With Mariana Alfaro

THE BIG IDEA: Seven in 10 Americans believe Donald Trump has definitely or probably done unethical things during his time in office or while he was running for president. And 63 percent think Trump has definitely or probably done things that are illegalBut only 51 percent believe the outcome of the Senate impeachment trial should be the president’s removal from office.

Those numbers come from a new in-depth survey by the Pew Research Center of 12,638 U.S. adults that was conducted from Jan. 6 to 19.

Overall, the country continues to remain deeply divided and most people appear unpersuadable. The parties are mirror images of each other on the top-line question: 86 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the trial should result in Trump staying in power, and 85 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say he should be removed.

But the crosstabs of the Pew poll help illustrate the complexities of Republican attitudes toward the president’s conduct that are relevant to consider as House impeachment managers continue to lay out their case this afternoon. 

The survey shows that 47 percent of Republicans say Trump has definitely or probably done things that are unethical since launching his 2016 campaign. Another 34 percent say Trump has “probably not” behaved unethically, and just 18 percent say he’s “definitely” not.

On a separate question in the survey, 32 percent of Republicans say they think Trump has definitely or probably done things that broke the law. Among self-described moderate and liberal Republicans, 48 percent say Trump has probably or definitely done illegal things since launching his campaign. Only 1 in 5 conservative Republicans say this. 

But, but, but: Among the 1 in 3 Republicans who think Trump has likely done illegal things, 59 percent say he should remain in office. Another 38 percent say he should be removed.

These numbers underscore a core challenge for the floor managers. It’s not enough to prove that Trump behaved unethically or even illegally. The burden of proof is to demonstrate that his actions were so egregious as to merit removal from office. Despite the steady stream of what lawyers call “bad facts” over the past four months about his role in the alleged campaign to coerce Ukraine, Trump’s approval rating continues to be remarkably durable and consistent. Indeed, it appears entirely unaffected by impeachment. This Pew survey finds that 40 percent of Americans approve of how he’s handling his job. That’s the exact same percentage as in Pew’s previous survey, which was conducted before the House launched its impeachment inquiry in September. Think about how much has come out since then.

The fresh polling suggests that the most effective political argument for Trump’s acquittal is that the president and his people probably shouldn’t have tried to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son but that his behavior doesn’t pass the constitutional threshold to make him the first of 45 American presidents to be removed from office. Yet, despite the high numbers of Republicans who think Trump has acted illegally or unethically, the president’s legal team nevertheless persists in making the less plausible argument that the president has done absolutely nothing wrong at all. Trump himself continues to maintain that the infamous July 25 call, in which he essentially asked for a political “favor” after his Ukrainian counterpart raised his desire to secure antitank missiles to help fend off the ongoing Russian invasion, was “perfect.”

Most Senate Republicans, either fearing Trump’s wrath or possibly looking to ingratiate themselves with his base supporters, continued to stake out that absolutist position last night even after listening to a day of detailed arguments to the contrary. “I haven’t heard evidence in there that the president’s done anything wrong,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told reporters last night.

Several GOP lawmakers claimed that they learned nothing from the presentation of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). “Everyone was in the loop,” Schiff told them. “[Trump] directed the actions of his team. He personally asked a foreign government to investigate his opponent. These facts are not in dispute.”

An exception was Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.). “I know the House proceedings were heavily reported, but I think most, if not all, senators are hearing the case by the prosecution and the case by the defense for the first time,” he said. “If you polled the United States Senate, 9 out of 10 senators will tell you that they have not read a transcript of the proceeding in the House. And the 10th senator who says he has is lying.”

The conservative magazine National Review published an editorial last night urging GOP lawmakers to stake out this more palatable position, rather than twist themselves into contortions to say that Trump did nothing wrong or to argue that a president cannot be removed for abuse of power. “Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus,” the editors write. “He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine … At the same time, his conduct does not merit his removal from office — especially since voters will get to pass judgment on that conduct in a few months. It’s a reasonable position, and it’s the case that Republicans ought to make in public. They are inhibited from doing so by the president’s obstinacy. Instead of sticking to the most defensible case for a Senate acquittal of Trump, Republicans from the president on down are making arguments that range from the implausible to the embarrassing.”

-- Here are three other takeaways from the Pew poll:

1. The college gap has become bigger than the gender gap: Education attainment continues to become an ever-starker dividing line in American politics and culture. Impeachment puts an exclamation mark on this trend. Among whites who graduated from college, 53 percent say Trump should be removed from office. But only 34 percent of whites who didn’t go to or finish college think the outcome of the trial should be Trump’s removal.

2. There’s also a gigantic generational divide: 56 percent of Americans who are 65 and older say Trump should remain in office, but 63 percent of those under 30 say the trial should lead to Trump’s removal. Lest you think that this is just because younger people tend to lean left, consider this: 7 percent of Republicans 50 and older say Trump should be removed, compared to 26 percent of Republicans who are 18 to 29 and 16 percent of those who are 30 to 49.

3. A majority of Americans do not trust this president: 52 percent say they trust what Trump says less than what previous presidents said while in office. Another 26 percent say they trust what Trump says more, and 22 percent say they trust what he says about the same as they trusted what previous presidents said. This credibility gap has proven to be a problem as Trump tried to justify his drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

MORE ON IMPEACHMENT:

-- The House managers softened their tone, if not their message, on the floor yesterday after the rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts. Seung Min Kim, Elise Viebeck and Colby Itkowitz report: “Saying that the Democrats had ‘adrenaline going through our veins,’ Schiff began opening arguments Wednesday afternoon by expressing gratitude for the senators’ attentiveness. … The heated rhetoric from some Democrats on Tuesday risked turning off a small slate of influential GOP senators in the center of the procedural fight over witnesses and documents. ‘Well, I took it as very offensive,’ Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said.”

-- Joe Biden said he refuses to be part of any witness deal. Matt Viser reports from Osage, Iowa: “His remarks came as other top Senate Democrats attempted to tamp down any notion that they would agree to call Biden or his son Hunter in return for appearances by top Trump administration officials. … Biden said that if President Trump is not convicted by the Senate, he will emerge stronger and harder to beat, but that Congress had no choice but to move forward with impeachment."

-- Trump continues to act like his own communications director. He broke his record for most tweets in a single day with a barrage of impeachment-related messages and retweets. Most of the president’s 142 posts on the social media platform came while he returned to Washington from Switzerland aboard Air Force One.

-- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said 45 Republicans are ready to vote to dismiss the charges. Robert Costa reports: “With support from other Trump allies, Paul said he would continue to pressure his colleagues in the coming days to move on from the trial … ‘I will push it at some point,’ Paul said. ‘The more Adam Schiff speaks, the more we become unified.’”

-- Senators from both parties struggled to follow the rules inside the chamber. Around 7:30 p.m., a Republican senator was caught with a phone when it began to ring, a big no-no that could result in the “pain of imprisonment,” per the sergeant at arms’ warning. No-talking rules were also not strictly enforced, as senators kept getting away with whispers. “Sorry for tattling on who was talking in class,” writes Karoun Demirjian. “But lest you think all the stolen conversations were partisan: A few minutes before 6 p.m., Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) crossed the center aisle to take an empty chair next to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and the pair — who head up the Senate Rules Committee together — had an extended whisper-chat.”

-- Gordon Sondland’s name keeps surfacing in the trial, but in Brussels he's trying to keep chugging along as if nothing unusual's going on. Michael Birnbaum, John Hudson, Josh Dawsey and Aaron Davis report: “Trump’s ambassador to the European Union held meetings with the E.U. official in charge of emergency management. He hosted the Korean ambassador at the U.S. mission. And, he sat with the E.U.’s Brexit negotiator. Sondland had hoped that by staying quiet and going about his business that he could stay ‘out of the spotlight’ of the impeachment drama unfolding at the U.S. Capitol, according to a close associate. Trump has not spoken with Sondland in the two months since the explosive testimony, according to two senior U.S. officials. The two last saw each other at the White House on Oct. 2 for the Finnish president's visit.”

