The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison

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--> 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: Manafort sentences total 7.5 years | Trump 'appreciates' Pelosi impeachment comments | Why GOP is seizing on her remarks | Biz groups back LGBTQ rights bill | Crunch time for Republicans on border emergency | Pelosi won't take up bill reining in national emergencies | Pilots raised concerns about Boeing jets | Steak 'n Shake coming to Capitol Hill | How Trump won a golf tourney without competing



Sentencing, round two: ding, ding:


President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet MORE’s former campaign chair Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Treasury adviser pleads guilty to making unauthorized disclosures in case involving Manafort DOJ argues Democrats no longer need Mueller documents after impeachment vote MORE was just sentenced to an additional 43 months in prison for his crimes connected to the special counsel investigation.

His total prison time: 7 1/2 years

Keep in mind: Manafort was also sentenced to 47 months in prison in an earlier sentence for bank and tax fraud crimes.



He apologized: "In my previous allocation [sic] I told Judge Ellis I was ashamed for my conduct...I want to say to you now that I am sorry for what I have done and for all the activities that have gotten me here today."

On his future: "I say to you in the future that my behavior will be very different. I have already begun to change."

On his wife — Manafort pleaded with the judge: “He pleaded with [Judge Amy Berman Jackson] to consider his wife when deciding his sentence, noting that he is her primary caretaker and that separating them would adversely impact their life. ‘She needs me and I need her.’”

About Manafort’s remarks: Manafort read from a written statement.


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 -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Add 'em:

44 business groups signed a letter supporting a new bill to expand Civil Rights Act of 1964 protections to explicitly include LGBTQ individuals.

A few of the business groups on board: The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Medical Association. 

When the bill will be introduced: Later today.

Chances of this bill passing: The bill should pass the House, but it faces hurdles in the Republican-controlled Senate. 

From NAM: "The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee's abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor," Patrick Hedren, vice president for labor, legal and regulatory policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, told The Hill. 

Read the letter:



At least five pilots had concerns about the Max 8:

Pilots filed at least five anonymous complaints about the Boeing 737 Max 8 in recent months.

Where the complaints were filed: In a federal database on aviation incidents.

Examples of the issues pilots cited: Problems with the autopilot system and that the planes would abruptly nose down. 

When those cited incidents happened: October and November. 


How Boeing's stock is doing:

Via Barron's, Boeing stock has dropped nearly $29 billion since the Ethiopian Airlines crash. What that means:



Happening Thursday -- Senate Republicans avoid eye contact with Trump:

Senate Republicans have one day to find a way to avert vote that will chastise President Trump's national emergency declaration to build a border wall.

When the Senate votes on the resolution, assuming nothing changes: Thursday.

How many votes do Democrats need to pass their resolution: Four Republican votes, which they already have. Plus: A dozen Republican senators are publicly on the fence.

I.e.: The White House has its work cut out.

What the GOP is up to: "Republicans are scrambling to iron out their strategy, hunting for an eleventh-hour escape hatch as they near a showdown with Trump, who has threatened to issue his first veto if the resolution of disapproval reaches his desk."


"Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan James Taylor to perform at awards ceremony for Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week Trump offers two-state peace plan for Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid skepticism MORE (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the House would not take up proposed Senate legislation to rein in national emergency powers, a bill put forward as part of an effort to give Republicans cover to side with President Trump on the border wall."

In Pelosi's words: "Republican Senators are proposing new legislation to allow the President to violate the Constitution just this once in order to give themselves cover," Pelosi said in a statement. "The House will not take up this legislation to give President Trump a pass."


How do Americans feel about the national emergency?:

Fifty-two percent of voters oppose President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a border wall, according to a new Politico–Morning Consult poll. Thirty-eight percent of those polled support the measure.

For context: The percentage of voters who oppose the declaration increased by 1 point in the past month. 

Looking at party lines: "Opinions of the emergency declaration largely fall along party lines: only 10 percent of Democratic voters support it, while 83 percent oppose it. The numbers are flipped for Republicans, with 80 percent supporting the declaration and only 13 percent opposing it. Independents are against the declaration by a nearly 2 to 1 ratio: however 30 percent support it, and 57 percent oppose it." 

The full poll:


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump allies throw jabs at Bolton over book's claims GOP confident of win on witnesses Collins Senate bid threatens to spark GOP rift in Georgia MORE (R-Ky.) said he is open to changing the president's national emergency powers in the future. "We're looking at some ways to revisit the law. There's a lot of discomfort with the law. ... Was it too broad back in the '70s when it was passed? So yeah, we're discussing altering that."


Tidbit — Senate Democrats met with Hispanic reporters:

From The Hill’s Rafael Bernal, who was in the room: “Senate Democrats held a yearly roundtable with Hispanic reporters Wednesday. They discussed immigration, the budget, Trump's emergency declaration, Venezuela and Puerto Rico with a dozen reporters from various English and Spanish-language outlets.” 

Which senators attended: Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet Senate Democrats' super PAC raised million in 2019 As the mental health crisis grows, Puerto Ricans need long-term care MORE (N.Y.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMedia's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle Dem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders opens up 15-point lead in New Hampshire: Poll Poll: 56 percent of Democrats say billionaire politicians more likely to cater to special interests Support for Biden, Sanders ticks up nationally: poll MORE (Minn.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision White House Correspondents' Association blasts State for 'punitive action' against NPR Senate Democrat demands State Department reinstate NPR reporter on Pompeo trip MORE (Va.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations Advocates call for ObamaCare open enrollment extension after website glitches The US needs to lead again on disability rights MORE (Pa.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats offer mixed reactions to Trump's Mideast peace plan Trump offers two-state peace plan for Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid skepticism The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump lawyers to offer closing arguments on day 7 MORE (Md.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoOvernight Defense: Veterans group seeks Trump apology for comments on brain injuries | Pentagon says dozens of troops suffered traumatic injuries after attack | Trump unveils Space Force logo Senators push Pentagon on Syria strategy after withdrawal uproar, Soleimani strike Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations MORE (Nev.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyTrump allies throw jabs at Bolton over book's claims White House Correspondents' Association blasts State for 'punitive action' against NPR Senate Democrat demands State Department reinstate NPR reporter on Pompeo trip MORE (Mass.), Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenSenate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating Hillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senators introduce bill to create 'parity' among broadband programs MORE (Nev.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinIllinois senators meet with Amtrak CEO over ,000 price tag for wheelchair users Durbin pushes back on Dershowitz claims: 'Give me a break professor' Senators ready for question time in impeachment trial MORE (Ill.), Tina SmithTina Flint SmithBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Senators ask FDA to crack down on non-dairy milks, cheeses MORE (Minn.) and Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallIt is time for companies and governments to holistically tackle single-use plastics Citizens United decision weathers 10 years of controversy Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall MORE (N.M.)

Key moment — from Klobuchar: Klobuchar said she hoped the Senate will pass the Dream and Promise Act, unlike immigration reform in 2013, which "somehow got stuck next to the frozen peas in Congressman Ryan's freezer."

Key moment — from Schumer: Schumer said the White House budget proposal "is just despicable."


I'm just excited to smell burgers in Rayburn, tbh:

Via Roll Call's Katherine Tully-McManus, restaurant chain Steak 'n Shake will open on the House side of the Capitol later this year. Where: In Rayburn.




This morning, President Trump praised Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for setting a high bar for impeachment.

Trump tweeted: "I greatly appreciate Nancy Pelosi's statement against impeachment, but everyone must remember the minor fact that I never did anything wrong, the Economy and Unemployment are the best ever, Military and Vets are great -- and many other successes! How do you impeach a man who is considered by many to be the President with the most successful first two years in history, especially when he has done nothing wrong and impeachment is for 'high crimes and misdemeanors'?"


In an interview with The Washington Post's Joe Heim, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was unwilling to move on impeachment without more bipartisan support.

In Pelosi's words: "Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it."




This cake is the definition of 'bells and whistles': 



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence was in Harpers Ferry, W.Va., this morning and is returning to D.C. this afternoon for a meeting with Senate Republicans.

10:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence visited the U.S. Customs and Border Protecting advanced training facility in Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

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

Noon: The Senate votes on the confirmation of Neomi J. Rao to be United States Circuit judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Senate's full schedule today:

1:30 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence meet with Senate Republicans to discuss trade.

5 p.m. EDT: President Trump takes a photo with the 2019 spring White House internship class.

Today–Sunday: South by Southwest 2019. The schedule and lineup:



1:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump receives a briefing on drug trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico border. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST: Office of Management and Budget acting Director Russell Vought testifies on President Trump's 2020 budget request. Livestream:



Today is National Coconut Torte Day.


How Trump won the Trump International Golf Club championship without even competing in it:

Via, President Trump ran into the actual winner of the 2018 golf championship, challenged him to a nine-hole challenge, won and became a co-champion. The full story and photo of Trump's plaque:


And because you made it this far on a Wednesday, here's a polar bear struggling to make it through the week: