POLITICO Playbook: Democrats are ready to impeach Trump. So now what?

September 25, 2019

SPOTTED at the Concordia Summit’s closing BUILD Act reception Tuesday night at the Ricketts residence at the Residences at the Mandarin Oriental in New York: David Bohigian, Matthew Swift, Ray Washburne, Brian Baker, Sylvie Légère Ricketts, Lisa Spies, Elizabeth Littlefield, Heather Nauert, James A. Walsh, James L. Richardson, Tony Sayegh, Steven Olikara, Liz Schrayer, Derek Gianino, Robert Mosbacher Jr., Haitian Ambassador Hervé Denis, Nancy Brinker, Becca Glover, Teresa Davis, Anita McBride, Jon Harrison, Brian Morgenstern and Lauren Kirshner.

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI yesterday: “In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote: ‘The times have found us.’ The times found them to fight for and establish our democracy. The times have found us today, not to place ourselves in the same category of greatness as our Founders, but to place us in the urgency of protecting and defending our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In the words of Ben Franklin, to keep our Republic.” Transcript of Pelosi’s remarks … Video

IN OTHER WORDS … IT’S HAPPENING. THE HOUSE will begin impeachment proceedings against the president for the third time in American history. We don’t know what he’ll be impeached for. We aren’t sure when. We don’t know what the whistleblower has on President DONALD TRUMP or how significant it is.

BUT what we do know is that PELOSI and her leadership gave into a restive House Democratic Caucus, which was demanding TRUMP be held accountable for a series of what it considers brazen and illegal acts.

SO, yesterday was seismic — but it was also, in some ways, a bit meaningless.

FIRST, read Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney’s story, which posted Tuesday night

NOW, TO UNPACK IT … AFTER A LONG DAY OF STANDING in the Capitol basement Tuesday, our colleagues Kyle and Andrew posed this very interesting question in the POLITICO corner of the press gallery: What exactly did PELOSI’S statement — that the House was launching an impeachment inquiry into TRUMP — change? Not much at all, they argued.

AT FIRST, we thought they were wrong. But after thinking about it for a minute, we decided there’s a healthy bit of truth to Cheney and Desiderio’s take: PELOSI’S statement didn’t actually change a whole lot. It was mostly window dressing.

HERE’S WHY: House committees have been investigating TRUMP for months. The Judiciary Committee was always readying to draft articles of impeachment. They were always trying to finish it up before 2020. An “impeachment inquiry” is just a name — it’s not an official process that the House has now begun. There will be no vote on the floor to start the impeachment inquiry process. There’s no magic unleashed now that PELOSI has said she’s begun an impeachment inquiry. So, in many ways, there’s nothing new here.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED — POLITICALLY. The entire universe has shifted for House Democrats. For months, the leadership was trying to stave off impeachment because they thought it unwise politically, divisive and unnecessary. Now the leadership is full-bore behind it, and the entire caucus is rowing toward a process aimed at removing the president of the United States for how he handled interactions with the leader of Ukraine. Democrats finally believe they found a simple, easy-to-understand charge.

— NYT’S CARL HULSE on A1: “In contrast to the murkiness of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump, Democrats see the current allegations as damningly clear-cut.

“His refusal so far to provide Congress with an intelligence official’s whistle-blower complaint as required by law, coupled with the possibility that Mr. Trump dangled American military aid as a bargaining chip to win investigation of a political rival by a foreign government, strikes them as a stark case of presidential wrongdoing. They consider it egregious enough that they expect many Americans who had been cool to the idea of moving to oust the president to recognize the imperative for the House to act.” NYT

THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE now is all but guaranteed to report out an impeachment package in the next few months — a set of articles charging the president with high crimes and misdemeanors. Our colleague John Bresnahan has been saying this for months, and our reporting shows that it’s true: If the House starts impeachment proceedings — hearings and the like, as they are — it will end up voting on impeachment articles on the House floor. Period. So, the full House will get a chance this year to cast a vote or a set of votes about whether the president committed crimes worthy of his removal.

THERE IS SOME RISK FOR PELOSI AND HOUSE DEMOCRATS. They made a big show Tuesday of the impeachment play. If the transcript and the whistleblower report are duds and they don’t have enough fresh material to justify impeaching impeach Trump, the Dems will have put themselves out on a limb with little to show for it. And if impeachment stretches into 2020 — which most senior Democratic aides predict it will — there’s risk in that, as well. Judiciary Chairman JERRY NADLER said in a closed-door meeting Tuesday that he wanted this process to be quick, and finish by year’s end.

THIS SITUATION PLAYS INTO WHAT MANY BELIEVE ARE PELOSI’S STRENGTHS. Like many leaders, she’s strongest when her party is united. And, perhaps for the first time in a while, they are united against this president, both in substance and in process. She has challenges here — not least managing the process, which could grow unruly quickly. But, unlike a week ago, the entire caucus is working toward a single goal.

WHAT THE LEADERSHIP IS WATCHING FOR: On Tuesday evening, much of the leadership was tired and drained. Almost to a person, they thought that Pelosi had changed the name of the process to “impeachment inquiry,” but not the substance of the investigation. We are in uncharted waters, so it’s not entirely clear to anyone what will happen next.

— BIG PICTURE: The committees are going to begin funnelling all of their “best” impeachment material to Judiciary, which is going to tie everything into a single package. At the beginning of this Congress, Judiciary began to hire top-notch lawyers in anticipation for an uptick in oversight, so in that sense, it is prepared. WaPo’s Mike DeBonis and Rachael Bade: “House’s move toward impeachment leaves gaping questions about the road ahead”

ONE OF THE DEMOCRATS’ challenges is finding an overarching message and sticking to it. This was a complaint in the Dem caucus yesterday. Rank-and-file Dems are concerned they aren’t articulating a good reason why they’re impeaching Trump. One of leadership and Judiciary’s challenges here is to latch onto a message — and a messenger — and carry it through what’s expected to be a long and bruising process. Some have suggested that enumerating concerns about national security should be front and center. Sarah Ferris and Heather Caygle on Dem messaging concerns

— THIS WEEK: The Dems caucus this morning, the Republicans have their conference meeting and both will hold media availabilities afterwards. Predictably, both sides are in their corners. TRUMP has a press conference at 4 p.m., so everyone will be watching to see his demeanor. Everyone is looking to see what deal HOUSE INTELLIGENCE cuts with the whistleblower, who now is indicating he wants to talk to Congress.

THE TRANSCRIPT … OF COURSE, people are anxious to see the transcript the White House releases of the call between TRUMP and the Ukranian president, but Hill aides caution that it should be seen for what it is — a document released by the White House. First of all, we have no idea if the whistleblower report is solely based on that call. Second, we have no idea if there was only one call, or more. Third, we don’t know if the transcript will be edited at all, let alone whether it will simply be notes rather than a word-for-word transcription. The whistleblower report — and what the whistleblower tells Congress — is truly important. The whistleblower’s attorney says he plans to talk to Congress

THURSDAY will be quite the day. At 9 a.m., JOSEPH MAGUIRE, the acting director of national intelligence, will be on Capitol Hill testifying in an open setting. This is probably the biggest public moment so far.

REMEMBER: The House is leaving Friday afternoon for a two-week recess. The next day in session is Oct. 15. This recess is not going to be canceled, our sources tell us.

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HOW IT PLAYED IN THE PAPERS … NYTtwo-line, double-deck headline: “PELOSI WILL OPEN FORMAL IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, ACCUSING PRESIDENT OF ‘BETRAYAL’ OF THE NATION” … WAPO“House opens impeachment inquiry” … WSJ: “Impeachment Inquiry Begins”

HOW THE PRESIDENT REACTED — “Trump says impeachment drive is a plus, yet tweets with fury,” by AP’s Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller

— HOW HIS ALLIES REACTED, VIA NANCY COOK: “In public, Trump world is casting the Democratic impeachment inquiry as more white noise. In private, White House aides and allies say the impeachment momentum is now presenting a serious threat to the rest of President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda, to his negotiating strength with world leaders and to his concentration.” POLITICO

— WSJ OP-ED: “The Impeachment Congress”

Good Wednesday morning. QUICK BREAK: THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS clinched a wild card spot last night. They won two games against the Philadelphia Phillies and generational hair model Bryce Harper. Over the next few days, we’ll see whether the Oct. 1 game will be played here or in Milwaukee against the Brewers. LET’S GO NATS!

WHAT’S NEXT … NANCY COOK SCOOP: “White House preparing to release whistleblower complaint to Congress”

— NYT’S MIKE SCHMIDT, JULIAN BARNES and MAGGIE HABERMAN: “White House Seeks Deal for Whistle-Blower to Speak to Congress”: “White House and intelligence officials were working out a plan on Tuesday to release a redacted version of the whistle-blower complaint that helped ignite the impeachment drive against President Trump and to allow the whistle-blower to speak with congressional investigators, people briefed on the matter said.

“The move toward disclosing more information demanded by Democrats was part of a broader effort by the administration to quell the growing calls for Mr. Trump’s impeachment, and became public after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the start of a formal impeachment inquiry.

“Ms. Pelosi told fellow Democrats that in a private call that she had with the president on Tuesday, he said he was not responsible for the whistle-blower complaint being withheld from Congress, according to Democrats.” NYT

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RUDY, RUDY, RUDY — “Giuliani pursued shadow Ukraine agenda as key foreign policy officials were sidelined,” by WaPo’s Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey, Paul Sonne and Ellen Nakashima: “President Trump’s attempt to pressure the leader of Ukraine followed a months-long fight inside the administration that sidelined national security officials and empowered political loyalists — including the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani — to exploit the U.S. relationship with Kiev, current and former U.S. officials said.

“The sequence, which began early this year, involved the abrupt removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the circumvention of senior officials on the National Security Council, and the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars of aid administered by the Defense and State departments — all as key officials from these agencies struggled to piece together Giuliani’s activities from news reports.

“‘Rudy — he did all of this,’ one U.S. official said. ‘This s—show that we’re in — it’s him injecting himself into the process.’” WaPo

— GIULIANI RESPONDS TO FOX NEWS’ LAURA INGRAHAM: “And you know who I did it at the request of? The State Department. I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the State Department called me and asked me to do it. And then I reported to every conversation back to them. Laura, I’m a pretty good lawyer, just a country lawyer, but it’s all here, right here. The first call from the State Department.” Video

YES, THIS IS A FAMILIAR EXPRESSION, but it makes no sense from Giuliani. He’s not a country lawyer. He was born in New York, went to NYU law school and worked all his life in New York and Washington.

— NYT’S ANNIE KARNI: “Trump’s Calls With World Leaders Are Freewheeling, but Few Have Access”: “While Mr. Trump is on a call, his national security adviser is typically either in the room with him or listening in from his West Wing office. Typically, the adviser is joined by the senior director for the head of state’s region, as well as intelligence officials working from the White House Situation Room who connect the call and help to produce a rough transcript almost immediately after its conclusion.

