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

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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: 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 BullockBrent Budowsky: Bloomberg should give billion to Democrats Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Kamala Harris dropped out, but let's keep her mental health plan alive MORE drops out of presidential race | Toys 'R' Us opens in New Jersey

 

HAPPENING THIS WEEK

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

House Democrats are shifting the impeachment inquiry to the next phase: Do President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE's dealings with Ukraine warrant his removal from office? http://bit.ly/2r5jdIb

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. http://bit.ly/35VDlLO

What to expect in this next phase: http://bit.ly/2r5jdIb

 

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 cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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IN THE WHITE HOUSE

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. http://bit.ly/2La4Wkn

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 PompeoDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request House panel reinvites Pompeo to deliver Iran testimony 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. http://bit.ly/33HdHsk

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."

 

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

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. http://bit.ly/34NQarq

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 Rubens BloombergDNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Bloomberg receives 45-day extension for public financial disclosure report with FEC Bloomberg's congressional endorsers grow to three MORE entered the race.

Details via Axios: http://bit.ly/34NQarq 

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." http://bit.ly/33E1IMs

 

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. http://bit.ly/33BtTvm

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 HickenlooperHickenlooper raised .8 million for Colorado Senate bid in fourth quarter of 2019 George Conway group releases ad targeting GOP senator: 'You're just another Trump servant' The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 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 BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE’s campaign bus, plastered with “NO MALARKEY!” is touring 18 Iowa counties this week. https://politi.co/2P2xM7r

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: https://politi.co/2P2xM7r

 

IN CONGRESS

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. http://bit.ly/2R7N9hz

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.  

 

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH:

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: http://bit.ly/2R7N9hz

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

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: https://reut.rs/2LcY0CW

  

ON TAP

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 TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial 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: http://bit.ly/2rlXQSz

  

WHAT TO WATCH

4:45 p.m. EST: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (D-Mass.) campaigns in Iowa City, Iowa. Livestream: https://cs.pn/37ZRERi

  

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

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: https://cnn.it/2La24E7

And because you made it this far, here’s an amazing video of dogs ratting on the dog who ate the sausage: http://bit.ly/35ONKZs