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Florida school shooting suspect’s brother held on $500,000 bail

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A Florida judge ordered the brother of suspected high school shooter Nikolas Cruz to be held on $500,000 bail for a trespassing charge after prosecutors on Tuesday said he had visited the campus three times since the Feb. 14 massacre.

Zachary Cruz, 18, told deputies he went to the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in,” according to the arrest report.

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 During Cruz’s court appearance on Tuesday, a Broward County prosecutor said school officials had told him to stay away from the campus, where his brother killed 17 people last month.
“Weeks after his brother murdered, injured and terrorized the school, he is there with no legitimate purpose,” Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy said of Zachary Cruz.

Murphy said Cruz currently lived with a guardian in a nearby county but gave a false address to police.

She said he had visited his brother in jail, “where he has been heard and observed discussing how popular his brother is now, that his face is everywhere and his name is national.”

A defense lawyer assigned to Zachary Cruz said he was not a danger to the community.

“He is being held because of who he is related to, not because of what he did,” attorney Joseph Kimok said.

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 Judge Kim Theresa Mollica ordered Cruz to be fitted with an ankle monitor should he post bail and told him to stay at least a mile away from the high school in Parkland.
She instructed him not to have any contact with his brother or any students or employees at the school.

Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Dan Grebler

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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report

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Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.

"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.

""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"

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