The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight

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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: Fallout from end of Mueller probe | Trump, Dems turn to next stage in fight | Trump offers praise for Mueller | White House takes victory lap | Giuliani says probe 'should have never happened' | Dems seize on obstruction questions | Impeachment talk takes a blow | Netanyahu in Washington | Capitals visiting White House | Gymnast drops Michael Jackson music | US Marshals selling original Fyre Festival merchandise



What a day to be alive:

Via The New York Times's Peter Baker, "For President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE, it may have been the best day of his tenure so far. The darkest, most ominous cloud hanging over his presidency was all but lifted on Sunday with the release of the special counsel's conclusions, which undercut the threat of impeachment and provided him with a powerful boost for the final 22 months of his term."

Keep in mind: No one outside the Justice Department has read the findings by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE

But we do know the conclusions of the report: Read the 4-page letter from Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrSupreme Court denies Trump request to immediately resume federal executions Hillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Biden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' MORE detailing the findings:



Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. How so -- details:



  1. Big win for Trump -- The outcome could not have gone better for the president.
  2. Democrats face uphill battle -- It seems that voters who don't have strong partisan ties will see this as the final word. 
  3. Questions remain on obstruction -- Uncertainty remains over what the special counsel found on obstruction of justice and how the attorney general determined that the findings did not merit pursuing.
  4. The chances of impeachment fall -- Trump critics will have a tough time showing that the Barr letter reached the impeachment threshold set by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Overnight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills MORE (D-Calif.).
  5. Egg on the face of talking heads -- Anti-Trump figures in the media tried to save face, but it was obvious.

Context and details for each:



  1. Why didn't Mueller make a judgment on obstruction of justice?
  2. What investigations did he refer to other prosecutors?
  3. What does the report actually say? -- We only know about the 4-page letter. 

Context and details for each:



The White House is doing a media blitz as it takes a victory lap, celebrating the findings of the probe.



Attorney General William Barr's decision to conclude that President Trump did not obstruct justice. Why: Special counsel Robert Mueller did not make a conclusion but presented his findings. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE made the determination.



President Trump just told reporters that special counsel Robert Mueller acted honorably, offering rare praise for the man who led the Russia investigation after he ended it without accusing Trump of colluding with Russia.



The White House on releasing the full Mueller report: Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump doesn't have "any problem" with special counsel Robert Mueller's full Russia report being released. Watch her reasoning:

^But Trump is leaving that decision to William Barr: "I think the president is doing exactly what he should, and that's leaving that decision into the hands of the attorney general, and we'll see what decision he makes on that front," Sanders said on NBC's "Today."

From Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' MORE (R-S.C.): During a press conference late this morning, Graham said he hopes Attorney General William Barr will testify. In Graham's words: "What's next I hope is that he'll come to the committee, release as much as possible of the Mueller report," Graham told reporters.

From President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani: "It never should have happened in the first place." Watch:

A freshman Democrat insists there is more evidence: Rep. Katie HillKatherine (Katie) Lauren HillYoung Turks founder: Past remarks on women were attempt 'to be a stupid, politically incorrect Republican' Feinstein endorses Christy Smith for Katie Hill's former House seat Democrat seeking Katie Hill's former seat nabs endorsement from firefighters association MORE (D-Calif.), a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told CNN: "We have the evidence over the last two years that the Mueller investigation was not covering that is highly, highly suspicious." Watch:

Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayOvernight Health Care: House to vote next week on drug prices bill | Conway says Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping | US spent trillion on hospitals in 2018 White House adopts confident tone after Pelosi signals go on impeachment Conway: Trump trying to find 'balance' on youth vaping issue MORE thinks Schiff should resign: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump denies report that he still uses personal cell phone for calls Schiff asks Pence to declassify more material from official's testimony Schiff: Impeachment testimony shows Trump 'doesn't give a shit' about what's good for the country MORE (D-Calif.) to resign. In her words: "Adam Schiff should resign. He has no right as somebody who has been peddling a lie day after day after day unchallenged. Unchallenged and not under oath. Somebody should have put him under oath and said you have evidence, where is it?"


