The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Trump floats testifying in impeachment hearing

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The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Trump floats idea of testifying in impeachment inquiry | Says he will 'strongly consider' it | Washington braces for busy week of hearings | High stakes for Sondland testimony | What to watch for | Congress expected to pass short-term funding bill | New poll shows Buttigieg leading in Iowa | Dems prep for Wednesday debate | National Apple Cider Day



Trump could actually testify in the impeachment inquiry

It would be the perfect, most eloquent, beautiful, terrific testimony you’ve ever heard on Capitol Hill:

This morning, President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE tweeted that he will “strongly consider” testifying in the House impeachment inquiry, despite refusing to cooperate in the investigation.

How he would testify: Either through written or in-person testimony. 

He tweeted: “Our Crazy, Do Nothing (where’s USMCA, infrastructure, lower drug pricing & much more?) Speaker of the House, Nervous Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE, who is petrified by her Radical Left knowing she will soon be gone (they & Fake News Media are her BOSS), suggested on Sunday’s DEFACE THE NATION ... that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”

Keep in mind: The White House has been instructing officials not to comply with the probe.



The president’s lawyer tweeted, “After 3 witnesses no evidence has been presented of any offense. The first two permanent diplomats had no direct knowledge just overhearing things. The third one had no knowledge not even hearsay. This is a travesty.” 



President Trump met with Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTreasury staffer quits after being implicated in college admissions scandal: report China doesn't need World Bank's loans, just as Trump says Trump admin hits Iranian shipping network, airline with new sanctions MORE

He tweeted: “Just finished a very good & cordial meeting at the White House with Jay Powell of the Federal Reserve. Everything was discussed including interest rates, negative interest, low inflation, easing, Dollar strength & its effect on manufacturing, trade with China, E.U. & others, etc.”


It’s Monday. Welcome back! 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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Prepping Thanksgiving menus … and impeachment hearing questioning: 

The House Intelligence Committee is gearing up for its second week of impeachment inquiry hearings against President Trump



 On Tuesday morning:

–      ­Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the leading Ukraine expert on the national security council

–      ­Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence, 


On Tuesday afternoon: 

–      Former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerPush to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Senate confirms Brouillette to replace Perry as Energy secretary How Democrats' missing witnesses could fill in the Ukraine story MORE

–      ­Timothy Morrison, a Ukraine and Russia expert on the national security council 


On Wednesday:

–      ­Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandTop Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony Mulvaney: 'Politics can and should influence foreign policy' Controversy on phone records intensifies amid impeachment MORE, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union

–      Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs

–      Diplomat David Hale


On Thursday: 

–      ­Fiona Hill, a former top NSC staffer who covered Europe and Russia



Gordon Sondland’s testimony. Republicans have been arguing that witnesses have only had secondhand information. “That argument may not work much longer, because lawmakers are about to hear from crucial witnesses who had direct contact with the president, including Gordon D. Sondland, a donor to and an ally of Mr. Trump who served as his liaison to Ukrainian officials while the president withheld — but later released — $391 million in military aid to Ukraine.”

Republicans’ new Trump defense: Trump did nothing wrong because while he tried to have Ukraine dig up dirt on the Bidens, nothing came out of it.  Via The New York Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg, here is how Republicans are shifting their defense::

Why the stakes are so high for Sondland’s testimony: Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos:



“Although it is becoming increasingly clear that President Trump attempted to use military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE, the bottom line for Republicans is that it doesn’t reach the threshold to remove President Trump from office.” How so, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton:


This morning from Schumer:

“Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerKrystal Ball: Is this how Bernie Sanders will break the establishment? TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings, inflaming tensions Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-N.Y.) is pushing the Pentagon for details on how its protecting officials from retaliation after they testify as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.”

How so: “Schumer sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperHillicon Valley: Pentagon pushes back on Amazon lawsuit | Lawmakers dismiss Chinese threat to US tech companies | YouTube unveils new anti-harassment policy | Agencies get annual IT grades Overnight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons Pentagon dismisses Amazon questions over Esper's recusal in 'war cloud' case MORE on Monday asking for details on how the department is protecting two officials set to testify this week, as well as requesting the Pentagon formally notify personnel about their ability to share information with Congress.”

Read the letter: 



So close to Thanksgiving, I can almost smell the stuffing:

Government funding extension: “Lawmakers are expected to pass a short-term spending bill this week ahead of Thursday’s deadline to prevent the second shutdown of the year ... The short-term spending bill, which as of Sunday evening had not been released by appropriators, is expected to go through the House first, before being sent to the Senate before Thursday’s deadline.”

Addressing workplace violence: “The House is slated to take up legislation that would require the Department of Labor to ‘address workplace violence in the health care and social service sectors.’” 

Nominations: The Senate will vote on three nominations before leaving for Thanksgiving. Who: Robert Luck’s and Barbara Lagoa to be judges on the Eleventh Circuit — plus Adrian Zuckerman to be the U.S. ambassador to Romania. 

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Jordain Carney and Juliegrace Brufke:



Started from the bottom, now we’re here:

Via The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel, “Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 Krystal Ball warns about lagging youth support for Buttigieg MORE has rocketed to the top of the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll in the latest reshuffling of the top tier of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.”

The numbers: 25 percent of likely caucusgoers in Iowa said they support Buttigieg. Sixteen percent support Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (D-Mass.) and 15 percent back former Vice President Joe Biden

For context: That is a 16-point increase for Buttigieg since the CNN/DMR September poll. 

The full poll:

What this means for the 2020 presidential race:



10 presidential candidates will debate on stage. What to know: 



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Lol, the coordination isn’t bad!: 




The House is in. The Senate is meeting this afternoon. President Trump is in Washington, D.C., and Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

Noon: The House meets.

2 p.m. EST: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

3 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.

4:15 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo: 'No mistake' Trump warned Russian diplomat about election tampering Trump admin hits Iranian shipping network, airline with new sanctions The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal MORE

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate votes. The Senate’s full schedule today:

6:30 p.m. EST: The House votes. The House’s full schedule today:



Tuesday morning: The House Intelligence Committee is holding the next public impeachment hearing. Livestream:

9 p.m. EST Wednesday: The next Democratic presidential debate. Details: 



Today is National Apple Cider Day.


And because you made it to the end, here’s a turtle who is exhausted from the weekend: