Impeachment: The Final Chapter, Maybe
Sporadic where we take just ten minutes getting smarter on the clean tech the business Baltics. I'M DEBORAH MAC today. Show Casper's bad night of sleep and the Iowa Caucus story keeps getting worse. The first impeachment the final chapter. Maybe maybe as you've certainly heard by now the US Senate yesterday voted to acquit. President trump of impeachment charges brought by the house a completely partisan vote against convicting on obstruction of justice and Republican Mitt Romney crossing over to vote with Democrats on their losing effort to convict on abuse of power. The real question now is if Democrats move on Ore If they continue to pursue their investigation into why exactly. The trump White House delayed aid to an American ally in Ukraine. For example they still could call John Bolton or go to court to get testimony from Mick Mulvaney things they punted on before because they thought it would take too long and bleed into the presidential campaign. Why all of this matters is because Congressional all democrats face a stark choice? Let lingering impeachment become the new normal or decide that trump's own new normal the status quo and then just wait and pray for November. If fifteen seconds we'll dig into all of that actually reporter Elena train who spent the past. Several weeks camped out on Capitol Hill. But I this there's more news out there than ever before but but these days it's harder than ever to find it and to know what to trust axios. Am takes the effort either. Getting smart by synthesizing ten stories. That will drive the day and telling you I they matter subscribe at sign up dot axios Dot Com and now back to the podcast we're joined by political reporter. Elena trine the impeachment trial ends how everyone expected it would which was an acquittal on mostly a partisan vote you were in the room for all of this from the beginning to the end. What if anything surprised you over the last couple of weeks? I think one of the biggest surprises and something that we really didn't know would happen until the day it did was that there was going to be no new witnesses or new documents pulled in the trial. And that's something that Democrats are still focusing on. Now that the president has even been acquitted witted. So that was something that was very surprising. Then of course we also saw Senator Mitt Romney come out during the vote and vote against or say the president was guilty guilty on abuse of power and that was also a massively big surprise since no Republicans voted to impeach him in the House and he was the only Republican in the Senate to find him guilty and I think my rain saying he is now granted. This is only this is the third time history but it was the only time that a member of the president's Party has ever voted to convict on an impeachment charge. Ever I mean going back to Johnson going back to Clinton correct yes. I believe. That's true and something. That's really interesting about Mitt. Romney is he left a no with some he. He gave a very powerful. Oh speech on the Senate floor just hours before he cast his vote and you can see that there was a ton of pressure on him. He put a note. He hand signed one to everyone of his Republican looking colleagues and stuck it in their boxes in the cloakrooms before you had into the Senate and it just showed just kind of explaining why he made this decision and really if you look at someone like like Senator Mitt Romney. He's from Utah. It's not an easy way of Massachusetts. Yes New Hampshire. Yes yes but it's not something that he did to benefit fit him politically. It would have been far easier for him to say you know what the president did was wrong but it wasn't impeachable but he didn't go with that he said he was taking a vote of conscience and really as we saw the only Republican. He went against the Party and he knew that he was going to experience some vitriol from the party. Not just now as we've seen from President Trump don juniors in years gone after him. But also I think this will stick with him for some time now and so he really voted. You don't see that often a lot of times. These are political calculating votes. Then he he didn't do the easy political choice. Here turns US real quick. I wasn't planning to talk so much about Romney. But let me ask you know Don Juniors who said his say he should be expelled from the party. Lou Dobbs I think had a had a a poll on his silly show last night asking. Romney should be removed from the party from a pure math perspective. Wouldn't it be a disaster for Republicans if they essentially voluntarily got rid of a solid all at Red Senate seat in in what is still pretty close math going into November. Oh total in the reaction to be sorry if I was on the hill yesterday after all this happened and I spoke with a lot of Republican Republican senators just saying like. Do you agree with some of these people who are saying. Remove him from the Party or remove him expel him from the GOP conference and they were like listen no they. We're like no. That's not really a good idea. He had vote with the way. We all struggle between you know voting with our conscience and with in line with what we believe. The constitution tells us to Act also have to report to our voters and most people said you know any idea like that is totally absurd but the people who did come out are the ones who you would expect to like people. Like Don Jr. and and and people who don't really think about the long-term sometimes consequences of politics because they're not in the party or not in Congress themselves back in the you said earlier. which was that? Even though there's an acquittal on these charges that Democrats are talking about kind of reopening might be too strong a word but continuing to dig into issues surrounding the president and his interactions with Ukraine. What exactly does that mean so? We're seeing what happened yesterday. Isn't necessarily the end of this. It really is going to depend on how they move forward next. And that is the big question question on the hill. As soon as the vote ended everyone started asking. Okay what do you do now. Do you leave this and I. I spoke with some senators and congressmen someone like Congressman. Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He's on the Judiciary Committee. He said. Listen we need to hear from Bolton. It doesn't matter that this is over and just because the president was acquitted doesn't mean that we in the event vent that he does continue to commit high crimes and misdemeanors as Congressman Roskin called or any sort of action. We're going to continue to look at this. And so they're not shutting the door at all. We saw congressman. Jerry Nadler the chairman of the Judiciary Committee say. It's likely that they could try to bring some sort of subpoena against Bolton to still hear from him so I imagine that the door isn't fully novice and this would happen on the house. So you're saying there is still some appetite in the house in theory for potentially impeaching again depending on what they would hear from witnesses. I don't think any Democrats are closing the door on anything I'd it's it's hard to know. A few people now still being super fired up about impeachment is different than looking at you know in the weeks and months ahead whether there really is that appetite here to do that again but I don't think anyone is closing the door. I would be very very surprised as if they try to take any similar action before the election. Now that we're so close to The presidential in November. But I the president does win again in November are by all means. I don't think anyone would rule out that there could be another impeachment down the road. How does this play more broadly? I'm thinking particularly among Republican. So they kind of rallied around their man right. They supported the home team team in this in the end. Democrats say outsiders look at this to a certain extent. Say well among other things this kind of shows the fecklessness of the Senate in the sense of the Senate kind the punt. It basically said it's our guy so we support him. But we've seen this before. Look we saw this. When it came to the situation with the Kurds we saw this to the situation when it came to the strike in Iran do Senate Republicans believe leave? They still have a power to Congress or do they kind of acknowledge privately that they've ceded it to the White House you know. That's a great caution and I've asked a lot of Senate Republicans about this they. We'll none of them would admit or say that. They think that they've given power to the White House that this vote and the way that this impeaching process has played out has weakened Congressional Authority Authority but it was a very partisan impeachment part of the reason a lot of Republicans voted to acquit the president. But also it's something that we've seen throughout the president's administration people who who would normally go against him really not coming out and criticizing him publicly not doing a lot to stand up against president trump and even people who had in the past. Someone like Senator Ben. Sasse ask was a frequent trump critic joining jumping on the on the President's bandwagon really with a lot of his other fiercest allies because a lot of the big reasons. Here are Political Michael motivations people in these countries. They loved the president. He has a very strong base and sometimes speaking up or going against him is political suicide meals from the Democrat outside when you look at people for example like Lamar Alexander on the Republican side. Who voted against it? One of the arguments they made was the Democrats basically didn't offer an impeachable. Offense like president did wrong but he didn't and do anything that would warrant removal from office. Do Democrats feel they made a mistake. Not including bribery explicit bribery in the articles of impeachment. Since everyone would agree that if proven bribery indeed would be impeachable offense. There was talk about than we did. See toward the end of the house impeachment investigation in the fall we did see people. People like Speaker Pelosi and other Democratic leaders use the word bribery to kind of solidify and focus the charges and then they dropped it. Yes I mean I think the word play here. Democrats feel that. They did what they needed. Everyone really went into this impeachment process knowing that there was almost no chance at the president would be convicted and removed from office. You were in the room from the beginning to the middle to the end of this and you now we'll get to show your grandchildren someday. All the getty images of you sitting behind people in chasing people for comment and so my final right okay for you tell us one thing that you saw or heard or noticed over the last several weeks that those of us just reading the news stories and maybe watching TV didn't and being in the room was for this process in particular was very important because no one got to see the reactions on senators faces the cameras. There was one camera. The ending scene rules rules in the Senate which were infuriating too many reporters like myself so the best ones just watching the way that senators reacted throughout this entire process. And that's something that I'm very grateful I got to see firsthand. You'd hear audible groans when that's really you know you're supposed to remain silent. You'd see people's faces distraught or the way that they'd react that something that I think. INC is super important in a really great reason to have reporters in the room and that they allowed that to happen later. Tree and axios political reporter. Thank you so much for joining US thinking in my final two right after this axios gives you the news and analysis. You need to get smarter faster. On the most important topics in our unique smart brevity format we cover topics from in politics to science. In Media Tech Subscribe to get smarter faster at sign up dot axios DOT COM and now back to the podcast. Now it's time for my final two and first of his casper the upstart mattress maker that last night experienced. What can most generously described as an underwhelming? IPO what was once a one billion dollar company according to its venture capitalists is now worth just over half that so three things to know. I almost no one expected this. IPO to do well and there were even some doubts as if it could get out at all. Casper isn't profitable doesn't necessarily have a path to profitability and didn't provide any data on sales sales for its non mattress products like sheets and pillows. And that's a pretty big problem because mattresses themselves have very long replacement cycles second don't extrapolate Casper's struggles to mean that the entire direct to consumer market is a dud again mattresses are very different than shoes are makeup in terms of purchasing behavior. Third heard also. Don't take this to assume that the IPO market at large is struggling just this morning to other companies both in the healthcare space priced. IPO's at the top of their perspective ranges and finally recriminations continue over the Iowa caucus debacle and the latest piece of head-scratching information. Is that the APP used to tabulate. Votes was distributed not not via an APP store but via mobile testing platforms. Like Apple's test flight. Now look test. Flight is a fine system we use it here at Axios but it is not meant for widespread distribution it meant for a small limited number of testers and it's also something that requires users to actually download to APPs instead of one. I you have to download test this flight. And then you get to download the actual APP and that isn't really what you want for caucus precinct captains many of whom are elderly retirees every day. It seems we get new information formation and every day. It's more problematic and we're done big. Thanks for listening. To my producers. Tim Show Shaven have a Great National Frozen Yogurt Day. And we'll be back tomorrow tomorrow with another pro rata podcast.