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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 312)

Lori Loughlin and husband plead not guilty to new charges in college admissions scandal

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to expanded charges in the college admissions scandal.

Loughlin and Mossimo are among 11 parents additionally charged with bribery after initially pleading not guilty.

LORI LOUGHLIN ‘CONCERNED’ BY HEFTY SENTENCE FOR PARENT WHO PLED GUILTY IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL

Westlake Legal Group AP19323749390373 Lori Loughlin and husband plead not guilty to new charges in college admissions scandal fox-news/topic/college-admissions-scandal fox-news/person/lori-loughlin fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 8ab08935-1880-5029-95b7-038eead7973c

​​​​​​​Actress Lori Loughlin, front, and husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, leave federal court in Boston after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal, April 3, 2019. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for the couple entered the not guilty pleas Tuesday after they waived their right to appear in the Boston federal court.

They have previously pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering.

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The “Full House” star and her husband are accused of paying $500,000 in an attempt to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California.

Loughlin could face prison time if found guilty.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19323749390373 Lori Loughlin and husband plead not guilty to new charges in college admissions scandal fox-news/topic/college-admissions-scandal fox-news/person/lori-loughlin fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 8ab08935-1880-5029-95b7-038eead7973c   Westlake Legal Group AP19323749390373 Lori Loughlin and husband plead not guilty to new charges in college admissions scandal fox-news/topic/college-admissions-scandal fox-news/person/lori-loughlin fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc Brie Stimson article 8ab08935-1880-5029-95b7-038eead7973c

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Impeachment hearings to continue with testimony from Fiona Hill, David Holmes

Westlake Legal Group Holmes-Hill-AP-Reuters Impeachment hearings to continue with testimony from Fiona Hill, David Holmes Vandana Rambaran fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7e0adc23-569e-54bc-829c-fef8c3b35101

The House impeachment hearings are scheduled to continue Thursday with the highly anticipated testimony from Fiona Hill, a former top National Security Council expert on Russia, and David Holmes, a State Department official.

Their scheduled appearances will follow Wednesday’s marathon day of testimony, most notably from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, whose remarks raised eyebrows on both sides of the aisle.

DEFENSE DEPT. OFFICIAL CITES CORRUPTION CONCERNS IN AID DELAY, SUGGESTS UKRAINE MAY HAVE LEARNED EARLY ABOUT HOLD

Hill is among several witnesses who have testified behind closed doors.  It is believed she played a central role in a July 10 meeting at the White House in which Sondland and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney allegedly told Ukrainian officials that President Trump would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — if Zelensky would agree to investigate the Ukraine business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

At that meeting, Hill said, former national security adviser John Bolton “immediately stiffened and ended the meeting.”

Bolton “made it clear that he believed that they were making, basically, an improper arrangement to have a meeting in the White House, that they were predicating the meeting in the White House on the Ukrainians agreeing, in this case, based on the meeting on July 10, to restart investigations that had been dropped in the energy sector,” Hill said.

SONDLAND IMPLICATES TOP OFFICIALS ON UKRAINE, BUT SAYS HE ‘NEVER HEARD’ QUID PRO QUO FROM TRUMP

She added that Bolton later told her: “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up” and asked her to relay that message to a White House lawyer.

Hill said she reminded Sondland after the meeting of the need for proper procedures and the role of the National Security Council in talks between the U.S. and foreign leaders.

‘I remember it vividly’

During his closed-door testimony, Holmes told lawmakers he was sitting in close proximity to Sondland at a restaurant in Kiev — just one day after the highly controversial July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s leader that set off the impeachment inquiry — and overheard a phone call between Trump and Sondland, in which he heard the president ask the ambassador how the “investigation” was going.

Holmes said Trump was talking loud enough over the phone that he could hear the president say, “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” referring to Ukraine’s president, Zelensky. Holmes then said he heard Sondland reply, “He’s gonna do it,” and tell the president that Zelensky “loves your a–” and would do “anything you ask him to.”

Holmes said Sondland later told him that “the president did not ‘give a sh– about Ukraine'” and that he only cares about “big stuff” like the “Biden investigation.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” the State Department official reportedly said. “Someone calling the president from a mobile phone at a restaurant, and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language. There’s just so much about the call that was so remarkable that I remember it vividly.”

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Democrats are expecting that Holmes’ testimony will support the notion that Trump initiated a “quid pro quo” deal with Ukraine — that Trump would provide military aid to the country in exchange for an investigation into the Ukraine business dealings of Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Republicans, on the other hand, are likely to point out that Holmes previously testified that he immediately reported the phone call to William Taylor, the U.S. chargé d’affaires for Ukraine, contradicting Taylor’s claim that he had learned of the July call only last month.

Fox News’ Gregg Re and Alex Pappas contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Holmes-Hill-AP-Reuters Impeachment hearings to continue with testimony from Fiona Hill, David Holmes Vandana Rambaran fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7e0adc23-569e-54bc-829c-fef8c3b35101   Westlake Legal Group Holmes-Hill-AP-Reuters Impeachment hearings to continue with testimony from Fiona Hill, David Holmes Vandana Rambaran fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7e0adc23-569e-54bc-829c-fef8c3b35101

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Fiona Hill Viewed Serving Trump as Risky. Now She’s an Impeachment Witness.

Westlake Legal Group 20DC-HILL-facebookJumbo Fiona Hill Viewed Serving Trump as Risky. Now She’s an Impeachment Witness. United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Hill, Fiona (1965- ) Brookings Institution Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — Fiona Hill knew she was taking a risk in going to work for President Trump.

A British-born coal-miner’s daughter with a Ph.D. from Harvard, Ms. Hill is a respected Russia expert, former intelligence analyst and co-author of a 500-page book analyzing the psyche of its president, Vladimir V. Putin. So the prospect of working for a president who speaks admiringly of Mr. Putin and has expressed doubts that Russia interfered in the 2016 election gave her pause.

Her decision to join the National Security Council in April 2017 — and to stay for more than two years after Mr. Trump cozied up to Mr. Putin and publicly disparaged the nation’s intelligence agencies — strained friendships and made her a target of right-wing conspiracy theorists who spread rumors that she was a Democratic mole.

Now, it has landed her near the center of the impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump abused his power to enlist a foreign leader to help him in the 2020 presidential election. Her planned appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday represents the fulfillment of Ms. Hill’s worst fears about what could happen if she swallowed her reservations and went to work for Mr. Trump.

“The risk was what we see playing out in front of us — that something wrong would happen, that she would do the right thing and other people wouldn’t, and there would be a reckoning,” said Tom Wright, a former colleague and friend of Ms. Hill’s. “And afterward there could be hearings — with, at worst case, the fate of the presidency riding on it.”

On Thursday, Ms. Hill will take her turn as the latest in a series of witnesses to testify publicly before Congress. Many have been nonpartisan diplomats and national security experts who went to work for the president thinking they might be the proverbial “adults in the room” checking Mr. Trump’s impulses, only to find themselves caught up in a mess of his making, and in danger of being attacked.

Ms. Hill called her gripping account “my worst nightmare” in closed-door testimony. In it, she revealed how she and her boss at the time, John R. Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, was alarmed at a rogue effort by allies of Mr. Trump, led by his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to deliver on the president’s desire for Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals.

In testimony on Wednesday, one of those allies — Gordon D. Sondland, a Trump megadonor turned ambassador to the European Union — turned on the president and top administration officials. He told lawmakers that he was only doing Mr. Trump’s bidding in pressing Ukraine for the investigations, and that Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, were among those well aware of it.

In Mr. Sondland’s telling during a private interview with impeachment investigators last month, Ms. Hill was furious to the point of shaking when he stopped by her office to say goodbye to her before she left the White House, about a week before the now-infamous July 25 telephone in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter. (Ms. Hill had argued against the call, saying she did not understand its purpose.)

“She was pretty upset about her role in the administration, about her superiors, about the president,” Mr. Sondland recalled in a closed-door deposition. “She was sort of shaking. She was pretty mad.”

A lawyer for Ms. Hill, Lee Wolosky, has disputed that characterization, writing on Twitter that Mr. Sondland “fabricated communications with Dr. Hill.”

Ms. Hill is neither pro-Trump nor a “Never Trumper,” and she was always circumspect in talking about Mr. Trump, friends said. She refused speaking invitations of the sort that would be routine for top advisers in past administrations — even at the Brookings Institution, where she was on leave as director of the Center on the United States and Europe.

But her own closed-door testimony reveals how fraught her time in the administration was.

In it, she described a tense White House meeting with Mr. Sondland, Mr. Bolton, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Ukrainian officials in which it became apparent that Mr. Mulvaney was working with Mr. Sondland and Mr. Giuliani to execute the president’s plan.

Ms. Hill described her horror that the Ukranians — foreign nationals — were hanging around the West Wing, outside the Situation Room, one of the most secure and sensitive spots in the White House. When Mr. Sondland moved the meeting down to a room in the White House basement, Mr. Bolton instructed her to follow them to find out what was going on.

She did so, and confronted Mr. Sondland, cutting him off when he dangled the prospect of a White House meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.

“It has to go through proper procedure,” Ms. Hill insisted. Then she reported back to Mr. Bolton, who told her to report it to the National Security Council’s top lawyer, John A. Eisenberg.

“You go and tell Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this,” she recalled Mr. Bolton saying.

Friends said that sounded like the Ms. Hill they know: straight, to the point, unafraid to push back.

“Fiona has served impeccably in the executive branch,” said Strobe Talbott, the former president of the Brookings Institution, “and, now, she’s helping Congress understand the disaster Trump has visited on the country and the world.”

Republicans view her as suspect because she worked with Christopher Steele, who later wrote an infamous dossier on Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia, when she was an intelligence officer and he was her British counterpart. And her time as an unpaid adviser to the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Foundation, founded by the Democratic philanthropist George Soros, fueled rumors spread by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

“My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again,” she told House investigators, saying her attackers accused her “of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president.”

Ms. Hill, 54, had an unusual path to academia. The daughter of a coal miner and a midwife, she had a hardscrabble childhood in northeast England — a childhood that bred toughness, her friends say. Once, when she was 11, a boy in her class set one of her pigtails on fire while she was taking a test. She put the fire out with her hands, and finished the test.

She learned to speak Russian and eventually made her way across the Atlantic to Harvard for a fellowship, where she studied under the scholar Richard Pipes, known for his hard-line views about what was then the Soviet Union.

Ms. Hill’s own views are more nuanced, friends and colleagues say; she is not so much a Russia hawk as a cleareyed realist. She was also very clear about the threat Russia posed to Ukraine.

“She comes from this realist tradition where you start with the proposition that this other actor is capable of killing me,” said Graham Allison, a Harvard political scientist who worked with Ms. Hill on an initiative to teach foreign governments about democracy. “I can’t figure out how to kill them without committing suicide, so now I have to find a way to live with them.”

In 2006, Ms. Hill joined the National Intelligence Council as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia, a job that required her to assess the Russian threat. In 2009, she rejoined Brookings, where she had previously been a fellow. In 2013, she and Clifford Gaddy published “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.”

“She confirmed what I thought, which is what I’ve said very publicly for a long time: He’s the most dangerous guy on Earth,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who got to know Ms. Hill when she was an intelligence analyst.

Yet for all of her scholarly work, it was an appearance on television that landed Ms. Hill her White House job. After Mr. Trump was elected, K.T. McFarland, a Fox News commentator, recommended her to Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser.

General Flynn, whose tenure ended in scandal after 24 days, offered her the job as the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia, though she came on after he left. Some friends warned her against it. Among them was Marvin Kalb, a senior fellow at Brookings, who thought Ms. Hill might have trouble in part because she was an immigrant.

“I was concerned that she might run into problems that others might not run into, and I thought that her judgment of Putin might not sit well with the president,” he said, adding: “My recommendation to her was to stay away. But she believed very strongly in the opportunity to serve.”

She got off to an uncertain start; Mr. Trump once mistook her for a low-level member of support staff. And if there was any doubt that the president had little interest in national security protocol and would rely on no one but himself, it was erased when he took notes away from his interpreter during a private meeting with Mr. Putin in Hamburg, Germany, in 2017.

Then came the disastrous Helsinki, Finland, summit in 2018, where Mr. Trump accepted the Russian president’s denial that his country had interfered in the 2016 race. In a stunning break with protocol, he also told Mr. Putin that he might let Russia interrogate a former American ambassador, Michael A. McFaul, a staunch critic of Russia’s record on human rights.

Mr. McFaul visited her at the White House to complain.

“I thought they were going to clean it up when they got back to Washington, and they didn’t,” Mr. McFaul said. “They just doubled down.”

Some colleagues of Ms. Hill’s wondered why she did not quit then. Others, like Angela Stent, a Russia expert at Georgetown University and mentor to Ms. Hill, said she contemplated leaving at times, but stayed because she wanted “to minimize the damage of some things that were happening with Russia.”

When she left the White House in July, it was as planned; she wanted to spend more time with her husband and 12-year-old daughter and her mother, who is ill. If she had been frustrated there, Mr. Wright said, she kept it to herself.

“This exit was not what she had planned,” Mr. Wright said. “I don’t think she was thinking, ‘I’m going to go out in a blaze of glory, take a moral stand and testify.’ That was definitely not her intention. She just wanted to her job with no fuss or drama.”

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Biden Fumbled Big-Time After Booker Called Him Out On Race

Westlake Legal Group 5dd60f072100006d7134d96e Biden Fumbled Big-Time After Booker Called Him Out On Race

When Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) highlighted former Vice President Joe Biden’s unpopular position on marijuana during Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, it was not a great moment for Biden. And it only got worse from there as the former vice president stumbled repeatedly over sensitive racial issues.

Booker went after Biden for stating earlier this week that he would not initially support legalizing marijuana if he were to become president. Biden had said at a town hall in Nevada on Monday that he wants to see more data about the long-term effects of marijuana use before legalizing the drug at the federal level.

Biden’s response to Booker quickly got strange when he began touting the support he’s received from the Black community. 

“I come out of the Black community in terms of my support. If you notice, I have more people supporting me in the Black community ― who have vouched for me ― because they know me,” Biden said, adding that he’s received support from three former chairs of the Black Caucus.

Biden fumbled again when he said he’s received support from the “only” African American woman elected to the Senate.

“That’s not true … the other one is here,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) jumped in while throwing her hands up and laughing. 

Biden’s fumble came after a statement from Booker on how politicians often use Black voters as pawns in presidential elections. The New Jersey senator used a topic Black voters are passionate about to segue into the smackdown that left the former vice president tripping over his words. 

“I have a lifetime of experience with Black voters; I’ve been one since I was 18,” Booker said to laughter. “Black voters are pissed off and they’re worried. They’re pissed off because the only time our issues seem to really be paid attention to is when people are looking for their vote.”

One issue that disproportionally affects the Black community is the criminalization of marijuana, Booker said. 

“This week I hear [Biden] literally say that ‘I don’t think we should legalize marijuana.’ I thought you might’ve been high when you said it. Because marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people … the war on drugs has been a war on Black and Brown people.” 

Biden’s botched response to Booker was one of many gaffes the former vice president made during Wednesday night’s debate. He routinely stumbled over his words, fumbling several times throughout the two-hour event.  

Biden didn’t rescind his opposition to marijuana legalization but did say he would decriminalize marijuana and expunge any records of people arrested on marijuana charges. 

“I do think that it makes sense, based on data, that we should study what the long-term effects are for the use of marijuana,” he added. “That’s all it is.” 

At the town hall in Nevada, Biden did state that he supported medical marijuana and leaving it up to individual states to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

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Donald Trump And Impeachment Cast Shadow Over Democratic Presidential Debate

Westlake Legal Group 5dd60e1d1f0000300edef069 Donald Trump And Impeachment Cast Shadow Over Democratic Presidential Debate

Democratic presidential candidates have tried to avoid dwelling on President Donald Trump and the impeachment process on the campaign trail ― and voters in the early primary and caucus states have largely obliged them.

But on Wednesday night, the president, the scandal rapidly engulfing his administration and the effect he has had on the country’s political culture exerted influence on the fifth Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta. 

More than in previous debates, the moderators ― from MSNBC and The Washington Post ― pushed the candidates back, time and again, to the matter of how to handle Trump and the aftermath of his presidency. And the candidates, prepared as they were to stress their preferred policy issues, found creative ways to bring the conversation back to their core message.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s response to the first debate question about how she would cajole her Republican colleagues into throwing Trump out of office in an impeachment trial in the Senate was a case in point. After dispensing with the question quickly ― she would recommend that they read special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Trump’s conduct ― Warren pivoted to her anti-corruption message. 

The senator from Massachusetts noted that the Trump administration’s European Union ambassador, Gordon Sondland, whose explosive testimony in the House on Wednesday prompted discussion of impeachment, had received his post because he donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration.

Warren reminded the audience that she has promised not to grant diplomatic posts to campaign donors and invited her fellow candidates to make that promise as well.

“I asked everyone who’s running for president to join me in that, and not a single person has so far,” she declared. “I hope what we saw today during the testimony means lots of people will sign on and say we are not going to give away these ambassador posts to the highest bidder.” 

Other candidates, such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, relished the opportunity to wax lyrical about the grand stakes of holding Trump accountable.

“What this impeachment proceeding about is really our democracy at stake,” Klobuchar said. “This is a president that not only with regard to his conduct with Ukraine but every step of the way puts his own private interests, his own partisan interests, his own political interests in front of our country’s interest, and this is wrong.”

After the exchange on impeachment, Trump reappeared in the debate several minutes later in the form of a discussion about polarization.

Asked whether it was appropriate for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to chant “Lock him up” about Trump at his rallies, Sanders declined to condemn such conduct.

“The people of this country are catching on to the degree that this president thinks he is above the law,” Sanders said.  “And what the American people are saying, ‘Nobody is above the law.’”

Former Vice President Joe Biden would not say if, once Trump is out of office, he would prosecute the former president or decline to do so to avoid reigniting the country’s partisan tensions. He insisted that it would be up to his Department of Justice, which would function independently.

But, in keeping with his self-styled image as a healer and unifier, Biden condemned, unprompted, the chants of “Lock him up” heard at Sanders rallies. 

“Look, we have to bring this country together. Let’s start talking civilly to people,” Biden said.

Thanks in part to the moderators’ crisp, personalized questions and balanced form of skepticism, the debate featured far fewer fireworks among the four poll leaders ― Warren, Sanders, Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg ― than previous rumbles.

Warren, who has struggled for weeks to shake off questions about the evolving details of her “Medicare for All” plan, got a chance to refocus the discussion on what she sees as the benefits of it. And both Biden and Buttigieg made their case that her plan would be too coercive and unrealistic. But, unlike in previous debates, the exchange did not last more than a few minutes and did not devolve into an extended back and forth.

Instead, candidates got the chance to discuss a number of other kitchen-table economic issues that had received shorter shrift in previous forums, including paid family leave, child care and housing.

Warren, whose sweet spot is precisely in these areas, got the chance to discuss her wealth tax at length and how it would generate revenue for universal child care and preschool.

“I’m tired of freeloading billionaires. I think it’s time that we ask those at the very top to pay more so that every single one of our children gets more,” she declared.

The fast-moving yet substance-heavy format was particularly forgiving for candidates whose low standing in the polls gave them something extra to prove on Wednesday night.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California got the chance to discuss her paid family leave plan, which she said was tailored to accommodate parents who have children later in life. The six-month duration of her new benefit, she said, is deliberately generous to account for the fact that parents of young children in their 30s and 40s may also be caring for their aging parents, and that this dual obligation falls disproportionately on women.

“Many women are having to make a very difficult choice: whether they’re going to leave a profession for which they have a passion to care for their family, or whether they are going to give up a paycheck that is part of what that family relies on,” she said.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of four candidates onstage Wednesday who has yet to qualify for the next debate in December, came in determined to make a splash. Although in previous showdowns he has stuck to a kind of Goldilocks liberalism somewhere to the left of Biden and to the right of Warren and Sanders, Booker leaned into the business-friendly inclinations that defined the earlier stages of his career.

He cut Warren off during a discussion of her wealth tax, calling it “cumbersome” and insisting the country could raise revenue from the wealthy through other means. He also faulted Democrats for failing to adequately encourage entrepreneurship in favor of seeking to cut the superrich down to size.

“We as Democrats have got to start talking not just about how we tax from a stage but how we grow wealth in this country amongst those disadvantaged communities that are not seeing it,” he said.

His most memorable moment, though, was a progressive one: when he pressed Biden to account for his opposition to marijuana legalization, which Booker said disproportionately harms African Americans. Biden said on Saturday that he would allow states to proceed with legalization experiments but would refrain from legalizing it federally because of his concern that it is a “gateway drug” to the use of more serious substances.

“I thought you might have been high when you said it,” Booker joked.  “Marijuana, in our country, is already legal for privileged people.”

But it was Biden’s meandering response, defending his credibility on racial justice by pointing to the depth of his support among Black voters, that proved the most startling element of the exchange. Biden noted that former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois has endorsed him but incorrectly called her the “only” Black woman to serve in the Senate. (She was the first, but not the only one.)

Booker and Harris interjected. “The other one is here,” Harris said with a chuckle, referring to herself.

In the end, though, the conversation invariably turned back to Trump, who has become something of a lens through which Democratic presidential hopefuls articulate their theories for effecting positive change.

Warren and Sanders diagnose Trump as a symptom of underlying public disenchantment with a corrupt, rigged political system and economy, and promise to bring a fighting spirit and grassroots movement to bear on the ossified levers of power so government can work again for ordinary people. They see unity as the byproduct of this progress, which is likely to be more painful still, rather than a precursor.

“If you want to be part of a movement that is not only going to beat Trump but transform America, that doesn’t have a super PAC, doesn’t do fundraisers at wealthy people’s homes, please join us at BernieSanders.com,” Sanders said in his concluding remarks.

Biden, Buttigieg and Booker, by contrast, see their roles as calming agents whose first order of business would be easing the national acrimony that has escalated under Trump. 

Buttigieg, who spoke about the need for a president capable of unifying the country when the “sun comes up” and Trump is not president anymore, has been vague about how exactly he plans to overcome the combined forces of entrenched Republican opposition ― even if then the Senate is narrowly controlled by Democrats ― and the deep-pocketed resistance of corporate special interests to top Democratic priorities.

He did not get any more specific on Wednesday night, falling back instead on his claim that “we are now in a different reality than we were even 12 years ago,” shortly before former President Barack Obama took office.

“There is an American majority that stands ready to tackle big issues that didn’t exist in the same way, even a few years ago,” he said, while neglecting to note that bills that poll well routinely die in today’s hyper-partisan, special interest-infested Congress.

But for perhaps the first time in any of the debates, the moderators pressed Biden to explain why exactly he expects Republican lawmakers, who continue to resist holding Trump accountable, to treat him any differently than they treated Obama.

Biden responded by suggesting that he is the candidate best poised to create coattails for maintaining the Democratic majority in the House and regaining one in the Senate. “You have to ask yourself up here: Who is most likely to be able to win the nomination in the first place, to win the presidency in the first place?” he said. “And, secondly, who is most likely to increase the number of people who are Democrats in the House and in the Senate?”

This article has been updated throughout with more comments during the debate.

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Harris rips Biden after he claims support of ‘only’ black female senator: ‘The other one is here’

Westlake Legal Group Biden-Harris_AP Harris rips Biden after he claims support of ‘only’ black female senator: ‘The other one is here’ fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc f32f2c35-3086-5628-8106-a49c15220d4c Brooke Singman article

Former Vice President Joe Biden stumbled at Wednesday night’s Democratic primary debate when he boasted that he had the support of “the only African-American woman who’s ever been elected to the United States Senate” — problem was, he wasn’t referring to Sen. Kamala Harris, who was standing right beside him.

“I have more people supporting me in the black community … because they know me, they know who I am, three former chairs of the black caucus, the only African-American woman that’d ever been elected to the United States Senate, a whole range of people,” Biden said.

RISING BUTTIGIEG FENDS OFF ATTACKS AT DEM DEBATE

But Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., interrupted the former vice president simultaneously.

“Nope,” Harris and Booker said. “That’s not true.”

Harris jumped back in to remind Biden: “The other one is here.”

Biden attempted to clean up the gaffe, by correcting himself and responding: “I said the first—I said the first.”

Biden meant he had the support of the first African-American woman elected to the Senate, referring to former Illinois Democratic Sen. Carol Mosely Braun.

Moments after the exchange, Harris tweeted: “Proud to be the second Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate. #DemDebate.”

And Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders tweeted: “@JoeBiden is proud to have the support of Carol Moseley Braun the 1st African American woman elected to the Senate. And frankly he was proud to campaign for Sen. Harris who is the 2nd. He also knows only two Black women ever serving in the Senate is not enough!”

Harris and Biden have had tense exchanges several times during the 2020 presidential campaign. During the first Democratic primary debate in June, Harris told Biden she doesn’t believe he is a “racist” but considers his recent comments about being able to work with segregationist senators early in his career “hurtful.” Biden had said he disagreed with the senators on segregation but was still able to work with them in the Senate.

Westlake Legal Group Biden-Harris_AP Harris rips Biden after he claims support of ‘only’ black female senator: ‘The other one is here’ fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc f32f2c35-3086-5628-8106-a49c15220d4c Brooke Singman article   Westlake Legal Group Biden-Harris_AP Harris rips Biden after he claims support of ‘only’ black female senator: ‘The other one is here’ fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/politics fnc f32f2c35-3086-5628-8106-a49c15220d4c Brooke Singman article

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Democratic debate No. 5

WASHINGTON – The first votes will be cast in the 2020 Democratic primary in less than 3 months, and the 10 candidates on the debate stage Wednesday night were all looking for a breakout moment. 

While the field has grown and shrunk repeatedly in the past few weeks, with candidates dropping out and jump in, the candidates on stage in Atlanta have all been in this race for months.

Each candidate had something to prove. Here’s an early take on how they did:

Winners

Amy Klobuchar

The Minnesota Senator was ready Wednesday night.

She got laughs and cheers for her answer when asked to follow up about her recent comments that a female candidate with Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s experience probably would not have made it to the debate stage.

After clarifying that she believes Buttigieg is indeed qualified to be at the debate, she doubled down on her belief that women are held to a different standard.

“Otherwise we could play a game called ‘Name Your Favorite Woman President,’ which we can’t do because it has all been men,” she quipped, adding that female candidates “have to work harder, and that’s a fact.”

But if voters worry that a woman can’t beat Trump, she concluded, “Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.” It landed with the audience. 

More:Wayne Messam ends long-shot bid for presidency

More:Deval Patrick, former Massachusetts governor, enters 2020 presidential race

Democratic debate: Top-tier candidates look to break away from pack on Atlanta stage

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg has rocketed to lead some polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, and came into Wednesday night’s event with a target on his back. 

But he left the debate stage mostly unscathed by other candidates; notably, none of the other top-tier candidates went on the offensive against him.

When Sen. Kamala Harris was asked about Buttigieg’s campaign’s use of a stock image of a Kenyan woman on a campaign site, she simply said she believed he had apologized and moved on to talk about larger issues.

When rebutting criticism that he has only dealt with small issues as a Mayor he stated that “frankly where we live, the infighting on Capitol Hill is what looks small.”

In response to critiques of his experience from Klobuchar and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Buttigieg said, “There’s more than 100 years of Washington experience on this stage, and where are we right now as a country?”

Buttigieg certainly has an uphill climb in several states, and a long way to go in earning support from black voters, but the widespread attacks on him that were expected Wednesday never really came to fruition.

Losers

Julián Castro

The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary was a notable absence from the stage, having participated in each previous debate.

Castro is the only candidate still in the race who was on the debate stage in October, but not Wednesday. Castro also has not hit either the donor threshold or poll threshold needed to appear in the December debate, though he still has time. 

More:2020 debate: Tulsi Gabbard prompts a brawl with Kamala Harris over dig at Democratic Party

In the past month, Castro’s campaign had to to lay off staff in two early primary states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, to focus instead on Iowa and New Hampshire. The news came after the campaign asked supporters to help him raise $800,000 in 10 days to stay in the race. 

With fewer than 80 days until the first votes are counted in Iowa, Castro is trailing many of his Democratic rivals in both national and early-state polls. The window for his campaign to make a splash is closing and missing out on the debate stage means fewer voters will get a chance to hear his message. 

Castro said Tuesday night that while he wasn’t on the debate stage, he’s “shaped a lot of the debate already.” His campaign also noted that his name was trending on Twitter, even without being on stage.

Immigration and gun violence

Issues related to immigration and gun violence were largely ignored during Wednesday’s debate.

The issues have been winners in previous debates, where there were substantive exchanges about undocumented immigrants and issues at the southern border, and passionate discussions following a string of mass shootings.

Sanders mentioned immigration in his closing statement, saying, “I am the son of an immigrant. I will stand with the some 11 million undocumented immigrants of this country. I will lead an administration that will look like America, will end the divisiveness of Trump, and will end hate in America.” 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked at one point if she would keep any parts of the border wall up if the Trump Administration builds new sections.

More:Democratic candidates traded barbs and attacks but agreed Trump should be impeached

“A great nation does not separate children from their families. We need to live our values at the border every single day,” she said passionately. But in her closing statement, she pointed out there hadn’t been any talk about gun violence and little talk about immigration.

The lack of substantive conversation around immigration and gun violence come during the first debate where Castro, the only Latino candidate and a candidate who has shaped much of the discussion on immigration, wasn’t on the stage. Also missing from the stage was former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has been an outspoken advocate of gun control but who recently ended his presidential bid.

In early August, O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso was the site of a mass shooting where 22 people were killed. After the shooting he took time away from the campaign trail. When he returned, he advocated a mandatory buyback program in which gun owners would be required to sell certain weapons back to the government.

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said during the September debate, which came weeks after the El Paso shooting.

A special at tip to the moderators

For just the third time in U.S. history and the first time in this election cycle, Wednesday’s debate was moderated by an all-female panel.

The moderators were MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Rachel Maddow, NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker, and Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker. 

The panel asked questions about abortion, the #MeToo movement, paid family leave and childcare, white supremacy, and housing, several of which had been largely ignored at previous debates. 

The moderators also got love from fellow journalists and non-journalists alike on social media. 

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1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, new survey finds

A new survey shows about one in four Europeans holding anti-Semitic beliefs, with such attitudes on the rise in Eastern and Central European countries.

The poll of 14 countries released Thursday by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that such views have held mostly steady in Western Europe.

“It is deeply concerning that approximately one in four Europeans harbor the types of anti-Semitic beliefs that have endured since before the Holocaust,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

“These findings serve as a powerful wake-up call that much work remains to be done to educate broad swaths of the populations in many of these countries to reject bigotry, in addition to addressing the pressing security needs where violent incidents are rising.”

EDUCATION DEPT. PROBING ALLEGED ANTI-SEMITISM AT NYU

In the Eastern and Central European countries surveyed, the stereotype of “Jewish power” in business and the idea that Jewish people are more loyal to Israel than to their own country are especially widespread, according to the findings, which added that many people in those countries also believe that Jews still talk too much about the Holocaust.

The poll, which was fielded between April and June 2019, found anti-Semitic attitudes most prevalent in Poland, Ukraine and Hungary, with more than 40% of the respondents in each country expressing such views.

Westlake Legal Group antisemitic-poland 1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, new survey finds Talia Kaplan fox-news/world fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/world fnc ba2101ac-798e-5dc8-86d9-2d8b55c81e68 article

Polish MP Michal Kaminski poses as he displays a front page of Tylko Polska newspaper with headline “How to Spot a Jew” in Warsaw, Poland March 13, 2019.  (Agencja Gazeta/Slawomir Kaminski via REUTERS)

The ADL noted that when asked if they agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much power in the business world,” 72 percent of Ukrainians agreed, as did 71 percent of Hungarians and 56 percent of people from Poland.

Westlake Legal Group Antisemitic-Ukraine 1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, new survey finds Talia Kaplan fox-news/world fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/world fnc ba2101ac-798e-5dc8-86d9-2d8b55c81e68 article

Supporters of Karpaty Lviv hold a German Nazi flag with a swastika as they attend a soccer match against Dynamo Kiev in Kiev August 19, 2007. Poland and Ukraine denounced British press allegations of racism and mob violence at soccer stadiums. (REUTERS/Stringer/Files)

Recently the governments of all three countries have been criticized by Jewish groups, though all deny being anti-Semitic.

UN RELEASES FIRST-EVER REPORT ON ANTI-SEMITISM HIGHLIGHTING UPTICK

Westlake Legal Group Antisemitic-Hungary 1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, new survey finds Talia Kaplan fox-news/world fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/world fnc ba2101ac-798e-5dc8-86d9-2d8b55c81e68 article

Hungary’s police detained Gyula Zagyva, representative of the far right Jobbik party, in the Hungarian Parliament August 12, 2011. Zagyva had protested against the international rock fesztival Sziget, joining the another far right movenment that used anti-Semitic slurs against the festival.  (REUTERS/Stringer)

In a statement sent to Fox News, Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesperson for the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations said, “The Ukrainian society does not tolerate any forms of discrimination. Anti-Semitism is a crime in our country. All instances that occur are subject to a thorough investigation by the law enforcement agencies.”  

“How can Ukraine be mentioned as ‘one of the most anti-Semitic,’ if in April 2019 the Ukrainian people by the overwhelming majority (73 percent) elected a President of Jewish ancestry? The previous Prime Minister, who left the office in August 2019, was a Jew too, making Ukraine the first country outside Israel with [a] Jewish President and PM [Prime Minister],”  Nikolenko said.

“Claims about prevalent anti-Semitic attitudes have nothing to do with reality.”

The Permanent Mission of Poland to the United Nations and The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C. did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

The Permanent Mission of Hungary to the United Nations and the Embassy of Hungary in Washington also did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Italy and Austria both posted significant decreases, according to the survey, which noted that in Italy, anti-Semitic attitudes fell 11 percent and in Austria they decreased 8 percent.

Overall, such attitudes remained virtually unchanged in Belgium, Germany and Denmark, according to the ADL.

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The study found anti-Semitic views were either stable or down in western Europe and reported decreases in Spain, Netherlands, Italy and Britain. France was also unchanged and Sweden had the lowest rate, at 4 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Antisemitic-Ukraine 1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, new survey finds Talia Kaplan fox-news/world fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/world fnc ba2101ac-798e-5dc8-86d9-2d8b55c81e68 article   Westlake Legal Group Antisemitic-Ukraine 1 in 4 Europeans hold anti-Semitic beliefs, new survey finds Talia Kaplan fox-news/world fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/travel/regions/europe fox-news/topic/anti-semitism fox news fnc/world fnc ba2101ac-798e-5dc8-86d9-2d8b55c81e68 article

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Sondland Says He Followed Trump’s Orders to Pressure Ukraine

WASHINGTON — An ambassador at the center of the House impeachment inquiry testified on Wednesday that he was following President Trump’s orders, with the full knowledge of other top administration officials, when he pressured the Ukrainians to conduct investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals in what he called a clear “quid pro quo.”

Gordon D. Sondland, Mr. Trump’s envoy to the European Union, told the House Intelligence Committee that he reluctantly followed Mr. Trump’s directive. He testified that the president instructed him to work with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, as he pressured Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unsubstantiated theory that Democrats conspired with Kyiv to interfere in the 2016 election.

“We followed the president’s orders,” Mr. Sondland said.

His appearance amounted to an act of defiance by an official who has been described by other witnesses as a point man in the push to extract the investigations. In his testimony, Mr. Sondland linked the most senior members of the Trump administration to the effort — including the vice president, the secretary of state, the acting chief of staff and others. He said they were informed of it at key moments, an account that severely undercut Mr. Trump’s frequent claims that he never pressured Ukraine.

Instead, Mr. Sondland, a wealthy Republican megadonor, described an expansive effort to help the president do just that.

Later on Wednesday, a Defense Department official, Laura K. Cooper, testified that Ukrainian officials may have known as early as late July that a $391 million package of security assistance was being withheld by the Trump administration.

The testimony by Ms. Cooper called into question another central element of the president’s defense: that there was no pressure because Ukrainian officials were unaware that the money was frozen.

Two months into the investigation, Mr. Sondland’s account came as close as investigators have gotten to an admission from an official who dealt directly with Mr. Trump. But Mr. Sondland’s accounts have shifted since the committee first deposed him in October, opening him up to Republican criticism that he is not credible.

Mr. Sondland has repeatedly claimed not to have recalled key episodes, and he conceded during testimony on Wednesday that he did not record precisely what had happened. He blamed the State Department for not providing him with all his emails, call logs and other records.

Still, he offered revelations and had the evidence to corroborate them.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on parts of the pressure campaign, Mr. Sondland testified, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, was deeply involved. They understood, as he did, that there was a quid pro quo linking a White House meeting for President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to a promise by him to announce investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, he said.

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

“Everyone was in the loop,” he said. “It was no secret.”

Mr. Sondland testified that he came to believe that Mr. Trump was also linking congressionally approved military assistance to Ukraine with a public commitment by Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Trump’s political adversaries. Mr. Sondland said he informed Vice President Mike Pence of his concern about that connection during a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw.

Ms. Cooper testified that Ukrainian officials had reached out to the State and Defense Departments with questions about the status of the military funding on July 25, only hours after Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Zelensky during a phone call for the investigations. Republicans have insisted that Ukraine did not know that the aid had been held up until it was reported in the news media in late August.

Beyond the evolving timeline, Mr. Sondland’s testimony raised questions about whether the other top administration figures he mentioned — including Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser — would come forward to testify.

The Trump administration tried to block the testimony of Mr. Sondland, Ms. Cooper and David Hale, the No. 3 State Department official, who also appeared on Wednesday, and refused to allow Mr. Sondland access to certain documents, he said, which it also withheld from the committee despite a subpoena.

Democrats pointed to the administration’s stonewalling as yet another piece of evidence for an impeachment article against Mr. Trump for obstruction of Congress.

“It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, as well as other potential high crimes and misdemeanors,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told reporters during a brief break in the hearing.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164733612_e5708ec4-1796-48de-86b5-683d6dc1b534-articleLarge Sondland Says He Followed Trump’s Orders to Pressure Ukraine United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Pompeo, Mike Perry, Rick Pence, Mike Mulvaney, Mick impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

Representatives Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Devin Nunes, the panel’s top Republican, listening to Mr. Sondland’s testimony.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Republicans, moving to discredit Mr. Sondland, seized on his assertion that Mr. Trump never personally or explicitly told him about conditions on the White House meeting or the security assistance. Mr. Sondland said under questioning that he came to the conclusion on his own.

Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio, hammered on the point, his voice rising as he sharply questioned the ambassador.

“No one told you? Not just the president — Giuliani didn’t tell you, Mulvaney didn’t tell you, nobody?” Mr. Turner demanded. “Pompeo didn’t tell you?

“No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations,” he added. “Yes or no?”

“Yes,” Mr. Sondland responded.

The ambassador, who smiled often during his appearance and cheerfully admitted to a flair for colorful language and frequent use of “four-letter words” in his conversations with Mr. Trump, appeared to relish pulling other top officials into the spotlight. For weeks, Republicans had cast him as a rogue actor.

“The suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false,” he said, pointing to messages and phone calls in which he kept the White House and the State Department informed of his actions.

Some of the senior officials who figured prominently in Mr. Sondland’s testimony quickly challenged his account, and Mr. Trump tried to distance himself from the ambassador.

“I don’t know him very well — I have not spoken to him much,” Mr. Trump told reporters before leaving for Texas on Wednesday afternoon.

Holding a page of notes scrawled in marker in large block letters, Mr. Trump quoted Mr. Sondland’s closed-door deposition in which the ambassador described a phone call in which the president had told him he did not want a quid pro quo.

Before boarding Marine One, Mr. Trump shouted, “This is the final word from the president of the United States.”

The White House press secretary later put out a statement saying that Mr. Sondland’s testimony “completely exonerates President Trump of any wrongdoing.”

Through an aide, Mr. Pence denied that the two men had spoken one-on-one.

“There was never a time when Sondland was alone with the vice president in Warsaw, and if he’s recalling the pre-briefing, I was in that, and he never said anything in that venue either,” said Marc Short, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff.

Defying the State Department’s wishes, Mr. Sondland shared previously unseen emails and texts that demonstrated how he kept Mr. Pompeo and other administration officials apprised of his efforts to push the Ukranians. In one of them, Mr. Sondland tells Mr. Pompeo about a draft statement in which the Ukranians would commit to the investigations, and about a plan to have Mr. Zelensky speak directly with Mr. Trump about the matter.

“The contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation,” Mr. Sondland wrote in an email to Mr. Pompeo.

A week and a half later, Mr. Sondland sent Mr. Pompeo another email asking whether he should arrange a meeting in Warsaw for Mr. Trump where Mr. Zelensky would “look him in the eye” and promise him the investigations, breaking a “logjam.”

Mr. Pompeo issued a statement that appeared intended to deny Mr. Sondland’s testimony, but that did not directly address the ambassador’s assertion that the secretary of state knew and approved of his efforts.

“Gordon Sondland never told Secretary Pompeo that he believed the president was linking aid to investigations of political opponents,” according to the statement from Morgan Ortagus, the State Department spokeswoman.

Mr. Sondland even took shots at Mr. Bolton, who other witnesses have said harbored deep concerns over the ambassador’s actions and repeatedly instructed subordinates to report them to White House lawyers.

“Curiously — and this was very interesting to me — on Aug. 26, shortly before his visit to Kyiv, Ambassador Bolton’s office requested Mr. Giuliani’s contact information from me,” said Mr. Sondland, who repeated himself and then paused to smirk before continuing with his testimony.

One of the more dramatic moments of the day occurred in the final hour in an exchange between Mr. Sondland and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York, who elicited a grudging admission from the ambassador that the investigations that Mr. Trump wanted would benefit him politically.

“See? It didn’t hurt a bit,” Mr. Maloney said, drawing a testy response from Mr. Sondland, who said he was trying to be “forthright.”

“It didn’t work so well the first time, did it?” Mr. Maloney shot back, referring to the multiple changes Mr. Sondland has made to his story.

“We appreciate your candor,” Mr. Maloney said, “but let’s be really clear on what it took to get it out of you.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear, Emily Cochrane, Maggie Haberman and Zach Montague.

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Media Workers Call Out Pay Gaps in Crowdsourced Spreadsheets

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_152306991_04365e18-65d1-48b1-bf0e-48e3145ca4ee-articleLarge Media Workers Call Out Pay Gaps in Crowdsourced Spreadsheets Wages and Salaries Organized Labor Labor and Jobs journalism Advertising and Marketing

Hearst Tower in Manhattan. Employees of Hearst Magazines voted last week to join a union.Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

With income inequality a focus of the current presidential candidates, workers in journalism, advertising and book publishing have anonymously posted salary information on crowdsourced spreadsheets, many of them hoping their efforts will lead to higher pay.

“Having salaries that aren’t transparent only benefits the people at the top,” said Sarah Kobos, a senior photo editor at the consumer products website Wirecutter, which is owned by The New York Times. Ms. Kobos started a spreadsheet for journalists last week.

The document, Real Media Salaries, has more than 1,400 anonymous entries, many listing sex, racial identity and years of experience in addition to salary information. It has given rise to a pair of similar documents in the publishing and advertising industries.

On Tuesday, an Instagram account, Real Agency Salaries, linked to a spreadsheet that has more than 1,000 entries purporting to provide information on compensation in the ad business. The document, which does not identify its creator, states in an echo of the media spreadsheet: “Talking about how much or how little money you make feels taboo, and it shouldn’t.” Its existence was first reported by the trade news site AgencySpy.

Real Agency Salaries suggests there are striking disparities in pay for different demographic groups. A white, male freelance creative director in New York with 28 years of experience reported a salary of $300,000. A Latino man with the same job description in New Jersey and 25 years of experience said he made $95,000.

The third spreadsheet, Transparency in Publishing Salaries, had not caught on in the same way, with 15 entries on Wednesday evening.

People are contributing to the lists during a wave of unionization in digital media, an industry of high valuations and young workers. Last week, employees of Hearst Magazines voted to join the Writers Guild of America East. Earlier, NBC News’s digital staff chose as its bargaining representative the NewsGuild of New York, which represents employees at The Times, The New Yorker and digital properties including BuzzFeed.

Ms. Kobos, the creator of Real Media Salaries, said in an interview that a recent union drive at Wirecutter had helped inspire the spreadsheet. She also acknowledged an antecedent: a 2017 spreadsheet in which media workers published allegations of sexual misconduct against men in the industry. That list, created as the #MeToo movement was expanding, led to investigations that resulted in the departures of prominent journalists.

The advertising industry had its own version last year, Diet Madison Avenue, an anonymous Instagram account that encouraged workers to submit reports of sexual misconduct. The account led to the dismissals of several men from ad agencies, but was eventually deleted and became the target of a defamation lawsuit that remains active.

Crowdsourced data allows for vast amounts of information to be collected — but it is a challenge to fact-check. Jessica Lessin, the founder and editor in chief of the tech website The Information, wrote on Twitter that the spreadsheet for journalists was “not even close to fact.” In an interview, she added that a listing that matched up with someone on her staff was inaccurate.

Similarly, some of the data on the advertising list seems to have been submitted in jest. One entry reported that an employee at the ad agency We Are Unlimited was paid in “White Claw and tears.” A person identified as a senior strategic planner at the VMLY&R agency claimed to have 111 years of work experience.

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