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House impeachment managers are presenting evidence on the second day of former President Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday to back up their argument that Trump incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.  

Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, was the first to speak on the floor. Raskin called Jan. 6 a day that “will live in disgrace in history” unless you ask Trump. Raskin cited Trump’s tweet from late in the afternoon of Jan. 6 to support his argument.

Raskin said Trump’s actions leading up to the violent protest on Jan. 6 were “much worse” than shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.

“It’s more like a case where the town fire chief who is paid to put out fires sends a mob not to yell fire in a crowded theater, but to actually set the theater on fire,” he said.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” Trump tweeted.

In January 2017, Raskin objected to certifying the results of Florida for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump but the objection did not move forward because it was not co-signed by a senator.

Democratic Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse presented after Raskin. Neguse played a clip of protesters saying, “Fight for Trump.” Neguse said it was Trump’s role to stop the violence that was happening at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“He alone, our commander in chief, had the power to stop it and he didn’t,” he said, adding that Democrats will present evidence to support their argument. “You will see that even when he did, 3 and a half hours into the attack, tell these people to go home in peace, he added, as lead manager Raskin said, I’ll quote, ‘You’re very special. We love you.'”

Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro played a video of Trump saying on Nov. 4 that he won the presidential election while votes were still being counted. Castro said Trump “never” recanted his statement since that time.

“This is the commander in chief telling his supporters your election is being stolen and you must stop the counting of American votes, and it worked. His words became their actions,” he said, referring to the riot on Jan. 6.

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell said Trump “wanted to make his base angrier and angrier” ahead of the Jan. 6 “Save America” rally.

“To make them angry he was willing to say anything,” he said, referring to a Nov. 15 tweet from Trump where the former president said he concedes nothing and “we have a long way to go.”

Swalwell showed a tweet from pro-Trump activist Jennifer Lynn Lawrence which was re-tweeted by Trump ahead of the Jan. 6 rally. Lawrence said in the tweet that “we are bringing the Calvary Mr. President.”

“This was not just any old protest,” Swalwell said. “President Trump was inciting something historic. The Calvary was coming. And he was organized.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean said the House impeachment managers have laid out evidence that Trump engaged in a “months long effort to incite his base, leading them to believe the election was stolen, that they needed to fight like hell to stop the steal on January the 6th.”

Dean said she was presenting evidence of Trump’s “relentless escalating campaign to fabricate an election vic tory by ignoring adverse court rulings, pressuring and threatening election officials, attacking senators and members of Congress.”

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Dean cited Trump’s call into a state Republican meeting

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 in Pennsylvania on Nov. 25 as an attempt to personally intervene in the certification of election results. 

California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu praised former Vice President Mike Pence for certifying the presidential election results despite Trump’s public criticism of Pence.

“Thankfully, Vice President Pence stood his ground like our other brave officials stood their ground to refuse the president and fulfill his duty on January 6, even after the capital was attacked and even after he was personally targeted, even after his family was targeted. Vice President Pence stood strong and certified the election,” Lieu said.

“Vice President Pence showed us what it means to be an American, what it means to show courage. He put his country, his oath, his values and his morals above the will of one man. The president has tried everything in his power to seize seize, everything in his attempt to seize power from the rightful victor of election,” he added.

Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett, who represents the Virgin Islands, said the violence that occurred on Jan. 6 was “foreseeable.” Plaskett connected Trump’s statement about the Proud Boys during the first presidential debate to the Jan. 6 riot. 

“The group adopted that phrase, stand back and stand by, as their official slogan,” she said. “They created merchandise with their new slogan, which they wore proudly across their backs at Trump’s rallies and they followed the president’s orders.”

During Plaskett’s second presentation at the trial, Plaskett played never before heard audio of Metropolitan Police Department officers reporting violence occurring at the Capitol on Jan. 6. At 1:49pm, an officer can be heard declaring the protest a riot. 

