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

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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 SchiffSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Schiff pushes back: Defense team knows Trump is guilty MORE



The baton has been passed:

The Senate just formally received the articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg 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.

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  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 KushnerHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Wyden calls on NSA to examine White House cybersecurity following Bezos hack The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power 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 GrishamParnas says he has turned over tape of Trump calling for diplomat's firing ABC: Recording apparently captures Trump discussing Yovanovitch ouster with Parnas, Fruman Trump's split-screen presidency takes stark form in impeachment 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 YovanovitchWashington Post: Pompeo 'gaslighting' NPR reporter Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter Parnas says he has turned over tape of Trump calling for diplomat's firing MORE

Timing: "The announcement comes days after communications involving Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocrats see Mulvaney as smoking gun witness at Trump trial Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter Trump legal team launches impeachment defense 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 McConnellSchumer: Trump's team made case for new witnesses 'even stronger' Trump, Democrats risk unintended consequences with impeachment arguments CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group 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 CheneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Apple reportedly dropped plans to let iPhone users encrypt backups | Justices decline facial recognition case | Critics fear Facebook losing misinformation fight | Truce on French tech tax 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 SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters 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: Democrats turn to obstruction charge The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Pence's office quashes talk of snub from Prince Charles 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: