The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Amazon picks NYC, Northern Virginia for new offices | CNN suing Trump over Acosta press pass | Pelosi machine lobbies for Speakership

The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Amazon picks NYC, Northern Virginia for new offices | CNN suing Trump over Acosta press pass | Pelosi machine lobbies for Speakership
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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.


The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Amazon picks NYC, Northern Virginia for new offices | CNN suing Trump over Acosta press pass | Pelosi machine lobbies for Speakership | Sinema wins Arizona Senate race for Dems | Mueller reportedly planning new indictments



Amazon is officially coming to Washington. Well, Crystal City at least. The online retail behemoth said Tuesday it will split its HQ2 facilities between the Washington suburbs and Queens, N.Y., bringing 25,000 jobs to each region – and collecting nearly $2 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies in the process.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is thrilled. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) … is not. She blasted officials for giving the company hundreds of millions in tax breaks and incentives.


It's Tuesday. I'm Reid Wilson sitting in for Cate Martel today with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to, @CateMartel and on Facebook.


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Dems win Arizona Senate seat

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has formally defeated Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyOvernight Health Care: Officials confirm 34 total coronavirus cases in US | ObamaCare favorability hits highest level in poll | McSally unveils bill to lower drug prices amid tough campaign McSally unveils bill to lower drug prices amid tough campaign Trump seeks to boost vulnerable GOP senator with Colorado rally MORE (R) in a hard-fought contest to replace outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad McSally launches 2020 campaign Sinema will vote to convict Trump MORE (R). Sinema's lead grew in Monday's vote tally to 38,197 votes, or about 1.7 percentage points – a margin McSally can't overcome given the remaining ballots to be tallied.

McSally conceded the race in a video posted to Twitter.

The results mean Republicans have netted just one U.S. Senate seat this year, despite a favorable map that gave them plenty of opportunities in red states where Senate Democrats were running for re-election. That number could grow to two if Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) holds his narrow lead over Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world Bottom Line MORE (D). But, real talk, if you'd told any Republican strategist two years ago that they would net just two seats this year, they'd have been disappointed.


Pelosi getting her ducks in a row

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter split on Bloomberg video | Sanders briefed on Russian efforts to help campaign | Barr to meet with Republicans ahead of surveillance fight Pelosi blasts Trump's 'dangerous' pick for intelligence chief MORE (D-Calif.) is "working the phones non-stop," a senior Dem aide tells The Hill, in an effort to secure the votes she needs to win the speakership once again. Her pitch this time is simple: No one is more experienced to protect Obama-era victories like the Affordable Care Act, and there needs to be a woman at the leadership table to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE.

Pelosi is targeting former critics like Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Albio SiresAlbio B. SiresLawmakers raise concerns over Russia's growing influence in Venezuela Lawmakers request watchdog probe of Trump admin's ending of temporary protected status House passes resolution disapproving of Russia being included in future G7 summits MORE (D-N.J.), both of whom now say they will back her for another term. Her biggest advantage: The naysayers have no clear consensus pick to challenge the Democratic leader.

More on the fierce lobbying efforts from The Hill's House leadership team here.


CNN sues the White House

CNN is suing the White House, demanding that its chief correspondent Jim Acosta be given his credentials back. Acosta's hard pass was yanked last week after he questioned President Trump and initially refused to give a microphone back to a White House intern.

In the lawsuit, CNN accuses Trump and other administration officials of violating Acosta's First and Fifth Amendment rights of free speech and due process, respectively, and asks a federal court in Washington to grant the "immediate restoration of Acosta's press credentials."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said CNN's suit was nothing more than "grandstanding." Tell that to CNN's lawyer, Republican Ted Olson.


More Mueller indictments ahead?

Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE may be preparing new indictments as soon as today, CBS News reported early Tuesday. The special counsel has been quiet in the weeks leading up to the midterms – and his silence has been deafening – but that will end soon, CBS's sources said.

Conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi said yesterday he believes he will be indicted.



I hope he has new shoes and a new lunchbox:

Via CNN's Elizabeth Landers, "New member alert! Just ran into [Sen.-elect Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPaul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney's impeachment vote Progressives hope Nevada offers roadmap for pro-union 2020 victory Texas woman sentenced for illegal voting faces deportation after parole MORE (R-Utah)] walking by himself behind the Library of Congress- he seemed excited about orientation and says he has to figure out where he's going to live here in DC."



Released today -- Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaBudowsky: Bloomberg-Obama or Klobuchar-Kennedy? The Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Obamas share messages wishing each other happy Valentine's Day MORE tells all:

Former first lady Michelle Obama's memoir is on sale today. NPR has exclusive audio of Obama reading parts of her memoir. Listen:

The book on Amazon:

Excerpts published in The Washington Post:


Getting traction -- how 7-Eleven is using ICE to go after some of its franchisees:

Via Bloomberg's Lauren Etter and Michael Smith, 7-Eleven has been calling U.S. immigration authorities on franchisees that are underperforming or causing issues for corporate.

Excerpt: "The corporate investigators have used tactics including tailing franchisees in unmarked vehicles, planting hidden cameras and listening devices, and deploying a surveillance van disguised as a plumber's truck."

Wow -- the part that's getting traction: "The company has also given the names of franchisees to the government, which in some cases has led immigration authorities to inspect their stores, according to three officials with Homeland Security Investigations, which like ICE is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security."





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Oh hello there, Michael Cohen:


Wow, this is a powerful gesture:

Read the letter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The Los Angeles Times's Matt Pearce then added: "And our colleagues at the San Diego Union-Tribune bought us donuts this morning!" Photo:



The House and Senate return today. Leadership fights are on the docket, and don't miss our Hill team's preview of the lame duck ahead.

President Trump is at the White House and Vice President Pence is in Japan.

Starting today: New lawmaker orientation begins in Washington, D.C.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump participates in the Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

2 p.m. EST: The House meets -- bring on the lame duck!

3 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.

3:45 p.m. EST: Former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonEx-CIA chief calls Trump intel shakeup a 'virtual decapitation' of the intelligence community Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' Enlightening the pardon power MORE and George W. Bush speak at the Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, FlaDetails:

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes.

6:30 p.m. EST: Votes postponed in the House.

7:30 p.m. EST: Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyKennedy, Markey neck-and-neck in Massachusetts primary: poll Budowsky: Bloomberg-Obama or Klobuchar-Kennedy? Kennedy, Markey spar over experience in first Senate primary debate MORE (D-Mass.) speaks at Georgetown University. Details:

Today: The 3rd anniversary of the Paris terrorist attacks. A look back:

3 p.m. EST Thursday: The deadline for machine recounts in the Florida elections.



8 p.m. EST Thursday: Oprah Winfrey's interview with former first lady Michelle Obama airs on OWN.



Today is National Indian Pudding Day. It's also World Kindness Day.


And because you made it to the end, here's a deer who enjoys the mornings more than any human I know: