The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — A new phase for impeachment

The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — A new phase for impeachment
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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. Back by popular demand, it’s Friday! Our newsletter gets you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the up-early co-creators. Find us @asimendinger and @alweaver22 on Twitter and CLICK HERE to subscribe!

Democrats on Thursday took their most concrete step yet toward the impeachment of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE when the House voted sharply along party lines to support the next, public phase of an inquiry tied to Ukraine.

The historic action, which establishes rules for open hearings and the questioning of witnesses by lawmakers and congressional staff, passed the lower chamber 232 to 196. Only two Democrats voted against the impeachment procedures: Reps. Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonHow centrist Dems learned to stop worrying and love impeachment GOP lawmaker says House impeachment rules vote 'doesn't change anything for me' Majority of Americans see impeachment inquiry as fair: poll MORE (Minn.) and Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.), who both represent districts won by Trump in the 2016 election. 

On the GOP side, Republicans remained united behind the president to oppose the Democrats’ resolution.  

As Scott Wong and Cristina Marcos write, the two parties are digging in for what is turning out to be the biggest political battle in a generation, with Thursday’s vote serving as one of the first of many public fights that are likely to extend into 2020. Among those will be the looming public nature of the impeachment effort, which — unlike the past five weeks — will take place in front of television cameras and in public hearings beginning this month. 

"So far, we've seen damning evidence that the president abused his power and jeopardized our national security to help his own political fortunes,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation House Democrats pull subpoena for ex-Trump national security official MORE (D-N.Y.), one of three Democrats leading the impeachment probe. 

As Niall Stanage writes in his latest memo, the public phase of laying out evidence and a narrative to allege “high crimes and misdemeanors” could present major problems for the president — namely, the possibility that administration officials and other witnesses could deliver damning testimony live on national television.

If the private testimony is any indication, the next chapter is likely to trigger a constant drip of negative information from witnesses, most of whom Trump, the White House and his allies have sought to discredit in recent weeks.  

The Hill: Trump slams “witch hunt” after House impeachment vote.

Paul Kane: Partisan lines have hardened in the 21 years since the last impeachment vote.

Peggy Noonan: Impeachment is getting real.

Outside of the vote, House investigators heard testimony from Tim Morrison, a now-former National Security Council aide. He told the three investigatory committees that Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, told him that the president would not release military aid for Ukraine unless they opened an investigation into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden.

The testimony bolstered the House Democratic argument that there was a quid pro quo. However, Republicans also thought Morrison’s 8-hour appearance was a win for them as he testified that he never saw those in the administration do anything illegal. 

The Hill: Both sides claim win following White House official's impeachment testimony. 

The Associated Press: Impeachment inquiry focuses on White House lawyers.

CNN: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy READ: Top NSC aide Tim Morrison's closed-door impeachment inquiry testimony Top NSC aide puts Sondland at front lines of Ukraine campaign, speaking for Trump MORE (D-Calif.) says transcripts from impeachment inquiry witnesses could be made public “as early as next week.” 

As the inquiry moves forward, investigators continue to hold their breath and hope former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonOfficial testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Top NSC aide puts Sondland at front lines of Ukraine campaign, speaking for Trump Highly irregular: Rudy, the president, and a venture in Ukraine MORE will testify, with some considering him a key witness. However, they may be holding their breath for a while as his lawyer indicated that he will not be appearing anytime soon.  

Charles Cooper, Bolton’s lawyer, was in federal court Thursday on behalf of Charles Kupperman, another client who investigators are hoping to depose. Kupperman is waiting on a federal judge to resolve whether he can be forced to testify since he was a close adviser to Trump, and Cooper indicated Thursday that Bolton could be added to the case, which is not expected to be ruled on until late December (The Associated Press). 

Jonathan Allen: Nasty House floor fight sets baseline for Trump impeachment.

 



 

 


 

LEADING THE DAY

POLITICS: New Hampshire could become ground zero for the ultimate match-up between Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSinger Neil Young says that America's presidents haven't done enough address climate change New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Bloomberg, Patrick take different approaches after late entries into primary race Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE (D-Mass.), who both hail from neighboring New England states and view the contest in their backyard as a must-win in their push for the Democratic nod. 

As Amie Parnes writes, although Sanders won the state overwhelmingly during the 2016 primary and currently leads Warren in the latest polls, she is quickly gaining ground, just as she has elsewhere on the 2020 scene.

Warren is seen as a favorite in Iowa, which could propel her further in the Granite State if she wins. If she falters in Iowa, it would raise the stakes in New Hampshire all the more. Sanders narrowly lost Iowa in 2016 and wants to triumph there this time around. If he does not, he would be challenged to capture momentum with hypothetical back-to-back losses. 

"It's awfully close between the two of them," said Dante Scala, a professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, summing up the horse race between the two senators. 

Politico: The impeachment timeline crashes into the Democratic primary. A Senate trial could take six senators off the campaign trail just as the early states prepare to vote. 

The New York Times: Warren leads tight Iowa race as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBudget official says he didn't know why military aid was delayed: report Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide READ: Foreign service officer Jennifer Williams' closed-door testimony from the House impeachment inquiry MORE fades, poll finds.

The Atlantic: The next phase of Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegNew poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Growing 2020 field underscores Democratic divide Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE.

 

 

> Twitter: Twitter earned a wave of praise from Democrats this week over its decision to ban all political advertisements as the 2020 cycle heats up, but it will likely have to navigate anger from the right over whether the policy change amounts to censorship.  

Twitter's political ad ban capitalized on the whirlwind of controversy surrounding larger rival Facebook, which has spent weeks defending its policy to allow politicians to spread misinformation in advertisements. In an era of a broader Washington skepticism and scrutiny of Big Tech, Twitter racked up a rare win: It garnered enormous praise from lawmakers, many of whom said Facebook should follow suit.  

Meanwhile, however, critics on the right — including the Trump campaign — have pushed back at the ban, accusing the platform of caving to Democrats and stifling free expression (The Hill).  

CNBC: Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Civil rights groups demand changes to Facebook's political speech policy Hillicon Valley: Federal inquiry opened into Google health data deal | Facebook reports millions of post takedowns | Microsoft shakes up privacy debate | Disney plus tops 10M sign-ups in first day MORE vs. Jack Dorsey is the most interesting battle in Silicon Valley. 

Time: Trump campaign says Twitter ad ban will cost company $10 million.

Bloomberg: Interview with Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg: Political ads are an important part of the dialogue.

> Trump on the stump: The president is scheduled to hold a number of campaign rallies in the coming week ahead of a trio of key gubernatorial contests the GOP is pushing to hold onto. 

Trump is slated to appear in Tupelo, Miss., tonight for one of his signature rallies to help Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’s bid to win the governor’s mansion. Days later, the president will appear in Lexington, Ky., to support Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, who is looking to fend off a tough challenge from Attorney General Andy Beshear, the Democratic nominee. 

Both races are considered toss-up contests, although both states lean Republican normally, with polls showing the races to be tight only five days out from the election.

On Thursday, Trump will head to Monroe, La., to campaign for businessman Eddie Rispone, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in Louisiana, who is looking to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. The runoff contest is scheduled for Nov. 16. 

Politico: Behind Trump’s 2020 fight: Women trying to rescue an underwater president.

The New York Times: Trump, lifelong New Yorker, declares himself a resident of Florida.

The New York Times: Paula White, Trump’s personal pastor, joins the White House with outreach assignment to evangelicals.

The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: asimendinger@thehill.com and aweaver@thehill.com. We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!

 

IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES

STATE WATCH: Between the World Series and impeachment, this has been a big week in the nation’s capital. Events around the country are proving consequential, too.  

> Illinois - teachers: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Thursday that classes resume today after a contract accord ended an 11-day teachers’ strike. Educators sought smaller class sizes, increased pay and more benefits. The Chicago Teachers’ Union released a statement on Thursday saying an agreement was reached with the city and educators are back on the job (NBC News).

 

 

> California - fires: The woe and ruin in the Golden State from wildfires and power blackouts has been almost biblical. From end to end, parts of the state are heading into the weekend with somewhat calmer winds but new fires, choking smoke, continued evacuations, exhausted firefighters and first responders and a populace unnerved by the destruction. The Los Angeles Times this morning is tracking and mapping 15 active fires, one of which ignited on Thursday. 

One family that lives west of Simi Valley described barely evacuating in time as a fire roared across the nearby state highway on Wednesday. “We put everything in the car, and I’m so glad we did,” Frank Rahimi of Moorpark told CBS News. “[B]y the time it jumped the 23 Freeway, we only had seconds to get out.” 

Compared with the impact of wildfires last year, however, the state is calling attention to lower tallies of deaths, injuries and property destruction (The Los Angeles Times).

> Utah - beer: Utah and Minnesota have been the straggler states with lower-alcohol, 3.2 percent beer. Utah today leaves Minnesota alone in that category after lawmakers raised the alcohol limits to a still-low 4 percent by weight. The change responded to large breweries that have halted making lower-alcohol beer as market tastes and state laws changed (The Associated Press).   

> Pennsylvania - guns: Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Joseph James ruled on Tuesday that Pennsylvania law bars Pittsburgh gun restrictions adopted following the Tree of Life synagogue mass shooting last year. Three city ordinances would have regulated the use of assault weapons in public places in Pittsburgh, prohibited the use of large-capacity magazines in public places and allowed courts to temporarily seize weapons from anyone exhibiting “red flag” signs of extreme risk to themselves or others. The judge found Pittsburgh’s ordinances “void and unenforceable.” The city plans to appeal (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). 

> North Carolina - sexual assault: North Carolina lawmakers in the GOP-controlled state House and Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a bill that would end sexual assault loopholes that have persisted for 40 years. If the governor signs the measure, men in North Carolina could no longer claim to be innocent of rape if a woman agrees to sex and then withdraws consent. And it would end a defense that it’s not a crime in North Carolina to have sex with someone who is incapacitated, such as through drugs or alcohol, if that person was responsible for his or her compromised condition (NBC News).

OPINION

Trump has received a formal invitation to be impeached, by Joshua C. Harder, opinion contributor, The New York Times. https://nyti.ms/2PKO1rR

Trump is getting his constitutional rights in the House impeachment inquiry, by Scott S. Barker of the American College of Trial Lawyers, opinion contributor, The Hill. https://bit.ly/2qcNO60

 

 

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WHERE AND WHEN

Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), who discusses the House impeachment vote; New Hampshire reporter Paul Steinhauser, who discusses interviews with South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders; and National Science Foundation astrophysicist Joe Pesce, who discusses quantum computing. Watch at 9 a.m. ET at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10 a.m. at Rising on YouTube.

The House will meet at 1 p.m. in a pro forma session.

The Senate reconvenes Monday at 3 p.m.

The president will hold a reelection rally at 7 p.m. at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, Miss.

Vice President Pence is traveling today to London, Ky., to participate in a three-stop bus tour to stump for Republican candidates, including Bevin and members of the Kentucky congressional delegation. While in the state, he’ll have lunch on the road, meet with first responders and participate in a Get-Out-the-Vote event. Pence returns to Washington this evening.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump to tour Apple factory with Tim Cook on Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report — Public impeachment drama resumes today On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE is traveling through Nov. 5 with stops in the United Arab Emirates, India and Qatar.

Economic indicator: The Bureau of Labor Statistics at 8:30 a.m. reports on U.S. employment in October. Economists anticipated a more ominous employment picture, in part because of the General Motors strike (The New York Times).

ELSEWHERE

Vaping: Thirty-seven people have died to date in the United States after contracting a mysterious illness tied to vaping, with a total of 1,888 confirmed and probable cases of sickness, according to a report on Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed the alarming trend worsening from last week (Reuters).  

North Korea: Military officials in Japan and South Korea reported on Thursday that North Korea fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, ending a lull in testing after denuclearization talks stalled. North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOvernight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' Biden responds to North Korea: 'I wear their insults as a badge of honor' Erdoğan should receive the wrath of the US, not its embrace MORE has set an end-of-the-year deadline for denuclearization talks with the Trump administration (Reuters).

Boy Scouts: To meet rising operating costs, especially for liability insurance tied to a wave of new sex-abuse lawsuits, the Boy Scouts of America will raise its annual youth membership fee by more than 80 percent for its 2.2 million youth members to $60 from $33 in January. Fees for adult leaders will rise by $3 (The Associated Press).

THE CLOSER

And finally … Take a bow, winners of this week’s Morning Report Quiz! 

We uncovered some sleuths who solved all our trivia questions about Agatha Christie, who published her first who-done-it 99 years ago this month: Bob Hirsch, John Donato, Patrick Kavanagh, Christina Mille, Rose DeMarco, Cheryl Gibson, Luther Berg and Mary Lee DeCoster.        

They knew (or guessed) that in the second chapter of Christie’s first novel, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” the author introduced her now-famous character Hercule Poirot, the fussy Belgian detective described as having an egg-shaped head (AgathaChristie.com).   

St. Mary Mead is the sleepy English village that serves up clues about human psychology and murderous impulses in Christie’s novels featuring amateur sleuth Miss Jane Marple.

In Christie’s tale of murder during a Halloween party, a teenage girl was the victim, drowned by a killer in a tub of water used by revelers to bob for apples.

Christie’s most frequent instrument for fictional murder was poison. The author became something of an acknowledged specialist during the war years while working in hospital dispensaries (TIME).

Christie nabbed a Guinness World Record as the world’s bestselling novelist (GuinnessWorldRecords.com).