, died at 88, per the San Jose Mercury News. He served in the House from 1973 to 2013, when he lost to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.).
SPOTTED: Nikki Haley having dinner at L28 in Tel Aviv on Friday night.
FOGGY BOTTOM BLOWUP: MARY LOUISE KELLY talking about her interview with Secretary of State MIKE POMPEO: “I was taken to the Secretary’s private living room where he was waiting and where he shouted at me for about same amount of time as the interview itself. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine. He asked, ‘do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’
“He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map. I said yes, and he called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away. He said, ‘people will hear about this.’” The full interview
NYT’S MAGGIE HABERMAN and ANNIE KARNI: “Trump May Skip Debates, or Seek New Host, if Process Isn’t ‘Fair’”: “President Trump’s campaign is considering only participating in general election debates if an outside firm serves as the host, and his advisers recently sat down with the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates to complain about the debates it hosted in 2016.
“The Dec. 19 meeting between Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., a prominent Republican and co-chairman of the commission, Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Mr. Trump’s re-election effort, and another political adviser, Michael Glassner, came soon after Mr. Trump posted on Twitter that the 2016 debates had been ‘biased.’ Mr. Fahrenkopf said the meeting was cordial, but that Mr. Parscale essentially reiterated Mr. Trump’s complaints.” NYT
NYT’S JONATHAN MARTIN on A1, from Fort Dodge, Iowa: “A Major Fear for Democrats: Will the Party Come Together by November?”
SANDERS TAKES THE LEAD, per a new NYT/Siena poll.
TRUMP’S SATURDAY: Nothing on the schedule.
CLICKER — “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker — 17 keepers
GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman (@dlippman):
— “Is Venture Capital Worth the Risk?” by The New Yorker’s Nathan Heller: “The industry shaped the past decade. It could destroy the next.” New Yorker
— “What Schizophrenia Does to Families,” by Abigail Jones in WaPo Magazine: “A mother, a son, an unraveling mind — and a mental health system that can’t keep up.” WaPo Magazine
— “Fertility Inc.: Inside the big business of babymaking,” by Fortune’s Beth Kowitt: “One in eight couples struggles to conceive. No wonder investors are injecting cash into the industry.” Fortune
— “The Enemies of Writing,” by The Atlantic’s George Packer — per ALDaily’s description: “What is the enemy of writing today? Fear — of moral judgment, public shaming, social ridicule, and ostracism. The mob has the final edit.” Atlantic … “Defend your friends,” by Douglas Murray in Spectator USA
— “Protest Tech: Hong Kong,” by Richard Byrne and Michael C. Davis in Wilson Quarterly: “[T]he high political stakes of these protests – and the vivid images accompanying them – obscure an equally consequential global impact created by the territory’s tenacious pro-democracy movement: The streets of Hong Kong have become a teeming laboratory for the future of organized protest in a surveillance state.” Wilson Quarterly
— “Who Wants to Play the Status Game?” by Agnes Callard in The Point Mag: “In the Importance Game, participants jockey for position. This usually works by way of casual references to wealth, talent, accomplishment or connections. The Levelling Game uses empathy to equalise the players: So I might performatively share feelings of stress, inadequacy or weakness; or express discontent with the Powers that Be; or home in on a source of communal outrage, frustration or oppression.” The Point Mag (h/t TheBrowser.com)
— “Marketing Psychiatric Drugs to Jailers and Judges,” by Max Blau in The Atlantic: “Drug companies are courting jails and judges through sophisticated marketing efforts.” Atlantic
— “Throwaway society: Rejecting a life consumed by plastic,” by The Japan Times’ Andrew McKirdy: “Japan produces an estimated 9 million tons of plastic waste each year, with disposable packaging and food containers accounting for more than 40 percent. But how exactly does plastic consumption impact us on a personal level?” Japan Times (h/t Longreads.com)
— “The Subversive Joy of Cold-Water Swimming,” by The New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead: “Britons are skipping the heated pool and rediscovering the pleasures of lakes, rivers, and seas—even in winter.” New Yorker
— “American Psycho: An Oral History, 20 Years After Its Divisive Debut,” by Tim Molloy in Movie Maker — per Longform.org’s description: “In January 2000, American Psycho bombed at Sundance. It was just the beginning.” Movie Maker
— “A Science-Based Case for Ending the Porn Epidemic,” by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry in American Greatness: “We know what porn does to the brain, because the medical science is solid. Because social science is much softer, we can’t know for certain what causal impacts porn has on society, if any. But once we realize that we have to be much more humble in this area, we can still make prudential judgments.” American Greatness
Send tips to Eli Okun and Garrett Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRANSITIONS — DHS is adding three new public affairs staffers: Sofia Boza-Holman as press secretary, Brandy Brown as director of strategic communications and Elizabeth Ray as senior adviser to the assistant secretary. Boza-Holman was most recently director of strategic media for VP Mike Pence. Brown was most recently comms director for Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.). Ray was most recently VP of accounts at CRC Strategies.
BIRTHDAYS: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) is 83 … Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) is 63 … Jack Oliver is 51 … Nancy Gibbs … Joe Conason, EIC of National Memo, is 66 … NAM’s Mark Isaacson … Kate Conway … Ed Payne … Eleni Towns … Zach Pleat … NYT’s Jeremy Peters (h/t Mitchell Rivard) … WaPo’s Michael Scherer … Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up (h/t Hilary Rosen) … POLITICO’s Alessandro Sclapari and Chris Parisi … Adam Kovacevich, head of Americas government relations at Lime … Dave Martinez … Charles Aldinger … Erika Reynoso, VP for public affairs communications at Wells Fargo (h/t Emily Teitelbaum) … Iva Benson, EVP at Rubenstein … Dan Kaniewski … Angela Calman, VP of comms at Oscar Health … Ashley Jones, senior adviser to Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján, celebrating in LA (h/t husband Justin Davey) … Adam Falkoff, president of CapitalKeys … Danielle Inman … David Woodruff is 49 …
… Mallory Hunter, founder and president of Hunter Operations … Luke Graeter, legislative assistant for Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) (h/t Emily Saleme) … Emily Passer, senior director of digital communications for NBC News … Brian Dunn … Evan Lukaske is 31 … Christine Gianakis … Eleni Gill … Jason Jay Smart … Heather Marrison … Josh Randle (h/t Tammy Haddad) … Connor Wolf is 3-0 … Meaghan Lynch … Kevin Helliker, editor of Brunswick Review, is 61 … Joelle Terry … Mary Lynn Jones Rynkiewicz … Tina Kelley … Lucette Moran … Sefira Fialkoff … Parker Erickson … Dae Lim … Mark Bottini … Heather Bellow is 51 … Erik Smulson is 53 … Wes Caudell is 4-0 … Houston Ruck … Amy Mitchell … Michelle Goodman … Dan Carol … Laura Simolaris … Cory Mason … Chet Culver is 54 … Susan Torricelli (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Phil Beshara … Karen Ray Bishop … ICM Partners’ Michael Glantz is 6-0 … Ron Beitelspacher
THE SHOWS, by Matt Mackowiak, filing from Austin:
—NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) … Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Panel: Hoover Institution research fellow Lanhee Chen, The New York Times Magazine’s Mark Leibovich, Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter and NBC News’ Kristen Welker.
—ABC’s “This Week”: Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) … Trump impeachment defender Robert Ray … Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Panel: ABC News’ Terry Moran, The Dispatch editor-in-chief Jonah Goldberg, “Roland Martin Unfiltered” host Roland Martin and Republican strategist Alice Stewart.
—CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) … Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) … latest CBS News Battleground Tracker with CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto. Panel: NPR’s Kelsey Snell, The Washington Post’s David Nakamura, co-author and The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker (“A Very Stable Genius”) and National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru.
—“Fox News Sunday”: Entrepreneur Andrew Yang … Trump impeachment lawyer Alan Dershowitz … The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel and WHO-TV’s Dave Price. Panel: The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin and Wilson Center president and CEO Jane Harman … “Power Player of the Week” segment with actor Ian Bohen (live from Des Moines, IA).
—Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” (10am ET / 10am CT): PresidentDonald Trump (re-air of interview from earlier this week) … Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) … Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) … Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) … former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
—Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” (11am ET / 10am CT): White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham … The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway … Georgetown University’s Mo Elleithee … Fox Nation host Kat Timpf.
—CNN’s “Inside Politics” (7-9am ET): Panel: The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, AP’s Julie Pace, The New York Times’ Michael Shear, The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim, The Washington Post’s Paul Kane, UNC law school’s Michael Gerhardt, Tulane University’s Ross Garber, CNN’s Abby Philip and The New York Times’ Lisa Lerer.
—CNN’s “State of the Union” (9am ET / 12pm ET): Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) … Trump impeachment defender Robert Ray … attorney George Conway (taped). Panel: Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), former Rep. Mia Love (R-UT), New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali and former Trump campaign advisor David Urban.
—CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” (SUN 10am ET): Panel: Former U.S. Amb. to Israel Martin Indyk, The Economist editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes and former Singapore foreign minister Kishore Mahbuhbani … Iraqi president Barham Salih … Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam.
—CNN’s “Reliable Sources” (SUN 11-am ET): CNN’s Oliver Darcy and CNN senior political analyst John Avlon … The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser and Politico’s Melanie Zanona … The Washington Examiner columnist Salena Zito and Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist Lyz Lenz … The Intercept co-founding editor and columnist Glenn Greenwald.
—Univision’s “Al Punto” (SUN 10am ET): Florida International University’s Dr. Aileen Marty and Providence Regional Medical Center’s Dr. George Diaz … Border Hispanics 4 Trump’s Ray Baca, Ana Laura Zepeda and Anthony Aguero … Guatemalan father and daughter reunited after being separated at the border Deisi Arreces-Huitz and Artemio Arreces … National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Gilbran Ramirez.
—C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (SAT 5:30pm ET): Huawei Technologies USA chief security officer Andy Purdy, questioned by Politico’s Joel Hendel … “Newsmakers” (SUN 10am ET): Senate Leadership Fund president & CEO Steven Law, questioned by National Journal’s Leah Askarinam and The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Alemany … “Q&A” (SUN 8pm & 11pm ET): “Iowa Press” host David Yepsen.
—MSNBC’s “Kasie DC” (SUN 7pm ET): Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) … Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) … Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) … Rep. Sylvia Garcia(D-TX) … Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) … Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) … co-authors Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig (“A Very Stable Genius”) … PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor … The Washington Post’s Paul Kane … Hoover Institution research fellow Lanhee Chen … Republican strategistMatt Gorman.
—Gray TV’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren”: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) … Bloomberg News’ Kevin Cirilli.
—Sinclair’s “America This Week with Eric Bolling”: Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) … Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani … former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski … author Peter Schweizer(“Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite”) … WVON correspondent Ameshia Cross.
—“Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify or Stitcher): Former U.S. Rep.Darrell Issa (R-CA).