Top State Department official says ousting ambassador to Ukraine was a White House priority

Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, became the latest State Department official to testify on Capitol Hill in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump Saturday.

Although the testimony occurred behind closed doors, the Wall Street Journal reported that Reeker testified that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo actively neutralized support for ousted US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before she was abruptly removed from her post in May. Reeker also reportedly described concerns raised in a July White House meeting about defense aid being withheld from Ukraine.

When she appeared before lawmakers, …

Bernie Sanders has an answer to the eternal question, ‘baby how u feelin’

A promotional tweet became a political sensation Friday; when Sen. Bernie Sanders responded to a tweet from pop star Ariana Grande, the chunk of the internet where feel-good pop music and left-wing politics intersect exploded.

Grande, who is featured on the remix of Lizzo’s “Good As Hell,” tweeted a line from that song Friday: “baby how u feelin.”

“Ready to fight for Medicare for All,” Sanders tweeted in response.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who recently endorsed Sanders’s candidacy for president, jumped into the conversation as well, promoting the progressive politics that she and Sanders are known for, like the Green …

Trump’s latest attempt to block impeachment inquiry testimonies faces a key court battle

The Trump administration has attempted to block a key witness from testifying in the impeachment inquiry by claiming “constitutional immunity.” And that witness — former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman — has asked a judge to rule whether his testimony can proceed as planned.

Kupperman made the request in a lawsuit filed Friday; he was set to testify before lawmakers on Monday, after being subpoenaed. The House Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry have been calling key witnesses related to President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine at at a rapid clip, and the Trump administration has tried — and largely …

Pete Buttigieg has been criticized for his handling of policing. He hopes his criminal justice plan will change that.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released his criminal justice policy platform on Saturday, delivering a comprehensive plan for “fairness and justice” that keeps in line with many positions supported by justice reform advocates and his fellow 2020 competitors.

Buttigieg’s plan outlines a number of issues the current South Bend, Indiana, mayor would address if he was elected, ranging from: reducing mass incarceration, police reform, marijuana legalization, juvenile justice and draining the school-to-prison pipeline, and additional supports to help people during and after incarceration.

“Rebalancing our criminal system and refocusing resources on areas like public health, economic opportunity, and alternatives to …

The week in impeachment inquiry news, explained

The news for President Donald Trump this week on the impeachment inquiry was grim.

Most significantly, a witness gave testimony to House committees that proved devastating to one of the White House’s key arguments — confirming that Trump personally seemed to link withholding military aid for Ukraine with his demand that Ukraine investigate his political opponents.

That witness, Bill Taylor, was one of what’s rapidly becoming a parade of government officials who are testifying to the inquiry despite the White House’s order not to. That’s emblematic of a broader trend of Trump’s weakness and ineffectiveness in responding to the scandal. …

Vox Sentences: An impeachment week in the SCIF

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Trump’s no good, very bad week in impeachment

  • House Democrats issued subpoenas Friday for several Trump administration officials who previously were reluctant to testify. [CNN / Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju]
  • It was the latest development in a week filled with bad news for President Trump. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • The most significant was the testimony of William Taylor,