A DEMOCRATIC congressman has managed to quote lyrics by rapper The Notorious B.I.G. while answering questions on the Senate floor during President Trump’s impeachment hearing.
Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat, referenced the line from his home borough’s beloved rapper on Tuesday as a way to justify the trial to Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow.
Sekulow had earlier asked: “Why are we here?”
In response, an impassioned Jeffries gave his reasoning before concluding, “And if you don’t know, now you now” – a lyric from Biggie’s popular 90s hit Juicy.
On a day when Democrats and Republicans clashed over impeachment rules going forward, Jeffries’ full response went: “We are here, sir, because President Trump abused his power and then he tried to cover it up.
“And we are here, sir, to follow the facts, follow the law, be guided by the Constitution, and present the truth to the American people.
“That is why we are here, Mr. Sekulow. And if you don’t know, now you know.”
Jeffries is currently acting as an impeachment manager, responsible for outlining House Democrats’ case against trump.
He is also the representative for New York’s 8th congressional district, which includes Brooklyn, where Biggie was born and raised.
Tuesday’s quote was not the first time Jeffries has referenced the famous rapper, either.
In March 2018, in a speech on the House floor, Jeffries paid homage to Biggie’s “rags-to-riches life story” as “the classic embodiment of the American dream.”
Standing in front of a print of the rapper, he said: “Biggie Smalls, Frank White, the king of New York. He died 20 years ago today in a tragedy that occurred in Los Angeles. But his words live on forever.”
Jeffries explained how the rapper “went from negative to positive” – another lyric from Juicy – “and emerged as one of the world’s most important hip-hop stars.”
He added: “Biggie Smalls is gone but he will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Notorious B.I.G. Where Brooklyn at?”
Tuesday’s comments from Jeffries came on a day of high tension at President Trump’s impeachment trial.
Republicans opted to abruptly abandon plans to cram opening arguments into two late-night sessions, while argued for more witnesses to help portray their case against Trump.
The opening day stretched deep into the night.
Senators remained as the clock passed 10:30 p.m., while Democrats pursued what may be their only chance to force senators to vote on hearing new testimony.
The president’s impeachment hearing surrounds Trump’s alleged abuse of power with his dealings with Ukraine, with whom he stands accused of pressuring to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Republicans turned back Democratic amendments to subpoena documents from the White House, State Department, Defense Department and budget office, with more votes expected rejecting key witnesses with a front-row seat to Trump’s actions.
MO VOTES MO PROBLEMS
By the same 53-47 party-line, senators turned aside the Democrats request to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
As the hours mounted, McConnell offered Democrats a deal to stack the votes more quickly, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer countered that voting could resume Wednesday.
No deal was reached.
Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee leading the prosecution, told the Senate: “It’s not our job to make it easy for you,
“Our job is to make it hard to deprive the American people of a fair trial.”
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While Tuesday’s debate was technically about rules and procedures that will govern the trial, it also set a broader precedent for how party-line voting may be carried out going forward.
The impeachment trial will also have large implications ahead of the 2020 election, with Democrats, if Trump is acquitted, likely to argue the process was rigged or a coverup.
Republicans, meanwhile, may argue continue to argue that the House’s decision to impeach Trump was unjustified.
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