 -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to visit Ukraine next Thursday and Friday, CNBC reports, after canceling a trip that had been slated for earlier this month amid the Iran crisis.

-- Commentary from The Post’s opinion page: 

  • E.J. Dionne Jr.: “Why Democrats owe a debt to Mitch McConnell.”
  • Dana Milbank: “‘S.O.S.! PLEASE HELP ME!’ The world’s greatest deliberative body falls to pettifoggery.”
  • Greg Sargent: “Trump’s eruption of lies in Davos bolsters the case against him.”
  • Jennifer Rubin: “That is what blind loyalty to a cultlike leader looks like.”
  • Henry Olsen: “Schiff portrayed the impeachment trial like a criminal trial. He should know better.”
  • Joe Scarborough: “McConnell has failed the Republican Party.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened proceedings with this prayer for those involved in the trial: "Help them remember that patriots reside on both sides of the aisle, that words have consequences, and that how something is said can be as important as what is said. Give them a civility built upon integrity that brings consistency in their beliefs and actions.” (Mike DeBonis
 

The Daily 202's BIG IDEA> Get James' insight into Washington every weekday on your smart speaker or favorite podcast player.
Subscribe on Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod and other podcast players.
 
Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning briefing for decision-makers.
Sign up to receive the newsletter.

DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS THAT SHOULDN'T BE OVERLOOKED:

-- Airlines would no longer be required to accommodate travelers who want to fly with “emotional support animals” such as pigs, cats and rabbits, under new rules proposed by Trump’s Transportation Department. Lori Aratani reports: “The proposed rules, years in the making, narrow the definition of service animal to dogs that have received individualized training to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. … [T]he number of emotional support animals traveling aboard commercial flight increased from 481,000 in 2016 to 751,000 in 2017. The proliferation of animals has led to conflict and sometimes injury, but because federal law doesn’t address the issue of emotional support animals, airlines have had little recourse except to accommodate them” under the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Airlines, industry groups and the flight attendants’ union praised the draft rules. Sara Nelson, president of the Association for Flight Attendants, said many of her members have been hurt by untrained animals running loose in airplane cabins, and that many passengers dubiously claim their pets are necessary for "emotional" support, which makes the flying experience less enjoyable for everyone else. “DOT officials noted that the proposed rule doesn’t prohibit people from flying with emotional support animals, but the decision will be left to the airlines,” Lori explains. “While an airline would continue to be prohibited from refusing to transport an animal based solely on its breed, it would allow it to refuse to transport an animal that exhibits aggressive behavior.” (You can read and issue a public comment on the proposed regulation here.)

-- Trump says his plan to weaken federal mileage standards would make cars cheaper and “substantially” safer. “But the administration’s own analysis suggests that it would cost consumers more than it would save them in the long run and would do little to make the nation’s roads safer,” Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis scoop: “The revised Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule, which has not been released publicly, would require automakers to increase the average fuel efficiency of the nation’s fleets by 1.5 percent per year between model years 2021 and 2026. Rules put in place by the Obama administration, by comparison, require a nearly 5 percent annual increase. … Trump’s approach would lower the sticker price of new cars, according to the documents, but drivers would spend more at the gas pump over time by driving less efficient vehicles.”

-- Trump appeared to express interest in making cuts to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, if he's reelected, to reduce the federal deficit. Jeff Stein and Matt Viser report: “Speaking with CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump said tackling entitlement spending is ‘the easiest of all things’ and seemed to suggest higher economic growth would make it simpler to cut spending on those programs. ...  ‘At the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look,’ Trump said. He later added when asked about entitlements: ‘Well, we’re going — we’re going to look. We also have assets that we’ve never had. I mean, we’ve never had growth like this.'"

-- The Supreme Court’s conservatives sounded open to letting states fund scholarships for families to use at religious schools. Robert Barnes reports: “While liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned at Wednesday’s oral argument that it would be a ‘radical’ departure for the court, her ideological counterparts said excluding religious institutions from government programs open to others could amount to unconstitutional discrimination. … At issue was an initiative passed by the Montana legislature in 2015 that provided dollar-for-dollar tax credits up to $150 to those who donated to scholarship programs for low-income parents to send their children to private schools."

-- Republican state lawmakers have filed a wave of bills to restrict medical treatments for transgender youths. Emily Wax-Thibodeaux and Samantha Schmidt report: “More than half a dozen statehouses are considering bills that would penalize medical professionals — and, in at least one case, parents — who give young people access to puberty-blocking medicines and other treatments. ... South Dakota on Wednesday became the first state to take action, with a House committee passing a bill that would punish doctors who provide such treatments to people under 16 with a maximum one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. … Similar bills have been introduced in recent weeks in South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma and Missouri. State lawmakers in Kentucky, Georgia and Texas have announced plans to file bills that limit transgender youths’ medical options.”

-- D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sued Trump’s inaugural committee for allegedly violating its nonprofit status by spending more than $1 million to book a ballroom at Trump’s D.C. hotel. Jonathan O’Connell reports: “‘These charges were unreasonable and improperly served to enrich’ Trump’s business, the complaint reads. He alleges that Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump were probably aware of the charges, based on documents Racine subpoenaed from the committee and the Trump Organization. D.C. law requires that nonprofit organizations not operate for the purpose of generating profits for private individuals. In the civil suit, Racine (D) asked for an order from D.C. Superior Court directing that the money be returned and given to charities promoting civic engagement.”

-- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who is still running for president, filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton seeking $50 million in damages, claiming the former secretary of state “carelessly and recklessly impugned” her reputation by suggesting in an interview that one of the 2020 Democratic candidates is “the favorite of the Russians.” NBC News reports: “The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says it aims to hold Clinton and other ‘political elites’ accountable … It also says Gabbard suffered an economic loss to be proven at trial. Clinton's spokesman, Nick Merrill, responded: ‘That's ridiculous.’ … [Clinton] did not identify the current Democratic candidate whom she was referring to, but also said Jill Stein was a ‘Russian asset’ as the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election. ... Later, when asked if Clinton was referring to Gabbard, Merrill said, ‘If the nesting doll fits…’”

-- The Justice Department did not hand over the FBI’s summaries of Jared Kushner’s interviews with Bob Mueller's team last week, despite a judge’s order to do so, saying that they still need to be redacted. (CNN)

-- Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn asked to be sentenced to probation, not prison, if he’s not allowed to withdraw his guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian government during the transition. (Spencer Hsu)

-- Attorney General Bill Barr swore in 15 members of a new national commission to study crucial issues in law enforcement, but he only appointed people with backgrounds in policing and prosecuting, raising concerns there won’t be sufficient input from members of the civil rights, criminal defense and social services spheres. The effort, required by a Trump executive order, is modeled on a similar commission formed in 1965 that launched such concepts as improved training for police, increased data collection and the 911 system. Barr said the commission is critical because “there has been, especially as of late, a disturbing pattern of cynicism and disrespect shown toward law enforcement.” (Tom Jackman)

-- Gunfire in downtown Seattle killed at least one person and injured seven others, including a 9-year-old boy. (Meagan Flynn

-- The Virginia Senate approved a “red flag” law allowing authorities to temporarily seize the guns of someone deemed a threat. Greg Schneider reports: “The bill passed on a party-line vote of 21-19, with every Democrat in favor and every Republican against. Debate grew unusually sharp as some GOP senators suggested that the bill would violate the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms."

-- University of Michigan Provost Martin Philbert was suspended amid allegations of sexual misconduct. It's unclear who filed the complaint against him, and the public university is being tight-lipped. (Susan Svrluga)

THE NEW WORLD ORDER:

-- A full travel ban has gone into effect in the Chinese city of Wuhan as authorities try to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Anna Fifield and Lena Sun report: “All outbound trains and bus services from Wuhan — larger than any city in the United States — were suspended starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, causing chaos for some of the 400 million people hitting the road for the Lunar New Year holiday, which officially begins Friday. Armed police guarded the entrance to Wuhan's biggest railway station, less than a mile from the market where the virus originated, to stop people trying to get onto the last trains out of the city. ‘Whatever train ticket I can get, as long as I can get out of Wuhan,’ one would-be passenger at Han­kou station told a local reporter … At least 17 people have died, all of them in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, since the coronavirus broke out at the end of last month. ... Chinese health officials said they had ascertained that the virus started in an unsanitary food market that was selling wild and exotic animals for consumption. Snakes were the most likely cause of the virus, five Chinese scientists concluded in a paper published Wednesday in the Journal of Medical Virology."

-- The Chinese government’s quarantine is spreading. The nearby cities of Huanggang and Ezhou announced that they too will shut down travel networks, confining some 20 million people. (Anna Fifield

-- As more families describe pneumonia-like deaths in Wuhan, some wonder if the Chinese government’s death count is far too low. Fifield reports: “After playing down the prospects of the pneumonia-like virus being transmitted between humans, authorities have now said that the infection of people who have never been to the market at the epicenter of the outbreak shows that it is being passed among people. As the coronavirus has progressed, the National Health Commission has been making an effort to put out daily updates, although they often come after midnight."

-- The U.S. readiness for a viral outbreak has markedly improved, but there’s a long way to go. Lenny Bernstein and Sun report: “‘The big picture,’ said Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who oversaw the Ebola response, ‘is that we’re better prepared than we were before, but not nearly as prepared as we need to be.’ … Twenty years ago, the nation had few programs or resources dedicated to coordinating the response to an outbreak among federal, state and local agencies and the hospitals that are the front-line protection against an epidemic, said Thomas V. Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Now, he said, agencies like the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, part of the Department of Health and Human Services; the CDC; the Defense Department; and the Department of Homeland Security have spent years and countless millions of dollars training, testing and coordinating with the nation’s health-care facilities for just such an occurrence.”

-- The top U.N. court ordered this morning that Myanmar halt violence, and prevent genocide, against the Rohingya Muslims. (Shibani Mahtani)

-- World leaders are convening today in Israel to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Steve Hendrix, Ruth Eglash and Ashley Parker report from Jerusalem: “Vice President Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be among the dignitaries and delegations filling Yad Vashem, the city’s somber memorial to the Holocaust’s six million victims, for the World Holocaust Forum, one of the largest international events ever hosted by Israel. Leaders of World War II’s four allied powers were schedule to speak ...

French President Emmanuel "Macron caused a stir when he was shown shouting at Israeli security personnel as he was entering the Church of St. Anne, a medieval edifice owned by the French government. The vocal dispute apparently had to do with whether French or Israeli security would escort Macron into the nave, a reflection of the byzantine turf conflicts that riddle Jerusalem’s holy sites. [Watch a 36-second video of the exchange here.] … Locally, though, Israelis were fixated on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, particularly whether he would use his visit to announce the release of a 27-year-old American-Israeli backpacker imprisoned in Russia on minor drug charges. The case is widely seen as part of a wider geopolitical tussle between Russia, and the United States, including efforts by Washington to have an alleged Russian hacker extradited from Israel. The plight of the New Jersey-born Na’ama Issachar, who was found with a small amount of hashish when transiting the Moscow airport on a flight from India, has become a cause celebre here.”

