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Wake Up To Politics - December 3, 2019

I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP World HQ in my bedroom. It’s Tuesday, December 3, 2019. 62 days until the 2020 Iowa caucuses. 336 days until Election Day 2020. Have any comments, questions, suggestions, or tips? Email me at gabe@wakeuptopolitics.com!

Trump Investigations: The latest

From NPR: "Democrats are expected to continue their march toward impeachment on Tuesday with the release of a report summarizing their case — one day after Republicans opened the bidding with a salvo of their own."

"The majority on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is expected to release an impeachment report on Tuesday that could then set the stage for the hearing scheduled Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee."

"Schiff's report is expected to offer another tour through a narrative that Democrats have repeated throughout the autumn."

"They say Trump attempted to extract concessions this year from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, conditioning engagement with him and about $391 million in U.S. assistance on commitments by Zelenskiy to launch investigations that Trump thought might help him in the 2020 election."

"The White House froze the assistance for a time but ultimately released; Zelenskiy didn't commit to the investigations that he'd discussed with Trump and intermediaries."

"Democrats say the story is an abuse of power that should put Trump in peril of losing his office. Republican defenders argue that the totality of events show there was no improper exchange and the president shouldn't be impeached."

"The ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., detailed that case in a minority report released on Monday evening — the latest set of dueling documents between Republicans and Democrats on the intelligence panel."

"Nunes' new report summarized Republicans' arguments that Trump was within his authority to act in the way he did; that Democrats haven't proved that Trump committed 'bribery' or any other impeachable crime, as charged; and that Democrats are simply acting out of partisan animus."

--- The schedule: The Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote to transmit the majority report to the Judiciary Committee in a 6 p.m. meeting. Chairman Schiff told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday that the report will be publicly released later this evening.

--- Trump response: President Trump has continued to blast the impeachment probe from the NATO meeting London. "I think it's very unpatriotic of the Democrats to put on a performance," he said this morning while meeting with the NATO Secretary-General. "I think it's a bad thing for our country."

--- The latest: "Indicted Giuliani associate wants to comply with impeachment subpoena. Justice Department says it won’t stand in his way." (Washington Post)

"Ukraine Knew of Aid Freeze in July, Says Ex-Top Official in Kyiv" (New York Times)

"Barr disputes key inspector general finding about FBI’s Russia investigation" (Washington Post)

"Senate panel look into Ukraine interference comes up short" (Politico)

"Highlights from the newly released FBI Mueller investigation notes" (CNN)

The Rundown

Rep. Duncan Hunter to plead guilty to corruption charge: "California Rep. Duncan Hunter said he plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds and is prepared to go to jail, a stunning turn of events for the six-term Republican who had steadfastly denied wrongdoing and claimed he was the victim of a political witch hunt."

"Hunter said in an interview that aired Monday that he will change his not guilty plea at a federal court hearing Tuesday. He said he wants to protect his three children from going through a trial."

. . . "Hunter, who was re-elected last year after being indicted and was campaigning for a seventh term next year, indicated he will leave office but didn’t say when."

"An early supporter of President Donald Trump, Hunter said he will plead guilty to one count of misuse of campaign funds. Federal prosecutors charged he and his wife with 60 criminal counts, saying they spent more than $250,000 in campaign money for golf outings, plane tickets and a family vacation to Italy. They also said the money went to household items and airline tickets for their pet rabbit." (Associated Press)

Trump campaign vs. Bloomberg News: "President Trump's 2020 campaign announced Monday that it will no longer credential Bloomberg News reporters for its events after the outlet said it would not conduct investigations into the Democratic presidential candidates, but would continue to probe the Trump administration."

. . . "Bloomberg News announced last month that it would not investigate the Democratic presidential candidates after its owner, Mike Bloomberg, jumped into the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination." (CNN)

Trump revives trade war: "President Trump revved up his global trade war on two fronts Monday, announcing tariffs on industrial metals from Brazil and Argentina while threatening even harsher penalties on dozens of popular French products."