“The secretary of state can listen in if he requests, according to one former administration official. Vice President Mike Pence will also frequently join Mr. Trump on a call with a foreign leader, often at the request of Mr. Trump, according to an aide. …

“But the National Security Council’s meticulous process of scheduling them, preparing for them, and keeping a record of them has not changed dramatically during the Trump administration. The only difference, according to four former and current administration officials familiar with the process, is the ‘extreme steps’ that have been taken to limit who can listen in on those calls or later read the transcript, for fear of leaks.” POLITICO

THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG … ALEX ISENDSTADT: “GOP cashes in on impeachment”: “Republicans are latching onto conservative outrage over the push to impeach President Donald Trump — and turning it into a 2020 fundraising bonanza. Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee on Tuesday sent an array of fundraising emails inviting conservatives to donate and join the ‘Official Impeachment Defense Task Force,’ which was described as a group ‘made up of only President Trump’s most LOYAL supporters, the ones committed to fighting for him, re-electing him, and taking back the House.’

“By the end of the day, party officials said, the fundraising offensive had netted around $1 million. The effort demonstrates how the GOP sees the impeachment push as a tool to stoke the grievances of the Trump base and monetize the president’s clashes with Democrats ahead of 2020. Party officials, who for months have been playing to Trump supporters’ distaste of the left through a merchandising effort, are convinced the inquiry could turn into a cash windfall — and not just for Trump himself.” POLITICO

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2020 WATCH …

— MARC CAPUTO: “Biden’s support crumbles in early state, Florida polls”: “Joe Biden’s poll numbers are crumbling in the early nominating states that matter most. Once the dominant front-runner in the Democratic primary, Biden is now marginally trailing Elizabeth Warren in the first caucus state of Iowa and the first primary state of New Hampshire. His South Carolina firewall shows signs of cracking and he’s losing his once-overwhelming lead in Florida, according to a raft of recent polling.

“Biden’s descent has been months in the making, the result of continuous fire from progressives, questions about his age and stamina, a drumbeat of negative coverage over lackluster debate performances and frequent misstatements, according to pollsters and party insiders. They also point to a campaign message that at times over-emphasized attacking President Trump and his claim to be the ‘most electable’ Democrat in the field.

“But perhaps the biggest factor has been the rise of Warren, the Massachusetts senator who has served up a steady diet of grassroots outreach and in-depth policy proposals that have endeared her to progressives.” POLITICO

TRUMP’S WEDNESDAY — The president will leave Trump Tower at 9:30 a.m. He will arrive at the InterContinental New York Barclay and participate in a multilateral meeting on Venezuela. He will participate in a bilateral meeting at 12:10 p.m. with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump will participate in a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at 2:15 p.m., followed by a bilateral meeting with El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele.

Trump will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. Afterward, he will return to Trump Tower. He is holding a fundraising dinner at hedge fund billionaire John Paulson’s home this evening in New York City before spending the evening at Trump Tower.

GET SMARTER ABOUT THE WORLD IN 2020: POLITICO’s man about town Ryan Heath will leverage the world’s deepest politics and policy focused newsroom in “Global Translations,” a newsletter that unpacks essential global news, trends, and decisions. You’re not going to want to miss out on this fun and enlightened read that connects you to the world with truly global perspectives. SUBSCRIBE TODAY.


PHOTO DU JOUR: President Donald Trump addresses reporters as he arrives with first lady Melania Trump for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 24. | Craig Ruttle/AP Photo

THE INVESTIGATIONS — “Judge overturns guilty verdicts against Trump transition adviser on foreign-agent charges,” by Josh Gerstein: “The Justice Department’s drive to crack down on violations of foreign-agent laws suffered another blow Tuesday as a federal judge overturned guilty verdicts a jury returned against a business partner of Gen. Michael Flynn over work the pair did for Turkish interests during the Trump presidential campaign in 2016.

“U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga, who presided over the weeklong trial of Bijan Rafiekian in July in Alexandria, Virginia, ruled that prosecutors put forward insufficient proof to sustain the jury’s finding that Rafiekian knowingly operated as a Turkish government agent and intentionally failed to notify U.S. officials about his work.

“There is no substantial evidence that Rafiekian agreed to operate subject to the direction or control of the Turkish government,” Trenga wrote as he ordered the acquittal of the 67-year-old Iranian-American businessman and former board member for the U.S. Export-Import Bank.” POLITICO

IRAN LATEST — “Macron Tried to Broker Meeting Between Trump, Iran’s President,” by WSJ’s Laurence Norman and Michael R. Gordon: “[T]he attempt failed when the Iranian side insisted the U.S. first commit to easing sanctions, according to people briefed on the discussions.” WSJ

— ROUHANI TO FOX NEWS’ CHRIS WALLACE: “Why would we bump into one another? If we seek to pursue higher goals to benefit both countries, both people, it must be planned, and talks must be based on those plans. But prior to that, we must create mutual trust, and the trust that is something that Mr. Trump took away from this framework. We had an agreement. Mr. Trump exited without a valid justification, and illegally, from an international agreement. So, if the United States of America’s government is willing to talk, it must create the needed conditions.” Video

INTERVIEW DU JOUR: “From warlord to Afghan presidential candidate,” by AP’s Kathy Gannon: “From American ally to U.S.-declared terrorist, and now a presidential candidate in Saturday’s polls, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s past is inextricably linked to Afghanistan’s volatile history over four decades of war.

“In an interview in his sprawling compound in the Afghan capital this week, Hekmatyar, 71, warned of more violence if upcoming polls are not free and fair. He accused the front-runner and incumbent President Ashraf Ghani of abusing his power to win another term.

“Speaking in his native Pashto language, Hekmatyar warned of a crisis not even U.S. intervention could easily solve if voting is mired in allegations of fraud — as it was in the last elections five years ago.” AP

REUTERS: “Ex-U.S. intelligence officer gets 10 years in Chinese espionage case”

UNCLE JOE’S NEW JOKE: Via last night’s Biden pool report, by the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Barker: “He loves nicknames. I’d like to give him a new nickname — former President Trump.” Zing!

YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN — “John Roberts says Supreme Court doesn’t work in a ‘political manner,’” by CNN’s Ariane de Vogue : “Asked by the moderator, his long-time friend, Rabbi Mark Lipson, if he could do as many push ups as Ginsburg, Roberts demurred. ‘Now, she has so much less to push up I don’t think that’s fair,’ he said, adding: ‘I can comfortably say I can bench press her weight and she can’t bench press mine.’” CNN

— RUNNER-UP … BORIS JOHNSON AT THE U.N.: “‘In the future, voice connectivity will be in every room and almost every object,’ the PM said. ‘Your mattress will monitor your nightmares; your fridge will beep for more cheese, your front door will sweep wide the moment you approach, like some silent butler; your smart meter will go hustling for the cheapest electricity.’” POLITICO Europe

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VALLEY TALK … FACEBOOK VP NICK CLEGG: “Facebook has had a newsworthiness exemption since 2016. This means that if someone makes a statement or shares a post which breaks our community standards we will still allow it on our platform if we believe the public interest in seeing it outweighs the risk of harm. Today, I announced that from now on we will treat speech from politicians as newsworthy content that should, as a general rule, be seen and heard.

“However, in keeping with the principle that we apply different standards to content for which we receive payment, this will not apply to ads – if someone chooses to post an ad on Facebook, they must still fall within our Community Standards and our advertising policies.” Facebook

— OH, THE IRONY: “SEC Charges Comscore Inc. and Former CEO with Accounting and Disclosure Fraud”: “The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged global information and media analytics firm, Comscore, Inc., and its former CEO with engaging in a fraudulent scheme to overstate revenue by approximately $50 million and making false and misleading statements about key performance metrics.

