The Hill's 12:30 Report: Senate receives impeachment articles as trial opens

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: Senate receives impeachment articles | What to watch in Trump's trial | John Roberts to be sworn in today | GAO finds administration broke law by withholding Ukraine aid | White House pushes back on Parnas | Key takeaways from Parnas interview | Battle lines harden in Warren, Sanders fight | Senate approves new NAFTA deal | Cheney won't run for Senate seat | 'Jeopardy' contestants whiff on clue about Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGrenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts Democrats call for probe into ouster of State Dept. watchdog GOP lawmakers say they don't want to put Steve King back on committees MORE



The baton has been passed:

The Senate just formally received the articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE, meaning the impeachment is now in the hands of the upper chamber.

What happens next: The swearing in of senators and Chief Justice John Roberts

Livestream of the articles being introduced in the Senate:

Tidbit -- senators won't be able to have their phones: "Per Sen. [Dick] Durbin, a new cubby has been installed in the Senate cloakroom for senators phones during impeachment trial. Will be strictly enforced" (Via Politico's Burgess Everett)


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:




  1. McConnell to make it as 'painful' as possible
  2. Witnesses are the wildcard
  3. Democrats, Trump face off for first time
  4. Senators get to ask questions
  5. It's expected to go past State of the Union, Iowa caucuses
  6. Press crackdown expected
  7. Trial will end in Trump acquittal

Context and details for each from The Hill's Jordain Carney:


*Cue Shark Tank guests in sync* -- 'There's got to be a better way!':




*GAO shakes its head 'no'*: 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent watchdog, said the Trump administration violated the law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.

Reasoning -- from the report: "Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA." 

Read the report:


Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump tries to soothe anxious GOP senators Press: King Donald's goal - no checks, no balances Trump faces criticism over lack of national plan on coronavirus MORE is on the cover of Time:

"Jared Kushner's White House office is a shrine to his own influence. Gold-framed accolades from his father-in-law hang on the walls, written in thick black Sharpie in President Donald Trump's spiky hand. To Jared, Great job on Mexico. Thanks DAD, reads one."

"Near his desk sits a rack of folders with handwritten labels that nod to Kushner's unrealistically broad policy portfolio: Health care, Lebanon, Border Infrastructure, Central America Econ Plan, POTUS Environment, DOJ [Department of Justice]."

Read the full cover story -- 'Inside Jared Kushner's Unusual White House Role':

Photo of the cover:


'Who even is Lev, amiright?': 

The White House is pushing back on allegations from Lev Parnas that President Trump was aware of the scheme to pressure Ukraine into investigation the Bidens.

From press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMcEnany: Prayer 'made a lot of difference' in 2016 election McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board MORE: "This is a man who's under indictment and who's actually out on bail. This is a man who owns a company called Fraud Inc., so I think that's something that people should be thinking about. We're not too concerned about it ...  It's unfortunate that he's now making a media tour with a lot of the outlets that are, you know, against the president. I think that shows exactly what he's doing."




This morning -- Ukraine announced an investigation:

Ukrainian officials announced today an investigation into alleged threats against former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchJim Jordan requests documents from Pompeo regarding Hunter Biden, Burisma  Trump taps new ambassador to Ukraine America's diplomats deserve our respect MORE

Timing: "The announcement comes days after communications involving Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Moussaoui says he now renounces terrorism, bin Laden Democrats launch probe into Trump's firing of State Department watchdog, Pompeo MORE's associate Lev Parnas were released to the public revealing the extent of a campaign to remove Yovanovitch from her position as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine." 



The Senate passed Trump’s trade deal:

Via The Hill's Sylvan Lane, the Senate voted to implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), President Trump’s update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The vote: 89-10

From Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes MORE (R-Ky.): “Today the Senate will send this landmark agreement to the president’s desk. Quite a week of substantive accomplishments for the nation, for the president, and for international trade."





Staying in the House:

Via The Hill's Juliegrace Brufke, Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyHouse GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Harman says Russia is trying to exploit America; Mylan's Heather Bresch says US should make strategic reserve in medicines; Trump unveils leaders of 'Warp Speed' MORE (R-Wyo.), who serves as the No. 3 Republican in the House, told her colleagues that she will not run for Senate and will remain in the House.

Cheney said in a statement: "I believe I can have the biggest impact for the people of Wyoming by remaining in leadership in the House of Representatives and working to take our Republican majority back. I will not be running for the Senate in 2020. I plan to seek re-election to the House of Representatives."


'Everything is great. Really great. So great.': 

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes, "Liberal Democrats are desperately trying to stay united amid a dispute between Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel Biden wins Hawaii primary Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), which has raised fears on the left that they'll fumble a prime opportunity to nominate a candidate from the progressive wing of the party."

Why this could be detrimental for Democrats: "Views of the Sanders-Warren battle are hardening fast and tensions are running hot as supporters for each candidate retreat to their corners to accuse the other side of playing dirty. It's a high-stakes affair that risks damaging both candidates, who are running at the top of many polls in Iowa with the caucuses only weeks away." 



I'll take 'we live in a D.C. bubble for $1,000, Alex': 


Keep in mind: "An article by Insider notes that 'Jeopardy!' typically films its episodes approximately three months in advance. That places the timeline of Wednesday night's episode around October, when the House was still holding closed-door briefings and the impeachment inquiry was just gaining steam."


Yiiiikes -- a building in D.C. collapsed yesterday:

Watch -- wow this is scary:

Where this happened: Florida Ave NE at Staples St NE, according to Popville.



The House and Senate are in. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence is in Tampa, Fla. today. 

9:20 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence and Karen PenceKaren Sue PenceThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Crowds return during Memorial Day weekend Trump marks Memorial Day at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Fort McHenry OVERNIGHT ENERGY: New documents show EPA rolled back mileage standards despite staff, WH concerns | Land management bureau grants 75 royalty rate cuts for oil and gas | EPA employees allege leadership interference with science in watchdog survey MORE leave for Tampa, Fla.

10 ­– 11 a.m. EST: The House votes. The House's full schedule today:

11 a.m. EST: Roll call votes in the Senate related to the trade deal with Canada and Mexico. The Senate's full schedule today:

11:45 a.m. EST: President Trump receives an intelligence briefing.

Noon: The Senate receives the impeachment articles from the managers. 

1:30 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence speaks at a campaign event in Tampa.

2 p.m. EST: Senators are sworn in for the impeachment trial. 

6 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence speak at a "Latinos for Trump" event in Kissimmee, Fla.

9:35 a.m. EST: Vice President Pence and Karen Pence get back to Washington, D.C.

January 21: The Hill is hosting an event, "Mayors Matter: Deepening the Generational Compact in Communities" at The St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. Details and how to RSVP: 



Noon: The Senate's impeachment trial begins. Livestream:

2 p.m. EST: President Trump participates in the Announcement of the Guidance on Constitutional Prayer in Public Schools. Livestream:



Today is National Fig Newton Day.


And because it's been a long week, here is the happiest dog who has ever lived: