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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 122)

Trump Loses Appeal on Deutsche Bank Subpoenas

Westlake Legal Group 03deutschetrump-facebookJumbo Trump Loses Appeal on Deutsche Bank Subpoenas United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Deutsche Bank AG Decisions and Verdicts Capital One Financial Corporation Banking and Financial Institutions

A federal appeals court said Tuesday that Deutsche Bank must turn over detailed documents about President Trump’s finances to two congressional committees, a ruling that will most likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The decision was the latest victory for House Democrats investigating Mr. Trump and his businesses. And it put extensive information about Mr. Trump’s personal and business finances — which the president has spent years fighting to keep secret — one step closer to becoming public.

Democratic-controlled congressional committees issued subpoenas to two banks — Deutsche Bank, long Mr. Trump’s biggest lender, and Capital One — this year for financial records related to the president, his companies and his family. Mr. Trump sued the banks to block them from complying.

The court’s ruling comes at a perilous time for Mr. Trump, who is facing an unrelated impeachment inquiry in the Democrat-controlled House.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said in a statement that “we are evaluating our next options including seeking review at the Supreme Court of the United States.” He called the congressional subpoenas “invalid as issued.”

Mr. Trump has seven days to seek a further delay from the high court before the banks must comply.

Mr. Trump, who broke with decades of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign, has already turned to the Supreme Court in an effort to fend off other government investigations into his personal finances. Two other cases, involving the disclosure of his tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney and to a congressional committee, are awaiting action by the court.

But the requests for documents from Deutsche Bank are notable because of the breadth of financial information they could provide about Mr. Trump and his business dealings.

Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump’s main lender after a string of bankruptcies and loan defaults cost other banks hundreds of millions of dollars; over the past two decades, the German bank lent him and his companies a total of well over $2 billion. The bank’s files would most likely contain a rich trove of documents including details about how he made his money, who his partners have been, the terms of his extensive borrowings and other transactions.

The subpoenas, issued in April by the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees, sought nearly a decade’s worth of tax returns and other financial documents that the banks obtained from Mr. Trump, his family and his companies. The subpoenas also demanded information about any suspicious activities that Deutsche Bank detected in Mr. Trump’s accounts.

Investigators for the two committees are hoping the materials will shed light on any links Mr. Trump has had to foreign governments and whether he or his companies were involved in any illegal activity, such as money laundering for people overseas.

The committees have also said the information is important to their attempts to craft legislation. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have argued that the subpoenas served no legitimate legislative purpose and were overly broad. Spokesmen for the committees had no immediate comment on Tuesday.

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit contained one caveat: The lower court must consider whether and how the banks disclose a limited set of sensitive personal information that would have no bearing on the government investigations. Such information could include checks that were written by Mr. Trump or his companies to cover employees’ medical expenses.

But, the court ruled, the presumption should be in favor of handing over more documents, not fewer. “Many documents facially appearing to reflect normal business dealings will therefore warrant disclosure for examination and analysis by skilled investigators assisting the committees to determine the effectiveness of current regulation and the possible need for improved legislation,” the court wrote.

The ruling concluded: “The committees’ interests in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a chief executive’s distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions.”

The decision is the latest this year by a federal court to uphold the broad powers of Congress to investigate the president.

In two similar cases, the president has asked the Supreme Court to overrule lower courts and to block attempts to review his finances. Last month, the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay related to a subpoena that the House Oversight and Reform Committee issued in April. Mr. Trump has also filed a petition seeking review of a request from prosecutors in Manhattan who are seeking information from his accounting firm, Mazars USA.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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

Trump Warns Trade Talks With China May Last Past 2020 Election

Westlake Legal Group merlin_144827730_0a95809f-b566-433c-b935-f76acc73018d-facebookJumbo Trump Warns Trade Talks With China May Last Past 2020 Election United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) China

LONDON — President Trump signaled on Tuesday that he was in no rush to end a long trade war with China, suggesting that he could wait until after the 2020 presidential election to strike a deal.

“I have no deadline,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a wide-ranging 52-minute appearance in London with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general. “In some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”

He added: “But they want to make a deal now, and we’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right, it’s got to be right.”

Mr. Trump’s comments, which rattled European stock markets, cast more uncertainty on an agreement he said he had made weeks ago with China’s top trade envoy, Vice Premier Liu He. They announced in mid-October that they had reached a so-called Phase 1 trade agreement that would allow Chinese purchases of American agricultural goods to resume while the United States would cancel additional tariffs scheduled for Oct. 15.

While Mr. Trump said Tuesday that he had no deadline, he has threatened to impose another round of tariffs on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese goods on Dec. 15.

Administration officials had previously suggested that those tariffs could be canceled if the two sides concluded a trade deal. But sticking points remain — including whether Mr. Trump will remove any of the tariffs already placed on $360 billion worth of products. If he proceeds with that December round, the United States would essentially be taxing every shoe, television and laptop that China sends into the United States and risking more retaliation.

Completion of the Phase 1 deal has remained elusive, and the two sides have continued to grapple over terms. The Trump administration insists that China must offer more concessions to protect intellectual property and open its markets to American companies.

The original plan called for an agreement to be signed in mid-November by Mr. Trump and Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Santiago, Chile. But that meeting was canceled because of street protests over a subway fare increase in Santiago, and momentum on the trade talks appears to have slowed somewhat since then.

American and Chinese officials have remained fairly optimistic that a deal will be struck before the new tariffs take effect Dec. 15, but say the final decision will fall to Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi.

Chinese officials have increasingly tried to look past President Trump’s day-to-day remarks about the negotiations and have focused on trying to obtain the best deal they can from Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But the president’s remarks continue to receive attention on Chinese social media and are followed closely in financial markets around the world.

Mr. Trump’s remark came several hours after markets and offices had closed in East Asia, and long after the daily Ministry of Foreign Affairs news briefing in Beijing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs seldom addresses trade issues, however, usually leaving them to the Ministry of Commerce, which holds a weekly news briefing on Thursday.

Even as Mr. Trump seeks an economic deal with the Chinese, his cautious and sometimes seemingly reluctant support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in recent days has added to diplomatic tensions.

He signed legislation last Wednesday that called for the United States to scrutinize the actions of officials in Beijing and Hong Kong more closely for possible human rights violations and to assess whether Hong Kong should keep its preferential treatment on trade and export control issues. He did so after the legislation passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof margins.

In a mostly symbolic retaliation, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China would suspend visits to Hong Kong by American warships and impose sanctions on several United States-based nongovernmental groups, citing “unreasonable behavior.”

Still, Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that he held the upper hand in trade negotiations.

“I’m doing very well on a deal with China, if I want to make it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s up to if they want to make it, it’s if I want to make it. We’ll see what happens.”

Katie Rogers reported from London and Keith Bradsher from Shanghai. Ana Swanson contributed reporting from Washington.

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

Trump Warns Trade Talks With China May Last Past 2020 Election

Westlake Legal Group merlin_144827730_0a95809f-b566-433c-b935-f76acc73018d-facebookJumbo Trump Warns Trade Talks With China May Last Past 2020 Election United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) China

LONDON — President Trump signaled on Tuesday that he was in no rush to end a long trade war with China, suggesting that he could wait until after the 2020 presidential election to strike a deal.

“I have no deadline,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a wide-ranging 52-minute appearance in London with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general. “In some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”

He added: “But they want to make a deal now, and we’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right, it’s got to be right.”

Mr. Trump’s comments, which rattled European stock markets, cast more uncertainty on an agreement he said he had made weeks ago with China’s top trade envoy, Vice Premier Liu He. They announced in mid-October that they had reached a so-called Phase 1 trade agreement that would allow Chinese purchases of American agricultural goods to resume while the United States would cancel additional tariffs scheduled for Oct. 15.

While Mr. Trump said Tuesday that he had no deadline, he has threatened to impose another round of tariffs on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese goods on Dec. 15.

Administration officials had previously suggested that those tariffs could be canceled if the two sides concluded a trade deal. But sticking points remain — including whether Mr. Trump will remove any of the tariffs already placed on $360 billion worth of products. If he proceeds with that December round, the United States would essentially be taxing every shoe, television and laptop that China sends into the United States and risking more retaliation.

Completion of the Phase 1 deal has remained elusive, and the two sides have continued to grapple over terms. The Trump administration insists that China must offer more concessions to protect intellectual property and open its markets to American companies.

The original plan called for an agreement to be signed in mid-November by Mr. Trump and Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Santiago, Chile. But that meeting was canceled because of street protests over a subway fare increase in Santiago, and momentum on the trade talks appears to have slowed somewhat since then.

American and Chinese officials have remained fairly optimistic that a deal will be struck before the new tariffs take effect Dec. 15, but say the final decision will fall to Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi.

Chinese officials have increasingly tried to look past President Trump’s day-to-day remarks about the negotiations and have focused on trying to obtain the best deal they can from Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But the president’s remarks continue to receive attention on Chinese social media and are followed closely in financial markets around the world.

Mr. Trump’s remark came several hours after markets and offices had closed in East Asia, and long after the daily Ministry of Foreign Affairs news briefing in Beijing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs seldom addresses trade issues, however, usually leaving them to the Ministry of Commerce, which holds a weekly news briefing on Thursday.

Even as Mr. Trump seeks an economic deal with the Chinese, his cautious and sometimes seemingly reluctant support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in recent days has added to diplomatic tensions.

He signed legislation last Wednesday that called for the United States to scrutinize the actions of officials in Beijing and Hong Kong more closely for possible human rights violations and to assess whether Hong Kong should keep its preferential treatment on trade and export control issues. He did so after the legislation passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof margins.

In a mostly symbolic retaliation, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China would suspend visits to Hong Kong by American warships and impose sanctions on several United States-based nongovernmental groups, citing “unreasonable behavior.”

Still, Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that he held the upper hand in trade negotiations.

“I’m doing very well on a deal with China, if I want to make it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s up to if they want to make it, it’s if I want to make it. We’ll see what happens.”

Katie Rogers reported from London and Keith Bradsher from Shanghai. Ana Swanson contributed reporting from Washington.

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

Trump Warns Trade Talks With China May Last Past 2020 Election

Westlake Legal Group merlin_144827730_0a95809f-b566-433c-b935-f76acc73018d-facebookJumbo Trump Warns Trade Talks With China May Last Past 2020 Election United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) China

LONDON — President Trump signaled on Tuesday that he was in no rush to end a long trade war with China, suggesting that he could wait until after the 2020 presidential election to strike a deal.

“I have no deadline,” Mr. Trump told reporters during a wide-ranging 52-minute appearance in London with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general. “In some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”

He added: “But they want to make a deal now, and we’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right, it’s got to be right.”

Mr. Trump’s comments, which rattled European stock markets, cast more uncertainty on an agreement he said he had made weeks ago with China’s top trade envoy, Vice Premier Liu He. They announced in mid-October that they had reached a so-called Phase 1 trade agreement that would allow Chinese purchases of American agricultural goods to resume while the United States would cancel additional tariffs scheduled for Oct. 15.

While Mr. Trump said Tuesday that he had no deadline, he has threatened to impose another round of tariffs on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese goods on Dec. 15.

Administration officials had previously suggested that those tariffs could be canceled if the two sides concluded a trade deal. But sticking points remain — including whether Mr. Trump will remove any of the tariffs already placed on $360 billion worth of products. If he proceeds with that December round, the United States would essentially be taxing every shoe, television and laptop that China sends into the United States and risking more retaliation.

Completion of the Phase 1 deal has remained elusive, and the two sides have continued to grapple over terms. The Trump administration insists that China must offer more concessions to protect intellectual property and open its markets to American companies.

The original plan called for an agreement to be signed in mid-November by Mr. Trump and Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Santiago, Chile. But that meeting was canceled because of street protests over a subway fare increase in Santiago, and momentum on the trade talks appears to have slowed somewhat since then.

American and Chinese officials have remained fairly optimistic that a deal will be struck before the new tariffs take effect Dec. 15, but say the final decision will fall to Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi.

Chinese officials have increasingly tried to look past President Trump’s day-to-day remarks about the negotiations and have focused on trying to obtain the best deal they can from Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But the president’s remarks continue to receive attention on Chinese social media and are followed closely in financial markets around the world.

Mr. Trump’s remark came several hours after markets and offices had closed in East Asia, and long after the daily Ministry of Foreign Affairs news briefing in Beijing. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs seldom addresses trade issues, however, usually leaving them to the Ministry of Commerce, which holds a weekly news briefing on Thursday.

Even as Mr. Trump seeks an economic deal with the Chinese, his cautious and sometimes seemingly reluctant support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in recent days has added to diplomatic tensions.

He signed legislation last Wednesday that called for the United States to scrutinize the actions of officials in Beijing and Hong Kong more closely for possible human rights violations and to assess whether Hong Kong should keep its preferential treatment on trade and export control issues. He did so after the legislation passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof margins.

In a mostly symbolic retaliation, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China would suspend visits to Hong Kong by American warships and impose sanctions on several United States-based nongovernmental groups, citing “unreasonable behavior.”

