3 Things To Know Today

1 Trump Impeachment Fight: Depositions Are Getting Released

The three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Trump have started releasing transcripts of private depositions. The depositions cover hours-and-hours of testimony from current and former officials in the Trump administration. The first releases involve testimony from veteran diplomat Michael McKinley and former U.S.-Ukraine ambassador Maria Yovanovitch . The impeachment inquiry enters a new phase this month with expected public hearings. Among the takeaways: McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told lawmakers that a colleague felt the State Department was using "bullying tactics" to try to prevent him from cooperating with Congress. Yovanovitch testified that she discovered Trump personally pressured the State Department to remove her, even though a top official told her that she had "done nothing wrong. As part of that, she maintains that the campaign against her was led by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. As for her abrupt departure, Yovanovitch said she got a call at about 1am local time and was told to "be on the next plane home to Washington." When she asked why, she says she was told: "I don't know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane. All this as President Trump claims he “doesn't really know” Yovanovitch and added that he's sure she is a "very fine woman." Speaking at the White House, Trump said it was Ukraine's new president, who wasn’t a fan of Yovanovitch. This is interesting as according to the summary of his call with Ukraine’s leader, it was Trump who referenced Yovanovitch on the July call, describing her “bad news” and saying she was “going to go through some things.”

2 Feds Arrest Man Plotting To Blow Up Historic CO Synagogue

A Colorado man is facing federal charges after authorities say he planned an attack on a synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado. According to court documents, 27-year-old Richard Holzer met with undercover agents on November 1st to discuss using pipe bombs to attack Temple Emanuel that same day. He was arrested at that time. FBI agents also say during an earlier meeting, Holzer told them he paid someone to put arsenic in the water pipes of the synagogue in October 2018 – no word on the truth of that. But what is? Holzer is a self-described white supremacist and hoped his bombing would start a “holy war.” Temple Emanuel is the second oldest synagogue in Colorado and Holzer reportedly told officials he wanted to "wipe it off the map." “After reviewing multiple social media posts, and utilizing a number of investigatory techniques, we determined that Mr. Holzer did pose a threat ...and that he appeared to be planning to destroy the Temple Emanuel synagogue,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Dean Phillips told reporters yesterday. “Our task force used multiple investigative techniques to gather information that led to Mr. Holzer’s arrest.”

3 Hundreds Of Inmates Released In Largest Single-Day Commutation In History

Talk about a real second chance – this as hundreds of inmates in Oklahoma are now free following the largest bipartisan commutation in American history. In all, the state released 462 people out of prison yesterday, all serving time for low-level drug and nonviolent offenses. Many of the crimes had once been felonies, but were reclassified as misdemeanors. A total of 527 inmates actually had their sentences commuted Friday, but 65 have detainers and will be released later. The move comes after voters approved a measure to reclassify certain crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. The commutations are expected to save the state an estimated 12-million-dollars.

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