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Jeffries quotes Biggie Smalls during impeachment trial
01:46 - Source: CNN
Washington CNN  — 

“And if you don’t know, now you know.”

Those lyrics from the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. punctuated a speech from House impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries during the Senate trial of President Donald Trump.

Jeffries, a New York Democrat, referenced one of his home borough of Brooklyn’s favorite sons Tuesday night in response to Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow earlier asking, “Why are we here?”

“We are here, sir, because President Trump abused his power and then he tried to cover it up,” Jeffries said. “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.”

He concluded with: “That is why we are here, Mr. Sekulow. And if you don’t know, now you know” – the last bit being a lyric from the Biggie song, “Juicy.”

Jeffries represents New York’s 8th congressional district, which includes Brooklyn, where Biggie was born and raised.

His comments came amidst a contentious opening day in the Senate impeachment trial as Republicans and Democrats battled over amendments to a resolution laying out the rules moving forward. As an impeachment manager, Jeffries’ acts as a prosecutor for House Democrats outlining the case against Trump.

“We are here, sir, because President Trump pressured a foreign government to target an American citizen for political and personal gain,” he said earlier in his speech. “We are here, sir, because President Trump solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election and corrupted our democracy.”

Tuesday night’s trial was not the first time Jeffries has paid tribute to the Notorious B.I.G. as a lawmaker.

In a 2017 speech on the House floor, he hailed the artist’s “rags-to-riches life story” as “the classic embodiment of the American dream.”

“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 said at the time, while standing next to a large printed portrait of the rapper.

“We know he went from negative to positive and emerged as one of the world most important hip-hop stars. His rags-to-riches life story is the classic embodiment of the American dream. Biggie Smalls is gone but he will never be forgotten. Rest in piece Notorious B.I.G.. Where Brooklyn at?” Jeffries continued.

The rapper, whose real name is Christopher Wallace, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997, in Los Angeles at the age of 24. His murder has never been solved.

CNN’s Clare Foran and Deena Zaru contributed to this report.