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Ukrainians aren’t happy about Rudy Giuliani’s surprise visit to ‘destroy’ Dems’ impeachment efforts: report

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President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, made a surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital this week with his “shady band of conspiracy theorists,” BuzzFeed News reports, and people are not happy about his arrival.

Giuliani’s visit comes as Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky prepares to enter into peace talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin and as Ukrainians looks to distance themselves from the fact that their country is a key factor in the impeachment proceedings playing out in D.C. As BuzzFeed News points out, Giuliani is in the country to do research for a pro-Trump documentary that aims to “destroy” the Democrats’ impeachment effort.

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“Giuliani’s meddling in Kyiv is what helped lead to the impeachment inquiry in the first place — a host of witnesses have told investigators how they feared his “irregular channel” of diplomacy, focused on digging up dirt on the President Trump’s political rivals, could do lasting damage to the US–Ukraine relationship,” BuzzFeed’s Christopher Miller writes.

In addition to Ukrainian officials, the US embassy was also reportedly taken aback by Giuliani’s visit. A US diplomat speaking to BuzzFeed News said Giuliani likely will not be meeting with the current top US diplomat in Kyiv, Bill Taylor, who recently testified in the House’s impeachment hearings.

“Giuliani arrived in Kyiv at the same time that Philip Reeker, an acting assistant State Department secretary who testified in closed-door hearings for the impeachment inquiry,” Miller reports. “Reeker was meeting with current Ukrainian officials as part of the State Department’s official channel ‘to discuss Ukraine’s impressive progress on reforms, including of the Prosecutor General’s Office,’ the embassy tweeted.”

Read Miller’s full report over at BuzzFeed News.

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Internet cheers as Val Demings lays out President Donald Trump’s wrongdoing in powerful speech

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On the third night of the impeachment trial, Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) stood up and forcefully laid out President Donald Trump's misconduct in Ukraine on the floor of the Senate.

Demings, a former police chief and a longtime voice for the president's removal, was roundly cheered on by commenters on Twitter:

I had never heard of Rep. Val Demings of Florida, until now on @NPR, but man, #valdemings for President. She was fantastic. Excellent speech. @RepValDemings #impeachment

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Even Ronald Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan agrees the Senate must call witnesses

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In a Thursday evening column, far-right commentator Peggy Noonan agreed that there should be witnesses called in the impeachment trial.

CNN capitol correspondent Manu Raju reported late in the evening that Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was leaning against calling witnesses because it would be opposed by the White House and they will fight it at all costs.

The comments drew anger from CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin and former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who explained this is exactly what President Donald Trump wants.

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Ex-ambassador flattens Republican Marsha Blackburn’s attacks on Iraq veteran

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, attacked Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) during the Thursday evening session of the impeachment trial.

Blackburn, who was supposed to be listening to the case on the Senate floor, instead, left to tweet attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and others who criticized her for not paying attention to the trial.

https://twitter.com/MarshaBlackburn/status/1220511930101772289

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