The Atlantic Politics Daily: The Impeachment Trial Nears Its End

The Senate votes against new witness testimony, paving the way for the end of the impeachment trial.

It’s Friday, January 31. The United Kingdom officially exited the European Union on Friday. How will Brits remember Brexit Day?

In the rest of today’s newsletter: The Senate votes against more witness testimony. Plus: The publication that wants to be the anti-Breitbart.



Impeachment is nearing its end.

After nearly five months, countless hours of congressional hearings, and enough last-minute plot twists to last a lifetime, just about all the suspense to impeachment seems to be fully gone. On Friday, the Senate voted to not move forward with more witnesses testimony—after revelations from John Bolton had seemed to add a layer of new intrigue to the trial earlier in the week. Two GOP senators, Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander, had flirted with voting yes before ultimately siding with the rest of their party. The whole affair was a damning indictment of the Mitch McConnell-led Senate, writes Todd Purdum.

Murkowski, who is routinely one of the handful of GOP senators who offer the slightest challenge to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s iron rule, lashed the impeachment articles from the Democratic House as “rushed and flawed.” … But even if her tears were crocodilian, it was the harshness of Murkowski’s criticism of the Senate itself that stood out. Her condemnation came at a moment when McConnell’s years-long legacy of hyper-partisanship, unremitting obstruction of Barack Obama, and unswerving loyalty to Donald Trump crystallized into a profound upending of the norms and procedures of the body he purports to revere.

Read the rest.

—Saahil Desai


(Michelle Rohn)

Impeachment has turned Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel overseeing the president’s defense, into a household name. Read our profile of him from the fall.



1. “If Californians aren’t moving more than in previous years, why are so many places suddenly freaking out about the influx of Golden Staters?"

Derek Thompson writes about why California migrants are making other states very anxious.

2. “ To make it any easier to remove a president would be to make it far too easy, introducing great instability to the system as a whole.”

The Founders knew what they were doing when they designed impeachment, argues Margaret Taylor.



The Conservatives Trying to Ditch Fake News

The Dispatch, a new conservative publication, wants to be something of the anti-Breitbart.

McKay Coppins writes:

Instead of chasing cheap clicks, the company is courting paid subscribers with a portfolio of email newsletters, podcasts, and a soon-to-be-paywalled website. Original reporting will be emphasized and petty internet squabbles downplayed, with editors pledging to ignore what they call “the daily race to be wrong first on Twitter.” Their target audience is not MAGA Kool-Aid drinkers or Beltway obsessives, but ordinary “center-right” people who want information and context from their news, not catharsis.

Read the rest here.


Today’s newsletter was written by Saahil Desai, an associate editor on the Politics desk.

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