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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 292)

“It’s a Criminal Enterprise”: Calls to Impeach Barr Intensify After Reports AG Pressured Foreign Officials to Help Discredit Mueller Probe; “Barr decided a long time ago that he was going to be a fixer for Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.”

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Me and My Whistle-Blower

One sunny Wednesday in February, a gangly man in a sports jacket and a partly unbuttoned paisley shirt walked into the Los Angeles field office of the F.B.I. At the reception desk, he gave his name — Val Broeksmit — and began to pace anxiously in the lobby.

Mr. Broeksmit couldn’t believe he was voluntarily meeting with the F.B.I. An unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft, not to mention a dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers, he was accustomed to shunning if not fearing law enforcement. But two investigators had flown from the bureau’s New York office specifically to speak with him, and Mr. Broeksmit had found their invitation too seductive to resist. Now the agents arrived in the lobby and escorted him upstairs.

They wanted to talk about Deutsche Bank — one of the world’s largest and most troubled financial institutions, and the bank of choice to the president of the United States. Mr. Broeksmit’s late father, Bill, had been a senior executive there, and his son possessed a cache of confidential bank documents that provided a tantalizing glimpse of its internal workings. Some of the documents were password-protected, and there was no telling what secrets they held or how explosive they could be.

Federal and state authorities were swarming around Deutsche Bank. Some of the scrutiny centered on the lender’s two-decade relationship with President Trump and his family. Other areas of focus grew out of Deutsche Bank’s long history of criminal misconduct: manipulating markets, evading taxes, bribing foreign officials, violating international sanctions, defrauding customers, laundering money for Russian billionaires.

In a windowless conference room, one of the agents pressed Mr. Broeksmit, 43, to hand over his files. “You’re holding documents that only people within the inner circle of Deutsche would ever see,” he said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157663062_41bacd08-1113-4095-ba88-47b844b59e00-articleLarge Me and My Whistle-Blower Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Corporation Simpson, Glenn R Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Politics and Government North Korea News and News Media New York Times Money Laundering Justice Department Guardians of Peace Fusion GPS Federal Bureau of Investigation Deutsche Bank AG Cyberattacks and Hackers Boies, David Banking and Financial Institutions

The United States headquarters of Deutsche Bank in New York.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

“Clearly, things went on in Deutsche Bank which weren’t kosher,” added the second agent. “What we’re up against is, all those bad acts are being pushed down on the little people on the bottom.”

“The low-hanging fruit,” said the first agent.

“And the larger bank in its entirety is claiming ignorance and that it’s one bad player,” said his partner. “But we know what we’ve seen. It’s a culture of just — ”

“Fraud and dirt,” Mr. Broeksmit interjected. Already, he was warming to the idea of having a cameo in a high-stakes F.B.I. investigation. He spent the next three hours vaping, munching on raspberry-flavored fig bars and telling his story, entranced by the idea of helping the investigators go after executives high up the Deutsche Bank food chain. (Deutsche Bank has said it is cooperating with authorities in a number of investigations.)

When he finally emerged from the Los Angeles field office, Mr. Broeksmit got into a Lyft and called me. His adrenaline, I could tell, was still pumping; he was talking so fast he had to stop to catch his breath.

“I am more emotionally invested in this than anyone in the world,” he said. “I would love to be their special informer.”

Here’s the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden — each of them was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history.

For more than five years, Val Broeksmit has been dangling his Deutsche Bank files in front of journalists and government investigators, dreaming of becoming the next great American whistle-blower. He wants to expose what he sees as corporate wrongdoing, give some meaning to his father’s death — and maybe get famous along the way. Inside newsrooms and investigative bodies around the world, Mr. Broeksmit’s documents have become something of an open secret, and so are the psychological strings that come attached. I pulled them more than anyone, as part of my reporting on Deutsche Bank for The New York Times and for a book, “Dark Towers,” to be published next year. It has been the most intense source relationship of my career.

An endless procession of bank executives and friends of the Broeksmit family have warned me that Mr. Broeksmit is not to be trusted, and, well, they might have a point. His drug use has sent him reeling between manias and stupors. He has a maddening habit of leaping to outrageous conclusions and then bending facts to fit far-fetched theories. He fantasizes about seeing his story told by Hollywood, and I sometimes wonder whether he’s manipulating me to achieve that ambition. He can be impatient, erratic and abusive. A few days ago, irate that he was not named in a blurb for my book on Amazon, among other perceived slights, he sent me a string of texts claiming that he’d taken out a brokerage account in my name and traded on secret information I’d supposedly fed him. (This is not true.) A little later, he left me a voice mail message saying it was all a joke.

Why do I put up with this? Because his trove of corporate emails, financial materials, boardroom presentations and legal reports is credible — even if he is not. (In this article, every detail not directly attributed to Mr. Broeksmit has been corroborated by documents, recordings or an independent source.) Besides, there’s something uncanny about how Mr. Broeksmit’s fearlessness and addiction to drama have led him, again and again, to the center of the news. In addition to Deutsche Bank’s troubles, he has figured into North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures, the collapse of the world’s oldest bank and the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Mr. Trump.

We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they’re often more like Val Broeksmit.

Val Broeksmit with his father at Wimbledon in 2013.CreditVal Broeksmit

On a drizzly Sunday in London in January 2014, Bill Broeksmit cinched his dog’s red leash around his neck, slung it over a door and lunged forward. He was 58.

The elder Broeksmit was widely known as the unofficial conscience of Deutsche Bank and a longtime confidant of the company’s chief executive, and his death shocked the financial world. I was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s London bureau, and there were rumors that Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide was connected to his work — that he regretted what he’d seen and done. My colleagues and I divvied up the unpleasant task of contacting his family, and I got Val. He was easy to track down: His band, Bikini Robot Army, had a website with his email address.

When I reached him, he was in New York for his father’s funeral, and at first he asked me to leave his family alone. “Everyone is very sad and grieving right now,” he wrote. But before long he was on the phone — angry, slurring his speech, insisting without evidence that he knew why his father had killed himself and that it had nothing to do with Deutsche Bank. Over the next several months, we kept in sporadic touch as Mr. Broeksmit bounced between rehab facilities in Florida and California, trying to beat an opioid addiction and teasing me with provocative messages. (He is open about his struggles with substance abuse.) He would say things like “I think I know what happened” and then never follow up; once, apropos of nothing, he sent a picture of a San Francisco building on fire.

Finally, on a Tuesday in July 2014, he emailed me a single line: “Are you still looking into deutsche?”

The evening after his father died, Mr. Broeksmit had found the passwords to his email accounts. Now, he told me that he had discovered hundreds of messages related to Deutsche Bank. Mr. Broeksmit asked if I could help him sift through and decipher them, and I suggested a list of search terms: things like “subpoena” and “DOJ,” for the Department of Justice.

He soon forwarded an item with a number of those keywords. “Don’t know what it means,” he said. I started skimming: It was a detailed letter to Deutsche Bank from a senior official at the New York arm of the Federal Reserve, who was furious with the bank for its slipshod accounting. Trying to contain my excitement, I asked if I could write about the document. I braced for a negotiation, but all Mr. Broeksmit said was, “That’s cool. Please don’t tell anyone where you’re getting this info.” (He has since released me from that promise.)

Four days later, I published an article describing the Fed’s concerns. The bank’s shares fell 3 percent. Mr. Broeksmit told me he felt empowered by having dented Deutsche’s market value by more than $1 billion.

What makes a person crave the attention of journalists? Consider where Val Broeksmit comes from.

He was born in Ukraine in 1976, and his parents, Alla and Alexander, emigrated to Chicago three years later. Their marriage collapsed; Val and his father landed in a homeless shelter; and in 1982, Cook County took custody of the boy, placing the frightened 6-year-old in a foster home.

Meanwhile, Alla met and married Bill Broeksmit, who was then an up-and-coming banker. They moved to New Jersey and eventually extracted Val, then 9, from the foster care system. Bill adopted him — an angry, impulsive child with a strong anti-authority streak. A caseworker who visited the family noted that he insisted on calling his parents by their first names.

Val’s friends told me that he acted out through his boarding school and college years, compensating for what he described as his parents’ icy detachment. He was the guy trying to keep the party going with a little coke at 3 a.m., cajoling girls to make out with each other, stealing expensive gear from his college’s music department. (Mr. Broeksmit acknowledges all of this.) He wanted to be the center of attention, to prove that he mattered. That’s part of the reason he became a rocker — “It’s less lonely with an audience,” he once told me — but Bikini Robot Army never hit it big. When his father died and Mr. Broeksmit came into possession of his documents, he finally had an opportunity to make the world pay attention.

After his initial leak to me in the summer of 2014, Mr. Broeksmit started seeking out other big stories. Late that year, a group of North Korea-linked hackers, calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, penetrated the computer systems of Sony Pictures. When the hack became public, Mr. Broeksmit followed a bread crumb trail of links until he eventually came across an email address for the hackers.

“I’m interesting in joining your GOP, but I’m afraid my computer skills are sophomoric at best,” Mr. Broeksmit emailed the Guardians of Peace. (Typo his.) “If I can help in any other facility please let me know.” He doubted the hackers would reply, but an email soon arrived with a primer on how to access Sony’s stolen materials. As he waited for the hundreds of gigabytes to download, he sent another email. “Hey, you guys ever thought about going after Deutsche Bank?” he wrote. “Tons of evidence on their servers of worldwide fraud.” The hackers didn’t respond.

Mr. Broeksmit, leaning into his new persona as an exposer of corporate secrets, took to Twitter to post embarrassing Sony files: deliberations over who might direct a remake of “Cleopatra”; Brad Pitt freaking out about the edit of “Fury.” He wasn’t the only one airing Sony’s laundry, but his prolific postings set him apart.

David Boies in New York in July. Mr. Boies was representing Sony when it demanded that Twitter shut down Val Broeksmit’s account.CreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

David Boies — Sony’s attorney and arguably the most famous lawyer in America — sent Twitter a letter demanding that it shut down Mr. Broeksmit’s account. Another letter, from a Sony executive, warned Mr. Broeksmit that Sony would “hold you responsible for any damage or loss” stemming from the materials he had published. A few days before Christmas, a colleague and I published an article about the huge corporation and its powerful lawyer threatening this random musician.

For the first time, Mr. Broeksmit was in the public spotlight. Soon he was on the Fox Business channel. “It seems like somebody’s trying to make you the fall guy, doesn’t it, Mr. Broeksmit?” an anchor asked. The lesson was clear: The media had ravenous appetites for documents that exposed the guts of giant corporations. It even seemed virtuous to share juicy material. And Mr. Broeksmit had plenty of that.

Spelunking through his Deutsche files, Mr. Broeksmit encountered detailed information about what was going on deep inside the bank. There were minutes of board meetings. Financial plans. Indecipherable spreadsheets. Password-protected presentations. And evidence of his father’s misery.

Here was the elder Broeksmit scolding his colleagues for not taking the Fed’s annual “stress tests” seriously. Here he was, in the months before his suicide, pushing executives to deal with the American division’s alarming staff shortages. Here he was talking to a criminal defense lawyer.

Mr. Broeksmit concluded that all this might help explain why his father had hanged himself. He told his therapist, an addiction specialist named Larry Meltzer, that he was on a quest to understand the suicide. Mr. Meltzer told me that he encouraged the inquiry. He also persuaded Alla Broeksmit to increase her son’s monthly stipend from $300 to $2,500.

Figuring that more information about his father’s death might be lodged in Alla’s email accounts, Mr. Broeksmit consulted some online tutorials and broke into her Gmail. Inside, he found an extraordinary demonstration of corporations’ power to control what the public knows.

In his mother’s inbox was a scan of the elder Broeksmit’s suicide note to Anshu Jain, at the time the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank. It was four sentences, handwritten in black ink on white printer paper.

Anshu,

You were so good to me and I have repaid you with carelessness. I betrayed your trust and hid my horrible nature from you. I can’t even begin to fathom the damage I have done.

I am eternally sorry and condemned.

Bill

Mr. Broeksmit could feel his father’s anguish. It left him in tears — and baffled. Why had his father been sorry? When had he ever been careless? How had he damaged the bank?

Mr. Broeksmit read on. He learned that his father had once looked into the conduct of some Deutsche Bank traders and concluded — mistakenly — that nothing was amiss. It turned out the traders were manipulating a benchmark known as Libor. The elder Broeksmit feared he could become a target of government investigators because he had failed to detect the fraud; spiraling, he consulted his physician and a psychologist.

Those doctors wrote to the coroner investigating Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide. One described the banker as having been “extremely anxious” over the Libor affair. The other added: “He was catastrophising, imagining worst case outcomes including prosecution, loss of his wealth and reputation.”

The coroner, Fiona Wilcox, scheduled a public hearing to discuss her findings. She intended to read aloud from the doctors’ letters. But on the morning of the inquest, at the courthouse, lawyers that Deutsche Bank had hired for the Broeksmit family took her aside and urged her not to do so in order to protect the family’s privacy.

Ms. Wilcox, who declined to comment, acquiesced. Nearly everything about Mr. Broeksmit’s specific anxieties was expunged. Where the psychologist had written that his patient imagined prosecution, the words were crossed out and replaced with “He imagined various issues.” The physician had originally described Mr. Broeksmit’s worry “about going to prison or going bankrupt even though he knew he was innocent. He kept on thinking back over all the thousands of emails he had sent over the years. He knew how lawyers can twist things round.” It was replaced with: “He told me he had been extremely anxious.” All of this — the originals, and the whitewashed version — had been emailed to Alla Broeksmit. Now they were in her son’s hands.

Val Broeksmit in Los Angeles, where he moved to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story.CreditOriana Koren for The New York Times

Mr. Broeksmit’s antics escalated. He fished his mother’s American Express details out of her email and bought laptops, a plane ticket to Paris, rooms in luxury hotels. He told friends he was investigating his father’s death, but I wondered if he just wanted to tell people (and himself) that he was on a noble mission. At one point, Mr. Broeksmit filled out a form on the Justice Department’s website: “I’m writing in hopes of speaking to someone at the DOJ in reference to the evidence I have showing major fraud at one of the world’s largest banks.” He got a note that his message had been passed to the F.B.I.’s New York field office, but no other acknowledgment.

Ms. Broeksmit eventually wised up to her son’s credit card theft, and by the end of 2016, he was running low on cash. (In a brief phone call last year, she told me that Mr. Broeksmit “is completely ostracized from the family.”) Word spread in journalism circles that the son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive had access to revelatory materials. In Rome on New Year’s Eve of 2016, Mr. Broeksmit shared the files with a reporter for the Financial Times, periodically excusing himself to snort 80-milligram hits of OxyContin, and the journalist later connected him with someone willing to pay for the documents. On the third anniversary of his father’s death — Jan. 26, 2017 — $1,000 arrived in his PayPal account.

The money was from Glenn R. Simpson, a former journalist who ran a research company called Fusion GPS. Weeks earlier, it had rocketed to notoriety as the source of the so-called Steele Dossier — a report by a former intelligence agent containing salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. Mr. Simpson was searching for more dirt and, Mr. Broeksmit told me, he agreed to pay $10,000 for the Deutsche materials. (Mr. Simpson declined to be interviewed.)

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to start searching for specific topics. “Any Russia stuff at all,” he wrote on an encrypted chat program. “Let’s get you here asap.”

They met two days later in the U.S. Virgin Islands and began combing for material on Mr. Trump, Russia and Robert Mercer, a top Trump donor. They didn’t discover bombshells — more like nuggets. One spreadsheet, for example, contained a list of all of the banks that owed money to one of Deutsche Bank’s American subsidiaries on a certain date — a list that included multiple Russian banks that would soon be under United States sanctions.

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to travel with him to Washington and meet some of his contacts. Mr. Broeksmit shared some of his files with a Senate investigator and — after snorting some heroin — a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The documents found their way to a team of anti-money-laundering agents at the New York Fed. Coincidence or not, a few months later, the Fed fined Deutsche Bank $41 million for violations inside the American unit that Bill Broeksmit had overseen. (A Fed spokesman declined to comment.)

Mr. Broeksmit moved to Los Angeles to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story. Early this year, a producer invited him to a dinner party. Among the guests was Moby, the electronic music legend, who told me he was impressed by Mr. Broeksmit’s exploits and existential sadness. Moby arranged an introduction to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which had recently opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Schiff’s investigators badly wanted the secret Deutsche files. Mr. Broeksmit tried to extract money from them — he pushed to be hired as a consultant to the committee — but that was a nonstarter. An investigator, Daniel Goldman, appealed to his sense of patriotism and pride. “Imagine a scenario where some of the material that you have can actually provide the seed that we can then use to blow open everything that [Trump] has been hiding,” Mr. Goldman told Mr. Broeksmit in a recorded phone call. “In some respects, you — and your father vicariously through you — will go down in American history as a hero and as the person who really broke open an incredibly corrupt president and administration.” (Mr. Broeksmit wouldn’t budge; eventually, Mr. Schiff subpoenaed him.)

It was around this time that Mr. Broeksmit had his meeting at the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office. Someone at the bureau had finally noticed his submission to the Justice Department’s website. After the three-hour session, Mr. Broeksmit still needed some stroking, and the F.B.I. agents obliged. They told Mr. Broeksmit he could have a special advisory title. They promised to keep him in the loop as their investigation proceeded. They let him tell the world — via this article — that he was a cooperating witness in a federal criminal investigation. They even helped procure a visa for his French girlfriend.

I had to tip my hat to Mr. Broeksmit. The man whom everyone had discounted and demeaned had managed to get his information into the hands of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the F.B.I. Even if the documents ultimately prove underwhelming to these powerful investigators, Mr. Broeksmit had accomplished one of his life’s goals: He mattered.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

‘Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers’ by Dee Ann Turner

Westlake Legal Group bet_on_talent 'Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers' by Dee Ann Turner fox-news/shows/fox-friends/as-seen-on fox news fnc/transcript fnc f83bb3df-e05e-57da-b559-ecb5c7493ac8 article

From the publisher: When it comes to running a business, the most important decisions a leader makes are not about products or locations–they’re about people. For the past 33 years, Dee Ann Turner has been recruiting, training, and retaining some of the best employees in the restaurant business. Now she’s ready to share her secrets on how to build, sustain, and grow an organizational culture that attracts world-class talent and consistently delights customers, no matter what your industry.

Westlake Legal Group bet_on_talent 'Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers' by Dee Ann Turner fox-news/shows/fox-friends/as-seen-on fox news fnc/transcript fnc f83bb3df-e05e-57da-b559-ecb5c7493ac8 article   Westlake Legal Group bet_on_talent 'Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers' by Dee Ann Turner fox-news/shows/fox-friends/as-seen-on fox news fnc/transcript fnc f83bb3df-e05e-57da-b559-ecb5c7493ac8 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Me and My Whistle-Blower

One sunny Wednesday in February, a gangly man in a sports jacket and a partly unbuttoned paisley shirt walked into the Los Angeles field office of the F.B.I. At the reception desk, he gave his name — Val Broeksmit — and began to pace anxiously in the lobby.

Mr. Broeksmit couldn’t believe he was voluntarily meeting with the F.B.I. An unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft, not to mention a dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers, he was accustomed to shunning if not fearing law enforcement. But two investigators had flown from the bureau’s New York office specifically to speak with him, and Mr. Broeksmit had found their invitation too seductive to resist. Now the agents arrived in the lobby and escorted him upstairs.

They wanted to talk about Deutsche Bank — one of the world’s largest and most troubled financial institutions, and the bank of choice to the president of the United States. Mr. Broeksmit’s late father, Bill, had been a senior executive there, and his son possessed a cache of confidential bank documents that provided a tantalizing glimpse of its internal workings. Some of the documents were password-protected, and there was no telling what secrets they held or how explosive they could be.

Federal and state authorities were swarming around Deutsche Bank. Some of the scrutiny centered on the lender’s two-decade relationship with President Trump and his family. Other areas of focus grew out of Deutsche Bank’s long history of criminal misconduct: manipulating markets, evading taxes, bribing foreign officials, violating international sanctions, defrauding customers, laundering money for Russian billionaires.

In a windowless conference room, one of the agents pressed Mr. Broeksmit, 43, to hand over his files. “You’re holding documents that only people within the inner circle of Deutsche would ever see,” he said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157663062_41bacd08-1113-4095-ba88-47b844b59e00-articleLarge Me and My Whistle-Blower Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Corporation Simpson, Glenn R Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Politics and Government North Korea News and News Media New York Times Money Laundering Justice Department Guardians of Peace Fusion GPS Federal Bureau of Investigation Deutsche Bank AG Cyberattacks and Hackers Boies, David Banking and Financial Institutions

The United States headquarters of Deutsche Bank in New York.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

“Clearly, things went on in Deutsche Bank which weren’t kosher,” added the second agent. “What we’re up against is, all those bad acts are being pushed down on the little people on the bottom.”

“The low-hanging fruit,” said the first agent.

“And the larger bank in its entirety is claiming ignorance and that it’s one bad player,” said his partner. “But we know what we’ve seen. It’s a culture of just — ”

“Fraud and dirt,” Mr. Broeksmit interjected. Already, he was warming to the idea of having a cameo in a high-stakes F.B.I. investigation. He spent the next three hours vaping, munching on raspberry-flavored fig bars and telling his story, entranced by the idea of helping the investigators go after executives high up the Deutsche Bank food chain. (Deutsche Bank has said it is cooperating with authorities in a number of investigations.)

When he finally emerged from the Los Angeles field office, Mr. Broeksmit got into a Lyft and called me. His adrenaline, I could tell, was still pumping; he was talking so fast he had to stop to catch his breath.

“I am more emotionally invested in this than anyone in the world,” he said. “I would love to be their special informer.”

Here’s the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden — each of them was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history.

For more than five years, Val Broeksmit has been dangling his Deutsche Bank files in front of journalists and government investigators, dreaming of becoming the next great American whistle-blower. He wants to expose what he sees as corporate wrongdoing, give some meaning to his father’s death — and maybe get famous along the way. Inside newsrooms and investigative bodies around the world, Mr. Broeksmit’s documents have become something of an open secret, and so are the psychological strings that come attached. I pulled them more than anyone, as part of my reporting on Deutsche Bank for The New York Times and for a book, “Dark Towers,” to be published next year. It has been the most intense source relationship of my career.

An endless procession of bank executives and friends of the Broeksmit family have warned me that Mr. Broeksmit is not to be trusted, and, well, they might have a point. His drug use has sent him reeling between manias and stupors. He has a maddening habit of leaping to outrageous conclusions and then bending facts to fit far-fetched theories. He fantasizes about seeing his story told by Hollywood, and I sometimes wonder whether he’s manipulating me to achieve that ambition. He can be impatient, erratic and abusive. A few days ago, irate that he was not named in a blurb for my book on Amazon, among other perceived slights, he sent me a string of texts claiming that he’d taken out a brokerage account in my name and traded on secret information I’d supposedly fed him. (This is not true.) A little later, he left me a voice mail message saying it was all a joke.

Why do I put up with this? Because his trove of corporate emails, financial materials, boardroom presentations and legal reports is credible — even if he is not. (In this article, every detail not directly attributed to Mr. Broeksmit has been corroborated by documents, recordings or an independent source.) Besides, there’s something uncanny about how Mr. Broeksmit’s fearlessness and addiction to drama have led him, again and again, to the center of the news. In addition to Deutsche Bank’s troubles, he has figured into North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures, the collapse of the world’s oldest bank and the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Mr. Trump.

We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they’re often more like Val Broeksmit.

Val Broeksmit with his father at Wimbledon in 2013.CreditVal Broeksmit

On a drizzly Sunday in London in January 2014, Bill Broeksmit cinched his dog’s red leash around his neck, slung it over a door and lunged forward. He was 58.

The elder Broeksmit was widely known as the unofficial conscience of Deutsche Bank and a longtime confidant of the company’s chief executive, and his death shocked the financial world. I was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s London bureau, and there were rumors that Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide was connected to his work — that he regretted what he’d seen and done. My colleagues and I divvied up the unpleasant task of contacting his family, and I got Val. He was easy to track down: His band, Bikini Robot Army, had a website with his email address.

When I reached him, he was in New York for his father’s funeral, and at first he asked me to leave his family alone. “Everyone is very sad and grieving right now,” he wrote. But before long he was on the phone — angry, slurring his speech, insisting without evidence that he knew why his father had killed himself and that it had nothing to do with Deutsche Bank. Over the next several months, we kept in sporadic touch as Mr. Broeksmit bounced between rehab facilities in Florida and California, trying to beat an opioid addiction and teasing me with provocative messages. (He is open about his struggles with substance abuse.) He would say things like “I think I know what happened” and then never follow up; once, apropos of nothing, he sent a picture of a San Francisco building on fire.

Finally, on a Tuesday in July 2014, he emailed me a single line: “Are you still looking into deutsche?”

The evening after his father died, Mr. Broeksmit had found the passwords to his email accounts. Now, he told me that he had discovered hundreds of messages related to Deutsche Bank. Mr. Broeksmit asked if I could help him sift through and decipher them, and I suggested a list of search terms: things like “subpoena” and “DOJ,” for the Department of Justice.

He soon forwarded an item with a number of those keywords. “Don’t know what it means,” he said. I started skimming: It was a detailed letter to Deutsche Bank from a senior official at the New York arm of the Federal Reserve, who was furious with the bank for its slipshod accounting. Trying to contain my excitement, I asked if I could write about the document. I braced for a negotiation, but all Mr. Broeksmit said was, “That’s cool. Please don’t tell anyone where you’re getting this info.” (He has since released me from that promise.)

Four days later, I published an article describing the Fed’s concerns. The bank’s shares fell 3 percent. Mr. Broeksmit told me he felt empowered by having dented Deutsche’s market value by more than $1 billion.

What makes a person crave the attention of journalists? Consider where Val Broeksmit comes from.

He was born in Ukraine in 1976, and his parents, Alla and Alexander, emigrated to Chicago three years later. Their marriage collapsed; Val and his father landed in a homeless shelter; and in 1982, Cook County took custody of the boy, placing the frightened 6-year-old in a foster home.

Meanwhile, Alla met and married Bill Broeksmit, who was then an up-and-coming banker. They moved to New Jersey and eventually extracted Val, then 9, from the foster care system. Bill adopted him — an angry, impulsive child with a strong anti-authority streak. A caseworker who visited the family noted that he insisted on calling his parents by their first names.

Val’s friends told me that he acted out through his boarding school and college years, compensating for what he described as his parents’ icy detachment. He was the guy trying to keep the party going with a little coke at 3 a.m., cajoling girls to make out with each other, stealing expensive gear from his college’s music department. (Mr. Broeksmit acknowledges all of this.) He wanted to be the center of attention, to prove that he mattered. That’s part of the reason he became a rocker — “It’s less lonely with an audience,” he once told me — but Bikini Robot Army never hit it big. When his father died and Mr. Broeksmit came into possession of his documents, he finally had an opportunity to make the world pay attention.

After his initial leak to me in the summer of 2014, Mr. Broeksmit started seeking out other big stories. Late that year, a group of North Korea-linked hackers, calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, penetrated the computer systems of Sony Pictures. When the hack became public, Mr. Broeksmit followed a bread crumb trail of links until he eventually came across an email address for the hackers.

“I’m interesting in joining your GOP, but I’m afraid my computer skills are sophomoric at best,” Mr. Broeksmit emailed the Guardians of Peace. (Typo his.) “If I can help in any other facility please let me know.” He doubted the hackers would reply, but an email soon arrived with a primer on how to access Sony’s stolen materials. As he waited for the hundreds of gigabytes to download, he sent another email. “Hey, you guys ever thought about going after Deutsche Bank?” he wrote. “Tons of evidence on their servers of worldwide fraud.” The hackers didn’t respond.

Mr. Broeksmit, leaning into his new persona as an exposer of corporate secrets, took to Twitter to post embarrassing Sony files: deliberations over who might direct a remake of “Cleopatra”; Brad Pitt freaking out about the edit of “Fury.” He wasn’t the only one airing Sony’s laundry, but his prolific postings set him apart.

David Boies in New York in July. Mr. Boies was representing Sony when it demanded that Twitter shut down Val Broeksmit’s account.CreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

David Boies — Sony’s attorney and arguably the most famous lawyer in America — sent Twitter a letter demanding that it shut down Mr. Broeksmit’s account. Another letter, from a Sony executive, warned Mr. Broeksmit that Sony would “hold you responsible for any damage or loss” stemming from the materials he had published. A few days before Christmas, a colleague and I published an article about the huge corporation and its powerful lawyer threatening this random musician.

For the first time, Mr. Broeksmit was in the public spotlight. Soon he was on the Fox Business channel. “It seems like somebody’s trying to make you the fall guy, doesn’t it, Mr. Broeksmit?” an anchor asked. The lesson was clear: The media had ravenous appetites for documents that exposed the guts of giant corporations. It even seemed virtuous to share juicy material. And Mr. Broeksmit had plenty of that.

Spelunking through his Deutsche files, Mr. Broeksmit encountered detailed information about what was going on deep inside the bank. There were minutes of board meetings. Financial plans. Indecipherable spreadsheets. Password-protected presentations. And evidence of his father’s misery.

Here was the elder Broeksmit scolding his colleagues for not taking the Fed’s annual “stress tests” seriously. Here he was, in the months before his suicide, pushing executives to deal with the American division’s alarming staff shortages. Here he was talking to a criminal defense lawyer.

Mr. Broeksmit concluded that all this might help explain why his father had hanged himself. He told his therapist, an addiction specialist named Larry Meltzer, that he was on a quest to understand the suicide. Mr. Meltzer told me that he encouraged the inquiry. He also persuaded Alla Broeksmit to increase her son’s monthly stipend from $300 to $2,500.

Figuring that more information about his father’s death might be lodged in Alla’s email accounts, Mr. Broeksmit consulted some online tutorials and broke into her Gmail. Inside, he found an extraordinary demonstration of corporations’ power to control what the public knows.

In his mother’s inbox was a scan of the elder Broeksmit’s suicide note to Anshu Jain, at the time the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank. It was four sentences, handwritten in black ink on white printer paper.

Anshu,

You were so good to me and I have repaid you with carelessness. I betrayed your trust and hid my horrible nature from you. I can’t even begin to fathom the damage I have done.

I am eternally sorry and condemned.

Bill

Mr. Broeksmit could feel his father’s anguish. It left him in tears — and baffled. Why had his father been sorry? When had he ever been careless? How had he damaged the bank?

Mr. Broeksmit read on. He learned that his father had once looked into the conduct of some Deutsche Bank traders and concluded — mistakenly — that nothing was amiss. It turned out the traders were manipulating a benchmark known as Libor. The elder Broeksmit feared he could become a target of government investigators because he had failed to detect the fraud; spiraling, he consulted his physician and a psychologist.

Those doctors wrote to the coroner investigating Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide. One described the banker as having been “extremely anxious” over the Libor affair. The other added: “He was catastrophising, imagining worst case outcomes including prosecution, loss of his wealth and reputation.”

The coroner, Fiona Wilcox, scheduled a public hearing to discuss her findings. She intended to read aloud from the doctors’ letters. But on the morning of the inquest, at the courthouse, lawyers that Deutsche Bank had hired for the Broeksmit family took her aside and urged her not to do so in order to protect the family’s privacy.

Ms. Wilcox, who declined to comment, acquiesced. Nearly everything about Mr. Broeksmit’s specific anxieties was expunged. Where the psychologist had written that his patient imagined prosecution, the words were crossed out and replaced with “He imagined various issues.” The physician had originally described Mr. Broeksmit’s worry “about going to prison or going bankrupt even though he knew he was innocent. He kept on thinking back over all the thousands of emails he had sent over the years. He knew how lawyers can twist things round.” It was replaced with: “He told me he had been extremely anxious.” All of this — the originals, and the whitewashed version — had been emailed to Alla Broeksmit. Now they were in her son’s hands.

Val Broeksmit in Los Angeles, where he moved to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story.CreditOriana Koren for The New York Times

Mr. Broeksmit’s antics escalated. He fished his mother’s American Express details out of her email and bought laptops, a plane ticket to Paris, rooms in luxury hotels. He told friends he was investigating his father’s death, but I wondered if he just wanted to tell people (and himself) that he was on a noble mission. At one point, Mr. Broeksmit filled out a form on the Justice Department’s website: “I’m writing in hopes of speaking to someone at the DOJ in reference to the evidence I have showing major fraud at one of the world’s largest banks.” He got a note that his message had been passed to the F.B.I.’s New York field office, but no other acknowledgment.

Ms. Broeksmit eventually wised up to her son’s credit card theft, and by the end of 2016, he was running low on cash. (In a brief phone call last year, she told me that Mr. Broeksmit “is completely ostracized from the family.”) Word spread in journalism circles that the son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive had access to revelatory materials. In Rome on New Year’s Eve of 2016, Mr. Broeksmit shared the files with a reporter for the Financial Times, periodically excusing himself to snort 80-milligram hits of OxyContin, and the journalist later connected him with someone willing to pay for the documents. On the third anniversary of his father’s death — Jan. 26, 2017 — $1,000 arrived in his PayPal account.

The money was from Glenn R. Simpson, a former journalist who ran a research company called Fusion GPS. Weeks earlier, it had rocketed to notoriety as the source of the so-called Steele Dossier — a report by a former intelligence agent containing salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. Mr. Simpson was searching for more dirt and, Mr. Broeksmit told me, he agreed to pay $10,000 for the Deutsche materials. (Mr. Simpson declined to be interviewed.)

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to start searching for specific topics. “Any Russia stuff at all,” he wrote on an encrypted chat program. “Let’s get you here asap.”

They met two days later in the U.S. Virgin Islands and began combing for material on Mr. Trump, Russia and Robert Mercer, a top Trump donor. They didn’t discover bombshells — more like nuggets. One spreadsheet, for example, contained a list of all of the banks that owed money to one of Deutsche Bank’s American subsidiaries on a certain date — a list that included multiple Russian banks that would soon be under United States sanctions.

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to travel with him to Washington and meet some of his contacts. Mr. Broeksmit shared some of his files with a Senate investigator and — after snorting some heroin — a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The documents found their way to a team of anti-money-laundering agents at the New York Fed. Coincidence or not, a few months later, the Fed fined Deutsche Bank $41 million for violations inside the American unit that Bill Broeksmit had overseen. (A Fed spokesman declined to comment.)

Mr. Broeksmit moved to Los Angeles to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story. Early this year, a producer invited him to a dinner party. Among the guests was Moby, the electronic music legend, who told me he was impressed by Mr. Broeksmit’s exploits and existential sadness. Moby arranged an introduction to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which had recently opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Schiff’s investigators badly wanted the secret Deutsche files. Mr. Broeksmit tried to extract money from them — he pushed to be hired as a consultant to the committee — but that was a nonstarter. An investigator, Daniel Goldman, appealed to his sense of patriotism and pride. “Imagine a scenario where some of the material that you have can actually provide the seed that we can then use to blow open everything that [Trump] has been hiding,” Mr. Goldman told Mr. Broeksmit in a recorded phone call. “In some respects, you — and your father vicariously through you — will go down in American history as a hero and as the person who really broke open an incredibly corrupt president and administration.” (Mr. Broeksmit wouldn’t budge; eventually, Mr. Schiff subpoenaed him.)

It was around this time that Mr. Broeksmit had his meeting at the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office. Someone at the bureau had finally noticed his submission to the Justice Department’s website. After the three-hour session, Mr. Broeksmit still needed some stroking, and the F.B.I. agents obliged. They told Mr. Broeksmit he could have a special advisory title. They promised to keep him in the loop as their investigation proceeded. They let him tell the world — via this article — that he was a cooperating witness in a federal criminal investigation. They even helped procure a visa for his French girlfriend.

I had to tip my hat to Mr. Broeksmit. The man whom everyone had discounted and demeaned had managed to get his information into the hands of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the F.B.I. Even if the documents ultimately prove underwhelming to these powerful investigators, Mr. Broeksmit had accomplished one of his life’s goals: He mattered.

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“It’s a Criminal Enterprise”: Calls to Impeach Barr Intensify After Reports AG Pressured Foreign Officials to Help Discredit Mueller Probe; “Barr decided a long time ago that he was going to be a fixer for Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.”

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Tom Basile: GOP Senate majority doomed if it doesn’t have Trump’s back

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090743061001_6090738901001-vs Tom Basile: GOP Senate majority doomed if it doesn't have Trump's back Tom Basile fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/2020-senate-races fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 635dc337-0eb5-5478-b05f-3a5a9aee07f1

You have to hand it to the Democratic Party’s leadership and the media. They came up with a plan to discredit, delegitimize and destroy the Trump presidency in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 and they have followed it with unqualified fidelity. Certainly, they have not been alone. Some Beltway Republicans have also helped lend credence to the hysterical anti-Trump crusade.

The question now is, absent real evidence of the president breaking federal law, will the Republican Party establishment aid Democrats in trying to bring an early end to the Trump presidency?

After years of inquiries, thousands of pages of testimony, made-for-TV hearings that produce nothing but spectacle, tens of millions in taxpayer dollars spent, and a drumbeat of false claims of impending doom for the president from lawmakers and the press, the situation is now reaching a critical juncture — particularly for Senate Republicans.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: HOW ABOUT A BIPARTISAN TREATY AGAINST THE CRIMINALIZATION OF ELECTIONS?

True, many in the party are not fans of the president. Trump’s free-wielding, often ill-mannered Twitter presidency has left many feeling like they have little to defend. This is despite significant accomplishments during Trump’s presidency in terms of judges, regulations, tax reform, foreign relations and pro-growth policy.

The president’s tweets, dozens of times a day, are making him look unhinged and his Twitter habit also doesn’t help to give shaky GOP senators cover or confidence.

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However, aligning in any way with this impeachment effort driven by the left (that means you Mitt Romney) without convincing evidence of the president committing federal crimes, will not only needlessly fuel a damaging crisis of confidence in government, it will aid the left’s broader plan to remake this country in a way that would be unrecognizable to most people.

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It will fulfill the goals of the cycle of collusion on the part of a biased media, radical progressives and Washington elites to bring down a presidency by means other than a lawful election.

Giving momentum to impeachment without all the facts is to embolden all of those who have blindly driven the anti-Trump narrative, from the “Russia collusion” crowd to the Green New Dealers to the antics of the “Squad.”

Even a small number of GOP senators aligning with the left will prompt backlash from pro-Trump voters in marginal Senate seats that will be fierce. It could consign the Republicans to the minority for a generation.

There are 22 Republican seats in play in 2020 — seven of them arguably vulnerable — where margins will be tight. A drop-off of even single digits from pro-Trump voters who opt not to vote in the Senate contest in those states could doom Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s majority.

Among the Washington set, some who have been stalwarts of the party for decades, there has long seemed to exist a mindset that Trump’s collapse will not hurt the party and in fact, could be a benefit to their influence.

Not true. Absent convincing evidence of wrongdoing, Trump voters will be emboldened and turn out, but if congressional Republicans don’t stand with the president, down-ballot federal races could pay a heavy price.

Additionally, it cannot be denied by the Washington echo-chamber that the Republican grassroots organizing machine is inferior to that of the left. Its messaging and communications operations are inferior to the left.

The GOP’s ability to pull together a voter coalition is inferior to the left. Its activist core is far inferior and less organized than that of the left.

It is constantly playing defense in the face of a well-funded, well-established combination of tech, entertainment, education and news that is decidedly opposed to the party’s platform in virtually every respect.

They have demonstrated they cannot compete.

Remember, congressional Republicans gave a majority of Americans a tax cut in 2017 but lost in 2018. The president, for his part, has little in the way of a surrogate or broader communications operation.

Some Washington Republicans may dislike Trump, but they need him, however uncomfortable that may be for them.

The perfect storm of circumstances in 2016 that led to President Trump’s victory proved, more than anything else, that Washington Republican elites had lost the ability to speak to working-class Americans struggling under the weight of the cost of government.

For all his faults in the way he communicates both from a strategic and tactical standpoint, Trump does speak directly to Americans’ real frustration with a government that is bloated, ineffective and unsustainable.

He is right to stand against the kind of policies that would result in an explosion of government dependency, open borders and a middle class that would end up paying for it all.

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Call it a train-wreck. Call it spaghetti-throwing. It’s been happening in slow motion for three years now. Democrats have handed control of their party over to extremists. Whether this media and far left-driven crisis goes anywhere now largely depends on whether Republicans will allow it.

If they do, the consequences will be dire.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090743061001_6090738901001-vs Tom Basile: GOP Senate majority doomed if it doesn't have Trump's back Tom Basile fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/2020-senate-races fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 635dc337-0eb5-5478-b05f-3a5a9aee07f1   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6090743061001_6090738901001-vs Tom Basile: GOP Senate majority doomed if it doesn't have Trump's back Tom Basile fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/2020-senate-races fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 635dc337-0eb5-5478-b05f-3a5a9aee07f1

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The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained

WASHINGTON — The whistle-blower who revealed President Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine’s leader to open investigations that could benefit him politically also accused White House officials of essentially hiding a rough record of the conversation by placing it in the same highly restricted computer system for closely guarded government secrets.

In his complaint, the whistle-blower cited White House officials who portrayed the storage of the call record in that system as “solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information” and labeled it an “abuse.” Here is how the restricted storage system works, according to interviews with more than a half-dozen former National Security Council staff members who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Most of the time, the National Security Council — the foreign policy arm of the White House — memorializes presidential phone or video calls with foreign heads of state on the so-called TNet system, the officials said. This is a top-secret-level computer network that is the main platform the aides use to do their jobs. It connects with a top-secret network called JWICS, which is more widely used elsewhere in the executive branch.

TNet has access controls and auditing safeguards. For example, it keeps track of who created or uploaded files, who looked at them, who modified them and how and who printed them out. When officials create a “package” — essentially, a new file — in TNet, they can set controls so any colleague who works on a particular subject, like European affairs or counterterrorism, has access.

Officials can store any file that is classified to the top-secret level — the highest classification — so long as it is not “code word,” a term referring to a specialized category of even more delicate top-secret information that officials are permitted to know about only if they have been granted specific access to it.

Officials with a general top-secret security clearance will not be given code-word clearance to learn about covert activities unrelated to their work. For example, an aide working on North Korea policy would not have been told about planning for the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Similarly, files containing intelligence supporting the planned raid were not stored in the ordinary TNet system.

Trump’s Efforts to Push Ukraine Toward a Biden Inquiry: A Timeline

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-ukraine-timeline-promo-1569528528277-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security

The council also has an even more locked-down system called NICE, for N.S.C. Intelligence Collaboration Environment. NICE appears to be what the whistle-blower was referring to as a “stand alone” computer system managed by the council’s directorate for intelligence programs. One former official said it was better understood as a subdomain of TNet.

Foreign policy aides typically use NICE to develop and store documents related to code-word programs. For example, staff members working on a covert activity might use NICE to draft a presidential finding or decision memo about it. When they are done, they would print a copy for the president to sign.

It significantly reduces the number of people who can gain access to it. About only 20 percent of National Security Council staff members are NICE users, one former official said. They can log into the system from their work computers using virtual private network software that limits each of them to using that particular workstation.

When NICE users create or upload a new file, they can give only other individual NICE users access to it by name; unlike in TNet, they cannot invite entire groups, the former official said.

Using the NICE system to curtail access to the record of Mr. Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, may very well be, as the whistle-blower also wrote, a sign “that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.” But calling it an “abuse” appears to be subjective.

Generally, the national security adviser can decide who can see what files. No rule prohibits putting a file with a lower-level classification into the NICE system in order to take advantage of its greater access restrictions, a former official said.

By contrast, the official said, it would clearly be an abuse — violating a specific prohibition in an executive order governing classified information — to mark something classified at an unjustifiably higher level in order to conceal violations of the law or prevent embarrassment. Here, however, the released call record was merely marked “secret,” the next highest level of classification after top secret.

According to multiple former officials who have helped create the records, the process typically starts with a note-taker who works for the White House Situation Room and monitors the call. The Situation Room uses voice-to-text software to create a rough transcription in real time — no recording is made — and then the note-taker takes a first pass at cleaning it up by correcting any obvious garbled moments.

That draft is then passed to a subject-matter expert on the National Security Council staff who was also listening to the call. That specialist — who has a greater familiarity of foreign names and places — edits the record. At the end of the process, the aides give the record to the national security adviser.

Beyond the fact that the memo is not a verbatim transcript, it contains three ellipses where Mr. Trump was speaking — and each in a place where he was asking the Ukrainian president for investigations.

It is not clear if this indicates that Mr. Trump trailed off or that something was cut out of the reconstruction. It is also not clear whether any notes exist by American officials that would indicate whether he said anything more in those spots.

But one official said that any notes or draft documents discussed by two or more National Security Council officials counts as a “record” that may not lawfully be destroyed under the Presidential Records Act. However, the initial file produced by the voice-to-text software would not count as a record and could be lawfully deleted, the official said.

It is not clear whether the administration of Mr. Zelensky recorded his call with Mr. Trump. Previous Ukrainian governments did not record calls with world leaders, according to a former senior Ukrainian official familiar with the process. Instead, with high-profile and strategically important foreign officials, Ukrainian leaders would have advisers listen in and take detailed notes, he said.

The transcript released by the White House of Mr. Trump’s July call with Mr. Zelensky was accurate and comprehensive, a Ukrainian official familiar with it said, adding that significant information was not omitted, including by the ellipses.

Lara Jakes and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-barr-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security
House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records

Sept. 30, 2019

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How the Impeachment Process Works

Sept. 24, 2019

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Intelligence Whistle-Blower Law, Explained

Sept. 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_141689673_d480a713-0bd4-429c-9b66-8c24002ba49f-threeByTwoSmallAt2X The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security

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W.T.O. Forecasts Global Trade Slowdown Amid Uncertainty

Westlake Legal Group 01WORLDTRADE-facebookJumbo W.T.O. Forecasts Global Trade Slowdown Amid Uncertainty World Trade Organization United States International Trade and World Market European Union Economic Conditions and Trends

LONDON — President Trump’s escalating trade war with China and the continued weakening of the global economy have combined to deliver a significant slowdown in the volume of trade, prompting the World Trade Organization to sharply reduce its forecast for this year and 2020.

World trade in merchandise is expected to expand by only 1.2 percent this year, less than half the rate of 2.6 growth anticipated in April, the W.T.O. said in a statement released on Tuesday morning.

World trade is forecast to reach 2.7 percent next year, below the 3 percent previously foreseen.

“Trade conflicts heighten uncertainty, which is leading some businesses to delay the productivity-enhancing investments that are essential to raising living standards,” the Geneva-based organization’s director-general, Roberto Azevêdo, said in a statement.

“Job creation may also be hampered as firms employ fewer workers to produce goods and services for export,” he added.

The organization noted growing risks of a further slowdown as new tariffs come into effect and as the global economy continues to confront challenges.

The report specifically noted as a potent risk the threat that Britain could crash out of the European Union absent a deal governing future trade.

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Live Updates: Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester on China’s National Day

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161894097_4bebeb04-0e51-41c5-9e14-19f7f49f4da3-articleLarge Live Updates: Hong Kong Police Shoot Protester on China’s National Day Tiananmen Square (Beijing) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Communist Party of China China

Protesters near Wong Tai Sin in Hong Kong on Tuesday.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The police in Hong Kong on Tuesday shot a protester with a live round for the first time, two pro-democracy lawmakers said, escalating the city’s monthslong political crisis on the same day that the central government staged a huge military parade to celebrate 70 years of Communist control.

The shooting came hours after China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, had presided over festivities in Beijing aimed at emphasizing that national unity will not be challenged. The protesters in Hong Kong had chosen the anniversary in an attempt at upstaging Beijing’s celebrations and the day turned into vicious clashes between the demonstrators and riot police.

The split screen — pageantry in Beijing versus violence, tear gas and street fires in a restive Chinese territory — was hardly the image that the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, had hoped to show the world.

The protester was shot in the Tsuen Wan district of northern Hong Kong, the lawmakers James To and Au Nok-hin each said, during one of several violent clashes with the police that erupted across the city on Tuesday. The man’s condition was not immediately known.

In a video, circulating online on Tuesday, a man wearing a black T-shirt and a pink gas mask was seen being treated by paramedics.

Police officers detained a protester in the district of Wong Tai Sin on Tuesday.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Hong Kong was transformed into a tear gas-engulfed battlefield on Tuesday as protesters clashed with riot police in nine districts across the territory, building massive bonfires and barricades and hurling firebombs and other objects in a direct challenge to Beijing’s rule.

The sirens of ambulances and fire trucks rang out as the police chased after and tried to pin down the dozens of protesters dressed in black who in many cases far outnumbered the officers. The demonstrators chose the anniversary of 70 years of Communist Party control over China to stage one of their most intense protests in months.

Traffic was snarled on some major thoroughfares, subway stations were shut down and the clashes looked set to continue deep into the evening.

The police created a cordon and used a water-cannon truck to keep protesters away from the office of the central government’s liaison to the territory. Elsewhere, they fired live rounds as warning shots, and chased after protesters, pinning some of them down. The Hong Kong Police Force said on Twitter that “rioters” in one district had injured multiple officers and reporters with “corrosive fluid.” It did not elaborate.

The demonstrations began in earnest when tens of thousands of people joined an early afternoon march on Hong Kong’s main island from the Causeway Bay shopping district toward the heart of the city’s financial district. Some protesters sprinkled fake money — a traditional Chinese funerary custom — as a way of “mourning” China’s National Day. Others cursed and taunted those riot police who were stationed nearby, and who retreated into the shadows of a nearby footbridge.

The Hong Kong island march was largely peaceful, but clashes quickly broke out across town as hundreds of protesters fought with riot police officers outside a shuttered town hall in Tuen Mun, close to Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland.

The police also fired multiple rounds of tear gas at demonstrators in the Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan and Wong Tai Sin neighborhoods. And as protesters squared off with police at either side of an avenue in the working class Sham Shui Po neighborhood, some built makeshift roadblocks with trash cans and bamboo sticks and others building bonfires.

In the Jordan neighborhood of the Kowloon Peninsula, seven masked men used a Molotov cocktail to burn posters of Xi Jinping outside a Chinese Army barracks. They left after setting the blaze, and soldiers inside the gates did not emerge to confront them.

In Wong Tai Sin, where the police had fired tear gas at one point near a retirement home, dozens of residents without masks or protest gear shouted at police to retreat.

“I want to cry. I come downstairs and feel that I have walked into a war zone,” Vincey Wu, a 53-year-old accountant said. “Carrie Lam has gone off to celebrate National Day. But has she thought about her people who are breathing in tear gas?”

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, on Tuesday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

Many tens of thousands of other people marched through a busy Hong Kong shopping district, one of several planned demonstrations that the pro-democracy movement hopes will overshadow the National Day celebrations in Beijing.

The large crowd defied a government ban on assembly and marched through an empty thoroughfare in the Causeway Bay district on Hong Kong’s main island. Chants of “Hong Kongers, add oil!” and “Reclaim Hong Kong; revolution of our times” echoed off a canyon of skyscrapers and shuttered shopping malls.

“We are scared now,” said Ricky Hong, 49, a marketing executive who joined the march with wife and young daughter. “Everyone is afraid of being arrested for just exercising our right to assembly and free speech.”

“This is not the Hong Kong we know,” he added. “Please tell the world.”

In the late afternoon, thousands of other protesters broke off from the main march and headed to a harbor-side complex of government offices. The mood remained festive, but grew militant as the sun dipped lower in the hazy sky.

As protesters collected bricks in a trash can — weapons in the battle ahead — the authorities issued an evacuation order for the Hong Kong legislature. And before dusk fell, the police began firing tear gas and blue-dyed water from cannons mounted on trucks.

The police fired a continued fusillade of tear gas to clear the boulevard, but the protesters divided up into smaller pods; some made bonfires on the side streets with cardboard while others collected bricks. A saxophonist at the rear played the Star Spangled Banner.

China’s leaders watching the military parade. Mr. Xi referred to Mao Zedong in his speech.CreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

To the report of a 70-gun salute, 15,000 soldiers goose-stepped along Chang An Avenue — the Street of Eternal Peace — as an enormous military parade kicked off in Beijing.

The parade, commemorating 70 years of Communist Party rule in China, was overseen by the top leader, Xi Jinping, and is one of the largest in modern Chinese history. It included 100,000 performers and was the capstone of a week of events meant to celebrate the country’s rapid emergence as a global power.

In his opening speech before the parade, Mr. Xi quickly hit on the theme of Hong Kong, the semiautonomous territory that has been roiled by anti-government protests for months.

“No force can shake the status of our great motherland, no force can obstruct the advance of the Chinese people and Chinese nation,” Mr. Xi said speaking from Tiananmen, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, which overlooks the square.

National Day:

Mr. Xi said that China would “maintain the lasting prosperity and stability” of Hong Kong and Macau. He made no mention of the months of strife in Hong Kong, but his words left no mistake that Hong Kong is on the mind of Chinese leaders today.

Mr. Xi also used the occasion to emphasize his vision of narrative of national unity and rejuvenation under party rule. “No power can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation,” he said.

In the tradition of past parades, Mr. Xi, wearing a Mao-style suit, stood in the open sunroof of a Chinese-made Red Flag limousine as he reviewed the troops. He called out “Greetings, Comrades,” and “Comrades, you are working hard!” The troops responded in unison: “Greetings, Chairman” and “Serve the people!”

The DF-41, an intercontinental ballistic missile, made its first public appearance.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press

The display of high-powered weaponry is always a highlight of the parade, but its usefulness for assessing China’s military has diminished over the years with ever-advancing satellite technology able to scour the country’s bases, airfields and ports.

China shocked the world when it showed off intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time in 1984 during the 35th National Day parade. But this year, experts at the Foundation for Strategic Research in France were able to spot the latest addition to its arsenal weeks ago from afar.

In Pictures:

That missile — which is known as the DF-41 and can carry 10 nuclear warheads and strike anywhere in the United States — made its first public appearance on Tuesday but has been known to American officials for years.

Other new weapons included a supersonic reconnaissance drone, the WZ-8, and a wing-shaped stealthy drone called Sharp Sword. Both are intended to support naval operations. China has been racing to catch up with the American Navy, shifting the balance of power in the South China Sea and farther out in the Pacific. Two submarine drones were also put on display.

The parade included 15,000 soldiers and sailors, 160 aircraft, and 580 tanks and other mobile weapons, according to military commanders, who emphasized that the all of the weapons were made in China and already operational.

Mr. Xi, who is commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army, has overseen a sweeping military reorganization that has created a smaller but more modern and capable military force.

A protester defacing a billboard commemorating the 70th anniversary in Hong Kong on Tuesday.CreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

Many of Hong Kong’s malls, which would normally be thronged with shoppers on a big public holiday like National Day, were shuttered as the financial hub braced for rowdy demonstrations.

The authorities had also closed 18 train stations to limit the protesters’ movements as well as a playground and two public libraries, mostly in neighborhoods that saw heavy clashes in almost four months of demonstrations. The police also set up roadblocks on a major highway that snakes past Causeway Bay.

Stanley Luk, 65, walked hours to reach the Causeway Bay protests because authorities shut down the subways.

“I couldn’t just sit home today,” said Mr. Luk, who owns a handbag factory on the mainland. “There’s not much we can do but at least we can tell Beijing no, we don’t want to live the way they do.”

Cynthia Chu, 66, a retired nurse, traveled from the New Territories to Causeway Bay to join the protests by getting onto a train just before service was discontinued. She said she had no idea how she might get home tonight if public transport remains shut down.

“I am prepared to spend the night on the street or sleep at a McDonald’s,” she said. “It’s more important that I am here.”

Youth at the parade.CreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The parade was more than just weapons. It featured colorful displays meant to bring to life China’s achievements over the past 70 years and Mr. Xi’s policies.

Flag-waving children lip-synced to patriotic hits as television announcers described the importance of young people to the country’s rejuvenation. Residents rode in circles on bicycles, a nod to the days before china’s economic boom.

After the military parade, a procession of floats followed — in line with tradition — bearing portraits of Chinese leaders and their signature political slogans. This year, Mr. Xi’s image joined the procession, along with characters depicting his trademark slogan that is often abbreviated as “Xi Jinping Thought.”

Villagers waved sunflowers as they celebrated the reduction of poverty in China, a priority of Mr. Xi’s. A giant red vase shaped like a pomegranate was meant to symbolize the unity of the Chinese people. Lion dancers did flips.

Hong Kong was featured at several moments. One float was devoted to the “one country, two systems” principle under which Hong Kong is governed. Television cameras featured Lau Chak-kei, a Hong Kong police sergeant who photographed carrying a shotgun during recent protests in the city was invited as a guest at the parade and has been welcomed as a hero in the mainland.

A float at the parade in Beijing reads, “Long Live the Motherland.”CreditAndy Wong/Associated Press

Another float showed off the country’s technological accomplishments, including models of its C919 jetliner, a Long March space rocket and its Jade Rabbit moon rover, all riding atop a sleek high-speed rail car.

Still another float celebrated China’s entrepreneurs. The rainbow-colored float, with a charging bull at the prow, was called “The Rolling Spring Tide,” a metaphor often used when discussing China’s process of reform. Lei Jun, the founder of smartphone maker Xiaomi; Liu Yonghao, who controls the New Hope food conglomerate; and Liang Wengen, the founder of Sany Group, a heavy equipment maker, were among those waving to the crowd.

“I feel deeply feel today’s happy life is hard to come by,” said Mr. Lei in a post on the Weibo social media platform. “We are still on the road. The more we struggle, the happier we are!”

The images of progress evoke the Communist Party’s unspoken pact with its people: Your quality of life will improve as long as you leave the politics to us. That idea forms part of what Mr. Xi calls the China Dream, a broad vision of the country’s emergence as an economic and political force to be reckoned with for decades to come.

But for many, the China Dream may seem harder to reach than before. China’s economic growth is slowing. The trade war with the United States shows no signs of ending. Various indicators point to job losses, sluggish wage growth and fewer opportunities for college graduates.

The cost of living is rising, too. Both tariffs and a weaker currency have made imported goods more expensive.

Still, huge numbers of those watching the parade still remember a destitute China still struggling with the consequences of the devastating policies of the Mao Zedong era. The National Day holiday, which kicks off a weeklong holiday for many, will offer still more reminders as millions go back to their often modest roots to visit their families.

Lau Chak-kei, a Hong Kong police sergeant carrying a shotgun during a July protest.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times Mr. Lau with pro-China supporters in Hong Kong on Sunday.CreditJorge Silva/Reuters

One of the guests of honor at the National Day parade in Beijing was Lau Chak-kei, a Hong Kong police sergeant who was photographed over the summer carrying a shotgun during a July protest.

Sgt. Lau is among the more polarizing figures in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

In Hong Kong, he is reviled by the pro-democracy movement as a symbol of what they see as a corrupt police force prone to brutality.

But on the Chinese mainland, he is widely seen as a hero who is gallantly battling rogue subversives. He is known affectionately there as “Bald Lau Sir,” and an account that he created recently on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, has more than 600,000 followers. (An account his wife created, “My super badass husband,” also has about 125,000 followers.)

In recent days, China’s state-controlled media has breathlessly documented Sgt. Lau’s activities in the capital, such as climbing the Great Wall and buying Peking duck. The newspaper China Daily praised him as one of many Hong Kong officers who are “combating violence” and helping to protect their city.

On Tuesday, Sgt. Lau was photographed in the parade gallery wearing a white shirt and striped tie. One user on Weibo thanked him for his service in Hong Kong; another asked him to “shout encouragement for our motherland.”

A float displays with a giant portrait of Mr. Xi, whose power is often compared to that of Mao Zedong.  CreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Communist Party leaders have established a kind of liturgy for how to celebrate the anniversary, including the role of the military. This year’s anniversary, the 70th, is expected to follow that script.

But President Xi Jinping has also created new ways to put himself and his message of patriotic obedience to the fore, including in this year’s buildup to the military parade. Mr. Xi featured prominently on Monday in a recently established ritual: a ceremony in Tiananmen Square to mark Martyr’s Day, a holiday established in 2014 to honor those who have given their lives to the Communist Party’s cause. He also paid his respects at Mao Zedong’s mausoleum.

In his speech on Tuesday, Mr. Xi referred to Mao Zedong but did not mention his predecessors as Chinese leaders even as two previous presidents, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, stood nearby listening to the address. Instead, Mr. Xi’s focus was on the theme of “national rejuvenation” that he has made his own since taking office in 2012.

“On this day 70 years ago on this spot, Comrade Mao Zedong announced to the world the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese people henceforth had stood up,” Mr. Xi said. “This great event utterly transformed the tragic face of China for over a century of modern history when it was poor, weak and bullied.”

(In fact, Mao did not make his famous remark about the Chinese people standing up in his speech at Tiananmen on Oct. 1. He used a similar phrase in a speech no long before.)

“The Chinese nation advanced along the grand road toward achieving its great rejuvenation,” Mr. Xi said.

Students at a wreath laying ceremony in Tiananmen Square, on Monday.CreditPool photo by Thomas Peter

The Communist Party controls many things in China but one thing that it could not rein in today was the pollution.

Beijing woke on Tuesday to a pall of smog and dust ahead of the parade — despite the usual government diktats that have ensured blue skies on important holidays in the past.

Industries north of the Yellow River were shut down, including a glass tempering factory in Shijiazhuang, south of Beijing, which confirmed that it had closed for the holidays five days ago and will remain shut until Friday. Construction sites in Beijing also went idle. Trucks were barred from the city center.

To no avail. The air quality index reached 154, a level that is considered unhealthy. Outdoor activity is not recommended, which has been the case for several days now.

Tiananmen Square was packed with dignitaries, party members and foreign journalists. Access was tightly controlled. Many Chinese attendees were from government offices, top universities and state-owned enterprises.

Students raised a banner reading “Hello Xiaoping” on October 1st, 1984.CreditVisual China Group, via Getty Images

For those of us who have been in China for a long time, the parades reflect China’s changing times and fortunes. In 1984, when I was a 22-year-old student at Peking University, we were told late in September that we would be going to Tiananmen Square to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic.

This was the first big celebration after the end of the Cultural Revolution — although Deng Xiaoping had taken power in 1978, the affair the next year had been relatively low key. But now, with economic reforms having kicked in, Deng’s government was eager to show off its accomplishments.

I remember a very real sense of excitement in the air. We mainly milled around on the square and walked right up to the parade as it went past, clapping and waving.

There was little security, and people joined in — most famously when some university students began to yell out “Xiaoping, ni hao!” (“Hello Xiaoping!”) to the elderly leader. For the first time since the 1950s, China had a stable government that had put economic development ahead of politics, and people appreciated it.

I ended up attending the next big parade, too. This was 1999, and it was the first to have a military element since the 1984 parade — the army’s crushing of the Tiananmen uprising in 1989 had made that year’s events a sober affair.

But by 1999, China was taking off economically and leaders were eager to show their country’s newfound wealth and might. This has been the overall trend since then — ever more mighty and technically impressive parades, but perhaps without the naïve enthusiasm of the 1980s. Or perhaps this is just nostalgia on my part.

— Ian Johnson

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, center, in Beijing, on Tuesday.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press

One of the guests of honor at today’s parade will be Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s beleaguered chief executive.

Because Mrs. Lam had sent out invitations to a flag-raising ceremony and reception in Hong Kong on Tuesday, her decision to travel to Beijing appeared to have been made at the last minute. It was unclear why her plans had changed.

The 200-plus-person delegation that accompanied Mrs. Lam did not include any legislators from the city’s pro-democracy legislative minority.

Helicopters carrying China’s national flag and Hong Kong’s flag flew over Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Harbour.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Early on Tuesday morning, the police clashed with demonstrators foreshadowing the day’s events.

The police stopped two dozen antigovernment protesters dressed in black, who were attempting to march to the Golden Bauhinia Square in the downtown Wan Chai district where the government was holding a flag-raising ceremony. The police used pepper spray to break them up and handcuffed a few protesters after some of them scuffled briefly with a small group of pro-government supporters.

The police said officers arrested 16 people in the morning for unlawful assembly and possession of offensive weapons.

Near Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Harbour, police in green fatigues walked along the waterfront, keeping a wary eye out for protests. For security reasons, the authorities canceled fireworks. Two government helicopters carrying China’s national flag and Hong Kong’s flag flew over the harbor.

The city’s No. 2 leader, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung, who presided over the event, said the government was sparing no effort to restore peace.

“Shocked and saddened by the violence that has turned the city that we call home into an unfamiliar place, Hong Kong people desperately yearn to get out of the existing gridlock,” Mr. Cheung said.

The government has worked with “its greatest sincerity” to resolve the impasse, he said, pointing to its efforts to set up channels for communication with the public.

Street violence has increased over the course of the protests, and the local police have made more than 1,700 arrests since June. Police officers have also deployed tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets against the demonstrators, in a use of force that many protesters have described as excessive.

The first and only time my father saw Mao Zedong in person was in the October 1 parade of 1950, on the first anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic

In the fall of 1950, there were not many students in Beijing and the call to attend the parade went out to all the universities. My father had started classes a month earlier at Beijing Agricultural University. He wore a long-sleeve white shirt and blue pants and held a simple red flag in one hand.

Those assembled for the parade were grouped by work affiliations: there were farmers and factory workers, and in front of them all stood the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army. My father was far back with the students.

“Everybody was excited,” my father said. “You could imagine it! It was our first time seeing Mao.”

The students marched in rows of ten. My father was at the left end of his row and walked next to Tiananmen Square, which meant he was far from Mao, who stood atop the gate to the Forbidden City. My father could not see Mao clearly, but could make out the chairman raising his right hand and waving. “Greetings, comrades!” Mao said.

The marchers shouted slogans. “Long live Chairman Mao!” and “Long live the Communist Party!” My father could also hear music, but it is the shouting that he remembers most clearly seven decades later.

Edward Wong

Residents watched tanks heading back to the barracks from the parade.CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times

There are banners that proclaim a new era for “Xi Jinping thought with Chinese characteristics!” And others that exhort citizens to “closely unite around the party center led by Comrade Xi Jinping.”

In addition to tugging at nostalgic heartstrings, these banners have been a boon to the many small print shops around Beijing.

One of those is run by Liang Qiangju. In the 18 years that she has run her print shop, Ms. Liang has not seen as much business as in recent months.

“We get more orders of red flags, banners, posters and commemorative books than in previous years,” Ms. Liang said. It seemed as though every day this summer new orders were coming in for banners from clients like local neighborhood bureaus, big companies, and government departments.

Reporting was contributed by Russell Goldman, Gillian Wong, Keith Bradsher, Mike Ives, Andrew Jacobs, Ezra Cheung, Li Yuan, Elsie Chen, Tiffany May and Elaine Yu in Hong Kong, and Christopher Buckley, Steven Lee Myers, Alexandra Stevenson, Edward Wong and Ian Johnson in Beijing. Claire Fu and Albee Zhang contributed research in Beijing.

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In Pictures: China’s National Day Parade Features Pomp and Artillery

China kicked off an enormous military parade in Beijing on Tuesday to commemorate 70 years of Communist Party rule and celebrate the country’s emergence as a global power.

The parade — which included 100,000 performers, 15,000 goose-stepping soldiers and an array of heavy-duty weaponry — began in Tiananmen Square and was among the largest in modern Chinese history.

“The Chinese nation advanced along the grand road toward achieving its great rejuvenation,” the country’s top leader, Xi Jinping, told a crowd that included dignitaries, party members and foreign journalists before the parade started. He spoke from the Gate of Heavenly Peace, where Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, 1949.

Mr. Xi, who wore a Mao-style suit, referred to Mao in his speech but did not mention his own predecessors as Chinese leaders — even as two previous presidents, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, stood nearby.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161883603_22c4e4e6-b36e-4944-afda-037cea1bb99d-articleLarge In Pictures: China’s National Day Parade Features Pomp and Artillery Xi Jinping Tiananmen Square (Beijing) People's Liberation Army (China) Parades Mao Zedong Jiang Zemin Hu Jintao Hong Kong Defense and Military Forces Communist Party of China China

The Chinese leader Xi Jinping rode in an open-top limousine to review the military parade.CreditWu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

Guests cheering as they waited for the parade to begin.CreditRoman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock
Military aircraft flying over the celebration.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
The DF-41, an intercontinental ballistic missile, made its first public appearance.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
Tanks rolling past Tiananmen Square.CreditRoman Pilipey/EPA, via Shutterstock
China’s leaders watching the military parade. Mr. Xi referred to Mao Zedong in his speech.CreditGreg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A military honor guard march.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
A float displays with a giant portrait of Mr. Xi, whose power is often compared to that of Mao Zedong.CreditKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Some of the 100,000 performers at the National Day parade.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
One of the floats at the parade.CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
Performers with bicycles take part in the parade.CreditJason Lee/Reuters
Balloons being released during the parade.CreditKevin Frayer/Getty Images
Watching tanks heading back to the barracks from the parade.CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times
Performers leaving after the parade.CreditAly Song/Reuters
A fleet of military helicopters flapped into the sky to form the number “70.”CreditWang He/Getty Images
Neighborhood committee volunteers on watch in Beijing.CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times

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