Never before seen Capitol security footage was also played showing rioters breaking windows of the Capitol Building and gaining access to the inside. Additional security footage showed Pence and his family members being evacuated after rioters stormed the building. Plaskett then queued up footage of protests at the rally chanting, “bring out Pence.” Plaskett said Pence was the “target of their wrath after Pence refused to overturn the election results.”

The House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense presented on Tuesday, the first day of the trial.

Following their presentations, senators voted 56-44 to let the trial proceed as constitutional. Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy was one of the six GOP senators to side with Democrats in voting to proceed with the trial. 

“This is a constitutional question, and clearly it had been established that it is constitutional and the Constitution obviously becomes, it is Constitution and country over party,” Cassidy told reporters on Wednesday. “For some, they get it, and for others, they are not quite so sure, but that’s to be expected. This does not predict my vote on anything else. It does predict that I will listen to these arguments, as I did to the arguments yesterday, with an open mind.”

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Donald Trump

Trump website 45Office.com has been launched

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“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” a statement on the website homepage reads.

The website of the office of former President Donald Trump has launched online and includes forms for people to submit correspondence, greeting requests, media inquiries and scheduling requests for Trump and former first lady Melania Trump.

“The Office of Donald J. Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” a statement on the website homepage reads. “Through civic engagement and public activism, the Office of Donald J. Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American Future. Through this office, President Trump will remain a tireless champion for the hardworking men and women of our great country – and for their right to live in safety, dignity, prosperity, and peace.”

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The website includes biographies of Trump and his wife. The beginning of the former president’s biography says that he “launched the most extraordinary political movement in history, dethroning political dynasties, defeating the Washington Establishment, and becoming the first true outsider elected as President of the United States.”

Trump announces his and Melania’s official website is up: https://t.co/760WlWlhV4 pic.twitter.com/VhxRssMH3C— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) March 29, 2021

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Crime

New Cuomo accuser alleges she was forcibly kissed, claims to have evidence

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The woman alleges governor kissed her in “a highly sexual manner.”

Aninth woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, alleging that the Democrat grabbed her face and kissed her without her consent.

But this allegation is different: The woman, Sherry Vill, a 55-year-old married mother of three, has photographic evidence.

Vill says the incident occurred while the governor was “touring her flood-damaged home in 2017 – saying he did so in a ‘highly sexual manner,’ ” The New York Post reported.

In a press conference Monday, Vill was accompanied by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, who displayed a photo of the kiss.

Vill, whose home was damaged by the flood, recounted the incident, saying she invited Cuomo in.

“That’s when the governor looked at me, approached me, took my hand and pulled me to him,” Vill said. “He leaned down over me and kissed my cheek. I was holding my small dog in my arms in my arms and I thought he was going to pet my dog. But instead he went to squeeze between the dog … and kiss me on the other cheek in what I felt was a highly sexual manner.”

Cuomo sought to explain himself, she said. “He said, ‘That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,’ “Vill said. “I felt shocked, and didn’t understand what had just happened. But I knew I felt embarrassed and weird about the kissing. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss.”

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On his way out, Cuomo “”stopped, he turned to me and said, ‘You are beautiful,’ ” Vill said.

Earlier this month, Anna Ruch, a former Biden 2020 campaign worker, told The New York Times that the governor made unwanted sexual advances toward her after they met at a wedding in New York City in 2019.

She also accused Cuomo, 63, of kissing her without her permission, even as she tried to pull away. Ruch said the encounter left her “confused and shocked and embarrassed.”

Another accuser, Charlotte Bennett, a former Cuomo aide, alleges that the governor inquired about her sex life and asked her whether she would be amenable to a relationship with an older man.

And another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo “made inappropriate comments about her appearance, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet,” the Associated Press reported.

Five more women have made similar allegations. The eighth woman to accuse Cuomo said the governor groped her last year at the Executive Mansion after she had called there to do some work. She said she was alone with the governor in the mansion when he “closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her,” a source told the Albany Times Union.

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