Newsletter: The next phase of impeachment

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), left, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the panel’s senior Republican.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


The Next Phase of Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first impeachment hearing today, signifying a new — and unpredictable — step in the Democrats’ inquiry into President Trump. Why unpredictable? Because it includes some of the most partisan Republicans and Democrats in Congress.


Today’s hearing will feature constitutional law experts, with the aim of educating members and the public on what exactly impeachment is and what actions by a president merit that punishment.

The Judiciary Committee took control of the inquiry yesterday after the House Intelligence Committee voted to approve a 300-page report (read it here) concluding that “the evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming.”

The Intelligence Committee revealed in its report that it obtained a series of call logs among key players in the Ukraine affair, including Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani; his indicted associate Lev Parnas; and the Intelligence Committee’s senior Republican, Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare.

Republicans have issued their own, 123-page report stating that Trump committed no impeachable offenses, participated in no cover-up and did not obstruct justice.

What Went Wrong?

Sen. Kamala Harris began her run for president as a rising star, representing the more youthful and diverse voters that have become the Democratic Party‘s base. Yesterday, she suspended her campaign, blaming a lack of money.

The reasons for its demise lie deeper than that: a muddled purpose, campaign infighting and an inability to sustain support from vital Democratic voting blocs, particularly African Americans.

A new poll even showed a majority of California Democrats wanted Harris to exit the race. But her departure also underscores how Democrats are left with a slate of presidential candidates dominated by white men.

More Politics

— On the first day of the two-day NATO leaders’ summit, one that was supposed to emphasize unity and celebrate the alliance’s 70th anniversary, Trump unexpectedly launched a verbal assault at the United States’ oldest ally, France, and denounced impeachment (“a disgrace”), Democrats (“gone crazy”), Joe Biden’s family (“We want the son”), Rep. Adam Schiff (“a maniac”) and more.

— A hefty majority of Californians support impeachment, but they’re split along party lines, a new poll finds.

Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds. Prosecutors plan to seek at least a year in prison.

The School on the Bus

In Tijuana, there’s a passenger bus full of children, but they’re not heading to school. Instead, they’re in school. The unusual classroom is run by the Yes We Can World Foundation, a nonprofit formed to support migrant children trapped on Mexico’s northern border while they wait for U.S. authorities to accept or deny their asylum applications. The effort was brought to life by Estefania Rebellón, an L.A. actor who knows firsthand the pain and uncertainty of being an asylum seeker.

A New L.A. Mixtape

Over the years, a lot of songs have been written about Los Angeles. Through a combination of gumshoe research, interviews with noted songwriters, conferences with colleagues and calls to social media, we generated a spreadsheet identifying thousands of L.A.-set tunes. But which ones really speak to the 21st century? See and hear which 50 songs made the cut and tell us what contemporary songs we missed. Plus, here are 25 sure-fire classics.

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On this date in 1986, Clara Clements, a 40-year-old Glendale woman and longtime diabetic, left UCLA Medical Center with a new pancreas — the first such transplant performed successfully on the West Coast. It was one of the most difficult types of transplant to perform, Clements’ surgeon told reporter Sue Horton, now The Times’ op-ed and Sunday opinion editor, at the time.

That surgeon was Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. More than three decades later, he would buy the Los Angeles Times. Read Horton’s full 1986 story and interview with him here.


Nury Martinez was elected president of the Los Angeles City Council, becoming the first Latina to hold the powerful position.

— L.A.’s elected leaders are on the brink of passing a law to limit campaign money from developers. But first, more fundraising.

— The complexity of building a bullet train through Southern California’s urban maze is leading state officials to consider two major additions, including a tunnel under the Burbank airport.

— A veteran Los Angeles police officer is under investigation after his body-worn camera captured him allegedly fondling a dead woman’s breasts.

— Parts of L.A. County got more rain last month than they’d seen in any November in nearly a decade. Now there’s more on the way.


— At the Grammys next month, the key rivalry is between Billie Eilish and Lizzo. We have some predictions for who will win what.

Tanya Tucker had her first hit at 13. Now, at 61, could the country outlaw win her first Grammy?

“The Irishman” just won its first major best picture prize.

Baby Yoda is the breakout star of “The Mandalorian,” but we have questions — 28 of them, actually. And while there’s no official doll yet, there are some creepy knockoffs.


— With global carbon emissions about to hit a record high, we spoke with one climate scientist about why next year might be worse and what keeps him hopeful.

— In Mississippi, thousands of people convicted of felonies have permanently lost their voting rights. A lawsuit aims to change that.

— Background checks on gun purchases in the U.S. are nearing a record high, amid what the industry says is a gun-buying rush motivated by fears of restrictions by Democrats.

— The North Dakota building company that made an on-air pitch to Trump on Fox News just won a $400-million border-wall contract, despite having scant experience and a checkered record.


Sundar Pichai is becoming CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, as co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin step down.

— A California college student is suing TikTok, saying the viral video service secretly funneled her personal data to China.

— As his defamation trial began in L.A. federal court, Elon Musk testified that he was just trading insults with a cave rescue diver when he called him a “pedo guy.”


Dodgers officials recently met with two of the top free agents on the market.

— So long as football thrives, players like Kevin Ellison — who died at 31 with CTE, a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head trauma — will pay the toll, columnist Dylan Hernandez writes.


Drug-addicted pregnant women need help, not jail, writes Robin Abcarian.

Social Security payouts disproportionately favor the rich, a new study finds. Blame interest rates and rising life expectancy, columnist Michael Hiltzik writes.


— Why everyone else’s morning routines seem more productive than yours. (The Atlantic)

— “He seems to be incapable of being gracious.” Fresh off his own ill-fated campaign, Bill de Blasio, New York City’s current mayor, is furious his predecessor is running for president. (Politico)


Koreatown is one of the most uniquely urban parts of L.A., packed with shops, hotels, bars and restaurants serving almost any kind of Korean food you could want. In this week’s episode of “Off Menu,” host Lucas Kwan Peterson heads to the neighborhood with two special guests: comedian Margaret Cho, with whom he visited the Prince, a classic 1940s-era bar reborn as a Korean bar food haven, and also Matthew Kang, the former host of online food series “K-Town,” who took him to a favorite barbecue spot.

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