3 Things To Know Today

1 Mexico President Ensures Justice For Slain U.S. Citizens

Three women and six children were shot and burned alive after their cars were ambushed on Monday – five others were transported to a Tucson hospital for treatment. Now, the FBI is offering to help Mexican officials investigate the murders of at least nine Americans in Sonora – especially as it’s been revealed that they may have been targeted. To review, the victims had dual U.S. and Mexico citizenship and were part of a fundamentalist Mormon family. Initially, the belief was that it was a case of mistaken identity. But now? Officials say the cartels who control the area – that’d be the Sonora and Chihuahua cartels – would have been aware of the family and their travel patterns. But while President Trump has offered help, however Mexico's president responded saying it was their responsibility. Trump tweeted that it is time to wage "WAR" on the cartels to "wipe them off the face of the earth." Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says justice will be done for the Americans killed. Obrador tweeted his condolences to the loved ones of the victims. He also thanked Trump for his willingness to support Mexico.

2 Sondland "Revises" Testimony, Admits To ‘Quid Pro Quo’

A key witness in the House impeachment probe says Ukraine was threatened with not receiving U.S. military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations being pushed by President Trump. In transcripts of depositions to investigators, Gordon Sondland also outlined efforts by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrats. Sondland is the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and was put in charge of overseeing diplomacy with Ukraine. And one of the most significant items from yesterday’s transcript release is that Sondland revised his prior testimony to say that he told a top Ukrainian official that U.S. aid would likely not resume until the country issues a corruption statement. This revelation was quickly hailed by Democrats as proof of the quid pro quo they have been alleging took place – one that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney once totally confirmed, before recanting. Either way, the White House maintains there’s ‘nothing to see here.’ As White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham sees it, "The President has done nothing wrong." In a written statement, Grisham said the depositions "show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment scam than previously thought." She argued that impeachment is being fueled by "salacious media-biased headlines." Perhaps, but at the same time, for all the railing against the inquiry that Republicans have done about the process, reports say they simply aren’t participating. At the Sondland deposition, for example, of the Republicans there, there were more than double the number of Democrats (we’re talking 2-to-1).

3 Mitch McConnell Doesn't Think Senate Would Remove Trump From Office

Sure, it looks like a done deal in the House when it comes to impeachment – there’s a Democrat majority. But that doesn’t mean anything for the Senate, where Republicans hold the cards. And to ask Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it's unlikely that President Trump would be removed from office in an impeachment trial. Talking with reporters at the Capitol, McConnell argued that House Democrats seem "hell-bent" on impeaching Trump. He said it appears the House will send the Senate articles of impeachment “at some point” and noted that the Senate is constitutionally obligated to hold a trial. To remind you of the process, if Trump is impeached by the House (as Bill Clinton was back in 1998), the Senate would decide whether Trump is ultimately guilty or innocent. On a related note, McConnell is taking aim at Democrats on Capitol Hill – blasting them via Twitter for voting twice to block military funding. He added that they'd "rather fight with the White House." He also went after House Democrats for not passing the USMCA trade deal. He blamed the hold-up on "their three-year-old impeachment obsession." McConnell believes Democrats need to "put aside socialist daydreams and fulfill their basic governing responsibilities."

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