HC Wake-Up Call: Stacey Abrams To Deliver SOTU Response, Christine Blasey Ford Nominated For Profile In Courage Award, & Roger Stone Pleads Not Guilty To Robert Mueller’s Charges

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds — we’re all only human, after all. 

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.) 

Stacey Abrams To Give The Democratic Response To Trump’s State Of The Union Address

Democrats announced on Tuesday their choice to give the party’s response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address. The Washington Post reports that Stacey Abrams, who is Georgia’s former gubernatorial candidate, will deliver the response to Trump’s 2019 SOTU speech. Trump’s speech will take place on Tuesday, February 5. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement to the press on Tuesday, saying, “She is just a great spokesperson. She’s an incredible leader. She has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else. I’m very excited that she’s agreed to be the respondent to the president.” 

Abrams told The Washington Post that she’s honored to give the response “at a moment when our nation needs to hear from leaders who can unite for a common purpose.” 

“I plan to deliver a vision for prosperity and equality, where everyone in our nation has a voice and where each of those voices is heard,” she continued. 

Abrams has been in the national spotlight due to her gubernatorial candidates and her efforts to register black voters in Georgia.  She lost the midterm election to her Republican opponent Brian Kemp, and since, she has been outspoken about the difficulties people face in casting their ballots.

Rep. Jackie Speier Nominated Christine Blasey Ford For The Prestigious Profile In Courage Award 

Rep. Jackie Speier announced her nomination on Tuesday of Christine Blasey Ford for a Profile in Courage Award, according to The Washington Times.  

“Nominating Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—a true American (s)hero who sacrificed so much to do what was right for our country and for the pursuit of truth of justice—for this year’s Profiles in Courage Award @JFKLibrary,” Speier tweeted. “She is an inspiration to us all.” 

Established in 1989, the Profile in Courage Award has been given to only 51 people. Recipients include President Barack Obama, Edward M. Kennedy, and John Lewis.  According to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Museum website, the award is usually given to who do or have held public office. The criteria emphasizes “contemporary acts of political courage.” 

Last summer, Ford shared (first to The Washington Post) her allegations that current Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh repeatedly denied the allegations, despite other accusations of sexual misconduct during his confirmation. But, Ford experienced a public congressional hearing and back-to-back testimonies. Ultimately, Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Roger Stone Pleaded Not Guilty To Charges Brought On By Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel 

President Donald Trump’s longtime advisor Robert Stone, through his lawyer, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to felony charges in Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. According to The New York Times, he was accused of lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks. 

Stone faces a seven-count indictment, which includes witness tampering, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, BuzzFeed News reports. He is also charged with one count of obstructing Congress, and five counts of giving false statements to Congress.  On January 25, he was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and released on a $250,000 bond after he made his first court appearance. 

After his formal arraignment, he was order not to contact witness in the case. Stone will also not be allowed to have a passport, and he will be restricted to Manhattan and other areas in New York, southern Florida, D.C., and northern Virginia. 

"I am falsely accused of making false statements during my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. That is incorrect," Stone said, BuzzFeed News reports. "Any error I made in my testimony would be both imaterial and without intent."

What To Look Out For…

A polar vortex is expected to bring record-low temperatures to areas of the U.S. tomorrow, and the Midwest will be hit the hardest. Stay warm and stay safe!