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10 things you need to know today!

1. Impeachment witnesses confirm link between investigations, Ukraine aid

Hasil gambar untuk President Trump's former Russia adviser, Fiona Hill, testified in the House impeachment inquiry

President Trump’s former Russia adviser, Fiona Hill, testified in the House impeachment inquiry Thursday that Trump’s alleged push for Ukraine to conduct investigations was “a domestic political errand.” Hill said the White House pressure for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens was purely political, and inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy to fight corruption in Ukraine.

Hill criticized Republicans for touting “fictions” and an “alternate narrative” asserting Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. David Holmes, a diplomat who overheard a phone call between Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in July, testified it was his “clear impression” that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine as pressure for investigations. Holmes said he heard Trump ask Sondland about “the investigations.” [The New York Times]

2. Netanyahu indicted on fraud, bribery charges

Hasil gambar untuk Israeli PM Netanyahu rejects indictment

Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday announced an indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of fraud, breach of trust, and bribery. Netanyahu denied wrongdoing, saying the investigation was based on “false accusations” and the indictment amounted to an “attempted coup.” Mandelblit said the indictment was based on the facts, not politics.

The charges will not force the prime minister to resign, but will be politically damaging, especially ahead of a likely new election. Both Netanyahu and his primary challenger, Benny Gantz, have failed to form a government, and Netanyahu’s chances of building a coalition will likely worsen as he faces calls to resign amid the criminal charges. [The Associated Press]

3. GOP and White House discuss limiting impeachment trial

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Leading Republican senators met with White House officials on Thursday to discuss trying to limit a possible impeachment trial of President Trump to two weeks, The Washington Post reported, citing several officials familiar with the matter. Some Republicans reportedly believe that conducting a substantial trial but keeping it from lasting too long could be the best way for Trump and the party to limit fallout from the proceedings.

After two weeks of public impeachment inquiry hearings, it appears increasingly likely that the Democrat-controlled House will vote to impeach Trump next month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc­Connell (R-Ky.) has said that would trigger a Senate trial, although Trump reportedly wants Republicans to dismiss the case. [The Washington Post]

4. Trump signs bill temporarily preventing shutdown

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President Trump signed a short-term spending bill on Thursday, avoiding a government shutdown hours before federal funding ran out. The measure will keep government agencies funded through Dec. 20, giving lawmakers a few more weeks to work out a long-term spending deal.

Lawmakers now will have to vote on another spending measure just before the Christmas holiday, possibly with an impeachment vote looming. Negotiations got bogged down over Trump’s insistence on money to build his promised wall on the Mexican border, the same issue that led to a 35-day partial government shutdown last year. [USA Today]

5. Bloomberg files papers to enter Democratic presidential field

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed papers on Thursday formally entering the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg had ruled out a campaign eight months ago, but reportedly changed his mind because he wasn’t satisfied that the other candidates could beat President Trump in the general election.

Bloomberg advisers said filing federal papers after registering for spots on several state ballots marked a step toward launching a campaign, but that Bloomberg was not making a formal decision that he would be a candidate. Bloomberg, a businessman with a net worth estimated at $53 billion, has the resources to shake up the Democratic primary field. [The Washington Post]

6. U.S. charges former Monsanto employee with stealing trade secrets for China

Hasil gambar untuk U.S. charges Chinese national with stealing trade secrets: Justice Department

Federal authorities have charged Chinese national Haitao Xiang, 42, with stealing trade secrets for Beijing, the Justice Department said Thursday. Xiang worked for Monsanto and its Climate Corp subsidiary from 2008 to 2017. He was stopped at an airport preparing to board a flight to China with proprietary farming software. He was accused of responding to China’s Thousand Talents Plan to recruit scientists.

“Xiang promoted himself to the Chinese government based on his experience at Monsanto,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said. “Within a year of being selected as a Talent Plan recruit, he quit his job, bought a one-way ticket to China, and was caught at the airport with a copy of the company’s proprietary algorithm before he could spirit it away.” [Reuters]

7. Obama: Democrats should ‘chill out’ about differences among party’s candidates

Hasil gambar untuk Obama: Democrats need to 'chill out’ about crowded 2020 field

Former President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Democrats to stop worrying about “relatively minor” differences among the candidates for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, and instead focus on their shared goal of winning back the White House. “Everyone needs to chill out about the candidates, but gin up about the prospect of rallying behind whoever emerges from this process,” Obama said at a Silicon Valley fundraiser.

Obama said debates within the party about health care, climate change, and other issues “are good arguments to have,” but “you got to win the election” against a president and Republican allies Obama said had “taken a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country.” [USA Today, CNN]

8. Graham demands documents on Biden contacts with Ukraine officials

Hasil gambar untuk Graham launches probe of Bidens, Burisma and Ukraine

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday launched an inquiry into former Vice President Joe Biden’s communications with Ukrainian officials. Graham, a staunch defender of President Trump, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting documents on any calls between Biden and then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko regarding Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that employed Biden’s son on its board, or the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor.

Graham told The Washington Post in late October that he was under pressure from Trump allies to investigate Biden, but resisted to avoid turning “the Senate into a circus.” A spokesperson said Graham now sought the documents because House impeachment investigators “will not look into the issues about Hunter Biden and Burisma.” [The Washington Post]

9. Report: Ex-FBI lawyer suspected of altering Russia warrant document

Hasil gambar untuk Exclusive: Former FBI lawyer under investigation after allegedly altering document in 2016 Russia probe

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s effort to obtain warrants for surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page is expected to include allegations that a former FBI lawyer altered a document on the matter, CNN reported, citing several people briefed on the case.

Horowitz’s report is expected in December, and he reportedly turned over evidence on the allegedly changed document to John Durham, the prosecutor Attorney General William Barr hired to review the origins of the Russian election-meddling investigation. Officials said the document did not affect the decision to approve a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Page. [CNN, The Washington Post]

10. U.S. sends 1st asylum seeker to Guatemala under new agreement

Hasil gambar untuk Trump administration begins deporting asylum seekers to Guatemala

The Trump administration on Thursday transferred the first migrant to Guatemala under a program to have the Central American nation accept migrants who sought asylum in the U.S. Guatemalan officials said the migrant, a Honduran man, arrived on a flight to Guatemala City and was processed at a shelter.

The U.S. has worked for months to get Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to take in migrants who might have a legitimate claim for asylum while the applicants make their case. The agreements mark a shift in U.S. asylum policy that has come as the Trump administration tries to reverse a surge in applications at the U.S.-Mexico border. The administration has barred most of the migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. [CNN]

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