The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Pelosi looks to play hardball on timing of impeachment trial

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 — Pelosi plays hardball on timing of impeachment trial | Plans to delay articles to pressure GOP | Dems rally behind Speaker | Trump, McConnell blast move | What's next in impeachment drama | Sights, sounds from historic vote | Why Dems fear Trump could still win | Trump takes heat for attack on Dingell | White House defends Trump as 'counter-puncher' | Meadows to retire from Congress | 2020 Dem debate tonight | What to watch as candidates take the stage



Knock-knock-knockin' on Senate’s door:

The House impeached 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 last night on two articles related to his dealings with Ukraine.

What’s next: The articles of impeachment would normally head straight to the Senate for a trial. But right after the House impeached Trump, 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.) refused to say when — or even if (!) — Democrats will send the articles to the Senate.

Why Pelosi might ~not~ immediately send the impeachment articles to the Senate: Democrats are worried that 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.) won’t conduct a fair trial. Even McConnell said he will not be an impartial juror. “I’m not impartial about this at all,” McConnell told reporters a few days ago.

The sticking point in the Senate: Whether to call witnesses to testify. 

What Pelosi will require before formally sending the articles over: She said she needs to "see what the process is on the Senate side" first. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” Pelosi saidl

What House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote on Iran war powers bills sought by progressives Khanna: Timing of Iran bill being weighed against getting bigger majority MORE (D-Md.) said earlier this week on a possible delay: "I don't think that that's the path we'll follow. But that does not mean that we will immediately deliver. There are considerations related to other legislation. As I understand the rules of the Senate, once they receive the articles, they have to act. They have to go into trial. They can't do any other work."  

Democrats are rallying behind Pelosi’s delay:

What would happen if there was never a trialPresident Trump would never formally be acquitted of the charges. But impeachment without having a trial could also look purely political and backfire on Democrats.



On next steps: "The next thing for us will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate, then we'll know the number of managers that we may have to go forward, and who we would choose," Pelosi said.

On McConnell: "Our founders, when they wrote the Constitution, they suspected that there could be a rogue president," she said. "I don't think they suspected that we could have a rogue president, and a rogue leader in the Senate at the same time."



Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change Schumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it MORE (D-N.Y.) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are meeting after lunch today to discuss the rules for the impeachment trial.


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:




The 12:30 Report will be off starting for the holidays starting on Monday and will return in the new year! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!!



Via The Associated Press’s Andrew Taylor, “The only thing you really need to know about Capitol Hill today is that everybody wants to go home. Therefore the things that have to happen (USMCA, Omni and a ton of Mitch McConnell’s judges) will happen, possibly by dusk. Anything on the Senate trial is not one of those things”



Pelosi held a press conference: “It seems like people have a spring in their step because the president has been held accountable for his reckless behavior. No one is above the law... I have a spring in my step because of the moral courage of our caucus.” Livestream of Pelosi’s remarks:

What McConnell said from the Senate floor this morning: “Let's be clear: the House's vote yesterday was not some neutral judgment. ... It was the predetermined end of a partisan crusade ... Now, their slapdash process has concluded in the first purely partisan presidential impeachment since the wake of the civil war.”

‘How TV Covered the Moment of Impeachment’: Via The New York Times’s Jim Windolf, “Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCNN draws 7.3 million viewers for Iowa Democratic debate Trump wants To 'deescalate,' but will his supporters let him? Former Trump security official slams Tucker Carlson over criticism of strike on Iranian general MORE was grim. Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityGOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff Trump wants To 'deescalate,' but will his supporters let him? McConnell tells GOP senators to expect impeachment trial next week MORE was angry. Two networks seemed reluctant to leave their scheduled prime-time shows.” Full breakdown of TV coverage:

Democrats think Trump could still win in November despite impeachment: The gist of why: A robust economy and strong support in swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin. Full reasoning, via The Hill’s Amie Parnes:

Today’s newspapers:

Here’s a full thread of local newspaper covers this morning: Via The Hill’s Reid Wilson:



Mama Nancy is not putting up with ANY nonsense: After Pelosi gaveled the first impeachment vote, she motioned to shut down any cheers from her caucus. Video — that LOOK on her face:

Pelosi chatting with 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.) after the vote: She is so expressive in this! Watch:      

Why voting took longer than usual: “LOTS of lawmakers are voting by hand — a way to preserve their vote in the House archives. This will take exponentially longer than voting by electronic device, which they are also permitted to do” (Via Politico’s Jake Sherman)

Getting traction — staffers appeared to have a little wine party in a California Democrat’s office: Here’s a photo from Free Beacon’s Brent Scher:

That was a beautiful sunset last night: Here’s a photo taken from the Capitol: 

Tidbit — some lawmakers usually wear red on Wednesdays: “Many female House Dems usually wear red on Wednesdays to show solidarity with issues like human trafficking. But Rep. Dingell (who's wearing dark grey coat) explained, 'We said, 'We can't do that today,' so many of the women are in darker colors because it is a somber day.’" (Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos

If you’re wondering about who was presiding over the House floor debate: It is Rep. Diana DeGetteDiana Louise DeGetteLawmaker calls for hearing into MLB cheating scandal Overnight Health Care: Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat | House panel to examine federal marijuana policies | House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers Lawmakers express alarm over rise in cocaine overdose deaths MORE (D-Colo.)

Spotted in the Capitol: Michael Moore. Photo of Moore after the impeachment vote:

Also spotted on the House floor:Steve CASTOR who is the omnipresent master of the GOP counterimpeachment strategy.” (Via Politico’s Kyle Cheney)

Throwback: Check out the tickets for the last two presidential impeachments in the United States. Photos:

Republicans chanted during the vote on the second impeachment article: “Four more years! Four more years!”



The next firestorm — telling a widow that her recently deceased husband may be in hell:

During President Trump’s campaign rally in Michigan last night, he went after the late Rep. John DingellJohn DingellTrump suggests LBJ is in hell: 'He's probably looking down — or looking up' Change with minimal risk: Trump's Jimmy Carter problem 10 controversies that rocked the Trump White House in 2019 MORE (D-Mich.), saying, “maybe he’s looking up” instead of looking down.

How this came up: Trump said how he gave John Dingell “A-plus treatment” when he died and lowered the flags to half-staff. He then quotes Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellMaking waves to protect America's waters Trump suggests LBJ is in hell: 'He's probably looking down — or looking up' 10 controversies that rocked the Trump White House in 2019 MORE: “She calls me up. ‘That’s the nicest thing that ever happened. Thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He’s looking down. He’d be so thrilled.’” Trump then added — ooof: “Maybe he’s looking up. I don’t know. ... But let’s assume he’s looking down.”

Keep in mind: Trump said this in Michigan. John Dingell, who died last February at 92 and was the longest-serving member of Congress, represented a district in Michigan. 

Watch the clip — notice the crowd’s reaction:



Dingell tweeted, “Mr. President, let’s set politics aside. My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service. I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder.”



From Rep. Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensFormer GOP Michigan congressman says Trump is unfit for office The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Pelosi looks to play hardball on timing of impeachment trial Debbie Dingell responds to Trump: 'You brought me down in a way you can never imagine' MORE (D-Mich.): “This is shameful Mr. President. Insinuating that John Dingell, a loving catholic, WWII hero, now rests in hell. How dare you? I have no words for the pain you are causing my dear friend Debbie Dingell and the people of Michigan right now.”

From Cindy McCain, the wife of late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials MORE (R-Ariz.): “I’m terribly sorry. Please know I am thinking about you.”

From Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellSteve King challenger: 2020 Democrats have 'huge' opportunity to win over rural America The Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate Trump's Dingell insults disrupt GOP unity amid impeachment MORE (R-Mich.): “John Dingell was a well-respected man & I consider Debbie a close colleague and friend. To use his name in such a dishonorable manner at last night’s rally is unacceptable from anyone, let alone the President of the United States. An apology is due, Mr. President”



In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamHill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens Republicans criticize Pelosi for gifting pens used to sign impeachment articles MORE described the president as a “counter-puncher.”

Grisham said about the Dingells: “I am very, very sorry for her loss and I would thank her and I would thank her late husband for all of the service to our country.” 

Grisham on why Trump said what he said: "You’d have to talk to the president about that. He was at a political rally. He has been under attack and under impeachment attack for the last few months and then just under attack politically for the last two and a half years. We all know the president is a counter-puncher. It was a very, very supportive and wild crowd and he was just riffing on some of the things that had been happening the last few days.” 

Watch Grisham’s full remarks:



This is a pretty cool photo: Here is a photo captured by The New York Times’s Doug Mills of President Trump before he left for his rally. Photo:

Wowza — check out this holiday sweater worn by a Trump supporter:



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 is retiring:

Via The Hill’s Al Weaver, Trump ally Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) announced this morning that he is retiring from Congress at the end of this term.

Meadows said in a statement: “For everything there is a season. After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I’m announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term. This was a decision I struggled with greatly.”



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.



It’s the holiday season (the holiday season!): 



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is at the White House. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

11 a.m. EST: The Senate held votes related to funding the government. The Senate’s full schedule today:

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House. The House’s full schedule today:

4:15 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 speak at a closed press Christmas reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House.

8:15 p.m. EST: President Trump and first lady Melania Trump speak at another White House Christmas reception.



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 a press conference. Livestream:

8 p.m. EST: The next Democratic National Committee presidential primary debate. Livestream: Op-ed:  



Today is National Hard Candy Day.


‘Washington Is the Most Exciting Food City in America’ — tell me more:

Via Bloomberg’s Kate Krader, “Despite the hype from such places as L.A., the nation’s capital is the town everyone should pay attention to.” Reasoning:


And because this is pretty insane, here are two sea lions who have taken over a sailboat to have their own Yacht Week: