Things That Matter

Fifth Day Of Impeachment Hearings Show Republicans Desperate To Change The Narrative

Thursday marked the end of five days of public testimony by dozens of witnesses and evidence put forward in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. While there is still so much to consider, it looks apparent that there have been no Republicans that have been swayed to support impeachment as of now.

If there is going to be any testimony that is going to change that, it had to have come on Thursday as Fiona Hill, who served as the senior director for Europe and Russia on the White House’s National Security Council before resigning last summer, took charge at Republicans. 

Hill, along with David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, criticized Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee for putting forth such theories that Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016. These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.” Hill said in her opening statements.

Hill gave an eye-opening testimony that criticized Republicans for taking part in advancing unproven claims that Ukraine not Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections. 

Hill emphasized the importance of her testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee, especially what’s at stake in these hearings. She spoke about her background growing up in the U.K. and her family’s respect for America is why she became a U.S. citizen.

 Hill, who has served under three different Republican and Democratic presidents, also spoke at length about the dangers of having debunked conspiracies that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. The theory, which was promoted by President Trump, was based on the presumption that Ukraine favored Hillary Clinton and harmed Trump. 

“Some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” she said. “In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.

Hill also spoke about her conflict with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and his efforts in Ukraine.  

Hill said she questioned Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, about his relationship with President Trump and his testimony on Wednesday that he was working on Ukraine policy at Trump’s direction. At first, Hill suspected Sondland was overreaching in his authority to push Ukraine to launch investigations into the Biden family. Later, he realized that he was acting on instructions given by Trump sent through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. 

“He was being involved in a domestic political errand. We were being involved in national security, foreign policy,” Hill said. “And those two things have just diverged.”

She made it clear that Giuliani played an influential role in pursuing these investigations with Ukraine. He “was clearly pushing forward issues and ideas that would, you know, probably come back to haunt us and in fact,” Hill said. “I think that’s where we are today.”

What does all of this mean moving forward when it comes to President Trump getting impeached? It’s hard to say. 

As of today, Rep. Will Hurd of Texas is the lone Republican on the House Intelligence Committee that has found any of the president’s actions troublesome. While Hurd wasn’t pleased to hear how Trump has conducted foreign policy, it’s not enough to push forward impeachment.

“I disagree with this sort of bungling foreign policy,” Hurd said. “I have not heard evidence proving the president committed bribery or extortion.”

If Democrats are going to have any chance of proceeding with this impeachment inquiry they will need more Republicans to be swayed. These are important issues to consider as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats will have to decide how they’ll move ahead in this battle of impeachment.

One thing did become clear after five days of hearings: evidence is pointing clearly to the notion President Trump directed a foreign policy campaign to get Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate Democrats in exchange for an Oval Office meeting.

 Whether that’s enough to move forward with impeachment is hard to say. If House Democrats do indeed move forward with articles of impeachment, a Senate trial in which Republicans can use their majority and easily protect Trump. 

READ: Latino War Veteran Files $1 Million Lawsuit Against ICE After Being Detained With American Passport In His Possession

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Stacey Plaskett Stole The Show At Impeachment Hearing While Connecting Trump To Violent Attack On Capitol Building

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Stacey Plaskett Stole The Show At Impeachment Hearing While Connecting Trump To Violent Attack On Capitol Building

Update Jan. 10, 2020

The second day of Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment is highlighting the rhetoric that led to the horrific insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan 6. House impeachment managers have laid out a timeline linking Trump and his words to the attack. U.S. Virgin Island Delegate Stacey Plaskett made it all real clear.

The second day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial brought to light more violence.

Rep. Joe Neguse highlighted a threat that come from an affidavit highlighting a selfie video. The video was recorded by Dawn Bancroft and threatened direct violence against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

“We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain, but we didn’t find her,” Bancroft said in the video, according to the affidavit.

The impeachment managers really drove home the point that Trump’s attempt to overturn the election laid the groundwork for the coup.

The Trump campaign spent months trying to overturn the election with numerous lawsuits in key swing states. All of the lawsuits were thrown out but that didn’t stop Trump and his campaign from pushing rhetoric that cast doubt on the democratic process. The focus weighed heavily on Michigan.

“Think about it. The President of the United States was calling public officials, calling from the White House, inviting them into the Oval Office, telling them to disenfranchise voters of her state, telling them to overturn the will of the American people,” Rep. Madeleine Dean, a House impeachment manager, said on the Senate floor. “All to take the election for himself.”

Stacey Plaskett caught everyone’s attention with her cape and recalling the Texas highway tape.

There is a lot of talk on Twitter from women celebrating Plaskett for wearing a cape to defend democracy. The first-ever delegate to be a House impeachment manager recalled the video of vehicles with Trump flags trying to run a Biden/Harris bus off the road in Texas.

Trump and other Republicans celebrated the caravan of vehicles that tried to run the Biden/Harris bus off the road. It was a moment in American political history that showed the worst of American voters. Trump tweeted the video the following day saying “I LOVE TEXAS!”

Plaskett took the hand of everyone watching her speak and led them from the Texas highway incident right to the Capitol attack.

Plaskett did not hold back and showed how the attack was coordinated and anything but a secret. The U.S. Virgin Islands representative laid out the path from the caravan to the people who orchestrated the violent attack aiming to overturn a free and fair election.

She also highlighted how the Trump administration was not in the dark about the planned attack. According to Plaskett, the Trump administration was monitoring websites where the attack was being planned. The day before, the FBI sent a warning of a credible threat from extremists in the U.S. Yet, the Trump administration did nothing to stop the attack.

“They posted exact blueprints of the attack openly, loudly, proudly – and they did this all over public forums,” Plaskett said during her remarks. “These were not just hidden posts and dark websites that Trump would not have seen. Quite the opposite. We know President Trump monitored these websites. We know this because his advisers confirm it.”

Original: Former President Donald Trump is making history as the only president in American history to be impeached for a second time. This time, the Senate, with Democrats in the majority, is bringing a full trial against the former president. The historic impeachment started with a startling video of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump started with a chilling video of the insurrection.

The 13-minute video shows the terrifying scene at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and includes parts of the former president’s speech that day during his Stop the Steal rally. The parts of the speech include him calling for the riled-up crowd to march down to the Capitol building while members of Congress were certifying the Electoral College votes.

The video shows Trump supporters fighting with police and causing complete pandemonium. The video is hard to watch and paints a picture of the Jan. 6 insurrection that Americans might not have seen. Using various videos, the impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, created a montage of violent imagery with rioters calling for death of Congress members, destruction of the Capitol, and the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.

After the video, Rep. Raskin spoke about what it was like for him to survive the violent siege on the Capitol building. The representative’s son committed suicide one week before the attack and his daughter and son-in-law were with him in the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Like many people in the building during the violent attack, they believed they were going to die.

The opening video has struck a chord with Americans watching.

The insurrection stunned Americans when it happened. Images of elected officials running from the chambers to avoid violence and the threat of death circulated on social media. The impeachment video showed elected officials having to drop to the floor for fear that the terrorists would break through the House and Senate doors.

“People died that day. Officers ended up with head damage and brain damage. People’s eyes were gouged. An officer had a heart attack. An officer lost three fingers that day.,” Rep. Raskin said through tears after showing the video. “Two officers have taken their own lives. Senators, this cannot be our future. This cannot be the future of America. We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people under the Constitution of the United States.”

This is a historic impeachment trial as there has never been a president impeached twice.

Republican Congress members are determined to acquit Trump calling into question the constitutionality of the impeachment trial. Democrats are holding the line and demanding that he be held accountable for inciting the insurrection. Republicans and Trump’s attorneys claim that Democrats have no basis for the impeachment.

The impeachment trial is ongoing and we will update as the process continues.

READ: As The Impeachment Trial Heats Up, Trump’s Defenders Start To Crack Under Pressure

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One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

Things That Matter

One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

Residents of a village in Chiapas, Mexico have become so fed up with their mayor that they decided to do something about it. Eschewing long, bureaucratic legal processes to hold him accountable, residents of a southern Chiapas town decided to hold their mayor accountable for what they said was a public works project so poorly done that it was useless.

A mayor in Chiapas was tied to a tree by his own residents for a job done badly.

Residents from eleven neighborhoods of the Chiapas town Comalapa held their mayor accountable for his inaction on a public works project. According to reports, the residents arrested Mayor Óscar Ramírez Aguilar to a tree in a public area to expose him to the rest of the town. They told the newspaper Diario de Chiapas, that they wanted to expose him for the “bad public servant” that he is and that he shouldn’t be reelected.

The townspeople say the municipal water storage cistern — whose installation they say was a campaign promise — is in such poor condition that it does not comply with water safety requirements. It currently has no water, they said, due to leaks, and the residents accuse the government of merely patching the tank — badly — to stop them.

In a video on social media, residents showed how the concrete patch job is already chipping away and easily crumbles.

“He promised us that this would be a public works project worthy of Comalapa residents, but [this tank is] a farce; the water system doesn’t work well. It’s an old problem that he should have attended to properly and should have been a priority during his administration because he came to see us in our homes with this promise, and now he doesn’t want to live up to it,” a resident told the newspaper.

But the mayor is denying what happened in a social media post.

The mayor though has a totally different version of events. After he was released, Ramírez posted a video on his official social media account to counter the residents’ version of the story.

“They did not tie me up,” he claimed. “The meeting was with 11 representatives of Comalapa neighborhoods in order to agree upon details regarding a major public project, the introduction of potable water.”

However, photographs clearly showed the mayor standing before a tree with his hands behind his back.

Three years ago, another local official suffered a similar fate after allegedly failing to deliver promised funds. He was bound to a post in the the central plaza of Comalapa.

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