The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Sparks fly as House Judiciary debates impeachment articles

To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here:

To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here:

--> 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 — Presented by UANI — House Judiciary debates impeachment articles | Lawmakers clash at contentious hearing | Senate Democrats seek leverage over trial rules | Five takeaways from Horowitz's testimony | Pelosi, Trump trade deal sparks debate on left | Warren, Buttigieg duking it out | Buttigieg meets Lizzo | The Hill's Top Lobbyists for 2019 unveiled | Best 27 dishes in DC right now



Impeachment articles! Come and get your impeachment articles! Get 'em while they're hot:

The House Judiciary Committee is debating the two articles of impeachment against 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.  


Live blog of hearing highlights:



Ranking member Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe five dumbest things said about impeachment so far Pelosi accepts Collins's apology for saying Democrats are 'in love with terrorists' Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial MORE (R-Ga.) requested a day for the Republican minority to hold their own hearings: Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.) said no and Collins strongly objected. The committee voted on the motion and the Republican minority obviously lost. 

From Trump ally Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz in Twitter battle with Florida House Republican Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Conservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons MORE (R-Fla.): "To accept the Democrats' theory of the case, you've got to believe the Ukrainians are lying to us. That they're so weak and they're so dependent on the United States that we can't believe a word they say. Well, again, where were you during the Obama administration when this weak ally didn't get Javelins [missiles] that were then withheld?"

It’s a no from us:  “Democratic staff on the House Judiciary Committee objected Thursday after Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsRepublicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles Trump, Democrats set for brawl on Iran war powers Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers MORE (R-N.C.) went on the dais to pass along a note to one of GOP members participating in the panel’s markup of impeachment articles into President Trump.”

Photo of the room: From the view of the C-SPAN crew:

Tidbit: "After what appeared to be a tense exchange with Democratic staff, Meadows leaves and returns to his seat in the crowd." (Via CNN's Manu Raju) Photo:



President Trump is watching: He tweeted at 10:40 a.m. EST: "Dems Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarHispanic Democrats give Bloomberg camp warm reception House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Lawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa MORE and Jackson Lee purposely misquoted my call. I said I want you to do us (our Country!) a favor, not me a favor. They know that but decided to LIE in order to make a fraudulent point! Very sad."



"The historic launch of the two-day markup of impeachment articles – while rife with partisan finger-pointing – was also uniquely disciplined; lawmakers from both parties largely shed the impromptu barbs that had marked earlier hearings and instead moved swiftly through prepared statements invoking the Constitution, the Bible and the founding fathers to advance their conflicting arguments over the gravity of Trump's pressure campaign on Ukrainian leaders." Details:


It's Thursday. 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox daily:




Tit for tat:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Senate Democrats are quietly talking about asking Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiRepublicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment Trump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) to hold articles of impeachment in the House until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) agrees to a fair rules package for a Senate trial."

Why now?: Democratic senators are worried that Republicans will push through with a speedy trial with no witnesses and Dems will lose all of their leverage in how a trial is run. 

From one Democratic senator: "If we don't agree on a set of rules before the articles arrive over here, I think we're cooked. I think McConnell has his people totally in line. It will be a procedural thing."

That Democratic senator elaborated: "They'll pass whatever rules they want, and so we need to determine for a fair trial what witnesses we want, what documents we want. Are we going to allow videos? Are you going to allow boards that go up with votes so you explain things to the audience that is watching out there in a really powerful way? I think our maximum leverage of getting what we want is now, before the articles come over."

What to expect coming up:



Getting grilled for six hours sounds fun:

Via The Hill's Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels, "Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz delivered scathing testimony Wednesday about the FBI's missteps in applying for a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser." 



  1. It was a bad day for the FBI 
  2. The hearing provides fodder for Trump, allies
  3. There were rare agreement for reform of the process 
  4. Horowitz resists a political fight
  5. Spotlight on internal Justice Department disagreements 

Context and details for each:



Liberals: Working with the enemy, we see?:

Via The Hill's Niall Stanage, "Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) decision to strike a trade deal with President Trump has given a new and sharp edge to a key tactical debate in Democratic circles."

The debate: "The central question is whether vigorous, blanket opposition to Trump is the best approach for the party or whether it is also necessary to show an ability to work across the aisle on some issues." 

The pros and cons for the left



Who would win in a fight, Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE or 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?:

Via The Hill's Max Greenwood, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg are duking it out in the final stretch before 2020. 

The tensions are on display now: "Simmering tensions between the two burst out into the open this month amid a back-and-forth over transparency; he demanded that she release her tax returns from her time as a legal consultant, while she pressed him to open his private fundraisers to the press and disclose his past clients during his tenure at the global consultancy McKinsey & Company." 

What to expect:


Hahaha, such a good caption:

By the way: That is Lizzo with Pete Buttigieg. Video from "CBS This Morning":



The best in the biz:

The Hill's annual Top Lobbyists list is out this morning. 

Who made the list:



Thousands of civilians flooded the streets of Tehran to protest conditions under the regime’s leadership – and they were met with a massacre. The U.S. and Europe must condemn this human rights crisis. Learn more.



This is devastating: 


Siri, you can expect a subpoena soon:



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

11:45 a.m. EST: The Senate votes on two nominations. The Senate's full schedule today:

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

12:30 ­– 1:30 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. The House's full schedule today:

1:45 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on a nomination. 

7 p.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 attend the Congressional Ball.



10:45 a.m. EST: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held her weekly news conference. Livestream:

11:15 a.m. EST: President Trump spoke at the White House Summit on Child Care and Paid Family Leave. Livestream:

11:30 a.m. EST: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCalifornia sues Trump administration over fracking Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders Overnight Energy: Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate impact | Republicans offer details on their environmental proposals | Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 MORE (R-Calif.) held his weekly conference. Livestream:



Today is National Gingerbread House Day.


This is making me hungry:

Via Washingtonian, "These are the 27 best dishes in Washington right now." The list:


And because you made it this far, here are goldendoodles chilling and eating snacks. Nothing to see here: