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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 181)

Trump retweets ‘Resort of the Week’ award for Doral golf club; says it was ‘best location’ for G-7

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096409315001_6096369560001-vs Trump retweets 'Resort of the Week' award for Doral golf club; says it was 'best location' for G-7 fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc c1cb6631-4b2a-5fc8-9c25-47171551b931 article Andrew O'Reilly

President Trump is still upset that next year’s G-7 summit will not be held at his golf resort in Doral, Fla.

The president on Sunday took to Twitter to boast that his resort — Trump National Doral Miami — was picked as the Resort of the Week by Golf.com, and then took a shot at the “very stupid people” who worried that Trump would be breaking the emoluments clause in the Constitution.

“Too bad we didn’t have the G-7 here. I offered to pick up the entire cost, would have saved at least $35,000,000 for the USA,” Trump tweeted. “Best location. Very stupid people thought I would gain. Wrong! Looking at Camp David. Will announce soon.”

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced in October that next year’s G-7 meeting was going to be held at the Doral resort between June 10 and 12, but then – during his infamous “We do it all the time” press conference – Mulvaney later rescinded the move. No new location has yet to be announced.

RICK PERRY, OTHER OFFICIALS CALLED TO TESTIFY IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

Trump first made a pitch to have next year’s summit at the resort during August’s G-7 conference in France – and stirred up controversy amid concerns over the ethics of the president personally profiting off an official government event.

“I used to make money off giving speeches. Now, I make speeches all the time and you know how much I make? Zero,” Trump said in August while defending his call to have the meeting in Doral.

The president added: “From my standpoint, I’m not going to make any money…I don’t want to make any money.”

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Since assuming office, the president has faced repeated pushback from a number of his aides regarding his official visits to properties he owns in New Jersey and Florida. They are worried about the appearance that Trump is using taxpayer dollars to turn a profit at his own resorts.

Trump, who has not divested from his properties, spends many weekends at his resorts in either Florida or New Jersey and has regularly dined at his organization’s restaurant in Washington, D.C. A Washington Post analysis found that the president’s trips to his properties have brought his businesses at least $1.6 million in revenue since he took office – mostly from federal officials and GOP campaigns who follow Trump.

While the Constitution prohibits presidents from taking “emoluments,” or payments, from foreign states, Trump says that clause refers to a ban on outright bribes, not business transactions, and that he will continue to do business with foreign governments at his hotels.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096409315001_6096369560001-vs Trump retweets 'Resort of the Week' award for Doral golf club; says it was 'best location' for G-7 fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc c1cb6631-4b2a-5fc8-9c25-47171551b931 article Andrew O'Reilly   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096409315001_6096369560001-vs Trump retweets 'Resort of the Week' award for Doral golf club; says it was 'best location' for G-7 fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc c1cb6631-4b2a-5fc8-9c25-47171551b931 article Andrew O'Reilly

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Bloomberg News Sets Out How It Will Cover Its Owner

Westlake Legal Group 24mikemedia1-facebookJumbo Bloomberg News Sets Out How It Will Cover Its Owner Presidential Election of 2020 O'Brien, Timothy L Micklethwait, John Democratic Party Bloomberg, Michael R Bloomberg News Bloomberg Media Group Bloomberg LP

Get ready to cover the boss’s presidential campaign, with some caveats.

That is the message roughly 2,700 journalists at Bloomberg L.P., the financial data company owned in large part by Michael Bloomberg, received on Sunday morning after Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, formally announced his candidacy for president as a Democrat.

“We will write about virtually all aspects of this presidential contest in much the same way as we have done so far,” John Micklethwait, Bloomberg Editorial and Research’s editor in chief, said in the memo, in which he always referred to Mr. Bloomberg simply as “Mike.”

“We will describe who is winning and who is losing,” Mr. Micklethwait added. “We will look at policies and their consequences. We will carry polls, we will interview candidates and we will track their campaigns, including Mike’s. We have already assigned a reporter to follow his campaign (just as we did when Mike was in City Hall). And in the stories we write on the presidential contest, we will make clear that our owner is now a candidate.”

But, the memo said, Bloomberg’s outlets, which also include Bloomberg Businessweek and several industry-specific sites, will not do in-depth investigations of Mr. Bloomberg — or any of his Democratic rivals.

On Sunday morning, the main Bloomberg website featured an article by Mark Niquette about Mr. Bloomberg’s entry into the “crowded 2020 Democratic field.”

This unusual policy of avoiding in-depth investigations of the Democratic field echoes the similarly unusual way that the outlet covered Mr. Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure in City Hall as well as its practices regarding rivals of Bloomberg L.P. As an internal guide instructs: “Bloomberg News doesn’t originate stories about the company” or cover Mr. Bloomberg’s “wealth or personal life.” (But, the memo added, Bloomberg would not change its coverage of President Trump so long as he is not a direct rival of Mr. Bloomberg’s.)

Mr. Micklethwait also said that several journalists in the opinion section would take leaves of absences to join Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign. They include Timothy L. O’Brien, the executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion, and David Shipley, the senior executive editor. Mr. Shipley was previously an editor at The New York Times opinion section, and Mr. O’Brien, also a former Times editor and reporter, is known for his 2005 biography of President Trump. The section’s unsigned editorials will go on hiatus, the memo said, and a note on the Bloomberg Opinion website said it would not accept outside op-ed articles about the campaign.

The moment is fraught for one of the most prominent global newsrooms in the country, which now has to document the candidacy of its owner, one of the richest men in the world — one who has mused about selling his holdings if he ran for president. Mr. Bloomberg said last year: “I don’t want the reporters I’m paying to write a bad story about me. I don’t want them to be independent.”

Mr. Micklethwait acknowledged the uneasy relationship in his memo. “There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy,” he said, “for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves (and very rarely about our direct competitors).”

He added, “No previous presidential candidate has owned a journalistic organization of this size.

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NFL teams haven’t reached out to Colin Kaepernick after recent workout, report says

Colin Kaepernick’s highly publicized workout for seven NFL teams at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., has reportedly not helped his case in returning to the NFL.

His representatives reportedly sent a video of his workout to the 25 NFL clubs that didn’t attend on Nov. 16, but “no teams have reached out to work him out, visit with him or sign him,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The report comes after his attorney, Mark Geragos, previously said on the Adam Carolla Podcast this week that two teams had shown interest in the controversial quarterback who helped start a wave of protests regarding social and racial injustice in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem at games.

TWO NFL TEAMS INTERESTED IN COLIN KAEPERNICK, ATTORNEY CLAIMS

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick2 NFL teams haven't reached out to Colin Kaepernick after recent workout, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro d421645a-4440-5712-81a6-d2182056edd0 article

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick participates in a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

“One who is legitimately in need of a quarterback who had a very poor showing on Sunday and has got an owner that I don’t think gives a sh-t,” Geragos said.

Kaepernick, 32, has remained unemployed for more than 32 months since he became a free agent. Only one team, the Seattle Seahawks, has brought him in for a visit, which occurred back in May 2017.

Part of the lack of interest could also be attributed to him changing the location of the workout less than an hour before it was scheduled to begin, which his reps, Ben Meiselas and Jeff Nalley, said was to ensure “a transparent and open process.”

“Mr. Kaepernick requested all media be allowed into the workout to observe and film it and for an independent film crew to be there to ensure transparency,” the statement continued. “The NFL denied this request. Based on the prior conduct by the league office, Mr. Kaepernick simply asks for a transparent and open process which is why a new location has been selected for today. Mr. Kaepernick looks forward to seeing the representatives from the clubs today.”

REP. HANK JOHNSON: ‘VICTIM’ COLIN KAEPERNICK MISTREATED BY NFL, AND CONGRESS SHOULD LOOK INTO IT

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick NFL teams haven't reached out to Colin Kaepernick after recent workout, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro d421645a-4440-5712-81a6-d2182056edd0 article

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick arrives at a workout for NFL football scouts and media, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Riverdale, Ga. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)

The NFL responded to the change in a statement on Nov. 16.

“Today’s session was designed to give Colin what he has consistently said he wants – an opportunity to show his football readiness and desire to return to the NFL,” the league said. “Twenty-five [25] clubs were present for the workout, and all 32 clubs, their head coaches, general managers, and other personnel executives would have received video footage of the interview and workout, shot by the Atlanta Falcons video crew.”

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ESPN acknowledged the speculation that teams were interested in signing Kaepernick, although Schefter added that: “nothing has materialized, and nothing is expected to at this time.”

In 69 career games with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2016 — Kaepernick threw for 12,271 passing yards, 72 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick2 NFL teams haven't reached out to Colin Kaepernick after recent workout, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro d421645a-4440-5712-81a6-d2182056edd0 article   Westlake Legal Group Colin-Kaepernick2 NFL teams haven't reached out to Colin Kaepernick after recent workout, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/colin-kaepernick fox news fnc/sports fnc David Aaro d421645a-4440-5712-81a6-d2182056edd0 article

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New Leak Reveals Orders for China’s Internment Camps

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158992575_502fe990-609f-43af-a895-95d08ff839a2-facebookJumbo New Leak Reveals Orders for China’s Internment Camps Xinjiang (China) Xi Jinping Uighurs (Chinese Ethnic Group) Muslims and Islam Kazakhs (Ethnic Group) International Consortium of Investigative Journalists China

HONG KONG — As the government accelerated mass detentions of Muslim minorities in northwest China, a senior official issued a secret directive giving detailed orders for how the rapidly expanding indoctrination camps holding them should be managed.

Guards should impose pervasive, round-the-clock video surveillance to prevent escapes. Inmates were to be kept isolated from the outside world and held to a strict scoring system that could determine when they might be released. And the facilities were to be shrouded in secrecy, with even employees banned from bringing in mobile phones.

“It is necessary,” the directive from two years ago said, “to strengthen the staff’s awareness of staying secret, serious political discipline and secrecy discipline.”

Now that secrecy has been shattered with the publication of the directive itself. It is one of six internal documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that shed new light on China’s crackdown in the Xinjiang region, where a million or more ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and others have been detained in the past three years.

The disclosure of the 24 pages of documents amounts to a second significant leak from inside China’s ruling Communist Party related to the crackdown. A member of the Chinese political establishment shared a different, 403-page set of internal papers with The New York Times earlier this year, expressing hope that it would make it more difficult for party leaders, including President Xi Jinping, to escape culpability for the mass detentions.

While the source of the new documents is unknown — they were provided by Uighur overseas networks — their disclosure may amount to another sign of dissent in the party over the crackdown.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, an independent nonprofit based in Washington, led the inquiry into the documents, bringing together more than 75 journalists from the consortium and 17 partner organizations, including The Times, in 14 countries. Outside experts also reviewed the papers and concluded they were authentic.

“In terms of documentary evidence, we have reached a next level of disclosure,” said Adrian Zenz, a researcher who has studied the camps and a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a human rights group in Washington. “The evidence we have now is very comprehensive, very complete. It’s kind of game over for Beijing in terms of the cover-up, the denials and the half-truths.”

The most significant of the new documents is the secret directive on how to manage the camps, which is the only document in both sets of leaked papers to describe the inner workings of these facilities. The nine-page order was issued in November 2017 by the Communist Party committee in Xinjiang that oversees legal affairs.

The papers also include four “daily bulletins” from another regional party committee that provide information about those that have been targeted for investigation and detention in camps and a court judgment sentencing a Uighur resident to 10 years in prison on charges of inciting ethnic hatred and discrimination, a vaguely defined crime.

Beijing has rejected criticism of the camps and described them as job-training centers that use humane methods to fight the spread of Islamic extremism. Internally, the government often uses language consistent with that position. The leaked directive, for example, refers to the camps as “vocational skills education and training centers” and the detainees as “students.”

But it also lays bare the punitive underpinnings of these facilities, and some of its language on guarding against escapes and other incidents is identical to that used in guidelines for prisons and other detention sites.

The orders called on guards to strictly control and monitor the activities of students. “Prevent escapes while they are at class, dining, using the toilet, washing, receiving medical care or meeting with family.”

Other instructions call for erecting guardhouses and internal partitions inside the camps to prevent inmates from moving around freely; rigorously checking any people, vehicles or goods entering, and recruiting informants to spy on other detainees.

“Evaluate and resolve students’ ideological problems and abnormal emotions at all times,” the directive said.

The document included orders for “full video surveillance coverage of dormitories and classrooms free of blind spots,” and prohibited detainees from having contact with the outside world, except in strictly monitored interactions.

The government says these sites help prevent Uighurs and other Muslims from being drawn to religious extremism by teaching them the Chinese language, job skills and how to be law-abiding citizens. In response to the earlier leak of documents, the government argued that its methods have effectively stifled extremist violence in Xinjiang.

Former detainees, though, have described the classes as numbing, harsh and ultimately futile attempts at brainwashing. And residents have been sent to internment camps for behavior that would be commonplace elsewhere: traveling abroad, showing signs of religious devotion praying regularly or growing a long beard, or installing certain cellphone apps, such as encrypted messaging tools.

One of the leaked daily bulletins orders an investigation of people from Xinjiang who have obtained foreign citizenship or applied for visas or other documents at Chinese embassies abroad.

Another describes how 15,683 “suspicious persons” were sent to centers in southern Xinjiang on the week of June 19, 2017. The government has repeatedly refused to say how many people are being held in these camps.

Other bulletins reveal how the authorities settled on targets for detention by using databases that collect and collate information on Xinjiang residents, especially Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

The daily bulletins and the document on camp operations were signed by Zhu Hailun, who was then the top security official in Xinjiang. He was assigned to another position in the regional legislature early this year.

Mr. Zhu, 61, appears to have been a key enforcer of the internment campaign, turning the orders of the regional party secretary, Chen Quanguo, into detailed plans. A party official who spent his career in Xinjiang, Mr. Zhu had previously served as the head of Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi, succeeding an official who was fired in 2009 after bloody ethnic riots killed nearly 200 people, most of them Han Chinese.

Like many in his generation, Mr. Zhu was no stranger to the idea that minds can be reprogrammed through intense indoctrination and propaganda: He grew up in Mao’s era, when such techniques were widespread. In an official biography, Mr. Zhu described the two years he spent as a teenager working in a rural commune as a period of “re-education.”

Over 40 years later, Mr. Zhu was uncompromising as Mr. Chen’s right-hand man for security. An internal document from 2017 signed by Mr. Zhu that was among the papers leaked to The Times attributed attacks in London and Manchester in part to putting “human rights above security.”

The directive on camp operations instructed officials to keep extensive records on detainees, and described a scoring system that measured how they behaved to determine their fate.

Inmates should be assigned to one of three zones based on how dangerous they are judged to be — general management, strict, and very strict, the document said. But detainees could be moved between the grades of control depending on their scores.

“Break down scores and manage and individually assess the students’ ideological transformation, study and training, and compliance with discipline,” the document said.

Officials were told to assign inmates to fixed positions in dormitories, classes, lineups and workshops, and to control every detail of life inside the camps, at every moment of the day, including wake-up, meals, studies and showers.

Detainees must meet “disciplinary demands” or face punishment, the directive added.

“Strengthen the management of the students’ hygiene,” it said. “Ensure that they get timely haircuts and shave, change and wash their clothes. Arrange for them to have baths once or twice a week, so that they develop good habits.”

The demands listed in the directive echoed the accounts of former detainees like Orynbek Koksebek, an ethnic Kazakh man who spent four months in an indoctrination camp in Xinjiang after being detained by the Chinese authorities in December 2017.

“There was military discipline in everything we did, how you walk, stand up straight. If you didn’t, they would slap you,” he said in an interview in the Kazakh city of Almaty earlier this year.

A key disclosure in the leaked directive is an official description of the conditions that detainees must meet to be released from the camps. Aside from achieving a good score in the point system, the document said, inmates must be categorized at the lowest threat level and have served a minimum term of one year — though interviews with former detainees indicate that camps sometimes release people sooner.

The directive also emphasized the importance of showing remorse. Discussions with detainees should “promote the repentance and confession of the students for them to understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past behavior,” it said.

A different document, among the set shared with The Times earlier this year, described how family members outside the camps are told that their behavior can also affect when a detainee is released — a implied threat aimed at silencing complaints.

Former detainees said the criteria for release seemed arbitrary, and there was little clarity on when or why people could leave.

“You enter the camp with 1,000 points. You can’t gain points. You can only lose them if you yawn or smile,” recalled Rahima Senbai, who was held in a camp in October 2017 and only allowed to return to her home in Kazakhstan a year later. “If you ever went under 500 points, you’d have to stay for another year.”

Zharqynbek Otan, who was held in a camp for seven months after his arrest in January 2017 and has since fled China, said the goal of the detention was to impose loyalty to the Chinese state.

“The main purpose is to brainwash you,” he said, “so you forget your roots and everything about Islam and ethnic identity.”

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French Luxury Giant LVMH Nears Deal to Buy Tiffany

Westlake Legal Group 24LVMHTiffany1-facebookJumbo French Luxury Giant LVMH Nears Deal to Buy Tiffany Trademarks and Trade Names Shopping and Retail Rimowa GmBH Rihanna Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Marc Jacobs International LLC LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA Luxury Goods and Services Krakoff, Reed Jewels and Jewelry International Trade and World Market Hublot SA Givenchy Fashion and Apparel Coach Inc Christian Dior SA Chaumet Cartier SA Bulgari SpA Boards of Directors Arnault, Bernard

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will be having a lot of breakfasts at Tiffany’s — as well as lunches, dinners and board meetings.

The world’s largest luxury goods company is close to completing a deal to buy Tiffany & Company, according to people briefed on the acquisition. The combination, worth $16.7 billion, would be the largest ever in the luxury sector.

The companies were putting the finishing touches on the transaction on Sunday afternoon, with the boards of both companies meeting to approve the deal, these people said. They hope to announce it on Monday morning.

LVMH is dominant in the fashion, leather goods and wines and spirits sectors with brands like Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, Château d’Yquem and Dom Pérignon. The acquisition of Tiffany would make it a major player in the so-called hard luxury sector (things like watches and jewelry), adding to its purchase of Bulgari in 2011. It also gives the French group its most significant beachhead in the American market. The Tiffany brand is recognizable around the world thanks to its signature blue boxes, but it also occupies a singular, romantic place in the American landscape: Its Fifth Avenue flagship is as much a landmark in the myth of aspiration and the gleaming promise of sparkling baubles as Rockefeller Center or the Plaza hotel.

At the same time, the deal would end Tiffany’s 182-year history as a stand-alone brand, and it reflects the difficulty of remaining independent in an age of increasing consolidation.

LVMH, controlled by Europe’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, will pay $135 per share in cash for the jeweler, these people said. The terms of the final bid, which were first reported by the Financial Times on Sunday, value Tiffany shares at $16.3 billion. The company has about $350 million in debt.

The agreement comes after weeks of tense discussions between the two companies. Last month, the Tiffany board rejected an all-cash offer of $120 a share. LVMH then increased its offer to $130 last week and was granted access to Tiffany’s books to conduct due diligence, prompting a jump in the jeweler’s share price amid increased speculation that a deal was forthcoming.

LVMH’s takeover of Tiffany signifies the company’s increasing interest in areas beyond traditional soft luxury goods like clothing and leather goods. It follows its acquisition of Belmond hospitality group last December for $2.6 billion and a majority stake in the German luggage brand Rimowa in 2016 for $719 million. It also marks LVMH’s second major investment in an American brand this year, following its creation of a new luxury house, Fenty, with Rihanna.

The deal potentially doubles the size and profitability of its hard luxury portfolio, which beyond Bulgari also includes Chaumet, Fred, Hublot and Tag Heuer and accounts for 9 percent of total LVMH sales. A Tiffany takeover would probably make LVMH more competitive with Richemont, the Swiss luxury group that owns Cartier. Jewelry was among the top growth luxury categories last year, up 7 percent, according to a report by global consulting company Bain & Company.

And it solidifies the reputation of Mr. Arnault, 70, as the most aggressive, and acquisitive deal-maker in luxury.

Tiffany, after a rocky period in which it appeared to lose sight of its core consumers, prompting stagnant sales and the departure of its chief executive, has staged a comeback in recent years under a new chief executive, Alessandro Bogliolo. He cut back on lower-priced gifting options, revamped marketing to target younger shoppers and pursued greater expansion in China.

Reed Krakoff, the designer who transformed Coach from a dusty handbag brand into a driver of the contemporary market, joined as artistic director in 2017, and has also been instrumental in recasting the brand’s offerings to appeal to the social media set, with such collections as “everyday objects” like tin cans, balls of yarn, and protractors in sterling silver, a new “paper flowers”collection in rare gems and an ad campaign with Lady Gaga (who wore the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond on the Oscars red carpet in February).

Mr. Bogliolo also happened to be the chief executive of Bulgari during the LVMH takeover of that brand, so he has some expertise in managing the transition into the group. Though LVMH has struggled with its American brands in the past, buying Donna Karan in 2001 only to ultimately close the designer’s main line and sell the brand name to G-III Apparel in 2016, and never going through with a planned public offering for Marc Jacobs, Tiffany may prove a more comfortable fit.

For both companies, the tie-up also represents an important opportunity to grow in China, the world’s second largest economy and an engine of global spending on high-end shoes, bags, fashion, jewelry and watches despite recent concerns over a trade war and the standoff in Hong Kong.

Tiffany began targeting the emerging Chinese bridal and engagement ring market more than a decade ago, and today has a strong following and brand awareness among the country’s upper and middle class consumers. It currently operates around 35 stores in mainland China and a further 10 in Hong Kong. The yuan depreciation, the United States-China trade war and the Hong Kong protests have hit Chinese tourist spending hard, however, prompting Tiffany to increase its mainland investments and bring high-value items to Chinese shoppers closer to home, a strategy that will probably be fueled further by LVMH after the deal is completed.

“Tiffany finds a very comfortable new home and LVMH finds one of the most promising brands available,” said Luca Solca, luxury analyst at Bernstein.

Not to mention an early end to their holiday shopping.

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Hong Kong Vote Turnout Sets Record After Months of Protest

Westlake Legal Group 24hk-elect1-facebookJumbo Hong Kong Vote Turnout Sets Record After Months of Protest Voting and Voters Lam, Carrie (1957- ) Hong Kong Protests (2019) Hong Kong elections

HONG KONG — After months of antigovernment protests in Hong Kong, voters on Sunday had a chance to voice their opinion on the city’s future — and they turned out in droves, shattering the city’s records for turnout.

The election on Sunday was for district council members, one of the lowest rungs of Hong Kong’s elected offices. District councils mainly deal with noise complaints, bus stop locations and neighborhood beautification projects. Elections for them are usually quiet affairs focused on community issues.

But in the midst of the increasingly violent protests that have divided the city, the race took on outsize significance. The vote was the first test of whether the protests could transform public anger that has led millions to take to the streets into actual votes, or whether the populace had grown weary of acts of civil disobedience that have snarled transportation and forced the closing of schools and businesses.

The results were expected hours after the polls closed at around 10:30 p.m. in Hong Kong. The election drew record-setting throngs of voters to polling places on Sunday.

Through it all, the city was calm, as democracy advocates appeared to focus on participating in one of the few elections that Beijing allows in the territory under its sovereignty.

“Politically speaking, the battle of the district councils as a whole is a crucial battle in taking control,” said Eddie Chu, a pro-democracy legislator who is also running for district council.

Here’s a look at the race and what is at stake:

More than 69 percent of voters had hit the polls with around an hour left before sites closed. Those numbers surpassed the 47 percent turnout in the entire election four years ago. Back then, it had already set a record, lifted by an awakening of political interest that accompanied the Umbrella Movement a year earlier.

Before voting began on Sunday morning, the government had strongly denied a persistent rumor on social media that the polls might close after the first several hours, instead of being open for the scheduled 15 hours.

That rumor gave both sides in the election an incentive to urge their voters to show up early. Four times as many people voted in the first hour of polling as did in the 2015 district council elections.

“I haven’t been voting for a while; this time is very important,” Ada Chan, 30, an office worker, said as she left a polling place after casting her ballot early.

Lines quickly became so long on Sunday morning that Patrick Nip, the territory’s secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, appealed to the public to have more confidence that the polls would stay open.

“The voting time is very abundant, so you don’t have to concentrate on voting at the same time,” he said.

By late afternoon, lines had disappeared at some locations. The voters had dwindled to a trickle at the Yau Ma Tei Community Center polling station, nestled between the city’s famous street market for jade and the graceful banyan trees of an ancient temple.

A call to expand Hong Kong’s limited democracy is one of the demands of the protest movement, which began in June over a now-withdrawn proposal that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.

Protesters have called for direct elections for the entire legislature, where currently only 40 of the 70 seats are selected by popular vote. They have also called for the chief executive, who is selected by a largely pro-Beijing election committee, to instead be chosen by voters.

The district councils have no lawmaking power. They control small amounts of public funds for simple infrastructure, like rain shelters. They lodge concerns with government departments over noise, traffic, sanitation and other issues. (Of the 479 district council seats, 452 are directly elected.)

The district council members do have a modest role in choosing the chief executive, Hong Kong’s highest official. Whichever side wins a majority of the seats controls 117 votes in the 1,200-member chief executive election committee.

That election committee is dominated by pro-establishment corporate interests, and the chief executives they have selected have always been loyal to Beijing. But a win would give the overall pro-democracy camp control of an additional 10 percent of the votes, and put it close to the 150 votes necessary to nominate a candidate.

The brochures of district council candidates typically show neighborhood concerns they pledge to fix: trash-filled alleys, air-conditioners dripping on sidewalks and streets lined with illegally parked cars.

This year, several pro-democracy candidates have included protest slogans on their materials. Law Cheuk-yung, 22, said he was inspired to run for district council because of recent social movements. He said he would demand answers from the police after residents complained of possible testing of tear gas in his district, Tuen Mun.

“I want to imagine local government being more responsive,” he said. “At the moment the district council is just a rubber stamp. They do whatever the government wants.”

For such candidates, it is more about playing to the sentiment of the protests rather than taking action. They would not have much of a role in addressing protesters’ demands, which include an investigation into the police’s use of force, offering amnesty to those arrested in the protests and expanding direct elections.

“They are all trying to capitalize on public anger,” said Suzanne Pepper, a scholar of Chinese politics who lives in Hong Kong.

Establishment parties have long had an advantage in these races, in part because they are much better funded, with backing from businesses. Currently the pro-Beijing camp holds 327 district council seats versus 124 for the pro-democracy group.

Rising interest in the election has meant that pro-democracy candidates are participating in every race, unlike previous years, when some establishment district council members ran unopposed. And after worries about disqualifications, only one of the camp’s candidates, the prominent activist Joshua Wong, was barred from running this year for political reasons. An election officer ruled that Mr. Wong could not uphold Hong Kong law because his political organization viewed independence from China as a possible goal for the city.

A string of violent attacks on election candidates has hung over the race. Twelve opposition figures, including prominent politicians and activists as well as first-time candidates, have been ambushed and bloodied by gangs of masked men or attacked while canvassing for votes.

“We can see Hong Kong isn’t as free and as civilized as we’d previously imagined,” said Jannelle Leung, a 25-year-old accountant who was struck in the back of her head with a hard object in early October the day she announced she was officially running. She also said she received sexually harassing phone calls before the attack.

Jocelyn Chau, a first-time candidate like Ms. Leung who received similar lurid calls before being punched by a man while canvassing last month in the pro-Beijing neighborhood of North Point, criticized the government for not condemning the attacks on pro-democracy figures. “Not even superficial gestures,” said Ms. Chau, 23.

The polarizing pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho was injured in a knife attack this month and his offices were vandalized. He called the attack “a dark day for the district council election,” adding that the “orderly election had been completely obliterated.”

The attacks on candidates and vandalism had stirred worries that the election might be postponed. Some pro-democracy figures had said that a delay could harm their strength at the polls.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, had said the government would do its best to ensure the election would go on as scheduled. The government posted riot police officers near polling places across the city, though outside the zones marked with yellow tape where only voters could go.

The city had been convulsed by two weeks of intense protest, including on several campuses. At Chinese University of Hong Kong, protesters clashed with the police and occupied the college for five days. At Hong Kong Polytechnic University, more than 1,000 people at one point were trapped by a police siege.

Patrick Nip, the secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, warned last Monday that further unrest would reduce the chances of the election’s being held as scheduled. He called for an end to violence “and all kinds of duress.”

In the past few days, protests ebbed drastically, however, as the city prepared to take its conflicts to the polls.

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Devin Nunes doubles down on promise to take CNN and Daily Beast to court: ‘It should be fun’

Westlake Legal Group Devin-Nunes-AP Devin Nunes doubles down on promise to take CNN and Daily Beast to court: 'It should be fun' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/sunday-morning-futures fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7de78065-cc0f-5d8a-bb39-c748d3d01c4f

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who promised to sue CNN and the Daily Beast, said this week on “Sunday Morning Futures” that the only way to hold the “corrupt” media accountable is to challenge them in federal court.

Nunes first threatened legal action on Friday, after both outlets published stories claiming the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee had met with Ukranian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in Vienna in 2018 to push for an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden. Both stories cite former Rudy Guliani associate, Lev Parnas, who was indicted in October for conspiring to violate the ban on foreign donations, prompting Nunes to question the validity of the source.

“I’ve been used to this for the last three years,” Nunes told Fox News. “The House Intelligence Committee Republicans, we continue to expose Democrat corruption over and over again. And what always happens is right when we expose them… they go out to kill the messenger.”

“So this week — another fake news story. The problem with this week’s fake news story is — we actually caught them,” he continued. “And we caught them badly and it also involves criminal activity… We are going to take both CNN and the Daily Beast likely into federal court, right after Thanksgiving and we hope they cooperate.”

The Daily Beast originally broke the story about Nunes’ alleged meeting on Thursday, citing Parnas’ lawyer Ed MacMahon as their source. The Beast also cites congressional travel records which it claims shows Nunes traveled to Europe from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018, along with three of his aides. CNN followed up with an article on Saturday, citing Parnas’ other lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, who said Nunes was put in touch with officials who could help him dig up dirt on the Bidens.

NUNES AT IMPEACHMENT HEARING: INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE ‘HIJACKED’ BY ‘PARTISAN EXTREMISTS’ TO REMOVE THIS PRESIDENT

Nunes told Fox News it was inappropriate for a news organization to take the word of someone who is attempting to smear a congressman, while still under federal indictment.

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“It is not OK to work with someone who has been indicted on [a] serious federal crime, to build a media narrative and dirty up a member of Congress,” he said. “You’ve seen it, the American people have seen it over the last three years. We out them, and then they come out with a media narrative to try to dirty up the people who are doing the work on behalf of the American people.

“So we hope that CNN and Daily Beast will cooperate with the court,” Nunes continued. “They should comply with the subpoenas once we file this and go through different depositions. It should be fun.”

Host Maria Bartiromo asked Nunes if he wished to elaborate further on his involvement in the case, but he declined to go any deeper, saying he would not debate the issue through the media.

“I really want to answer all these questions,” he said. “But I think you can understand that I can’t compete by trying to debate this out with the public media when 90 percent of the media are totally corrupt. And because this is criminal in nature and because it’s so bad, it’s so slanderous — we’ve got all the facts on our side and we’re going to file in federal court, because I’m not going to sit here and try to compete against the media that I have no chance of winning this. I will win in court.”

NUNES SLAMS IMPEACHMENT ‘THREE-CARD MONTE,’ THEN YIELDS TO SCHIFF FOR ‘STORYLINE HOUR’

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Nunes did, however, say it’s “likely” that CNN and the Daily Beast committed criminal activity, and claimed the only way to find out the truth is to have them answer questions under oath.

“It’s very likely [they committed a crime], or they’re an accessory to it,” he said. “So none of this is true… We will get to all the facts when it’s filed in court. But somehow they’re either witting or unwitting of listening to somebody who’s been indicted and not only that, but it’s their lawyers. So you’re talking about third and fourth hand hearsay to do what? To dirty up the leader of the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee that just destroyed their complete narrative that they’ve been pushing.”

Nunes provided a statement to Breitbart on Friday when news of a lawsuit first broke, calling the charges “demonstrably false” and “reckless.”

“These demonstrably false and scandalous stories published by the Daily Beast and CNN are the perfect example of defamation and reckless disregard for the truth,” Nunes told Breitbart News. “Some political operative offered these fake stories to at least five different media outlets before finding someone irresponsible enough to publish them. I look forward to prosecuting these cases, including the media outlets, as well as the sources of their fake stories, to the fullest extent of the law. I intend to hold the Daily Beast and CNN accountable for their actions. They will find themselves in court soon after Thanksgiving.”

Westlake Legal Group Devin-Nunes-AP Devin Nunes doubles down on promise to take CNN and Daily Beast to court: 'It should be fun' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/sunday-morning-futures fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7de78065-cc0f-5d8a-bb39-c748d3d01c4f   Westlake Legal Group Devin-Nunes-AP Devin Nunes doubles down on promise to take CNN and Daily Beast to court: 'It should be fun' Nick Givas fox-news/shows/sunday-morning-futures fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/politics fnc article 7de78065-cc0f-5d8a-bb39-c748d3d01c4f

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McDonald’s sued by workers claiming they’re ‘regularly threatened, assaulted, and injured by customers’

McDonald’s workers claim that they face the threat of physical violence every day and the company needs to do a better job of protecting them.

A group of employees in Chicago has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that their employer has failed to protect them from a pattern of violence. The 17 employees work at 13 different McDonald’s restaurants across the city.

Westlake Legal Group McDonalds-chicago McDonald's sued by workers claiming they're 'regularly threatened, assaulted, and injured by customers' Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 90dbdeb8-7ce4-5900-9ecc-80d7b73de0bd

David Rosenthal, an attorney for the workers, told AP News, “McDonald’s has failed, at a systemic level, to protect its workers from violence in the workplace.” (iStock)

The workers say that Chicago police respond to more than 20 911 calls to the city’s McDonald’s on a daily basis, AP News reports. They also cited various instances of violence, which include physical assault and sexual harassment.

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David Rosenthal, an attorney for the workers, told AP News, “McDonald’s has failed, at a systemic level, to protect its workers from violence in the workplace. Throughout the country, McDonald’s workers are regularly threatened, assaulted and injured by customers.”

One of the plaintiffs said that since the company does not allow workers to lock the door while cleaning the bathroom, a customer was able to enter and expose himself to her.

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The lawsuit says that McDonald’s has apparently taken steps to increase its profits that have also made working in the restaurants more dangerous. This includes not having proper barriers at the check-out counters and not installing drive-thru windows that prevent customers from crawling through them.

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In a statement obtained by AP News, a spokesperson for McDonald’s said, “McDonald’s takes seriously its responsibility to provide and foster a safe working environment for our employees, and along with our franchisees, continue to make investments in training programs that uphold safe environments for customers and crew members.”

Westlake Legal Group McDonalds-chicago McDonald's sued by workers claiming they're 'regularly threatened, assaulted, and injured by customers' Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 90dbdeb8-7ce4-5900-9ecc-80d7b73de0bd   Westlake Legal Group McDonalds-chicago McDonald's sued by workers claiming they're 'regularly threatened, assaulted, and injured by customers' Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 90dbdeb8-7ce4-5900-9ecc-80d7b73de0bd

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Memorial held for two kids who died in California van crash

Two kids were killed and several more were injured on Friday afternoon when a van carrying 10 — all between the ages of 12-17 — crashed and overturned in a Stockton, Calif., canal.

Police identified the two students as 12-year-old Sariah Sayasit and 14-year-old Richard Wilson. Sayasit was a student at Delta Sierra Middle School, while Wilson went to Bear Creek High School.

Dozens of family members and friends left candles and shared memories of the two students during a memorial at the crash site on Saturday.

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“She was pretty, smart, really helpful at home,” Sayasit’s grandmother, Kristina Sayasit, told FOX40. “I wish I could see her when she left, stop her, but I didn’t know.”

“He was my brother. I was always together with him,” Wilson’s friend Anakin Salazar told the outlet. “I was just talking to him and now he’s gone out of my life.”

Officials say the van had 10 people inside when the driver lost control of the 2006 Toyota Sienna and veered to the left of the roadway before driving into White Slough on Nov. 22.

The outlet reported that some of the teens weren’t wearing seatbelts and the 17-year-old driver did not have a license.

Officials added that alcohol didn’t seem to play a role in the crash.

Westlake Legal Group Sariah-Sayasit Memorial held for two kids who died in California van crash fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us fox-news/auto fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article ad491799-f95b-5a85-8e91-fdfc988f2c77

Sariah Sayasit, 12, was killed and several more were injured on Friday afternoon when a van carrying 10 teens crashed and overturned in a Stockton, California canal. (Sariah Sayasit – GoFundMe)

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“I don’t know why the mom let her drive the van and pick up all the kids,” Sayasit told FOX40.

The eight other teenagers in the van were sent to local hospitals with minor to moderate injuries, including hypothermia from being partially submerged in the cold water. A few have already been released.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, while a GoFundMe page has been set up for the family of Sayasit.

“Everywhere she went she came with the biggest smile and warm heart. She was the third of 5 children in the family,” said the GoFundMe page. “She is survived by her father, grandmother, three sisters, one brother and she was loved by many. Rest in Paradise sweet baby girl. God has gain[ed] a beautiful angel.”

The Lodi Unified School District released a statement regarding the incident Saturday on their Facebook page.

“We are deeply saddened to share that two students passed away yesterday in a car accident.”

“The District will provide counseling and bereavement support services at Bear Creek High School and Delta Sierra Middle School as our two school communities process this tragic news and cope with grief. Stockton Police Department chaplains will also be available to assist students and staff during this difficult time.”

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“Our sincere condolences and thoughts go out to the families affected by this tragedy. We also offer our condolences to Bear Creek and Delta Sierra students and staff members.”

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New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

Westlake Legal Group merlin_163180182_ee094740-6437-4488-a6b2-1349cc553dd5-facebookJumbo New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Pompeo, Mike House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — Internal State Department emails and documents released late Friday further implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors.

The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anticorruption efforts in the country. Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month. One call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo was arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant, the documents suggest.

The documents also show that the State Department sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovitch’s departure after they asked about pressure on her. As part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

The documents, and recent congressional testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, tie Mr. Pompeo closely to efforts by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically. Those include investigations into the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, and unfounded claims that Ukrainian officials worked to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. As Mr. Trump sought those investigations, he and his team held up $391 million of military aid critical to Ukraine — which is in a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists — and a coveted White House meeting.

The release of the documents, obtained by a liberal watchdog group that had filed a public records request, came as Mr. Pompeo refused to voluntarily hand over State Department documents about Ukraine to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that Mr. Pompeo was engaged in a Watergate-style “obstruction of this investigation.”

The State Department released the documents in response to a lawsuit brought by the liberal watchdog, American Oversight, whose founders include lawyers who worked in the Obama administration.

Austin Evers, the executive director of the group, said that the documents revealed “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.”

Mr. Pompeo has refused to answer questions about his role in the Ukraine affair. The State Department did not reply on Saturday to detailed questions about the documents or witness testimonies in the inquiry that put the secretary at the center of the matter.

The documents bolstered testimony delivered Wednesday by Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union and a player in the pressure campaign on Ukraine. He told lawmakers in a public hearing that Mr. Pompeo had full knowledge of the campaign and even approved certain hard-line tactics. Mr. Pompeo and his top aides “knew what we were doing, and why,” Mr. Sondland said, noting that “everyone was in the loop.” He recited email exchanges he had had with Mr. Pompeo on the pressure campaign.

Last month, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged he took part in the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

The documents, testimony and interviews with Mr. Giuliani paint a portrait of a secretary of state who not only had intimate knowledge of the pressure campaign against Ukraine and the effort to undermine and remove a respected ambassador, but took part in her ouster despite warnings about the campaign from lawmakers and a half-dozen former ambassadors to Ukraine.

The emails released Friday show that Mr. Giuliani’s assistant reached out to Mr. Trump’s assistant seeking “a good number” for Mr. Pompeo. “I’ve been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels,” Mr. Giuliani’s assistant wrote. Mr. Trump’s assistant forwarded the inquiry to a State Department official, and one call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo took place within days, the emails show.

The emails also show that Mr. Pompeo was scheduled to call Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and a key ally of the president’s, just a few days after he spoke with Mr. Giuliani.

The emails do not have details of the telephone conversations.

But in an interview last month, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Pompeo in late March — the same period as the calls listed in the emails released Friday — to relay information he had gathered during his Ukrainian research.

In connection with one such conversation, Mr. Giuliani said he provided Mr. Pompeo a timeline listing what he considered to be key events implicating targets of Mr. Trump, including the Bidens, Ms. Yovanovitch and Ukrainians whom Mr. Giuliani said had disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Shortly after, Mr. Pompeo “called and said, ‘Do you have any backup?’” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

In response, Mr. Giuliani said, he had someone hand-deliver to Mr. Pompeo’s office an envelope containing a series of memos detailing claims made by a pair of Ukrainian prosecutors in interviews conducted by Mr. Giuliani and his associates in January.

Mr. Pompeo “said he was referring it for investigation,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had since heard that the matters detailed in the memos were referred to the State Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I.

Last month, the department’s inspector general turned over to congressional impeachment investigators a package of materials, including the memos and the timeline, in a Trump Hotel-branded envelope, prompting widespread puzzlement on Capitol Hill about its provenance.

The memos and the timeline were among the materials included in the document release on Friday.

Mr. Giuliani said the memos were written by a retired New York City police detective who works for Mr. Giuliani’s security consulting business and were modeled after the so-called 302 forms that F.B.I. agents file after conducting interviews.

“My guy ­— a former first-grade detective — wrote up what would be the 302,” Mr. Giuliani said. “They’re knockoffs of the 302s,” he added.

The memos include a mix of facts and unsubstantiated claims. They cite documents from Latvia and billing invoices. And they misspell the name of one of the Ukrainian prosecutors.

The memos indicate that the police detective was present for the interviews, as were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates who helped Mr. Giuliani connect to the prosecutors and gather information from Kyiv. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were indicted last month on campaign finance charges, in a case that is tied to an investigation into Mr. Giuliani for possible violations of lobbying laws.

Since at least spring 2018, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman had pushed for Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster.

The effort gained traction this spring when figures in the conservative news media claimed without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch had privately disparaged Mr. Trump, and also cited the allegations by the Ukrainian prosecutors.

A letter to the State Department from two senior Democratic lawmakers in the House dated April 12 — just days before Ms. Yovanovitch was ordered to leave her post — said they were concerned by “outrageous efforts by Ukrainian officials to impugn” her. Ms. Yovanovitch, a career official, has served as an ambassador for Republican and Democratic presidents.

The reply from the agency, dated June 1, left the impression that Ms. Yovanovitch departed her post on May 20 because she had been scheduled to rotate out after three years, rather than indicating that she had been forced to leave.

The documents also include a letter dated April 5 from six former United States ambassadors to Ukraine to top State Department officials under Mr. Pompeo. In the letter, the former ambassadors said that they were “deeply concerned” about the charges against Ms. Yovanovitch that had emerged in the news media reports and that the accusations were “simply wrong.”

In late March, Ms. Yovanovitch told the third-ranking State Department official, David Hale, that she felt she could no longer continue in her role unless the department issued a statement in her defense. Mr. Hale briefed Mr. Pompeo about the conversation the next day, he testified to House investigators last week.

After looking into the right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch — even contacting Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality, to ask for details of wrongdoing — Mr. Pompeo believed that “there was no evidence” to support the allegations, Mr. Hale said in an earlier private testimony to lawmakers. But Mr. Pompeo ultimately chose not to issue a statement of support. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told senators last month that top State Department officials were aware of the smear campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Sullivan said he believed Mr. Giuliani was behind it.

In his retelling, Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Pompeo why the president wanted to remove Ms. Yovanovitch. “I was told that he had lost confidence in her, period,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the lawmakers who sent the letter to Mr. Pompeo expressing concern over the smear campaign, said he initially found the department’s response “equally frustrating and baffling.”

“Now that we know more facts it makes sense: Secretary Pompeo was apparently helping the president with his scheme to get political help from the Ukrainians, and Ambassador Yovanovitch was standing in the way,” Mr. Engel said. “Six months later, Mr. Pompeo continues to defend the president’s behavior and defy congressional subpoenas for relevant information at the expense of the public servants he is unwilling to lead and defend.”

Mr. Pompeo has doubled down recently on his support of Mr. Trump’s demands on Ukraine. In several instances last month, Mr. Pompeo repeated an unsubstantiated claim by Mr. Trump — that Ukraine may have run an interference operation in the 2016 election. American intelligence officials and Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, say that the falsehood has infected American discourse as part of a yearslong disinformation campaign by Russia.

Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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