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Westlake Legal Group > Pelosi, Nancy

House Moves to Stave Off Another Government Shutdown

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-spending-sub-facebookJumbo House Moves to Stave Off Another Government Shutdown United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Shutdowns (Institutional) Politics and Government Pelosi, Nancy Law and Legislation House of Representatives House Committee on Appropriations Federal Budget (US) Amash, Justin (1980- )

WASHINGTON — The House on Tuesday voted to extend government funding for another month, rushing to ward off a government shutdown and setting up a pre-Christmas clash over spending just as the House is likely to be considering whether to impeach President Trump.

With just days before funding for the entire government is set to lapse on Thursday, lawmakers effectively postponed the spending fight for another day, approving another stopgap spending bill exactly two months after the first spending bill passed the chamber. The measure would extend funding through Dec. 20 for all federal government departments and agencies, as well as a number of health care and community programs.

That sets up a potentially explosive set of votes just before Christmas, when the House may be considering impeachment articles against Mr. Trump just as it is staring down a deadline to avoid a disastrous government shutdown.

The specter of last year’s 35-day shutdown drove a slim bipartisan margin on Tuesday, as most lawmakers agreed that a temporary spending bill maintaining current levels of funding for another four weeks was preferable to an encore of the breach last year, which lasted into January.

Lawmakers also included additional funds to accommodate the Census Bureau’s preparations for the 2020 survey, provide funds for a 3.1 percent military pay raise and stave off an automatic cut to highway funds. The legislation, which passed the House on a 231 to 192 margin, is expected to pass the Senate later this week, and will be signed by the president, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said on Monday.

The bill “will allow additional time to negotiate and enact responsible long-term funding for priorities that make our country safer and stronger and give working families a better chance at a better life,” said Representative Nita Lowey, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Left unresolved, however, are the dozen must-pass bills that would maintain funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1. Lawmakers on the traditionally bipartisan Appropriations Committees have failed to reach an agreement over funding Mr. Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico — the same fraught debate that led to the nation’s longest government shutdown nearly a year ago.

“The administration, and the Republicans and the Democrats, are very wary of a shutdown,” said Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It helps no one. Everybody loses.”

Reminded that he offered a similar optimistic message a year ago, Mr. Shelby said, “Yeah, and I believe that.”

The measure had its share of critics in both parties. Some lawmakers voted against it in a show of solidarity for responsible governing and a need to provide full-year funding. Representative Kay Granger of Texas, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, noted on Tuesday that “no business in the world could survive on temporary funding, doled out on a month-to-month basis.”

Others specifically objected to provisions related to extending or reviving certain government surveillance powers that trace back to the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks. One provision would reauthorize for 90 days a system shut down earlier this year that permitted the National Security Agency to access and analyze bulk logs of Americans’ domestic phone logs.

The same part of the resolution would also briefly extend expiring F.B.I. surveillance powers, such as one that permits agents working on national security cases to get court orders to obtain relevant business records or to swiftly follow a wiretapping target who changes phones in an attempt to evade surveillance, for three more months. In effect, the resolution would delay until March a surveillance debate that advocates had been gearing up to have in November and early December.

“Congress should have ended this beleaguered spying program and enacted meaningful surveillance reform a long time ago,” said Neema Singh Guliani, a senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It is disappointing that Congress is instead extending spying powers that have repeatedly been used to violate Americans’ privacy rights, and trying to bury this extension in must-pass funding legislation.”

Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, the House’s sole independent, said his effort to add an amendment to the measure removing what he described as “the Patriot Act provisions” was rejected.

Over the summer, lawmakers and the White House reached a bipartisan agreement to raise government spending for the next two years, offering a rough framework for defense and domestic programs. The dozen bills will establish how that money will be divided across the federal government, but lawmakers have not agreed on top spending levels for each of the bills.

Republicans have pushed to adjust funding to accommodate the administration’s request for billions of dollars in wall funding, while Democrats have vowed to deny any money for that purpose. Democrats have also objected to replacing military funds that the president earlier this year unilaterally transferred to wall construction, after Congress again denied Mr. Trump wall money in the regular funding process.

“We have well over a trillion dollars’ worth of decisions to make, I don’t know why we would go to that,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think that his comments about the wall are really an applause line at a rally, but they’re not anything that he’s serious about.”

The traditionally bipartisan appropriations process has become particularly rife with division in the Senate, where 60 votes are needed to advance major legislation. While a package of four spending bills passed in late October, most Senate Democrats blocked a procedural vote that would allow a second package that would fund the Pentagon and a number of labor, health and education programs to move forward.

Democrats said that Republicans have not engaged in fair negotiations over raising spending limits for domestic bills, while Republicans have blasted their counterparts for violating the terms of the budget agreement.

Optimism peaked on Thursday, after Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary and a key broker of the budget deal, huddled with Ms. Pelosi, Ms. Lowey and Mr. Shelby to resolve the impasse. But negotiations fizzled over the weekend, again leaving lawmakers without an agreement on the spending limits.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to bridge that gap,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia and the top Republican on the appropriations subcommittee responsible for the Department of Homeland Security bill.

The temporary fix that the House approved Tuesday also includes additional funds to counter the spread of ebola in Africa and an extension of funding for community health centers. It also includes a payment to Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the widow of Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who died last month, a “death gratuity” that Congress traditionally approves for the surviving family of a sitting member who dies.

Left out of the spending bill, however, was a critical provision that would replenish $255 million for historically black colleges, tribal colleges and higher education institutions that serve Hispanic students in order to boost science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — over the next two years. Funding ran out Sept. 30 — the end of the fiscal year — although the Education Department has assured funding will continue through the current school year.

Ms. Pelosi, in a statement Monday, blamed Republicans for the removal of the provision. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, blocked passage of a measure that would have provided the funding, calling instead for a rewrite of parts of the Higher Education Act.

Proponents of the program vowed to continue fighting for the funding.

“After having worked so long for H.B.C.U.s and their issues to remain bipartisan, we are perplexed to be in the middle of a partisan ‘tug-of-war’ with our number one priority,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, the senior vice president of public policy and government affairs at the United Negro College Fund. “We will continue to fight for it, as our colleges need it and so do the students. We started a campaign for it and we will not stop.”

Erica L. Green and Charlie Savage contributed reporting.

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

As U.S. Leaves Allies in Syria, Kurdish Commander Struggles With Fallout

Westlake Legal Group 20prexy-sub-facebookJumbo As U.S. Leaves Allies in Syria, Kurdish Commander Struggles With Fallout United States International Relations Turkey Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Pelosi, Nancy Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

QAMISHLI, Syria — As United States troops continued their withdrawal from Syria on Sunday, a line of cars carried their routed former allies, terrified civilians and dead bodies out of a pulverized border town that had been besieged by Turkish forces for more than a week.

Away from the front lines where the Turks might assassinate him, the Kurdish leader of the Syrian force that once helped America battle the Islamic State, and that has now been abandoned by the Trump administration, looked drained from 10 days of battle and geopolitical struggle over his people’s fate.

The commander, Mazlum Kobani, had visibly lost weight, and his eyes drooped from exhaustion. His fighters had shed considerable blood to wrest territory from the Islamic State and establish self-rule on its former lands. Now, he worried that a complete American withdrawal would not only jeopardize those gains but also subject his people to displacement and slaughter.

“There will be ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people from Syria, and the American administration will be responsible for it,” said Mr. Kobani, commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

But if he felt any bitterness that the Americans his fighters had battled alongside for years were now running for the exits, he did not show it, instead expressing hope that the partnership could live on.

“America needs to work to rebuild the trust with its ally against ISIS,” Mr. Kobani said. The United States should work, he said, “to limit the damage of this past decision and preserve the areas we liberated together.”

The Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria to sweep Mr. Kobani’s forces away from the border followed President Trump’s decision to pull American troops out of the way. That decision shattered what had been a fragile peace, setting off fighting that has killed more than 200 people.

On Sunday, the clashes had mostly stopped but fear still coursed through northeastern Syria, with residents unsure whether the Turks or the government of President Bashar al-Assad would soon take over the area. People wounded in the fighting filled hospital wards.

American and Turkish officials agreed to a cease-fire on the border late last week and the establishment of a “safe zone” for civilians, but few seemed reassured on Sunday.

“It is going to be chaos,” said Abdulqader Omar Nabi, 46, who fled the border town of Ras al-Ain after his home was destroyed by a Turkish airstrike. “It won’t be a safe zone. It will be destroyed.”

His son, Shiyar, who came out of the town with other wounded residents on Sunday’s convoy, said he feared the Syrian fighters who are being backed by the Turks.

“They don’t see any difference between fighters and civilians,” he said. “If you are a Kurd, they’ll kill you.”

Mr. Kobani finds himself at the center of a swirl of forces seeking a stake in the region.

The Syrian government wants to reclaim territory that Mr. Kobani’s forces control and has sent troops to keep the Turks from advancing. Russia has stepped in to broker deals. Turkey has dispatched Syrian militias to take territory. And the Trump administration announced a cease-fire deal last week that would allow Turkey to establish a so-called “safe zone” in Syria where it hopes to resettle Syrian refugees.

Turkey moved one step closer to that goal on Sunday when hundreds of Mr. Kobani’s fighters and haggard civilians finally left the border town of Ras al-Ain, which Turkey and its Syrian proxies had heavily bombarded.

“It has been evacuated,” said Mr. Kobani, a nom de guerre. “There is no one left. It’s over.”

Under the cease-fire agreement, reached by Vice President Mike Pence and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Thursday, Mr. Kobani’s fighters are to leave a rectangular piece of territory that is bounded by the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain on Syria’s border with Turkey, and runs south to a main highway in territory Mr. Kobani’s forces control, by Tuesday night.

Since the agreement was announced, both sides have accused each other of violations and described its terms differently, raising the possibility that it could break down.

A joint communiqué released by the United States and Turkey said that Turkey was responsible for ensuring the “safety and well-being of residents” and that Turkish forces would control the area.

But on Sunday, Mr. Kobani said that he had not agreed to allow a “Turkish occupation” of the zone and that he feared the changes one might bring.

“There need to be red lines: that the Turks can’t do ethnic cleansing or demographic change, about how they will deal with the people there, about permanent Turkish control over the area,” he said. “We will not accept these things.”

Mr. Kobani’s power came from the S.D.F.’s partnership with an international coalition led by the United States to fight the Islamic State. As the jihadists were pushed back, his forces seized more territory, which a contingent of about 1,000 American troops helped them control.

That partnership angered Turkey, an American ally in NATO, because Mr. Kobani’s fighters had links to a Kurdish guerrilla movement that has been fighting the Turkish state for decades. Mr. Erdogan had long threatened to push Kurdish forces away from the border, saying it was necessary for Turkey’s security.

Mr. Trump’s decision to pull United States troops out of the way of a Turkish advance and to begin withdrawing them from Syria deprived Mr. Kobani of his strongest backer and left him scrambling to reach new accommodations with the region’s other powers. This has put him in touch with a surprising number of powerful people for a man who heads a relatively unknown militia in an obscure corner of Syria.

Since the violence started, he has met with senior aides to President al-Assad of Syria, whom the United States considers a war criminal; spoken with top brass from the Russian military, which backs Mr. al-Assad; and had phone calls with prominent Americans like Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who opposes Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria. On Saturday he talked to Mr. Pence, and he spoke with Mr. Trump last week.

“The issues are very complicated,” Mr. Kobani said. “I meet with everyone, and I will make any decision that is in our people’s interest.”

On Sunday, he said he had been invited to visit Washington but declined to say by whom or when he might go.

“The issue is serious,” he said. “But everything in its time.”

The timing and scale of the United States withdrawal from Syria remains unclear. Mr. Trump may leave only a contingent of 150 troops at an isolated base in the south, or he may leave those plus some others in the east.

Mr. Kobani is hoping for the larger deployment. His fighters, he said, need American help to prevent the Islamic State from reconstituting.

Of particular concern to Mr. Kobani are Syrian proxy militias that Turkey has backed to fight his forces in Syria.

Many of them are virulently anti-Kurdish and have reputations for looting and criminality. As the fighting began last week, one group killed at least two Kurdish captives and a female Kurdish politician.

On Sunday, the commander of one of those groups said they expected to deploy inside the cease-fire zone after the agreement ends Tuesday night. The commander, Abdulaziz Jamil, acknowledged bad behavior by some Turkish-backed groups.

“There are some violations by some factions on the ground, like looting people’s properties, which is really bothering me a lot,” he said.

Many residents from the proposed safe zone fear that the presence of such groups will make it anything but safe.

Also on Sunday, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, traveled to Jordan to meet the Jordanian king for discussions about the Turkish incursion into Syria and other regional challenges.

Ms. Pelosi, a California Democrat, led a nine-member congressional delegation to Jordan that included Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of California; Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York; and Mac Thornberry, Republican of Texas. The group met with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

“With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to ISIS, Iran and Russia,” Ms. Pelosi’s office said in a statement.

Patrick Kingsley contributed reporting from Istanbul, and Hwaida Saad from Beirut.

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Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss Syria Crisis Amid Shaky Cease-Fire

Westlake Legal Group 20prexy-facebookJumbo Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss Syria Crisis Amid Shaky Cease-Fire United States International Relations Turkey Syria Pelosi, Nancy Middle East Jordan Defense and Military Forces Abdullah II, King of Jordan

ISTANBUL — Speaker Nancy Pelosi has traveled to Jordan to met with the Jordanian king for “vital” discussions about the Turkish incursion into Syria and other regional challenges, amid uncertainty about whether an American-brokered cease-fire with Turkey in northern Syria was holding.

The visit by senior United States officials came as sporadic clashes continued on Sunday morning along the Turkish-Syrian border, where, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry, a Turkish soldier was killed by Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad.

Confusion and continued shelling have marred the cease-fire deal announced by Vice President Mike Pence last week, with both Turkey and Kurdish leaders accusing each other of violating the truce.

Ms. Pelosi, a California Democrat, led a nine-member bipartisan congressional delegation to Jordan that included Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of California; Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York; and Mac Thornberry, Republican of Texas. The group met with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Saturday evening.

“Our bipartisan delegation is visiting Jordan at a critical time for the security and stability of the region,” Ms. Pelosi’s office said in a statement. “With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to ISIS, Iran and Russia.”

The delegation also discussed issues like “counterterrorism, security cooperation, Middle East peace, economic development and other shared challenges,” the statement said.

A planned visit by Ms. Pelosi to American troops in Afghanistan this year was abruptly scrapped by President Trump in a striking moment of one-upmanship during bitter negotiations over the partial government shutdown that forced thousands of federal employees to work without pay.

As Mr. Trump signaled that he would go ahead with his State of the Union speech in January amid the shutdown, Ms. Pelosi suggested he should cancel or delay it, citing security concerns amid the prolonged shutdown.

Jordan is considered a key ally in the Middle East, and the United States gives the country more than a billion dollars in aid every year. The United States also maintains a military base in southern Syria, close to the Jordanian border.

Mr. Trump’s order for the American retreat from its military positions at the other end of Syria — along the Turkish border with northern Syria — set in motion the latest flash point of the eight-year-old Syrian war.

That withdrawal gave the implicit blessing of the White House to Turkish troops to enter northern Syria 10 days ago, where they since claimed the capture of about 1,800 square miles of Syrian territory, diminished American influence in the region and opened the door for Russia to fill the vacuum.

Turkey wants to force out a Kurdish-led militia that had used the chaos of the Syrian conflict to create an autonomous region outside the influence of the Syrian central government. The Kurdish-led militia, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, had operated under the protection of the United States, since its fighters had partnered with the American military in 2014 to push the Islamic State out of the region.

But Turkey considers the militia a threat to its national security since it is an offshoot of a guerrilla movement that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. The Turkish government wants its Syrian Arab proxies to establish a new autonomous zone in northern Syria in order to dilute Kurdish influence along its southern border.

On Thursday, Mr. Pence announced a deal with Turkey that gave American assent to Turkey’s plan, in exchange for a five-day cease-fire that would allow Kurdish fighters to retreat safely from the region.

But the cease-fire has yet to fully take hold. Sporadic shelling continued on Saturday night and smoke could be seen billowing near a strategic town, observers on the border said.

The commander of the Kurdish-led forces, Mazloum Abdi, said in interviews with international news media on Saturday that Turkish troops had refused to let his fighters retreat. In response, the Turkish ministry said there were “absolutely no impediments to withdrawal.”

Turkish forces allowed a convoy of medical staff members and aid workers to enter the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain on Saturday and evacuate injured people back to Kurdish-held territory, members of the convoy said.

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

Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss Syria Crisis Amid Shaky Cease-Fire

Westlake Legal Group 20prexy-facebookJumbo Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss Syria Crisis Amid Shaky Cease-Fire United States International Relations Turkey Syria Pelosi, Nancy Middle East Jordan Defense and Military Forces Abdullah II, King of Jordan

ISTANBUL — Speaker Nancy Pelosi has traveled to Jordan to met with the Jordanian king for “vital” discussions about the Turkish incursion into Syria and other regional challenges, amid uncertainty about whether an American-brokered cease-fire with Turkey in northern Syria was holding.

The visit by senior United States officials came as sporadic clashes continued on Sunday morning along the Turkish-Syrian border, where, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry, a Turkish soldier was killed by Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad.

Confusion and continued shelling have marred the cease-fire deal announced by Vice President Mike Pence last week, with both Turkey and Kurdish leaders accusing each other of violating the truce.

Ms. Pelosi, a California Democrat, led a nine-member bipartisan congressional delegation to Jordan that included Representatives Adam Schiff, Democrat of California; Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York; and Mac Thornberry, Republican of Texas. The group met with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Saturday evening.

“Our bipartisan delegation is visiting Jordan at a critical time for the security and stability of the region,” Ms. Pelosi’s office said in a statement. “With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to ISIS, Iran and Russia.”

The delegation also discussed issues like “counterterrorism, security cooperation, Middle East peace, economic development and other shared challenges,” the statement said.

A planned visit by Ms. Pelosi to American troops in Afghanistan this year was abruptly scrapped by President Trump in a striking moment of one-upmanship during bitter negotiations over the partial government shutdown that forced thousands of federal employees to work without pay.

As Mr. Trump signaled that he would go ahead with his State of the Union speech in January amid the shutdown, Ms. Pelosi suggested he should cancel or delay it, citing security concerns amid the prolonged shutdown.

Jordan is considered a key ally in the Middle East, and the United States gives the country more than a billion dollars in aid every year. The United States also maintains a military base in southern Syria, close to the Jordanian border. Though the Jordanian government is involved in discussions about the future of southern Syria, it has relatively little influence over the conflict in northern Syria.

Mr. Trump’s order for the American retreat from its military positions at the other end of Syria — along the Turkish border with northern Syria — set in motion the latest flash point of the eight-year-old Syrian war.

That withdrawal gave the implicit blessing of the White House to Turkish troops to enter northern Syria 10 days ago, where they since claimed the capture of about 1,800 square miles of Syrian territory, diminished American influence in the region and opened the door for Russia to fill the vacuum.

Turkey wants to force out a Kurdish-led militia that had used the chaos of the Syrian conflict to create an autonomous region outside the influence of the Syrian central government. The Kurdish-led militia, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, had operated under the protection of the United States, since its fighters had partnered with the American military in 2014 to push the Islamic State out of the region.

But Turkey considers the militia a threat to its national security since it is an offshoot of a guerrilla movement that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. The Turkish government wants its Syrian Arab proxies to establish a new autonomous zone in northern Syria in order to dilute Kurdish influence along its southern border.

On Thursday, Mr. Pence announced a deal with Turkey that gave American assent to Turkey’s plan, in exchange for a five-day cease-fire that would allow Kurdish fighters to retreat safely from the region.

But the cease-fire has yet to fully take hold. Sporadic shelling continued on Saturday night and smoke could be seen billowing near a strategic town, observers on the border said.

The commander of the Kurdish-led forces, Mazloum Abdi, said in interviews with international news media on Saturday that Turkish troops had refused to let his fighters retreat. In response, the Turkish ministry said there were “absolutely no impediments to withdrawal.”

Turkish forces allowed a convoy of medical staff members and aid workers to enter the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain on Saturday and evacuate injured people back to Kurdish-held territory, members of the convoy said.

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

Inside the Derailed White House Meeting

WASHINGTON — You know a White House meeting has gone off the rails when the president of the United States and the speaker of the House cannot agree over the precise insult one called the other.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump called her a “third-grade” politician during a combative meeting with congressional leaders of both parties on Wednesday about the worsening situation in northern Syria. The White House and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said Mr. Trump actually called Ms. Pelosi “third-rate.”

At one particularly tense moment, Ms. Pelosi informed the president that “all roads with you lead to Putin,” referring to Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.

And so, on Day 1,000 of his presidency, that is where things stand between Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi, who have a fraught history of derailing meetings shortly after pledging to work together, including one in January, when the president abruptly stood up, said “bye bye,” and stormed out. A meeting in May basically ended before it began.

The roughly 20-minute meeting on Wednesday, the first since Democrats began an impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump, was a new low, according to the recollections of several Democratic officials who shared details of the meeting. The White House did not dispute their accounts.

Mr. Trump began the proceedings in the Cabinet Room by making it clear that he did not want to be there.

“They said you wanted this meeting,” Mr. Trump told the congressional leaders. “I didn’t want this meeting, but I’m doing it.”

Several lawmakers replied that the White House had reached out to them in efforts to brief them on the administration’s Syria policy.

Mr. Trump then began a speech about a “nasty” letter he had sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which he said was proof that he had not given the Turkish leader a green light to advance Turkish forces into Syria. Mr. Trump then directed Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican minority leader, to pass copies of the letter around the table.

The letter to Mr. Erdogan, which began with the sentence “Let’s work out a good deal!” was dated Oct. 9, or three days after the two leaders discussed the departure of American forces from the area.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-trump-letter-promo-1571261887115-articleLarge Inside the Derailed White House Meeting United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Syria Schumer, Charles E Pelosi, Nancy Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Read Trump’s Letter to President Erdogan of Turkey

Trump said he’d written the “very powerful” letter to warn the Turkish leader.

A short time later, Ms. Pelosi told the president that the House had passed a bipartisan resolution with overwhelming Republican support that condemned his acquiescence to a Turkish assault against the Kurds, who have been crucial American allies in the fight against ISIS.

Mr. Schumer, for his part, tried to appeal to Mr. Trump as a fellow New Yorker who lived through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I told the president, being from New York,” Mr. Schumer said to reporters shortly after the meeting, “we’re particularly aware of the problems that terrorism that an organization like ISIS can create. And the fact that someone no less than General Mattis has said that ISIS has been enhanced, that the danger of ISIS is so much greater, worries all of us.”

At Mr. Schumer’s mention of Gen. Jim Mattis — who quit last year as Mr. Trump’s secretary of defense to protest the president’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria — Mr. Trump began denigrating the retired four-star general’s approach to combating terrorism in the Middle East.

Mr. Mattis was “the world’s most overrated general,” Mr. Trump told the group. “You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”

The conversation, several Democratic officials said, only devolved from there, and reached a fever pitch after Ms. Pelosi told the president that Russia, which has quickly stepped in to fill the void left by American troops in Syria, “has always wanted a foothold in the Middle East.” It was at this point that she told Mr. Trump that all roads with him led to Mr. Putin.

At another point, Mr. Trump told Ms. Pelosi that he cared more about defeating terrorism than she did.

“I hate ISIS more than you do,” the president declared.

“You don’t know that,” the speaker replied.

What happened next is now a matter of ammunition by both the Democrats and the White House.

“You’re just a politician,” Mr. Trump said to Ms. Pelosi.

“Sometimes I wish you were,” Ms. Pelosi shot back.

Mr. Schumer interjected, telling Mr. Trump that name-calling was not necessary.

“Is that a bad name, Chuck?” Mr. Trump asked, then turned to Ms. Pelosi. “You’re not a politician, you’re a third-grade politician.” (Or “third-rate,” depending on which politician was doing the retelling.)

Ms. Pelosi stood up to leave, but then sat back down. At this point Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader — who later said he was “deeply offended” by the president’s treatment of the speaker — said it was time to go.

“This is not useful,” Mr. Hoyer said as he and Ms. Pelosi made for the door.

“Goodbye,” the president responded. “We’ll see you at the polls.”

In the hours afterward, Democrats and the White House leapt to promote their side of the story and take shots at each other. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said the president had been completely in control during the meeting with lawmakers.

“The president was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” Ms. Grisham said in a statement. “She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.’’

By early evening, Mr. Trump had posted on Twitter the official White House photos of the meeting. One showed Ms. Pelosi standing up to speak to him, which Mr. Trump characterized as an “unhinged meltdown.”

Ms. Pelosi used “meltdown” to describe Mr. Trump’s behavior as well.

Another photo of the session showed a close-up of Democratic lawmakers looking pained as the meeting went on.

“Do you think they like me?” Mr. Trump wrote.

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Inside the White House Meeting ‘Meltdown’

WASHINGTON — You know a White House meeting has gone off the rails when the president of the United States and the speaker of the House cannot agree over the precise insult one called the other.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump called her a “third-grade” politician during a combative meeting with congressional leaders of both parties on Wednesday about the worsening situation in northern Syria. The White House and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said Mr. Trump actually called Ms. Pelosi “third-rate.”

At one particularly tense moment, Ms. Pelosi informed the president that “all roads with you lead to Putin,” referring to Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.

And so, on Day 1,000 of his presidency, that is where things stand between Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi, who have a fraught history of derailing meetings shortly after pledging to work together, including one in January, when the president abruptly stood up, said “bye bye,” and stormed out. A meeting in May basically ended before it began.

The roughly 20-minute meeting on Wednesday, the first since Democrats began an impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump, was a new low, according to the recollections of several Democratic officials who shared details of the meeting. The White House did not dispute their accounts.

Mr. Trump began the proceedings in the Cabinet Room by making it clear that he did not want to be there.

“They said you wanted this meeting,” Mr. Trump told the congressional leaders. “I didn’t want this meeting, but I’m doing it.”

Several lawmakers replied that the White House had reached out to them in efforts to brief them on the administration’s Syria policy.

Mr. Trump then began a speech about a “nasty” letter he had sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which he said was proof that he had not given the Turkish leader a green light to advance Turkish forces into Syria. Mr. Trump then directed Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican minority leader, to pass copies of the letter around the table.

The letter to Mr. Erdogan, which began with the sentence “Let’s work out a good deal!” was dated Oct. 9, or three days after the two leaders discussed the departure of American forces from the area.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-trump-letter-promo-1571261887115-articleLarge Inside the White House Meeting ‘Meltdown’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Syria Schumer, Charles E Pelosi, Nancy Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Read Trump’s Letter to President Erdogan of Turkey

Trump said he’d written the “very powerful” letter to warn the Turkish leader.

A short time later, Ms. Pelosi told the president that the House had passed a bipartisan resolution with overwhelming Republican support that condemned his acquiescence to a Turkish assault against the Kurds, who have been crucial American allies in the fight against ISIS.

Mr. Schumer, for his part, tried to appeal to Mr. Trump as a fellow New Yorker who lived through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I told the president, being from New York,” Mr. Schumer said to reporters shortly after the meeting, “we’re particularly aware of the problems that terrorism that an organization like ISIS can create. And the fact that someone no less than General Mattis has said that ISIS has been enhanced, that the danger of ISIS is so much greater, worries all of us.”

At Mr. Schumer’s mention of Gen. Jim Mattis — who quit last year as Mr. Trump’s secretary of defense to protest the president’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria — Mr. Trump began denigrating the retired four-star general’s approach to combating terrorism in the Middle East.

Mr. Mattis was “the world’s most overrated general,” Mr. Trump told the group. “You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”

The conversation, several Democratic officials said, only devolved from there, and reached a fever pitch after Ms. Pelosi told the president that Russia, which has quickly stepped in to fill the void left by American troops in Syria, “has always wanted a foothold in the Middle East.” It was at this point that she told Mr. Trump that all roads with him led to Mr. Putin.

At another point, Mr. Trump told Ms. Pelosi that he cared more about defeating terrorism than she did.

“I hate ISIS more than you do,” the president declared.

“You don’t know that,” the speaker replied.

What happened next is now a matter of ammunition by both the Democrats and the White House.

“You’re just a politician,” Mr. Trump said to Ms. Pelosi.

“Sometimes I wish you were,” Ms. Pelosi shot back.

Mr. Schumer interjected, telling Mr. Trump that name-calling was not necessary.

“Is that a bad name, Chuck?” Mr. Trump asked, then turned to Ms. Pelosi. “You’re not a politician, you’re a third-grade politician.” (Or “third-rate,” depending on which politician was doing the retelling.)

Ms. Pelosi stood up to leave, but then sat back down. At this point Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader — who later said he was “deeply offended” by the president’s treatment of the speaker — said it was time to go.

“This is not useful,” Mr. Hoyer said as he and Ms. Pelosi made for the door.

“Goodbye,” the president responded. “We’ll see you at the polls.”

In the hours afterward, Democrats and the White House leapt to promote their side of the story and take shots at each other. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said the president had been completely in control during the meeting with lawmakers.

“The president was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” Ms. Grisham said in a statement. “She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.’’

By early evening, Mr. Trump had posted on Twitter the official White House photos of the meeting. One showed Ms. Pelosi standing up to speak to him, which Mr. Trump characterized as an “unhinged meltdown.”

Ms. Pelosi used “meltdown” to describe Mr. Trump’s behavior as well.

Another photo of the session showed a close-up of Democratic lawmakers looking pained as the meeting went on.

“Do you think they like me?” Mr. Trump wrote.

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

Someone Had a ‘Meltdown’ at the White House. Pelosi and Trump Just Disagree on Who.

WASHINGTON — You know a White House meeting has gone off the rails when the president of the United States and the speaker of the House cannot agree over the precise insult one called the other.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump called her a “third-grade” politician during a combative meeting with congressional leaders of both parties on Wednesday about the worsening situation in northern Syria. The White House and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said Mr. Trump actually called Ms. Pelosi “third-rate.”

At one particularly tense moment, Ms. Pelosi informed the president that “all roads with you lead to Putin,” referring to Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.

And so, on Day 1,000 of his presidency, that is where things stand between Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi, who have a fraught history of derailing meetings shortly after pledging to work together, including one in January, when the president abruptly stood up, said “bye bye,” and stormed out. A meeting in May basically ended before it began.

The roughly 20-minute meeting on Wednesday, the first since Democrats began an impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump, was a new low, according to the recollections of several Democratic officials who shared details of the meeting. The White House did not dispute their accounts.

Mr. Trump began the proceedings in the Cabinet Room by making it clear that he did not want to be there.

“They said you wanted this meeting,” Mr. Trump told the congressional leaders. “I didn’t want this meeting, but I’m doing it.”

Several lawmakers replied that the White House had reached out to them in efforts to brief them on the administration’s Syria policy.

Mr. Trump then began a speech about a “nasty” letter he had sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which he said was proof that he had not given the Turkish leader a green light to advance Turkish forces into Syria. Mr. Trump then directed Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican minority leader, to pass copies of the letter around the table.

The letter to Mr. Erdogan, which began with the sentence “Let’s work out a good deal!” was dated Oct. 9, or three days after the two leaders discussed the departure of American forces from the area.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-trump-letter-promo-1571261887115-articleLarge Someone Had a ‘Meltdown’ at the White House. Pelosi and Trump Just Disagree on Who. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Syria Schumer, Charles E Pelosi, Nancy Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Read Trump’s Letter to Turkey’s President

Trump said he’d written the “very powerful” letter to warn the Turkish leader.

A short time later, Ms. Pelosi told the president that the House had passed a bipartisan resolution with overwhelming Republican support that condemned his acquiescence to a Turkish assault against the Kurds, who have been crucial American allies in the fight against ISIS.

Mr. Schumer, for his part, tried to appeal to Mr. Trump as a fellow New Yorker who lived through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I told the president, being from New York,” Mr. Schumer said to reporters shortly after the meeting, “we’re particularly aware of the problems that terrorism that an organization like ISIS can create. And the fact that someone no less than General Mattis has said that ISIS has been enhanced, that the danger of ISIS is so much greater, worries all of us.”

At Mr. Schumer’s mention of Gen. Jim Mattis — who quit last year as Mr. Trump’s secretary of defense to protest the president’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria — Mr. Trump began denigrating the retired four-star general’s approach to combating terrorism in the Middle East.

Mr. Mattis was “the world’s most overrated general,” Mr. Trump told the group. “You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”

The conversation, several Democratic officials said, only devolved from there, and reached a fever pitch after Ms. Pelosi told the president that Russia, which has quickly stepped in to fill the void left by American troops in Syria, “has always wanted a foothold in the Middle East.” It was at this point that she told Mr. Trump that all roads with him led to Mr. Putin.

At another point, Mr. Trump told Ms. Pelosi that he cared more about defeating terrorism than she did.

“I hate ISIS more than you do,” the president declared.

“You don’t know that,” the speaker replied.

What happened next is now a matter of ammunition by both the Democrats and the White House.

“You’re just a politician,” Mr. Trump said to Ms. Pelosi.

“Sometimes I wish you were,” Ms. Pelosi shot back.

Mr. Schumer interjected, telling Mr. Trump that name-calling was not necessary.

“Is that a bad name, Chuck?” Mr. Trump asked, then turned to Ms. Pelosi. “You’re not a politician, you’re a third-grade politician.” (Or “third-rate,” depending on which politician was doing the retelling.)

Ms. Pelosi stood up to leave, but then sat back down. At this point Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader — who later said he was “deeply offended” by the president’s treatment of the speaker — said it was time to go.

“This is not useful,” Mr. Hoyer said as he and Ms. Pelosi made for the door.

“Goodbye,” the president responded. “We’ll see you at the polls.”

In the hours afterward, Democrats and the White House leapt to promote their side of the story and take shots at each other. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said the president had been completely in control during the meeting with lawmakers.

“The president was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” Ms. Grisham said in a statement. “She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.’’

By early evening, Mr. Trump had posted on Twitter the official White House photos of the meeting. One showed Ms. Pelosi standing up to speak to him, which Mr. Trump characterized as an “unhinged meltdown.”

Ms. Pelosi used “meltdown” to describe Mr. Trump’s behavior as well.

Another photo of the session showed a close-up of Democratic lawmakers looking pained as the meeting went on.

“Do you think they like me?” Mr. Trump wrote.

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

Someone Had a ‘Meltdown’ at the White House. Pelosi and Trump Just Disagree on Who.

WASHINGTON — You know a White House meeting has gone off the rails when the president of the United States and the speaker of the House cannot agree over the precise insult one called the other.

According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump called her a “third-grade” politician during a combative meeting with congressional leaders of both parties on Wednesday about the worsening situation in northern Syria. The White House and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said Mr. Trump actually called Ms. Pelosi “third-rate.”

At one particularly tense moment, Ms. Pelosi informed the president that “all roads with you lead to Putin,” referring to Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.

And so, on Day 1,000 of his presidency, that is where things stand between Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi, who have a fraught history of derailing meetings shortly after pledging to work together, including one in January, when the president abruptly stood up, said “bye bye,” and stormed out. A meeting in May basically ended before it began.

The roughly 20-minute meeting on Wednesday, the first since Democrats began an impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump, was a new low, according to the recollections of several Democratic officials who shared details of the meeting. The White House did not dispute their accounts.

Mr. Trump began the proceedings in the Cabinet Room by making it clear that he did not want to be there.

“They said you wanted this meeting,” Mr. Trump told the congressional leaders. “I didn’t want this meeting, but I’m doing it.”

Several lawmakers replied that the White House had reached out to them in efforts to brief them on the administration’s Syria policy.

Mr. Trump then began a speech about a “nasty” letter he had sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which he said was proof that he had not given the Turkish leader a green light to advance Turkish forces into Syria. Mr. Trump then directed Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican minority leader, to pass copies of the letter around the table.

The letter to Mr. Erdogan, which began with the sentence “Let’s work out a good deal!” was dated Oct. 9, or three days after the two leaders discussed the departure of American forces from the area.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-trump-letter-promo-1571261887115-articleLarge Someone Had a ‘Meltdown’ at the White House. Pelosi and Trump Just Disagree on Who. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Syria Schumer, Charles E Pelosi, Nancy Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Read Trump’s Letter to Turkey’s President

Trump said he’d written the “very powerful” letter to warn the Turkish leader.

A short time later, Ms. Pelosi told the president that the House had passed a bipartisan resolution with overwhelming Republican support that condemned his acquiescence to a Turkish assault against the Kurds, who have been crucial American allies in the fight against ISIS.

Mr. Schumer, for his part, tried to appeal to Mr. Trump as a fellow New Yorker who lived through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“I told the president, being from New York,” Mr. Schumer said to reporters shortly after the meeting, “we’re particularly aware of the problems that terrorism that an organization like ISIS can create. And the fact that someone no less than General Mattis has said that ISIS has been enhanced, that the danger of ISIS is so much greater, worries all of us.”

At Mr. Schumer’s mention of Gen. Jim Mattis — who quit last year as Mr. Trump’s secretary of defense to protest the president’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria — Mr. Trump began denigrating the retired four-star general’s approach to combating terrorism in the Middle East.

Mr. Mattis was “the world’s most overrated general,” Mr. Trump told the group. “You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”

The conversation, several Democratic officials said, only devolved from there, and reached a fever pitch after Ms. Pelosi told the president that Russia, which has quickly stepped in to fill the void left by American troops in Syria, “has always wanted a foothold in the Middle East.” It was at this point that she told Mr. Trump that all roads with him led to Mr. Putin.

At another point, Mr. Trump told Ms. Pelosi that he cared more about defeating terrorism than she did.

“I hate ISIS more than you do,” the president declared.

“You don’t know that,” the speaker replied.

What happened next is now a matter of ammunition by both the Democrats and the White House.

“You’re just a politician,” Mr. Trump said to Ms. Pelosi.

“Sometimes I wish you were,” Ms. Pelosi shot back.

Mr. Schumer interjected, telling Mr. Trump that name-calling was not necessary.

“Is that a bad name, Chuck?” Mr. Trump asked, then turned to Ms. Pelosi. “You’re not a politician, you’re a third-grade politician.” (Or “third-rate,” depending on which politician was doing the retelling.)

Ms. Pelosi stood up to leave, but then sat back down. At this point Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader — who later said he was “deeply offended” by the president’s treatment of the speaker — said it was time to go.

“This is not useful,” Mr. Hoyer said as he and Ms. Pelosi made for the door.

“Goodbye,” the president responded. “We’ll see you at the polls.”

In the hours afterward, Democrats and the White House leapt to promote their side of the story and take shots at each other. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said the president had been completely in control during the meeting with lawmakers.

“The president was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” Ms. Grisham said in a statement. “She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.’’

By early evening, Mr. Trump had posted on Twitter the official White House photos of the meeting. One showed Ms. Pelosi standing up to speak to him, which Mr. Trump characterized as an “unhinged meltdown.”

Ms. Pelosi used “meltdown” to describe Mr. Trump’s behavior as well.

Another photo of the session showed a close-up of Democratic lawmakers looking pained as the meeting went on.

“Do you think they like me?” Mr. Trump wrote.

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

Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment Is a Political Strategy

WASHINGTON — Breathtaking in scope, defiant in tone, the White House’s refusal to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry amounts to an unabashed challenge to America’s longstanding constitutional order.

In effect, President Trump is making the sweeping assertion that he can ignore Congress as it weighs his fate because he considers the impeachment effort unfair and the Democrats who initiated it biased against him, an argument that channeled his anger even as it failed to pass muster with many scholars on Wednesday.

But the White House case, outlined in an extraordinary letter to Democratic leaders on Tuesday, is more a political argument than a legal one, aimed less at convincing a judge than convincing the public, or at least a portion of it. At its core, it is born out of the cold calculation that Mr. Trump probably cannot stop the Democrat-led House from impeaching him, so the real goal is to delegitimize the process.

Just last week, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Democrats appeared to have enough votes to impeach him in the House and that he was counting on the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him. By presenting the inquiry as the work of an unholy alliance of deep-state saboteurs and Democratic hatchet men, he hopes to undermine its credibility, forestall Republican defections and energize his voters heading into next year’s re-election campaign.

“As a general matter, painting the process as highly partisan should rally the G.O.P. and Trump base, as those groups will see the current inquiry as merely a continuation of the past three years,” said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington research organization, and a student of conservative thought.

But it may also harden opposition to Mr. Trump, bolstering the impression that he considers himself above the law. That could build support for an article of impeachment that charges him with obstructing Congress in addition to any related to his effort to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about his Democratic adversaries.

The eight-page letter signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats outlined a bevy of grievances about the House inquiry, some procedural and others political.

It argued that “this purported ‘impeachment inquiry’” was not valid because the House did not vote to authorize it, as it did in the cases of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, with Ms. Pelosi taking it upon herself instead to declare the existence of an impeachment process by fiat. It complained that Republicans have not been granted subpoena power of their own and that the president’s lawyers have not been allowed to attend closed-door interviews, cross-examine witnesses or call their own witnesses to testify.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-letter-impeachment-promo-1570570699708-articleLarge Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment Is a Political Strategy United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

Read the White House Letter in Response to the Impeachment Inquiry

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, the White House counsel called the House’s impeachment inquiry illegitimate.

But it also threw in a hodgepodge of Mr. Trump’s favorite objections, essentially memorializing some of his many Twitter blasts at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is leading the inquiry and has become the president’s chief target.

“You look at all the irregularities, you can come to the conclusion that this is an illicit hearing,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said in an interview. “This is the first time that a president hasn’t had the ability to have his party to call witnesses in the preliminary phase. It sounds like they’re singling him out for unfair treatment.”

Constitutional scholars, though, were not impressed. “It looks like a pathetic attempt to make a legal argument when the president is really expressing rage at the Congress for trying to stop him,” said Corey Brettschneider, an impeachment expert at Brown University. “What’s sad about it is it’s so poorly drafted and the legal arguments are so nonexistent that you wonder who’s advising the president.”

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s position was more political than constitutional.

“The White House letter’s legal objections don’t have merit,” he said. “The letter, like the ‘official impeachment inquiry’ itself, is a hardball tactic designed to achieve maximum political advantage” before the public.

Indeed, it could ultimately end up being a negotiating position. Mr. Trump, who on Tuesday denounced the “kangaroo court,” told reporters on Wednesday that he could change his mind and cooperate if the House voted to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry. “Yeah, that sounds O.K.,” he said. “We would if they give us our rights. It depends.”

As a matter of historical precedent, Mr. Cipollone was correct in saying that Mr. Clinton and his lawyers and Democratic allies were eventually granted more rights during his impeachment in 1998 than Mr. Trump has been, at least so far. Mr. Clinton’s lawyer, for instance, was given the opportunity to cross-examine his main accuser, the independent counsel Ken Starr, during an open House Judiciary Committee hearing.

But the Constitution makes no guarantees of such rights for a president facing impeachment, simply saying that the House “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Indeed, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868 without even drawing up articles of impeachment until after the vote. Legal experts said nothing in the White House letter justified a president or his administration unilaterally defying congressional subpoenas.

In fact, such resistance has been used against presidents in past impeachment efforts. One of three articles of impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee against Mr. Nixon before he resigned in 1974 charged that he “willfully disobeyed” congressional subpoenas, thereby “substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry.”

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v3 Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment Is a Political Strategy United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

In his report to Congress in 1998, Mr. Starr argued that among the grounds for impeachment was what the prosecutor considered Mr. Clinton’s “frivolous” and “patently groundless” assertions of executive and other privileges to thwart a perjury and obstruction of justice investigation stemming from the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In that case, though, the House opted against including such a charge in the articles of impeachment passed against Mr. Clinton.

In some ways, Mr. Trump is employing a version of Mr. Clinton’s strategy, albeit on steroids. During Mr. Starr’s investigation, Mr. Clinton repeatedly sought to block testimony or documents, only to be overruled by the courts, just as Mr. Nixon was in the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking and unanimous U.S. v. Nixon decision. Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Clinton finally agreed to testify under oath, although only after refusing six times and eventually being subpoenaed by Mr. Starr.

When the Republican-led House took up the matter, it did little original investigating of its own, relying primarily on Mr. Starr’s findings, so there were not the sort of subpoenas to resist the way Mr. Trump is doing now. But Mr. Clinton likewise felt outrage about the effort to impeach him, convinced that it was a partisan witch hunt, and he set about discrediting it with the public.

House Republicans rejected protections and limits sought by Mr. Clinton’s team, and his Democratic allies attacked the process, accused the other side of railroading the president and made it an us-versus-them fight to keep wavering Democrats on Mr. Clinton’s side. House Democrats privately called their strategy “win by losing,” reasoning that the more process motions they lost on partisan votes, the more illegitimate the effort would seem.

In the end, the House voted almost entirely on party lines to impeach Mr. Clinton and, with Democrats sticking by him, the Senate voted to acquit him after a trial — the scenario that, flipping the parties, looks most likely to repeat itself with Mr. Trump.

“In one respect, President Trump seems to be borrowing from the Clinton White House playbook,” said Ken Gormley, the author of “The Death of American Virtue” about Mr. Clinton’s battle with Mr. Starr. “He is attempting to throw gasoline over the entire impeachment process in the House and light a match in order to cause a conflagration and treat the entire process as illegitimate from the start.”

But, Mr. Gormley added, Mr. Trump is taking Mr. Clinton’s strategy even further by refusing any cooperation at all and advancing the theory that the impeachment is an unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 presidential election and therefore he can ignore it.

“Not surprisingly, President Trump is adopting a take-no-prisoners approach to this new threat that presents itself to his presidency, just has he has done, often with great success, when previous threats have presented themselves,” added Mr. Gormley, the president of Duquesne University.

While Democrats ponder going to court, Mr. Trump will take his case to the court of public opinion, or at least his base. He has scheduled three campaign rallies in the next week, starting Thursday in Minnesota, then Friday in Louisiana and then next Thursday in Texas.

It seems safe to assume that he will have something to say about impeachment.

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

Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process

WASHINGTON — Breathtaking in scope, defiant in tone, the White House’s refusal to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry amounts to an unabashed challenge to America’s longstanding constitutional order.

In effect, President Trump is making the sweeping assertion that he can ignore Congress as it weighs his fate because he considers the impeachment effort unfair and the Democrats who initiated it biased against him, an argument that channeled his anger even as it failed to pass muster with many scholars on Wednesday.

But the White House case, outlined in an extraordinary letter to Democratic leaders on Tuesday, is more a political argument than a legal one, aimed less at convincing a judge than convincing the public, or at least a portion of it. At its core, it is born out of the cold calculation that Mr. Trump probably cannot stop the Democrat-led House from impeaching him, so the real goal is to delegitimize the process.

Just last week, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Democrats appeared to have enough votes to impeach him in the House and that he was counting on the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him. By presenting the inquiry as the work of an unholy alliance of deep-state saboteurs and Democratic hatchet men, he hopes to undermine its credibility, forestall Republican defections and energize his voters heading into next year’s re-election campaign.

“As a general matter, painting the process as highly partisan should rally the G.O.P. and Trump base, as those groups will see the current inquiry as merely a continuation of the past three years,” said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington research organization, and a student of conservative thought.

But it may also harden opposition to Mr. Trump, bolstering the impression that he considers himself above the law. That could build support for an article of impeachment that charges him with obstructing Congress in addition to any related to his effort to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about his Democratic adversaries.

The eight-page letter signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats outlined a bevy of grievances about the House inquiry, some procedural and others political.

It argued that “this purported ‘impeachment inquiry’” was not valid because the House did not vote to authorize it, as it did in the cases of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, with Ms. Pelosi taking it upon herself instead to declare the existence of an impeachment process by fiat. It complained that Republicans have not been granted subpoena power of their own and that the president’s lawyers have not been allowed to attend closed-door interviews, cross-examine witnesses or call their own witnesses to testify.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-letter-impeachment-promo-1570570699708-articleLarge Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

Read the White House Letter in Response to the Impeachment Inquiry

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, the White House counsel called the House’s impeachment inquiry illegitimate.

But it also threw in a hodgepodge of Mr. Trump’s favorite objections, essentially memorializing some of his many Twitter blasts at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is leading the inquiry and has become the president’s chief target.

“You look at all the irregularities, you can come to the conclusion that this is an illicit hearing,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said in an interview. “This is the first time that a president hasn’t had the ability to have his party to call witnesses in the preliminary phase. It sounds like they’re singling him out for unfair treatment.”

Constitutional scholars, though, were not impressed. “It looks like a pathetic attempt to make a legal argument when the president is really expressing rage at the Congress for trying to stop him,” said Corey Brettschneider, an impeachment expert at Brown University. “What’s sad about it is it’s so poorly drafted and the legal arguments are so nonexistent that you wonder who’s advising the president.”

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s position was more political than constitutional.

“The White House letter’s legal objections don’t have merit,” he said. “The letter, like the ‘official impeachment inquiry’ itself, is a hardball tactic designed to achieve maximum political advantage” before the public.

Indeed, it could ultimately end up being a negotiating position. Mr. Trump, who on Tuesday denounced the “kangaroo court,” told reporters on Wednesday that he could change his mind and cooperate if the House voted to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry. “Yeah, that sounds O.K.,” he said. “We would if they give us our rights. It depends.”

As a matter of historical precedent, Mr. Cipollone was correct in saying that Mr. Clinton and his lawyers and Democratic allies were eventually granted more rights during his impeachment in 1998 than Mr. Trump has been, at least so far. Mr. Clinton’s lawyer, for instance, was given the opportunity to cross-examine his main accuser, the independent counsel Ken Starr, during an open House Judiciary Committee hearing.

But the Constitution makes no guarantees of such rights for a president facing impeachment, simply saying that the House “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Indeed, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868 without even drawing up articles of impeachment until after the vote. Legal experts said nothing in the White House letter justified a president or his administration unilaterally defying congressional subpoenas.

In fact, such resistance has been used against presidents in past impeachment efforts. One of three articles of impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee against Mr. Nixon before he resigned in 1974 charged that he “willfully disobeyed” congressional subpoenas, thereby “substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry.”

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v3 Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

In his report to Congress in 1998, Mr. Starr argued that among the grounds for impeachment was what the prosecutor considered Mr. Clinton’s “frivolous” and “patently groundless” assertions of executive and other privileges to thwart a perjury and obstruction of justice investigation stemming from the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In that case, though, the House opted against including such a charge in the articles of impeachment passed against Mr. Clinton.

In some ways, Mr. Trump is employing a version of Mr. Clinton’s strategy, albeit on steroids. During Mr. Starr’s investigation, Mr. Clinton repeatedly sought to block testimony or documents, only to be overruled by the courts, just as Mr. Nixon was in the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking and unanimous U.S. v. Nixon decision. Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Clinton finally agreed to testify under oath, although only after refusing six times and eventually being subpoenaed by Mr. Starr.

When the Republican-led House took up the matter, it did little original investigating of its own, relying primarily on Mr. Starr’s findings, so there were not the sort of subpoenas to resist the way Mr. Trump is doing now. But Mr. Clinton likewise felt outrage about the effort to impeach him, convinced that it was a partisan witch hunt, and he set about discrediting it with the public.

House Republicans rejected protections and limits sought by Mr. Clinton’s team, and his Democratic allies attacked the process, accused the other side of railroading the president and made it an us-versus-them fight to keep wavering Democrats on Mr. Clinton’s side. House Democrats privately called their strategy “win by losing,” reasoning that the more process motions they lost on partisan votes, the more illegitimate the effort would seem.

In the end, the House voted almost entirely on party lines to impeach Mr. Clinton and, with Democrats sticking by him, the Senate voted to acquit him after a trial — the scenario that, flipping the parties, looks most likely to repeat itself with Mr. Trump.

“In one respect, President Trump seems to be borrowing from the Clinton White House playbook,” said Ken Gormley, the author of “The Death of American Virtue” about Mr. Clinton’s battle with Mr. Starr. “He is attempting to throw gasoline over the entire impeachment process in the House and light a match in order to cause a conflagration and treat the entire process as illegitimate from the start.”

But, Mr. Gormley added, Mr. Trump is taking Mr. Clinton’s strategy even further by refusing any cooperation at all and advancing the theory that the impeachment is an unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 presidential election and therefore he can ignore it.

“Not surprisingly, President Trump is adopting a take-no-prisoners approach to this new threat that presents itself to his presidency, just has he has done, often with great success, when previous threats have presented themselves,” added Mr. Gormley, the president of Duquesne University.

While Democrats ponder going to court, Mr. Trump will take his case to the court of public opinion, or at least his base. He has scheduled three campaign rallies in the next week, starting Thursday in Minnesota, then Friday in Louisiana and then next Thursday in Texas.

It seems safe to assume that he will have something to say about impeachment.

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