The Hill's 12:30 Report: What we learned from first impeachment transcripts

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*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: What we learned from first impeachment transcripts | Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneOur Constitution is under attack by Attorney General William Barr Justice IG investigating Stone sentencing: report Romney says Trump's protest tweets 'clearly intended to further inflame racial tensions' MORE trial set to begin | Trump offers to 'wage WAR' on Mexican cartels | Mexican president declines offer | What to watch on Election Day 2019 | Close governor's race in Kentucky | Buttigieg sees more attacks as he enters top tier | Senate Dems unify against Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyDemocrats see fundraising spike following Ginsburg death Massachusetts town clerk resigns after delays to primary vote count Bogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration MORE's bid | Black cat runs into end zone on 'MNF' | Jimmy KimmelJames (Jimmy) Christian KimmelJennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt join celebrity table read of 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' for coronavirus relief Bubba Wallace: Trump tweet 'wrong on the factual information' about noose School board member in New Jersey resigns after blackface pictures resurface MORE's annual Halloween candy prank 



Trump offers to help Mexico 'wage WAR' on cartels:

This morning, 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 reacted to the news that at least nine people were killed during an ambush by drug cartels near the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for both countries to "wipe them off the face of the earth."


Trump tweeted: "This is the time for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth. We merely await a call from your great new president!"

Read his full series of tweets on the attack:



Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declined the offer, saying, "It's not in agreement with our convictions. The worst thing is war."


What happened -- at least nine Mormon women and children were killed at the border: 

At least nine Americans -- three women, four young children and two infants -- were shot and burned alive in an ambush while driving on the Mexico side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Seven children were also injured and flown to hospitals in Arizona.

What happened: "Willie Jessop, who is related to one victim, told NBC News by phone from Utah that the attack occurred on a motorcade consisting of several families, and that survivors at the scene told him that three cars were shot at and one was set on fire."

Why: It's still unclear, but "the family members suspect the shooting attack may have been a case of mistaken identity by drug cartel gunmen."

Where they were headed: "The families were headed from Sonora state to Chihuahua for a wedding on Monday."


It's Tuesday. 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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Now that we have had enough time to comb through the released transcripts...:

House Democrats released transcripts yesterday from depositions with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Trump steps up Iran fight in final election stretch MORE

The gist: The transcripts largely describe how Yovanovitch was recalled from her post. "The U.S. ambassador was seen as insufficiently loyal to Trump and was the subject of a campaign by the White House and its allies to undermine her."  

Here are five takeaways: 

  1. Witnesses describe a heavily politicized environment at State
  2. Testimony provides new details on the political probes
  3. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to come under more scrutiny
  4. Democrats are seeking to keep pressure on President Trump
  5. More shoes to drop – expect more than a dozen transcripts released



Via Vox:

^ This is actually worth bookmarking for throughout the impeachment process.



Roger Stone’s trial is gearing up:

Via The Hill’s Harper Neidig, jury selection begins today in the trial of longtime Republican operative and President Trump associate Roger Stone who allegedly lied to Congress about his role as a liaison between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.

Stone’s sentence if convicted: Stone could face up to 20 years in prison, though it would likely be less severe. 

Back story: “Stone is accused of lying to lawmakers about his contacts with WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign in 2016 as the organization was preparing to release a batch of emails stolen from John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign. He also faces charges of witness tampering for allegedly pressuring his intermediary with WikiLeaks — believed to be the radio host Randy Credico — to not cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into alleged Russian election interference.” 



Today is Election Day:

Via NPR's Jessica Taylor, "These off-year contests may not be as high profile as the 2020 presidential and congressional elections will be a year from now, but they could offer some important hints on how voters are feeling about President Trump, impeachment, guns and more."

Which states to watch: Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi. Kentucky and Mississippi are electing governors. Virginia is deciding control of the state legislature.

Plus: "There are also political offices and referendums on the ballot in Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Colorado on Tuesday."

For New York voters: Via The New York Times, here's a cheat sheet to voting today:


It's Don's world:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "New battleground state polls sent tremors through Democratic circles Monday, underlining that President Trump has a fighting chance of reelection despite his mediocre national standing." 

How so: "The polls, from The New York Times and Siena College, tested the three leading Democratic 2020 candidates -- former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE and Sens. 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.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon MORE (D-Mass.) -- against Trump in the six states that Trump carried by the narrowest margins in 2016." 

The results: "The polls showed Warren defeating Trump only in Arizona, Sanders doing so in three of the states and Biden doing so in four. All of the Democrats lost to Trump in North Carolina, which President Obama carried narrowly in 2008. Even in Biden's case the results were hardly conclusive. His edge was 5 points in Arizona and smaller everywhere else: 3 points in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and just 2 points in Florida." 

How this could play out:


Welcome to the top tier. You're going to hate it here:

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson in Indianola, Iowa, now in the top tier of Democratic presidential contenders, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Bogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq MORE has become a target of attacks.


Senate Democrats seem to all agree -- not yet, Joe Kennedy:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Senate Democrats are nearly united in their opposition to Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), the scion of their party's most fabled family, in his bid to unseat Sen. Ed Markey (D)."

What Kennedy running for Senate would mean: "Kennedy, a 39-year-old graduate of Harvard Law School, is putting his political career on the line by taking on a Democratic incumbent who has been a fixture in Congress since 1976. His campaign also marks the best hope of putting a Kennedy back in the Senate or White House in the foreseeable future." 



What we're hearing from Graham

*clap* Investigate *clap* Biden. *clap* Investigate *clap* Biden.:

During an interview with Fox News's Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamEx-Pence aide: Trump spent 45 minutes of task force meeting 'going off on Tucker Carlson' instead of talking coronavirus Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report NYC living statue shows Trump desecrating graves of war dead, COVID-19 victims MORE, Sen. 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 (R-S.C.) called for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to investigate any ties between the Bidens and Ukraine.

In Graham's words: "We need to look at whether or not Hunter Biden corruptly engaged in lobbying. Did Joe Biden ask the prosecutor to be fired because he was investigating his son?" 

Watch Graham's full comments:




Are we calling cat interference on this touchdown?:

A black cat ran across the field during "Monday Night Football" yesterday.

Video of the incident: Omg, the audio is hilarious.

This attracted other cats: Here are three black cats who are anxiously following the developments. Watch:

Where's the cat now?: Via ESPN, MetLife Stadium tweeted out that the black cat is still at large.

On Air Force One: "the back cabin of af1 erupted in cheers when the [Monday Night Football] cat crossed the goal line" (Via Bloomberg's Justin SinkPhoto





I repeat: The jersey has arrived.:



The Senate is in. The House is out. 

President Trump has no public events on his schedule. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

12:30 p.m. EST: Senators meet for weekly caucus luncheons. Vice President Pence participates in the Republican lunch. 

2:15 p.m. EST: A roll call vote in the Senate. The Senate's full schedule today:

5:30 p.m. EST: Two roll call votes in the Senate.



2 p.m. EST: Senate Republicans hold their regular press conference. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST: Senate Democrats hold their regular press conference. Livestream:

2:30 p.m. EST: FBI Director Christopher Wray and acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testify before the Senate Homeland Security Committee about security threats. Livestream:

6:30 p.m. EST: NBC News's Harry Smith sits down with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) for a new series, "What Matters." 



Today is National Doughnut Day! Yes, there are two National Doughnut Days. The other is on June 5.


It's that time of year when Jimmy Kimmel makes children cry:

Here are the results of Jimmy Kimmel's annual, "I told my kids I ate all their Halloween candy." Watch:


And because you made it to the end, here's a baby and a husky puppy hanging out: