The Hill's 12:30 Report: Acosta resigns amid controversy over Epstein plea deal

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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: Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaFlorida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena MORE out as Labor chief | Trump offers praise, calling Acosta 'a very good man' | Mueller's testimony likely delayed one week | Latest on Dem infighting | Black Caucus members rip group aligned with Ocasio-Cortez | Trump calls Ocasio-Cortez 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi | Emotional testimony at hearing on family separations | Starbucks stops selling newspapers | National French Fry Day deals tomorrow

   

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Acosta is out:

Embattled Labor Secretary Alexander AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaFlorida sheriff ends work release program criticized over Jeffery Epstein The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena MORE announced this morning that he is resigning from his post amid backlash about his involvement in negotiating a secret plea deal with financier Jeffrey Epstein who was accused of sexually abusing minor girls. http://bit.ly/2JEamTb

Why he resigned: "I did not think it was right and fair for this administration Labor department to have Epstein as the focus rather than the incredible economy," Acosta said. 

Read his resignation letter: http://bit.ly/2Ll7spp

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE told reporters: "This was him not me, because I'm with him ... I hate to see this happen." Trump also said: "He did an unbelievable job as secretary of Labor" and called Acosta a "very good man." 

Who will take over: Deputy Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella will take over as acting labor secretary. 

Was his resignation expected?: Well, Acosta's support on Capitol Hill eroded this week when new sex trafficking charges were filed against Jeffrey Epstein and details emerged about Acosta's 2008 plea deal with Epstein while Acosta served as U.S. attorney in Miami. 

Timing: Two days ago, Acosta held a nearly hourlong press conference to defend his actions as U.S. attorney in Miami. http://bit.ly/2JFiLpq

Livestream of the resignation announcement: https://cs.pn/2JFivXu

Photo from Acosta's announcement: http://bit.ly/2LkeFX1

Here's a list of Cabinet members who have lasted since Trump took office:

 

Happy summer Friday! 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 cmartel@thehill.com -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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BREAKING THIS A.M.

Psych!!:

Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE's public testimony on Capitol Hill is likely to be delayed by a week. http://bit.ly/2JD1KfC

Yeah, but: The situation is still very much flux. A Judiciary Committee spokesman told The Hill that panel is still making preparations for him to testify next week.

The likely new date: July 24. 

  

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE HEARING SO FAR:

The details are still in flux: Democrats are still negotiating with Mueller's team over the logistics of the hearing. http://bit.ly/2Libr6e

How long will hearings be?: Right now, the two hearings are limited to two hours each.

The current rundown of the hearings: "All 22 members of the House Intelligence Committee will get a question, as will 22 members of the 41-person House Judiciary Committee. Those questions will be evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, leaving a number of members without a question."

^ Yeah, but: That is a lot to happen in two hours. 

That means members will need to be strategic: From Rep. Val DemingsValdez (Val) Venita DemingsWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Schiff huddles in Capitol with impeachment managers House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't MORE (D-Fla.), who is a member of both committees: "We've got to be strategic, we've got to understand why we want to talk to him in the first place and that's to get answers to some unanswered questions. Wednesday will be here before we know it and we need to make sure that we utilize that time in the most effective and most efficient way."

Everything we know about the hearing: http://bit.ly/2Libr6e

  

IN CONGRESS

Happening this morning -- let's talk separations:

The House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing on family separations at the border.

Specifically: Alleged abuses against migrant minors. 

Livestream: https://cs.pn/2Li70bx

Live blog of updates: http://bit.ly/2LhQDvO

 

FROM THE HEARING -- TLAIB GAVE EMOTIONAL TESTIMONY: 

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders MORE's (D-Mich.) voice broke several times while describing her visit to a detention facility on the U.S.-Mexico border. http://bit.ly/2JDg8V9

From Tlaib: "The suffering in these camps cannot be forgotten ... Imagine traveling thousands of miles in grueling and dangerous conditions because you have no other option only to be separated from your family, from your children thrown into overcrowded cages, denied a shower and tooth brush. And yes, Mr. Chairman, drink water out of the toilet if you're thirsty." 

 

TIDBIT-- DURING AOC'S TESTIMONY:

An aide appears to have passed out. Watch -- it happens around the 45-second mark: http://bit.ly/2YObiKN

  

CBC lawmakers are angry with Justice Democrats:

Via The Hill's Scott Wong, "Congressional Black Caucus members are furious at Justice Democrats, accusing the outside progressive group aligned with firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillary Clinton responds to backlash: 'I will do whatever I can to support our nominee' Klobuchar dismisses White House lawyer's jab about Democrats wanting to be in Iowa The Hill's 12:30 Report: Rules fight sets stage for first day of Trump trial MORE (D-N.Y.) of trying to oust lawmakers of color, specifically African American lawmakers." 

  

Trump gets involved in a fight with his two faves, Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now MORE and AOC: 

This morning, President Trump weighed in on the dispute between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) http://bit.ly/2Lj7rlX

Trump said: "I think Cortez is being very disrespectful to somebody who's been there a long time. I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it's fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her. And you know what, I don't think that Nancy can let that go on." 

 

OTHER NEWS THIS MORNING

:(

Starting on Sept. 1, Starbucks will no longer sell newspapers in its stores. 

Starbucks's reasoning: "We are always looking at what we offer our customers in our stores and making adjustments to our portfolio based on changing customer behavior. In addition to newspaper stands, we will also remove shelving fixtures that display whole-bean coffee and different grab-and-go snacks." http://bit.ly/2LknG24

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

I personally love my own tweets. Maybe I should do the same: 

More of the printouts from the White House Social Media Summit: http://bit.ly/2Liag6G

  

ON TAP:

The House is in. The Senate is out until Monday. President Trump is in Wisconsin and Ohio today. Vice President Pence is visiting the border in McAllen, Texas.

11 a.m. EDT: The House voted. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2JEnrf9

12:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters and speaks at a joint fundraising committee luncheon in Fox Point, Wis.

2:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week MORE land in McAllen, Texas.

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence tour the Donna Soft-Sided Processing Facility.

4:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. border patrol at the border in McAllen, Texas.

6:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump meets with supporters and speaks at a joint fundraising committee reception in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

9:45 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House. 

10:05 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence get back to Washington, D.C.

July 17: Special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. http://bit.ly/2Llw8gS

  

WHAT TO WATCH

9:30 a.m. EDT: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders MORE (D), who is running for president, campaigns in Dover, N.H. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2JKrFCa

2:25 p.m. EDT: President Trump gives a speech on the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in Milwaukee. Livestream: http://bit.ly/2JA5BtK

6 p.m. EDT: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump says impeachment lawyers were 'really good' MORE campaigns in Portsmouth, N.H. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2JGJba5

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Pecan Pie Day.

 

Tomorrow is a true national holiday:

Tomorrow is National French Fry Day. Does anyone else think it should always be on a 'Fry-day?' Here's a list of where to get free French fries tomorrow: http://bit.ly/2Lhhatd

 

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here's a kitten fully embracing the summer: http://bit.ly/2LilBDU