The Note: Process enjoys stronger support than impeachment itself

It’s not impossible to find bipartisan consensus on impeachment.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

It’s not impossible to find bipartisan consensus on impeachment. You just have to trust the process.

On the eve of an expected Wednesday House vote to impeach President Donald Trump, 62% of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll are confident that he will get a fair trial in the Senate.

That support is nearly identical among Republicans, Democrats and independents (61%, 62% and 64%, respectively).

Republican senators are expected to announce further details of what the pending trial will look like on Tuesday, but the country clearly wants cooperation. Seventy-one percent think Trump should allow top aides to testify, with a Republican-Democrat-independent breakdown of 64-79-72.

The poll shows, as others have, that support for impeachment and removal is stalling at around half the country. The percentage who think Trump should be removed is 49% in this poll, with 46% opposed; support for censure is slightly stronger, 51-42.

Yes, freshman New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew switching parties is a big deal.

But a geographically diverse collection of other newly elected Democrats favor impeachment: Michigan Rep. Elissa Slotkin, Colorado Rep. Jason Crow, South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham, Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger and Utah Rep. Ben McAdams all announced that they will vote for both counts.

Few Democrats saw impeachment as an unquestioned political winner. It still isn’t – but the process appears to matter.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Congress is poised to make some major policy changes this week. Milestone pieces of legislation are expected to be folded into the larger, government-funding bill, which they will vote on later this week.

First, in a major win for Democrats, Congress plans to allot $25 million to federal agencies to study the gun violence epidemic in the country.

Over the past decade, such research has effectively been banned due to a piece of old legislation that qualified such research as forbidden partisan advocacy. Democrats came to the negotiating table this year demanding a change and did not waver. They argue health care research on this issue is as important now as it was in years prior to inform seat belt and anti-smoking policy.

“In this country we lack major databases to basically say what kind of gun violence prevention efforts work in a society where there are more guns than people,” Jonathan Metzl, professor and director of Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University, told ABC News Monday.

Secondly, a bipartisan group of legislators has signed onto a proposal to raise the federal minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 years old. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that

he is on board and could move on this too. The change could be a big one for teen and adolescent health.

But some experts argue the measure could also be a distraction of sorts if other proposed rules making it harder for vaping companies to target teens and kids are put on the back burner as a result.

The TIP with Molly Nagle

Tom Steyer is no longer the sole billionaire vying for the Democratic nomination, but he seems to be making a play for the “good billionaire” title.

During an economic speech Monday in Iowa City, Iowa, Steyer made it a point to note the difference between himself and the recent billionaire to join the 2020 race, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and how they plan to deal with the rich.

“America needs a wealth tax. This is where Mike Bloomberg and I disagree. There’s been a historic, unjust redistribution of wealth over the last 40 years – in the wrong direction. A wealth tax isn’t a new burden – it’s a long-needed fix,” Steyer argued.

Steyer told voters he would give middle-class Americans a 10% tax cut, achieved by using the revenue from taxing passive income at the same rate as earned income.

Only one billionaire will be on the debate stage this week, and it will be Steyer, not Bloomberg. But a new Quinnipiac poll released Monday shows that Steyer may need to do a lot more to solidify his role in the race. Only 1% of voters named Steyer as their choice for the nominee, compared to 7% who favored Bloomberg.


The thin, bound booklet of "Wit and Wisdom" attributed to Mike Bloomberg -- distributed at a 1990 party as a light-hearted gift -- is filled with crude and sexist remarks, but also off-color quips on race and religion that could prove damaging as he mounts his bid for the White House. ABC News has obtained one of the few remaining original copies. The 32-page booklet contains what are alleged to be Bloomberg’s own views and off-hand commentary on a wide range of subjects -- language his campaign says he cannot remember using.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast..Tuesday morning’s episode features ABC News’ Trish Turner, who tells us what to expect as the Rules Committee hashes out the impending House impeachment vote. Then, ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks examines Trump’s threat to skip next year’s general election debates, and the Democrats’ dustup amid a labor dispute at the venue for their next debate.


  • The House Rules Committee will meet at 11 a.m. to discuss rules for debating articles of impeachment against Trump and any changes to the House Judiciary Committee's filing
  • President Donald Trump and the First Lady participate in the arrival of the Guatemalan president and his wife at 1:45 p.m. They then participate in a holiday reception at 4:15 p.m.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in between two fundraising events in Los Angeles at 8:30 a.m. PT and 7 p.m. PT, attends the Democratic National Committee’s IWillVote Gala at 5:30 p.m. PST.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick participates in a small business tour and roundtable in Las Vegas, at noon PST, before touring the Vegas Roots Community Garden at 1 p.m. PST.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., also attends the DNC’s IWillVote Gala fundraising event in Los Angeles.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a fundraiser in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Tom Steyer participates in a virtual Presidential Youth Town Hall at 4:30 p.m. PST.
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., holds an evening reception at 6:30 p.m PT and a grassroots happy hour at 7:30 p.m. PT in Seattle.
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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.