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 TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests 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 PerryEnergy secretary questions consensus that humans cause climate change OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push resolution to battle climate change, sluggish economy and racial injustice | Senators reach compromise on greenhouse gas amendment stalling energy bill | Trump courts Florida voters with offshore drilling moratorium OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs major conservation bill into law | Senate votes to confirm Energy's No. 2 official | Trump Jr. expresses opposition to Pebble Mine project MORE; State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, a top adviser to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTreasury sanctions individuals, groups tied to Russian malign influence activities Navalny released from hospital after suspected poisoning Overnight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers 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 ConwaySpecial counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report George and Kellyanne Conway honor Ginsburg Trump carries on with rally, unaware of Ginsburg's death 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 GrahamSenate GOP aims to confirm Trump court pick by Oct. 29: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP set to ask SCOTUS to limit mail-in voting Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (R-S.C.) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul says he can't judge 'guilt or innocence' in Breonna Taylor case Overnight Health Care: Health officials tell public to trust in science | Despair at CDC under Trump influence | A new vaccine phase 3 trial starts Health officials tell public to trust in science 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 ThuneOvernight Defense: Stopgap spending measure awaits Senate vote | Trump nominates former Nunes aide for intelligence community watchdog | Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to contractors, military Remote work poses state tax challenges Senate GOP sees early Supreme Court vote as political booster shot MORE (S.D.), Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power The Memo: Trump's strengths complicate election picture MORE (Utah), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsClub for Growth to spend million in ads for Trump Supreme Court nominee Maryland's GOP governor says Republicans shouldn't rush SCOTUS vote before election The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - GOP closes ranks to fill SCOTUS vacancy by November MORE (Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiClub for Growth to spend million in ads for Trump Supreme Court nominee Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  Maryland's GOP governor says Republicans shouldn't rush SCOTUS vote before election MORE (Alaska) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoCongress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out Second GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GOP senator to quarantine after coronavirus exposure 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 WarrenDimon: Wealth tax 'almost impossible to do' CNN's Don Lemon: 'Blow up the entire system' remark taken out of context Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court 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