November 12, 2019, 7:02

The Note: Threats to Trump multiply amid pressure for loyalty

The Note: Threats to Trump multiply amid pressure for loyalty

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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The threats to President Donald Trump are multiplying. The responses from the president, meanwhile, are narrowing — and pushing his allies in uncomfortable directions.

Those offering potentially damaging information and testimony now come from inside and outside of Trump’s own party, his own administration and even his own White House.

Doug Mills/Pool via Reuters, FILE

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address, with Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 5, 2019.

Trump has now labeled as a “Never Trumper” — without evidence — a member of his own National Security Council and decorated service member who voiced his concerns after actually listening to the infamous phone call and who testified Tuesday before House impeachment investigators. Over on cable stations, some Trump allies have suggested much worse about the motives of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman – again, without evidence.

What’s notable is how few rank-and-file Republicans are willing to follow that. It wasn’t just Sen. Mitt Romney saying it’s “absurd” to call Vindman’s loyalties into question; Rep. Liz Cheney called it “shameful,” and Sen. John Thune called him a “patriot.”

With more witnesses coming to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, and the House set to approve procedures for public hearings on Thursday, attention will turn to witnesses both known and still unknown whose motivations will be difficult to undermine.

The president wants everyone to choose sides. That’s an increasingly unappealing choice to the very allies he needs most at this moment.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The House of Representatives will vote Thursday on a resolution formalizing the process and mechanics around the presidential impeachment investigation going forward. The move has the potential to seriously undercut one of Republicans’ go-to talking points lately: that they have been unfairly sidelined.

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi makes an announcement after a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus about an impeachment inquiry of President Trump in the Capitol on Sept. 24, 2019.

As written and made public Tuesday afternoon, the resolution directs “certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, and for other purposes.”

Specifically, the resolution affords minority party leaders (aka top Republicans in relevant committees) considerable power and rights presenting evidence along the way.

The resolution, for example, allows for the ranking Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to request witness testimony as a part of the process and, in agreement of the chair, use subpoena power, too, in order to further compel testimony or documents from possible witnesses. In the event one of the Democratic committee leaders disagrees with an appeal from their ranking Republican companion, that GOP member can then refer the ask to the entire committee for a decision.

If this resolution passes, it will likely put renewed pressure on Republicans to defend the president’s actions themselves and engage in the process in a substantive way.

The TIP with Chris Donato

Wednesday marks the beginning of the period for candidates to fill out the necessary paperwork to get on New Hampshire’s primary ballot.

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will be the first major candidate to file for the ballot. He’s scheduled to enter the secretary of state’s office, fill out his form, and handover $1,000 at noon.

Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks on the stage during a campaign rally outside the Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia, PA, on Oct. 20, 2019.

The candidates often take such moments to show off their support, lining the hallways of the state house — and the room where they’ll file — with cheering supporters. Some, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who will hold a rally outside the New Hampshire State House after he finishes filing, take the party outside.

Candidates often show up and fill out the paperwork themselves, but they can send a representative. Vice President Mike Pence will file on President Trump’s behalf, according to the vice president’s office.

The campaigns have been increasing their staff in the Granite State ahead of the nation’s first primary in February. The Buttigieg campaign has one of the largest staffs on the ground with roughly 60 staffers while Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is at the other end of the spectrum with a much smaller contingent.

The filing period runs on weekdays until Nov. 15, except for Veterans Day.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein speak with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to discuss the latest in the impeachment inquiry, the 2020 election cycle and his new book, . https://apple.co/2Zfz5nD

Wednesday morning’s episode features ABC News Senior Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, who tells us why some Republicans were unwilling to attack Lt. Col. Vindman yesterday as he testified as part of the impeachment inquiry. Then, ABC News Foreign Editor Kirit Radia explains why protests in Lebanon are part of a wider trend around the world. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Trump presents the Medal of Honor to Army Master Sgt. Matthew Williams at 5 p.m.
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi receives the 2019 LBJ Liberty & Justice For All Award at 6 p.m. in Washington.
  • Former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg deliver remarks at 5 p.m. at Georgetown University.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., participates in a forum hosted by New Hampshire Public Radio at 9 a.m. in Concord, New Hampshire. Later, she participates in a town hall at 12:30 p.m. in Durham, New Hampshire.
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., speaks at the HLTH Conference at 9:50 a.m. in Las Vegas.
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., appears on at 11 a.m. on ABC.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden hosts a town hall at 11:15 a.m. (CDT) in Maquoketa, Iowa. Later, he attends a community event at 6:30 p.m. in Dubuque, Iowa.
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg files in the “New Hampshire First-In-The-Nation Primary” at 11:30 a.m. in Concord, New Hampshire. Later, he participates in a walking tour at 4 p.m. in Milford, New Hampshire. He then leads a town hall at 5:30 p.m. in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, participates in a conversation on gun violence prevention at 5 p.m. in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., attends the “Newton House Party” at 5:40 p.m. in Newton, Iowa.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., hosts a rally at 6:30 p.m. in Keene, New Hampshire.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appears on at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central.
  • Jill Biden attends a canvass launch at 4 p.m. in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
  • Sourse: abcnews.go.com

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