Why Are Kim Kardashian and Jay Leno Mentioned in the Impeachment Hearings?

A couple of decidedly non-political names have surfaced in this week's impeachment hearings. After being televised live over the past two weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives have probed into allegations of bribery and other misconduct by President Trump and others in the administration.

While many high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats have been discussed at length by witnesses, both reality superstar Kim Kardashian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno have been mentioned. As Variety reports, Kardashian's name came up in relation to rapper A$AP Rocky, who was jailed in Sweden last July.

David Holmes, a U.S. diplomat, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Rocky's arrest was on the president's mind the day after the notorious July 25th phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Holmes testified that on July 26th, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was out to eat at a restaurant with foreign service officials when he had a phone call with Trump.

"Ambassador Sondland told the president that the rapper was, quote-unquote, kind of eff’d there… he used the actual word… and quote, 'he should have pled guilty,'" testified Holmes. "He recommended that the President, quote, 'wait until after the sentencing or it would only make it worse,' unquote, adding, the President should, quote, 'let him get sentenced, play the racism card, and give him a ticker-tape when he comes home.'"

"Sweden should have released him on your word, but that, quote, 'you can tell the Kardashians you tried,'" Holmes added about the call. This was in reference to a July 18th tweet from Kardashian imploring Trump, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to intervene in helping free Rocky from jail overseas.

As far as Leno, the comedian's name came up in relation to a dinner in Brussels that Sondland hosted on June 4th in honor of Zelensky. Leno was in attendance, as he had previously worked with Sondland on behalf of the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation, a charity that boasts a mission of "Helping Families & Boosting Communities."

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Last month, Sondland testified that Leno was, in fact, in attendance. "There were a lot of celebrities, guests, and it was a very sort of light-hearted evening."

Interestingly, Zelensky is a newcomer to politics, having worked in stand-up comedy prior to running for office. Sondland also testified that Zelensky "was honored to meet" with the famous comedian and talk-show host, adding "apparently Jay Leno was his hero."