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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "General Assembly (UN)"

Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides?

Westlake Legal Group 18settlements-explainer-facebookJumbo Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides? West Bank United States International Relations Politics and Government Palestinians Palestine Liberation Organization Netanyahu, Benjamin Israeli Settlements Israel International Criminal Court International Court of Justice (UN) General Assembly (UN) Defense and Military Forces

The Trump administration’s declaration Monday that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are “not inconsistent with international law” reversed American policy on the settlements and contradicted the view of most countries.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel applauded the announcement as a “policy that rights a historical wrong,” while Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said it was an attempt by the Trump administration “to replace international law with the ‘law of the jungle.’”

Who is right? What does international law say? What difference does the United States announcement make?

Here’s a brief guide.

The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war and has occupied the territory ever since. The Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by 192 nations in the aftermath of World War II, says that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The statute that established the International Criminal Court in 1998 classifies such transfers as war crimes, as well as any destruction or appropriation of property not justified by military necessity.

Israel argues that a Jewish presence has existed on the West Bank for thousands of years and was recognized by the League of Nations in 1922. Jordan’s rule over the territory, from 1948 to 1967, was never recognized by most of the world, so Israel also argues there was no legal sovereign power in the area and therefore the prohibition on transferring people from one state to the occupied territory of another does not apply.

The International Court of Justice rejected that argument in an advisory opinion in 2004, ruling that the settlements violated international law.

The Israeli Supreme Court and the government do consider settlement construction on privately owned Palestinian land to be illegal.

Under the Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, both sides agreed that the status of Israeli settlements would be resolved by negotiation. However, negotiations have stalled and there have been no active peace talks since 2014.

Israel has built about 130 formal settlements in the West Bank since 1967. A similar number of smaller, informal settlement outposts have gone up since the 1990s, without government authorization but usually with some government support.

More than 400,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank alongside more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

Some of the settlements are home to religious Zionists who believe that the West Bank, which Israel refers to by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, is their biblical birthright. Many secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews also moved there largely for cheaper housing.

Some settlements were strategically located in line with Israel’s security interests. Other, more isolated communities were established for ideological reasons, including an effort to prevent a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel also captured East Jerusalem in 1967, and annexed it. The Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and much of the world still considers it occupied territory.

Most of the world views the expansion of Israeli settlements as an impediment to a peace agreement. While most blueprints for a peace agreement envisage a land swap — Israel retains the main settlement blocs, where a majority of the settlers live, and hands over other territory to the Palestinians — the more remote and populated the settlements, the harder that becomes.

Mr. Netanyahu, who is currently fighting to remain prime minister after two inconclusive elections, has promised to annex the settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, constituting up to a third of the West Bank.

In June, the American ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, said that Israel had a right to retain at least some of the West Bank.

The Trump administration’s declaration may be seen by supporters of the settlement enterprise as giving a green light to Israeli annexation plans. But Israeli experts cautioned that might not be the case.

“It’s one thing saying the settlements are not in violation of international law and another to say whether they are good for peace or not,” said Michael Herzog, an Israel-based fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The Trump administration neither rejected nor endorsed Mr. Netanyahu’s annexation proposal, he said, and it remains “an open question” how it would react if Israel unilaterally annexed West Bank territory.

He and others said that while the policy change could affect the public perception of the settlements, the legal question would have little bearing on a comprehensive peace deal, which is ultimately a political act.

“The settlements are an agreed upon issue for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Alan Baker, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “It’s an issue that has yet to be negotiated.”

But in the absence of negotiations, the American policy could be used to justify even more settlement construction.

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

Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides?

Westlake Legal Group 18settlements-explainer-facebookJumbo Are West Bank Settlements Illegal? Who Decides? West Bank United States International Relations Politics and Government Palestinians Palestine Liberation Organization Netanyahu, Benjamin Israeli Settlements Israel International Criminal Court International Court of Justice (UN) General Assembly (UN) Defense and Military Forces

The Trump administration’s declaration Monday that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are “not inconsistent with international law” reversed American policy on the settlements and contradicted the view of most countries.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel applauded the announcement as a “policy that rights a historical wrong,” while Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said it was an attempt by the Trump administration “to replace international law with the ‘law of the jungle.’”

Who is right? What does international law say? What difference does the United States announcement make?

Here’s a brief guide.

The United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council and the International Court of Justice have all said that Israeli settlements on the West Bank violate the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war and has occupied the territory ever since. The Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by 192 nations in the aftermath of World War II, says that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” The statute that established the International Criminal Court in 1998 classifies such transfers as war crimes, as well as any destruction or appropriation of property not justified by military necessity.

Israel argues that a Jewish presence has existed on the West Bank for thousands of years and was recognized by the League of Nations in 1922. Jordan’s rule over the territory, from 1948 to 1967, was never recognized by most of the world, so Israel also argues there was no legal sovereign power in the area and therefore the prohibition on transferring people from one state to the occupied territory of another does not apply.

The International Court of Justice rejected that argument in an advisory opinion in 2004, ruling that the settlements violated international law.

The Israeli Supreme Court and the government do consider settlement construction on privately owned Palestinian land to be illegal.

Under the Oslo Accords, signed by Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, both sides agreed that the status of Israeli settlements would be resolved by negotiation. However, negotiations have stalled and there have been no active peace talks since 2014.

Israel has built about 130 formal settlements in the West Bank since 1967. A similar number of smaller, informal settlement outposts have gone up since the 1990s, without government authorization but usually with some government support.

More than 400,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank alongside more than 2.6 million Palestinians.

Some of the settlements are home to religious Zionists who believe that the West Bank, which Israel refers to by its biblical names of Judea and Samaria, is their biblical birthright. Many secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews also moved there largely for cheaper housing.

Some settlements were strategically located in line with Israel’s security interests. Other, more isolated communities were established for ideological reasons, including an effort to prevent a contiguous Palestinian state.

Israel also captured East Jerusalem in 1967, and annexed it. The Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and much of the world still considers it occupied territory.

Most of the world views the expansion of Israeli settlements as an impediment to a peace agreement. While most blueprints for a peace agreement envisage a land swap — Israel retains the main settlement blocs, where a majority of the settlers live, and hands over other territory to the Palestinians — the more remote and populated the settlements, the harder that becomes.

Mr. Netanyahu, who is currently fighting to remain prime minister after two inconclusive elections, has promised to annex the settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley, constituting up to a third of the West Bank.

In June, the American ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, said that Israel had a right to retain at least some of the West Bank.

The Trump administration’s declaration may be seen by supporters of the settlement enterprise as giving a green light to Israeli annexation plans. But Israeli experts cautioned that might not be the case.

“It’s one thing saying the settlements are not in violation of international law and another to say whether they are good for peace or not,” said Michael Herzog, an Israel-based fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The Trump administration neither rejected nor endorsed Mr. Netanyahu’s annexation proposal, he said, and it remains “an open question” how it would react if Israel unilaterally annexed West Bank territory.

He and others said that while the policy change could affect the public perception of the settlements, the legal question would have little bearing on a comprehensive peace deal, which is ultimately a political act.

“The settlements are an agreed upon issue for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Alan Baker, a former legal adviser to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “It’s an issue that has yet to be negotiated.”

But in the absence of negotiations, the American policy could be used to justify even more settlement construction.

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

Saudi Arabia and Iran Make Quiet Openings to Head Off War

Westlake Legal Group 05saudi-iran-facebookJumbo Saudi Arabia and Iran Make Quiet Openings to Head Off War Zarif, Mohammad Javad Yemen United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States United Nations United Arab Emirates Trump, Donald J Syria Saudi Arabia Rouhani, Hassan Persian Gulf Pakistan Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) Middle East Mahdi, Adel Abdul Larijani, Ali Khan, Imran Jubeir, Adel al- Israel Iraq Iran Indyk, Martin S Houthis General Assembly (UN) Defense and Military Forces

After years of growing hostility and competition for influence, Saudi Arabia and Iran have taken steps toward indirect talks to try to reduce the tensions that have brought the Middle East to the brink of war, according to officials from several countries involved in the efforts.

Even the prospect of such talks represents a remarkable turnaround, coming only a few weeks after a coordinated attack on Saudi oil installations led to bellicose threats in the Persian Gulf. Any reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran could have far-reaching consequences for conflicts across the region.

It was President Trump’s refusal to retaliate against Iran for the Sept. 14 attack, analysts say, that set off unintended consequences, prompting Saudi Arabia to seek its own solution to the conflict. That solution, in turn, could subvert Mr. Trump’s effort to build an Arab alliance to isolate Iran.

In recent weeks, officials of Iraq and Pakistan said, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, asked the leaders of those two countries to speak with their Iranian counterparts about de-escalation.

Iran welcomed the gestures, stating privately and publicly that it was open to talks with Saudi Arabia.

In a statement to The New York Times on Friday, the Saudi government acknowledged that Iraq and Pakistan had offered to mediate talks between the two countries but denied that Prince Mohammed had taken the initiative.

“Efforts at de-escalation must emanate from the party that began the escalation and launched attacks, not the kingdom,” the statement said.

Distrust between the two Middle Eastern powers remains intense, and the prospect of high-level direct talks any time soon appears remote. But even a slight warming could echo far outside their respective borders, where their rivalry fuels political divides from Lebanon to Yemen.

Iran has long wanted to wrest the Saudis from their alliance with Iran’s archenemies, Israel and the United States, which are waging a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran to try to force it to restrict its nuclear program and stop backing militias in the region.

Iran’s receptiveness for contact with the Saudis contrasts with its chilly tone toward the United States. Last week, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, dodged an opportunity to speak directly with Mr. Trump while both were attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The new overtures between Saudi Arabia and Iran began in the aftermath of last month’s drone and cruise missile strikes on two Saudi oil facilities, which Saudi Arabia and the United States accused Iran of orchestrating.

Despite tough threats by the Trump administration, the president declined to order a military response. The demurral raised questions for the Saudis about the American commitment to Saudi security, which has underpinned the strategic layout of the Persian Gulf for decades.

Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan met with Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, in Jeddah last month. Days later, while Mr. Khan was at the General Assembly, he told reporters that Prince Mohammed had asked him to talk to Iran.

Prince Mohammed told Mr. Khan, “I want to avoid war,” according to a senior Pakistani official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. “He asked the prime minister to get involved.”

Mr. Khan then spoke with Mr. Rouhani on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

The Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, visited Saudi Arabia a few days after Mr. Khan did.

A senior Iraqi official said that Prince Mohammed asked Mr. Abdul Mahdi to mediate with Iran, and that Iraq had suggested Baghdad as the venue for a potential meeting.

“There is a big response from Saudi Arabia and from Iran and even from Yemen,” Mr. Abdul Mahdi told journalists in Iraq after his return from the kingdom. “And I think that these endeavors will have a good effect.”

Iran endorsed the idea.

“Iran is open to starting a dialogue with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region,” Ali Larijani, the speaker of Iran’s Parliament, told Al Jazeera in an interview broadcast on Tuesday. “An Iranian-Saudi dialogue,” he added, “could solve many of the region’s security and political problems.”

While they explore back-channel possibilities, both sides have continued to stake out staunchly opposing public positions.

The Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia had not asked anyone to send messages to Iran. Instead, he wrote, other countries he did not identify had offered to serve as intermediaries.

“We informed them that the truce needs to come from the side that is escalating and spreading chaos through aggressive acts in the region,” Mr. al-Jubeir wrote.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran said that his country would “definitely greet Saudi Arabia with open arms” — but only if it prioritized friendly relations with neighbors over purchasing weapons from the United States.

Iran has long sought to pull Saudi Arabia away from the United States and Israel. But it was the lack of an American military response to the strikes on Saudi oil facilities that appeared to have created an opening.

“There are cracks in the armor suggesting Saudi Arabia is interested in exploring a new relationship with Iran,” said Philip Gordon, a former White House coordinator for the Middle East. “The worst outcome for the Saudis is to move to a confrontation with Iran expecting the U.S. to support them and find out they won’t.”

He added, “This administration has shown it’s not really ready to take on Iran.”

Top officials from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi allies which could suffer if open conflict broke out, have spoken publicly of the need for diplomacy to reduce tensions and have made their own efforts to reach out to Iran. The Emirates has held direct maritime security talks with Iran, and has pulled back from the war in Yemen, where it is allied with the Saudis in a battle against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

If Saudi Arabia joins Kuwait and the Emirates in reaching out to Iran, it could undermine the Trump administration’s effort to build an international coalition to ostracize and pressure the Iranians.

“The anti-Iran alliance is not just faltering, it’s crumbling,” Martin Indyk, the executive vice president of Brookings Institution and a former senior diplomat, said Thursday on Twitter. “MBZ has struck his deal with Iran; MBS is not far behind,” he said, referring to the Emirati crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, or MBZ, and the Saudi crown prince, known as MBS.

He also noted that Mr. Trump’s most hawkish anti-Iran adviser, John R. Bolton, had left the administration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is fighting for his political life and Mr. Trump has shown a willingness to talk directly to the Iranians.

For the Saudis, even indirect talks with Iran would represent a significant departure from Prince Mohammed’s approach to his prime regional rival since his father, King Salman, ascended to the Saudi throne in 2015.

He has cast Iran as the root of the Middle East’s problems and argued that political and theological differences make negotiations impossible. He has compared Iran’s supreme leader to Hitler and threatened to instigate violence inside Iran’s borders.

“We are a primary target for the Iranian regime,” Prince Mohammed said in 2017. “We won’t wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we’ll work so that the battle is for them in Iran.”

His antipathy toward Iran gave him common cause with Israel and the Trump administration. The Saudis have pitched themselves as the United States’ greatest ally against Iran, proposing they carry out joint operations to weaken it and possibly bring about regime change, according to former United States officials.

But Prince Mohammed may now be more willing to explore a possible accommodation.

“We have reached the peak of Saudi-Iran tensions and both sides have concluded this balance of fear is detrimental to their interests,” said Saeed Shariati, a political analyst in Tehran.

For now, the rift appears wide, and possibly unbridgeable. The Saudis criticize Iran for backing militias in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, where the kingdom has been mired in a disastrous war against the Houthis for four years.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attacks on Saudi oil facilities that seem to have helped prompt the diplomatic initiatives, but many Western experts believed that the Houthis could not have carried out the strikes unassisted.

Mr. al-Jubeir said Tuesday that Iran needed to stop its ballistic missile program, refrain from interfering in Arab states and “act like a normal country, and not like a rogue who sponsors terrorism.”

For its part, Iran has called on Saudi Arabia to freeze its multibillion-dollar arms purchases from the United States, stop its intervention in Yemen and end discrimination against the Shiite Muslim minority in Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim-led absolute monarchy.

At the General Assembly last week, Iran’s president, Mr. Rouhani, aimed part of his speech directly at Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.

“It’s the Islamic Republic of Iran who is your neighbor,” he said. “At the day of an event, you and us will be alone. We are each other’s neighbors, not America.”

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

Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor’

President Trump repeatedly pressured Ukraine’s leader to investigate leading Democrats as “a favor” to him during a telephone call last summer in which the two discussed the former Soviet republic’s need for more American financial aid to counter Russian aggression.

In a reconstruction of the call released by the White House on Wednesday, Mr. Trump urged President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Attorney General William P. Barr and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, on corruption investigations connected to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

Although there was no explicit quid pro quo in the conversation, Mr. Trump raised the matter immediately after Mr. Zelensky spoke of his country’s need for more help from the United States. The call came just days after Mr. Trump blocked $391 million in aid to Ukraine, a decision that perplexed national security officials at the time and that he has given conflicting explanations for in recent days.

The aid freeze did not come up during the call and Mr. Zelensky was not yet aware of it. Instead, he thanked Mr. Trump for previous American aid, including Javelin anti-tank weapons, and suggested he would need more as part of Ukraine’s five-year-old war with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east.

“I would like you to do us a favor, though,” Mr. Trump responded, shifting to his interest in investigating Democrats and urging that he work with Mr. Barr and Mr. Giuliani. “Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible,” Mr. Trump said.

The July 25 call has become a major flash point in what is rapidly shaping up as a divisive battle between the president and House Democrats over impeachment that will consume Washington for weeks or months. The conflicting interpretations of the call’s meaning began to define the contours of a debate that will seek to determine whether the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

In a series of public appearances on Wednesday that veered from bristling with anger to uncharacteristically subdued, Mr. Trump insisted he did nothing wrong and was once again the victim of “a total hoax.” Mr. Zelensky, who by an odd coincidence was in New York for a previously scheduled meeting with Mr. Trump, backed him up by saying during a session with reporters that he did not feel pushed by the president.

“It’s a joke,” Mr. Trump said. “Impeachment for that?”

But House Democrats denounced Mr. Trump for seeking foreign help to tear down Mr. Biden, a leading rival for his job, and said the quid pro quo was implied and clear, comparing him to a mob boss who makes veiled hints to extort money from his victims.

“The president has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

The White House released the reconstructed transcript of the call in the morning in hopes of undercutting suspicions about the president’s actions but it failed to convince Democrats. By the end of the day, the administration similarly sent Congress the original complaint filed by an unidentified intelligence official that triggered the furor that in just a matter of days has put the future of Mr. Trump’s presidency at risk.

The complaint reportedly calls into question a range of actions by the president beyond just the phone conversation. Democrats and at least one Republican who reviewed it on Wednesday said it contained disturbing allegations, and, while still classified, it will be the central issue on Thursday morning when Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, testifies before Congress.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161494746_ca4293b3-b2d5-4a33-a493-bf6545756b61-articleLarge Trump Pressed Ukraine’s President to Investigate Democrats as ‘a Favor’ Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading House Democrats said the record of the July call made clear that Mr. Trump was pressuring Ukraine to help benefit his own political prospects.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The administration dropped its resistance to providing the complaint to lawmakers in the face of a vote planned by House Democratic leaders condemning its handling of the matter. By backing down, Mr. Trump made it possible for Republicans to go along with the resolution, which all but two did later in the day.

For Mr. Trump, keeping Republicans in his corner is more important than winning over Democrats, most of whom White House aides consider unmovable at this point. As of Wednesday, at least 216 House members have publicly advocated impeachment or at least an inquiry, just short of the necessary majority of 218.

Even if the House does impeach Mr. Trump, however, it would require a two-thirds vote by the Senate to convict and remove him from office, meaning at least 20 Republican senators would have to decide he was guilty.

Few Republicans broke with Mr. Trump on Wednesday. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah called the record of Mr. Trump’s phone call “deeply troubling” but most others who spoke publicly said it revealed no impeachable action.

“From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, a Trump ally who served as a House prosecutor during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Democrats said no direct quid pro quo was necessary to conclude that the president overstepped his bounds. But even if it was, they said Mr. Trump’s meaning was hard to miss and the timing of the request to Ukraine coming just after he put the aid on hold was damning.

“There was only one message that that president of Ukraine got from that call and that was: ‘This is what I need, I know what you need,’” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “Like any mafia boss, the president didn’t need to say, ‘That’s a nice country you’ve have — it would be a shame if something happened to it.’”

Mr. Biden said that the House should “hold Donald Trump to account for his abuse of power,” although he did not directly call for impeachment. “It is a tragedy for this country that our president put personal politics above his sacred oath,” Mr. Biden said. “He has put his own political interests over our national security interest, which is bolstering Ukraine against Russian pressure.”

For Mr. Trump, the sudden turn of events has recast the remaining year of his term before next year’s re-election, seemingly all but dooming chances for bipartisan legislation. He castigated Democrats for focusing on this “nonsense” instead of gun control or trade.

And he expressed surprise that impeachment was now back on the table again after the threat seemed to fade following the report on Russian election interference by the special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III. “I thought we won,” he said. “I thought it was dead, it was dead.”

He blamed Ms. Pelosi, who until this week had been reluctant to pursue impeachment, which so far does not have the support of most Americans. “She’s lost her way,” Mr. Trump said. “She’s been taken over by the radical left.”

The call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky took place just a day after Mr. Mueller testified before Congress and the issue was clearly still on Mr. Trump’s mind. Mr. Mueller reported that he did not find sufficient evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia, although he identified actions by Mr. Trump that could be construed as obstruction of justice.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday in Delaware. He said that the House should “hold Donald Trump to account for his abuse of power.”CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

Feeling that he had survived the special counsel probe, Mr. Trump apparently wanted to turn the tables and prove that it was illegitimate to begin with. In his discussion with Mr. Zelensky, he pressed the Ukrainian leader to use Mr. Barr’s help to investigate a company involved in the beginnings of the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Trump also pressed Mr. Zelensky to open an investigation of Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, asserting that the former vice president forced the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit the company’s owner. Neither claim has been born out by evidence but both held the potential to benefit the president politically.

Mr. Zelensky told Mr. Trump that he would have the country’s new top prosecutor examine the matters he raised.

“The next prosecutor general will be 100 percent my person, my candidate,” Mr. Zelensky assured the president. “He or she will look into the situation.”

Sitting side by side with Mr. Trump in their first face-to-face meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Zelensky told reporters that he wanted to stay out of United States politics but provided a benign interpretation of the call.

“We had, I think, a good phone call,” Mr. Zelensky said. “It was normal; we spoke about many things. So, I think, and you read it, that nobody pushed pushed me.”

“In other words, no pressure,” Mr. Trump chimed in. “And by the way,” he added, addressing a reporter, “you know there was no pressure.”

The meeting on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly could hardly have come at a more fraught moment in Ukrainian-American relations. Mr. Zelensky, a former comedian with no prior political experience, was elected this year to take over a country torn by Russian military intervention and desperately dependent on help from the United States and Europe.

Mr. Zelensky made clear just how much he needed the good will of Mr. Trump when he opened his meeting on Wednesday noting that the president had invited him to the White House, but “I think you forgot to tell me the date” and pressing Mr. Trump to visit Ukraine.

The two sought to make light of the conflict over their call. “He’s made me more famous,” Mr. Trump joked as he sat down with Mr. Zelensky.

“Mr. Zelensky said it was better to meet in person “than by phone.”

Even as he flattered Mr. Trump, the Ukrainian leader made a point of saying he did not actually order the sought-after investigation.

“We have independent country and independent general security, and I can’t push anyone,” Mr. Zelensky said in halting English, referring to the prosecutor general. “So I didn’t call somebody or the new general security. I didn’t ask him I didn’t push him.”

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Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing-live-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters a day after Democrats in Congress began an impeachment inquiry into his actions, denying that he did anything improper.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The acting director of national intelligence, under pressure from Congress to release the full complaint of a whistle-blower who touched off the Ukraine impeachment furor, handed over the document to the House Intelligence Committee.

It was delivered just hours before a planned House vote on a non-binding resolution to condemn the Trump administration’s handling of the complaint. All but two Republicans joined House Democrats in voting Wednesday in favor of the resolution. The measure demanded that the complaint be given to Congress, that the whistle-blower be instructed on how to contact the congressional intelligence committees, and that President Trump and his team “cease their public efforts to discredit the whistleblower.”

Two Republicans, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, voted “present.”

Democratic leaders wanted to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress was already required by law, Democrats assert, but Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, had previously declined to produce it, under instructions from the White House and the Department of Justice. (Mr. Maguire is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.)

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161475936_2dec0473-7b14-4709-9be4-0fd862eaaba2-articleLarge Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.CreditMarcus Tappen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Mr. Zelensky, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny for Mr. Trump, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

“Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in and called on Mr. Barr to recuse himself from involvement in the formal impeachment inquiry that Ms. Pelosi announced on Tuesday.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

Mr. Trump complained bitterly about media coverage of his call with the president of Ukraine, accusing Democrats and reporters of continuing to pursue a “hoax” against him.

In a disjointed, lengthy opening statement, the president announced that he had asked Republicans in the House not to object to the release of the whistle-blower’s report on the call and insisted that “we want transparency.”

“It’s a joke. Impeachment for that?” he said of his “beautiful” and “perfect” conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

But he also insisted that the media cover what he said were similar accusations against Democrats. He read from a letter to Ukraine officials written by Democratic senators warning that support for Ukraine could suffer if the country does not confront corruption.

“See, doesn’t that sound familiar?” Mr. Trump asked as he again insisted that he did nothing wrong on the call.

He also said the Democrats’ new mantra was, “We can’t beat him. Let’s impeach him.”

Earlier in the day, Trump defended his call to reporters during a brief encounter, saying “there was no pressure whatsoever.”

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine, calling the inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump went before the press after a private meeting Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations, and in the glare of the camera lights, it was not a comfortable moment.

Asked about the phone conversation, Mr. Zelensky tried not to offend. “We had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things.”

“Nobody pushed me,” he was saying when Mr. Trump jumped in, “in other words, no pressure.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved” in the American elections, Mr. Zelensky said almost apologetically.

It was Mr. Trump who took the conversation into political territory, once again ripping into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, accusing them of corruption, and then veering into familiar territory to excoriate his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for deleting emails.

A reconstructed transcript shows Mr. Trump urging Ukraine’s leader to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an inquiry tied to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump’s suggestion that Mr. Zelensky should be in touch with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, an attempt “to manufacture a smear” against him, “using a malicious conspiracy theory.”

“We also learned that he planned to involve the United States Department of Justice in this scheme — a direct attack on the core independence of that department, an independence essential to the rule of law,” he said.

But he tried deftly to make it not about him — as he made it about him.

“Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable. In the meantime, I will continue to focus my campaign not on how Donald Trump abused his power to come after my family, but on how he has turned his back on America’s families.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump again, saying the call is a “smoking gun” for impeachment, with at least two candidates using the phrase: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the former housing secretary Julián Castro.

Ms. Pelosi did not hold back in condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior as she indicated in a statement that the release of the phone call reconstruction would only fuel the impeachment inquiry:

“The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.

“I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities.”

She also made it clear that Mr. Barr would now be part of the multipronged House investigation that could yield articles of impeachment. “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” she wrote. “Clearly, the Congress must act.”

Shortly after her remarks, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees issued a joint statement:

“The record of the call released by the White House confirms our worst fears: that the President abused his office by directly and repeatedly asking a foreign country to investigate his political rival and open investigations meant to help the President politically. Not once, not twice, but more than half a dozen times during one telephone call. This was a shakedown. The President of the United States asked for a ‘favor’ after the Ukrainian President expressed his country’s need for weapons to defend against Russian aggression.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“Entirely appropriate.” “No quid pro quo.” “Not seeking ‘foreign interference.’”

The White House helpfully assembled talking points for congressional Republicans to use in their defense of Mr. Trump ahead of the release of the reconstructed transcript — and then emailed them to Ms. Pelosi’s office, and in effect, the world.

To make matters worse, or at least more comical, the official, Tori Q. Symonds, then sent a follow-up email saying she would “like to recall” the previous message.

Undaunted, Republicans did pick up the White House’s words. The White House had invited a dozen or so Republican lawmakers to review the document in advance and pose questions, officials familiar with the meeting said. At one point, Mr. Trump called into the meeting from the United Nations.

The group included the top leaders of the House, Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Several other Trump allies in the House and Senate were also on hand, including Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida; Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” Ms. Cheney went on to say. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

One of the few exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters.

Later, at The Atlantic Magazine’s annual talk fest, he explained why he thought his party was sticking to the talking points. “I think it’s very natural for people to look at circumstances and see them in the light that’s most amenable to their maintaining power,” he said, “and doing things to preserve that power.”

The battle to defend Mr. Trump from impeachment charges is already being fought online.

On Wednesday, the president’s re-election campaign took out dozens of Facebook ads urging his supporters to join an “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” The president’s supporters also received emails urging them to join the group. It’s not clear whether such a group actually exists, or whether the campaign is simply using it to collect donations and email addresses.

“I want to know who stood with me when it mattered most, which is why my team is making me a list of EVERY AMERICAN PATRIOT who adds their name,” read one of the ads.

Democrats are also seizing on the opportunity to rally their supporters online. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro, among others, have taken out ads on Facebook calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment in recent days. Vice President Biden’s Facebook ads — which urged his supporters to “Stand With Joe” — were less impeachment focused.

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course. (On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.)

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut.

One challenge: House leaders do not plan to cancel a scheduled two-week recess on Friday, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, leaving a Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday. She said Democrats should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to the six committees suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” she said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating

President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Highlights: Whistle-Blower Complaint Goes to House as Ukraine Phone Call Gets Released Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to

continue investigating President Trump on

impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority

of the House votes

to impeach.

A majority of

House members

vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley and Matt Stevens from New York.

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

Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing-live-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters a day after Democrats in Congress began an impeachment inquiry into his actions, denying that he did anything improper.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The acting director of national intelligence, under pressure from Congress to release the full complaint of a whistle-blower who touched off the Ukraine impeachment furor, was to have handed over the document to the House Intelligence Committee at 4 p.m., according to a congressional aide.

The complaint was set to be delivered just hours before a planned House vote on a resolution that would have condemned President Trump and the administration for withholding the material and would have demanded that Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, promptly furnish it.

The resolution also demands that Mr. Maguire, who is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday, ensure that the whistle-blower is protected from retribution. It chastises the president for comments disparaging the whistle-blower in recent days.

With the complaint heading to Congress, it was not clear whether the vote would happen.

Democratic leaders wanted to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress is already required by law, Democrats assert, but Mr. Maguire had declined to produce it, under instructions from the White House and the Department of Justice.

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161475936_2dec0473-7b14-4709-9be4-0fd862eaaba2-articleLarge Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.CreditMarcus Tappen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Trump used an afternoon news conference in New York to complain bitterly about media coverage of his call with the president of Ukraine, accusing Democrats and reporters of continuing to pursue a “hoax” against him.

In a disjointed, lengthy opening statement, the president announced that he had asked Republicans in the House not to object to the release of the whistle-blower’s report on the call and insisted that “we want transparency.”

“It’s a joke. Impeachment for that?” he said of his “beautiful” and “perfect” conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

But he also insisted that the media cover what he said were similar accusations against Democrats. He read from a letter to Ukraine officials written by Democratic senators warning that support for Ukraine could suffer if the country does not confront corruption.

“See, doesn’t that sound familiar?” Mr. Trump asked as he again insisted that he did nothing wrong on the call.

Later, he said the Democrats’ new mantra was, “We can’t beat him. Let’s impeach him.”

Mr. Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Mr. Zelensky, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny for Mr. Trump, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. He met Mr. Zelensky there in the afternoon, and was scheduled to hold a formal news conference later on.

“Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in and called on Mr. Barr to recuse himself from involvement in the formal impeachment inquiry that Ms. Pelosi announced on Tuesday.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

President Trump met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump went before the press after a private meeting Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations, and in the glare of the camera lights, it was not a comfortable moment.

Asked about the phone conversation, Mr. Zelensky tried not to offend. “We had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things.”

“Nobody pushed me,” he was saying when Mr. Trump jumped in, “in other words, no pressure.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved” in the American elections, Mr. Zelensky said almost apologetically.

It was Mr. Trump who took the conversation into political territory, once again ripping into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, accusing them of corruption, and then veering into familiar territory to excoriate his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for deleting emails.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump’s suggestion that Mr. Zelensky should be in touch with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, an attempt “to manufacture a smear” against him, “using a malicious conspiracy theory.”

“We also learned that he planned to involve the United States Department of Justice in this scheme — a direct attack on the core independence of that department, an independence essential to the rule of law,” he said.

But he tried deftly to make it not about him — as he made it about him.

“Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable. In the meantime, I will continue to focus my campaign not on how Donald Trump abused his power to come after my family, but on how he has turned his back on America’s families.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump again, saying the call is a “smoking gun” for impeachment, with at least two candidates using the phrase: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the former housing secretary Julián Castro.

Ms. Pelosi did not hold back in condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior as she indicated in a statement that the release of the phone call reconstruction would only fuel the impeachment inquiry:

“The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.

“I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities.”

She also made it clear that Mr. Barr would now be part of the multipronged House investigation that could yield articles of impeachment. “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” she wrote. “Clearly, the Congress must act.”

Shortly after her remarks, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees issued a joint statement:

“The record of the call released by the White House confirms our worst fears: that the President abused his office by directly and repeatedly asking a foreign country to investigate his political rival and open investigations meant to help the President politically. Not once, not twice, but more than half a dozen times during one telephone call. This was a shakedown. The President of the United States asked for a ‘favor’ after the Ukrainian President expressed his country’s need for weapons to defend against Russian aggression.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“Entirely appropriate.” “No quid pro quo.” “Not seeking ‘foreign interference.’”

The White House helpfully assembled talking points for congressional Republicans to use in their defense of Mr. Trump ahead of the release of the reconstructed transcript — and then emailed them to Ms. Pelosi’s office, and in effect, the world.

To make matters worse, or at least more comical, the official, Tori Q. Symonds, then sent a follow-up email saying she would “like to recall” the previous message.

Undaunted, Republicans did pick up the White House’s words. The White House had invited a dozen or so Republican lawmakers to review the document in advance and pose questions, officials familiar with the meeting said. At one point, Mr. Trump called into the meeting from the United Nations.

The group included the top leaders of the House, Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Several other Trump allies in the House and Senate were also on hand, including Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida; Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” Ms. Cheney went on to say. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

One of the few exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters.

Later, at The Atlantic Magazine’s annual talk fest, he explained why he thought his party was sticking to the talking points. “I think it’s very natural for people to look at circumstances and see them in the light that’s most amenable to their maintaining power,” he said, “and doing things to preserve that power.”

Ask a Question

Our reporters in Washington are available to answer your questions about the impeachment inquiry. We may publish your name and location along with your question.

Mr. Trump insisted that the reconstruction of the call showed that he did not exert pressure on his counterpart to investigate a political rival.

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine, calling the inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

“If you noticed, the stock market went up when they saw the nonsense,” he said. “All of a sudden the stock market went down substantially yesterday when they saw a charge. After they read the charge the stock market went up substantially.”

Markets actually dropped when the call script was released at 10 a.m., but regained ground quickly, with the S&P 500 up about 0.21 percent in early morning trading. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day decline in a month.

Democrats were giving no ground. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” she said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

A reconstructed transcript shows Mr. Trump urging Ukraine’s leader to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an inquiry tied to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

The battle to defend Mr. Trump from impeachment charges is already being fought online.

On Wednesday, the president’s re-election campaign took out dozens of Facebook ads urging his supporters to join an “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” The president’s supporters also received emails urging them to join the group. It’s not clear whether such a group actually exists, or whether the campaign is simply using it to collect donations and email addresses.

“I want to know who stood with me when it mattered most, which is why my team is making me a list of EVERY AMERICAN PATRIOT who adds their name,” read one of the ads.

Democrats are also seizing on the opportunity to rally their supporters online. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro, among others, have taken out ads on Facebook calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment in recent days. Vice President Biden’s Facebook ads — which urged his supporters to “Stand With Joe” — were less impeachment focused.

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course. (On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.)

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut.

One challenge: House leaders do not plan to cancel a scheduled two-week recess on Friday, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, leaving a Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday. She said Democrats should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to the six committees suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating

President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to

continue investigating President Trump on

impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority

of the House votes

to impeach.

A majority of

House members

vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley and Matt Stevens from New York.

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

Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-impeach-briefing-live-video-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Donald Trump spoke to reporters a day after Democrats in Congress began an impeachment inquiry into his actions, denying that he did anything improper.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The acting director of national intelligence, under pressure from Congress to release the full complaint of a whistle-blower who touched off the Ukraine impeachment furor, was to have handed over the document to the House Intelligence Committee at 4 p.m., according to a congressional aide.

The complaint was set to be delivered just hours before a planned House vote on a resolution that would have condemned President Trump and the administration for withholding the material and would have demanded that Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, promptly furnish it.

The resolution also demands that Mr. Maguire, who is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday, ensure that the whistle-blower is protected from retribution. It chastises the president for comments disparaging the whistle-blower in recent days.

With the complaint heading to Congress, it was not clear whether the vote would happen.

Democratic leaders wanted to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress is already required by law, Democrats assert, but Mr. Maguire had declined to produce it, under instructions from the White House and the Department of Justice.

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161475936_2dec0473-7b14-4709-9be4-0fd862eaaba2-articleLarge Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, is set to testify before the intelligence panel on Thursday.CreditMarcus Tappen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mr. Trump used an afternoon news conference in New York to complain bitterly about media coverage of his call with the president of Ukraine, accusing Democrats and reporters of continuing to pursue a “hoax” against him.

In a disjointed, lengthy opening statement, the president announced that he had asked Republicans in the House not to object to the release of the whistle-blower’s report on the call and insisted that “we want transparency.”

“It’s a joke. Impeachment for that?” he said of his “beautiful” and “perfect” conversation with Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

But he also insisted that the media cover what he said were similar accusations against Democrats. He read from a letter to Ukraine officials written by Democratic senators warning that support for Ukraine could suffer if the country does not confront corruption.

“See, doesn’t that sound familiar?” Mr. Trump asked as he again insisted that he did nothing wrong on the call.

Later, he said the Democrats’ new mantra was, “We can’t beat him. Let’s impeach him.”

Mr. Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Mr. Zelensky, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny for Mr. Trump, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. He met Mr. Zelensky there in the afternoon, and was scheduled to hold a formal news conference later on.

“Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in and called on Mr. Barr to recuse himself from involvement in the formal impeachment inquiry that Ms. Pelosi announced on Tuesday.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

President Trump met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump went before the press after a private meeting Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations, and in the glare of the camera lights, it was not a comfortable moment.

Asked about the phone conversation, Mr. Zelensky tried not to offend. “We had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things.”

“Nobody pushed me,” he was saying when Mr. Trump jumped in, “in other words, no pressure.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved” in the American elections, Mr. Zelensky said almost apologetically.

It was Mr. Trump who took the conversation into political territory, once again ripping into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, accusing them of corruption, and then veering into familiar territory to excoriate his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for deleting emails.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump’s suggestion that Mr. Zelensky should be in touch with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, an attempt “to manufacture a smear” against him, “using a malicious conspiracy theory.”

“We also learned that he planned to involve the United States Department of Justice in this scheme — a direct attack on the core independence of that department, an independence essential to the rule of law,” he said.

But he tried deftly to make it not about him — as he made it about him.

“Congress must pursue the facts and quickly take prompt action to hold Donald Trump accountable. In the meantime, I will continue to focus my campaign not on how Donald Trump abused his power to come after my family, but on how he has turned his back on America’s families.”

Other Democratic presidential candidates condemned Trump again, saying the call is a “smoking gun” for impeachment, with at least two candidates using the phrase: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the former housing secretary Julián Castro.

Ms. Pelosi did not hold back in condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior as she indicated in a statement that the release of the phone call reconstruction would only fuel the impeachment inquiry:

“The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.

“I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities.”

She also made it clear that Mr. Barr would now be part of the multipronged House investigation that could yield articles of impeachment. “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” she wrote. “Clearly, the Congress must act.”

Shortly after her remarks, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees issued a joint statement:

“The record of the call released by the White House confirms our worst fears: that the President abused his office by directly and repeatedly asking a foreign country to investigate his political rival and open investigations meant to help the President politically. Not once, not twice, but more than half a dozen times during one telephone call. This was a shakedown. The President of the United States asked for a ‘favor’ after the Ukrainian President expressed his country’s need for weapons to defend against Russian aggression.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“Entirely appropriate.” “No quid pro quo.” “Not seeking ‘foreign interference.’”

The White House helpfully assembled talking points for congressional Republicans to use in their defense of Mr. Trump ahead of the release of the reconstructed transcript — and then emailed them to Ms. Pelosi’s office, and in effect, the world.

To make matters worse, or at least more comical, the official, Tori Q. Symonds, then sent a follow-up email saying she would “like to recall” the previous message.

Undaunted, Republicans did pick up the White House’s words. The White House had invited a dozen or so Republican lawmakers to review the document in advance and pose questions, officials familiar with the meeting said. At one point, Mr. Trump called into the meeting from the United Nations.

The group included the top leaders of the House, Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Several other Trump allies in the House and Senate were also on hand, including Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida; Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” Ms. Cheney went on to say. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

One of the few exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters.

Later, at The Atlantic Magazine’s annual talk fest, he explained why he thought his party was sticking to the talking points. “I think it’s very natural for people to look at circumstances and see them in the light that’s most amenable to their maintaining power,” he said, “and doing things to preserve that power.”

Ask a Question

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Mr. Trump insisted that the reconstruction of the call showed that he did not exert pressure on his counterpart to investigate a political rival.

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine, calling the inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

“If you noticed, the stock market went up when they saw the nonsense,” he said. “All of a sudden the stock market went down substantially yesterday when they saw a charge. After they read the charge the stock market went up substantially.”

Markets actually dropped when the call script was released at 10 a.m., but regained ground quickly, with the S&P 500 up about 0.21 percent in early morning trading. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day decline in a month.

Democrats were giving no ground. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” she said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

A reconstructed transcript shows Mr. Trump urging Ukraine’s leader to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an inquiry tied to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

The battle to defend Mr. Trump from impeachment charges is already being fought online.

On Wednesday, the president’s re-election campaign took out dozens of Facebook ads urging his supporters to join an “Impeachment Defense Task Force.” The president’s supporters also received emails urging them to join the group. It’s not clear whether such a group actually exists, or whether the campaign is simply using it to collect donations and email addresses.

“I want to know who stood with me when it mattered most, which is why my team is making me a list of EVERY AMERICAN PATRIOT who adds their name,” read one of the ads.

Democrats are also seizing on the opportunity to rally their supporters online. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro, among others, have taken out ads on Facebook calling for Mr. Trump’s impeachment in recent days. Vice President Biden’s Facebook ads — which urged his supporters to “Stand With Joe” — were less impeachment focused.

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course. (On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.)

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut.

One challenge: House leaders do not plan to cancel a scheduled two-week recess on Friday, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

Representative Mikie Sherrill, Democrat of New Jersey, leaving a Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday. She said Democrats should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to the six committees suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating

President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Full Whistle-Blower Complaint Heads to the House: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to

continue investigating President Trump on

impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority

of the House votes

to impeach.

A majority of

House members

vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley and Matt Stevens from New York.

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

Trump Meets With Ukraine’s President and Denies Pressuring Him to Investigate Biden

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-transcript-takeaways-promo-facebookJumbo-v6 Trump Meets With Ukraine’s President and Denies Pressuring Him to Investigate Biden Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Trump on Wednesday adamantly denied that he pressured Ukraine to investigate one of his leading Democratic rivals despite the newly released record of a call in which he asked the country’s president to look into Democrats as “a favor” to him.

Mr. Trump received some backing from the president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who by chance met with Mr. Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at the same time the House was gearing up for impeachment proceedings stemming from the interaction between the two leaders.

Sitting side by side with Mr. Trump in their first face-to-face meeting, Mr. Zelensky told reporters that he wanted to stay out of United States politics but provided a benign interpretation of the July 25 call in which Mr. Trump asked him to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and any Ukrainian ties to Democrats during the 2016 campaign.

“We had, I think, a good phone call,” Mr. Zelensky said. “It was normal, we spoke about many things. So, I think you read it that nobody pushed it, pushed me.”

“In other words, no pressure,” Mr. Trump chimed in. “And by the way, you know there was no pressure.”

That call has become the subject of enormous interest in Washington, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House was opening a formal impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump abused his power by leaning on a foreign country to provide dirt on a domestic political adversary.

The White House released a reconstructed record of the July call earlier on Wednesday and argued that it showed Mr. Trump did nothing wrong. But Democrats said it was evidence that the president had betrayed his oath and should be charged with high crimes and misdemeanors.

In the call, Mr. Trump urged Mr. Zelensky to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening a potential corruption investigation connected to Mr. Biden, according to the administration’s reconstruction of the conversation.

“I would like you to do us a favor,” Mr. Trump said in response to Mr. Zelensky raising the prospect of acquiring military equipment from the United States. Noting that the United States had “done a lot for Ukraine,” Mr. Trump also asked that the Ukrainians examine an unsubstantiated theory about stolen Democratic emails.

“So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” the president told Mr. Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president told Mr. Trump that he would have the country’s new top prosecutor look into the matters he raised.

“The next prosecutor general will be 100 percent my person, my candidate,” Mr. Zelensky assured the president. “He or she will look into the situation.”

In their meeting on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said there was nothing wrong with asking for that because Mr. Biden and the Democrats were the corrupt ones. He went on to castigate Ms. Pelosi, saying she had caved into the liberal wing of her party that wants him ousted from office by proceeding with impeachment.

“She’s lost her way,” Mr. Trump said. “She’s been taken over by the radical left.”

Leading House Democrats said the record of the July call made clear that Mr. Trump was pressuring Ukraine to help benefit his own political prospects. Just days before making the call, Mr. Trump had blocked $391 million in American aid to Ukraine. That decision did not come up during the call, according to the White House record, but the two did discuss United States assistance for Ukraine and Mr. Zelensky made clear he needed more.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that the president did not need to explicitly threaten aid to make his point as he asked for a favor.

“There was only one message that that president of Ukraine got from that call and that was: ‘This is what I need, I know what you need,’” Mr. Schiff said. “Like any mafia boss, the president didn’t need to say, ‘That’s a nice country you’ve have — it would be a shame if something happened to it.’”

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

Pelosi on Trump: ‘He Does Not Care About Ethics’ — Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161482179_cf5aa959-fa5f-4a6a-842e-88c3b656075e-articleLarge Pelosi on Trump: ‘He Does Not Care About Ethics’ — Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Trump met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”

Full Document: Trump’s Call With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Pelosi on Trump: ‘He Does Not Care About Ethics’ — Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny for Mr. Trump, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. He met Mr. Zelensky there in the afternoon, and was scheduled to hold a formal news conference later on.

“Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in and called on Mr. Barr to recuse himself from involvement in the formal impeachment inquiry that Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

The release did not go far enough for many Democrats, who have demanded to see the full complaint about Mr. Trump’s actions lodged by a whistle-blower, which has not been shared with Congress.

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump went before the press after a private meeting Wednesday afternoon at the United Nations, and in the glare of the camera lights, it was not a comfortable moment.

Asked about the phone conversation, Mr. Zelensky tried not to offend. “We had, I think, a good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things,” he was saying when Mr. Trump jumped in, “in other words, no pressure.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved” in the American elections, Mr. Zelensky said almost apologetically.

It was Mr. Trump who took the conversation into political territory, once again ripping into Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter, accusing them of corruption, and then veering into familiar territory to excoriate his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, for deleting emails.

Ms. Pelosi did not hold back in condemning Mr. Trump’s behavior as she indicated in a statement that the release of the phone call reconstruction would only fuel the impeachment inquiry:

“The release of the notes of the call by the White House confirms that the President engaged in behavior that undermines the integrity of our elections, the dignity of the office he holds and our national security. The President has tried to make lawlessness a virtue in America and now is exporting it abroad.

“I respect the responsibility of the President to engage with foreign leaders as part of his job. It is not part of his job to use taxpayer money to shake down other countries for the benefit of his campaign. Either the President does not know the weight of his words or he does not care about ethics or his constitutional responsibilities.”

She also made it clear that Mr. Barr would now be part of the multipronged House investigation that could yield articles of impeachment. “The transcript and the Justice Department’s acting in a rogue fashion in being complicit in the President’s lawlessness confirm the need for an impeachment inquiry,” she wrote. “Clearly, the Congress must act.”

Shortly after her remarks, the chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees issued a joint statement:

“The record of the call released by the White House confirms our worst fears: that the President abused his office by directly and repeatedly asking a foreign country to investigate his political rival and open investigations meant to help the President politically. Not once, not twice, but more than half a dozen times during one telephone call. This was a shakedown. The President of the United States asked for a ‘favor’ after the Ukrainian President expressed his country’s need for weapons to defend against Russian aggression.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

“Entirely appropriate.” “No quid pro quo.” “Not seeking ‘foreign interference.’”

The White House helpfully assembled talking points for congressional Republicans to use in their defense of Mr. Trump ahead of the release of the reconstructed transcript — and then emailed them to Ms. Pelosi’s office, and in effect, the world.

To make matters worse, or at least more comical, the official, Tori Q. Symonds, then sent a follow-up email saying she would “like to recall” the previous message.

Undaunted, Republicans did pick up the White House’s words. The White House had invited a dozen or so Republican lawmakers to review the document in advance and pose questions, officials familiar with the meeting said. At one point, Mr. Trump called into the meeting from the United Nations.

The group included the top leaders of the House, Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Several other Trump allies in the House and Senate were also on hand, including Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee; Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida; Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio; and Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” Ms. Cheney went on to say. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

One of the few exceptions was Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, who pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters.

Later, at The Atlantic Magazine’s annual talk fest, he explained why he thought his party was sticking to the talking points. “I think it’s very natural for people to look at circumstances and see them in the light that’s most amenable to their maintaining power,” he said, “and doing things to preserve that power.”

Mr. Trump insisted that the reconstruction of the call showed that he did not exert pressure on his counterpart to investigate a political rival.

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine.

“If you noticed, the stock market went up when they saw the nonsense,” he said. “All of a sudden the stock market went down substantially yesterday when they saw a charge. After they read the charge the stock market went up substantially.”

Markets actually dropped when the call script was released at 10 a.m., but regained ground quickly, with the S&P 500 up about 0.21 percent in early morning trading. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day decline in a month.

“We have created the greatest economy in the history of our country, the greatest economy in the world,” he said.

He called the inquiry “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

Democrats were giving no ground. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” she said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

President Trump on Wednesday played down the significance of the call he held with the president of Ukraine.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course. (On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.)

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut.

One challenge: House leaders do not plan to cancel a scheduled two-week recess on Friday, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

A reconstructed transcript shows Mr. Trump urging Ukraine’s leader to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about opening an inquiry tied to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.CreditMark Makela for The New York Times

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to the six committees suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

At least two candidates used the phrase: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and the former housing secretary Julián Castro. For his part, Mr. Biden said on Tuesday that if Mr. Trump kept stonewalling attempts by Congress to investigate his conduct, he would “leave Congress no choice but to initiate impeachment.”

The planned vote on Wednesday afternoon is on a resolution condemning the administration for withholding the whistle-blower complaint and demanding that Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, promptly furnish it.

The resolution also demands that Mr. Maguire ensure that the whistle-blower is protected from retribution and chastises the president for comments disparaging the whistle-blower in recent days.

The vote is symbolic, but Democratic leaders want to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress is already required by law, Democrats assert.

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Ms. Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

Even after the release of the reconstructed transcript, leading Republicans said Democrats were overreacting. Mr. Collins, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, declared that there was nothing there.

“The transcript between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky reveals that Democrats have again leapt to conclusions before looking at the facts. There was no quid pro quo and nothing to justify the clamor House Democrats caused yesterday. The real danger here is that Democrats keep using baseless accusations in hopes of crippling a successful presidency.

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Pelosi on Trump: ‘He Does Not Care About Ethics’ — Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Pelosi on Trump: ‘He Does Not Care About Ethics’ — Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating

President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the

House votes to impeach.

A majority of House

members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Pelosi on Trump: ‘He Does Not Care About Ethics’ — Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to

continue investigating President Trump on

impeachable offenses and to send their

strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are

determined to be

insufficient evidence

of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are

determined to be

sufficient.

The House holds a floor

vote on one or more

articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority

of the House votes

to impeach.

A majority of

House members

vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate

holds a vote to convict

the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Fewer than two-thirds

of members present

vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of

members present

vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Maggie Haberman, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley and Matt Stevens from New York.

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

Trump Defends Phone Call as Impeachment Inquiry Opens: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161468670_ac639581-dc56-4199-8de0-af730d6f8186-articleLarge Trump Defends Phone Call as Impeachment Inquiry Opens: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

President Trump on Wednesday played down the significance of the call he held with the president of Ukraine.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump released a reconstruction on Wednesday of a July 25 call he had with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, in which he encouraged his Ukrainian counterpart to contact Attorney General William P. Barr about investigating a political rival. Mr. Trump has defiantly denied saying anything inappropriate on the call, but the reconstructed transcript shows he clearly referred by name to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and encouraged Mr. Zelensky to reach out to Mr. Barr.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”

Call Record: Trump’s Conversation With the Ukrainian President

Sept. 25, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-phone-transcript-ukraine-promo-1569369870401-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v4 Trump Defends Phone Call as Impeachment Inquiry Opens: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Before the release, he declared on Twitter that Democrats had fallen into his trap, and that the release of the call would exonerate him — and make them look foolish.

The reconstructed transcript’s release and content ensured a day of intense scrutiny. “Period. Full stop. That is lawless,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic Caucus chairman, said of Mr. Trump’s request to Mr. Zelensky. “That undermines our national security. That is an abuse of power. That is unpatriotic.” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, marveled that the attorney general has now been pulled in.

Republicans stuck to their position that Mr. Trump did not offer Mr. Zelensky any inducements nor did he threaten him, so his demand for a Biden inquiry was not improper. “From a quid pro quo aspect, there’s nothing there,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

The release did not go far enough for many Democrats, who have demanded to see the full complaint about Mr. Trump’s actions lodged by a whistle-blower, which has not been shared with Congress.

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.CreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times

White House officials were continuing to work on a deal that would allow the whistle-blower to testify before Congress about those concerns, according to people briefed on the effort. The deal could also include the release of a redacted version of the complaint, which formed the basis of a report by the inspector general for the intelligence community, people familiar with the situation said.

Mr. Trump insisted that the reconstruction of the call showed that he did not exert pressure on his counterpart to investigate a political rival.

“It was going to be the call from hell. It turned out to be a nothing call, other than a lot of people said, ‘I never knew you could be so nice,’” he said during a brief encounter with reporters in New York City as he attended a meeting of Latin American leaders to discuss Venezuela.

Mr. Trump blamed “corrupt reporting” and said that Democrats should be impeached for actions they took related to Ukraine.

“If you noticed, the stock market went up when they saw the nonsense,” he said. “All of a sudden the stock market went down substantially yesterday when they saw a charge. After they read the charge the stock market went up substantially.”

Markets actually dropped when the call script was released at 10 a.m., but regained ground quickly, with the S&P 500 up about 0.21 percent in early morning trading. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day decline in a month.

The president bragged about the nation’s economy, saying that “we have created the greatest economy in the history of our country, the greatest economy in the world.”

He called the latest Democratic maneuver “the single greatest witch hunt in American history — probably in history, but in American history. It’s a disgraceful thing.”

Democrats were giving no ground. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the vice chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, cited the reconstructed transcript and said Mr. Trump’s decision to ask the Ukrainian president for a favor amounted to a crime in and of itself.

“The crime is when you ask for that favor, when you inject politics into foreign policy,” Ms. Clark said. “The initial reading shows that not only was Rudolph Giuliani brought in, but the Department of Justice, Attorney General Barr. That is exactly the crime we were concerned about, blurring those lines between the political, our national security, and the official role of the president.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for a Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

House Republican leaders tried to turn attention away from the president and toward House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing her of playing politics with the speakership and endangering the safety of the country by working to undermine Mr. Trump’s ability to deal with foreign leaders.

“I just watched the speaker yesterday demean the office of the speakership,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, told reporters Wednesday, calling it “a dark day for the rule of law” and “a dark day for national security.”

That fit the script that the White House had provided. Talking points to congressional offices on Wednesday, entitled “What You Need to Know,” argued “what the president actually talked about” during the phone call with Mr. Zelensky was “entirely proper.”

“The real scandal here is that leaks about a secondhand account of the president’s confidential telephone call with a foreign leader triggered a media frenzy of false accusations against the president and forced the president to release the transcript,” the talking points read.

One by one at a morning news conference, the leaders echoed the White House’s words. Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Trump should not have had to release the reconstructed transcript. The leaders zipped out of the news conference, not having seen it, which was released as they spoke.

“The House Democrats have been careening from impeachment theory to impeachment theory, they’ve careened from target to target,” said Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican. She accused Ms. Pelosi of “trying to weaken the president, trying to weaken his hand as he’s dealing with crucial issues of national security.”

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, was one of the few exceptions. He pointedly did not suggest Ms. Pelosi had gone too far: “She’s able to do what she feels is right. That’s up to her.”

And he expressed deep concern for what he had read in the call reconstruction.

“Clearly what we’ve seen in the transcript is deeply troubling,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill.

The words released by the White House recounting Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Zelensky look like a transcript, but the document is marked, Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, and it warns that it is not a verbatim account. Instead, it was “developed with assistance from voice recognition software along with experts and note takers listening.”

Because The New York Times cannot know what exactly was said, we have chosen to call the document a reconstructed transcript.

In throwing her support behind a full impeachment inquiry, Ms. Pelosi privately told fellow Democrats on Tuesday that she wanted “this to be done expeditiously — expeditiously.” And she charged six committee chairs to put together their best impeachment evidence and transmit it to the Judiciary Committee.

But on Wednesday morning in the Capitol, there were more questions than answers among Democrats about what actually comes next and how quickly.

“The process will come,” said Representative Madeleine Dean, Democrat of Pennsylvania, but other lawmakers said the House needed to urgently set its course to maintain momentum and ensure that their case against Mr. Trump does not meander off course.

“There is an understanding that all justice should be swift and sure, and that this has to happen deliberately but relatively quickly,” said Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut.

The first challenge is that the House is scheduled to depart for a two-week recess on Friday. House leaders do not plan to cancel it, but said that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees would remain active.

There was also already some early disagreement about the breadth of the case the House should build. Ms. Pelosi’s instructions to all six investigative committees to pull together evidence suggested that she was envisioning articles of impeachment beyond just the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

But some moderate Democrats, whose support for an inquiry was key to Tuesday’s announcement, expressed reservations. Representative Mikie Sherrill, who represents a swing district in New Jersey, said Democrats had not made its case to voters on obstruction of justice or other offenses, and should narrow the impeachment case to the Ukraine matter.

“I am worried about it getting too broad,” she said.

The House plans to vote on Wednesday afternoon on a resolution condemning the Trump administration for withholding the whistle-blower complaint and demanding that Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, promptly furnish it.

The resolution also demands that Mr. Maguire ensure that the whistle-blower is protected from retribution and chastises the president for comments disparaging the whistle-blower in recent days.

The vote is symbolic, but Democratic leaders want to put lawmakers in both parties on record to highlight their case. Sharing the complaint with Congress is already required by law, Democrats assert.

“This is not a partisan matter; it’s about the integrity of our democracy, respect for the rule of law and defending our Constitution,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, her No. 2, said in a statement on Tuesday. “We hope that all members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — will join in upholding the rule of law and oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution as representatives of the American people.”

Even after the release of the reconstructed transcript, leading Republicans said Democrats were overreacting. Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, declared that there was nothing there.

“The transcript between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky reveals that Democrats have again leapt to conclusions before looking at the facts. There was no quid pro quo and nothing to justify the clamor House Democrats caused yesterday. The real danger here is that Democrats keep using baseless accusations in hopes of crippling a successful presidency.”

People at the bar in Trump Tower watched Speaker Nancy Pelosi announce an official impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

In late July, as Congress was heading off for its long summer break, the House Judiciary Committee filed an extraordinary legal brief as Democrats sought information on potential presidential malfeasance. It declared an impeachment inquiry had begun:

“The House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise all its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity — approval of articles of impeachment.”

So what changed when Speaker Pelosi declared on Tuesday that the House was indeed launching an impeachment inquiry? Not a lot.

Ms. Pelosi’s words gave the inquiry momentum and political potency. But the investigations that she was empowering six committees to pursue they have been pursuing for months. And unlike the impeachment processes that were initiated against Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, the one begun against Mr. Trump — either in July or on Tuesday — was not launched by a vote in the full House. Republicans such as Mr. Collins are goading Democratic leaders to hold that vote, to put moderate Democrats representing Republican-leaning districts on record supporting the inquiry.

That could still happen. For now, however, Ms. Pelosi seems content to put her weight behind a declaration already made by her Judiciary Committee chairman nearly two months ago.

Mr. Zelensky speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, where Mr. Trump is scheduled to meet him.CreditBrittainy Newman/The New York Times

The political fallout from revelations about Mr. Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, Mr. Zelensky, came as the two men were scheduled to meet in person on Wednesday afternoon on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Mr. Zelensky, speaking before the United Nations on Wednesday morning, made no mention of Mr. Trump or American military aid. On Tuesday night, Mr. Zelensky released a statement saying he planned to invite Mr. Trump to Ukraine. “I expect us to have awesome relations with the United States,” he said in the statement.

In an interview on Tuesday with Voice of America, Mr. Zelensky said that he expected the conversation on Wednesday afternoon to be “very warm” and that he respected Mr. Trump. “We just want the U.S. to always support Ukraine and Ukraine’s course in its fight against aggression and war,” Mr. Zelensky said. “It seems to me that it is so.”

Mr. Trump will face reporters in a formal news conference Wednesday afternoon, providing a high-profile forum for questions about his role in the telephone call with Ukraine’s president that is at the center of the Democratic impeachment effort.

Presidents historically hold a formal news conference at the end of the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Often, such events are a president’s primary opportunity to shape the perception of their actions during the meetings with world leaders.

In Mr. Trump’s case, the news conference is likely to be one of many opportunities for the president to make his views known. He typically will respond to questions from reporters throughout the day, before and after bilateral discussions with world leaders. And, of course, the president started tweeting his thoughts about the Democrats first thing Wednesday morning.

How the Impeachment Process Could Play Out

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-600 Trump Defends Phone Call as Impeachment Inquiry Opens: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

Trump remains

in office

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently

control the House.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate holds a vote to convict the president.

Republicans currently

control the Senate.

Less than two-thirds of members present vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of members present vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-335 Trump Defends Phone Call as Impeachment Inquiry Opens: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate holds a vote to convict the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Less than two-thirds of members present vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of members present vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-280 Trump Defends Phone Call as Impeachment Inquiry Opens: Live Updates Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives General Assembly (UN) Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Six House committees are expected to continue investigating President Trump on impeachable offenses and to send their strongest cases to the Judiciary Committee.

The findings are determined to be insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

Trump remains

in office

The findings are determined to be sufficient.

The House holds a floor vote on one or more articles of impeachment.

Democrats currently control the House.

Less than a majority of the House votes to impeach.

A majority of House members vote to impeach.

Trump remains

in office

Trump is

impeached

The articles of impeachment move to the Senate, which then holds a trial.

After the trial, the Senate holds a vote to convict the president.

Republicans currently control the Senate.

Less than two-thirds of members present vote to convict.

Two-thirds or more of members present vote to convict.

Trump remains

in office

Trump removed

from office

By The New York Times

Nicholas Fandos, Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from Washington and Michael Crowley from New York.

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