The Hill's 12:30 Report: Impeachment enters new crucial phase

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The Hill's 12:30 Report: Impeachment enters new crucial phase | White House won't participate in Wednesday Judiciary hearing | Trump blasts Democrats for timing of hearing; leaves for London NATO meeting | Congress returns to chaotic December | Government funding, trade deal, defense bill on agenda | Trump camp won't grant credentials to Bloomberg News reporters | Steve BullockSteve BullockCourt removes Pendley from role as public lands chief On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami McConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight MORE drops out of presidential race | Toys 'R' Us opens in New Jersey



*Cue futuristic, robotic voice* — Now entering the next phase:

House Democrats are shifting the impeachment inquiry to the next phase: Do President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE's dealings with Ukraine warrant his removal from office?

Where that answer will be decided: In the House Judiciary Committee. 

The timeline: Members of the House Intelligence Committee will see a report of its findings this evening and will vote on Tuesday evening on whether to adopt the report. The House Judiciary Committee will then hold its first hearing on Wednesday morning. 

Is the White House participating in Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee hearing?: No, as of Sunday evening.

What to expect in this next phase:


It’s Monday. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! 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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R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to *them*:

The White House is slamming House Democrats for holding its first impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee at the same time as President Trump’s NATO meeting in London.

President Trump told reporters this morning as he left for London: "The do nothing Democrats decided when I'm going to NATO... that was the exact time — this is one of the most important journeys that we make as president.”

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Trump's push for win with Sudan amps up pressure on Congress  Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize MORE said on "Fox & Friends": "I regret that they’ve chosen to hold these hearings at the same time that the president and our entire national security team will be traveling to Europe to London to work on these matters. It’s very unfortunate."


Ukraine’s president spoke with Time:

In an interview with Time’s Simon Shuster, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he never discussed a “quid pro quo” with President Trump.

In Zelensky’s words: “I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo. That’s not my thing.”

^ Yeah, but he also criticized the aid block: "I don’t want us to look like beggars. But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness. It’s not about a quid pro quo. It just goes without saying."



Just now — Bloomberg reporters are banned from Trump campaign events:

President Trump’s reelection campaign is banning Bloomberg News reporters from obtaining credentials to cover its events.

Why: The decision follows the news outlet’s decision not to perform investigative journalism on the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates after Bloomberg News owner Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Democratic groups using Bloomberg money to launch M in Spanish language ads in Florida Bloomberg pays fines for 32,000 felons in Florida so they can vote MORE entered the race.

Details via Axios: 

Reaction from Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait: "The accusation of bias couldn't be further from the truth. We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign."


And another one gone, and another one gone:

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) formally dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination this morning.

Why his campaign was unique: “Bullock, 53, was the only candidate in the Democratic contest who won election in a red state on the same day President Trump won the White House. He based his campaign on a promise to win back areas where Democrats have lost voters in recent years.” 

Why he dropped out: His campaign failed to catch fire. “He faced the same headwinds as two other governors who had already dropped their campaigns, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Willie Nelson playing at virtual fundraiser for Hickenlooper MORE (D). None could build a national movement to compete with a top tier led by a former vice president and two prominent senators.” 


Let’s plaaaay, ‘Ask A Gen Z What Malarkey Means’:

Via Politico’s Natasha Korecki, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE’s campaign bus, plastered with “NO MALARKEY!” is touring 18 Iowa counties this week.

Interesting anecdote: “But when one high schooler attending the former vice president’s event in Council Bluffs was asked if she knew what malarkey means, she squinted up at the massive bus with a puzzled look. ‘Malarkey?’ Cece West asked. ‘I’ve never heard of it before.’” 

Why this is noteworthy: “West’s response highlights a potential problem with a term that Biden has put at the center of his candidacy in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. And some of the complaints about it are an extension of how Biden skeptics feel about the candidate himself. They don’t love or hate the slogan. Some of them said it’s kind of funny; others, kind of corny. While some voters welcomed the slogan as a throwback to a calmer era, others said it will only alienate younger voters.” 

The full piece:



Do it for the egg nog:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, Congress is returning to Washington with up to 15 days in session to wrap up the year’s legislative items.

When Congress is scheduled to leave town: Right now, lawmakers are scheduled to leave on Dec. 13, but it’s looking like the session will be longer than that.  



Impeachment: “House Democrats are charging forward with the next stage of their impeachment inquiry into whether President Trump tied Ukraine aid to Kyiv opening an investigation into former Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.”

Government funding: “Lawmakers have until Dec. 20 to prevent a shutdown just days before Christmas, in what would amount to a repeat of the record-long partial government closure that started on Dec. 22, 2018.” 

Defense authorization: “Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the past 58 years. But the mammoth defense bill, which lays out policy and authorizes spending for the Pentagon, has been beset this year by a sluggish pace and multiple fights that have threatened to break the bill’s annual streak.” 

Trade deal: “The window for reaching a deal this year on Trump’s trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is rapidly coming to a close.”

Context and details for each:



It’s a soggy day in D.C.: 

Where President Trump is headed: To London for a NATO summit. What to know about his trip:



The Senate meets this afternoon. The House is out. President Trump is on his way to London, and Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

9:45 a.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Ginsburg becomes the first woman to lie in state in the Capitol Rabbi memorializes Ginsburg: Her dissents were 'blueprints for the future' MORE leave for London.

3 p.m. EST: The Senate meets.

5:20 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive in London.

5:30 p.m. EST: The Senate holds two roll call votes on nominations. The Senate’s full schedule today:



4:45 p.m. EST: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.) campaigns in Iowa City, Iowa. Livestream:



Today is National Fritters Day.


Toys R Back:

Via CNN, “Toys ‘R’ Us marked its triumphant return to the US on Wednesday by opening its first new store at a location in Paramus, New Jersey.” Details:

And because you made it this far, here’s an amazing video of dogs ratting on the dog who ate the sausage: