• 'Fuller House' Star Candace Cameron Bure Says She's "Sick to Her Stomach" in Emotional Post

    "I'm feeling happy and a little sick to my stomach."

  • Republicans Thought Yovanovitch Would Be a Pushover. She Beat Them Up Instead

    Nicholas Kamm / AFP/ Getty ImagesBefore she even spoke on Friday, President Donald Trump’s surrogates in Congress and conservative media expected Marie Yovanovitch to cry on command for the impeachment-hearing cameras. As she began testifying about the smear campaign that forced her from her ambassadorship in Ukraine, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that impeachment wasn’t about her feelings. But for over five hours, the 33-year veteran diplomat left no doubt why she was there and what she endured, even as the president himself weighed in on Twitter seeming to intimidate her as she sat in front of the congressional panel. The president’s attack wasn’t the only attack she brushed aside. Yovanovitch methodically outplayed a series of Republican efforts to cast her firing as normal, the president’s behavior as unremarkable, and the harm she suffered as negligible-rather than the prelude to a shadow diplomatic effort to coerce Ukraine into aiding Trump’s reelection. Instead, she made it clear that she would have been an obstacle to the president’s pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had she remained in Kyiv. At one point, she told Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) that she would have opposed the summer 2019 suspension of $400 million in U.S. military aid and would never have asked Zelensky to pursue the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. Asked to affirm that Trump was legitimately concerned about Ukraine corruption, she shot back, “That’s what he says.”Not much of Friday’s hearing, the second in the House impeachment inquiry, went the GOP’s way. The exception was Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), who, knowing that Yovanovitch was fired before the pressure campaign on Zelensky proceeded, got her to concede she had no knowledge of criminal wrongdoing by Trump.Most of their attempts to discredit or dismiss her either fell flat or ended in retreat. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, an Ohio Republican, asked Yovanovitch to affirm that presidents get to select their ambassadors. In perhaps the most powerful line of the hearing, Yovanovitch replied, “I obviously don’t dispute the president has the right to withdraw an ambassador at any time for any reason, but what I do wonder is why it was necessary to smear my reputation.”Wenstrup quickly replied that wasn’t his question, pressed the sound on his mic off and sat back in his chair. When the Republicans’ counsel for impeachment, Steve Castor, put forward a series of public statements from 2016 from Ukrainians upset with candidate Trump, Yovanovitch frustrated a line of questioning meant to establish what Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the top Intelligence Committee Republican, called “Ukrainian election meddling.”“Those elements you’ve recited don’t seem to be a plan or plot of the Ukrainian government to work against President Trump. Those are isolated incidents,” she said. “I’ve come to learn public life can be quite critical. I’d remind, again, that our own U.S. intelligence community has conclusively determined” that Russia, not Ukraine, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.Castor also walked into a trap by asking if Trump might have been justified in feeling Ukraine was against him based on internet-borne comments. Yovanovitch, whom Trump had just disparaged in a tweet, icily replied, “Well, sometimes that happens on social media.”Stewart, who called impeachment “nonsense,” implied it was appropriate for Trump to seek a Ukrainian investigation of Burisma, the national-gas firm that put Joe Biden’s son on its board. Yovanovitch responded that “we have a process for that” that Trump did not follow, one involving communication between the Justice Department and its Ukrainian counterpart under a mutual legal-assistance treaty. Stewart reiterated the question “regardless of the process,” although corruption definitionally routes around official channels in pursuit of private agendas. Similarly, when John Ratcliffe (R-TX) asked if it was a potential “conflict of interest” for Joe Biden to seek the firing of a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor in 2016-a central Republican defense of Trump-Yovanovitch rejected his premise. “I actually don’t,” she said. “I think the view was that Mr. [Viktor] Shokin was not a good prosecutor-general fighting corruption. I don’t think it had to do with the Burisma case.”Republicans attempted to approach Yovanovitch respectfully. They praised her service-even as they defended Trump for ending it prematurely-and gave prominence to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) so as to avoid the optics of men attacking a woman. Yet they were at times dismissive of what Yovanovitch had described as a nightmare. Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX), asked her basic questions about her post-ambassadorship gig at Georgetown University-how many classes does she teach? How many students does she have?-and the regard her diplomatic colleagues have for her, suggesting that she suffered no real harm after the president capped an assassination of her character by firing her.Later, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) had the room laughing when he spelled out the upshot of that inquiry. “It’s like a Hallmark movie,” he said from the dais. “You ended up at Georgetown. This is all OK!”The ultimate sabotage to the GOP’s attempt to treat Yovanovitch as an impeachment sideshow was committed by Trump himself. With a series of tweets slamming Yovanovitch as she testified, the president did plenty of work to make her appearance even more relevant to the impeachment inquiry. The ambassador-and Democratic lawmakers-said Trump’s broadside was intended to intimidate not only her but future impeachment witnesses. It fueled talk of a whole new article of impeachment.Few Republicans felt compelled to justify the president’s tweets. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), a reliable ally of the president, said Trump is allowed to defend himself and that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Democratic floor general on impeachment, had cherry-picked tweets about the ambassador to read from the dais. As the hearing wrapped, Republicans maintained that Stewart’s line of questioning was the punch that would linger from the hearing. “This witness can’t shed any light on what Dems claim are their impeachable offenses, and can’t advance their narrative,” said a senior House GOP aide.But Democrats left with the impression they got even more than they’d wanted-that a witness initially pitched as someone who could flesh out the human impact of Trump’s Ukraine designs served many more purposes.“You know, it’s funny,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), “the more the day went on, I personally thought she became more and more enlightening for purposes of our inquiry.” The ambassador’s appearance met a rare ending for the staid hearing rooms of Capitol Hill. Schiff closed with a thundering statement, and before Yovanovitch could even rise from her chair, the crowd in the gallery erupted in a standing ovation.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Sofia Richie Poses for a Sexy Swimsuit Photo Shoot in Revealing One-Piece

    Sofia Richie Poses for a Sexy Swimsuit Photo Shoot in Revealing One-Piece

  • Pro-Life Investigators Found Guilty in Lawsuit After Filming Planned Parenthood Execs Discussing Sale of Fetal Body Parts

    A San Fransisco district court on Friday found pro-life activists guilty in a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood after the activists surreptitiously filmed executives of the abortion group discussing the sale of fetal body parts.A ten person federal jury convicted activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of contract and trespass and violation of state and federal recording laws in Maryland, California and Florida. Planned Parenthood will be awarded $870,000 in punitive damages.Daleiden and Merritt released videos in 2015 of Planned Parenthood executives as well as footage from the 2014 National Abortion Federation conference, which they obtained while posing as researchers for a fake fetal tissue research company they called Biomax.In the videos, abortion industry players could be seen admitting to illegally altering abortion procedures in order to provide fresher, more intact fetal parts, as well as haggling with the investigators over prices. The investigators have also accused Planned Parenthood of illegally profiting off the sale of fetal tissue for medical research, using their footage as evidence.The verdict set "a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts to criticize the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions," read a statement from CMP.Planned Parenthood has consistently denied any activities portrayed in the videos were illegal, and have accused CMP of deceptively editing the footage."The jury has spoken loud and clear," said Planned Parenthood attorney Rhonda Trotter after the verdict. "Those who violate the law in an effort to limit access to reproductive rights and health care will be held accountable."The trial made headlines in September when California obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Forrest Smith, who has administered thousands of abortions, testified on behalf of the CMP activists."There’s no question in my mind that at least some of these fetuses were live births," Smith told the court while describing the abortion procedures elaborated by Planned Parenthood executives in the CMP footage.

  • Column: A suspension is the least of Garrett’s concerns

    Myles Garrett will surely spend the rest of his career - maybe even the rest of his life - trying to live this one down. The Cleveland Browns' star defensive end can expect to pay a huge price for his helmet-swinging assault - there's no other way to describe it - on Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the closing seconds of a Thursday night game that turned into an episode of WWE Smackdown. The NFL quickly suspended Garrett for at least the final six games of the regular season as well as the postseason (the latter not really a concern since he plays for the Browns).