1. The Russian military hacked into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment inquiry. Using similar tactics to those used to obtain emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, Russian hackers employed phishing emails to steal usernames and passwords from Burisma employees. It is still unclear what the hackers found or what they were looking for, but experts say the timing and scale of the attack suggest that they could be searching for information about the Bidens. The hacking attempts began in early November while reports about the Bidens, Ukraine, and impeachment were leading the news in the U.S. (New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post)

  2. Top Senate Republicans rejected calls from Trump to dismiss the impeachment charges against him at the outset of the Senate trial. “Certainly, there aren’t 51 votes for a motion to dismiss,” said Sen. Roy Blunt. Mitch McConnell wants the Senate to approve a resolution that would allow the Senate to vote to immediately dismiss the charges against Trump. “I think our members, generally are not interested in the motion to dismiss,” Blunt continued. “They think both sides need to be heard.” (Washington Post / Associated Press / The Hill)

  3. U.S. Embassy security officials at the State Department were not made aware of any imminent threats to four U.S. embassies, contradicting Trump’s claim that assassinating Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani was an act of self-defense. The State Department sent a global warning before the strike occurred, but no warnings were issued to any individual U.S. embassy and the global warning did not mention any imminent attack. One Senior State Department official said he was “blindsided” when the Trump administration attempted to justify the killing by saying Soleimani was behind an imminent threat to blow us U.S. embassies. (CNN)

  4. Trump is preparing to divert another $7.2 billion in Pentagon funding to pay for his border wall construction this year — five times the amount that Congress authorized for the project in the 2020 budget. The Pentagon funds would come from military construction projects and counter-narcotics programs, enough to fund about 885 miles of new fencing by 2022. The diversion would bring the total amount of federal funding allocated for border fencing to $18.4 billion. (Washington Post)

  5. A former Trump campaign adviser and key witness in the Mueller investigation pleaded guilty to charges of child sex trafficking and possessing child pornography. George Nader admitted in court that he brought an underage boy to the U.S. for sex and that he possessed child pornography that depicted the sexual abuse of toddlers. Both crimes occurred before his time with the 2016 Trump campaign, where he worked as an informal foreign policy adviser and attended high-level meetings. The Justice Department has recommended that he receive the minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. (Courthouse News Service / Washington Post / CNN / Rolling Stone / Yahoo News)