The biggest unresolved questions in the Senate impeachment trial

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with assist from Sarah Ferris and Heather Caygle

TRIAL AND TRIBULATION -- Home lawmakers returned to D.C. yesterday for what's anticipated to be an enormous week on impeachment: lastly naming managers and sending articles over to the Senate, officially triggering a trial within the upper chamber. However up to now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t even shared particulars together with her personal leadership group about who's on that listing and when it's coming out. “I’m discussing it with my colleagues,” Pelosi stated leaving a management assembly on Monday night time.

Home Democrats will meet this morning for a closed-door meeting, the place the complete caucus will collect for the primary time since Pelosi announced last Friday that she would transmit the articles of impeachment. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is getting ready a rules package deal that sets ground rules for the trial, which is predicted to reflect Invoice Clinton’s impeachment. However even with the trial simply days away, there's still a number of unanswered questions swirling round Washington.

Here’s a take a look at a number of the largest unknowns:

1) WILL THERE BE WITNESSES? Several Senate Republicans — including Sens. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander — have left the door open to calling witnesses later within the trial. The truth is, the White Home is bracing for at the least 4 Republicans to aspect with Democrats and vote for first-hand witnesses, in accordance with CBS News.

But Sen. Rand Paul is warning his Republican colleagues that if Democrats achieve securing witnesses, the GOP will try to haul in their own controversial picks, like Hunter Biden. The talk over witnesses might deliver a few of the most dramatic and consequential moments of the trial — and can decide how lengthy it lasts. Burgess and Bres with the story: https://politi.co/35Tk5Om.

2) WHO WILL PROSECUTE — AND DEFEND — TRUMP? As mentioned earlier, Pelosi has but to pick impeachment managers or reveal who she is contemplating. The coveted job is predicted to be bestowed upon roughly a half dozen House Democrats, in response to several Dem sources. And Home Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler are expected to steer the prosecution staff.

Trump, meanwhile, has but to finalize his legal group. His private lawyer Jay Sekulow and White Home Counsel Pat Cipollone are each expected to play major roles. Rudy Giuliani, meanwhile, is lobbying to hitch the group, per CNN. And there still hasn’t been a choice about together with Trump’s House allies. “My recommendation to him can be: Let's not infect the Senate trial with the circus-like environment of the Home,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) informed reporters. Darren Samuelsohn has a take a look at the defense technique: https://politi.co/2NqyXNP.

three) WILL THERE BE A MOTION TO DISMISS? The White House needs the Senate GOP’s guidelines package deal to include an option to dismiss the impeachment fees after the opening arguments — just like the decision used in Clinton’s impeachment trial, stories CNN. And Trump over the weekend referred to as for outright dismissing the fees, as opposed to holding a strong trial after which voting on whether to convict to acquit.

While Republicans are still debating whether — and how — to include such a provision, senior GOP lawmakers expressed doubt that there can be enough help within the convention to swiftly dismiss the fees. “I don’t assume there’s any curiosity on our aspect of dismissing,” stated Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the fourth-ranking GOP senator. “Definitely, there aren’t 51 votes for a movement to dismiss.” The dispatch from WaPo’s Seung Min Kim, Mike DeBonis and Elise Viebeck: https://wapo.st/3aa9fqw.

Related reads: “How Trump's Senate impeachment trial will work,” by way of Kyle and Andrew: https://politi.co/35S9zqK; and “Pelosi's new card to play on impeachment,” by Alayna Treene and Margaret Talev of Axios: http://bit.ly/2Tp7ika.


THE LATEST PLAN ON IRAN -- The House Overseas Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Iran in the present day, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to testify. Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) stated he was “dissatisfied and annoyed” by the decision, however did not decide to issuing a subpoena for Pompeo’s testimony. “Every passing day raises new questions concerning the strike that killed Basic Soleimani. Was there really an imminent menace? Was it half of a bigger operation? What was the authorized justification? What's the trail forward?” Engel stated in a press release. Patricia Zengerle of Reuters has more: https://reut.rs/36W9HXq.

Across the Capitol … Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) continues to be working to build more help for his conflict powers decision, after locking down key GOP endorsements from Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee. But the timing of a flooring vote is now up in the air because of the looming impeachment trial and tonight’s presidential debate. “It ought to be voted on when everyone’s in the chamber,” Kaine stated. “A, I need to cross it. But B, it is the sort of a vote that should not happen with individuals absent.” Marianne with the newest: https://politi.co/2Re3Gil.

Associated: “Kevin McCarthy Will Introduce Decision In Help Of Iranian Protestors,” from Henry Rodgers of The Day by day Caller: http://bit.ly/35TRt7C.

GOOD MORNING! Welcome to Huddle, the play-by-play guide to all issues Capitol Hill, on this Tuesday, January 14. Minority Whip Steve Scalise gained his bet with Majority Whip Jim Clyburn over the National Championship recreation last night time, nevertheless it received your host considering: when will lawmakers who characterize the hometowns of Bachelor contestants get into the betting recreation?

MONDAY’S MOST CLICKED: USA TODAY’s story on AOC defending her choice to not pay DCCC dues was the large winner.



BLOOMBERG SEEKS A BREAKTHROUGH -- Former New York Metropolis Mayor Michael Bloomberg has scooped up his first congressional endorsement in his 2020 bid: freshman Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.). “He thinks Bloomberg will help together with his re-election cash,” a supply advised The New York Submit. While Bloomberg has poured tens of millions into Democratic Home races, he backed Rose’s GOP challenger in 2018. And Rose was important of Bloomberg’s controversial use of “stop-and-frisk,” calling the follow “unconstitutional” at the time. Julia Marsh, Carl Campanile and Wealthy Calder with more details on the endorsement: http://bit.ly/3a1Nk4S.

But Bloomberg isn’t stopping there. Per Sarah, Bloomberg will go to Capitol Hill this week in an effort to courtroom members of Congress. He's scheduled to satisfy with the average Blue Dog co-chairs on Thursday, in addition to the centrist New Democrat Coalition. And Bloomberg can also be purported to have breakfast with Congressional Hispanic Caucus members on Thursday.

Associated: “10th black congressman endorses Biden,” per Nolan McCaskill: https://politi.co/35XPbVm.


TAKE IT TO THE MAX -- Federal prosecutors are recommending that former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) get the maximum jail sentence — almost five years behind bars — for his position in an insider trading case. As you’ll recall, Collins initially denied wrongdoing after his arrest in August 2018 and even went on to win reelection, but he ended up pleading guilty in October to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false statements. Collins, who was Trump’s first supporter on Capitol Hill, resigned from Congress quickly after.

Prosecutors stated Collins deserves a prolonged sentence because he selected to continue serving in Congress after which lied underneath questioning concerning the case. “Collins’s determination to break the regulation whereas making the regulation – a choice that he made twice, ten months aside — was brazen,” the prosecutors wrote. “A sentence on the prime finish of the Tips vary is important to guarantee the public that these in energy do not stand above the regulation.” Collins’ legal professionals, in the meantime, are in search of no jail time. Your Huddle host with the dispatch: https://politi.co/2QQiFQA.

Related: “Behind the Collins scandal: How one telephone call devastated two households,” by way of Jerry Zremski of The Buffalo Information: http://bit.ly/3aizdse.

DCCC SAYS TRACKERS ARE WHACK -- The Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee has filed an ethics grievance towards NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), saying the Home GOP’s marketing campaign arm's incessant use of trackers on Capitol grounds violates House rules. “Congressman Emmer and the NRCC broke the rules,” DCCC Government Director Lucinda Guinn wrote in a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics. “They used taxpayer-funded amenities for political purposes. They usually did it while harassing members of Congress who have been doing work for his or her constituents.”

While the NRCC has lengthy deployed trackers to film Democratic members of Congress and use the footage on social media, it appears to have ramped up in the course of the bitter impeachment battle in the Home. And based on the Nationwide Journal, the breaking level came last week when lawmakers have been being questioned on digital camera about Trump’s choice to kill Iranian Basic Qassem Soleimani. More from Kirk A. Bado: http://bit.ly/36WeOqA.

Related: “Former NHGOP government director, US State Division official Matt Mowers operating for Congress,” by WMUR’s John DiStaso: http://bit.ly/2uNCejY.


HOYER’S HOUSE PRIORITIES -- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) laid out his prime legislative priorities for 2020 in a new interview with Roll Call. Among the many gadgets on his wishlist: absolutely funding the government for fiscal 2021, clinching a deal on surprise medical bills and prescription drug costs, appearing on a panel’s recommendations to modernize Congress and passing a large infrastructure package deal.

All of that, in fact, might be a heavy carry in a presidential election yr. “We acquired finished what we stated we have been going to get achieved,” Hoyer stated. “I feel we had a really successful yr. Now, one profitable yr doesn’t make a successful Congress. And we mentioned a few of the issues that we have to get finished.” Lindsey McPherson with the newest: http://bit.ly/2tjRLHE.

Related: “Trump planning to divert further $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall,” from WaPo’s Nick Miroff: https://wapo.st/383Ks5O.

KEEPING UP WITH THE KANSANS … “Roger Marshall Tries to Build GOP Help in Kansas Senate Race,” by way of WSJ’s Lindsay Clever and Catherine Lucey: https://on.wsj.com/36ScsJz; and “Bob Dole makes Senate endorsement as GOP scrambles to dam Kris Kobach,” by David M. Drucker of The Washington Examiner: https://washex.am/2Nrd7d5.





Steven Smith has started as press secretary for Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and the House GOP Convention. He comes from Rep. French Hill’s workplace, and prior to that, worked for Reps. Paul Gosar, Ed Royce, and John Boehner.

Stacy Wealthy, Senate leadership employees director to the Assistant Democratic Leader Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Charles Carithers, professional employees member for the Home Committee on Homeland Safety, are both joining the government relations firm Cornerstone.

Andre Castro, who most just lately worked for Rep. Invoice Flores (R-Texas) as communications director, is becoming a member of the Basic Aviation Manufacturers Affiliation, where he'll hold the same title.

Leigh Maiden is the brand new legislative aide for Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas). She's the previous army legislative aide for Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I).

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has made a number of promotions on the Senate Power and Natural Assets Committee. Brianne Miller has been promoted to deputy employees director of Power and Lucy Murfitt has been promoted to deputy employees director of Natural Assets.

Renae Black is the brand new Democratic employees director for the Senate Power and Natural Assets Committee. Black was beforehand deputy employees director.



The House gavels in at 10 a.m., with first and final votes expected between 1:30 and a couple of:30 p.m. At this time’s agenda: http://bit.ly/30kw2eR.

The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume consideration of the nomination of Peter Gaynor to be administrator of FEMA. At 11:30 a.m., the Senate will vote on confirmation of the Gaynor nomination. The Senate will recess from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for the weekly social gathering luncheons.


The Home Democratic Caucus holds a closed-door meeting at 9 a.m. in HC-5.

The Home Republican Conference holds a closed-door assembly at 9 a.m. at HVC-215.

Home Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and GOP leaders maintain a media availability at 10 a.m. in HVC Studio A.

Home Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Vice-Chair Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) hold a press convention at 10:15 a.m. in HC-8.

Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) holds his pen and pad briefing with reporters at 11 a.m. in H-107.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and others hold a press conference to mark the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Courtroom’s Residents United ruling at 12:30 p.m. in H-137.


MONDAY’S WINNER: Max Baker was the primary individual to appropriately guess that Jon Fishman, a drummer for Phish, is each a Bernie Sanders supporter and serves as a Board of Selectman of a city in Maine.

TODAY’S QUESTION: From yours really: the late rapper Tupac famously beefed with which Vice President — and why? First individual to appropriately guess will get a mention in the next edition of Huddle. Ship your greatest guess my approach: mzanona@politico.com.

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Article originally revealed on POLITICO Magazine