“The SEC’s orders find, among other things, that from February 2014 through February 2016, Comscore, at the direction of its former CEO Serge Matta, entered into non-monetary transactions for the purpose of improperly increasing its reported revenue. … The SEC’s orders also find that Comscore and Matta made false and misleading public disclosures regarding the company’s customer base and flagship product and that Matta lied to Comscore’s internal accountants and external audit firm. This scheme enabled Comscore to artificially exceed its analysts’ consensus revenue target in seven consecutive quarters and create the illusion of smooth and steady growth in Comscore’s business.” SEC

MEDIAWATCH — “Vox Media Acquires New York Magazine, Chronicler of the Highbrow and Lowbrow,” by NYT’s Marc Tracy and Edmund Lee: “On Tuesday, Vox Media agreed to acquire New York Media, the company behind the biweekly print magazine and five popular online offshoots, in an all-stock transaction. Neither company would disclose the value of the deal. …

“‘No one had to do this,’ Pamela Wasserstein, the chief executive of New York Media, said on Tuesday. ‘It’s a brilliant, in our view, opportunity, so that’s why we leaned into it. It’s not out of need. It’s out of ambition.’

“Ms. Wasserstein, the company founder’s daughter, who declined to comment on New York Media’s finances, started exploring a sale more than a year ago and had stopped looking for a buyer when she started discussions with Vox Media in June. She will continue to run the business of New York and its sites, with the title of president of Vox Media. She will also have a seat on the Vox Media board.” NYT

— ANDREA MITCHELL was awarded the lifetime achievement Emmy last night in New York. Tribute video

— ATTABOY, JEFF … CNN’s @brianstelter: “@JeffMason1 asks Boris Johnson to respond to the critics who say he should resign. Trump says ‘that was a very nasty question from a great American reporter.’ Johnson then DEFENDS Mason – ‘he was asking a question, to be fair, that a lot of British reporters would have asked.’” Video

— “U.S. invokes state secrets privilege to block American journalist’s challenge to alleged spot on drone ‘kill list’,” by WaPo’s Spencer Hsu: “A U.S. judge Tuesday dismissed an American journalist’s lawsuit challenging his alleged placement on a “kill list” by U.S. authorities in Syria, after the Trump administration invoked the “state secrets” privilege to withhold sensitive national security information.

“U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of Washington, D.C., last year had opened the way for Bilal Abdul Kareem, a freelance journalist who grew up in New York, to seek answers in his civil case from the government and to try to clear his name after what he claims were five near-misses by U.S. airstrikes in Syria.” WaPo

— “Conservative News Sites TheBlaze, Washington Examiner See Big Traffic Gains as Breitbart Fades and ThinkProgress Dies,” by The Wrap’s Lindsey Ellefson

— “The Story Behind the Times Correspondent Who Faced Arrest in Cairo,” by NYT’s Declan Walsh

#RULEWITHUS AT DAVOS – POLITICO’s Women Rule is partnering with the Female Quotient at the FQ Equality Lounge at the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 21-23. Women Rule editorial director Anna Palmer will moderate engaging and empowering panel discussions, and a live-stream link will be provided when the events kick off. Stay up to date with the Women Rule community in 2020 by signing up for the newsletter and tuning in to the podcast.


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IN MEMORIAM — “George Lardner Jr., Washington Post reporter who received Pulitzer for investigation of his daughter’s murder, dies at 85,” by WaPo’s Emily Langer

SPOTTED: Heather Nauert and Tony Sayegh having drinks Tuesday night at Marea in New York. … Kellyanne Conway on an Amtrak Northeast Regional southbound to Union Station. Pic

SPOTTED at the March on Washington Film Festival’s inaugural awards gala Monday evening at the National Museum of Women in the Arts: Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Nikki Giovanni, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Joyce Ladner, Eric Holder and Sharon Malone, and performers Terri Lyne Carrington and the Social Science Band with guest vocalist Lizz Wright.

SPOTTED at the Concordia Summit’s closing BUILD Act reception Tuesday night at the Ricketts residence at the Residences at the Mandarin Oriental in New York: David Bohigian, Matthew Swift, Ray Washburne, Brian Baker, Sylvie Légère Ricketts, Lisa Spies, Elizabeth Littlefield, Heather Nauert, James A. Walsh, James L. Richardson, Tony Sayegh, Steven Olikara, Liz Schrayer, Derek Gianino, Robert Mosbacher Jr., Haitian Ambassador Hervé Denis, Nancy Brinker, Becca Glover, Teresa Davis, Anita McBride, Jon Harrison, Brian Morgenstern and Lauren Kirshner.

WHITE HOUSE ARRIVAL LOUNGE — Kristina Baum will be comms director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She currently is comms director for the House Natural Resources Committee GOP.

2020 MOVE — Tim Carroll is now deputy director of press advance for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. He previously was deputy comms director for the city of Detroit and is a Hillary for America alum.

TRANSITIONS — Nick Shapiro has joined LIme as global head of trust and safety. The former CIA deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to the director most recently served as Airbnb’s global head of crisis management and as Visa’s VP of global security and communications.

— Sam Myers Jr. is now president of Direct Impact, a grassroots campaign firm that’s part of BCW Group. He most recently was an SVP at the OutCast Agency and is a Hillary for America and Obama W.H. alum. … Ellie Schafer is now global director of events and engagement at Ripple, a tech/cryptocurrency company. She most recently led her own company, South Lawn Strategies, and is an Obama W.H. alum.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD — Harry Godfrey, executive director of Virginia Advanced Energy Economy, and Natalie Draisin, director of the North America office and U.N. representative for the FIA Foundation, welcomed Marlow Alden Draisin Godfrey on Thursday. Pic

BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Jeff Roe, founder of Axiom Strategies. How he got his start in politics: “My grandmother was active in the Linn County Republican Women’s Club and introduced me to politics by taking me to events, parades, etc. My first campaign was in 1992. I dropped out of college for a semester and was an unpaid driver for a losing governor’s campaign. In 1994, now-Congressman, then-state Rep. Sam Graves hired me for $250/month to work on his state Senate campaign. I slept in the office and showered at the YMCA in Chillicothe, Mo. My parents thought I was nuts.” Playbook Plus Q&A

BIRTHDAYS: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) is 58 … Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) is 75 … Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) is 66 … former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is 76 (hat tip: Geoff Morrell) … April Greener, research director for Speaker Nancy Pelosi … Tim Hogan, comms director for Amy Klobuchar’s campaign (h/t Max Steele) … Evan Berland, director of corporate communications and interim head of U.S. digital at GSK … Danny Yadron … New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is 52 … Josh Tyrangiel is 47 … HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan Reilly … Gary Carpentier, president of Public Policy Research … POLITICO’s Bob King and John Lauinger … Jack Zahora … George Hornedo … Monica Wagner … Shivonne Foster Jones … Kiley Smith … Nicco Mele of the Harvard Kennedy School (h/t Jon Haber) … Missy Owens of Coca-Cola … Chrissy Harbin of the Ex-Im Bank … Madeline Fry …

… Jack Howard, SVP of congressional and public affairs at the Chamber of Commerce … Lila Shapiro … Rita Norton, SVP at AmerisourceBergen … Jake Suski is 36 … Harrison Taylor Godfrey … Emily Threadgill … Brian Beutler … Ed Newberry, global managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs … Tyler Kusma … John Elias … Vivyan Tran … Rachel Chaney … Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II … Lauren Loftus … Dori Rutherford … Sophie Reagan … Justin Ward … Pat Hart … Steve Wozencraft … Marco De León … George Sallas … former Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) is 7-0 … Dena Kozanas … Kirsten Hartman … Nathaniel Ennis … Mallory Ward … Seth Bopp … Amalia Halikias … Carmiel Arbit … Amber Pfau … Mimi Hall … Dave Peluso … Rob Ritchie … Marissa Levin … Jack Davis of the Messina Group … Tim Connolly … Jeannie Doherty … Philip Dufour … Shawn Burke (h/ts Teresa Vilmain)

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Rep. Sara Jacobs


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