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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 75)

NATO leaders mocking Trump in video proof America ‘cannot be trusted’ by allies, Cory Booker says

Sen. Cory Booker said Wednesday the now-infamous video of world leaders appearing to laugh at the expense of President Trump at a NATO event on London is proof America “cannot be trusted” by its allies.

The New Jersey Democrat  was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when he criticized Trump for calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

“On the world stage, [Trump] just insulted, called the leader of Canada, our most essential ally who has been there with us in every conflict since 9/11, standing in partnership with us in so many ways, to just throw out a school-yard taunt, or punch, like that… [it] stunned me,” Booker said.

Westlake Legal Group booker NATO leaders mocking Trump in video proof America 'cannot be trusted' by allies, Cory Booker says fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/justin-trudeau fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 9d58d143-2c29-572e-9cce-8c3588cd44f7

Sen. Cory Booker said the video of world leaders appearing to laugh at the expense of President Trump is proof American “cannot be trusted” by its allies.

“Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist then said Trump’s “two-faced” remark was in response to the viral video of Trudeau, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron and others appearing to laugh at Trump during a Buckingham Palace discussion on Tuesday.

“It appears that they’re making fun of President Trump,” Geist said. “Put that together with the way we’ve seen some of these leaders push back on President Trump at this NATO summit. What picture does it paint of where we are in the world right now?”

Booker, who’s running for president, responded, “America, right now, cannot be trusted.”

CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO MOCKED AFTER ATTEMPT TO DISPROVE TRUMP’S PHONE THEORY WITH CALL TO MOM FAIL

“Our allies no longer trust us. It is weakening the fabric of democracies at a time when the planet Earth is seeing the rise of totalitarianism or authoritarian government,” he said. “This president seems to be weakening western and democratic alliances.”

Booker added, “Republicans know this… they know what’s going on.”

Geist didn’t ask a follow-up question and host Joe Scarborough quickly asked about Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif, dropping out of the 2020 presidential race.

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The news-making video of some of the world’s most powerful leaders appearing to poke fun at Trump was shared by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). When Trump was asked about it during a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he said of Trudeau, “He’s two-faced.”

Trudeau appeared to be at the center of the video joking about Trump’s impromptu press conference on Tuesday.

Westlake Legal Group booker NATO leaders mocking Trump in video proof America 'cannot be trusted' by allies, Cory Booker says fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/justin-trudeau fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 9d58d143-2c29-572e-9cce-8c3588cd44f7   Westlake Legal Group booker NATO leaders mocking Trump in video proof America 'cannot be trusted' by allies, Cory Booker says fox-news/politics/executive fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/justin-trudeau fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/cory-booker fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 9d58d143-2c29-572e-9cce-8c3588cd44f7

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Buffalo Bishop Resigns Amid Mounting Controversy Over Clergy Abuse

Westlake Legal Group ap_18310003827425-dfab7d76125c8058bbe1ca5c0e1a482bc5940107-s1100-c15 Buffalo Bishop Resigns Amid Mounting Controversy Over Clergy Abuse

Richard Malone, seen during a news conference last year, has resigned as bishop of the Catholic diocese based in Buffalo, N.Y. During his tenure, the diocese attracted intense scrutiny over its alleged mishandling of sexual abuse allegations. Frank Franklin II/AP hide caption

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Frank Franklin II/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Buffalo Bishop Resigns Amid Mounting Controversy Over Clergy Abuse

Richard Malone, seen during a news conference last year, has resigned as bishop of the Catholic diocese based in Buffalo, N.Y. During his tenure, the diocese attracted intense scrutiny over its alleged mishandling of sexual abuse allegations.

Frank Franklin II/AP

Amid a clergy sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church in the U.S., one name has drawn more controversy than most: Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y. For months, the bishop has resisted calls for his resignation for allegedly mishandling abuse claims against the priests of his diocese.

Malone bowed to that pressure Wednesday.

“Despite the measurable progress we have achieved together, I have concluded after much prayer and discernment that the spiritual welfare of the people of the Diocese of Buffalo will be better served by a new bishop who perhaps is better able to bring about the reconciliation, healing and renewal that is so needed,” he said in a statement signed “Bishop Emeritus of Buffalo.”

“As such, I requested of His Holiness Pope Francis that he permit me to retire early, and he agreed to do so.”

The Vatican confirmed Malone’s resignation in a brief bulletin posted early Wednesday. The Holy See’s press office noted that the pope has appointed Edward Scharfenberger, bishop of nearby Albany, to act as administrator of Malone’s former diocese.

By mid-morning Wednesday, Scharfenberger’s portrait and a statement from the new apostolic administrator welcomed visitors to the Buffalo Diocese website.

The move comes after months of criticism of Malone, whose diocese has attracted scrutiny of federal investigators and hundreds of litigants.

The FBI had opened an investigation into an alleged cover-up of clergy sexual abuse there, according to local media, which also reported a big discrepancy between the list of accused priests released publicly by the church and its own private records, suggesting a cover-up.

The diocese has also been slapped with scores of lawsuits since New York’s Child Victims Act took effect in August. The law vastly extended the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits connected to child sexual abuse — and opened the floodgates for litigation. One law firm alone reported filing more than 100 suits in just over a month, naming roughly a dozen priests in Malone’s diocese.

In September, Buffalo’s local ABC affiliate WKBW released secret recordings of Malone purportedly revealing his knowledge — and apparent intent to cover up — a brewing sexual harassment scandal.

“I think we’re gonna blow this story up into something like an atom bomb if we start talking about that, you know?” Malone said. “Cause then it sounds like, it sounds like a soap opera. It sounds like a love triangle. And you know what the media can do with that.”

One day after the recording’s release, Malone held a news conference attempting to explain his language on the recording and defend his judgment.

“I feel an obligation, as the bishop of this diocese, to do all the best I can, working with a lot of people — including a lot of laity — to move us forward toward a restoration of trust,” he said at the time.

By mid-September, though, The Buffalo News published a poll showing a vast majority of local residents saying they felt Malone should resign the post he held since 2012.

Malone maintained a relatively defiant tone in his “early retirement” announcement Wednesday, asserting that the diocese has made progress under his tenure, and that “there has not been a single priest of this Diocese ordained in the past 30 years who has had an allegation of child sex abuse substantiated.”

That said, he acknowledged that he was not the right person to move the diocese forward in a difficult time.

“It is my fervent belief that a bishop must not only represent the unity of our Catholic Faith and the Church Universal, but be able to bring about true Christian unity among those he is charged with leading,” he said. “It is my honest assessment that I have accomplished as much as I am able to, and that there remain divisions and wounds that I am unable to bind and heal.”

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Who Is Jonathan Turley? Republicans’ Lone Expert on Impeachment

Jonathan Turley is a well-known legal expert, often seen on cable news talking about a range of issues including tort law, espionage, constitutional law and, most recently, impeachment. He is a professor at George Washington University Law School and has represented clients from a variety of backgrounds and political affiliations.

“This is a daunting but not unfamiliar challenge as an academic,” Mr. Turley wrote on Tuesday on his blog about his scheduled appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

A graduate of the University of Chicago and Northwestern’s law school, Mr. Turley joined the staff of George Washington’s law school in 1990, and according to his biography, was the youngest person named to an academic chair in the school’s history. Now 58, he has represented whistle-blowers, judges, members of Congress and accused terrorists and is a prolific writer and tweeter and a frequently cited legal expert. The House and Senate regularly turn to him to testify about constitutional issues.

“While the Senate can decide not to remove a president in the interests of the nation for a variety of reasons,” he said then, “the House should not falter in maintaining a bright line for presidential conduct.”

Mr. Turley also represented a Democratic-appointed federal judge, G. Thomas Porteous Jr., in his impeachment trial before the Senate. In that case, the Senate found Judge Porteous guilty.

Video

transcript

Admit It: You Don’t Know How Impeachment Works. We Can Help.

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.

“Impeachment by its nature, it’s a political process.” “What people think is going to happen can turn out to be very different from what happens.” “Because it has to do with elected officials holding another elected official to account for their conduct.” When the framers of the Constitution created a process to remove a president from office, they were well … kind of vague. So to understand how it’s going to play out, the past is really our best guide. “I think we’re just all in for a really crazy ride.” Collectively, these New York Times reporters have covered U.S. politics for over 150 years. “I’m also a drummer in a band, so …” They’ve reported on past impeachment inquiries. “Yea, I’m lost in Senate wonderland.” And they say that the three we’ve had so far have been full of twists and turns. “The president of the United States is not guilty as charged.” In short, expect the unexpected. First, the process. Impeachment is technically only the initial stage. “Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. It doesn’t. The impeachment part of the process is only the indictment that sets up a trial.” The Constitution describes offenses that are grounds for removing the president from office as bribery, treason and — “They say high crimes and misdemeanors, which, really, is in the eye of the beholder.” “The framers didn’t give us a guidebook to it. They simply said, that the House had the responsibility for impeachment and the Senate had the responsibility for the trial.” One of the things missing from the Constitution? How an impeachment inquiry should start. And that has generally been a source of drama. Basically, anything goes. “In fact, in the Andrew Johnson case they voted to impeach him without even having drafted the articles of impeachment.” For Richard Nixon, his case started with several investigations that led to public hearings. That part of the process went on for two years, and yielded revelation after revelation, connecting Nixon to a politically-motivated burglary at D.N.C. headquarters — “… located in the Watergate office building.” — and its subsequent cover-up. “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” “I was aware of listening devices. Yes, sir.” “This was a shocker. Everybody in the White House recognized how damaging this could be.” As the House drafted articles of impeachment, Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” “I was asked to write the farewell piece that ran the morning after Nixon resigned. And this is what I wrote: The central question is how a man who won so much could have lost so much.” So for Nixon, it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton, that phase was just the beginning. “This is the information.” An independent counsel’s investigation into his business dealings unexpectedly turned into a very public inquiry about his personal life. “The idea that a president of the United States was having an affair with a White House intern and then a federal prosecutor was looking at that, it was just extraordinary.” That investigation led to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. “When the Starr Report was being delivered to Congress it was a little bit like the O.J. chase, only a political one. There were two black cars. They were being filmed live on CNN. They were heading towards the Capitol. We were watching it and a little bit agog.” Public opinion is key. And the media plays a huge part in the process. This was definitely true for Clinton. “You know it was just a crazy time. We worked in the Senate press gallery.” “All your colleagues are kind of piled on top of each other.” “We had crummy computers, the fax machine would always break. The printer would always break.” After committee hearings, the House brought formal impeachment charges. “It was very tense. I thought that the Saturday of the impeachment vote in the House was one of the most tense days I’d experienced in Washington.” And it turned out, also, full of surprises. “The day of impeachment arrived, everyone’s making very impassioned speeches about whether Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and Livingston rises to give an argument for the House Republicans. He started to talk about how Clinton could resign.” “You, sir, may resign your post.” “And all of a sudden people start booing and saying, ‘Resign, resign’!” “So I must set the example.” “He announced he was resigning because he had had extramarital affairs and challenged President Clinton to do the only honorable thing, in his view —” “I hope President Clinton will follow.” “— to resign as well, so there was all this drama unfolding even in the midst of impeachment.” Then it went to the Senate for trial. The Constitution gets a little more specific about this part. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is supposed to preside over that trial.” “Rehnquist, he showed up in this robe he had made for himself, which had gold stripes on the sleeves because he liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” “The Senate is the actual jury.” “You will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help you, God.” “This is a copy of the rules of the Senate for handling impeachment. They’re actually very specific.” “Meet six days a week.” “Convene at noon. The senators have to sit at their desks and remain quiet in their role as jurors. And not talk, which trust me, is going to be a problem for some of the senators who are used to talking all the time.” It’s just like a courtroom trial. There are prosecutors who present the case against the president. “That was perjury.” Only, they’re members of the House, and they’re called managers. Then the senators, or the jurors, vote. And things are still, unpredictable. “The options are guilty or not guilty. But there was one senator —” “Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania.” “Under Scottish law, there are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proved.” “— which is not a thing.” “And everybody just looks, you know, how do you even record that vote?” In the end, there were not enough votes to oust Clinton. “What’s amazing about this whole thing to me wasn’t so much the constitutional process. It was that it felt to me like the beginning of really intense partisanship, the weaponization of partisanship.” And here’s the thing: An impeachment charge has never gotten the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate to actually oust a president from office. “So you could end up having a situation where the president is impeached, acquitted and runs for re-election and wins re-election.” And that would be a first. “This is my ticket to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. I don’t think you’ll find these on StubHub.”

Westlake Legal Group xx-impeachment-explainer-vid-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Who Is Jonathan Turley? Republicans’ Lone Expert on Impeachment

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.CreditCredit…Photo illustration by Aaron Byrd

Besides being invited by Republicans to testify, Mr. Turley has been critical of some comments by Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who has until now taken the lead of the impeachment inquiry. But he has also offered advice to Democrats on how to proceed on impeachment, while sounding skeptical of their argument for it.

“I have previously said that abuse of power is impeachable, but it is the most difficult of potential impeachment claims,” he wrote recently. “Once again, impeachment does not require a criminal allegation, but it does require clarity. It also requires a complete and compelling record. This record is neither complete nor compelling on proof of an impeachable offense.

In another recent opinion piece, he wrote, “A real impeachment case can be made, but to make it, they will have to reschedule, reframe and repeat their House investigation.”

On his website, Mr. Turley notes that he is the second-most cited law professor in the country and for the last five years, he has been named one of the 100 top Irish lawyers in the world.

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Woman’s ‘Peloton girl’ spoof goes viral on Twitter

WARNING: Twitter video contains strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.

Peloton’s controversial new holiday commercial has officially achieved internet stardom, as the divisive ad has now been mocked in a hilarious spoof poking fun at what one critic called “the most tone-deaf ad made in decades.”

On Monday, writer and comedian Eva Victor trolled Peloton on Twitter for their new “The Gift That Gives Back” ad, responding with a clever clip of her own.

In the 55-second spoof, which has since been viewed over 3.51 million times on Twitter alone, Victor parodied the so-called “Peloton girl” and her anxious obsession with tracking her fitness progress on the pricey exercise bike her husband got her for Christmas — with Victor offering her own twist on the scenario.

Westlake Legal Group eva-victor-peleton-Getty-Peleton Woman's 'Peloton girl' spoof goes viral on Twitter Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/fitness-and-wellbeing fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 91c7e7bf-7229-51ea-aa78-45c5f43dd0a4

Peloton’s controversial new holiday commercial, pictured right, has officially earned internet stardom and been trolled by comedian Eva Victor, pictured left. (Getty Images/Peloton)

‘PERINEUM SUNNING’ LEAVES JOSH BROLIN ‘CRAZY BURNED’ AS DOCTORS WARN AGAINST VIRAL WELLNESS TREND

In the comedian’s take on the now-viral tale, Victor increasingly questioned her “sociopath” husband’s motives in purchasing his wife a “f—— workout bike for Christmas.” Like the original Peloton wife, at the end of the video, Victor declared that she “didn’t realize how much this [bike] would change me” — but in this case, it finally gave her clarity on her marriage.

Warning: Video contains strong language.

“Babe, I want a divorce,” Victor announces at the end.

“Here, these are for you,” she adds, handing a thick yellow envelope of “divorce papers” to her husband off-screen.

In the days since, Victor’s sarcastic spin has gone far and wide online, earning over 29,000 shares and thousands of comments.

Most Twittizens agreed that Victor’s spoof hit all the right notes, poking fun at what one called “the most tone-deaf ad made in decades,” while another presented a skit of their own with the theme on push-ups, branded as a “Peloton for poor people.”

As inspired by other frequently ridiculed holiday commercials, other users joked that the husband in the Peloton ad probably gifted his mistress with cars or jewelry, while giving his wife an exercise bike.

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Skeptics of the satire, meanwhile, wondered if there was perhaps a “backstory” to the original commercial, and said they’d be perfectly content in accepting a hypothetical Peloton from their imaginary husband.

Peloton’s “The Gift That Gives Back” video ad first went viral for all the wrong reasons earlier this month, as commenters blasted the promotion as sexist and mocked its message.

In the 30-second clip, which first hit the internet in November, a husband surprised his wife on Christmas morning with an exercise bike, showing her gasping with shock after lifting her hand from her eyes.

“A Peloton?!?” she exclaimed in disbelief.

The ad then followed the wife – identified at one point as “Grace in Boston” – and tracked her journey with the exercise bike. Over the course of a year, the woman documented her Peloton workouts with video diaries and ultimately presented her partner with a compilation montage of her progress.

“A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me,” the wife said to her husband about her Peloton bike. “Thank you.”

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The Twitter community had a field day with the clip’s complicated undertones, with commenters taking issue with everything from the woman’s “rail-thin” frame to her “creepy” husband’s “abusive” desire to monitor her exercise routine.

A representative for Peloton was not immediately available to offer further comment on the story, or reveal the name of the actress who played the beleaguered wife.

Peloton Bike packages start at $2,245, with more inclusive packages retailing for as much as $2,694. The Peloton Membership, which gives users access to on-demand and live classes, costs an additional $39 per month.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group eva-victor-peleton-Getty-Peleton Woman's 'Peloton girl' spoof goes viral on Twitter Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/fitness-and-wellbeing fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 91c7e7bf-7229-51ea-aa78-45c5f43dd0a4   Westlake Legal Group eva-victor-peleton-Getty-Peleton Woman's 'Peloton girl' spoof goes viral on Twitter Janine Puhak fox-news/lifestyle fox-news/fitness-and-wellbeing fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 91c7e7bf-7229-51ea-aa78-45c5f43dd0a4

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offers cryptic message regarding Jason Garrett’s future

Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has all the faith in the world that head coach Jason Garrett will continue to coach in the league next year – he just isn’t saying if it will be in Dallas.

Jones said in an interview Tuesday that there isn’t a threshold or particular thing that Garrett must achieve this season in order to get an extension as head coach.

OTTAWA SENATORS’ MARK ‘BOROCOP’ BOROWIECKI CLOTHESLINES CAR BURGLAR IN VANCOUVER, RECOVERS STOLEN BACKPACK: REPORT

“There is no bar,” he told KRLD radio. “When I say that I don’t mean that there’s not a level of– a point where I determine it’s just not working or that I determine that it’s working but there’s many things. There’s boxes to be checked.”

Westlake Legal Group cowboys Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offers cryptic message regarding Jason Garrett's future Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc b20ff6d2-50ba-56b7-bca7-865d026f2229 article

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) fights for a first down after recovering a fumbled snap as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones (31) defends in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.  (AP)

Despite praising Garrett, saying that “he’s got a tremendous list of things that he’s about,” Jones appeared to suggest that he’s been eyeing other coaches as the Cowboys continue to struggle.

“The problem is you don’t know who can guarantee you a Super Bowl. I’ve seen a lot of coaches, I’ve seen their names mentioned but they can’t guarantee me a Superbowl or guarantee my players the Superbowl.”

He continued: “There’s no exclusive, nobody’s got the exclusive skills to get the job done so that collectively you can win a Superbowl but they’re qualified people. Jason Garrett is one of them and in my opinion, Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year.”

Jones’ elusive wording has added to rumors that Garrett will likely get axed if the Cowboys don’t take home a championship– something that seems increasingly unlikely with a 6-6 record going into week 14.

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Garrett was named head coach in 2010 after serving as offensive coordinator for the Cowboys for three years.

The Cowboys are set to take on the Chicago Bears, 6-6, Thursday at 8:20 p.m.

Westlake Legal Group garrett Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offers cryptic message regarding Jason Garrett's future Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc b20ff6d2-50ba-56b7-bca7-865d026f2229 article   Westlake Legal Group garrett Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offers cryptic message regarding Jason Garrett's future Paulina Dedaj fox-news/sports/nfl/dallas-cowboys fox-news/sports/nfl fox news fnc/sports fnc b20ff6d2-50ba-56b7-bca7-865d026f2229 article

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Devin Nunes Busted by House Intelligence Committee Phone Records

Westlake Legal Group inDPZQqfqjDWnR4yrPg-oEgnrs5-hBz4EXobGoqhrmU Devin Nunes Busted by House Intelligence Committee Phone Records r/politics

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Hearing Live Updates: Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, 3 Scholars to Testify

Video

Westlake Legal Group 04dc-impeachbriefing-livevid-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hearing Live Updates: Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, 3 Scholars to Testify Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

The Judiciary Committee House panel begins its hearings to debate and determine articles of impeachment. They will hear from four legal scholars about the basis for impeachment.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Three constitutional scholars invited by Democrats to testify at Wednesday’s impeachment hearings will say that President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political gain clearly meet the historical definition of impeachable offenses, according to copies of their opening statements.

The three law professors are appearing in the first impeachment hearing before the House Judiciary Committee as it kicks off a debate about whether to draft articles of impeachment against the president.

Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard, planned to argue that attempts by Mr. Trump to withhold a White House meeting and military assistance from Ukraine as leverage for political favors constitute impeachable conduct, as does the act of soliciting foreign assistance on a phone call with Ukraine’s leader.

“President Trump has committed impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors by corruptly abusing the office of the presidency,” Mr. Feldman planned to say. “Specifically, President Trump abused his office by corruptly soliciting President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations of his political rivals in order to gain personal advantage, including in the 2020 presidential election.”

Michael J. Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina, planned to argue that Mr. Trump “has committed several impeachable offenses” by taking actions regarding Ukraine that were worse than Richard Nixon’s misconduct during Watergate.

“If left unchecked, the president will likely continue his pattern of soliciting foreign interference on his behalf in the next election,” Mr. Gerhardt plans to say, adding that Mr. Trump’s actions “are worse than the misconduct of any prior president.”

Pamela S. Karlan, a Stanford law professor, will tell lawmakers that the president’s attempt to “strong arm a foreign leader” would not be considered politics as usual by historical standards.

“It is, instead, a cardinal reason why the Constitution contains an impeachment power,” she planned to say. “Put simply, a candidate for president should resist foreign interference in our elections, not demand it. If we are to keep faith with the Constitution and our Republic, President Trump must be held to account.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165029526_bf5d3225-afdb-47b8-9159-d2730480502a-articleLarge Hearing Live Updates: Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, 3 Scholars to Testify Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

President Trump at the White House last month.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University who was invited to testify at Wednesday’s impeachment hearing by the committee’s Republicans, will offer the lone dissent, arguing in his opening statement that Mr. Trump should not be impeached.

In a 53-page written statement submitted to the committee, Mr. Turley makes it clear that he is not a supporter of the president and believes that the Ukraine matter warrants investigation. But he plans to say that the Democratic impeachment case is dangerously “slipshod” and premature.

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger,” he planned to say. “If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president.”

Offering an exhaustive and colorful account of the history of impeachment, Mr. Turley will agree with the other panelists that “a quid pro quo to force the investigation of a political rival in exchange for military aid can be impeachable, if proven.”

But for that to be the case, he will say, the evidence has to be stronger. Witnesses like Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, must be heard from — not just spoken about by other witnesses. He will argue the current case is destined for “collapse in a Senate trial.”

Westlake Legal Group 00impeachment-archetypes-videopromo-image-articleLarge-v2 Hearing Live Updates: Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, 3 Scholars to Testify Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

The Impeachment Inquiry’s Main Players

Here are the lawmakers to watch as the process unfolds.

Testimony from the legal scholars will place Mr. Trump’s actions in historical context for lawmakers who will eventually have to vote on whether the president committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” and should be impeached and removed from office.

Three of the scholars — Mr. Feldman, Ms. Karlan and Mr. Gerhardt — were invited to deliver remarks by the Democratic majority on the committee. Mr. Turley was invited by Republicans.

The scholars may focus their testimonies on what the country’s founders were trying to achieve by providing a process for Congress to remove a president. They are expected to discuss the impeachment efforts for Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton.

But lawmakers are likely to press the witnesses to offer their own assessments about whether impeachment is appropriate for Mr. Trump, which could prompt sharp exchanges between committee members and the scholars.

The Judiciary Committee features some of the most outspoken partisans in Congress, which promises to generate fireworks as the two parties clash over the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Liberals on the 41-member committee include Representatives Zoe Lofgren of California, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Eric Swalwell of California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington. Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Matt Gaetz of Florida are among the deeply conservative members on the panel.

Unlike the House Intelligence Committee, which has about half the number of members, the Judiciary Committee is often a forum for intense debates, and Mr. Nadler does not have a reputation for instilling discipline among the membership.

One result could be a series of angry procedural disputes as Republicans on the panel seek to disrupt the hearing in the hopes of drawing attention to what they say is an unfair and illegitimate inquiry. Mr. Jordan said as much on Monday as he began viewing a draft of the Intelligence Committee’s report.

“We’re going to, I’m sure, raise all kinds of issues and all kinds of concerns,” he told reporters who asked about Wednesday’s hearing. “That’s kind of what we do in these things when it’s this ridiculous.”

House Democrats have signaled they intend to use the Judiciary Committee hearings as another opportunity to generate public support for the impeachment inquiry. Nearly two weeks of testimony by witnesses during Intelligence Committee hearings failed to significantly increase that support.

The Democratic strategy is focused on using the 300-page Intelligence Committee report as evidence that Mr. Trump’s actions were clearly an abuse of power and that the president must be held accountable.

During Mr. Clinton’s impeachment inquiry, many of his defenders repeatedly condemned his affair with Monica Lewinsky even as they argued that his conduct — however reprehensible — and lying about it to the American people and a grand jury did not rise to the level of an impeachable act.

Mr. Trump’s allies have embraced a different strategy that will most likely be on display on Wednesday. Following Mr. Trump’s lead, they have insisted that he did nothing wrong and is the victim of an unfair and illegitimate partisan process.

  • Mr. Trump repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including the former vice president. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Admit It: You Don’t Know How Impeachment Works. We Can Help.

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.

“Impeachment by its nature, it’s a political process.” “What people think is going to happen can turn out to be very different from what happens.” “Because it has to do with elected officials holding another elected official to account for their conduct.” When the framers of the Constitution created a process to remove a president from office, they were well … kind of vague. So to understand how it’s going to play out, the past is really our best guide. “I think we’re just all in for a really crazy ride.” Collectively, these New York Times reporters have covered U.S. politics for over 150 years. “I’m also a drummer in a band, so …” They’ve reported on past impeachment inquiries. “Yea, I’m lost in Senate wonderland.” And they say that the three we’ve had so far have been full of twists and turns. “The president of the United States is not guilty as charged.” In short, expect the unexpected. First, the process. Impeachment is technically only the initial stage. “Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. It doesn’t. The impeachment part of the process is only the indictment that sets up a trial.” The Constitution describes offenses that are grounds for removing the president from office as bribery, treason and — “They say high crimes and misdemeanors, which, really, is in the eye of the beholder.” “The framers didn’t give us a guidebook to it. They simply said, that the House had the responsibility for impeachment and the Senate had the responsibility for the trial.” One of the things missing from the Constitution? How an impeachment inquiry should start. And that has generally been a source of drama. Basically, anything goes. “In fact, in the Andrew Johnson case they voted to impeach him without even having drafted the articles of impeachment.” For Richard Nixon, his case started with several investigations that led to public hearings. That part of the process went on for two years, and yielded revelation after revelation, connecting Nixon to a politically-motivated burglary at D.N.C. headquarters — “… located in the Watergate office building.” — and its subsequent cover-up. “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” “I was aware of listening devices. Yes, sir.” “This was a shocker. Everybody in the White House recognized how damaging this could be.” As the House drafted articles of impeachment, Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” “I was asked to write the farewell piece that ran the morning after Nixon resigned. And this is what I wrote: The central question is how a man who won so much could have lost so much.” So for Nixon, it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton, that phase was just the beginning. “This is the information.” An independent counsel’s investigation into his business dealings unexpectedly turned into a very public inquiry about his personal life. “The idea that a president of the United States was having an affair with a White House intern and then a federal prosecutor was looking at that, it was just extraordinary.” That investigation led to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. “When the Starr Report was being delivered to Congress it was a little bit like the O.J. chase, only a political one. There were two black cars. They were being filmed live on CNN. They were heading towards the Capitol. We were watching it and a little bit agog.” Public opinion is key. And the media plays a huge part in the process. This was definitely true for Clinton. “You know it was just a crazy time. We worked in the Senate press gallery.” “All your colleagues are kind of piled on top of each other.” “We had crummy computers, the fax machine would always break. The printer would always break.” After committee hearings, the House brought formal impeachment charges. “It was very tense. I thought that the Saturday of the impeachment vote in the House was one of the most tense days I’d experienced in Washington.” And it turned out, also, full of surprises. “The day of impeachment arrived, everyone’s making very impassioned speeches about whether Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and Livingston rises to give an argument for the House Republicans. He started to talk about how Clinton could resign.” “You, sir, may resign your post.” “And all of a sudden people start booing and saying, ‘Resign, resign’!” “So I must set the example.” “He announced he was resigning because he had had extramarital affairs and challenged President Clinton to do the only honorable thing, in his view —” “I hope President Clinton will follow.” “— to resign as well, so there was all this drama unfolding even in the midst of impeachment.” Then it went to the Senate for trial. The Constitution gets a little more specific about this part. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is supposed to preside over that trial.” “Rehnquist, he showed up in this robe he had made for himself, which had gold stripes on the sleeves because he liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” “The Senate is the actual jury.” “You will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help you, God.” “This is a copy of the rules of the Senate for handling impeachment. They’re actually very specific.” “Meet six days a week.” “Convene at noon. The senators have to sit at their desks and remain quiet in their role as jurors. And not talk, which trust me, is going to be a problem for some of the senators who are used to talking all the time.” It’s just like a courtroom trial. There are prosecutors who present the case against the president. “That was perjury.” Only, they’re members of the House, and they’re called managers. Then the senators, or the jurors, vote. And things are still, unpredictable. “The options are guilty or not guilty. But there was one senator —” “Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania.” “Under Scottish law, there are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proved.” “— which is not a thing.” “And everybody just looks, you know, how do you even record that vote?” In the end, there were not enough votes to oust Clinton. “What’s amazing about this whole thing to me wasn’t so much the constitutional process. It was that it felt to me like the beginning of really intense partisanship, the weaponization of partisanship.” And here’s the thing: An impeachment charge has never gotten the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate to actually oust a president from office. “So you could end up having a situation where the president is impeached, acquitted and runs for re-election and wins re-election.” And that would be a first. “This is my ticket to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. I don’t think you’ll find these on StubHub.”

Westlake Legal Group xx-impeachment-explainer-vid-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Hearing Live Updates: Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses, 3 Scholars to Testify Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.CreditCredit…Photo illustration by Aaron Byrd

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Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report

Page after page, the names stack up: 629 girls and women from across Pakistan who were sold as brides to Chinese men and taken to China. The list, obtained by The Associated Press, was compiled by Pakistani investigators determined to break up trafficking networks exploiting the country’s poor and vulnerable.

The list gives the most concrete figure yet for the number of women caught up in the trafficking schemes since 2018.

But since the time it was put together in June, investigators’ aggressive drive against the networks has largely ground to a halt. Officials with knowledge of the investigations say that is because of pressure from government officials fearful of hurting Pakistan’s lucrative ties to Beijing.

Westlake Legal Group AP19332610462016 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287

FILE – In this May 22, 2019 file photo, Sumaira a Pakistani woman, shows a picture of her Chinese husband in Gujranwala, Pakistan. Sumaira, who didn’t want her full name used, was raped repeatedly by Chinese men at a house in Islamabad where she was brought to stay after her brothers arranged her marriage to the older Chinese man. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary, File)

HOUSE PASSES UIGHUR HUMAN RIGHTS BILL TO SANCTION CHINESE OFFICIALS

The biggest case against traffickers has fallen apart. In October, a court in Faisalabad acquitted 31 Chinese nationals charged in connection with trafficking. Several of the women who had initially been interviewed by police refused to testify because they were either threatened or bribed into silence, according to a court official and a police investigator familiar with the case. The two spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution for speaking out.

At the same time, the government has sought to curtail investigations, putting “immense pressure” on officials from the Federal Investigation Agency pursuing trafficking networks, said Saleem Iqbal, a Christian activist who has helped parents rescue several young girls from China and prevented others from being sent there.

“Some (FIA officials) were even transferred,” Iqbal said in an interview. “When we talk to Pakistani rulers, they don’t pay any attention. “

Westlake Legal Group AP19332610996941 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287

FILE – In this May 11, 2019 file photo, detained Chinese nationals, accused of involvement in a trafficking gang to lure Pakistani women into fake marriages, try to shield their faces while they are escorted by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency officers to court in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary, File)

Asked about the complaints, Pakistan’s interior and foreign ministries refused to comment.

ISLAMISTS BESEIGE PAKISTAN’S INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER, CALL FOR EDITOR, PUBLISHER TO BE HANGED

Several senior officials familiar with the events said investigations into trafficking have slowed, the investigators are frustrated, and Pakistani media have been pushed to curb their reporting on trafficking. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.

“No one is doing anything to help these girls,” one of the officials said. “The whole racket is continuing, and it is growing. Why? Because they know they can get away with it. The authorities won’t follow through, everyone is being pressured to not investigate. Trafficking is increasing now.”

He said he was speaking out “because I have to live with myself. Where is our humanity?”

Westlake Legal Group AP19336498915207 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287

In this Nov. 21, 2019 photo, a pile of documents related to the trafficking of Pakistani brides to China is displayed in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

China’s Foreign Ministry said it was unaware of the list.

“The two governments of China and Pakistan support the formation of happy families between their people on a voluntary basis in keeping with laws and regulations, while at the same time having zero tolerance for and resolutely fighting against any person engaging in illegal cross-border marriage behavior,” the ministry said in a statement faxed Monday to AP’s Beijing bureau.

An AP investigation earlier this year revealed how Pakistan’s Christian minority has become a new target of brokers who pay impoverished parents to marry off their daughters, some of them teenagers, to Chinese husbands who return with them to their homeland. Many of the brides are then isolated and abused or forced into prostitution in China, often contacting home and pleading to be brought back. The AP spoke to police and court officials and more than a dozen brides — some of whom made it back to Pakistan, others who remained trapped in China — as well as remorseful parents, neighbors, relatives, and human rights workers.

POPE FRANCIS’ VISIT TO JAPAN HIGHLIGHTS COUNTRY’S AGING ‘HIDDEN CHRISTIANS’

Christians are targeted because they are one of the poorest communities in Muslim-majority Pakistan. The trafficking rings are made up of Chinese and Pakistani middlemen and include Christian ministers, mostly from small evangelical churches, who get bribes to urge their flock to sell their daughters. Investigators have also turned up at least one Muslim cleric running a marriage bureau from his madrassa, or religious school.

Investigators put together the list of 629 women from Pakistan’s integrated border management system, which digitally records travel documents at the country’s airports. The information includes the brides’ national identity numbers, their Chinese husbands’ names and the dates of their marriages.

All but a handful of the marriages took place in 2018 and up to April 2019. One of the senior officials said it was believed all 629 were sold to grooms by their families.

Westlake Legal Group AP19332611117168 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287

In this Nov. 11, 2019 photo, Christian activist Saleem Iqbal talks to The Associated Press regarding Pakistani brides trafficked to China, in Faisalabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

It is not known how many more women and girls were trafficked since the list was put together. But the official said, “the lucrative trade continues.” He spoke to the AP in an interview conducted hundreds of kilometers from his place of work to protect his identity. “The Chinese and Pakistani brokers make between 4 million and 10 million rupees ($25,000 and $65,000) from the groom, but only about 200,000 rupees ($1,500), is given to the family,” he said.

The official, with years of experience studying human trafficking in Pakistan, said many of the women who spoke to investigators told of forced fertility treatments, physical and sexual abuse and, in some cases, forced prostitution. Although no evidence has emerged, at least one investigation report contains allegations of organs being harvested from some of the women sent to China.

In September, Pakistan’s investigation agency sent a report it labeled “fake Chinese marriages cases” to Prime Minister Imran Khan. The report, a copy of which was attained by the AP, provided details of cases registered against 52 Chinese nationals and 20 of their Pakistani associates in two cities in eastern Punjab province — Faisalabad, Lahore — as well as in the capital Islamabad. The Chinese suspects included the 31 later acquitted in court.

The report said police discovered two illegal marriage bureaus in Lahore, including one operated from an Islamic center and madrassa — the first known report of poor Muslims also being targeted by brokers. The Muslim cleric involved fled police.

NEPAL’S ANIMAL SACRIFICE FESTIVAL, KNOWN AS ‘WORLD’S BLOODIEST,’ GETS UNDERWAY AFTER ‘BAN’ IGNORED

After the acquittals, there are other cases before the courts involving arrested Pakistani and at least another 21 Chinese suspects, according to the report sent to the prime minister in September. But the Chinese defendants in the cases were all granted bail and left the country, say activists and a court official.

Activists and human rights workers say Pakistan has sought to keep the trafficking of brides quiet so as not to jeopardize Pakistan’s increasingly close economic relationship with China.

Westlake Legal Group AP19332610502493 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287

FILE – In this April 14, 2019 file photo, Pakistani Christian Mahek Liaqat, who married a Chinese national, cries as she narrates her ordeal, in Gujranwala, Pakistan. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary, File)

China has been a steadfast ally of Pakistan for decades, particularly in its testy relationship with India. China has provided Islamabad with military assistance, including pre-tested nuclear devices and nuclear-capable missiles.

Today, Pakistan is receiving massive aid under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a global endeavor aimed at reconstituting the Silk Road and linking China to all corners of Asia. Under the $75 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, Beijing has promised Islamabad a sprawling package of infrastructure development, from road construction and power plants to agriculture.

The demand for foreign brides in China is rooted in that country’s population, where there are roughly 34 million more men than women — a result of the one-child policy that ended in 2015 after 35 years, along with an overwhelming preference for boys that led to abortions of girl children and female infanticide.

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A report released this month by Human Rights Watch, documenting trafficking in brides from Myanmar to China, said the practice is spreading. It said Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea and Vietnam have “all have become source countries for a brutal business.”

“One of the things that is very striking about this issue is how fast the list is growing of countries that are known to be source countries in the bride trafficking business,” Heather Barr, the HRW report’s author, told AP.

Omar Warriach, Amnesty International’s campaigns director for South Asia, said Pakistan “must not let its close relationship with China become a reason to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses against its own citizens” — either in abuses of women sold as brides or separation of Pakistani women from husbands from China’s Muslim Uighur population sent to “re-education camps” to turn them away from Islam.

“It is horrifying that women are being treated this way without any concern being shown by the authorities in either country. And it’s shocking that it’s happening on this scale,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group AP19332610462016 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287   Westlake Legal Group AP19332610462016 Nearly 630 Pakistan girls, women sold as brides to Chinese men: report fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world/crime fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 7f0a8c77-f342-5103-ad9e-bcd6fb8e7287

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Trump Calls Trudeau ‘Two-Faced’ After Video Shows Leaders Apparently Mocking Him

Westlake Legal Group ap_19338387394622-637efa5ac3fb3b64f2c1fe8a5345fb895c88d41f-s800-c15 Trump Calls Trudeau 'Two-Faced' After Video Shows Leaders Apparently Mocking Him

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive Wednesday for a round table meeting for NATO leaders in Watford, England. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  Trump Calls Trudeau 'Two-Faced' After Video Shows Leaders Apparently Mocking Him

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrive Wednesday for a round table meeting for NATO leaders in Watford, England.

Evan Vucci/AP

Updated at 9:14 a.m. ET

President Trump has responded to a video that appeared to show Justin Trudeau and other world leaders mocking him, calling the Canadian prime minister “two-faced.”

Trump’s remarks follow the president’s meeting Tuesday with the Canadian leader in which the two men appeared to get along, though Trump needled Trudeau over Canada’s defense spending.

“Where are you at? What is your number?” Trump asked Trudeau during their meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit outside London. Trudeau responded that Canada had, in fact, increased its spending on defense over the past few years. That did not appear to placate Trump who pressed on: “Where are you now in terms of your number?”

Canada, a NATO member, spends about 1.4% of its gross domestic product on defense. Trump, and indeed past U.S. presidents, have urged the alliance’s members to spend 2% or more on defense. At present, seven of NATO’s 29 members have reached that target. The U.S. is by far the largest contributor to the alliance, which was set up during the Cold War to protect Western Europe from Russian and Eastern bloc aggression.

Recent relations between Trump and Trudeau have been cordial, mostly because of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the replacement for NAFTA championed by Trump. Still, they have a complicated history. Although Trudeau was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on his election victory in 2016, the two men quickly found themselves on opposite sides of almost every major global issue: tariffs, climate change, and trade.

The tensions became apparent last year as Canada hosted the Group of Seven summit. After the meeting, Trudeau announced that Canada, whose economy is highly dependent on the U.S., would press ahead with retaliatory tariffs against the United States. In response, Trump, who had initially slapped tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel, tweeted that Trudeau was “dishonest and weak” and “mild and meek.”

Trudeau, who leads the center-left Liberal Party in Canada, was recently endorsed in a tough reelection campaign by Trump’s predecessor, former Democratic President Barack Obama.

The release of the video late Tuesday is unlikely to help matters. Trudeau was captured on video talking to French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They appeared to be discussing Trump though he is never mentioned by name. The leaders seem unaware they are being recorded.

“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top,” Trudeau said in a video posted to Twitter by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Trudeau is later heard saying: “You just watch his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

Macron is also speaking in the video, but his words cannot be heard.

Trump’s meeting with Macron on the sidelines of the NATO summit was also testy. As the president left for the summit, his administration had proposed tariffs of up to 100 percent on French imports, including wine and cheese.

When asked about Trump’s comments on Wednesday, Trump responded: “Well, he’s two-faced,” but quickly added, “He’s a nice guy.”

“I find him to be a nice guy, but the truth is, I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 percent, and I guess he’s not very happy about it,” he said. “I mean, you were there.”

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Trump Administration Finalizes First Food Benefit Cut

Westlake Legal Group 5de710c221000058e434eebd Trump Administration Finalizes First Food Benefit Cut

Hundreds of thousands of Americans could lose access to food benefits under a policy change the Trump administration finalized on Wednesday.  

Republicans call it a “work requirement,” but most people affected by the change will simply lose their food benefits. 

It’s the first of three big changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program the Trump administration is pursuing through regulation after Congress rejected significant cuts last year. Together, the changes would reduce enrollment by more than 3 million. More than 36 million Americans in 18 million households currently receive monthly SNAP benefits on debit cards that can be used for food in grocery stores. 

The rule finalized Wednesday takes away state flexibility to waive a three-month time limit for SNAP beneficiaries who aren’t elderly and who don’t have children or disabilities, or about 7% of recipients. 

The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the program, estimates that about 688,000 fewer Americans will receive benefits in 2021 under the regulation. That’s about two-thirds of the people who are subjected to the new work requirement and almost 2% of projected enrollment. 

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue suggested in a statement that the people targeted by the regulation spend too much time soaking up benefits.

“We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand,” Perdue said. 

States can waive the work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents in areas with above-average unemployment rates. Since the national rate has been below 5% for several years, Republicans have complained that too many areas have waivers, and that food benefits stop people from taking low-paying jobs.

Perdue said that “in the midst of the strongest economy in a generation, we need everyone who can work, to work.”

A key part of the rule disallows states to waive the work requirement unless the local jobless rate is at least 6%. (A draft version of the regulation set the target at 7%, which was the level House Republicans had proposed in their version of the 2018 farm bill.) The requirement allows able-bodied adults only three months of benefits in a three-year period unless they prove to the state government they work at least 20 hours per week. 

Of the SNAP recipients affected by the new regulation, 97% live in poverty and 81% live alone, according to an analysis published in March by Mathematica Policy Research.

The rule is set to take effect next April. Democrats in Congress have already said they’ll sue to block the regulation, and anti-hunger advocacy groups have said they’ll sue as well. 

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said it is rich that the rule landed during the holiday season, when people may have tighter budgets. “The USDA is the Grinch that stole Christmas,” she said. “Shame on them.”

In a civil rights analysis, the USDA said the rule has “the potential for disparately impacting certain protected groups due to factors affecting rates of employment of members of these groups,” but that “mitigation strategies” would reduce the impact. 

This article has been updated to note the rule was finalized Wednesday.

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