The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Biden’s classified doc woes intensify | The Hill

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, with survivors and families impacted by gun violence for the 10th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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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.


Remember parents, check your kids’ Halloween candy for classified documents:

The White House announced over the weekend that five more classified documents were found at President Biden’s Wilmington, Del., residence on Thursday. 

Recent docs?: Documents from when Biden served as vice president. 

By the way: White House special counsel Richard Sauber said the lawyers who discovered a document found in Biden’s garage did not have security clearances. They paused the search and waited for Sauber to complete the search.

So, how many sensitive documents have been found?: Roughly two dozen. Ten in a Washington, D.C., office in November, more in Biden’s Delaware garage — plus five more documents found on Thursday evening. 

Keep in mind: Sauber is the president’s special counsel. Garland appointed Robert Hur to investigate the handling of Biden’s sensitive documents. 


From NPR’s Becky Sullivan and Elena Moore 

Merrick Garland’s word association may forever be with ‘classified’ and ‘documents’

“The discovery of classified documents at President Biden’s old office and Delaware home have thrust Attorney General Merrick Garland back into a situation none of his predecessors have encountered.” 

No big deal or anything: “Garland has, over the past three months, appointed two special counsels to review the handling of classified documents: One involving the current president, and one involving the former president, both of whom may be on the ballot in 2024.”  

What Republicans and Democrats think of Garland’s handling of the probes, via The Hill’s Brett Samuels

It’s Tuesday — welcome back! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

🏃‍♂️ 2024 

Oh please, please, pleaaaaase elaborate:

In an interview with David Brody on “The Water Cooler” on Monday, former President Trump was asked about the possibility of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) running against him in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. 

Trump’s response?: “So you know, now I hear he might want to run against me. So, we’ll handle that the way I handle things.”

More from Trump’s interview

More from The Hill’s Caroline Vakil


The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake ranks the potential 2024 presidential candidates by their chances. In this analysis, DeSantis is ranked higher than former President Trump.


Hint: The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is returning to the Washington, D.C., area after being held in Florida and Texas in the last two years. The list of major political events in 2023 


From The Hill’s Max Greenwood 

👯 In Congress 

‘Buddies’ isn’t quite the word that comes to mind

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) don’t have much of a personal relationship, but as the leaders of the House and Senate, the two will have to work with each other on a host of legislative deadlines.

Think: The debt limit and funding the federal government. Those little things. 

Not the ~best~ start: Schumer recently accused McCarthy and his colleagues of pushing an “extreme” agenda. 

What about McCarthy’s relationship with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports that “McCarthy and McConnell don’t often make public appearances together, but aides say they have a good relationship and meet regularly.”  

How this could affect the legislative agenda for this Congress 


Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) announced this morning that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat that Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) is vacating. Why is Braun giving up the seat?: To run for governor. The full story 

Ohio state Sen. Matt Dolan (R) also announced this morning that he will run against Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) in 2024. Keep in mind: Dolan ran in 2022 but lost the GOP primary to now-Sen. J.D. VanceThe full story 

Interesting read — ‘What the Jan. 6 probe found out about social media, but didn’t report’:

The Washington Post’s Cat Zakrzewski, Cristiano Lima and Drew Harwell report that “[congressional] investigators found evidence that tech platforms — especially Twitter — failed to heed their own employees’ warnings about violent rhetoric on their platforms and bent their rules to avoid penalizing conservatives, particularly then-president Trump, out of fear of reprisals.” 

This evidence was collected but the committee didn’t include it in the final report — why?: “[Committee’ leaders declined to delve into those topics in detail in their final report, reluctant to dig into the roots of domestic extremism taking hold in the Republican Party beyond former president Donald Trump and concerned about the risks of a public battle with powerful tech companies, according to three people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the panel’s sensitive deliberations.”  

The full Washington Post report

🎤 Announced this morning 

Take a bow, Madonna:

Madonna announced the dates of her 40th anniversary tour this morning.

The gist: “The 35-city Live Nation-produced tour will kick off in North America on July 15 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC and hit Detroit, Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas and San Francisco before wrapping up in Las Vegas on Oct. 7. The outing will then move on to Europe, starting with a date in London at the O2 Arena on Oct. 14 and winding down in Amsterdam on Dec. 1 at the Ziggo Dome.” Details and context from Billboard 

The list of dates and when tickets go on sale

🦖 Getting traction 

I won’t lie. I, too, am skeptical about the conflicts of interest:

The Washington Post’s Dino Grandoni writes, “The T. rex may have been a lot smarter than you thought.”

Read that byline again. 

Read the full piece 

The author retweeted a Twitter user who pointed out his name and the headline: “Wrote about dinosaurs … and became an internet meme,” Grandoni tweeted.

🦠 The COVID-19 numbers 

Cases to date: 101.5 million 

Death toll: 1,095,149 

Current hospitalizations: 35,881 

Shots administered: 666 million 

Fully vaccinated: 69.1 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 


Bloomberg’s Saleha Mohsin tweeted a photo of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) chatting with former Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci and former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at the World Economic Forum meetup in Davos, Switzerland. Photo

On tap

The House and Senate are out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.

  • 9 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 11:15 a.m.: Biden participated in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. 
  • 12:45 p.m.: Biden and Harris have lunch together. 
  • Jan. 19: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The Future of Cities: Mayors Forum.” Speakers and how to RSVP

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch

  • 1:45 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 2:45 p.m.: Biden hosts the Golden State Warriors at the White House to celebrate their 2022 NBA championship. Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attend. Livestream 

🍹 In lighter news 

Today is National Hot Buttered Rum Day

Psssst, it’s Restaurant Week in DC!:

The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is holding its winter restaurant week from Jan. 16-22. 

What to expect: Prefixed meals range from $25-55 per person depending on the restaurant and time of day. Details from WUSA9 

List of participating restaurants and their menus 

And to leave you with a smile, here’s a dog who really isn’t ready to go home.


12:30 Report

2024 elections


Biden documents

DeSantis v. Trump

Kevin McCarthy


Ron DeSantis


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