The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week

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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: Breaking — Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles next week | Dems prep for new fight over trial witnesses | Trump hits Iran with new sanctions | Graham, Paul feud over Trump war powers | Economy adds 145K jobs, meeting expectations | Bloomberg vows to help fund eventual Dem nominee | Larry David, Bernie Sanders catch up on ‘Today’ show | National Bittersweet Chocolate Day



‘It’s going down, I’m yelling timber’:

Three weeks after the House passed two articles of impeachment against President TrumpSpeaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she plans to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week.

Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democrats: “I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.”  

Read Pelosi’s ‘Dear Colleague’ letter



Sanctions Friday:

The Trump administration just announced new sanctions on Iran after the missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops.

The sanctions: “The new sanctions target the Iranian aluminum, copper, iron and steel industries. The U.S. is also sanctioning eight senior Iranian officials who were allegedly involved in Tuesday’s missile attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.” 

On the Ukrainian plane crash: “We do believe that it is likely that plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. “We are going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination. It’s important that we get to the bottom of it.” 

Livestream of the announcement:

Photo of Pompeo leaving the White House after the briefing:



Via CNN’s Nicole Gaouette and Jamie Gangel:


Happy Friday! 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 [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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Doesn’t it feel like we just had a jobs report?:

The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, meeting economists’ expectations.

What economists expected: 145,000-150,000 jobs 

The unemployment rate: Remained at 3.5 percent.

Context: “The resilient job market is … a significant advantage for President Trump as he seeks reelection on the strength of the U.S. economy. The president is counting on near-record lows in joblessness, stable growth and low inflation to woo swing voters that might be repelled by his other policies, rhetoric or conduct in office. Even so, the December jobs report showed areas of economic weakness that could cut against the president in November.”



The House passed a war powers resolution:

In a largely party-line vote, the House passed a measure on Thursday to curb President Trump’s power to go to war with Iran.

The vote: 224-194

What it would do: The resolution would direct the president to end military hostilities with Iran unless Congress specifically authorizes it or in the face of an “imminent armed attack.”

Keep in mind: This measure does not need Trump’s signature.

Why: The measure would not need Trump’s signature because it’s what’s known as a “concurrent resolution.” But that has also left Democrats open to criticism that the resolution is just a messaging bill since concurrent resolutions are typically nonbinding, though their use to force the end of military hostilities under the War Powers Act is untested in court.

From Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): “This is with real teeth. We’re taking this path because it does not require … a signature of the president of the United States. This is a statement of the Congress of the United States, and I will not have that statement be diminished by whether the president will veto it or not.”



Three Republicans and eight Democrats.

Republicans: Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Francis Rooney (Fla.) and most notably Trump ally Matt Gaetz (Fla.) voted with Democrats.

Democrats: Reps. Ben McAdams (Utah), Anthony Brindisi (N.Y.), Joe Cunningham (S.C.), Kendra Horn (Okla.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) and Elaine Luria (Va.) voted against the bill.


Ouch — “If I had an eye problem, I would go to him. If I had a constitutional question, he would be the last guy I would pick’:

The debate over President Trump’s war powers is causing a rift between two of Trump’s top allies, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

^OK, so that quote: Graham was asked about Paul, who is also an ophthalmologist, and said: “If I had an eye problem, I would go to him. If I had a constitutional question, he would be the last guy I would pick.”   

Back story: “The two lawmakers are butting heads after Paul and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) emerged from Wednesday’s classified briefing deeply critical of what they characterized as a warning from senior administration officials against debating Trump’s war authority and their use of a 2002 authorization as the basis for last week’s drone strike in Baghdad that killed Soleimani.”



Oh, see that was just round one:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, after Senate Republicans won round one in the fight over impeachment witnesses, Democrats are vowing to force votes along the way.

The strategy for Democrats — put pressure on a few GOP senators: “Democrats are vowing they will force votes at multiple points during the trial. The strategy sets up key junctures to watch during the likely weeks-long trial that, Democrats hope, keeps pressure on a handful of GOP senators they will need to win any of the looming procedural battles.” 

What Schumer is trying to do: “Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is seeking to shift the focus from [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)] — who has said he does not believe either Trump’s legal team or House impeachment managers should call witnesses — to rank-and-file members by noting that ‘every senator will have to vote’ on whether to call witnesses or compel documents.”

What to expect:



Sugar Democrat:

Via NBC’s Josh Lederman and Stephanie Ruhle, Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to help fund the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign even if it is not him.

It doesn’t stop there!: “Bloomberg’s vast tech operation will also be redirected to help the eventual nominee, as Democrats struggle to compete with the vaunted digital operation built by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale. Hawkfish, a digital company started by Bloomberg that’s carrying out his $100 million online ad campaign, will be retained through Election Day to help defeat Trump.” 



From the NBA to Washington, D.C.:

Via The Hill’s Scott Wong and Laura Kelly, “Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is the NBA’s latest political wunderkind, a basketball player as comfortable talking policy with conservative lawmakers and Democratic presidential candidates as he is blocking shots and garnering rebounds. Standing almost seven feet tall, the Swiss-born Turkish athlete has built himself an impressive contact list of high-profile U.S. politicians and D.C. insiders as he navigates his role as an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a defender of human rights.”

Keep in mind: “The 27-year-old Kanter is on track to become a U.S. citizen in June 2021, and the deeper he wades into politics and policy a future career in Washington is seeming more real and within his grasp, he said.” 



Long-lost twin, you mean!:



The House is in. The Senate is out. President Trump is in Washington, D.C. Vice President Pence has no public events on his schedule.

10 ­– 11 a.m. EST: Votes in the House. The House’s full schedule today:

1:45 p.m. EST: President Trump meets with Secretary of State Pompeo

3 p.m. EST Monday: The Senate returns. The Senate’s schedule on Monday:



10:45 a.m. EST: Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a press briefing in the White House on new Iran sanctions. Livestream:



Today is National Bittersweet Chocolate Day.


Because it’s a soup weekend:

Via Washingtonian’s Daniella Byck, here’s a list of 10 cozy soup spots in Washington, D.C.:


And to get your weekend off to an entertaining start, here’s a kitten who hates technology. And I mean, HATES technology: 

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