The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Trump, Republicans dig in against impeachment

The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Trump, Republicans dig in against impeachment

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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 -- Presented by USAA -- Impeachment fight intensifies | GOP moves to stifle inquiry | Graham tells Pelosi GOP won't impeach | Dems warn Trump against obstruction | Turkey launches operation in Syria | Air strikes reported on border | Republicans revolt over Trump removing troops | DC getting Amazon store | National Moldy Cheese Day (?!)



'Witch hunt' has a festive tone in October:

Last night, President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE highlighted a report from The Washington Examiner about how the Ukraine whistleblower had a "professional" tie to a Democratic presidential candidate. 

Trump tweeted: "Wow, Just Breaking: 'The (big deal) Whistleblower had a 'PROFESSIONAL TIE' to 2020 Democratic Candidate.' Washington Examiner, @ByronYork  In other words, was working with someone who was potentially running against me. Why wasn't this reported by the ICIG? A Witch Hunt Scam!"



Citing unnamed sources, The Washington Examiner's Byron York reported that intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers last week that the whistleblower that alleged wrongdoing by President Trump had "some type of professional relationship" with a Democrat running for president in 2020. Read the Washington Examiner report:


It's Wednesday -- today is Yom Kippur. 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 White House's plan: So sorry, I'm covering my ears and I just can't hear you:


The White House told Democratic leaders that it would not cooperate with the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump

The gist of the White House's argument: The White House accused Democrats of making "legally unsupported demands" and of violating the Constitution. 

From White House counsel Pat Cipollone: "Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it. Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have left the President no choice."



Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Trump is betting big on the suburbs, but his strategy is failing 'bigly' Trump orders flags at half-staff to honor 'trailblazer' Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.) called the White House's letter "another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration's brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections. ... Despite the White House's stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to 'protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.'" 

Pelosi also threatened: "The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President's abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction. Mr. President, you are not above the law.  You will be held accountable."


The GOP's plan -- Squash it like a bug:

Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, congressional Republicans' impeachment plan is to smother the inquiry by House Democrats.

Why this may be a successful strategy to squash the inquiry: "It's a strategy that mimics the administration's largely successful efforts to hamper investigations into Trump's role in Russia's 2016 election interference. The White House refused requests for disputed information in those probes, and the battles are now bogged down in the courts." 

How this could play out:


This a.m. -- Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina MORE's message to Nancy Pelosi:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he's sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to warn that the Senate will not impeach President Trump over his call with Ukraine.

Graham said on "Fox & Friends" this morning: "They're about to destroy the nation for no good reason. And I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican senators are not going to impeach this president based on this transcript, so she can stop now before she destroys the country."

Watch Graham's appearance on "Fox & Friends":





This a.m. -- Turkey is not wasting any time:

Via NBC's Saphora Smith, three days after President Trump said he is pulling troops out of northern Syria, Turkey has launched a military operation in Syria.

From Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: "The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched Operation Peace Spring. Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area."

Air strikes have reportedly started: "The Turkish military operation into Syria has been launched with air strikes and will be supported by artillery and howitzer fire, a Turkish security source told Reuters on Wednesday."


How the president must feel right now:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Republicans are in a full-out revolt against President Trump over his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, a move broadly seen as putting the lives of Kurdish allies at risk."

Not the best timing: "The overwhelming opposition from GOP lawmakers is putting increasing pressure on Trump to reverse course. And it comes at a time when Democrats are moving full steam ahead with an impeachment inquiry." 

How this could play out:




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Whoops -- this is amazing:




The House and Senate are out.

President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence is in Iowa for the day.

4:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence meets with community leaders in Waukee, Iowa.

6 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence campaigns for Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day To honor Justice Ginsburg's legacy, Biden should consider Michelle Obama The Memo: Court battle explodes across tense election landscape MORE (R-Iowa) in West Des Moines, Iowa.

10:10 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.



3:15 p.m. EDT: President Trump signs executive orders on transparency in federal guidance and enforcement. Livestream:

4 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence gives a speech on trade in Iowa. Livestream:

This evening: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board remembers Ginsburg: She 'will forever have two legacies' Two GOP governors urge Republicans to hold off on Supreme Court nominee Sanders knocks McConnell: He's going against Ginsburg's 'dying wishes' MORE (I-Vt.) appears on "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt."



Today is National Moldy Cheese Day. Sounds so appetizing when you put it that way.


D.C. is getting an Amazon store:

Amazon is opening a retail store in the 14th Street neighborhood of Washington, D.C. What we know about the store:


And because you made it to the end, here's a dog who feels like a rock star: