web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Presidential Election of 2020

Live Impeachment Trial Highlights

Video

Westlake Legal Group 27vid-impeach-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Impeachment Trial Highlights United States Politics and Government Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Bolton, John R

President Trump’s lawyers continue their opening arguments before the Senate amid intensifying calls for witnesses to appear in the impeachment trial.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

President Trump’s lawyers avoided on Monday any mention of a newly disclosed firsthand account from his former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, that directly undercuts one of the defense’s main arguments.

The New York Times first reported details from drafts of Mr. Bolton’s upcoming book Sunday night, including Mr. Bolton’s assertion that Mr. Trump said he wanted to continue a freeze on military aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

Calls for witnesses intensified as a result, and three Republican senators — Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — indicated they might vote with Democrats to allow new witnesses to testify at the trial. Democrats need four Republicans for such a measure to pass.

Mr. Romney told reporters on Monday, “I think it’s increasingly likely that other Republicans will join those of us who think we should hear from John Bolton.”

The decision not to address Mr. Bolton’s explosive account hung over the lawyers’ first round of arguments as they repeated many of the same assertions offered over the past six months from Mr. Trump and the White House about why a hold was placed on military aid to Ukraine.

Mr. Trump denied Mr. Bolton’s account on Monday.

Mr. Bolton said weeks ago that he would testify at the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so. Democrats have said Republican attempts to prevent new witnesses like Mr. Bolton from coming forward suggests they are covering up for Mr. Trump.

One of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Michael Purpura, said the president’s decisions regarding Ukraine were rooted in his desire to get European countries to pitch in more with aid.

“Scrutinizing, and in some cases curtailing, foreign aid was a central plank of his campaign platform,” Mr. Purpura said. “President Trump is especially wary of sending American taxpayer dollars abroad when other countries refuse to pitch in.”

Mr. Purpura left out details about Trump administration officials scrambling to find legal justification for freezing the military aid. An independent government watchdog concluded that Mr. Trump’s decision to withhold the funds was against the law.

Jane Raskin, a member of the president’s defense team, raised the topic of Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, and his role in the Ukraine affair.

Ms. Raskin listed Mr. Giuliani’s accomplishments and called him a “colorful distraction.” She said the central role Democrats have affixed to him is undercut by their decision not to subpoena him to testify in the impeachment inquiry last year. (Democrats subpoenaed Mr. Giuliani to provide documents, but he did not comply).

In the midst of the White House efforts to pressure Ukraine, Mr. Bolton last summer described Mr. Giuliani as “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,” according to testimony from one of Mr. Bolton’s aides. And it was in part the involvement of Mr. Giuliani, who was not a government official, in American foreign policy that prompted an intelligence officer to file a whistle-blower complaint that ultimately led to the impeachment of Mr. Trump.

Ken Starr, the dogged independent counsel during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, resumed Mr. Trump’s defense on Monday afternoon with a discursive and at times academic overview of the history of impeachment.

“Like war, impeachment is hell. Or at least presidential impeachment is hell,” said Mr. Starr, who has been a regular guest on Fox News during the Trump administration.

Mr. Trump added Mr. Starr to his legal team shortly before his trial began.

“Those of us who lived through the Clinton impeachment, including members of this body, full well understand that a presidential impeachment is tantamount to domestic war, but thankfully protected by our beloved First Amendment, a war of words and a war of ideas,” said Mr. Starr, who resigned as independent counsel in 1999 over the “intense politicization” of the investigation.

Mr. Starr’s choice to dwell on history appeared to ignore criticism from some Republican senators that the House managers spent too much time last week on the rehashing of historical references and past legal precedents to justify removing Mr. Trump from office. Mr. Trump’s other lawyers have steered clear of any suggestion that the proceedings will leave an indelible mark on the nation’s history.

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

Trump Impeachment Trial Stream: Full Highlights

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 27vid-impeach-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Impeachment Trial Stream: Full Highlights United States Politics and Government Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Bolton, John R

President Trump’s lawyers continue their opening arguments before the Senate amid intensifying calls for witnesses to appear in the impeachment trial.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

House impeachment managers and Senate Democrats have been clamoring to persuade Republicans to allow new evidence and witnesses into President Trump’s Senate trial. In particular, they want John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, who has already said he would be willing to appear if subpoenaed.

Those calls intensified on Sunday night when The New York Times reported details from Mr. Bolton’s upcoming book, including Mr. Bolton’s assertion that Mr. Trump said he wanted to continue a freeze on military aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals. The revelation could undercut a key element of Mr. Trump’s impeachment defense: that the hold was separate from the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.

Mr. Trump denied Mr. Bolton’s account on Monday.

It was not yet clear whether the details from Mr. Bolton would be enough to persuade the handful of Senate Republicans needed to join Democrats voting in favor of calling witnesses. But one of the Republicans who has been open to hearing new witnesses, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, said late Monday morning that he expected other Senate Republicans to come around.

It’s rare to see a defendant attack the lead prosecutor in the middle of a trial. But that’s what Mr. Trump did a day after his defense team began their opening arguments, making the case that the president should not be removed from office.

Mr. Trump on Sunday lashed out at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who led the House impeachment inquiry and is serving as the lead prosecutor in the Senate trial.

Mr. Schiff is “a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man,” Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter post, followed by a warning: “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”

Asked if he took that to be a threat, Mr. Schiff on Sunday, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said, “I think it’s intended to be.”

Mr. Trump’s defense team used just two hours on Saturday out of their 24-hour allotment in their first opportunity in the Senate to respond to the case made by House impeachment managers last week during the trial.

The president’s team went straight to offense, accusing the Democrats of levying a partisan witch hunt against Mr. Trump to help gain an advantage in the 2020 presidential election. As part of that, they offered a diametrically different interpretation of the Constitution than the Democrats presented a week earlier, and argued that nothing that Mr. Trump did warranted removing a president from office.

The length of the arguments on Saturday — just two hours compared with the Democrats’ eight hours on their first day — was notable, as some Republican senators had complained about the repetition of the House managers’ arguments over the course of their three days.

Mr. Trump has also complained that the Saturday television viewership was less than ideal and previously said it “is called Death Valley in T.V.” in the world of television ratings.

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

Live Trump Impeachment Trial Stream

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 27vid-impeach-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Trump Impeachment Trial Stream United States Politics and Government Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Bolton, John R

President Trump’s lawyers continue their opening arguments before the Senate amid intensifying calls for witnesses to appear in the impeachment trial.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

House impeachment managers and Senate Democrats have been clamoring to persuade Republicans to allow new evidence and witnesses into President Trump’s Senate trial. In particular, they want John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, who has already said he would be willing to appear if subpoenaed.

Those calls intensified on Sunday night when The New York Times reported details from Mr. Bolton’s upcoming book, including Mr. Bolton’s assertion that Mr. Trump said he wanted to continue a freeze on military aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals. The revelation could undercut a key element of Mr. Trump’s impeachment defense: that the hold was separate from the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.

Mr. Trump denied Mr. Bolton’s account on Monday.

It was not yet clear whether the details from Mr. Bolton would be enough to persuade the handful of Senate Republicans needed to join Democrats voting in favor of calling witnesses. But one of the Republicans who has been open to hearing new witnesses, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, said late Monday morning that he expected other Senate Republicans to come around.

It’s rare to see a defendant attack the lead prosecutor in the middle of a trial. But that’s what Mr. Trump did a day after his defense team began their opening arguments, making the case that the president should not be removed from office.

