The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump

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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.


Pardon moi?:  


Via The New York Times’s Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats formally introduce impeachment article The Hill's Morning Report - Trump finally concedes; 25th Amendment pressure grows The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from chaotic downtown DC MORE and Michael S. Schmidt, President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT MORE’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Rove: Chances of conviction rise if Giuliani represents Trump in Senate impeachment trial MORE has reportedly discussed receiving a preemptive pardon from the president before he leaves office. https://nyti.ms/2VpCvDQ

For what? It’s unclear…: “Giuliani’s potential criminal exposure is unclear. He was under investigation as recently as last summer by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for his business dealings in Ukraine and his role in ousting the American ambassador there, a plot that was at the heart of the impeachment of Mr. Trump.”

Is this normal for a president to do? Not normal, but it has been done before: “Such a broad pardon pre-empting any charge or conviction is highly unusual but does have precedent. George Washington pardoned plotters of the Whiskey Rebellion … Gerald R. Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon for all of his actions as president. Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? When government becomes destructive Gerald Ford Foundation urges 'dignified' presidential transition MORE pardoned thousands of American men who illegally avoided the draft for the Vietnam War.” 

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


Giuliani tweeted, “#FakeNews NYT lies again. Never had the discussion they falsely attribute to an anonymous source. Hard to keep up with all their lies.” Giuliani’s tweet: https://bit.ly/37mmhAV


It’s Tuesday — Happy December! I.e.: This weird year is almost over.  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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When Americans could be vaccinated (!) :

“A top official of Operation Warp Speed — the U.S. government’s massive effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine — confidently predicted Monday that everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by June.” https://on.mktw.net/2VB9SDP

Who said this: Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski (Ret.), the head of Operation Warp Speed’s supply, production and distribution 

In Ostrowski’s words: “100 percent of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine by [June]. … We will have over 300 million doses available to the American public well before then.” 

Watch his full comments on MSNBC explaining on the vaccine distribution: https://on.msnbc.com/36sIq0U


“As the US prepares for the first round of vaccinations to tackle Covid-19, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCOVID-19 is a precursor for infectious disease outbreaks on a warming planet Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Fauci: Approval of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines likely 'weeks away' MORE called on the public to ‘be part of the solution’ and get vaccinated once it is available.” Fauci’s full comments: https://cnn.it/2JyOv3b


Ugh, hospitals are bracing again:

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivan, “Hospitals are facing rising pressure from a surge of coronavirus cases that is threatening to overwhelm their capacity, as the country braces for further escalation following Thanksgiving.” https://bit.ly/33x0Mw3



Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 13,556,283 

U.S. death toll: 268,662

Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

For context — three months ago today: 6,036,569 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 183,689 had died. https://bit.ly/2JoCr4I



Unveiled this morning — The magic B-word:

A bipartisan group of more than a dozen House and Senate members unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus relief bill. https://bit.ly/36pse0w

What’s in the bill 

- “$160 billion for states and cities”

- “$180 billion for unemployment insurance” 

- “$288 billion for more small business assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.” 

More of what’s in the proposal: https://bit.ly/36pse0w

Keep in mind: This bill is roughly double what Republicans want and half of what Democrats want. 

Will this bill go anywhere? — what’s happening today: “For the proposal to go anywhere it would need to get buy-in for leadership in both parties and both chambers. [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinTreasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference Sanders defends push to impeach Trump: Insurrection won't be tolerated MORE are expected to talk about coronavirus relief on Tuesday for the first time since October.”


Getting traction — so what’s the GP on day 1?:

Via CNN’s Gregory Krieg, MJ Lee and Sarah Mucha, “President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries MORE and his transition team are preparing for an early, all-out push to pass an ambitious new stimulus bill, while also drawing up plans for a flurry of executive actions aimed at delivering on campaign promises and undoing the Trump administration's efforts to undermine key government agencies.” https://cnn.it/3o7WYck

Biden’s priorities in his first 100 days: “Containing the Covid-19 pandemic, launching an economic recovery and tackling racial inequality…”

Why his plan is still a little uncertain: The Georgia runoffs, of course. If Republicans win even one of the seats, the GOP will keep the Senate, and that will adjust Biden’s agenda.



Today marks 50 days until Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States.


Joe Biden’s controversial picks:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Tensions are brewing around some of President-elect Joe Biden’s picks for key posts in his administration, with protesting voices raised on the left as well as among Republicans.” https://bit.ly/37mDwlz 

Who: Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for secretary of State, and Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Why Blinken is controversial — transparency in a past job: “Blinken is a longtime part of the foreign policy establishment. … Highly regarded by colleagues, questions are nevertheless being asked about Blinken’s role at WestExec Advisors, a consultancy firm whose clients remain opaque.” 

Why Tanden is controversial — hyper partisan: For example, Briahna Joy Gray, who served as national press secretary for Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate MORE’s 2020 presidential campaign, tweeted: “Everything toxic about the corporate Democratic Party is embodied in Neera Tanden.” 

Speculation over Tanden’s nomination: “Josh Holmes, a GOP strategist and former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham calls on Schumer to hold vote to dismiss article of impeachment against Trump Rove: Chances of conviction rise if Giuliani represents Trump in Senate impeachment trial Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report MORE (R-Ky.), has suggested that Tanden’s nomination might be a ‘sacrifice to the confirmation gods’ — that is, a nominee that an incoming president knows will be rejected but who will draw heat away from other nominees.”


But he is still receiving criticism and pressure. https://bit.ly/37jBUcg



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This is without a doubt true:

The emoji on the left looks dead inside. 


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2Vu73UF

I meaaaaan, this does look functional…:

This tweet has more than 68k likes so far. 



hyperlink https://bit.ly/33Az41k



The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden-Harris team unveils inauguration playlist Trump approval rating relatively unchanged in wake of Capitol rioting: NBC News poll Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday MORE are in Wilmington, Del. 

President Trump has no public events scheduled. 

11 a.m. EST: Two roll call votes in the Senate.

12:30 p.m. EST: Senators meet for weekly caucus luncheons.  

2:15 p.m. EST: Two roll call votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/3qfjbar 

3 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence holds a White House coronavirus task force meeting in the Situation Room.



10 a.m. EST: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testify on their responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3lrGcTR 

12:30 p.m. EST: President-elect Biden introduces his White House economic team. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3mthZxZ

2 p.m. EST: Senate Republicans hold a news conference. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3lqOYBy 

2:30 p.m. EST: Senate Democrats hold a news conference. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3mr2h6x


Today is National Pie Day!

And because you made it this far, here’s a very confused snake that can’t figure out why it isn’t moving. I find this amusing and I *really* dislike snakes:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3lsVhVo

Watch: https://bit.ly/3lsVhVo