"The administration said the moves were necessary because U.S. trading partners were acting unfairly to disadvantage both the country’s traditional economic pillars as well as its best hopes for future prosperity." (Washington Post)

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--- Monday's newsletter said Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) was the last current or former governor running for president from either party. He was the last sitting governor running; former Govs. Deval Patrick (D-MA) and Bill Weld (R-MA) are also seeking the White House in 2020.

Today at the White House

--- President Trump is in London today for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Leaders Meeting. At 4:10 a.m., he meets with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. At 4:30 a.m., he participates in a working breakfast with Stoltenberg. At 6:30 a.m., he attends a fundraiser for his re-election campaign.

At 9 a.m., he participates in a restricted bilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. At 9:20 a.m., he participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with Macron. At 10:30 a.m., he participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

At 12:15 p.m., the president and first lady have tea with Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla. At 1 p.m., they attend a NATO Leaders' Reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II. At 2:45 p.m., they attend a NATO Leaders' Reception hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

--- At 1 p.m., Vice President Pence participates in a luncheon honoring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who is stepping down at the end of the year. At 4:15 p.m., Pence meets with Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Today in Congress

--- The Senate convenes at 10 a.m. today. At 11:45 a.m., the chamber votes on confirmation of Eric Ross Komitee to be a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, followed by a procedural vote advancing the nomination of John L. Sinatra, Jr., to be a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York. The chamber will then recess from 12:30 p.m. until 2:15 p.m. for weekly caucus meetings. Additional roll call votes are possible later in the afternoon.

--- The House convenes at 2 p.m. today. The chamber will consider eight pieces of legislation, including one bill (S. 178) directing various government agencies to prepare reports on China's abuses of the Uyghur population and another (H.Res. 546) formally disapproving of Russia's inclusion in the Group of 7:

  1. H.R. 4803 – Citizenship for Children of Military Members and Civil Servants Act, as amended
  2. H.R. 565 – AMIGOS Act, as amended
  3. H.R. 4018 – To provide that the amount of time an elderly offender must serve before being eligible for placement in home detention is to be reduced by the amount of good time credits earned by the prisoner, and for other purposes, as amended
  4. H.Res. 517 – Supporting the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and its Sixth Replenishment, as amended
  5. H.R. 3460 – End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act
  6. H.Res. 546 – Disapproving the Russian Federation's inclusion in future Group of Seven summits until it respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies
  7. H.Res. 585 – Reaffirming support for the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements to ensure lasting peace in Northern Ireland
  8. S. 178 – UIGHUR Act of 2019, as amended

Today at the Supreme Court

--- At 10 a.m., the Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments in Rodriguez v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (Issue: "Whether courts should determine ownership of a tax refund paid to an affiliated group based on the federal common law 'Bob Richards rule,' as three circuits hold, or based on the law of the relevant state, as four circuits hold.")

At 11 a.m., the justices hear oral arguments in Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian. (Issues: "Whether a common-law claim for restoration seeking cleanup remedies that conflict with remedies the Environmental Protection Agency ordered is a jurisdictionally barred “challenge” to the EPA’s cleanup under 42 U.S.C. § 9613 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; whether a landowner at a Superfund site is a “potentially responsible party” that must seek EPA approval under 42 U.S.C. § 9622(e)(6) of CERCLA before engaging in remedial action, even if the EPA has never ordered the landowner to pay for a cleanup; and whether CERCLA pre-empts state common-law claims for restoration that seek cleanup remedies that conflict with EPA-ordered remedies."

Today on the trail

--- Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) continues his "No Malarkey" bus tour across Iowa, holding a community event in Mason City. Later tonight, he attends fundraisers in New York City, New York.  

--- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) attends a Latino community roundtable in Okatie, South Carolina, and a black women's roundtable in Montgomery, Alabama.

--- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (D) visits Los Angeles, California, attending a press conference on police accountability, holding a roundtable on veterans homelessness, and speaking at a lunch reception with supporters.

--- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) attends a house party in Sandwich, New Hampshire.

--- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) campaigns in New Hampshire, attending a panel discussion in Concord, a meet and greet in Milford, and a town hall in Portsmouth.

--- Entrepreneur Andrew Yang visits New Hampshire, holding town halls in Hanover and New London, and attending the opening of a campaign office in Manchester.

*All times Eastern