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

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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: 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.

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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 TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation 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 PerryOvernight Energy: Perry replacement faces Ukraine questions at hearing | Dem chair demands answers over land agency's relocation | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil 0B Green New Deal public housing plan Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies in impeachment hearing: Five things to watch Perry replacement moves closer to confirmation despite questions on Ukraine MORE; State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, a top adviser to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoJudge rules American-born woman who joined ISIS not a US citizen Human rights: Help or hindrance to toppling dictators? The Hill's Morning Report - Fallout from day one of Trump impeachment hearing 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 ConwayConway: Trump reacted 'pretty well' to impeachment hearing because 'there was nothing new' Kellyanne Conway after CNN plays George Conway remarks: 'I'm embarrassed for you' Latest impeachment developments: Republicans huddle ahead of Friday's hearing 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 GrahamGOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens Overnight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (R-S.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulJohnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens Senate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges McConnell discounts quick dismissal of Trump impeachment articles: 'We'll have to have a trial' 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 ThuneSenate GOP waves Trump off early motion to dismiss impeachment charges Trump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump MORE (S.D.), Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Jon Huntsman expected to run for governor in Utah Trump Jr's 'Triggered' debuts at No. 1 on NY Times bestseller list MORE (Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Defense: Erdoğan gets earful from GOP senators | Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract decision in court | Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families Senate confirms controversial circuit court nominee Lawmakers under pressure to pass benefits fix for military families MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day Senators press FDA tobacco chief on status of vaping ban Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal MORE (Alaska) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoHillicon Valley: Facebook to remove mentions of potential whistleblower's name | House Dems demand FCC action over leak of location data | Dem presses regulators to secure health care data Senators introduce bill to create 'parity' among broadband programs Republicans warn election results are 'wake-up call' for Trump 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 Ann WarrenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Following school shooting, Biden speaks out: 'We have to protect these kids' 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