Therapy dogs were deployed to Capitol Hill to comfort congressional staffersduring an event that coincided with the start of public impeachment hearingsWednesday.

Billed as “a chance to de-stress in the midst of a busy season,” organizersheld the event amid weeks of closed-door impeachment proceedings culminatingin the first of several planned public hearings.

Mike Bober, president of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council that helpedrun the event, described the timing as a “happy accident,” People magazinereported.

“We had this planned for several months, so when they announced the date ofthe hearings, we thought ‘if there was ever a time for a bipartisan source ofcomfort and relief, it’s today,’” said Mr. Bober, whose nonprofit co-hostedthe event with Pet Partners, an organization dedicated to promoting animal-assisted therapy.

Critics of the impeachment proceedings against President Trump were quick tofalsely assert the therapy dogs were deployed to comfort Democrats dejected bythe day’s outcome.

“Democrats everywhere have reason to be worried tonight,” conservativecommentator Sean Hannity said on his Fox News opinion program Wednesdayevening. “It was such a disaster they actually brought in therapy dogs — notmaking this up — presumably to help Democrats cope with their emotions.”

“Comfort dogs brought to Capitol to help Dems cope w/ impeachment,” MikeHuckabee, the former Republican governor of Alabama, later declared onTwitter.

Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputyassistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, both testifiedWednesday during the first of several planned public impeachment hearingsthreatening Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Democrats controlling the House of Representatives initiated an impeachmentinquiry in September after the White House sought to block members of Congressfrom learning details about the Trump administration withholding militaryassistance allocated by Congress to Ukraine. The funds were put on hold amidMr. Trump asking his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the son of formerU.S. Vice p=President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R.Biden, and members of Congress are considering whether Mr. Trump should beaccordingly removed from office.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Thursday that thediplomats’ public testimony “corroborated evidence of bribery” by Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump continued to attack the impeachment process from his Twitteraccount, meanwhile, calling it a “hoax” in one of several critical tweetsThursday.

The next public hearing in the process will be held Friday when members ofCongress question Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Source: Washington Post

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