It's Monday. 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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The Supreme Court says 'naaaahhh':

Via The Hill's Lydia Wheeler, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a mystery company over a grand jury subpoena that is thought to be tied to the special counsel investigation.

Why?: There was no explanation. It takes four justices to agree to hear a case.

Back story: "The Supreme Court in January refused to block the contempt order, which forced the company to comply with the subpoena." 


Boeing's 737 Max software update:

Via The New York Times's David Gelles, over the weekend, pilots received training for a software updates to the Boeing 737 Max airline system. Details:



The Mueller report, duh:

Via The Hill's Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke, Attorney General William Barr started sharing special counsel report information with lawmakers on Sunday. Republicans are claiming victory, and Democrats signaled they will follow up with investigations on Capitol Hill.

Tidbit from Dems: "Roughly 120 Democrats, including Pelosi, held a conference call over the weekend, where they reiterated their demand that the report be released and said they would reject classified briefings. Though classified briefings are a regular occurrence on Capitol Hill, lawmakers and the administration are likely to be locked in tense negotiations over how much of Mueller's report will be disclosed."



Veto override: House Democrats will try to override President Trump's veto of a resolution to block his national emergency declaration to build a border wall. Yeah, but: Democrats likely don't have the votes. 

Transgender troop ban: "The House will also vote on a resolution expressing opposition to the administration's policy banning most transgender people from serving in the military."

Green New Deal: "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE (R-Ky.) is set to force a vote on the progressive Green New Deal this week as Republicans hunt for 2020 fodder." Why: It won't get enough votes to pass and Republicans can use this as an example of Democrats shifting even further to the left. How to expect this vote to pan out: 

Nominations: "The Senate is expected to vote on Bridget Bade's nomination to be an appeals judge on the 9th Circuit."

Paycheck fairness: The House is set to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act on Wednesday. "The legislation includes provisions that would prevent employers from retaliating against employees for discussing salaries, require companies to prove there is legitimate reasoning for pay discrepancies and bar employers from screening potential employees based on salary history. It would also create a negotiation training program for women."

Disaster aid: "Senators are working to clinch a deal on disaster aid funding for a recent spate of storms, hurricanes and wildfires." 

Context and details for each:



What a world we live in...:

Back story -- politics is weird: "A parody account pretending to be an imaginary cow owned by Representative Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesTrump denies report that he still uses personal cell phone for calls The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment Conservative Dan Bongino launches alternative to the Drudge Report MORE, the California Republican, is more popular on Twitter than the congressman, a day after he sued the account (and Twitter) for $250 million." Andy Lassner, the executive producer of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," helped the cow get more Twitter followers.


Oh, hello there, James ComeyJames Brien ComeySaagar Enjeti: Hillary Clinton still blames her failures on Bernie Sanders The shifting impeachment positions of Jonathan Turley Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war MORE:



The House and Senate meet this afternoon. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

11:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

12:20 p.m. EDT: President Trump and Vice President Pence hold an expanded bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

2 p.m. EDT: The House meets. The House's full schedule today:

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump takes a photo with the 2018 Stanley Cup champions, the Washington Capitals.

3 p.m. EDT: The Senate meets. The Senate's full schedule today:

5:30 p.m. EDT: The Senate votes to invoke cloture on Bridget S. Bade's nomination to be United States Circuit Judge for the 9th Circuit. 

6:30 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House.



10 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington, D.C. Livestream:

11 a.m. EDT: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) held a press conference on the special counsel conclusions. Livestream: 



Today is National Lobster Newburg Day.


Katelyn Ohashi is fierce:

UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi removed Michael Jackson's music from her floor routine -- and still scored a perfect 10 over the weekend. Watch -- wow:


Instead of selling merch, why don't they host an ~actual~ Fyre Festival to be ironic?:

Via Vice, the U.S. Marshal's Service is selling original Fyre Festival merchandise to pay back Billy McFarland's $26 million debt. Details:


And to get you through your Monday afternoon, here's a puppy getting its first-ever haircut: