By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. Report fuels impeachment talk

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: Washington and cable news are agog, abuzz and aflutter over a Buzzfeed report that President Trumpinstructed attorney/fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: “The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress  through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.”

Why is this explosive?  In 1974, President Nixon's first article of impeachment was on an obstruction of justice charge  in the U.S. House: “Approving, condoning, acquiescing in, and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States.” In 1998, the first article of impeachment against President Clinton included “efforts to influence the testimony of witnesses and to impede the discovery of evidence.” And on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobachar asked attorney general nominee William Barr this: “In your memo … you wrote on page 1 that a president persuading a person to commit perjury would be obstruction. Is that right?" Barr responded, "Yes … Any person who persuades another …" So the impeachment buzz appears to be growing.

2. Pence offended by criticism of wife, school

Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back on criticism of Second Lady Karen Pence teaching at a Virginia Christian school that disavows gay students and parents. “My wife and I have been in the public eye for quite a while, we're used to the criticism,” Pence said in an interview with EWTN, a Catholic cable channel. "To see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us. We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education, and frankly religious education broadly defined. We'll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”

3. Buttigieg and Pence

The South Bend Tribune's  Jeff Parrott previews Mayor Pete Buttigieg's book "The Shortest Way Home" which will debut on Feb. 11. He spotlights the gay mayor's relationship with then-Gov. Mike Pence. Having known Pence as a “conservative warrior” when he served in Congress, Buttigieg writes that Pence was “affable, even gentle”  when they first met at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2011. Pence later invited him to his inauguration as governor, where the two agreed they were eager to work together. Buttigieg, in turn, invited Pence to come to town anytime, and Pence took him up on the offer, taking a photo with him on Dyngus Day in 2013. “His office was always open to me, and he often appeared in our area for factory tours, ribbon cuttings, and other events, always with something good to say about our city,” Buttigieg writes. But Pence, unlike his Republican predecessor Mitch Daniels and successor Eric Holcomb, was “fixated on social issues,” culminating in the RFRA episode. Buttigieg writes that the controversy “crippled” Pence’s reputation as governor but probably helped prompt Donald Trump to pick him as his running mate.

4. Brooks to recruit GOP women

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks will head up House Republican recruitment, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced Thursday. She is one of only 13 female House Republicans (U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski gives the state two in that category). She will be charged with recruiting GOP candidates for the 2020 election cycle. At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016, Brooks made a video appeal for more female nominees. The irony there is that she spent much of her time in Cleveland trying to convince the 22-member Republican Central Committee (half female) to back her candidacy for the gubernatorial nomination vacated by vice president nominee Mike Pence. She ended up finishing second to Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, but ahead of U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita. Brooks missed out on the chance of becoming the first female Indiana governor by a mere vote.

5. Hoosier votes on oligarch sanctions

Some 136 Republicans joined House Democrats opposing a Treasury plan to relieve sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a powerful ally of Russian President Putin who had business ties to disgraced Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Supporting the measure were Hoosier U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski, Jim Banks, Jim Baird, Susan Brooks and Larry Buchson. In a similar vote in the Senate on Wednesday, 11 Republicans sided with Democrats, but voting against were U.S. Sens. Todd Young and Mike Braun.

Have a great weekend, folks. This is the time of year we simply have to endure. It's The Atomic!