The Hill's 12:30 Report: Public impeachment hearings to begin next week

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN

--> 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: First public impeachment hearings set for next week | Senior State official bucks White House to testify | White House says Mulvaney won't testify | GOP struggles to unify on impeachment defense | Election Day fallout | Good night for Dems in Virginia, Kentucky | Republicans downplay Kentucky loss | Warning signs for GOP in suburbs | Trump holding Louisiana rally tonight | Starbucks holiday cups are back

 

BREAKING

The first public impeachment hearings have been announced:

House Democrats are holding their first public impeachment hearings next week. http://bit.ly/2NHgj3G

Testifying next Wednesday:

– William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine

– George Kent, a top State Department official 

Testifying a week from Friday:

– Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

  

It's Wednesday. 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

  

LATEST WITH THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

Happening today – Let's chat in the Capitol basement:

Bucking the White House, Senior State Department official David Hale arrived on Capitol Hill this morning to testify in the Democrats' impeachment probe. http://bit.ly/32iz3Mh

Why he is testifying: "David Hale, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, is expected to provide insights into the campaign by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE and some of his allies to remove Marie Yovanovitch from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine -- a move that infuriated many department veterans, who have expressed concerns that the agency's top brass did too little to protect a career diplomat from White House interference."

Who else was invited to testify today: Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryRick Perry asks for elastic donations for his mom, 91, who is sewing face masks The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes unexpected step to stem coronavirus Top National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role MORE; State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, a top adviser to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS to label white supremacist group as terrorist organization for first time Trump administration eyes Afghan security forces funding for aid cut: report Trump says 40,000 Americans have been repatriated who were stranded abroad MORE; and Russell Vought, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

^Eh, but: None of those three are expected to show up.

 

Not happening on Friday:

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTapper comes under criticism for George Conway retweet that Trump is '100% insane' Kayleigh McEnany to take over as White House press secretary Grisham leaves role as White House press secretary MORE told reporters that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is not expected to testify on Friday in the impeachment probe. http://bit.ly/2NPHQ2Q

  

Senate GOP: 'TEAM MEETING!':

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, Senate Republicans are struggling to agree on a unified strategy to defend President Trump from the articles of impeachment. http://bit.ly/2JX8ZQe

The big, controversial question: How much to focus attacks on the anonymous whistleblower.

For example -- two of Trump's defenders: Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' Graham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets MORE (R-S.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul volunteering at hospital after negative coronavirus test Georgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat MORE (R-Ky.) are calling for the whistleblower to be publicly named.

Yeah, but: Many Republicans say the whistleblower's identity should be protected. Like: Senate Republican Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTrump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill MORE (S.D.), Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOutgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiLawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves GOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus MORE (Alaska) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoHoward Dean calls for guests to boycott MSNBC over Trump briefings Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic Susan Collins: Firing of intelligence community watchdog 'not warranted' MORE (W.Va.).

  

ELECTION DAY RESULTS

Democrats won control of Virginia's legislature:

This gives the party total control of the state for the first time since 1994. http://bit.ly/2POjdGy

The live Virginia election results from The New York Times: https://nyti.ms/2pDev3S

 

A Democrat ~is poised~ to win Kentucky governor race

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) declared last night that he won as the governor of Kentucky. http://bit.ly/2pMgpiv

Why I'm being careful about how I worded that: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has not conceded the race. 

The numbers: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Beshear beat Bevin by a 49.2 to 48.8 percent margin. During an appearance on CNN last night, Kentucky's Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) called the race for Beshear. 

The live Kentucky election results from The New York Timeshttps://nyti.ms/2pQBlF9

  

REACTION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP -- SLOWING BACKING AWAY:

Republicans immediately went on defense to prove Bevin's loss had nothing to do with President Trump's support. http://bit.ly/2rjDh9z

Trump immediately pointed out GOP wins in the state: "Won 5 out of 6 elections in Kentucky, including 5 great candidates that I spoke for and introduced last night. @MattBevin picked up at least 15 points in last days, but perhaps not enough (Fake News will blame Trump!). Winning in Mississippi Governor race!" http://bit.ly/36D1Dv3

  

A Republican wins Mississippi governor race:

After a highly competitive race for governor in one of the most conservative states in the country, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) beat Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood last night.  http://bit.ly/2NpdBB4

The numbers: With 93 percent reporting, Reeves led Hood, 53 to 46 percent. The Associated Press called the race for Reeves.

The live Mississippi results from The New York Timeshttps://nyti.ms/2WUjIQP

  

What these results mean for the GOP:

Via The Hill's Reid Wilson, "the results should serve as a wake-up call for Republicans, who tried to nationalize races across the country in an effort to capitalize on Trump's popularity -- and the unpopularity of Democrats' drive to impeach him." http://bit.ly/33nUYmu

Keep in mind -- Trump and Pence were involved in Virginia and Kentucky: "Trump held a rally seeking to boost Bevin and other Republicans in Kentucky on Monday night on the eve of the election, and Vice President Pence appeared in both Kentucky and Virginia in the race's closing days." 

  

ON THE 2020 CAMPAIGN TRAIL

To quote the Black Eyed Peas, where is the love?:

Via The Hill's Peter Sullivan, "Senate Democrats are distancing themselves from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Warren releases plan to secure elections during coronavirus pandemic On The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds MORE's (D-Mass.) 'Medicare for All' plan, casting doubt on whether it could pass even if she does win the presidency." http://bit.ly/33on554

How so: "Even if Warren wins the presidency and Democrats take back the Senate next year, her proposal would still face long odds of actually being enacted given objections among many senators of her own party. Some Democratic senators on Tuesday said flatly that they would not vote for Warren's plan if she were president in 2021." 

 

Tidbit from the DNC chair:

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE told The Hill's Rafael Bernal that the key to winning the presidential election in 2020 is the Latino vote -- and not just in states with large Hispanic populations. His reasoning: http://bit.ly/32sOvpe

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

This is pretty funny: 

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. and is heading to Monroe, La. this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in Washington, D.C.

Noon: The Senate held two votes. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2NiNKKW  

4 p.m. EST: The Senate votes. 

4:10 p.m. EST: President Trump leaves the White House and heads to Monroe, La. on Air Force One.

4:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence swears in the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

6 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at the Charlotte Host 2020 Thank You Reception in Washington, D.C.

7:25 p.m. EST: President Trump lands in Monroe, La.

12:25 p.m. EST: President Trump gets back to the White House.

Nov. 13: The Hill is hosting an event, "Aspirations: Arab Youth & the Modern Dream." Details and how to RSVP: http://bit.ly/34LmWJl

  

WHAT TO WATCH

3 p.m. EST: President Trump gives remarks on federal judicial confirmations. Livestream: http://bit.ly/34BXHc9

8 p.m. EST: President Trump holds a campaign rally in Monroe, La. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2Chx1Bn

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Nachos Day.

  

The kickoff of the holiday season:

The holiday cups are returning to Starbucks tomorrow. https://cnn.it/33mMY5l

This year's holiday drinks: "the peppermint mocha, toasted white chocolate mocha, caramel brulee latte, chestnut praline latte and eggnog latte, in addition to its Christmas coffee blend." 

Photo of the decorative cups: https://cnn.it/33mMY5l

 

AND TO CELEBRATE -- STARBUCKS IS GIVING OUT FREE REUSABLE HOLIDAY CUPS:

Order a holiday drink at Starbucks tomorrow and it will come in a reusable decorative cup. Keep in mind: This offer starts when they open, so get there early before they run out. http://bit.ly/32nVRKy

 

And because you made it this far, here is an innovative Christmas tree that is cat-safe. The cats do not look happy about this!: http://bit.ly/2NOVW4r