Monday's Mini-Report, 2.3.20

Today's edition of quick hits:

* This was quite a speech: "Saying Donald Trump has 'betrayed our national security' and will do so again, Rep. Adam Schiff used his closing arguments in the president's impeachment trial on Monday to urge the Senate to take a stand against 'a man without character.'"

* It's suddenly more difficult to dismiss this idea out of hand: "Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), a moderate who is friendly with the White House, on Monday asked his colleagues to consider censuring President Trump as it concludes the Senate impeachment trial."

* I wonder if a Democratic administration might try to bring her back: "The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who accused the Trump administration of a 'smear' campaign against her, has retired from the foreign service, NPR has learned."

* An unsettling sight: "Gun owners from around Kentucky showed up armed at the state's Capitol building in Frankfort on Friday, rallying for gun rights and protesting a proposed 'red flag' law and other potential gun limits in the state."

* A good op-ed from Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) on the White House's newly expanded travel ban: "President Trump and his administration often justify their national security policies by posing a false choice to the American people: that we can either keep America safe or preserve our fundamental values."

* During his trip to Kazakhstan yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked about the kind of message his one-way feud against NPR sends. The Kansas Republican replied that "it's a perfect message about press freedoms."

Hmm: "Veterans Affairs deputy secretary James Byrne was fired Monday morning, three Trump administration officials tell Axios. The White House confirmed that Byrne is no longer with the administration."

* Thomas was speaking to a Federalist Society event at the time: "Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas questioned a proposed ethics rule that would discourage federal judges from belonging to the conservative Federalist Society and its liberal counterpart, the American Constitution Society. Justice Thomas has long participated in events sponsored by the Federalist Society, which has groomed many of President Trump's judicial nominees."

See you tomorrow.