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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Muller testimony dominates Washington

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Muller testimony dominates Washington
© Greg Nash

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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 -- Mueller Day edition -- Sights, sounds from first hearing | Mueller says Trump could be charged with obstruction after leaving office | Insists report does not exonerate Trump | Reaction | Trump lashes out ahead of testimony | Protester ejected | Interns line up 14 hours beforehand to get in | Puerto Rico governor may step down amid protests | Queen meets with Boris Johnson | Cheez-It, wine combo box | National Tequila Day

 

HAPPENING NOW

Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE is not here for any nonsense:

Former special counsel Robert Mueller faced three hours of questioning from the House Judiciary Committee this morning. And after a roughly 30-minute break, Mueller is testifying with the House Intelligence Committee for two hours. 

The gist so far: Mueller has been constantly referring back to his 448-page report on the Russia investigation.

Livestream of this morning's hearing: It ended at 12:10 p.m. https://cs.pn/30UPr5b

Livestream of this afternoon's hearing: https://cs.pn/2JKSyXK

Live blog of the hearing: http://bit.ly/30QhgLW

  

NEWS FROM THE HEARING:

The biggest news so far -- Mueller says Trump could be charged after leaving office (!): Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckProgressive groups warn against appointing tech insiders to key antitrust roles House Republican condemns anti-Trump celebrities during impeachment hearing Pompeo, Cruz and other Trump allies condemn Twitter's ban on president MORE (R-Colo.) asked Mueller, "Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?" Mueller replied: "Yes." Buck appeared taken aback by Mueller's response and asked the question againhttp://bit.ly/32LoRNE Watch the back and forth: http://bit.ly/32NRsC3

Mueller says he did not exonerate Trump: "The finding indicates that the president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed," Mueller said.  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment Clyburn blasts DeVos and Chao for 'running away' from 25th Amendment fight MORE (D-N.Y.) to Mueller: "The president has repeatedly claimed that your report found there was no obstruction, and that it completely and totally exonerated him. But that is not what your report said, it is?" Mueller: "Correct." http://bit.ly/32MSo9H

On Trump wanting to fire Mueller: Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis House Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump This week: Congress poised to buy more time on spending, coronavirus talks MORE (D-Fla.): Why would President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE want you fired?

Mueller: "I can't answer that question."

Mueller on why he did not use the word "collusion": "We did not address collusion, which is not a legal term." http://bit.ly/30Qh5Ag

On what he won't discuss: "I am unable to address questions about the opening of the FBI's Russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related to the so-called Steele Dossier." http://bit.ly/30ZcE6t

Admit you like him!!: Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Why Trump could face criminal charges for inciting violence and insurrection Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor MORE (R-Texas) asked Mueller if it is accurate to say that he and former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyBiden to keep Wray as FBI director Comey: 'Republican Party has to be burned to the ground' Juan Williams: The real 'Deep State' is pro-Trump MORE had been "good friends for many years." Mueller responded they were "business associates." After being pressed, Mueller finally admitted they were friends. http://bit.ly/30RbN7z

Read Mueller's opening statement: http://bit.ly/32NMntt

 

It's a wild Wednesday on Capitol Hill.  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.

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

  

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM THE HEARING:

Media circus? What media circus: Here's a photo of the photographers crowding around Mueller at the start of the hearing: http://bit.ly/30SwqQU

These interns are the MVPs: "These interns have been here since 6 pm LAST NIGHT Waiting for the Mueller hearing. They slept on the cold marble floor, ordered pizza and reread the Mueller report." Photo of the over-achieving interns: http://bit.ly/32PPVLx

Sped-up video of part of the line to get into the hearing: Yikes. http://bit.ly/30QvOv2

How many members of the public I counted being let into the hearing: 42 people. Two women played rock, paper, scissors for the final spot. 

LOL, this was pretty funny: Mueller scanned the committee at one point, trying to figure out which member was speaking. He then mouthed "oh" when he found her. Watch: http://bit.ly/30VUguS

That's a lot of paper: Each member of the House Judiciary Committee had a printed copy of the 448-page Mueller report at their seat. Photos: http://bit.ly/30UcBZy

Photo of Mueller's seat: Hope it's comfortable! http://bit.ly/2GpSJWe

How Mueller sounded in the morning: "Mueller is off to a shaky start here. He seems to not be hearing these guys very well. He struggled with that Collins' question, he has repeatedly asked for members to repeat questions and just took a moment to figure out which member was questioning him." http://bit.ly/32KUuXP

What would a hearing be without protesters: Here is video of a protester getting taken out of the hearing for yelling about the Trump Tower meeting. Watch: http://bit.ly/32NSCxn

What's on the massive TV screen in the hearing room: Democrats are projecting excerpts of the Mueller report on the television screen. Photo: http://bit.ly/32NF4C3

Photo of Mueller walking into the hearing room: http://bit.ly/30MUIf0

 

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OUTSIDE THE HEARING: 

Video of Mueller arriving on Capitol Hill: I wonder what he was feeling in this moment. Watchhttp://bit.ly/30OSZ8U

If you're curious what D.C. bars looked like before 9 a.m.: These people are dedicated. http://bit.ly/30UPWMB

The line for the public to get into Rayburn was pretty terrible: Here's a photo: http://bit.ly/30Zge0l

 

REACTIONS THROUGH THE MORNING:

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe next hustle: What we should expect from Trump Lawyers group calls for Giuliani's suspension from law practice, ethics probe Would Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know MORE tries a Mueller impression: During an interview on Fox News this morning, President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani mocked Mueller by impersonating him. Watch the 15-second clip: http://bit.ly/2K5dE1Z

  

TRUMP'S TWEETS THROUGHOUT THE MORNING:

At 6:50 a.m.: "So Democrats and others can illegally fabricate a crime, try pinning it on a very innocent President, and when he fights back against this illegal and treasonous attack on our Country, they call It Obstruction? Wrong! Why didn't Robert Mueller investigate the investigators?" His full series of tweets lashing out at Mueller early this morning: http://bit.ly/30VLhtE

At 7:55 a.m.: "NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!" http://bit.ly/30VMAsy

At 8:18 a.m. -- an accusation against Mueller: "It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel. Hope he doesn't say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!" http://bit.ly/30WMWj0

8:30 a.m. EDT: The first hearing starts.

At 10:11 a.m. EDT: "'This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.' Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceRomney: Total figure for Biden coronavirus stimulus is 'pretty shocking' Rubio: Trump impeachment trial is 'stupid' Romney noncommittal on impeachment vote but says trial is likely constitutional MORE @FoxNews" http://bit.ly/32PZKsT

  

IN OTHER NEWS

PSA: If you have any bad news, today is the day to news dump

Puerto Rico's governor may resign:

Via CNN's Steve Almasy, Hollie Silverman and Christina Maxouris, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló may resign today after a week of protests in San Juan. https://cnn.it/30RlMKb

Why protesters want Rosselló out: "Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism published a series of group messages between the governor and his inner circle that included homophobic and misogynistic language and jokes about Hurricane Maria victims." 

 

Meet Britain's next prime minister: 

Via The New York Times, "Boris Johnson, the brash standard-bearer for a British exit from the European Union, won the contest to become the next prime minister on Tuesday, at a critical moment in his country's history and with less political clout than just about any of its leaders since the Second World War." What to know about Johnson's victory: https://nyti.ms/32OXySE

Photo of the queen meeting with Johnson: Love her dress! http://bit.ly/32J6qJz

  

Wimbled--what??:

Via The Hill's Brittany Slaughter, lawmakers and journalists competed in the Washington Kastles Charity Classic tennis tournament last night at the new stadium in Union Market. http://bit.ly/32SuJoz

Featuring: The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob CusackRobert (Bob) CusackThe Hill's Morning Report - President Biden, Vice President Harris begin work today Incoming lawmakers stress coronavirus relief, economy as first priority of new session Rep.-elect Issa says Trump should attend Biden inauguration MORE; ABC's Jonathan Karl, CNN's Michelle Kosinski, Wolf Blitzer and Jeff Zucker; Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (R-W.Va.); Reps. Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanTensions running high after gun incident near House floor Scars of Capitol attack permeate high-security inauguration Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots MORE (D-Calif.) and William TimmonsWilliam Evan TimmonsREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Post-pandemic, small businesses need sustainable opportunity Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans MORE (R-S.C.); and former Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder Dent22 retired GOP members of Congress call for Trump's impeachment Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 The magnificent moderation of Susan Collins MORE (R-Pa.) Full list of participants: http://bit.ly/32RGkUS

  

Released this morning -- Latina Leaders to Watch: 

The Hill published its third annual list of Latina Leaders to watch in 2019. This year's list features Latinas making waves in their home states. The list: http://bit.ly/32NeB7E

Livestream from The Hill's Latina Leaders Summit this morning: http://bit.ly/30VU0MF 

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

They did ... what now?!:

Full size photos: http://bit.ly/30VJ1CV

What substance did they use to glue themselves: Gorilla Glue. They used Gorilla Glue. (Via The Washington Post's Mike DeBonis) http://bit.ly/30TBsfS

  

This is a pretty cool photo:

 

ON TAP:

The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and is heading to West Virginia this afternoon. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

11 a.m. EDT: The Senate held roll call votes. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/30Xmvt9

3 p.m. EDT: First votes in the House. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/30PLgHV

4:10 p.m. EDT: President Trump leaves for Wheeling, W.Va.

6:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump speaks at a fundraising committee reception in Wheeling, W.Va.

7 p.m. EDT: Last votes in the House. 

9:05 p.m. EDT: President Trump gets back to the White House.

July 25: The Hill interviews Sens. Mike BraunMichael BraunBiden signals he's willing to delay Trump trial McConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE (R-Ind.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinK Street navigates virtual inauguration week Senate Democrats call on Biden to immediately invoke Defense Production Act Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 MORE (D-Wis.) during an event on lowering drug prices. Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/2Yn2RJq

  

WHAT TO WATCH

Today: Presidential candidates speak at the NAACP annual convention in Detroit. Details and schedule: http://bit.ly/2ybykQ4 Livestream: https://cs.pn/30McwqK

This morning: The Hill's Latina Leaders Summit featuring Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.), Del. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico) and Rep. Grace NapolitanoGraciela (Grace) Flores NapolitanoTrump signs bill authorizing memorial to fallen journalists We can't ignore COVID-19's impact on youth mental health Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants MORE (D-Calif.). Livestream: http://bit.ly/30VU0MF 

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Tequila Day! How festive. To celebrate, here's where to get deals on tequila drinks today: http://bit.ly/30RgLkJ

 

I have never felt so understood and just so accepted:

Kellogg's has created a box with both Cheez-Its and boxed wine. Now ~this~ is an adult Lunchable. Photo -- how incredible: https://r29.co/32LcAJ4 

  

And because it has been an intense morning and we could all use something a little lighter, here's a dog giving another dog a spa day: http://bit.ly/32QjHji 

 

This story was updated at 12:48 p.m.