Mr. Trump on Sunday lashed out at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who led the House impeachment inquiry and is serving as the lead prosecutor in the Senate trial.

Mr. Schiff is “a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man,” Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter post, followed by a warning: “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!”

Asked if he took that to be a threat, Mr. Schiff on Sunday, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said, “I think it’s intended to be.”

Mr. Trump’s defense team used just two hours on Saturday out of their 24-hour allotment in their first opportunity in the Senate to respond to the case made by House impeachment managers last week during the trial.

The president’s team went straight to offense, accusing the Democrats of levying a partisan witch hunt against Mr. Trump to help gain an advantage in the 2020 presidential election. As part of that, they offered a diametrically different interpretation of the Constitution than the Democrats presented a week earlier, and argued that nothing that Mr. Trump did warranted removing a president from office.

The length of the arguments on Saturday — just two hours compared with the Democrats’ eight hours on their first day — was notable, as some Republican senators had complained about the repetition of the House managers’ arguments over the course of their three days.

Mr. Trump has also complained that the Saturday television viewership was less than ideal and previously said it “is called Death Valley in T.V.” in the world of television ratings.

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

In Iowa, the ‘Not Sanders’ Democrats Find Voters Torn

Westlake Legal Group 27iowa1-facebookJumbo In Iowa, the ‘Not Sanders’ Democrats Find Voters Torn Warren, Elizabeth Vilsack, Tom Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Democratic Party Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

BETTENDORF, Iowa — As they streamed out of the ballroom following a Scott County fund-raising banquet Saturday night, one after the other Iowa Democrats admitted that they still had not decided whom to support just over a week before the state’s presidential caucuses.

But by not mentioning his name as they rattled off their short lists, they made it clear whom they would not support: Senator Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist from Vermont who has taken the lead in recent polls.

Instead, every one of the 30 still-undecided Democratic activists here rattled off some combination of the same four names — Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

As Mr. Sanders tightens his grip on the party’s young and left-wing voters in Iowa, more traditional Democrats, the ones who happily sit through marathon banquet dinners to hear the candidates and their representatives, remain split between his four leading competitors or remain unsure altogether about whom to rally behind.

“I have told my colleagues all along: Bernie Sanders can win with 27 percent of the vote here,” said Representative Dave Loebsack, an Iowa Democrat supporting Mr. Buttigieg, alluding to his fellow lawmakers, many of whom are deeply uneasy about running with Mr. Sanders on top of the ticket.

The fracture among mainstream Democrats here carries profound implications for a primary that has already unsettled the party establishment and prompted late entrants into the race.

Mr. Sanders is threatening to seize control in the early states, taking narrow but clear polling leads in Iowa and New Hampshire and increasingly menacing Mr. Biden’s advantage in national polls. With his mammoth online fund-raising operation, Mr. Sanders appears to be in a position of financial strength unmatched by any other candidate besides Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City.

Mr. Sanders’s endurance, and his apparent rise in the earliest primary and caucus states, reflects both the loyalty of his core supporters and their conviction that Mr. Sanders would bring the same fighting resilience to the general election. But even among many liberals who admire Mr. Sanders’s campaign, or some of his policy ideas, there is deep concern about the implications of nominating a candidate from the left whom President Trump is sure to portray as extreme.

“I think that Bernie is just a bridge too far for the country,” said Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general who is supporting Mr. Biden. Ms. Campbell said she would have no difficulty supporting Mr. Sanders in the general election, but added, “I can tell you, I hear from friends and colleagues who say: ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do if Bernie wins?’”

But in Iowa, Democrats who hope to avert that outcome do not appear close to settling on another candidate as an alternative to Mr. Sanders. And if more moderate voters don’t coalesce behind an alternative by next week’s caucus, party traditionalists fear, Mr. Sanders could win Iowa with only a modest plurality, emboldening his leading rivals to remain in the race, and then notch another victory again a week later in New Hampshire. No Democrat in modern times has lost contested races in both Iowa and New Hampshire and claimed the nomination.

The early primary and caucus outcomes could have an outsize impact on later primaries, including the large states voting in March, some of which begin collecting mail-in and early ballots in the immediate aftermath of Iowa. If a candidate like Mr. Sanders were to seize momentum next week, it could help him build a head start in states like California and Texas.

It is a scenario that is deeply alarming to establishment-aligned Democrats, if not unfamiliar. Four years ago, convinced Donald Trump could not win the presidency, they watched with delight as he snatched the Republican nomination without winning majorities because his more traditional rivals divided the vote and refused to bow out.

The Democrats in this race have been as reluctant to target Mr. Sanders as the Republicans were to target Mr. Trump four years ago; in each case they were skeptical of his staying power and believed they had more to gain by attacking other rivals.

Even now, as Mr. Sanders takes a lead in the first two early states, his opponents have not delivered a sustained argument against his candidacy, and remain reluctant to take him on: while Mr. Buttigieg drew attention for warning in a fund-raising solicitation that a Sanders nomination would be too risky, he notably declined to amplify his rhetoric in television interviews over the weekend. The closest he has come to confronting his rival on the left is to make oblique references to the often-bitter 2016 primary between Hillary Clinton and Mr. Sanders.

“Most of us would agree the less 2020 resembles 2016 the better — in all respects,” Mr. Buttigieg said in a brief interview. Each of the would-be Stop Sanders candidates has built enough political strength to justify forging ahead: Mr. Biden remains the national front-runner, with unmatched support among black voters; Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Warren both have double-digit support in New Hampshire polls, and sizable war chests; Ms. Klobuchar has the thinnest operation beyond Iowa of the group, but over the weekend she earned the endorsement of New Hampshire’s influential Union Leader newspaper.

Should all four move forward from Iowa, with their perceived strengths and weaknesses, it could make it difficult for any of them to become a rallying point for voters uneasy about Mr. Sanders.

Complicating matters further for traditionalists, and making this race potentially even messier than Mr. Trump’s primary, is the presence of Mr. Bloomberg, who is not contesting the traditional early states in February but has already poured more than $270 million in advertising into later contests and made clear to allies that he will remain in the race should Mr. Sanders come roaring into March.

Mr. Bloomberg was on Ms. Klobuchar’s mind as she left the dinner here Saturday. She was asked if she would remain in the race if she did not break into the top three in the caucuses, which has often been the number of viable candidates who leave the state.

Even if you’re in fourth, she was asked?

“You think it’s only going to be down to four candidates even by New Hampshire?” she said before answering the question. “No, it’s not.”

Then, pointing to Mr. Bloomberg, she explained why the Democratic vote may remain splintered.

“Why would I get out while he’s still in?” Ms. Klobuchar demanded.

With nearly 40 percent of Iowa voters indicating in a new New York Times-Siena College poll that they were still not certain about whom to support, Mr. Sanders could still suffer a reversal of fortune here.

That’s in part because of the state’s complex, multiphase caucusing process, which allows supporters of underdog candidates to shift to stronger contenders. If Mr. Sanders has the most enthusiastic base of support in Iowa, he may be less well positioned to expand his bloc in later rounds should moderate voters rally to one of the four other leading candidates.

And it’s Ms. Klobuchar whom Iowa Democrats are watching most closely. If she does not reach 15 percent in most precincts, her supporters could determine the statewide winner if they migrate mostly to one candidate.

Former Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, Mr. Biden’s most prominent supporter in the state, was blunt about why Ms. Klobuchar’s backers should support the former vice president.

Mr. Biden has the best chance of winning the general election, he shares Ms. Klobuchar’s pragmatic politics and “Joe is going to need a running mate,” Mr. Vilsack said.

A more urgent concern for Mr. Vilsack was the prospect of Iowa producing a muddled result, a scenario that’s more likely this year because the state party, for the first time, is releasing raw vote totals from the initial round of balloting as well as the final results and delegate allocations.

“If I had to make one prediction, there will be a split decision and that’ll have repercussions,” he said. “Because whoever quote-unquote wins can claim that they won, and talk about it going into New Hampshire.”

So while they still hope to best Mr. Sanders in Iowa or New Hampshire, several of Mr. Sanders’s rivals have begun emphasizing their strengths in states later in the calendar.

Mr. Biden’s advisers and surrogates have been stressing his support among minority communities that become important starting with the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, while Ms. Warren’s campaign circulated a memo last week detailing its preparations in the March primaries that will award most of the delegates that will settle the Democratic nomination.

And in a conversation with volunteers before a town hall-style meeting in Davenport on Sunday, Ms. Warren reiterated her determination to compete into March and beyond, telling supporters she already has staff in 30 states, according to a volunteer who attended the meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“We all know that this is very likely to be a long nomination process,” said California Assemblyman David Chiu, who on Sunday was opening a campaign headquarters in San Francisco for Ms. Warren and said of her campaign: “They are going to put up a tremendous fight here in the state.”

That phase of the race is also when Mr. Bloomberg, with his vast personal fortune, could become a more urgent factor, either rising as an obstacle for Mr. Sanders or further fracturing the party’s moderate wing.

In California, Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, who endorsed Mr. Biden this month, said he expected the former vice president to consolidate support there “once it becomes clear that there’s a few candidates left.”

But gathering support around just a few candidates could also be difficult in California, Mr. Garcia noted, because the state’s mail-in ballots would list the names of candidates who falter or withdraw over the course of February.

“There are going to be a lot of candidates in California, because they are going to be on the ballot,” he said. “There will be some drop-off, but they’re all competitive here and that’s going to continue.”

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

Trump Denies Telling Bolton That Ukraine’s Aid Depended on Biden Investigations

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-REAX-facebookJumbo Trump Denies Telling Bolton That Ukraine’s Aid Depended on Biden Investigations United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday pushed back on a firsthand account from his former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, about tying military aid for a foreign ally to his own personal agenda, as senators consider the president’s future in the Oval Office.

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens,” Mr. Trump wrote just after midnight, referring to a widely debunked theory that the president had pursued about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter.

In an unpublished manuscript of his upcoming book, Mr. Bolton described the White House decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine until he left the White House in September. As national security adviser, Mr. Bolton would have been involved in many of the high-level discussions about Ukraine.

Mr. Bolton’s account directly undercuts one of Mr. Trump’s defense arguments, that the frozen funding was not connected to his petitioning of Ukraine’s leader, President Volodymyr Zelensky, to help him in the 2020 presidential election by announcing an anticorruption investigation into the Bidens.

The new details come at a time when senators approach making a final decision — possibly by the end of the week — on whether to allow new evidence and new witnesses, like Mr. Bolton, to be introduced in Mr. Trump’s trial in the Senate. Mr. Trump’s defense team started presenting his defense on Saturday and has through Tuesday to argue against his removal from office.

Hours after his midnight posts, Mr. Trump falsely stated that the Democrats never asked Mr. Bolton to testify during the House impeachment inquiry last year. Republicans and Mr. Trump’s defense team have argued that to call witnesses at this stage in the impeachment proceedings amounts to Democrats telling the Senate to do the work the House did not.

Mr. Trump also falsely claimed that his White House released the critical military aid to Ukraine ahead of schedule.

Democrats have been pushing the Republican-led Senate to allow new witnesses, and others could include Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff who played a key role in the Ukraine pressure campaign. A handful of Republican senators had indicated they would be open to hearing new witnesses, but by the end of last week, there were few signs that they would vote with Democrats on the matter.

“There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the president’s defense,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said in a joint statement on Sunday after The New York Times’s article about Mr. Bolton’s account was published.

Mr. Bolton’s potentially explosive details about Mr. Trump’s motivations for freezing the military aid could provide the impetus that could potentially sway some Republican senators to reconsider hearing new testimony.

Mr. Bolton’s lawyer blamed the White House for the disclosure of the book’s contents, which Mr. Bolton submitted for a standard security review 12 days after the House impeached Mr. Trump. It is possible that the submission of Mr. Bolton’s book to the White House deepened desires to keep Mr. Bolton from testifying.

By Monday morning, some Republican senators had reached out to the White House, pressing for who had visibility into Mr. Bolton’s manuscript as the Senate trial unfolded a week earlier.

In his manuscript, Mr. Bolton describes an effort, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, to push Mr. Trump to release the aid. Mr. Bolton said he also spoke with Attorney General William P. Barr about his concerns over the parallel diplomacy with Ukraine led by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Barr, whom Mr. Trump mentioned in his July phone call with Mr. Zelensky, has tried to distance himself from Mr. Giuliani and the Ukraine matter.

Mr. Bolton, who has said he would testify at the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed, wrote in the manuscript that Mr. Pompeo told him privately that there was no basis to criticize the American ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch. Career diplomats have testified that there was no justification to fire Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Giuliani and two of his associates had been pushing Mr. Trump to fire her since the spring of 2018.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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

Trump Denies Telling Bolton That Ukraine’s Aid Depended on Biden Investigations

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-REAX-facebookJumbo Trump Denies Telling Bolton That Ukraine’s Aid Depended on Biden Investigations United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday pushed back on a firsthand account from his former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, about tying military aid for a foreign ally to his own personal agenda, as senators consider the president’s future in the Oval Office.

“I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens,” Mr. Trump wrote just after midnight, referring to a widely debunked theory that the president had pursued about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter.

In an unpublished manuscript of his upcoming book, Mr. Bolton described the White House decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine until he left the White House in September. As national security adviser, Mr. Bolton would have been involved in many of the high-level discussions about Ukraine.

Mr. Bolton’s account directly undercuts one of Mr. Trump’s defense arguments, that the frozen funding was not connected to his petitioning of Ukraine’s leader, President Volodymyr Zelensky, to help him in the 2020 presidential election by announcing an anticorruption investigation into the Bidens.

The new details come at a time when senators approach making a final decision — possibly by the end of the week — on whether to allow new evidence and new witnesses, like Mr. Bolton, to be introduced in Mr. Trump’s trial in the Senate. Mr. Trump’s defense team started presenting his defense on Saturday and has through Tuesday to argue against his removal from office.

Hours after his midnight posts, Mr. Trump falsely stated that the Democrats never asked Mr. Bolton to testify during the House impeachment inquiry last year. Republicans and Mr. Trump’s defense team have argued that to call witnesses at this stage in the impeachment proceedings amounts to Democrats telling the Senate to do the work the House did not.

Mr. Trump also falsely claimed that his White House released the critical military aid to Ukraine ahead of schedule.

Democrats have been pushing the Republican-led Senate to allow new witnesses, and others could include Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff who played a key role in the Ukraine pressure campaign. A handful of Republican senators had indicated they would be open to hearing new witnesses, but by the end of last week, there were few signs that they would vote with Democrats on the matter.

“There can be no doubt now that Mr. Bolton directly contradicts the heart of the president’s defense,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said in a joint statement on Sunday after The New York Times’s article about Mr. Bolton’s account was published.

Mr. Bolton’s potentially explosive details about Mr. Trump’s motivations for freezing the military aid could provide the impetus that could potentially sway some Republican senators to reconsider hearing new testimony.

Mr. Bolton’s lawyer blamed the White House for the disclosure of the book’s contents, which Mr. Bolton submitted for a standard security review 12 days after the House impeached Mr. Trump. It is possible that the submission of Mr. Bolton’s book to the White House deepened desires to keep Mr. Bolton from testifying.

By Monday morning, some Republican senators had reached out to the White House, pressing for who had visibility into Mr. Bolton’s manuscript as the Senate trial unfolded a week earlier.

In his manuscript, Mr. Bolton describes an effort, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, to push Mr. Trump to release the aid. Mr. Bolton said he also spoke with Attorney General William P. Barr about his concerns over the parallel diplomacy with Ukraine led by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Barr, whom Mr. Trump mentioned in his July phone call with Mr. Zelensky, has tried to distance himself from Mr. Giuliani and the Ukraine matter.

Mr. Bolton, who has said he would testify at the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed, wrote in the manuscript that Mr. Pompeo told him privately that there was no basis to criticize the American ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch. Career diplomats have testified that there was no justification to fire Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Giuliani and two of his associates had been pushing Mr. Trump to fire her since the spring of 2018.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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

Bernie Sanders and His Internet Army

The defense from Bernie Sanders was straightforward: It wasn’t me.

He had been milling about on the Senate floor one day in the summer of 2017 when a colleague, Kamala Harris, stepped toward him. “Do we have a problem?” Ms. Harris asked, according to Democrats familiar with the exchange.

Some prominent Sanders supporters had been flaming Ms. Harris publicly as the preferred choice of the corporate Democratic establishment against which Mr. Sanders had long railed, a view amplified among Sanders-boosting accounts across social media. “Pre-emptive strike,” one person wrote on the popular SandersForPresident Reddit group, where Sanders fans were sharing details of Ms. Harris’s recent fund-raising swing in the Hamptons with former Hillary Clinton donors. “Start the conversation now, end it before 2020.”

Mr. Sanders assured Ms. Harris that there was no issue, the Democrats familiar with their conversation said. He insisted that he could not control how his followers communicated.

But two years later, as both senators pursued the party’s 2020 presidential nomination and Ms. Harris returned to the Hamptons to collect campaign checks, Mr. Sanders broadcast an observation of his own after Ms. Harris raised doubts about his “Medicare for all” plan. “I don’t go to the Hamptons to raise money from billionaires,” he tweeted last August, elevating a message that supporters had already been pushing. Thousands of retweets followed.

Since the start of Mr. Sanders’s first presidential campaign in 2016, his colossal online support base has been by turns a source of peerless strength and perpetual aggravation — envied and caricatured by rivals who covet such loyalty, feared by Democrats who have faced harassment from his followers, and alternately cherished and gently scolded by the candidate himself.

The zeal of Mr. Sanders’s fans has helped establish him as one of the 2020 front-runners a week before the Iowa caucuses. No other Democrat attracts supporters more dedicated to forcefully defending their candidate and lashing his foes, more willing to repeatedly donate their time and money to sustain his bid. Through the end of 2019, Mr. Sanders had raised nearly $100 million from over five million individual donations, without ever holding traditional fund-raisers, leading the primary field.

Yet as Mr. Sanders moves to position himself as a standard-bearer for a party he has criticized from the left for decades, the power of his internet army has also alarmed Democrats who are familiar with its underside, experienced in ways large and small.

Some progressive activists who declined to back Mr. Sanders have begun traveling with private security after incurring online harassment. Several well-known feminist writers said they had received death threats. A state party chairwoman changed her phone number. A Portland lawyer saw her business rating tumble on an online review site after tussling with Sanders supporters on Twitter.

Other notable targets have included Ady Barkan, a prominent liberal activist with A.L.S. — whom some Sanders-cheering accounts accused of lacking decision-making faculties due to his illness as he prepared to endorse Senator Elizabeth Warren — and Fred Guttenberg, the father of a shooting victim from the 2018 Parkland massacre, who had criticized Mr. Sanders’s statements about gun violence.

“Politics is a contact sport,” said Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina State legislator who supported Ms. Harris in the Democratic primary. “But you have to be very cognizant when you say anything critical of Bernie online. You might have to put your phone down. There’s going to be a blowback, and it could be sexist, racist and vile.”

In recent days, he said, one man sent a profanity-filled private message on Instagram, calling Mr. Sellers, who is black, an “Uncle Tom” and wishing him brain cancer.

When Mr. Sanders’s supporters swarm someone online, they often find multiple access points to that person’s life, compiling what can amount to investigative dossiers. They will attack all public social media accounts, posting personal insults that might flow in by the hundreds. Some of the missives are direct threats of violence, which can be reported to Twitter or Facebook and taken down.

More commonly, there is a barrage of jabs and threats sometimes framed as jokes. If the target is a woman, and it often is, these insults can veer toward her physical appearance.

For some perceived Sanders critics, there has been mail sent to home addresses — or the home addresses of relatives. The contents were unremarkable: news articles about the political perils of centrism. The message seemed clear: We know where you live.

— Bernie Sanders, in a 2019 letter to supporters

Interviews with current and former staff members and major online supporters make clear that top advisers — and often, Mr. Sanders himself — are acutely aware of the bile spread in his name.

In February 2019, shortly after announcing his second presidential run, Mr. Sanders emailed a letter to surrogates. “I want to be clear,” he said, “that I condemn bullying and harassment of any kind and in any space.”

That he felt compelled to append this note to his national reintroduction was perhaps as telling as its contents.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_163025088_86bbb9f9-f4fe-44bd-a623-581bf2a819b3-articleLarge Bernie Sanders and His Internet Army Warren, Elizabeth Social Media Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Cyberharassment Clinton, Hillary Rodham

Mr. Sanders at a campaign rally in Queens in October. Credit…Christopher Lee for The New York Times

The Sanders campaign declined to discuss its 2020 digital operation and the extent to which it monitored social media discussions.

A spokesman, Mike Casca, flagged Mr. Sanders’s call for civility from last February. The campaign also released a statement from a spokeswoman, Sarah Ford, emphasizing the candidate’s previous remarks. “As the senator has said loudly and clearly,” she said, “there is no room in the political revolution for abuse and harassment online.”

Sanders aides routinely decide against commenting publicly about an online spat, reasoning that to do so would only elevate the conflict. The candidate’s defenders are quick to reject any suggestion that Mr. Sanders is responsible for the most egregious conduct of his followers, who are disproportionately young and overrepresented online, when the vast majority proceed with greater care.

His allies also argue that online combat is not unique to the Sanders side, with some high-profile women who support the senator saying they have been attacked, too.

“The same folks who want to complain that Sanders supporters are more vicious than anybody else never come out to chastise the supporters of other candidates,” said Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and Mr. Sanders’s national campaign co-chair.

But many political veterans outside the Sanders operation fault the campaign’s handling of the vitriol.

Jess Morales Rocketto, a progressive strategist who worked on campaigns for Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton, said Mr. Sanders had empowered aides and surrogates who “have a tendency to aggressively amplify things that a campaign would normally shut down amongst supporters.”

“There are always people who say things that are problematic. It’s not that that is unique to Bernie’s campaign,” she said. “What’s unique is it is a consistent problem in the universe of Bernie Sanders.”

— RoseAnn DeMoro, a Sanders supporter and former leader of National Nurses United

With more than 10 million followers on Twitter, Mr. Sanders has a larger audience on the platform than Ms. Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Amy Klobuchar combined. A sizable number could be automated bots or fictitious accounts. Federal prosecutors have detailed coordinated efforts by Russian nationals to interfere in the 2016 election, with an emphasis on two candidates — Donald J. Trump and Mr. Sanders — whom the Russians hoped to bolster while denigrating their opponents.

In a party gripped with anxiety about unifying to defeat Mr. Trump, the venom among Sanders backers and their counterparts supporting other candidates is of serious concern to Democrats.

Peggy Huppert, an Iowa activist who consulted for the 2016 Sanders campaign, said she had decided to support Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., in 2020 “in large part because of the way he conducts himself.” She praised Mr. Sanders’s letter to supporters after his announcement but said that this message had plainly failed to resonate.

“Obama set the tone for his campaign: ‘You are positive, you are respectful, you are civil,’” Ms. Huppert said. “I guess Bernie hasn’t.”

In recent days, Sanders supporters have filled the social media feeds of Ms. Warren and her allies with snakes — emojis, GIFs, doctored photographs — following the candidates’ quarrel over whether Mr. Sanders had told Ms. Warren privately in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency. And last week, Mrs. Clinton resurfaced to revisit old wounds, telling The Hollywood Reporter that Mr. Sanders was to blame for permitting and “very much supporting” a toxic campaign culture.

For many of Mr. Sanders’s admirers, the interview only reinforced a conviction that traditional Democratic forces wish him political harm.

So why, they ask, should he be expected to stifle his most potent megaphone?

“You can’t control these folks,” RoseAnn DeMoro, a vocal Sanders supporter and former leader of National Nurses United, said of his online base. “I should say, ‘us folks.’”

There was a running joke inside the Clinton campaign’s 2016 Brooklyn headquarters: The cruelest surprise her digital team could pull on staff members was to retweet their personal account from the candidate’s handle, putting them on the radar of Mr. Sanders’s followers.

Mrs. Clinton’s aides mostly marveled at the scope and intensity of an ostensible long shot’s online base.

Mr. Sanders’s supporters, now often identified on Twitter by the rose emoji of the Democratic Socialists of America, loosely coordinated in private channels on Slack, a messaging service designed for the workplace, and congregated on Reddit, posting memes, news and jokes. (Today, there are 384,000 members in the SandersForPresident group on Reddit. The central group for Mr. Biden has about 3,100.)

— Michael Ceraso, a 2016 Sanders aide

Top Sanders aides initially worked to assemble traditional campaign infrastructure with staff on the ground in early nominating states like Iowa and New Hampshire. But much of the rest of the map was effectively the province of volunteers, who were responsible for helping to translate online enthusiasm into in-person support.

To Mr. Sanders, who had long bet his career on the power of mass movements, the online momentum did not necessarily register as unusual, even if he did not understand all the nuts and bolts.

Zack Exley, a senior adviser in 2016, said someone once asked Mr. Sanders how he had managed to draw so many people to his events.

“What do you mean?” the candidate replied, according to Mr. Exley. That was just how movements worked.

“If you’re in that position,” Mr. Exley said, “I don’t think you’re actually curious about how they got there.”

Others suggested that Mr. Sanders was highly attuned to what was happening online. His campaign aides tracked popular hashtags and, at times, encountered caustic posts. The candidate was particularly cognizant of, and grateful for, his online supporters’ capacity for small-dollar fund-raising.

“It would stun me that he wouldn’t know what was going on, positive or negative, online,” said Michael Ceraso, a Sanders aide in 2016 who worked for Mr. Buttigieg’s presidential campaign for part of last year.

While Mr. Sanders has said he does not have Twitter or any other apps on his phone, he is aware of the power of his online platform. “Given the fact that I have more social media followers than maybe all of my opponents combined, I guess we’re doing something right on that,” he told The New York Times editorial board. “What I have recognized is the importance of it.”

Ro Khanna, a California congressman who is now Mr. Sanders’s national campaign co-chair, said that the same internet that helped usher in the presidencies of Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama had made Mr. Sanders an unlikely juggernaut.

“If it weren’t for social media, if it weren’t for the use of email, Bernie Sanders would never have been a major contender,” he said. “It’s a glimpse, I think, into what the future of what campaigns may be.”

— a message received by Maya Contreras, co-founder of a feminist think tank who has been critical of Mr. Sanders

That is precisely what some Democrats fear. As the 2016 primary grew increasingly fractious, Mr. Sanders’s campaign found a drawback to such fervor: the online bullying among some supporters.

Sady Doyle, a progressive feminist author and Sanders critic who has been the subject of his followers’ ire, recalled one message she received from a stranger: “If you ever have a child, I’m going to dash it on the walls of Troy.” She said her husband asked her not to attend protests alone while pregnant.

Maya Contreras, a graduate student and co-founder of a feminist think tank who has criticized Mr. Sanders on Twitter, recalled a deluge in the lead-up to the 2016 election. “I got messages saying ‘go back to where you came from’ — which is Denver, Colorado, where I was born,” she said.

“Someone tweeted and said ‘You better watch where you’re going or something’s going to happen to you,’” Ms. Contreras added. “I also got ‘die bitch.’”

In person, serious violence has been avoided, it seems, though there have been occasional low-grade clashes. A May 2016 fight over delegates in Nevada included reports of thrown chairs, which some Sanders supporters dispute, and threats against the state party chairwoman, Roberta Lange, who changed her phone number after receiving a torrent of menacing messages about her, her grandchild and other relatives.

Former Senator Barbara Boxer of California, a Clinton supporter who had been at the Nevada convention, said she worried for her safety after being booed offstage.

“After the incident, Bernie and I talked on the phone, and he said, ‘I can’t believe that, my supporters would never do that,’” Ms. Boxer recalled. “I said, ‘Well, you ought to get to the bottom of it, Bernie.’”

She said Mr. Sanders responded, “Those cannot be my people.”

By early 2016, the behavior of Mr. Sanders’s online supporters, short-handed in the media as “Bernie Bros,” had become a stubborn trope, diagnosed as a political problem at the highest levels of the senator’s campaign, even as aides largely blamed Mrs. Clinton’s operation for overblowing it.

At times in public, Mr. Sanders tried to disclaim unseemly conduct. “We don’t want that crap,” he said in February 2016.

But he and his senior team also nursed a sharp sense of grievance. Jeff Weaver, a top Sanders strategist, played down the gravity of the Nevada unrest, telling CNN afterward that “no one had a right to feel threatened.”

“What happens,” he said, “is that when you rig the process and you get an angry crowd, you know, they’re not used to that.”

When the story broke this month detailing the private conversation between Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren about female electability, Sanders surrogates received a message from the campaign, advising them against going out of their way to engage with it publicly.

But later that day, Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, told CNN that whoever had pushed the Warren story was lying. Shaun King, a civil rights activist and prominent Sanders supporter with more than one million Twitter followers, said he saw an opportunity.

Among other widely circulated tweets, Mr. King wrote that he had spoken to Warren campaign staff members who reported that she “routinely embellishes stories.” He alleged that the Warren campaign and its allies “leaked this attack against Bernie to the press for political gain.”

Eventually, Ms. Turner, the campaign co-chair, got in touch. “She called me and said, ‘Shaun, just let up on it,’” he said. He did, to an extent. But by then, much of the Sanders-aligned internet was about to begin tweeting snakes at Ms. Warren and her supporters en masse.

In that instance and more than a handful of others over the past year, the campaign has publicly distanced itself from the rancor. Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane, called for unity as the Warren squabble persisted. Mr. Sanders weighed in when some followers scorched Mr. Barkan, the activist with A.L.S., after his endorsement of Ms. Warren. “Bernie and all of his staff and surrogates were incredibly gracious and kind when I made the difficult decision to endorse one of my heroes over the other,” Mr. Barkan said in a statement.

The campaign recognizes the possible political downsides in any extreme behavior, but aides are perhaps most wary of the “bro” portion of the “Bernie Bro” descriptor, as Mr. Sanders prepares to make his case to a diverse Democratic electorate later in the primary calendar. Ms. Ford, the Sanders spokeswoman, said opponents were perpetuating “a false myth to discount the diversity of our supporters.”

While Mr. Sanders’s poll numbers with nonwhite voters are stronger than many rivals’, female and nonwhite Sanders critics say they continue to face disproportionate harassment from ostensibly progressive forces. “People talk about white dudes getting radicalized on the right,” said Imani Gandy, a senior legal analyst for Rewire.News behind a popular Twitter account, @AngryBlackLady. “I feel like white dudes in Brooklyn are being radicalized too.”

Candice Aiston, a lawyer who supported Ms. Harris before she left the primary, sparred with Sanders supporters last year and found herself targeted beyond Twitter: Some condemned her in Google reviews of her law practice and reported her to the Oregon state bar association, which dismissed the complaints.

(“She’s O.K. at her job, but her right wing ideology screams too loud,” one online review read. “Would not recommend.”)

For the campaign, the balance is delicate — tut-tutting at times without diluting the force of online support. Mr. Khanna, the congressman and campaign co-chair, called Mr. Sanders “the one person on our side who can counter what Trump’s formidable presence is going to be online.”

This view is shared among some online supporters who have turned Sanders fandom into something approaching a full-time job. Rodney Latstetter, a 62-year-old retiree in Illinois who posted repeatedly in 2017 about Ms. Harris’s Hamptons fund-raising, said he and a partner spent about seven hours a day running dozens of pro-Sanders social media groups. His Twitter page boosts Mr. Sanders and raises doubts about his rivals to more than 17,000 followers.

“Some of my followers — there are a few of them that have a little bit of an issue with their mouth or something like that,” Mr. Latstetter said, adding that he was unsure if he would support any of the other Democratic candidates if they won the nomination. “I also have my moments, too, where I have my limits, and I come out fighting.”

Such digital combat has seeped perceptibly into popular culture. The singer John Legend, endorsing Ms. Warren in a tweet this month, added a note of caution for Sanders supporters: “Try not to drive people away with your nastiness. I will happily vote for him if he wins the primary. Chill.”

This did not necessarily land with its intended audience.

“Some of you millionaires need to realize that many of us actually *need* Bernie Sanders to win the Presidency,” one account replied. “We can’t just ‘chill.’”

Nick Corasaniti contributed reporting.

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

Recording Shows That the Swamp Has Not Been Drained

WASHINGTON — It became such a central slogan of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign that at rallies his supporters would chant the three words representing his pledge to take on big donors and special interests: “Drain the swamp.”

But as President Trump ramps up his 2020 re-election bid, it is clear that he has tolerated if not fostered a swamp of his own in Washington, granting up-close access to deep-pocketed supporters and interest groups willing to write six- and seven-figure checks to his political operation. Some have used the opportunity to plead their cases directly to him.

The latest evidence came over the weekend, with the release of a secret recording of an April 2018 dinner for major donors and prospective donors to a super PAC supporting Mr. Trump.

While news of the recording primarily focused on Mr. Trump’s call for the removal of Marie L. Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine after a donor claimed she had disparaged the president, the recording revealed that Mr. Trump engaged in policy discussions with many other donors pushing their own agendas.

There was the New York real estate developer whose company’s project in South Korea was proposed to Mr. Trump as a possible site for his summit with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea.

There was the Canadian steel magnate who pushed the president to further limit steel imports to the United States, and whose companies donated $1.75 million to the super PAC.

Other attendees discussed government policies that could benefit their businesses, including building a highway for self-driving trucks and regulations that would help make trucks powered by gas compressors to be more competitive with electric-powered vehicles.

The recording is a glimpse into a broader pattern in which the administration appointed industry lobbyists to key policymaking jobs, heeded the deregulatory wishes of big corporations and granted regular access to donors and influential political supporters. Some of the policies sought by the donors at the 2018 dinner have been subsequently introduced in Congress; it is unclear in those cases whether the president or the White House intervened.

Video

Westlake Legal Group trump-dinner-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Recording Shows That the Swamp Has Not Been Drained Zekelman, Barry United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Political Action Committees Gale, Stanley C Campaign Finance America First Action

At a 2018 dinner with donors, President Trump discussed a variety of topics, including golf, trade and politics.CreditCredit…Igor Fruman/Joseph A. Bondy

In other cases, Mr. Trump has directly championed the businesses of some of his biggest donors, as he did in the weeks after his inauguration when he reportedly discussed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan an effort by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson to build a casino there.

Mr. Trump’s assiduous courtship of major donors closely mirrors behavior for which he chastised his opponents in 2016, when he cast himself as a billionaire whose ability to finance his own campaign would ensure that he was not beholden to financial backers.

In the months after starting his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump branded his Republican rivals, as well as his eventual Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, as “puppets” of major donors who funded their campaigns and supportive super PACs.

In one characteristic broadside at his rivals in late 2015, he assailed Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and Senator Marco Rubio, also of Florida, both of whom were seeking the Republican nomination at the time, for their embrace of super PACs funded by major donors.

“And you look at Hillary — let’s go to the other side — they have super PACs, where they control the candidate just like you control a puppet,” Mr. Trump said. “We don’t want anybody to form super PACs for me. We sent legal notices: ‘Please give all the money back.’ We don’t want it.”

It was not long before Mr. Trump reversed himself.

His campaign began aggressively courting donations to supplement the personal money he was spending on his 2016 bid, and his team eventually blessed the formation of a super PAC that solicited large checks from major donors to air ads attacking Mrs. Clinton.

Once elected, Mr. Trump’s team signaled that he did not intend to spend his own money on his re-election. His allies formed a pair of political groups using variations of the name America First that could accept unlimited donations. He began appearing at events for donors, the most generous of whom were invited to the White House for briefings with top administration officials.

He has attended many donor gatherings and fund-raisers have been held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, including the dinner that was the subject of the recording released over the weekend. Held in a private suite on April 30, 2018, it was for donors and prospective donors to America First Action, a super PAC that has raised nearly $50 million to support Mr. Trump and allied candidates.

The recording, which includes video at times, shows Mr. Trump entering the suite and posing for some photographs before joining donors in a dining room with 16 plush chairs around an ornately set table accented with floral arrangements.

Mr. Trump updated the donors on some of the most pressing issues facing his administration, including its ongoing negotiations with China over trade and North Korea over nuclear weapons. He seemed to encourage the donors to share their concerns.

Mr. Trump mentioned to the donors that his administration had selected a date and a location for his first meeting with Mr. Kim, which would be held in Singapore in the weeks after the dinner. One of the dinner attendees suggested a different site for the summit: a so-called smart development outside Seoul, South Korea, called Songdo, featuring a convention center, apartments and a golf course designed by the golfer Jack Nicklaus.

A leading stakeholder in the development was a company run by Stanley C. Gale, a donor to Republican campaigns and committees who attended the dinner, according to people familiar with the event. It was also attended by the golfer’s grandson and namesake, Jack Nicklaus III, who works for Mr. Gale’s company, according to a LinkedIn profile. Mr. Gale did not respond to a request for comment.

During the discussion, Mr. Trump told the guests, “You know that Kim Jong-un is a great golfer.” His remark prompted laughter and led another guest to suggest that Mr. Kim’s scores were recorded as all holes-in-one in his authoritarian country.

Another guest was Barry Zekelman, a Canadian citizen who owned a United States-based steel-tube manufacturing company that donated $1.75 million to America First Action, avoiding running afoul of a ban on foreign donations in American politics. He used the dinner to push the president on two challenges facing his company: cheap steel tube imports from Asia and new federal rules that made it harder to find truck drivers.

He urged Mr. Trump to go further in his effort to limit steel imports to the United States and questioned the rules intended to prevent fatal truck accidents by using electronic monitoring systems to limit the hours drivers could be on the road.

“Say someone is half an hour from home on their long-haul truck — they literally have to pull over on the side of the road and stop,” Mr. Zekelman said. “They can’t go home.”

Mr. Trump did not seem to be aware of the new federal rules that required those monitoring systems.

“They have a method that you shut down a truck?” Mr. Trump said, after Mr. Zekelman questioned the effect the new rules had on his ability to move the steel pipe he manufactured. “Wow.”

Since that dinner, legislation has been introduced in the House with the cosponsorship of 12 Republicans, including the brother of Vice President Mike Pence, to allow smaller trucking companies to get exemptions from the rule.

Legislation has also been introduced to help natural gas vehicles compete with electric ones. It was applauded by an Ohio company that makes gas compressors, Ariel Corporation. One of its executives, Thomas Rastin, was on the invitation list for the April dinner. He and a woman resembling his wife, Karen Buchwald Wright, who owns Ariel Corporation, are briefly visible in the video of the event. Together, the couple have donated a combined $875,000 to America First Action. He did not respond to questions about whether he was the voice on the recording urging the president to take steps to help the industry.

Another invitee was Wayne Hoovestol, who owns trucking companies in the Midwest, including one that works with the United States Postal Service. On the recording, a male voice says he runs a company that does business with the Postal Service and urges Mr. Trump to consider supporting the construction of a 500-mile section of highway to be used exclusively by self-driving trucks.

Paying truck drivers, the voice said, was one of his company’s biggest costs.

“All the technology is there, right now,” he said. “It is absolutely safe.”

A limited liability company that shared an address and personnel with one of Mr. Hoovestol’s companies donated $250,000 to America First Action on the day of the dinner.

Mr. Hoovestol did not respond to a request for comment.

The recording was made by a dinner attendee, Igor Fruman, and was released by the lawyer for another, Lev Parnas, an associate of Mr. Fruman.

The two, both Soviet-born American businessmen, would go on to play central roles in the pressure campaign against Ukraine that led to Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

During the dinner, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman discussed with Mr. Trump a natural gas venture they were pursuing in Ukraine. Mr. Parnas also asked the president to consider changing banking regulations to aid another business venture they would soon pursue: a plan to win marijuana retail licenses in Nevada and elsewhere.

The month after the dinner, they donated $325,000 to America First Action through Global Energy Producers, a company they had recently formed to pursue energy deals.

The men have since been indicted on campaign finance charges related to their business ventures and have pleaded not guilty.

Ben Protess contributed reporting from New York.

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

T Minus 8 Days: A Frenetic Weekend on the Trail in Iowa

DES MOINES — With the Iowa caucuses a week away and senators briefly sprung from their impeachment-induced confinement on Capitol Hill, the Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates spilled out across Iowa on Sunday.

They gave their stump speeches. They took photos and shook hands. They tried mightily to address the elephant in the room — a series of polls showing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont pulling even with or ahead of the longtime front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — without appearing to concern themselves with it.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., carried on the long tradition of campaign-trail subtweeting, attacking Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden unmistakably but without naming them.

“The country will be crying out for a president capable of unifying and healing the American people,” Mr. Buttigieg said at a rally in West Des Moines, a clear shot at Mr. Sanders.

Later, at a town hall televised on Fox News, he said that he had “heard some folks saying” that now was not the time for voters to take a risk — Team Biden is running an ad arguing exactly that — but that the real risk “would be to try to go up against this president with the same old playbook that we’ve been relying on.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has gained ground in recent weeks but is still polling a distant fifth here, tried to focus on crowd sizes instead — and on somewhat better poll results she received in New Hampshire, which will vote the week after Iowa.

“We are seeing this overwhelming number of people showing up on a Sunday afternoon,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters in Ames. “We’re seeing the poll that we just saw this morning in New Hampshire, in double digits, just a few points away from many of my maybe more well-known competitors on the national stage.”

And besides, how much attention should voters pay to polls to begin with? “Let’s see what happens when people are actually showing up,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group democratic-candidates-20-questions-promo-1579898311650-articleLarge-v10 T Minus 8 Days: A Frenetic Weekend on the Trail in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

20 (More) Questions With Democrats

We sat down again with Democratic candidates and asked them a new set of questions. Watch their answers.

As always, the undertone — and sometimes the overtone — was each candidate’s so-called electability against President Trump. From Davenport in the east to Sioux City in the west, the candidates circled one another, jostling to cast themselves as the most viable contender for November.

“Can we just address it right here? Women win,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said at an event in Davenport, invoking the same argument she made at this month’s debate when she noted that she and Ms. Klobuchar were the only people onstage who had never lost an election. “Women candidates have been outperforming men candidates since Donald Trump was elected.”

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden, meanwhile, continued to spar with each other, each seeing the other — justifiably, based on recent polls — as his biggest threat.

After a weeklong public fight over their records on Social Security, they turned to climate. At an event in Perry on Sunday, Mr. Sanders shot back at Mr. Biden for his remark a couple days earlier that “not a single solitary scientist” considered Mr. Sanders’s climate plan workable.

“Well, Joe, you’re wrong,” Mr. Sanders said. “Many leading scientists agree with our plan, and in a few days we’re going to have a long list of scientists who agree with our plan.”

In Des Moines, Mr. Biden drew voters’ attention to what is arguably his biggest strength nationally: his strong support from black voters. It is a key part of the same electability argument that echoed across the state all weekend: Black voters are an essential constituency in the Democratic Party.

“I know a lot of folks out here were wondering, ‘Why does Biden get such overwhelming support from the African-American community?’” Mr. Biden said. “Because that’s what I’m part of. That’s where my political identity comes from. And it’s the single most loyal constituency I’ve ever had.”

As for the Iowans he and everyone else were courting, some of them ended the weekend as torn as they had begun it.

“It’s hard to tell. They are all so similar,” said Ann Clary, a state budget analyst who attended one of Mr. Buttigieg’s events on Sunday but is also considering caucusing for Mr. Biden and Ms. Klobuchar. “Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night. I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

As night fell, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg went on with business as usual, looking forward to another full week of events. And then there were the senators.

Round and round the state they went: Ms. Warren from Davenport to Cedar Rapids, Ms. Klobuchar from Waterloo to Ames to Des Moines, Mr. Sanders from Perry to Storm Lake to Sioux City.

They had to hurry, because soon the day, and their window, would be over.

“I could have literally done these in every town and revisited all 99 counties again,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters wistfully after an event in Ames. “That was one of my secret plans, but it’s now been dashed, since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight.”

Reporting was contributed by Nick Corasaniti from Ames, Iowa; Sydney Ember from Ames and Perry; Reid J. Epstein from West Des Moines and Storm Lake; Shane Goldmacher from Davenport; Thomas Kaplan from Des Moines; and Lisa Lerer from Perry.

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

Bloomberg Warns of Anti-Semitism ‘Rearing Its Ugly Head’

Westlake Legal Group 26bloomberg-01-facebookJumbo Bloomberg Warns of Anti-Semitism ‘Rearing Its Ugly Head’ Presidential Election of 2020 Miami-Dade County (Fla) Jews and Judaism Israel Bloomberg, Michael R anti-semitism

AVENTURA, Fla. — Michael R. Bloomberg on Sunday addressed rising anti-Semitism and spoke personally of his Jewish heritage in a speech at a prominent synagogue near Miami, a sign that courting Jewish voters is core to his strategy of building support in Florida.

The speech was a rare instance of a major address by a Democratic presidential candidate this cycle that specifically confronted the rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the country. He spoke directly to Jewish Americans who may worry that progressive Democratic front-runners have too sharply criticized Israel or who may dislike some of President Trump’s agenda but support his Israel policy.

“The violence that has always threatened Israel is rearing its ugly head here in America, with alarming frequency,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

“The toxic culture the president has created is harming our relationship with Israel,” he said. “If I am elected, you will never have to choose between supporting Israel and supporting our values here at home.”

Mr. Bloomberg not-so-subtly sought to distinguish himself from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is also Jewish and who recently took the lead in Iowa, according to a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of likely caucusgoers. Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, took aim not only at Mr. Sanders’s Israel policy but also at his democratic socialism.

“Now, I know I’m not the only Jewish candidate running for president,” Mr. Bloomberg said in his speech on Sunday afternoon, delivered in a ballroom with a roving blue spotlight and Israeli techno and music by the rapper Pitbull setting the mood. “But I am the only one who doesn’t want to turn America into a kibbutz.” The audience whooped.

The crowd of several hundred people included prominent business figures, former local politicians and many with personal connections to the candidate, some of whom had traveled from New York. Ari Ackerman, an owner of the Miami Marlins baseball team, was among them, having helped to rally young Jewish support for two of Mr. Bloomberg’s mayoral runs.

“Quadrupling funding for religious institutions, creating a Holocaust program in schools so people are educated about what happened, bringing together the presidents of different universities to create a coalition to battle anti-Semitism — this is what he’s talking about,” Mr. Ackerman said.

The speech on Jewish identity was an unusual move for Mr. Bloomberg, a secular Jew who has long not been religiously observant. He has previously turned to his Judaism in competitive campaign moments, as in his 2005 mayoral re-election campaign when he addressed Hasidic Jews in Borough Park, Brooklyn, on a stage dotted with blue balloons that read “Mike the Mensch.”

While Jews make up only about 3 or 4 percent of Florida’s population, they are a critical voting group in the delegate-rich swing state. As his competitors crisscross Iowa, Mr. Bloomberg has instead looked past early voting states in hopes of picking up delegates on Super Tuesday and beyond.

He delivered his words Sunday at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, standing in front of a “United for Mike” sign, the dot of the “i” in his name replaced by a Star of David. Campaign staff members distributed an array of pins and shirts, some emblazoned with “Mishpucha for Mike” (using a Yiddish word for “family”), while platters of black-and-white cookies and rugelach were on hand nearby.

“A Jew can become president,” Philip Levine, the former mayor of Miami Beach, told the crowd as he introduced the billionaire. “And, I’ll tell you something, you’re lucky — it’s not going to cost you money.”

Aventura, a small suburban city near the beach in northeast Miami-Dade County, is known as a hub for politically active Jewish Democrats in the state.

“It is important to talk to a set of people who may not know him as well,” Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said in a phone interview.

Mr. Bloomberg spoke of personal connections to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire in 2018, killing 11 congregants. He also said that while he had initially opposed the Iran deal, he opposed Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from it, and promised to work to end Iran’s nuclear program to protect Israel and the region.

“As president, I will always have Israel’s back,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Bloomberg has also long opposed the movement of economic boycotts and sanctions against Israel known as B.D.S., or Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

The Democratic presidential candidates across the board have condemned anti-Semitism, especially after the recent attacks in Monsey, N.Y., when five people were stabbed in a Hasidic rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration and an Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed while walking to synagogue. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., said his administration would devote $1 billion to combat violent extremism, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has a plan to fight white nationalism; both of their plans aim to fight anti-Semitism.

But the field as a whole has not addressed the specifics of anti-Semitism enough, said Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League.

“We are certainly hearing about this issue more than we have before,” Mr. Greenblatt said in a phone interview. But the real question candidates must address is, he said, “How do you move from rhetoric condemning anti-Semitism to real plans rooting it out?”

Many American Jews have found themselves caught in an uncomfortable tension between traditional liberal American Jewish values and Mr. Trump’s alliance with Israel. Mr. Trump, who won 24 percent of Jewish voters in Florida in 2016, according to the Pew Research Center, has also been trying to strengthen his support by making anti-Semitism and backing of Israel a partisan issue.

Mr. Sanders wrote about his Jewish identity, his relatives who were murdered by Nazis and the recent rise of anti-Semitic violence in a personal essay in November for Jewish Currents, a progressive Jewish publication. Unlike Mr. Bloomberg, he criticized what he called “false accusations of anti-Semitism” by Mr. Trump against progressives and called for the end of Israel’s “occupation” of Palestinians.

“We should be very clear that it is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government,” he wrote. “We must also be honest about this: The founding of Israel is understood by another people in the land of Palestine as the cause of their painful displacement.”

That position worries some Democratic Jews across the country. “Among the Jews I talk to, Bernie is anathema,” said George Arzt, a political consultant who was press secretary to the former New York mayor Ed Koch. But Mr. Bloomberg’s views, he said, have been “lesser known.”

Evan Ross, a lobbyist and Democratic activist in Miami-Dade County who attended the event, said many Jews in the area had supported Mr. Trump’s Israel policy, even though they disliked much else about his leadership.

“There are people who are really fearful of the possibility that our party could nominate someone more extreme like Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Ross said in a phone interview. “If that happens, we might as well take Florida off the map and hand it to Donald Trump. We need a moderate.”

Patricia Halfen Wexler, a Venezuelan-American who works in venture capital and lives in Miami, said Bloomberg’s centrism made him well-suited to court Hispanic voters. “We’re not a monolith, but Hispanics generally are much more moderate than liberals imagine we are,” she said. “Seeing the trauma of what happened in Venezuela made me realize we can’t be glib about thinking crazy things couldn’t happen here. Bloomberg is by far the one I have the most confidence putting my trust in.”

Debbie Picker, who splits her time between Westchester County and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said she was disappointed Mr. Bloomberg hadn’t taken questions on Sunday and wanted to know how he planned to elevate his profile in the race.

“We pay attention because we’re Jewish New Yorkers who were there for him for 12 years,” she said. “But if you were to go anywhere outside of the New York Metro and Miami Metro, I don’t think people know him.”

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