-- Three Americans were killed as a firefighting plane crashed in Australia while battling the bush fires. (Kate Shuttleworth

-- Australia’s drenching rains are helping quench the fires. BUT they're also waking up enormous, venomous spiders – who are now ready to mate. (Ruby Mellen

-- Thomas Markle, Meghan's estranged dad, said his daughter and Harry are “lost souls” who are “cheapening” the royal family. (William Booth

-- Trump said the injuries that U.S. troops suffered in Iraq weren’t very serious. Veterans said his comments were ignorant. From the Journal: “On Wednesday, Air Force Maj. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, commander of the U.S.-led task force fighting Islamic State, said that the number of troops who suffered a concussion or a more serious brain injury was ‘in the teens.’ … Mr. Trump’s comments are ‘really counterproductive because we’ve worked for the last decade-and-a-half to highlight and educate people about the invisible injuries of war,’ said Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America."

-- Trump appears to have once again confused the Kurds of Syria and Iraq during a meeting with the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani. Miriam Berger reports: “‘As you know, we left Syria from the standpoint of the border,’ said Trump, seated beside Barzani. ‘And that’s worked out great with Turkey. It’s worked out far better than anyone thought possible. They have the so-called safe zone, and I appreciate everything you’ve done to keep it as safe as possible.’ Barzani’s Iraqi Kurdish regional government has not been involved in plans for a safe zone along the Syria-Turkey border in areas claimed by Syria’s Kurds. The Kurds of Syria are geographically and politically distinct from the Kurds of Iraq. Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria are all home to Kurdish populations.” 

-- Amnesty International is suing the Israeli firm that forensic experts believe may have helped Saudi Arabia's crown prince hack Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos’s phone. Miriam Berger reports: “According to news reports and U.N. investigators, forensic analysis found evidence that the Pegasus-3 malware, developed by the Israeli NSO Group, was used in the 2018 hack. … The suit, brought this month in partnership with London-based Amnesty International and other human rights groups, alleges that NSO’s ‘Pegasus software has been used to target journalists and activists across the globe — including in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates,’ according to Amnesty International. ... NSO has denied the general charges, saying that it sells technology to states and law enforcement only 'to help them fight terrorism and serious crime.'" 

After a U.N. report revealed that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the alleged phone hacking of Bezos, human rights investigators called for the U.S. and other nations to investigate the hacking as part of a larger look at what they called “the continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince in efforts to target perceived opponents.” (Marc Fisher goes deep.)

-- Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn wasn’t the only one trapped in Japan. Many more foreign workers cannot find a way to leave the country. Simon Denyer reports: “A new legal case brought by a 30-year-old Filipina woman is drawing attention to one of Japan’s more disquieting secrets: Many employers keep hold of the passports of foreign workers here, especially Asians in low-status jobs, and refuse to return them even if the employee wants to leave the company, lawyers and labor rights activists say.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

Trump will become the first president to ever speak in person at the March for Life, an annual gathering of antiabortion protesters to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

"The rally on the Mall will start at noon, which is about when Trump is expected to speak. Around 1 p.m., on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th streets, protesters will gather and march to the Supreme Court," per Sarah Pulliam Bailey.

Yesterday was Donald and Melania Trump's 15th wedding anniversary, but a CNN White House reporter noticed that neither husband nor wife said anything about it publicly:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the House floor managers during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999, complimented Schiff for his performance on the Senate floor as they left the Capitol last night:

Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) expressed an openness to voting for witnesses, a potentially significant development. Four Republicans would need to support witnesses. Other possible GOP senators include Murkowski, Mitt Romney, and Susan Collins:

A Republican senator from North Carolina set one of the New York Times floor sketches as his profile picture: 

The Republican-turned-independent congressman who voted for impeachment responded to Trump's latest tweetstorm:

With all the global attention on his hacked cellphone, Bezos shared an image from the memorial service for Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed by the Saudi regime, to highlight that there has still been no justice for Jamal:

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

Joe Biden got flustered when a CBS reporter pressed him on his beef with Bernie Sanders in Iowa:

Stephen Colbert reviewed Adam Schiff’s case for impeachment:

Samantha Bee sat down with human rights lawyer Gissou Nia and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) to talk about Iran: