The Note: Partisanship lines up to Trump’s liking in impeachment fight

Sides have been chosen in a way he could hardly have directed if he had tried.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

A major piece of Democratic strategizing on impeachment was the desire to put Republicans on the spot – to force them to choose sides and defend conduct Democrats view as indefensible based on undisputed facts.

Coming into a week when President Donald Trump will almost certainly be impeached, sides have indeed been chosen. But it’s happened in a way Trump could hardly have directed if he had tried – though, to be clear, he has spent most of his time in political life trying to clarify choices like this.

While no House Republicans appear poised to join Democrats in supporting impeachment, a handful are likely to join Republicans in opposing it. A political casualty is imminent: A freshman House Democrat from New Jersey, Rep. Jeff Van Drew, is about to switch parties after the emergence of a primary challenger on his left.

As for the Senate, with a trial expected in January, Republicans are free to say, in the words of Sen. Lindsey Graham, “I’m not trying to pretend to be a fair juror.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising a trial that will be in “total coordination” with the White House.

Trump is set to go into Christmas with the stain of impeachment, but also key policy victories that could help an already strong economy. No president wants to be impeached, yet no president could cast it as a badge of honor quite like Trump will likely do.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Quite the debate debacle has developed just days before candidates were to take the stage.

The Democratic National Committee announced late Friday that they are working "with all stakeholders" to come to a resolution on a labor dispute ahead of the next presidential primary debate currently set to take place Thursday at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

The final debate of 2019 was been put in serious jeopardy last week after union laborers at the school, who have been involved in a months-long dispute for better pay and benefits in new contracts, made it clear they may picket on site the night of the debate.

DNC Chair Tom Perez, a former labor secretary under President Barack Obama, has confirmed that they would not "cross a picket line,” after all of the Democratic candidates said there was no way they would either.

The move from the union was bold and highlighted priorities of the Democratic Party. The democratic presidential candidates made clear they stood with the union above all else.

The food service union at the center of the dispute has agreed to return to the negotiating table by Tuesday, meaning there’s time for a deal -- but just barely. With impeachment votes expected earlier in the week and the holidays fast approaching, there is little room for error.

The TIP with Conor Finnegan

In what could be another sign that he plans to quit his day job and run for the open Senate seat from Kansas, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has launched a “personal” Twitter account.

“Personal account. Currently serving as the 70th U.S. Secretary of State. For official updates, see @SecPompeo. Husband, father, Kansan and proud American,” reads the bio – with four tweets so far, all about sports.

According to Pompeo’s adopted home state paper, the account is “for future plans,” as he has met in recent months with prominent GOP donors, too.

While Pompeo has publicly said he will not run, Trump said last month that he and Pompeo agreed he would run if Republicans were in danger of losing the seat.

That risk seems to be growing as immigration hardliner Kris Kobach, who lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in the state, seeks a return to elected office with a Senate bid. The open seat, to be vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, is rated only likely Republican in 2020 – despite the fact that Trump carried Kansas by over 20 points.

“If Mike Pompeo doesn’t run, we don’t have a prayer,” an unnamed top Republican strategist told The Wall Street Journal.

That would seem to make a Pompeo run more likely, but the filing deadline isn’t until June 1, so he has lots of time to decide.


Mike Bloomberg has on repeated occasions faced and fought allegations that he directed crude and sexist comments to women in his office, including a claim in the 1990s that he told an employee who had just announced she was pregnant to "kill it," according to court records reviewed by ABC News. Those records indicate that at least 17 women have taken legal action against the company over the past three decades, with three of the cases specifically naming Bloomberg for his role in the company’s culture. Read more here.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Monday morning’s episode features ABC News Political Director Rick Klein, who explains how this week’s impeachment vote could play out in vulnerable Democratic House districts.


  • President Donald Trump receives his intelligence briefing at noon and then has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence at 12:45 p.m. At 2 p.m. he participates in a roundtable discussion on the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation. Trump and first lady Melania Trump then participate in Christmas receptions at 4:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Tom Steyer campaign in Iowa.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg campaign in California.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick campaigns in New Hampshire.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden and Marianne Williamson campaign in New York.
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    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.