The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Vindman defends witnesses from ‘cowardly’ attacks at third day of hearings

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*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Day three of public impeachment hearings | Vindman defends witnesses from ‘cowardly’ attacks | Thanks father for bringing family to US | Army monitoring safety of Vindman family | Guide to this week’s nine witnesses | Trump calls Pelosi ‘crazy’ before hearing | Bei Bei the panda leaves for China |  Best sandwiches in DC

  

HAPPENING THIS MORNING

Today in, ‘People Having A More Stressful Morning Than Most’:

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council (NSC), and Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence, are testifying before the House Intelligence Committee this morning in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump

Livestream of this morning’s hearing: https://cs.pn/2NWhU6Y

At 2:30 p.m. EST — here’s a livestream of today’s second hearing: https://cs.pn/2NZfyEw

Live blog of testimony highlights: http://bit.ly/2rYwBxW

 

NEWS FROM TODAY’S HEARING:

Vindman thanks his father for leaving the Soviet Union: “Dad, I’m sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected professionals, [it’s] proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”  http://bit.ly/32Zs4YP

Vindman on attacks of the impeachment witnesses: “I want to state that the vile character attacks on these distinguished and honorable public servants is reprehensible. It is natural to disagree and engage in spirited debate, this has been our custom since the time of our Founding Fathers, but we are better than callow and cowardly attacks.” He did not mention specific attacks though. http://bit.ly/2qvHeHY

Vindman on his concerns about Trump’s Ukraine call: “I was concerned by the call, what I heard was improper, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg. It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent,” referring to John Eisenberg, the top lawyer for the National Security Council. http://bit.ly/2qvHeHY

Vindman was asked whether he would leak information: “I never did. I never would. That is preposterous that I would do that.” http://bit.ly/35flAGJ

Williams declined to answer about Pence’s call: When asked about a call between Vice President Mike Pence and the Ukrainian president, Williams’s lawyer interjected. “Given the position of the vice president’s office on classification, I’ve advised Ms. Williams not answer further questions about that call in an unclassified setting.” http://bit.ly/2rYwBxW

  

It’s Tuesday. 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.

Did someone forward this to you? Want your own copy? Sign up here to receive The Hill’s 12:30 Report in your inbox daily: http://bit.ly/2kjMNnn

 

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SIGHTS AND SOUNDS:

Behind the scenes: Here is live video before the hearing: http://bit.ly/2D11yUc

The classic ‘wow, that’s a lot of photographers getting the same shot’: Photo: http://bit.ly/2raE2kZ

Photo of Vindman arriving: Note that he is in uniform. http://bit.ly/2OqiYir

Video of Vindman going through security as he arrives: Now if this were me, I’d realize I had forgotten to take things out of my pockets.  http://bit.ly/2O1fOTp

By the way, Vindman has a twin brother: Here’s a photo of his brother at the hearing: http://bit.ly/32ZVwOk

The view for the witnesses: http://bit.ly/37hN3te

Republicans created graphics for the room: http://bit.ly/35heaTm

  

WHAT TO KNOW FOR THIS WEEK’S HEARINGS:

Primer on where we stand now in the impeachment inquiry: http://bit.ly/2QEnBZf

Testifying this morning:

–      Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the leading Ukraine expert on the national security council

–      Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Pence

 

On Tuesday afternoon:

–      Former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker

–      Timothy Morrison, a Ukraine and Russia expert on the national security council 

 

On Wednesday:

–      Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union

–      Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian affairs

–      Diplomat David Hale

 

On Thursday:

–      Fiona Hill, a former top NSC staffer who covered Europe and Russia

–      David Holmes, an embassy staffer in Kyiv

Short explainer on why each witness is important: http://bit.ly/32WC70F

  

TIDBIT ABOUT ALEXANDER VINDMAN’S FAMILY:

Via The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Ballhaus, Dustin Volz and Gordon Lubold, “the U.S. Army is prepared to move Col. Vindman and his family onto a military base in the area to ensure their security if it is determined that they are in physical danger, according to U.S. officials … Army security officials have also been monitoring Col. Vindman and his family around the clock to make sure there aren’t any imminent threats, officials said.” https://on.wsj.com/2O3BwWV

Op-ed: http://bit.ly/2Xz2yIP

 

IN THE WHITE HOUSE

She cray:

Late last night, President Trump called Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) crazy. http://bit.ly/37hMa3S

He tweeted:Nancy Pelosi just stated that ‘it is dangerous to let the voters decide Trump’s fate.’ @FoxNews In other words, she thinks I’m going to win and doesn’t want to take a chance on letting the voters decide. Like Al Green, she wants to change our voting system. Wow, she’s CRAZY!” http://bit.ly/2qiPvPI

  

IN OTHER NEWS

Baby, bye Bei Bei:

Bei Bei the panda just left the National Zoo and is flying to China. http://bit.ly/2CZFWb8

Omg: “He will be the precious cargo on a FedEx plane dubbed the ‘Panda Express.’”

His travel itinerary: The panda left Dulles International Airport at noon.

Video of zookeepers getting Bei Bei’s final breakfast ready: Via WJLA-TV’s Kristen Powers: http://bit.ly/2Ox7zh8

The puns have been on fire today: NPR’s “Morning Edition” assured followers that “in-flight he’ll have all the bear necessities.”   http://bit.ly/35dTDz6

Livestream of the National Zoo this morning: http://bit.ly/2Op23Nu

Video of Bei Bei rolling down the hill for entertainment: Sigh, I will miss that ball of fun. http://bit.ly/2rZnIUP

  

Why #fartgate is trending on Twitter — That is it. I’ve had enough of Twitter for 2019. Goodbye.: 

Via Time’s Joelle Goldstein, “During Monday’s episode of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, [Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)], 39, appeared on the political analysis show to discuss whether President Donald Trump had used taxpayer dollars to cheat in the election. However, viewers were quickly distracted from the issue when an enormous farting noise was heard as Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, spoke to Matthews on-air from the Capitol.” http://bit.ly/2QEwsK6

The clip in question — I cannot believe this is in the news today…:

‘Hardball’ then clarified what the sound *actually* was: “Sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists – it was the #hardball mug scraping across the desk. Get yours today and let’s get back to the news!” http://bit.ly/2qrNikT

Swalwell then retweeted, adding: “TOTAL EXONERATION!” Well played. See Swalwell’s actual tweet: http://bit.ly/2Opns9b  

 

NOTABLE TWEETS

Wow, that man is stone-faced

(Thank you and goodnight, folks!):

 

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ON TAP

The House and Senate are in.

11:30 a.m. EST: President Trump held a Cabinet meeting in the White House.

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

12:45 p.m. EST: President Trump has lunch with Vice President Pence

1 p.m. EST: Votes in the House. The House’s full schedule todayhttp://bit.ly/2OoVtX6  

2:15 p.m. EST: The Senate holds votes on nominations. The Senate’s full schedule today: http://bit.ly/2OoVtX6 

3 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence meets with former Polish President Lech Wałęsa.

3 p.m. EST: Last votes in the House. 

  

WHAT TO WATCH

2 p.m. EST: Senate Republicans hold a press conference. Livestream: https://cs.pn/2QIyBF1

2:30 p.m. EST: Senate Democrats hold a press conference. Livestream: https://cs.pn/35hlrCE

 

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…

Today is National Macchiato Day.

 

Because I’m hungry:

Here is Washingtonian’s list of the best sandwich and burger spots in Washington, D.C. The list: http://bit.ly/2r6QAdg

 

And because Bei Bei is on his way to China, here are some of the most memorable moments of this goofy panda: https://s.si.edu/343FT9Z

 

Only a panda could make falling out of a tree funny and cute!

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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