The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Sondland affirms quid pro quo for Ukraine in public testimony

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

 

The Hill's 12:30 Report -- Presented by Johnson & Johnson -- All eyes on Sondland | Envoy testifies that quid pro quo was widely known | Sights and sounds from third day of public hearings | Trump says Pelosi putting trade deal at risk | 10 Dems to take debate stage in Atlanta tonight | Five things to watch for | Buttigieg set up for clash with Biden | Buttigieg surges to 10 point lead in NH poll | National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

  

HAPPENING THIS MORNING

Smile for the cameras:

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandTop Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony Mulvaney: 'Politics can and should influence foreign policy' Controversy on phone records intensifies amid impeachment MORE is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee this morning in the impeachment inquiry against 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.

Why Sondland's testimony is important: Sondland first testified behind closed doors that he did not know why U.S. military aid to Ukraine was held up, but he later changed his testimony to say that he "presumed" it was conditioned on political investigations.

Keep in mind about Sondland: He is a Trump donor and appointee, so he is an important witness for both Republicans and Democrats.  

Livestream of this morning's hearing: https://cs.pn/2XAJmdU

Live blog of updates: http://bit.ly/2r8ON7G 

At 2:30 p.m. EST -- livestream of the second impeachment hearing: Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs and diplomat David Hale are testifying. https://cs.pn/2OAPO0q

 

NEWS FROM THE HEARING:

This is key -- Sondland said the 'quid pro quo' was real and widely known: "I know that members of this Committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo?' As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes," Sondland said. http://bit.ly/2pERai8

Schiff accused Trump, Pompeo of obstructing the inquiry: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats seek leverage for trial Pence's office denies Schiff request to declassify call with Ukrainian leader Comey, Schiff to be interviewed by Fox's Chris Wallace MORE (D-Calif.) accused President Trump and 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 of a "concerted" effort to obstruct in the impeachment inquiry. http://bit.ly/2Xy2s4f

Sondland said Ukraine just had to announce an investigation: "[Ukrainian President Zelensky] had to announce the investigations, he didn't actually have to do them as I understood it," Sondland, talking about his conversations with Trump's lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Horowitz: 'Very concerned' about FBI leaks to Giuliani MORE.

Read Sondland's opening statement: http://bit.ly/2pEFXhy

  

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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SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

I hope they're getting his good side: Here are the dozens of cameras getting close-up shots of Sondland. Smile! Photo of what Sondland was seeing in that moment: http://bit.ly/2r7GGrU

Photo of the committee seated and ready to go: http://bit.ly/2QzGEUo

Photo of Sondland walking to his seat: http://bit.ly/2CXf4sf

This is worth watching -- check out Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHillicon Valley: Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling | Tech legal shield makes it into trade deal | Impeachment controversy over phone records heats up | TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today Controversy on phone records intensifies amid impeachment MORE's body language at the break:

Watch: http://bit.ly/2O80Ye5

I love the behind-the-scenes photos: http://bit.ly/2CXsSTs

Photo of Republicans huddling during the break: http://bit.ly/345Ey2n

Interesting tidbit -- length of the opening statements: Via C-SPAN's Jeremy Art:

Adam Schiff: 12:32

Devin Nunes: 8:33

Gordon Sondland: 42:37  http://bit.ly/37nZBPT

 

TO RECAP TUESDAY'S HEARINGS: 

Actual *eyewitnesses* testified for the first time -- Republicans had been arguing for weeks that the witnesses testifying have been too far removed to know anything. But that changed on Tuesday when three of the four witnesses listened to the actual July 25 call in question.

Volker, Morrison raised stakes for Sondland -- "Volker testified that Gordon Sondland ... spoke of 'investigations' during a July 10 meeting between U.S. and Ukrainian officials at the White House ... That was a break from Volker's Oct. 3 closed-door deposition where he replied 'no' when asked whether anything about the two investigations was raised at that July meeting." And Morrison's testimony adds to the pressure.

GOP attacked the media -- "Facing witnesses with years of military and national security experience, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the top Intelligence Committee Republican, turned to a favorite GOP punching bag: the media." 

The two sides fought over 'bribery' -- "Democrats have dropped references to a 'quid pro quo' in favor of allegations of 'bribery,' a term adopted by Speaker 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 (D-Calif.) last week -- and one cited explicitly in the Constitution's impeachment clause. That shift was not overlooked by Republicans, and it sparked one of the most notable exchanges Tuesday."

Republicans tried to out the whistleblower -- Republicans tried to get one of the witnesses to out the whistleblower, accusing the official of being partisan. 

Context and details for each from The Hill's Scott Wong and Mike Lillis: http://bit.ly/2QBIW5x

Quick catch-up on Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanImpeachment sets up Ukrainian Americans for 2020 political role Director of National Intelligence Maguire should stand for the whistleblower Adam Schiff's star rises with impeachment hearings MORE's testimony yesterday: http://bit.ly/35lLTv3

  

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

Just now — Trump reacts to Gordon Sondland’s testimony:

Speaking to reporters, President Trump said he does not know U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. https://politi.co/2DdhfIp

In Trump’s words: "I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much," Trump told reporters. "This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy though."

 

What else is on Trump’s mind:

This morning, President Trump went after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), accusing her of putting a trade deal with Canada and Mexico at risk. http://bit.ly/2O5S6pd

He tweeted: "Nancy Pelosi will go down as the least productive Speaker of the House in history. She is dominated by AOC Plus 3 and the Radical Left. Mexico and Canada, after waiting for 6 months to be approved, are ready to flee - and who can blame them? Too bad!" http://bit.ly/2D2JU2u

  

HAPPENING TONIGHT

Don't forget about the debate!:

10 Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Atlanta, Ga. http://bit.ly/2XGr0Ix

 

WHO MADE THE CUT:

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

South Bend, Ind., Mayor 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

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.)

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe 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 (I-Vt.) 

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Julián Castro jabs ICE: 'Delete your account' Pelosi endorses Christy Smith in bid to replace Katie Hill MORE (D-Calif.)

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe MORE (D-Minn.)

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Julián Castro jabs ICE: 'Delete your account' Booker campaign unveils bilingual training program for Nevada caucus MORE (D-N.J.)

Former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Krystal Ball warns about lagging youth support for Buttigieg Saagar Enjeti calls Yang's rise a 'return to the fundamentals of democracy' MORE

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Gabbard news items generating more social interactions than other 2020 Democrats: study The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal MORE (D-Hawaii)

Billionaire philanthropist Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr SteyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Saagar Enjeti calls Yang's rise a 'return to the fundamentals of democracy' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal MORE

  

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:

  1. Can Warren quell concerns about her candidacy?
  2. Will rivals go after Buttigieg?
  3. Will moderates have their moment?
  4. Do the progressives fight back?
  5. Do the 2020 newcomers weigh on the debate?

Context and details for each from The Hill's Max Greenwood: http://bit.ly/2XGr0Ix

 

WHAT TO EXPECT -- EVERYONE'S WATCHING YOU, PETE:

Via The Hill's Amie Parnes, "South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is rising in polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, putting himself in position to surpass former Vice President Joe Biden as the leading centrist in the Democratic race." http://bit.ly/2CYTumX

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/335Txbt

  

NEW POLL -- BUTTIGIEG SURGES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg surged to a 10-point lead for the first time in New Hampshire, according to a new Saint Anselm College poll. http://bit.ly/2rczaMg

The numbers: Twenty-five percent of likely Democratic primary voters polled said they support Buttigieg. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are tied with 15 percent, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with 9 percent.

The full poll: http://bit.ly/2XvgovG

 

WHICH CANDIDATE IS FOR YOU?:

The Washington Post has a quiz to find out which Democratic presidential candidate aligns best with your views. Take the quiz: https://wapo.st/333F1kk

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Amazing:

 

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ON TAP

The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Texas this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in Wisconsin, then heads to Indiana.

9 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Green Bay, Wis.

10:45 a.m. EST: President Trump left for Austin, Texas.

11:30 a.m. EST: Votes in the Senate. The Senate's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2OnJIjy

12:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence tours the USS Cooperstown.

3:20 p.m. EST: President Trump tours the Apple Manufacturing Plant in Austin, Texas.

4:15 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence leaves for Indianapolis.

5 ­– 6 p.m. EST: The House votes. The House's full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2KEUIrY

7:50 p.m. EST: President Trump arrives at the White House.

9:05 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence gets back to Washington, D.C.

  

WHAT TO WATCH

1:10 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. Livestream: http://bit.ly/3303Jlz

6:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at Strada Education Network's National Symposium in Indianapolis. Livestream: http://bit.ly/334clYz

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day.

 

And because you made it this far, here's a husky mom teaching her puppies how to howl: http://bit.ly/2QyWj6e