To view past editions of The Hill’s 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw
To receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN
–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.
The Hill’s 12:30 Report: House Judiciary opens impeachment hearing | Dem witness says Trump actions amount to impeachable offenses | GOP witness says impeachment would be ‘dangerous precedent’ | GOP, Trump push back on hearing | Trump asks if Dems ‘love our country’ | Trump calls Trudeau ‘two-faced,’ cuts NATO trip short | New apple stays fresh for a year | National Cookie Day deals
NEWS THIS MORNING
Y’all ready for this?:
The impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop Democrat: ‘Obstruction of justice’ is ‘too clear not to include’ in impeachment probe Former US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Schiff says investigators seeking to identify who Giuliani spoke to on unlisted ‘-1’ number MORE‘s dealings with Ukraine has shifted to the House Judiciary Committee this morning to determine whether Trump’s actions warrant his removal from office.
Who is testifying today: Four legal experts. “Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley.” https://nbcnews.to/2YfwNow
Hearing livestream: https://cs.pn/2rd5Bux
Live blog with hearing highlights: http://bit.ly/2LhTqU7
NEWS FROM THE HEARING:
One witness says Trump’s actions amount to ‘high crimes and misdemeanors:’ Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman said in his opening statement: “According to the testimony presented to the House, the solicitation sought to gain an advantage that was personal to the president. This constitutes a corrupt abuse of the power of the presidency. It embodies the framers’ central worry that a sitting president would ‘spare no efforts or means whatever to get himself reelected.'”
Another witness tried to lighten the mood: “Some [Jonathan Turley] humor: ‘I get it. You are mad. The President is mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog is mad . . . and Luna is a golden doodle and they are never mad.'” http://bit.ly/2RhrpQa
The Democratic counsel outlined three possible articles of impeachment: http://bit.ly/2YlbVfM
And another witness discussed whether Trump’s actions amount to bribery: “If you conclude that he asked for the investigation of Vice President Biden and his son for political reasons, that is to aid his reelection, then yes, you have bribery here,” Law professor Pamela Karlan testified.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:
As always — So. Many. Cameras.: Here’s a photo of the four witnesses seated before the hearing. http://bit.ly/2Ln0ZZQ
Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsHouse Republicans on Judiciary strategize ahead of Wednesday’s impeachment hearing The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump, Macron clash at NATO summit Gaetz: ‘Governor Kemp announces the funeral time & location for his political career’ MORE (R-Ga.) is not impressed: Watch the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member’s reaction to the chairman’s opening statement. Video — lol, that reaction!: http://bit.ly/385Ixi4
Check out the impeachment-related attire some people wore: http://bit.ly/2Lnj0XX
A good reason to hold onto old documents!:
Meanwhile, Vice President Pence was on Capitol Hill this morning: Here’s a photo of Pence walking down the stairs: http://bit.ly/389SI5g
REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP:
During a NATO meeting in London, President Trump questioned whether Democrats love the United States amid the impeachment hearing. http://bit.ly/34PHwsl
In Trump’s words: “These people, you almost question whether or not they love our country and that’s a very, very serious thing: Do they, in fact, love our country?”
Trump also added: “To do it on a day like this where we’re in London with some of the most powerful countries in the world having a very important NATO meeting, and it just happened to be scheduled … on this day, it’s really, honestly it’s a disgrace.”
The House Intelligence Committee released a scathing, 300-page report yesterday on Trump’s actions. Read the 300-page report: http://bit.ly/35WIaUW
It’s Wednesday. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to firstname.lastname@example.org — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn
THE BIG PICTURE ON IMPEACHMENT
Can you hear it? The sound of Democrats revving their engines?:
Via The Hill’s Scott Wong, House Democrats are hitting the gas on the impeachment effort against President Trump in his dealings with Ukraine. http://bit.ly/33OikRF
Some Democrats think Congress needs to move faster: Some think the Judiciary Committee hearings, which are kicking off today, are not even necessary.
For example — from Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaGeorge Soros, Charles Koch foundations help launch pro-peace think tank Democratic congressman calls for study of effects of sex-trafficking law Democrats pledge sharp turn in US ties with Saudi Arabia MORE (D-Calif.): “The Intelligence Committee report outlines in detail how this president has abused his office. The Judiciary Committee should simply accept the report’s findings and move to draft articles of impeachment. We don’t need more hearings; we need a vote. It’s time to move with speed and have a vote on the House floor on impeachment.”
Where Pelosi stands: “Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTop Democrat: ‘Obstruction of justice’ is ‘too clear not to include’ in impeachment probe Powerful House panel to hold Medicare for All hearing next week Trump targets drug protections to save trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) has said she doesn’t know if the impeachment process will wrap up by the end of the year, but her front-liners — particularly those centrist Democrats who won Trump districts in the 2018 midterms — want leadership to plow ahead and hold a vote on articles of impeachment before Christmas.”
What to expect in this next stage: http://bit.ly/33OikRF
TALK OF THE MORNING
You two-faced, lousy, no good … friend. He’s my friend!:
President Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauJustin Pierre James TrudeauTrump: I think about climate change ‘all the time’ The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump, Macron clash at NATO summit Trump says Canada ‘slightly delinquent’ at NATO meeting MORE “two-faced” this morning after a viral clip showed Trudeau gossiping about the president’s behavior at the NATO summit in London.
In Trump’s words: “Well, he’s two-faced.” Trump then paused and added: “And honestly with Trudeau, he’s a nice guy. I find him to be a very nice guy. But you know, the truth is that I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent and I guess he’s not very happy about that.”
Watch Trump’s full comments on Trudeau: http://bit.ly/34OQ4jf
What sparked this — watch the clip of world leaders gossiping apparently about Trump: http://bit.ly/2sIw4At
^ And then Trump canceled his press conference and left London early:
This morning, President Trump canceled his planned press conference to conclude the NATO summit and instead headed back to Washington, D.C. http://bit.ly/34QgMrE
Trump told reporters: “We’ll go directly back. I think we’ve done plenty of press conferences — unless you’re demanding a press conference, we’ll do one — but I think we’ve had plenty of questions.”
He later tweeted: “Great progress has been made by NATO over the last three years. Countries other than the U.S. have agreed to pay 130 Billion Dollars more per year, and by 2024, that number will be 400 Billion Dollars. NATO will be richer and stronger than ever before … Just finished meetings with Turkey and Germany. Heading to a meeting now with those countries that have met their 2% GOALS, followed by meetings with Denmark and Italy … When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington. We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!” See his posts on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2rZF7wr
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Another one bites the dust:
Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisYang campaign contacts FBI over death threats in New Hampshire Warren hits Bloomberg, Steyer: They have ‘been allowed to buy their way’ into 2020 race Harris to Trump: ‘I’ll see you at your trial’ MORE (D-Calif.) dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination yesterday. http://bit.ly/33P5pyS
Why she dropped out: She told her supporters in an email that she did not have the funds to continue a strong campaign.
^ In her words: “I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life. My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue. I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign. And as the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
Why her campaign could have been successful: “Harris entered the race as a front-running candidate, gifted with a compelling backstory, a commanding stage presence and a donor base in the largest and wealthiest state in the nation, launching her campaign with a show-of-force rally that drew tens of thousands to her hometown of Oakland.”
Ouch from Trump — and ouch from Harris:
INTERESTING READ — ‘WHERE KAMALA HARRIS WENT WRONG’:
Via The New York Times’s David Leonhardt: https://nyti.ms/2YhXOaX
Dear readers, If anyone knows what this alleged ‘New Hampshire tradition’ is, please let me know…
Signed, a confused New Hampshire native:
Presidential candidate Andrew YangAndrew YangYang campaign contacts FBI over death threats in New Hampshire Yang celebrates opening of new campaign office with shots of whipped cream 2020 Democrats thank Harris for friendship, candidacy after senator drops out MORE gave out shots of whipped cream yesterday during the opening of his newest New Hampshire field office.
Yang told volunteers while distributing the whipped cream: “New Hampshire traditions. We’re just warming up for New Year’s Eve.”
Watch Yang give out whipped cream shots — campaigns are weird: Here’s the video: http://bit.ly/2r4iQ0J
Well look at that!:
The House and Senate are in. President Trump is on his way back to Washington from London. Vice President Pence is in Michigan this afternoon.
7:30 a.m. EST: President Trump met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
9 a.m. EST: President Trump met with the prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen.
9 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence participated in a House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol.
9:45 a.m. EST: President Trump met with the prime minister of Italy.
10:55 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Kalamazoo, Mich.
12:05 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump, Macron clash at NATO summit White House rips media’s ‘annual holiday tradition’ of criticizing Melania Trump Ceremonies for National Christmas Tree, Capitol Christmas tree coming this week MORE left London and fly back to Washington.
1:10 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at a meeting of faith leaders.
5 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at a Trump reelection campaign rally in Holland, Mich.
8:40 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at the White House.
9 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington.
WHAT TO WATCH
10 a.m. EST: The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the framework for impeachment. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2ONTAEL
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…
Today is National Cookie Day! Here’s a list of cookie deals today to celebrate: https://on.today.com/33LIcxC
A new apple variety that won’t go bad for an entire year (?!):
Researchers at Washington State University have developed a new apple, the “Cosmic Crisp,” that supposedly will stay fresh in a refrigerator for up to a year. The apple is now going on sale after 20 years of development. Photos and details: http://bit.ly/361TI9p
And because you made it this far, here are cats who were out too late last night: http://bit.ly/2YhSxAa