Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 12.17.19

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Ukraine: “The top U.S. diplomat for Ukraine, Bill Taylor, will leave his post at the end of the year, a current and a former U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday. Taylor, who questioned the White House’s decision to withhold an Oval Office meeting with the Ukrainian president and military aid for Kyiv, was a key witness in the congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.”

* FISA: “The secret federal court that approves orders for conducting surveillance on suspected foreign terrorists or spies issued a strong and highly unusual public rebuke to the FBI on Tuesday, ordering the agency to say how it intends to correct the errors revealed last week by a Justice Department report on one aspect of the FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

* On the Hill: “The House Rules Committee spent five hours and counting in a final procedural debate about the two articles of impeachment before both will go to the floor Wednesday. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) – who is standing in for Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose wife is ill – spoke steadily and read from a typed script with hand-written notes in the margin as he outlined the charges against Trump.”

* On the other side of the Hill: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday pushed back strongly against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request to simultaneously agree to witnesses and the parameters of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, calling it a ‘strange request’ that breaks with recent impeachment precedent.”

* NDAA: “The Senate on Tuesday voted to send to President Donald Trump an annual defense policy bill that combines a $738 billion Pentagon budget blueprint with legislation to provide federal employees with 12 weeks of paid parental leave.”

* Quite a decision: “Boeing said Monday that it is suspending production of its troubled 737 Max airplanes next month. Production of the planes, which were grounded after two crashes killed 346 people, will remain on hiatus until regulators determine when they can be certified and returned to service, Boeing said in a statement.”

* A new reason to be concerned about the social-media giant: “Facebook’s senior leadership is increasingly divided over how to address criticism of the company’s effect on U.S. politics, with board member and billionaire investor Peter Thiel serving as an influential voice advising CEO Mark Zuckerberg not to bow to public pressure, according to people familiar with the matter.”

* I meant to mention this yesterday, because it was really odd: “President Trump opened a new, dental front Sunday in his periodic feuding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, suggesting on Twitter that her teeth were falling out as she answered a reporter’s question about why bribery was not made an article of impeachment.”

* After Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared on Fox & Friends this morning, Brian Stelter asked a reasonable question: “How is it appropriate for a Supreme Court justice to try to goose sales of his three-month-old book by chatting on one of the most partisan shows on TV?”

See you tomorrow.