The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems to present case on abuse of power on trial's third day

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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: Democrats to focus on abuse of power charge on trial's third day | What to watch | Dems target voters in impeachment arguments | Tensions run high between McConnell, Schumer | Graham tells Schiff 'good job' | Collins walks fine line in trial | Trump plans to expand travel ban | Sanders angles for one-on-one fight with Biden | National Pie Day

 

HAPPENING ON CAPITOL HILL

To sum it up in one sentence -- Republicans aren't impressed so far, but Democrats don't really care:

Via The Hill's Mike Lillis, House Democrats' opening arguments in the impeachment trial haven't moved the dial at all with Senate Republicans, who quickly dismissed the charges as a political ruse. But Democrats' argument is meant to resonate with voters. http://bit.ly/36p7RND

When the trial begins today: 1 p.m. EST. Livestream for today: https://cs.pn/2NTCYdR

 

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY: 

House Democrats are focusing on the first article of impeachment today -- proving that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE abused his power in office. http://bit.ly/2vgMwcC

  

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

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LATEST WITH THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

Well, I wouldn't say this is ~helping~ McConnell and Schumer's relationship:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Tensions are running high between Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives To avoid November catastrophe, Democrats have to KO Sanders MORE (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Democratic mega-donor reaching out to Pelosi, Schumer in bid to stop Sanders: report Trump administration freezes funding for study of hurricane barriers: report MORE (N.Y.) after a bruising battle over the Senate impeachment trial's rules." http://bit.ly/2tAIAmE

What Schumer has done: "Schumer has turned the proceedings into a trial of McConnell and Senate Republicans as much as President Trump, which has hardened partisan divisions."

And what McConnell has done: "McConnell in return has rebuffed Schumer's efforts to negotiate a bipartisan organizing resolution for the trial, ignoring repeated requests to meet. He angered Schumer by not sharing the text of the resolution setting the trial's rules until Monday evening." 

 

WHO TO WATCH IN THE TRIAL:

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (R-Maine), who is walking a fine line: "The moderate Maine Republican has to demonstrate some independence from the president, but she can't run too far away from him and alienate GOP voters." http://bit.ly/36qIHP3

  

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

What it's like to be a reporter covering the trial: CNN's Manu Raju tweeted, "Another day of overbearing restrictions on reporting during trial. Reporters trying to ask questions to senators in basement are being stopped by cops as they go up escalator. This is NOT the way the Capitol normally operates when reporters can ask questions undeterred in halls" Photo of what he is talking about: http://bit.ly/2GfOqwh

That is a lot of reporters: Check out this press scrum: http://bit.ly/38wl5tz

Lol: "A bit of color from Senate floor, per a Sasse aide: 'At about 5:00pm the Sergeant at Arms asked [Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (R-Neb.)] to put away a pouch of Red Man chewing tobacco that was on his desk. Sasse asked whether or not the four remaining spittoons are decorative. We'll see.'" (Via The Hill's Al Weaver) http://bit.ly/36iyfJi

Reporters are kept in a pen: "We have a Hotel California situation on the other side of the chamber. Reporters can enter the pen, but you cant leave." (Via Bloomberg's Laura Davison) http://bit.ly/37mnLKe 

The seating plan:

 

Interesting read -- 'What it's like to be a presidential candidate stuck at the trial':

Via The New York Times's Lisa Lerer, "Hours into the first long night of President Trump's impeachment trial on Tuesday, Senator Bernie SandersBernie SandersDNC warns campaigns about cybersecurity after attempted scam Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Biden looks to shore up lead in S.C. MORE of Vermont kept checking his watch. Senator Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives MORE of Massachusetts sipped hot water -- one of two drinks allowed in the chamber -- to warm up. Senator Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. The Hill's Campaign Report: Gloves off in South Carolina Lawmakers grill Ticketmaster, StubHub execs over online ticketing MORE of Minnesota jotted down notes. And Senator Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet Biden proposes 0B housing plan Nevada caucuses open with a few hiccups Overnight Energy: EPA moves to limit financial pressure on 'forever chemical' manufacturers | California sues Trump over water order| Buttigieg expands on climate plan MORE of Colorado stood and listened."

"Around the same time, more than 1,000 miles west at a community college in Fort Dodge, Iowa, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was warning an audience about the divided nation that the next president would inherit." 

The full story: https://nyti.ms/2RiCUqa

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

An expansion to the travel ban:

President Trump is expected to add several countries to the travel ban, sparking new controversy over the policy. http://bit.ly/30TmJmr

Trump's reasoning: "We're adding a couple of countries to it. We have to be safe. Our country has to be safe. You see what's going on in the world. Our country has to be safe. So we have a very strong travel ban, and we'll be adding a few countries to it."

Which countries: Trump has not said which countries would be on the list, but he is reportedly considering Nigeria, Belarus, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania.

Keep in mind: The three-year anniversary of Trump's first travel ban is coming up.

  

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Just you and me, you and me:

Via The Hill's Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes, Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) is hoping to turn the race for the Democratic presidential nomination into a battle with just former Vice President Biden

Timing: "New national and early-state polls suggest the two candidates are getting some separation from the rest of the pack, and those polls have coincided with new, pointed attacks from the Sanders campaign on Biden." 

The back and forth between the two candidates: http://bit.ly/2GjNjeV

  

NOTABLE TWEETS

Lol: 

Watch: http://bit.ly/2Gf2Xby

  

ON TAP

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. and is heading to Doral, Fla. this afternoon. Vice President Pence is in Israel.

Noon: President Trump received an intelligence briefing.

Noon: Vice President Pence meets with the prime minister of Israel at the U.S. embassy in Israel.

2:45 p.m. EST: President Trump leaves for Doral.

6 p.m. EST: President Trump speaks at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral.

10 p.m. EST: President Trump returns to the White House.

 

WHAT TO WATCH

1 p.m. EST: Day three of the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2NTCYdR

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...

Today is National Pie Day!

 

And because the news has been intense this week, here's dog playing with a puppy: http://bit.ly/2vjRTI9