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Westlake Legal Group > Politics and Government

Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign

Westlake Legal Group 19up-mapper1-1563493742586-facebookJumbo Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign Wisconsin Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Politics and Government Midterm Elections (2018) Miami-Dade County (Fla) electoral college

President Trump’s approval ratings are under water in national polls. His position for re-election, on the other hand, might not be quite so bleak.

His advantage in the Electoral College, relative to the national popular vote, may be even larger than it was in 2016, according to an Upshot analysis of election results and polling data.

That persistent edge leaves him closer to re-election than one would think based on national polls, and it might blunt any electoral cost of actions like his recent tweets attacking four minority congresswomen.

For now, the mostly white working-class Rust Belt states, decisive in the 2016 election, remain at the center of the electoral map, based on our estimates. The Democrats have few obviously promising alternative paths to win without these battleground states. The president’s approval ratings remain higher in the Sun Belt battlegrounds than in the Rust Belt, despite Democratic hopes of a breakthrough.

The president’s views on immigration and trade play relatively well in the Northern battlegrounds, including among the pivotal Obama-Trump voters.

There are signs that some of these voters have soured on his presidency, based on recent polling. There is also reason to think that white working-class voters who supported Mr. Trump were relatively likely to stay home in last November’s midterm elections.

A strategy rooted in racial polarization could at once energize parts of the president’s base and rebuild support among wavering white working-class voters. Many of these voters backed Mr. Trump in the first place in part because of his views on hot-button issues, including on immigration and race.

Alone, the president’s relative advantage in the Electoral College does not necessarily make him a favorite to win. His approval rating is well beneath 50 percent in states worth more than 270 electoral votes, including in the Northern battleground states that decided the 2016 election.

And just because racial polarization could work to the president’s advantage in general doesn’t mean that his particular tactics will prove effective. The president’s campaign rally on Wednesday night seemed, at least in retrospect, to be too far even for him; he said Thursday that he disavowed the “send her back” chants that supporters directed toward a congresswoman who immigrated to the United States as a refugee.

But Mr. Trump’s approval rating has been stable even after seemingly big missteps. And if it improves by a modest amount — not unusual for incumbents with a strong economy — he could have a distinct chance to win re-election while losing the popular vote by more than he did in 2016, when he lost it by 2.1 percentage points.

The president’s relative advantage in the Electoral College could grow even further in a high-turnout election, which could pad Democratic margins nationwide while doing little to help them in the Northern battleground states.

It is even possible that Mr. Trump could win while losing the national vote by as much as five percentage points.

The best available evidence on the president’s standing by state comes from the large 2018 election surveys. Their quality is generally high, and unlike most surveys, they have been adjusted to match actual election results, ironing out many potential biases of pre-election polls. Although these surveys are nearly nine months old, the stability of the president’s overall approval ratings means, for our purposes, that they remain a decent measure of the distribution of his support.

Taken together, the president’s approval rating among midterm voters stood at about 45.5 percent, excluding the voters who did not express an opinion (for comparability, measures of the president’s approval will exclude voters without an opinion).

By state, the president’s approval rating was beneath 50 percent in states worth 310 electoral votes: the states carried by Hillary Clinton, along with Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona and North Carolina. This is not exactly good news for the president, but not as bad as it typically would be given an approval rating of 45.5 percent. John McCain, for instance, lost states worth 365 electoral votes in 2008 while winning 45.7 percent of the vote.

The most important measure of the president’s strength in the Electoral College, relative to the national vote, is the difference between the national vote and the “tipping-point state” — the state most likely to push a candidate over the Electoral College threshold.

Wisconsin was the tipping-point state in 2016, and it seems to hold that distinction now, at least based on the president’s approval rating among 2018 midterm voters.

Over all, the president’s approval rating was 47.1 percent in Wisconsin, above his 45.5 percent nationwide. This implies that the president’s advantage in the Electoral College, at least by his approval rating, is fairly similar to what it was in 2016.

A closer look at the underlying evidence suggests there’s reason to think the president’s ratings could be higher than estimated in the state. The estimates are based on four measures of the president’s standing, and there is one outlier: the Votecast survey, which places the president’s net approval rating at minus 13, or 43.6 percent approval. The other three are in close agreement, placing the president’s rating between 47 percent and 48 percent.

There is an additional piece of evidence, unique to Wisconsin, that’s consistent with a stronger position for the president: the Marquette University poll, which gave Mr. Trump a minus 5 net approval among likely voters in its final poll before the midterms. Over the longer run, the president has averaged a minus 5 net approval among registered voters (not midterm voters) in Marquette polls since October.

In other words, most measures suggest that the president’s rating is higher than 47.1 percent in Wisconsin. If you excluded the Votecast data and added the final Marquette poll, the president’s approval rating would rise to 47.6 percent — or a net 4.2 points higher than his nationwide approval.

It is important to emphasize that it is impossible to nail down the president’s standing in Wisconsin, or any state, with precision. But Wisconsin is the pivotal state in this analysis, and a one-point difference there could potentially be decisive.

One reason that such a small swing in Wisconsin could be so important is that the Democrats do not have an obviously promising alternative if Wisconsin drifts to the right.

In 2016, Florida was that obviously promising alternative: It voted for Mr. Trump by 1.2 percentage points, compared with his 0.8-point victory in Wisconsin.

But all of the measures indicate that Florida has shifted to the right of the nation since 2016, at least among 2018 midterm voters. The president’s approval rating in Florida was essentially even — and by our measure, slightly positive. Republicans narrowly won the Florida fights for Senate and governor, and also the statewide U.S. House vote.

The next tier of Democratic opportunities doesn’t provide an easy backstop to Democratic weakness in Wisconsin either. There’s Arizona, where Democrats had a good midterm cycle, but where the president’s approval rating is plainly stronger than it is nationwide or in Wisconsin. The same is true of Iowa or North Carolina, though the president’s standing in those states is somewhat more uncertain in the absence of an exit poll or a high-profile statewide result.

In the end, these states, particularly Arizona, could prove to be a better opportunity for Democrats than Wisconsin. But at least based on this evidence, it would probably be more a reflection of Democratic weakness in Wisconsin than strength elsewhere.

In both Wisconsin and Florida, the president’s resilience seems grounded in two regions: the Milwaukee area and Miami-Dade County.

The president’s average approval rating in the Milwaukee media market stands at 48 percent — virtually unchanged from what it was in 2016, in a compilation of Marquette University polls since October. His approval has declined in the rest of the state, according to both the Marquette data and the exit polls, which also showed the president holding firm in the Milwaukee area. A similar pattern has showed up in statewide election results, where Republicans have tended to run strongly in the area.

The president’s approval rating in Miami-Dade may even be better than his standing there in 2016, based on three Times/Siena surveys of two districts there, Florida’s 26th and 27th. These polls were also highly accurate, coming within a point of the election results. On average, the president’s approval rating stood at 45.7 percent among the likely electorate in the two districts — well above his 40.8 percent share of the major-party vote there in the 2016 presidential election.

At first glance, these regions might seem to have little in common. But in terms of politics, their idiosyncrasies have played out in similar ways.

Both are regions where the Republicans do better than demographics would lead you to expect. Milwaukee is one of the last Northern metropolitan areas where Republicans still rule the suburbs; Miami-Dade is one of the few places where Republicans win Hispanics, in this case Cuban voters.

Both areas were, or still are, represented by major establishment figures in Republican politics: Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Many fought hard against Mr. Trump in the primary. These areas were some of Mr. Trump’s weakest of the primary season — he won 22 percent in the primaries in Miami-Dade and in Waukesha, Wis.

Hillary Clinton improved over Barack Obama in both areas in 2016. The president’s apparent resilience or recovery in these regions contrasts with what has happened elsewhere in the country. But it is possible that the real anomaly was his weakness in 2016, which was perhaps in part because of the president’s hostility to his prominent skeptics in these areas. The Republican establishment is now unified, if belatedly, behind the president; perhaps these voters have unified behind him as well.

Many assume that the huge turnout expected in 2020 will benefit Democrats, but it’s not so straightforward. It could conceivably work to the advantage of either party, and either way, higher turnout could widen the gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote.

That’s because the major Democratic opportunity — to mobilize nonwhite and young voters on the periphery of politics — would disproportionately help Democrats in diverse, often noncompetitive states.

The major Republican opportunity — to mobilize less educated white voters, particularly those who voted in 2016 but sat out 2018 — would disproportionately help them in white, working-class areas overrepresented in the Northern battleground states.

If everyone who was eligible to vote turned up at the polls, the gap between the Sun Belt and Rust Belt would close. Texas, astonishingly, would emerge as the tipping-point state. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, by contrast, would barely budge.

Of course, a full-turnout election is not going to happen. In recent months, analysts have speculated about a 70 percent turnout among eligible voters, up from 60 percent in 2016.

In this kind of high-turnout presidential election, by our estimates, the tipping-point state would drift to the right as people who voted in 2016 but not in 2018 return to the electorate and nudge states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin toward the president. At the same time, the Sun Belt would drift left. Arizona could overtake Wisconsin as the tipping-point state. But even in this hypothetical high-turnout election, the president’s approval rating in Arizona would be higher than it was in 2018 in Wisconsin. It becomes harder for the Democrats to win the presidency.

In such an election, the tipping-point state could have a net approval rating that is five points higher than the president’s national net approval rating, potentially allowing the president to win re-election while losing the popular vote by a wide margin.

This analysis mainly covers the opportunities available to both parties; we can’t know which side will take better advantage of them. And it’s important to emphasize that the kind of slight difference in measuring Wisconsin is beyond our ability to discern with great confidence, even using high-quality, calibrated data.

All of this is based on the president’s approval rating — well ahead of the election. Most presidents manage to improve their approval rating between this point and the election, particularly with a strong economy. But unforeseen events could also hurt his approval rating; it is even imaginable that the president could go too far on immigration for some of his more moderate supporters.

If the president’s ratings improve, the crucial question will be where. The answer is likely to be influenced by the contrast he can draw with his still-undetermined opponent.

Democrats could nominate a candidate who tries to win the presidency by mobilizing a new, diverse coalition with relative strength in Sun Belt states, while making little or no effort to secure the support of the white working-class voters with reservations about the president.

The Democrats could certainly win in the Sun Belt states, even in Texas. Perhaps this kind of Democrat could generate such a favorable turnout that it helps the party even in relatively white states.

But it’s also a strategy that would tend to increase the risk of a wide gap between the Electoral College and the national vote. It’s also hard to see how it would be the easier way forward for Democrats, at least as long as the president’s approval rating in the Rust Belt remains so much lower than in the Sun Belt states.

Of course, the campaign season has barely begun. The election could wind up being a simple referendum on the president, and his approval ratings suggest he could lose, perhaps even decisively. But his relative advantage in the Electoral College could ensure his political survival.

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

Examining Trump’s Claims About Representative Ilhan Omar

President Trump’s attacks on Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, have been the centerpiece of his political strategy in recent days, a tactic that led his supporters at a raucous rally in North Carolina on Wednesday to erupt into chants of “send her back.”

Ms. Omar is one of four Democratic members of Congress — all women of color — who have come in for intense criticism from Mr. Trump. His particular focus on Ms. Omar, who was born in Somalia and immigrated to the United States as a refugee, followed months of comments from him casting her as “ungrateful” and “unpatriotic.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump drew attention to rumors that Ms. Omar had married her brother. The president then dove into a litany of accusations about the congresswoman. Some, like his repeated claims that Ms. Omar had praised Al Qaeda, were flatly false. Others, like his description of her citing a death toll in an infamous battle as “slander” against American troops, were his subjective characterizations of her remarks.

Here’s a fact check.

What Mr. Trump Said

“Well, there is a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it.”
— in remarks to reporters on Wednesday

Rumors that Ms. Omar had married her brother have been circulating since 2016, when she ran for state representative in Minnesota. No proof has emerged substantiating these claims.

In 2016, Ms. Omar released a statement denying the rumors as “absolutely false and ridiculous” and providing a timeline of her marital history.

According to that timeline, she applied for a marriage license with Ahmed Hirsi in 2002, but never finalized the application. In 2008, they ended their relationship “in our faith tradition.”

State records show that in 2009, Ms. Omar legally married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who she said was a British citizen. They obtained a religious divorce in 2011, according to her timeline, and Mr. Elmi returned to England.

She then reconciled with Mr. Hirsi and married him legally in January 2018, a month after she legally divorced from Mr. Elmi, according to The Associated Press. She and Mr. Hirsi have three children.

Last month, Minnesota’s campaign finance board found that Ms. Omar filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 with Mr. Hirsi while she was still legally married to Mr. Elmi. She agreed to pay a fine and back taxes as a result of the amendments to her returns those years.

In 2016, a blog called PowerLine cited a now-deleted post on an internet forum that claimed Mr. Elmi is Ms. Omar’s brother.

In 2018, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Ms. Omar showed a reporter cellphone images of documents from her family’s entry into the United States in 1995. They listed her father and siblings by order of birth, with Ms. Omar listed as the youngest of seven children. Mr. Elmi’s name did not appear in the documents. According to the couple’s marriage certificate, he is also three years younger than Ms. Omar, whose mother died when she was 2 years old.

What Mr. Trump Said

“So Representative Omar blamed the United States for the terrorist attacks on our country, saying that terrorism is a reaction to our involvement in other people’s affairs.”
— at a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday

Mr. Trump was likely referring to comments Ms. Omar made in a 2013 interview with a local television program.

“Nobody wants to face how the actions of the other people that are involved in the world have contributed to the rise of the radicalization and the rise of terrorist acts,” she said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158135022_49cb12e6-c280-4443-be0b-7296e6c216e7-articleLarge Examining Trump’s Claims About Representative Ilhan Omar United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Terrorism Somali-Americans Race and Ethnicity Politics and Government Omar, Ilhan discrimination

Supporters greet Rep. Ilhan Omar at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday.CreditJenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Ms. Omar’s suggestion that there are links between foreign intervention and terrorism is not uncommon among scholars and world leaders and not unlike remarks from Mr. Trump himself.

“Our current strategy of nation-building and regime change is a proven, absolute failure,” Mr. Trump said in an August 2016 speech in Ohio. “We have created the vacuums that allow terrorism to grow and thrive.”

What Mr. Trump Said

“She smeared U.S. service members involved in Black Hawk Down, in other words, she slandered the brave Americans who were trying to keep peace in Somalia.”

“Black Hawk Down” refers to a 17-hour firefight on Oct. 3, 1993, that broke out between American forces and Somali militiamen in Mogadishu during the country’s civil war. Ms. Omar and her family fled Somalia during that war.

In 2017, Ms. Omar wrote, “thousands of Somalis killed by American forces that day!”

Her figure is a matter of dispute, but whether her comment amounted to a “smear” or “slander” is a matter of opinion.

American forces deployed to Somalia in 1992 as part of a humanitarian effort. Their mission culminated the next year when forces aligned with the warlord Muhammad Farah Aideed shot down two Black Hawk helicopters in a battle in which 18 Americans were killed and 75 wounded. The events were depicted in the book “Black Hawk Down” by the journalist Mark Bowden and a film of the same name.

The army has cited estimates of between 500 and 1,700 Somali casualties. Mr. Bowden reported that most death toll estimates ranged from 300 to 500 Somalis. Robert Oakley, the ambassador to Somalia under President George Bush, said in a 1998 interview that he believed between 1,500 to 2,000 Somalis were killed and wounded.

What Mr. Trump Said

“She pleaded for compassion for ISIS recruits attempting to join the terrorist organization.”

Ms. Omar wrote a letter to a federal judge asking for leniency in sentencing on behalf of nine Somali-American men, who were found guilty or pleaded guilty in 2016 to charges that they tried to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State.

“I bring to your attention the ramifications of sentencing young men who made a consequential mistake to decades in federal prison. Incarcerating 20-year-old men for 30 or 40 years, is essentially a life sentence,” Ms. Omar wrote in November 2016. “Such punitive measures not only lack efficacy they inevitability create an environment in which extremism can flourish, aligning with the presupposition of a terrorist recruitment: ‘Americans do not accept you and continue to trivialize your value. Instead of being a nobody, be a martyr.’”

“The best deterrent to fanaticism is a system of compassion,” the letter continued.

What Mr. Trump Said

“Omar laughed that Americans speak of Al Qaeda in a menacing tone and remarked that you don’t say America with this intensity, you say Al Qaeda. It makes you proud. Al Qaeda makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America.”

Mr. Trump distorted Ms. Omar’s remarks. In that 2013 local news interview, Ms. Omar was discussing the rhetoric around terrorism. When the host noted that “we keep the Arabic names” of terrorist groups, she responded with an anecdote about a college professor who would say the names with “intensity, so it must mean or bold a bigger meaning.”

Nowhere in the interview does she say that “Al Qaeda makes you proud.”

What Mr. Trump Said

“And at a press conference just this week when asked whether she supported Al-Qaeda … she refused to answer, she didn’t want to give an answer to that question.”

Asked to respond to Mr. Trump’s false claims about her praising terrorists, Ms. Omar said she would not “dignify it with an answer.”

She also added that she did not expect white community members to respond to questions about whether they “love” a white supremacist or a white man involved in a mass shooting, “so I think it is beyond time, it is beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists. We are no longer going to allow the dignification of such a ridiculous statement.”

What Mr. Trump Said

“Omar blamed the United States for the crisis in Venezuela.”

In May, she appeared on an episode of “Democracy Now!” after a segment featuring an economist who estimated that 40,000 Venezuelans died from 2017 to 2018 as a result of sanctions imposed by the United States. (Others have criticized those findings.)

Ms. Omar agreed with the economist, adding, “A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela. And we’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today. This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela, and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States.”

What Mr. Trump Said

“And she looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans, saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country.”

In a May interview with a podcast from The Nation, Ms. Omar was asked about her experience being elected as a state representative in 2016 just days after Mr. Trump held a rally in Minnesota where he criticized the vetting process for Somali refugees and vowed to slow it down.

John Nichols, the host of the podcast, commented that Ms. Omar might seize the “teaching moments” generated by the chasm between her personal story and Mr. Trump’s rhetoric.

“I think people have a misconception about refugees and, and the process they go through to come to the United States,” Ms. Omar responded.

As an example, she said, a Minnesota candidate for governor had vowed to stop the refugee resettlement program, prompting her to issue a Twitter post explaining how the process works.

“And so it is not that they might not be knowledgeable about this, but they use it as a tool to stir up hate and division,” she continued. “And ignorance really is pervasive in many parts of, of this country. And as someone who was raised by educators, I really like to inform people about things that they might be ignorant to, willingly or unwillingly.”

Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com

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New Charges in Stormy Daniels Hush Money Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal

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Federal prosecutors signaled in a court document released on Thursday that it was unlikely they would file additional charges in the hush-money investigation that ensnared members of Donald J. Trump’s inner circle and threatened to derail his presidency.

In the document, the prosecutors said they had “effectively concluded” their inquiry, which centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump.

The outcome appeared to be a legal victory for Mr. Trump, whom prosecutors implicated last year in directing the payments. Mr. Trump had denied the affairs and any wrongdoing, but his aides considered the inquiry a greater threat than even the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the election.

At the same time, other documents released on Thursday offered the government’s most detailed account yet of Mr. Trump’s involvement in the hush-money payments, showing he was in close touch with Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, while the payments were being arranged. The day before paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress, in October 2016, Mr. Cohen spoke on the phone with Mr. Trump twice. Less than 30 minutes later, Mr. Cohen took steps to open a bank account to pay the woman, the documents showed.

Read About Trump’s Involvement in the Hush Money Investigation

An F.B.I. document details the president’s close contact with Michael Cohen.

Westlake Legal Group thumbnail New Charges in Stormy Daniels Hush Money Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government McDougal, Karen (1971- ) Manhattan (NYC) Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Clifford, Stephanie (1979- ) Campaign Finance   269 pages, 4.44 MB

Mr. Cohen also spoke with President Trump the day after wiring the money to the woman’s lawyer, the documents said. Although it is not known what was said during the phone calls, the new disclosures seem to contradict repeated statements by Mr. Trump, and those close to him, that they were unaware that Mr. Cohen had arranged the payments.

The documents did not address what led the prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan to conclude their inquiry, but people briefed on the matter said that earlier this year investigators had encountered obstacles to filing additional charges.

With Mr. Trump, the prosecutors were limited by more than just a Justice Department policy that bars charging a sitting president with a federal crime, one of the people said. Prosecutors also grappled with whether they had enough evidence to show that Mr. Trump had understood campaign finance laws and had intentionally violated them.

The investigators also struggled to gain access to at least one encrypted electronic device that may have contained additional evidence, the people said. It is unclear who the device belonged to and whether the investigators ultimately reviewed its contents.

On Thursday, the prosecutors revealed for the first time that they had expanded their investigation from campaign finance violations to include whether “certain individuals” lied to investigators or tried to obstruct the inquiry.

A brief report filed by prosecutors did not identify the subjects of those investigations, although it contained redactions of what appeared to be at least one name. That investigation has also ended, prosecutors said, although they did not explicitly say that charges would not be filed.

As recently as this spring, prosecutors were still considering whether one Trump Organization executive was untruthful when testifying before the grand jury, according to people briefed on the matter.

The Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the hush money he paid to Ms. Daniels. Mr. Cohen also urged American Media Inc., which publishes The National Enquirer, to buy the rights to a former Playboy model’s story of an affair with Mr. Trump. Both deals effectively silenced the women in the run-up to the 2016 election.

A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment. Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Mr. Trump, said simply, “Case closed.”

Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in the case. He has said he helped arrange the hush money at the direction of Mr. Trump, and prosecutors have since repeated the accusation in court papers. Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.

In a statement from a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., Mr. Cohen criticized the decision to end the inquiry.

How Michael Cohen Turned Against President Trump

April 21, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 00trumpcohen-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 New Charges in Stormy Daniels Hush Money Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government McDougal, Karen (1971- ) Manhattan (NYC) Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Clifford, Stephanie (1979- ) Campaign Finance

“The conclusion of the investigation exonerating the Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and the Department of Justice,” Mr. Cohen said.

The president’s critics in Congress, citing the new disclosures about Mr. Trump’s contact with Mr. Cohen around the time of the payments, argued that there was sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Mr. Trump but for the Justice Department policy.

“The inescapable conclusion from all of the public materials available now is that there was ample evidence to charge Donald Trump with the same criminal election law violations for which Michael Cohen pled guilty,” Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

The documents released on Thursday were related to a 2018 raid on Mr. Cohen’s home and office. The prosecutors initially had released the documents in March, with nearly every detail of the campaign finance evidence redacted.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Manhattan, William H. Pauley III, had ordered prosecutors to release the records without redactions.

The search warrant documents shed light on the breadth of evidence the prosecutors amassed against Mr. Cohen even before searching his property and interviewing a number of witnesses. The prosecutors had access to many of his text messages with American Media executives and a lawyer for the two women as well as records of his calls with Mr. Trump.

The documents detail the lengths Mr. Cohen and Trump campaign aides went — in the final stretch of the campaign — to prevent the public from learning about Ms. Daniels and Karen McDougal, the Playboy model.

Hope Hicks, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign spokeswoman and a trusted aide, had a more substantial role in discussions about the hush money payments than had been previously known.

Westlake Legal Group trump-presidents-investigations-promo-1557500573411-articleLarge-v4 New Charges in Stormy Daniels Hush Money Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government McDougal, Karen (1971- ) Manhattan (NYC) Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Clifford, Stephanie (1979- ) Campaign Finance

Tracking 29 Investigations Related to Trump

Federal, state and congressional authorities are investigating Donald J. Trump’s businesses, campaign, inauguration and presidency.

In October 2016, in the days leading up to the payments to Ms. Daniels, Ms. Hicks took part in a series of telephone calls, text messages and email messages. They were with Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump, Ms. Daniel’s lawyer and two American Media executives — including the head of the company, David J. Pecker, Mr. Trump’s longtime friend.

“Based on the timing of these calls, and the content of the text messages and emails, I believe that at least some of these communications concerned the need to prevent Clifford from going public,” an F.B.I. agent wrote in one of the documents, using Ms. Daniels’s real name, Stephanie Clifford.

A lawyer for Ms. Hicks declined to comment.

The day after Mr. Cohen sent the $130,000 payment to the lawyer for Ms. Daniels, he spoke to Mr. Trump for about five minutes. That evening, the lawyer, Keith Davidson, texted Mr. Cohen that “all is AOK,” assuring him that Ms. Daniels would sign a nondisclosure agreement soon.

“I hope we are good,” Mr. Cohen wrote to Mr. Davidson, who responded: “I assure you. We are very good.”

In early November 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported on American Media’s arrangement with Ms. McDougal, who received $150,000 from the tabloid company. The next day, Mr. Cohen texted Ms. Hicks that the story was “Getting little to no traction.” Ms. Hicks responded, “Keep praying!! It’s working!”

Later that day, Mr. Trump spoke with Mr. Pecker, according to one of the documents. Mr. Pecker cooperated with prosecutors, earning American Media a nonprosecution agreement.

Mr. Trump won the election three days later.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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New Charges in Trump Campaign Finance Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal

Federal prosecutors signaled in a court document released on Thursday that it was unlikely they would file additional charges in the hush-money investigation that ensnared members of Donald J. Trump’s inner circle and threatened to derail his presidency.

In the document, the prosecutors said they had “effectively concluded” their inquiry, which centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump.

At the same time, other newly released documents from the investigation showed that Mr. Trump was in close touch with Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, when he was arranging the payments.

The day before paying one of the women $130,000, Mr. Cohen spoke twice on the phone with Mr. Trump, according to the documents, which said that “less than thirty minutes after speaking to Trump,” Mr. Cohen took steps to open a bank account to pay the woman.

He also spoke with President Trump the day after wiring the money to the woman’s lawyer, the documents said. It is not known what was said during the phone calls.

For the first time, the prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan also revealed in one document that they had expanded their investigation from campaign finance violations to include whether “certain individuals” lied to investigators or tried to obstruct the inquiry.

The brief report did not identify the subjects of those investigations, although it contained redactions of what appeared to be at least one name. That investigation has also ended, prosecutors said.

As recently as this spring, prosecutors were still considering whether one Trump Organization executive was untruthful when testifying before the grand jury, according to people briefed on the matter.

The Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the hush money he paid to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress. Mr. Cohen also urged American Media Inc., which publishes The National Enquirer, to buy the rights to a former Playboy model’s story of an affair with Mr. Trump. Both deals effectively silenced the women in the run-up to the 2016 election.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in the case. He has said he helped arrange the hush money at the direction of Mr. Trump, and prosecutors have since repeated the accusation in court papers. Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.

In a statement from a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., Mr. Cohen criticized the decision to end the inquiry.

“The conclusion of the investigation exonerating the Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and the Department of Justice,” Mr. Cohen said.

Westlake Legal Group trump-presidents-investigations-promo-1557500573411-articleLarge-v4 New Charges in Trump Campaign Finance Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government McDougal, Karen (1971- ) Manhattan (NYC) Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Clifford, Stephanie (1979- ) Campaign Finance

Tracking 29 Investigations Related to Trump

Federal, state and congressional authorities are investigating Donald J. Trump’s businesses, campaign, inauguration and presidency.

Mr. Trump has denied the affairs and any campaign finance violations.

The documents were related to a 2018 raid on Mr. Cohen’s home and office. The prosecutors initially had released the documents in March, with nearly every detail of the campaign finance evidence redacted.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Manhattan, William H. Pauley III, had ordered prosecutors to release the records without redactions.

The search warrant documents shed light on the breadth of evidence the prosecutors amassed against Mr. Cohen even before searching his property and interviewing a number of witnesses.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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New Charges in Trump Campaign Finance Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal

Federal prosecutors signaled in a court document released on Thursday that it was unlikely they would file additional charges in the hush-money investigation that ensnared members of Donald J. Trump’s inner circle and threatened to derail his presidency.

In the document, the prosecutors said they had “effectively concluded” their inquiry, which centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump.

At the same time, other newly released documents from the investigation showed that Mr. Trump was in close touch with Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, when he was arranging the payments.

The day before paying one of the women $130,000, Mr. Cohen spoke twice on the phone with Mr. Trump, according to the documents, which said that “less than thirty minutes after speaking to Trump,” Mr. Cohen took steps to open a bank account to pay the woman.

He also spoke with President Trump the day after wiring the money to the woman’s lawyer, the documents said. It is not known what was said during the phone calls.

For the first time, the prosecutors with the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan also revealed in one document that they had expanded their investigation from campaign finance violations to include whether “certain individuals” lied to investigators or tried to obstruct the inquiry.

The brief report did not identify the subjects of those investigations, although it contained redactions of what appeared to be at least one name. That investigation has also ended, prosecutors said.

As recently as this spring, prosecutors were still considering whether one Trump Organization executive was untruthful when testifying before the grand jury, according to people briefed on the matter.

The Trump Organization reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the hush money he paid to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress. Mr. Cohen also urged American Media Inc., which publishes The National Enquirer, to buy the rights to a former Playboy model’s story of an affair with Mr. Trump. Both deals effectively silenced the women in the run-up to the 2016 election.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty in the case. He has said he helped arrange the hush money at the direction of Mr. Trump, and prosecutors have since repeated the accusation in court papers. Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.

In a statement from a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., Mr. Cohen criticized the decision to end the inquiry.

“The conclusion of the investigation exonerating the Trump Organization’s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and the Department of Justice,” Mr. Cohen said.

Westlake Legal Group trump-presidents-investigations-promo-1557500573411-articleLarge-v4 New Charges in Trump Campaign Finance Inquiry Are Unlikely, Prosecutors Signal United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government McDougal, Karen (1971- ) Manhattan (NYC) Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Clifford, Stephanie (1979- ) Campaign Finance

Tracking 29 Investigations Related to Trump

Federal, state and congressional authorities are investigating Donald J. Trump’s businesses, campaign, inauguration and presidency.

Mr. Trump has denied the affairs and any campaign finance violations.

The documents were related to a 2018 raid on Mr. Cohen’s home and office. The prosecutors initially had released the documents in March, with nearly every detail of the campaign finance evidence redacted.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Manhattan, William H. Pauley III, had ordered prosecutors to release the records without redactions.

The search warrant documents shed light on the breadth of evidence the prosecutors amassed against Mr. Cohen even before searching his property and interviewing a number of witnesses.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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

Trump’s Immigration Measures, Far From New, Follow Europe’s Example

President Trump’s approach to migration might seem unusual, but it follows a model pioneered by the European Union and Australia — though they may not have pursued it with Mr. Trump’s bombast.

Like Mr. Trump’s policies, defined by child-filled detention camps and his extraordinary move to ban nearly all asylum claims at the southern border, this model relies on two strategies to keep migrants and refugees from reaching the border at all:

1) Make the journey so daunting that they will not even attempt it.

2) Enlist poorer countries to detain or expel those who do anyway.

That approach, which Europe and Australia have taken to extremes beyond many of Mr. Trump’s policies, was meant to curb record migrant arrivals and the white backlash to them that was upending Western politics. Those arrivals have since declined, and populist revolts cooled.

But the lessons of Europe and Australia’s experience may not be so straightforward.

Strategies to deter or block migrants, research has found, may temporarily reduce arrivals. Over the long term, however, they may simply push migrants to try even more dangerous routes. They may also end up requiring governments to take ever more extreme measures to shut down each new round of arrivals.

“The costs are becoming higher and higher and higher, and there’s no real proof that it works,” said Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, a Danish scholar who is co-author of an authoritative study on deterrence in immigration.

Those costs include concessions to countries tasked with keeping migrants away — Turkey, Sudan and Libya for Europe; a network of island nations for Australia. Mr. Trump is now pushing Mexico and Guatemala to do the same.

They extend beyond money. Europe is subjugating an ever-growing share of its foreign policy and trade agendas to the appeasement of Turkey and Libya’s authoritarian leaders. Australia’s immigration policies increasingly deter even high-skilled workers.

Mr. Gammeltoft-Hansen said he had seen the same pattern play out in Europe for years: The bloc escalates harsh policies to deter migrants. It works for a while. Refugees find new tactics. And then the cycle would repeat.

“Very few states can say that the strategies they’re pursuing are overall effective,” he said, and for one simple reason: “Because you haven’t fixed the underlying problem.”

The European Union has not so much ended the migrant crisis as relocated it. It has diverted hundreds of thousands of people to poorer countries that have proven neither able nor willing to bear that burden indefinitely — creating the conditions for more crises.

Europe dressed up its policies in the language of regional stability and human rights, as has Australia. Now that Mr. Trump is using overt hostility to immigration and appeals to racial resentment to explain the same approach, it may make the costs and trade-offs of those policies more difficult to ignore.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156685743_761ac238-81cb-4fcc-a9c5-ade34b678f75-articleLarge Trump’s Immigration Measures, Far From New, Follow Europe’s Example United States Trump, Donald J Refugees and Displaced Persons Politics and Government Middle East and Africa Migrant Crisis Latin America Immigration and Emigration Europe Australia Asylum, Right of

Passengers ride across the Suchiate river marking the Guatemala-Mexico border.CreditLuis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times

The immigration strategy increasingly common across Western governments — and the reasons many experts consider it far less effective than it appears on the surface — can be seen in the story of two migrant boats that departed Libya’s coast for Europe earlier this year.

The first boat capsized early in its journey across the Mediterranean, killing all but three of the 120 passengers. Under the central premise of European immigration policy, that should have deterred more migrants from attempting to cross.

European policymakers didn’t set out to capsize boats. Their goal was to make the journey so dangerous — by curtailing search-and-rescue missions, restricting aid groups, even closing their ports to emergency rescue vessels — that migrants would be dissuaded from setting out in the first place.

And yet just one week later, another boat set out from Libya’s coast, its passengers undeterred.

This was not unusual.

A 2016 study found that physical barriers to migration in Europe and the United States had not prevented crossings. Instead, it said, they had produced “an increase in the number of deaths” by pushing migration into “ever more dangerous paths.”

The second boat was intercepted by Libya’s coast guard, as part of a European Union deal granting its government sweeping concessions. The 144 on board, including children and pregnant women, were returned to Libya and locked in warehouses so squalid that they, too — in theory, anyway — should have scared people off from trying the sea crossing.

“No amount of preparation can actually prepare you for standing inside the detention center and seeing the sea of faces huddled in a dark room,” said Sam Turner, the head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Libya. “It’s really harrowing.”

Detainees told Mr. Turner that the conditions had come as no surprise, and it seems clear they were no deterrent. Fewer than 1 percent of the half-million-plus refugees and migrants in Libya are held in such centers. Among the rest, Mr. Turner has found, the warehouses are seen as a reason to try all the harder to cross.

“We are a bit naïve in this,” Mr. Turner said. “Policies supposed to act as deterrence factors are actually acting as push factors.”

An offshore migrant detention center used by Australia on Los Negros Island, Manus Province, Papua New Guinea.CreditAshley Gilbertson for The New York Times

These arrangements, which come at terrible cost to migrants, allow rich countries to skirt domestic and international laws requiring them to grant certain rights to any refugees who reach their borders. And they allow rich countries to push the human costs of their policies out of sight.

While the Trump administration’s detention centers have provoked major controversies in the United States, the camps created under European and Australian policies have met with far less backlash.

If Mr. Trump’s experience is anything like Europe’s, he may find that persuading Mexico or Guatemala to detain refugees on the United States’ behalf will drastically worsen conditions for refugees, but alleviate much of the backlash from Americans.

Mr. Gammeltoft-Hansen, however, said he had seen many such deals come and go. They rarely survived long. Host countries lost interest as refugee camps overflowed and aid dried up, or lost the ability to uphold their end of the deal when they encountered political crises of their own.

More often, migrant flows just shifted to a new route.

It was a cycle.

The European Union would scramble to cut a new deal. Each would cost European governments more than the last, to overcome skepticism from poor countries that had seen the ever-mounting risks of becoming Europe’s refugee camp. And, each time, the number of people accumulating in intermediary countries would grow.

The buildup meant that even a single dam break in the system could cause a sudden rush in arrivals. The 2015 migrant crisis, for example, was partly the result of a single short-lived break in Libya, one of Europe’s most reliable bulwarks against migrants until its government collapsed.

Since then, pushing the burdens of migration onto poorer countries has grown only more common.

“The biggest thing that I think is changing is the ability of governments to essentially put the responsibility of refugee hosting on the less powerful,” said Stephanie Schwartz, a migration scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s become really brazen.”

Migrants rescued by a German-flagged rescue ship aboard a patrol boat as they are brought into Malta.CreditMatthew Mirabelli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As policies to deter migration escalate, each new measure temporarily slows arrivals without changing the fundamental calculus made by anyone considering setting out for a new country.

Mr. Turner, the Doctors Without Borders aid worker, noted that as risky as the journey may be, many refugees already face grave dangers and hardships at home that drive them to flee in the first place. Even the risk of death — a chance of one in 20 for a Mediterranean crossing, some data suggests — is not always enough to overcome the forces that drive someone to seek asylum.

A quirk of European immigration misled many Westerners into believing that deterrence works, Mr. Gammeltoft-Hansen said.

For years, European countries have imposed harsh measures to scare would-be migrants into settling in another European country. These did not reduce overall arrivals to Europe, Mr. Gammeltoft-Hansen said. It merely moved them around.

But it has led Western governments to chip away at the global rights and practices governing modern immigration.

Mr. Trump is unusual only in that he is openly and deliberately driving to upend that system. It is impossible to say for sure whether this could set off a backlash against such policies — or grant more governments license to do the same.

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‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Sentenced to Life in Prison, Ending Notorious Criminal Career

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He was one of the most notorious outlaws of the last 100 years: a brutal Mexican cartel leader, a wily trafficker who smuggled more than $12 billion worth of drugs and plunged his country into a long-running tragedy of bloodshed and corruption.

But on Wednesday morning, the 30-year criminal career of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known to the world as El Chapo, reached its final chapter as a federal judge in New York City sentenced him to life in prison.

The life term, mandated by law as a result of the severity of Mr. Guzmán’s crimes, was handed down in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, where the kingpin was convicted last winter of drug, murder and money laundering charges after a sprawling three-month trial.

As some of the federal agents who had chased him for years looked on from the gallery, Judge Brian M. Cogan issued the sentence and Mr. Guzmán, 62, was hauled away to prepare himself — pending an appeal — for spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Before he disappeared into a holding cell behind the courtroom, he blew a kiss to his wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, who attended most of his trial and was implicated in a handful of his crimes.

Although Judge Cogan had no choice but to sentence Mr. Guzmán to life, he noted that the “overwhelming evil” of the drug lord’s crimes was readily apparent. Beyond the life sentence — plus an additional 30 years — he ordered him to pay a staggering $12.6 billion in forfeiture.

Looking disheveled and slightly out of sorts, Mr. Guzmán walked into the eighth-floor courtroom under guard shortly before 9:30 a.m. He wore a loosefitting gray suit, with his tie rakishly askew and a new-growth mustache darkening his upper lip.

Reading from a prepared statement, he said he had not received a fair trial and complained about his solitary confinement in Manhattan’s federal jail, calling it “psychological, emotional and mental torture 24 hours a day.”

“Since the government of the United States is going to send me to a prison where my name will never be heard again, I take advantage of this opportunity to say there was no justice here,” he said.

Though Judge Cogan did not specify where Mr. Guzmán would serve his sentence, he is likely to be sent to the country’s most forbidding federal prison, the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, or ADX, in Florence, Colo.

Where El Chapo Could End Up: A Prison ‘Not Designed for Humanity’

Feb. 15, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_150665514_653eacd9-9cb2-402b-9cb7-84602b5318e4-threeByTwoSmallAt2X ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Sentenced to Life in Prison, Ending Notorious Criminal Career smuggling Sinaloa Cartel Prisons and Prisoners Politics and Government Guzman Loera, Joaquin Drug Cartels Drug Abuse and Traffic Brooklyn (NYC)

Mr. Guzmán’s decades-long career atop the Sinaloa drug cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal mafias, came to a close only after years of joint investigation and pursuit by the American and Mexican authorities.

His ability to persistently evade capture — and then escape from prison after he was caught — underscored the deep corruption of the Mexican government by his cartel, which used bribery and intimidation to control not just the local, state and federal police, but some of the highest-ranking officials in the national government.

“It’s justice not only for the Mexican government, but for all of Guzmán’s victims in Mexico,” said Raymond P. Donovan, the agent in charge of the New York office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who was instrumental in capturing the kingpin twice.

After the sentencing, one of Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman, spoke outside the courthouse in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, complaining, as his client had, that the lengthy legal proceeding had been unfair.

“All he wanted was justice and at the end of the day, he didn’t get it,” Mr. Lichtman said, adding, “It was a show trial, and it’s been so since Day 1.”

Moments later, Richard P. Donoghue, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, whose office prosecuted the case with colleagues from Miami and Washington, also addressed reporters.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 17vid-chapo-still-videoSixteenByNine3000 ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Sentenced to Life in Prison, Ending Notorious Criminal Career smuggling Sinaloa Cartel Prisons and Prisoners Politics and Government Guzman Loera, Joaquin Drug Cartels Drug Abuse and Traffic Brooklyn (NYC)

Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug lord known as El Chapo, was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison plus 30 years.CreditCreditDrew Angerer/Getty Images

Mr. Donoghue said the authorities could not undo the misery Mr. Guzmán had caused, “but we can ensure that he spends every minute of every day of the rest of his life in prison.”

The trial took place under intense media scrutiny and tight security that involved bomb-sniffing dogs, police snipers and federal marshals with radiation sensors. The verdict on Feb. 12 came after more than a week of deliberations by the jury. Ultimately, Mr. Guzmán was found guilty on all 10 counts of the indictment.

Prosecutors leveled some of the most serious charges possible against him, presenting evidence that he sent hundreds of tons of drugs to the United States from Mexico and caused the deaths of dozens of people to protect himself and his smuggling routes.

The case revealed in exacting detail the inner workings of the Sinaloa drug cartel, such as how it employed I.T. consultants and how it packaged its cocaine in rubber “condoms.”

But given the defendant’s fame and notoriety, the trial was also a boisterous legal circus, complete with a horde of international reporters, a steady trickle of curious “narco-tourists” and a cameo appearance by an actor who plays the drug lord on a Netflix show.

The American authorities began their hunt for the kingpin as far back as the early 1990s, when he was indicted on separate federal charges in Tucson and San Diego.

The two indictments were filed just before and somewhat after he was arrested while on the run in Guatemala and then returned to Mexico, where he was tried and imprisoned for the 1993 murder of Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, a beloved Roman Catholic cardinal.

In 2001, however, Mr. Guzmán broke out of prison — by many accounts, in the bottom of a laundry cart — and spent the next 13 years playing cat-and-mouse with the law.

He evaded both arrest and the five subsequent indictments filed against him in the United States, largely by shuttling among a series of hide-outs in the Sierra Madre mountains in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

In February 2012, the Mexican and American authorities came within inches of nabbing him in an ocean-view mansion in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

But he was not caught until Mr. Donovan and a coalition of law enforcement and military officers on both sides of the border mounted an wiretap operation that cracked Mr. Guzmán’s communications network. He was found in a beachfront condominium in Mazatlán, Mexico, in February 2014.

Within a year and a half, however, he had escaped again — this time, through a sophisticated tunnel that opened into the shower of his prison cell. A coalition similar to the one that caught him in 2014 redoubled its efforts and captured the kingpin for a second time, after a violent gunfight, in Los Mochis, Mexico, in early 2016.

When Mr. Guzmán finally stood trial in New York in November, his conviction was all but assured given the mountains of evidence collected against him over the years.

Some of that evidence came from incriminating intercepts from the various wiretaps over which agents had for months been listening in on the kingpin and his underlings. But just as damaging were the 14 witnesses from inside his cartel — suppliers, distributors, top lieutenants, even one of his mistresses — who testified against him.

Since his extradition to the United States in January 2017, Mr. Guzmán has been held in 10 South, the maximum-security wing of the Manhattan federal jail. On Wednesday, he told Judge Cogan that since arriving there he had been forced to drink “unsanitary water” and wear earplugs made from toilet paper to drown out the racket of the ventilation system.

In response, Gina Parlovecchio, a federal prosecutor, said it was ironic that Mr. Guzmán had complained about undignified treatment in jail given that he showed no respect to his countless victims, not just those he killed or hunted, but the thousands who were harmed by the drugs he “pumped onto the streets,” earning him a vast fortune of “blood money.”

One of those victims, Andrea Velez, spoke out in court on Wednesday. She described through her tears how Mr. Guzmán had paid a Canadian chapter of the Hells Angels $1 million in a failed plot to murder her. Ms. Velez was at one point the personal assistant to one of the kingpin’s top lieutenants, Alex Cifuentes Villa, but eventually became an F.B.I. informant who spied on the drug lord and his allies.

“I’m a miracle of God,” Ms. Velez said, “because Mr. Guzmán tried to kill me.”

Emily Palmer contributed reporting.

Read more about El Chapo
The Epic Criminal Career of El Chapo Nears Its Final Chapter

July 16, 2019

El Chapo Earned $12,666,181,704, Prosecutors Say. They Want Him to Pay It Back.

July 7, 2019

El Chapo Is Behind Bars, but Drugs Still Flow From Mexico

Feb. 13, 2019

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China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

BEIJING — China’s growth fell to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, officials said on Monday, as a resurgence of trade tensions with the United States and lingering financial problems take an increasing toll on one of the world’s most vital economic engines.

Chinese officials said the economy grew 6.2 percent between April and June compared with a year earlier. While such economic growth would be the envy of most of the world, it represented the slowest pace in China since the beginning of modern quarterly record-keeping in 1992. That marks a significant slowdown from earlier this year, when growth came in at 6.4 percent, matching a 27-year low reached during the global financial crisis a decade ago.

Premier Li Keqiang set a target in March for economic growth to be between 6 and 6.5 percent this year. The figures on Monday fell within that range.

But much of the growth in the quarter may have taken place in April and early May, when public confidence was higher because of a tax cut in March and heavy infrastructure spending as spring began. Trade talks broke down on May 10 and President Trump raised tariffs sharply on Chinese goods, a step that damaged consumer confidence within China. Growth early in the quarter also would have taken place before the contentious government takeover of a bank in late May hurt financial confidence.

Chinese officials on Monday acknowledged that conditions are becoming increasingly difficult.

“Economic conditions are still severe both at home and abroad, the global economic growth is slowing down, the external instabilities and uncertainties are increasing, the unbalanced and inadequate development at home is still acute, and the economy is under new downward pressure,” said Mao Shengyong, a spokesman for China’s National Bureau of Statistics, in a news conference.

Mr. Mao downplayed the effects of trade, saying China’s economy increasingly relies on consumption.

Monthly economic data, particularly for imports, suggests that the second quarter started strong but then slowed. “There was certainly a surge in activity through April,” said George Magnus, a longtime specialist in the Chinese economy who is now at Oxford University. “Something happened in May.”

The number may also understate the extent of the slowdown. Economists widely doubt the veracity of the overall Chinese growth figure, which shows far more stability than comparable numbers from the United States and elsewhere.

A few sectors of the Chinese economy are doing fairly well. The strongest sector appears to be the construction of infrastructure, much of it paid for with money borrowed by local, provincial and national government agencies. Retail sales ticked up as well.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155141007_0e4236fa-0d48-4e13-ac35-bef0484946be-articleLarge China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Infrastructure (Public Works) Economic Conditions and Trends China Banking and Financial Institutions

A used car dealership in Beijing. Auto sales have slumped badly.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The biggest drag on the Chinese economy lies in trade, which grew powerfully over the past three decades but has stopped rising in recent months. Exports dipped 1.3 percent in June from a year earlier, the government said on Friday, and imports fell 7.3 percent.

While the trade war has hurt American purchases from China, economic weakness in Europe and many Asian countries has caused overseas demand to weaken far more broadly than just in the United States. Last week, Singapore unexpectedly announced that its trade-dependent economy had shrunk at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in the second quarter.

“The economy is definitely in a broad decelerating trend because the global economy is slowing down, so exports are slowing down,” said Larry Hu, the chief China economist at Macquarie Capital, the investment banking unit of a big Australian multinational.

China’s troubles have their roots not just in trade but also in a debt-laden financial system that has been shaken by a series of large shocks in the last few weeks.

On May 24, Chinese financial regulators took over Baoshang Bank in Inner Mongolia, a small institution that is part of a financial empire previously controlled by Xiao Jianhua, a financier who disappeared into the custody of government investigators two years ago. Regulators tried to force a few of its largest creditors to accept losses rather than bailing them out as a way to teach financiers to be more careful about where they put their institutions’ money.

Problems in some of the shadowy corners of China’s financial system have also frightened investors. China’s shadow banking system plays an important role in funding property projects and other private business ventures. But managers of some riskier investment products have had a hard time making high-interest payments to investors in recent weeks. In some cases they have also had trouble even repaying principal.

These incidents have set off a broader shift in recent weeks away from riskier investments. Institutions and households alike have been putting money into larger, more stable financial institutions run by the central government.

Big state-controlled banks have steered the bulk of their lending to state-owned enterprises. That long-running trend has hurt the real estate market and the broader private sector.

Regulators have repeatedly urged the big banks to lend more to small businesses and the private sector, and Mr. Li, the premier, did so again on July 2. But these exhortations have had limited effect so far. Bank lending officers worry that they might be blamed, or even investigated for corruption, if they extend large loans to struggling private businesses that then default as the economy weakens.

The Chinese economy has come to rely largely on government investment in infrastructure projects. CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Andrew Collier, the managing director and founder of Orient Capital Research, a Hong Kong investment and economic research firm, said that troubles at Baoshang and in the shadow banking system had rattled financial markets but seemed to have been contained, at least so far.

“The Chinese central bank is watching carefully, and for now will use quiet means to avoid any shaky financial shenanigans,” he said.

Economists are watching for other potential warning signs, like inflation. Price increases have been tame, according to official statistics. But many in China complain that the actual cost of living is rising fast, particularly for food but also for rent and other daily expenses.

Industrial production has weakened this year, as has private sector investment. Housing sales have slowed, as buyers look harder for bargains but sellers have been reluctant to cut prices. Car factories have sharply reduced output in response to weak sales, although there were signs last month that consumer interest in buying luxury automobiles may finally be stabilizing.

The long-running trade war has prompted many multinational companies to look at ways to shift supply chains elsewhere. But many continue to invest in China to supply China’s own market as well as others, especially in Asia.

“The Chinese government will continue to work hard to create a more stable, fair, transparent and predictable investment environment,” Gao Feng, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news briefing on Thursday.

He later added that “China has not experienced large-scale withdrawals of foreign capital.”

For now, though, the economy keeps running to a considerable extent because the Chinese government is pumping huge sums of money into infrastructure. It is building high-speed rail lines, immense highway bridges, ports and other facilities to connect ever smaller and less affluent cities and towns to the rest of the country.

That infrastructure is making it easier to do business and move around even in some of the poorest and most remote areas of China. But bankers and economists worry about whether some of these investments will ever earn enough of a return to cover their cost.

“There’s a very weak commercial basis,” Mr. Magnus said, “for this credit-fueled infrastructure spending.”

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China’s Economic Growth Slows as Trade War With U.S. Deepens

BEIJING — China’s growth fell to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, officials said on Monday, as a resurgence of trade tensions with the United States and lingering financial problems take an increasing toll on one of the world’s most vital economic engines.

Chinese officials said the economy grew 6.2 percent between April and June compared with a year earlier. While such economic growth would be the envy of most of the world, it represented the slowest pace in China since the beginning of modern quarterly record-keeping in 1992. That marks a significant slowdown from earlier this year, when growth came in at 6.4 percent, matching a 27-year low reached during the global financial crisis a decade ago.

Premier Li Keqiang set a target in March for economic growth to be between 6 and 6.5 percent this year. The figures on Monday fell within that range.

But much of the growth in the quarter may have taken place in April and early May, when public confidence was higher because of a tax cut in March and heavy infrastructure spending as spring began. Trade talks broke down on May 10 and President Trump raised tariffs sharply on Chinese goods, a step that damaged consumer confidence within China. Growth early in the quarter also would have taken place before the contentious government takeover of a bank in late May hurt financial confidence.

Monthly economic data, particularly for imports, suggests that the second quarter started strong but then slowed. “There was certainly a surge in activity through April,” said George Magnus, a longtime specialist in the Chinese economy who is now at Oxford University. “Something happened in May.”

The number may also understate the extent of the slowdown. Economists widely doubt the veracity of the top Chinese growth figure, which shows far more stability than comparable numbers from the United States and elsewhere.

A few sectors of the Chinese economy are doing fairly well. The strongest sector appears to be the construction of infrastructure, much of it paid for with money borrowed by local, provincial and national government agencies.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155141007_0e4236fa-0d48-4e13-ac35-bef0484946be-articleLarge China’s Economic Growth Slows as Trade War With U.S. Deepens Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Infrastructure (Public Works) Economic Conditions and Trends China Banking and Financial Institutions

A used car dealership in Beijing. Auto sales have slumped badly.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The biggest drag on the Chinese economy lies in trade, which grew powerfully over the past three decades but has stopped rising in recent months. Exports dipped 1.3 percent in June from a year earlier, the government said on Friday, and imports fell 7.3 percent.

While the trade war has hurt American purchases from China, economic weakness in Europe and many Asian countries has caused overseas demand to weaken far more broadly than just in the United States. Last week, Singapore unexpectedly announced that its trade-dependent economy had shrunk at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in the second quarter.

“The economy is definitely in a broad decelerating trend because the global economy is slowing down, so exports are slowing down,” said Larry Hu, the chief China economist at Macquarie Capital, the investment banking unit of a big Australian multinational.

China’s troubles have their roots not just in trade but also in a debt-laden financial system that has been shaken by a series of large shocks in the last few weeks.

On May 24, Chinese financial regulators took over Baoshang Bank in Inner Mongolia, a small institution that is part of a financial empire previously controlled by Xiao Jianhua, a financier who disappeared into the custody of government investigators two years ago. Regulators tried to force a few of its largest creditors to accept losses rather than bailing them out as a way to teach financiers to be more careful about where they put their institutions’ money.

Problems in some of the shadowy corners of China’s financial system have also frightened investors. China’s shadow banking system plays an important role in funding property projects and other private business ventures. But managers of some riskier investment products have had a hard time making high-interest payments to investors in recent weeks. In some cases they have also had trouble even repaying principal.

These incidents have set off a broader shift in recent weeks away from riskier investments. Institutions and households alike have been putting money into larger, more stable financial institutions run by the central government.

Big state-controlled banks have steered the bulk of their lending to state-owned enterprises. That long-running trend has hurt the real estate market and the broader private sector.

Regulators have repeatedly urged the big banks to lend more to small businesses and the private sector, and Mr. Li, the premier, did so again on July 2. But these exhortations have had limited effect so far. Bank lending officers worry that they might be blamed, or even investigated for corruption, if they extend large loans to struggling private businesses that then default as the economy weakens.

The Chinese economy has come to rely largely on government investment in infrastructure projects. CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Andrew Collier, the managing director and founder of Orient Capital Research, a Hong Kong investment and economic research firm, said that troubles at Baoshang and in the shadow banking system had rattled financial markets but seemed to have been contained, at least so far.

“The Chinese central bank is watching carefully, and for now will use quiet means to avoid any shaky financial shenanigans,” he said.

Economists are watching for other potential warning signs, like inflation. Price increases have been tame, according to official statistics. But many in China complain that the actual cost of living is rising fast, particularly for food but also for rent and other daily expenses.

Industrial production has weakened this year, as has private sector investment. Housing sales have slowed, as buyers look harder for bargains but sellers have been reluctant to cut prices. Car factories have sharply reduced output in response to weak sales, although there were signs last month that consumer interest in buying luxury automobiles may finally be stabilizing.

The long-running trade war has prompted many multinational companies to look at ways to shift supply chains elsewhere. But many continue to invest in China to supply China’s own market as well as others, especially in Asia.

“The Chinese government will continue to work hard to create a more stable, fair, transparent and predictable investment environment,” Gao Feng, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news briefing on Thursday.

He later added that “China has not experienced large-scale withdrawals of foreign capital.”

For now, though, the economy keeps running to a considerable extent because the Chinese government is pumping huge sums of money into infrastructure. It is building high-speed rail lines, immense highway bridges, ports and other facilities to connect ever smaller and less affluent cities and towns to the rest of the country.

That infrastructure is making it easier to do business and move around even in some of the poorest and most remote areas of China. But bankers and economists worry about whether some of these investments will ever earn enough of a return to cover their cost.

“There’s a very weak commercial basis,” Mr. Magnus said, “for this credit-fueled infrastructure spending.”

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

China’s Economic Growth Slows as Trade War With U.S. Deepens

BEIJING — China’s growth fell to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, officials said on Monday, as a resurgence of trade tensions with the United States and lingering financial problems take an increasing toll on one of the world’s most vital economic engines.

Chinese officials said the economy grew 6.2 percent between April and June compared with a year earlier. While such economic growth would be the envy of most of the world, it represented the slowest pace in China since the beginning of modern quarterly record-keeping in 1992. That marks a significant slowdown from earlier this year, when growth came in at 6.4 percent, matching a 27-year low reached during the global financial crisis a decade ago.

Premier Li Keqiang set a target in March for economic growth to be between 6 and 6.5 percent this year. The figures on Monday fell within that range.

But much of the growth in the quarter may have taken place in April and early May, when public confidence was higher because of a tax cut in March and heavy infrastructure spending as spring began. Trade talks broke down on May 10 and President Trump raised tariffs sharply on Chinese goods, a step that damaged consumer confidence within China. Growth early in the quarter also would have taken place before the contentious government takeover of a bank in late May hurt financial confidence.

Monthly economic data, particularly for imports, suggests that the second quarter started strong but then slowed. “There was certainly a surge in activity through April,” said George Magnus, a longtime specialist in the Chinese economy who is now at Oxford University. “Something happened in May.”

The number may also understate the extent of the slowdown. Economists widely doubt the veracity of the top Chinese growth figure, which shows far more stability than comparable numbers from the United States and elsewhere.

A few sectors of the Chinese economy are doing fairly well. The strongest sector appears to be the construction of infrastructure, much of it paid for with money borrowed by local, provincial and national government agencies.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155141007_0e4236fa-0d48-4e13-ac35-bef0484946be-articleLarge China’s Economic Growth Slows as Trade War With U.S. Deepens Politics and Government International Trade and World Market Infrastructure (Public Works) Economic Conditions and Trends China Banking and Financial Institutions

A used car dealership in Beijing. Auto sales have slumped badly.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

The biggest drag on the Chinese economy lies in trade, which grew powerfully over the past three decades but has stopped rising in recent months. Exports dipped 1.3 percent in June from a year earlier, the government said on Friday, and imports fell 7.3 percent.

While the trade war has hurt American purchases from China, economic weakness in Europe and many Asian countries has caused overseas demand to weaken far more broadly than just in the United States. Last week, Singapore unexpectedly announced that its trade-dependent economy had shrunk at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in the second quarter.

“The economy is definitely in a broad decelerating trend because the global economy is slowing down, so exports are slowing down,” said Larry Hu, the chief China economist at Macquarie Capital, the investment banking unit of a big Australian multinational.

China’s troubles have their roots not just in trade but also in a debt-laden financial system that has been shaken by a series of large shocks in the last few weeks.

On May 24, Chinese financial regulators took over Baoshang Bank in Inner Mongolia, a small institution that is part of a financial empire previously controlled by Xiao Jianhua, a financier who disappeared into the custody of government investigators two years ago. Regulators tried to force a few of its largest creditors to accept losses rather than bailing them out as a way to teach financiers to be more careful about where they put their institutions’ money.

Problems in some of the shadowy corners of China’s financial system have also frightened investors. China’s shadow banking system plays an important role in funding property projects and other private business ventures. But managers of some riskier investment products have had a hard time making high-interest payments to investors in recent weeks. In some cases they have also had trouble even repaying principal.

These incidents have set off a broader shift in recent weeks away from riskier investments. Institutions and households alike have been putting money into larger, more stable financial institutions run by the central government.

Big state-controlled banks have steered the bulk of their lending to state-owned enterprises. That long-running trend has hurt the real estate market and the broader private sector.

Regulators have repeatedly urged the big banks to lend more to small businesses and the private sector, and Mr. Li, the premier, did so again on July 2. But these exhortations have had limited effect so far. Bank lending officers worry that they might be blamed, or even investigated for corruption, if they extend large loans to struggling private businesses that then default as the economy weakens.

The Chinese economy has come to rely largely on government investment in infrastructure projects. CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Andrew Collier, the managing director and founder of Orient Capital Research, a Hong Kong investment and economic research firm, said that troubles at Baoshang and in the shadow banking system had rattled financial markets but seemed to have been contained, at least so far.

“The Chinese central bank is watching carefully, and for now will use quiet means to avoid any shaky financial shenanigans,” he said.

Economists are watching for other potential warning signs, like inflation. Price increases have been tame, according to official statistics. But many in China complain that the actual cost of living is rising fast, particularly for food but also for rent and other daily expenses.

Industrial production has weakened this year, as has private sector investment. Housing sales have slowed, as buyers look harder for bargains but sellers have been reluctant to cut prices. Car factories have sharply reduced output in response to weak sales, although there were signs last month that consumer interest in buying luxury automobiles may finally be stabilizing.

The long-running trade war has prompted many multinational companies to look at ways to shift supply chains elsewhere. But many continue to invest in China to supply China’s own market as well as others, especially in Asia.

“The Chinese government will continue to work hard to create a more stable, fair, transparent and predictable investment environment,” Gao Feng, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news briefing on Thursday.

He later added that “China has not experienced large-scale withdrawals of foreign capital.”

For now, though, the economy keeps running to a considerable extent because the Chinese government is pumping huge sums of money into infrastructure. It is building high-speed rail lines, immense highway bridges, ports and other facilities to connect ever smaller and less affluent cities and towns to the rest of the country.

That infrastructure is making it easier to do business and move around even in some of the poorest and most remote areas of China. But bankers and economists worry about whether some of these investments will ever earn enough of a return to cover their cost.

“There’s a very weak commercial basis,” Mr. Magnus said, “for this credit-fueled infrastructure spending.”

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