Things That Matter

Ambassador Gordon Sondland Gives Democrats New Information In Impeachment Hearings

The fourth day of public testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump proved to be one of the most eye-opening days so far. Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told House Intelligence Committee members that President Trump was the person behind the push to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for a White House visit. 

Sondland said President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani asked Ukrainian officials to make a public statement that Biden would be investigated. This would be done in return for inviting President Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House. This prompted one of the biggest moments in the impeachment hearings so far as Sondland said in the clearest terms that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine. 

“I know that members of this committee frequently frame these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a quid pro quo?” Sondland said. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes.

U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony provided House Democrats with the strongest evidence yet in their inquiry into Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine’s

To this point in the impeachment inquiry, Sondland is the most significant witness yet and his testimony reflected that. Having Sondland testify was a challenge itself as he had previously been blocked by the Trump administration from testifying in the hearing but ultimately came forward to discuss his dealings. 

“I agreed to testify because I respect the gravity of the moment and I believe I have an obligation to recount fully my role in the events,” Sondland said. “I did so despite the directives from the White House and the State Department.”

From the ambassador’s accounts, he, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and U.S. special envoy to Ukraine  Kurt Volker, who testified on Tuesday, were told by Trump to work with Giuliani on Ukrainian matters back in May. This didn’t sit well with Sondland and other State Department officials. 

“We weren’t happy with the president’s directive to talk with Rudy. We did not want to involve Mr. Giuliani. I believed then, as I do now, that the men and women of the State Department, not the president’s personal lawyer, should take responsibility for Ukrainian matters,” Sondland said. “We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt.”

Another key moment on Wednesday from Sondland was that other senior officials that included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and current White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, knew about the quid pro quo for the potential White House meeting with Zelensky.

“We can see why Secretary Pompeo and President Trump have made such a concerted and across the board effort to obstruct this investigation and this impeachment inquiry,” House Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said during his opening statement. “They do so at their own peril.”

Republicans put Sondland’s testimony under scrutiny questioning his first-hand accounts of everything that went down between Trump and his dealings in Ukraine. 

Constant scrutiny from Republican members of the committee has been a common theme throughout the first week of these hearings. Even as the most damning claims against Trump have been heavily questioned in their legitimacy. Wednesday proved no different as Sondland shut down Republican arguments that the president had any intention of building a relationship and battling corruption in Ukraine. 

Republican members also questioned the validity of the hearings in part because Ukraine got its $400 million in U.S. aid despite Zelensky never announcing an investigation of the Biden family. 

Things weren’t much different from President Trump as reporters asked him what his thoughts were on the testimonies on Wednesday. 

Carrying some notes that he jotted down, Trump responded to Sondland’s earlier claims that he did indeed ask for a favor in return regarding Ukraine. “I want nothing! I want nothing!” Trump told reporters.  “I want no quid pro quo. This is the final word from the president of the United States. I want nothing.”

Trump also told reporters that he didn’t know Sondland saying, “This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy though.” The statement is the latest walk-back from the president about his relationship with Sondland, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. It also follows the president’s usual reaction to negative press by denying a relationship with any of the people involved.

Many Democrats see Wednesday as the first cracks in the impeachment inquiry hearings that lead to a possible criminal investigation. Looking at the way Trump has reacted to these hearings, things aren’t looking that great for him. 

READ: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Apologizes For Years Of Stop-And-Frisk Policy Ahead Of Possible 2020 Run

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

Things That Matter

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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Rihanna Hilariously Took A Jab At Trump While Taking Out The Trash On Inauguration Day— ‘I’m just here to help’

Fierce

Rihanna Hilariously Took A Jab At Trump While Taking Out The Trash On Inauguration Day— ‘I’m just here to help’

Rihanna just proved that she’s capable of just about anything. Last week, the class act proved that she can class up even the trashiest of things. While on a walk to the curb with bags of trash the singer rocked diamonds and a pair of satin pink peep-toe heels and gloves in a pointed jab at former President Trump. 

She might be a star but Rihanna isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to taking out the trash on behalf of President Joe Biden.

Last Wednesday, the singer and fashion designer celebrated Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s exit with a silly post on her Instagram page. Dressed in stilettos, the “Love On The Brain” singer carried two bags of garbage out to the curb with a caption that read “I’m just here to help #WeDidItJoe.”

The comment was a clear nod to Vice President Kamala Harris and President Biden’s historic win and their ultimate swearing-in last week.

Dressed in a vintage tee-shirt reading ‘End Racism By Any Means Necessary’ Rihanna threw some shade and the trash away. 

Continuing to throw shade in the caption, Rihanna added: ‘I’m just here to help.’ The singer has proven herself to be an ultimate fan of the Biden-Harris ticket. Last year when they won the election she tweeted about their win writing “The faces of history makers, boundary breakers, and WINNERS!!CONGRATULATIONS to you both, and mostly to the American people!! So much work to do, so much hurt to undo! Let’s GO! I’m so proud of you America!”

Fortunately, it looks like Rihanna is showing no signs of slowing down her celebrations this year.

On Sunday, the Savage x Fenty owner shared a video of herself dancing in a hotel room while sporting some of her own line’s lingerie.

After doing some twerks and showing off a Savage x Fenty dotted mesh skirt, and a set of matching gloves, RiRi gave fans a fun Valentine’s Day champagne toast.

“Cupid could NEVA!” she captioned her post. “#ValentinesDayCountdown.”

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