Why Does ASAP Rocky Keep Coming up During the Impeachment Hearings?

Why does A$AP Rocky's name keep coming up in testimony in President Donald Trump's impeachment inquiry hearings? Several officials who have testified before the House Intelligence Committee this week have brought up the famous rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers and who was arrested and jailed in Sweden for a month over the summer after being accused of beating a 19-year-old man.

A$AP Rocky's legal drama (which made headlines for weeks when Trump sought to personally intervene in the situation and culminated upon the rapper's eventual release and return to the U.S.), came up during the impeachment hearings Thursday when State Department official David Holmes publicly testified that he overheard a July 26 phone call between Trump and U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Holmes said the two discussed topics ranging from A$AP to Ukranian President Volodomyr Zelensky.

"I could only hear Ambassador Sondland's side of the conversation," Holmes testified Thursday, as reported by CBS News. "Ambassador Sondland told the president the rapper was 'kinda f'ed there,' and should have pleaded guilty. He recommended the president 'wait until after the sentencing or it will only make it worse.' He added that the president should 'let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape [parade] when he comes home.'"

Holmes also said that Sondland told Trump that Sweden should've released A$AP, "but you can tell the Kardashians that you tried," referring to Kim Kardashian's efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

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Sondland himself didn't dispute that other witnesses could have overheard his call with Trump. "It is true that the President speaks loudly at times," he said. "And it's also true I think we primarily discussed A$AP Rocky. It is true that the president likes to use colorful language. Anyone that has met with him at any reasonable amount of time knows this."

The mention of A$AP Rocky has prompted a few memes and jokes on social media, including a mashup of A$AP's music with Sondland's testimony, as produced and shared by Stephen Colbert's The Late Show.

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