Still, Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that he held the upper hand in trade negotiations.

“I’m doing very well on a deal with China, if I want to make it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s up to if they want to make it, it’s if I want to make it. We’ll see what happens.”

Katie Rogers reported from London and Keith Bradsher from Shanghai. Ana Swanson contributed reporting from Washington.

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

Barr Is Said to Doubt Inspector General’s Finding on Russia Inquiry

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-barr1-facebookJumbo Barr Is Said to Doubt Inspector General’s Finding on Russia Inquiry United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2016 Mueller, Robert S III Justice Department Inspectors General Horowitz, Michael E Federal Bureau of Investigation Durham, John H Clinesmith, Kevin Barr, William P Attorneys General

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr has told Justice Department officials that he is skeptical of a conclusion by the department’s inspector general that the F.B.I. had sufficient information to open the investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential race, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

Should Mr. Barr rebut the inspector general’s assessment, due out next week in a highly anticipated report, Mr. Trump’s allies will most likely use that pushback to dismiss the work itself. The review is expected to contradict some of the unfounded theories about the 2016 election that the president and his allies have promoted.

Mr. Barr’s doubts are significant because they could be perceived as the nation’s top law enforcement officer siding with Mr. Trump, who has long cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Russia investigation, over law enforcement officials.

His views are sure to inflame critics of Mr. Barr, who have accused him of siding with the president over the rule of law in his handling of the special counsel’s findings and in a recent speech in which he defended Mr. Trump’s use of executive authority. While it is a part of the executive branch, the Justice Department has typically sought to maintain some independence from the White House to guarantee that justice is applied fairly and not wielded as a political cudgel.

Mr. Barr’s skepticism could place more pressure on John H. Durham — the federal prosecutor who is conducting a separate criminal inquiry into the roots of the Russia investigation — to find evidence backing Mr. Barr’s position. Mr. Durham has already unearthed some evidence that supports Mr. Barr’s uncertainty of the inspector general’s findings, according to a lawyer involved in the Durham inquiry.

The attorney general has also expressed skepticism at the F.B.I.’s decision to investigate Mr. Trump’s own ties to Russia and whether he obstructed justice. It is unclear whether the report by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, will address that.

Mr. Barr has privately praised Mr. Horowitz for his work and has not made clear whether he will publicly disagree with the report. It is standard practice for the Justice Department to submit to the inspector general a written response to his findings, which is then included in the final assessment. Mr. Barr could use that opportunity to issue a formal rebuttal, or he could make a public statement of some other kind.

“The inspector general’s investigation is a credit to the Department of Justice,” the department’s spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said in a statement on Monday night. “Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the inspector general’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Horowitz declined to comment. The Washington Post first reported the dispute.

It was not clear what Mr. Barr based his uncertainty on. The threshold to open the Russia investigation was not particularly high. The F.B.I. can open a preliminary inquiry based on “information or an allegation” that a crime or threat to national security may have occurred or will occur, according to bureau policy. Typically, agents open counterintelligence investigations with a small amount of evidence, Lisa Page, a former F.B.I. lawyer who has also been a target of Mr. Trump’s ire, testified privately to congressional investigators last year.

The conclusion that the F.B.I. had enough evidence when it opened the Russia investigation will be part of the long-anticipated report that wraps up Mr. Horowitz’s nearly two-year inquiry into aspects of the case, including its origins and whether the F.B.I. abused its surveillance powers when it sought a wiretap of a former Trump campaign adviser.

While Mr. Horowitz is expected to sharply criticize the F.B.I.’s top leaders, he is not expected to find that any of the bureau’s officials acted out of political bias against Mr. Trump when they decided to investigate links between his associates and Russia. Ultimately, Mr. Horowitz concluded that the F.B.I. violated no rules when it began its delicate inquiry, work that not only thrust the bureau into a politically treacherous position, but has also overshadowed much of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Mr. Horowitz’s “excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves,” Ms. Kupec said in her statement.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, eventually took over the Russia inquiry and affirmed that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. But he found insufficient evidence to charge any Trump associates with conspiring with the Russian operation and declined to say whether Mr. Trump obstructed the investigation itself.

Mr. Barr, who has for decades expressed a maximalist view of executive authority, has long questioned whether aspects of the inquiry were legitimate. His skepticism began even before he was attorney general, when he wrote a 19-page memo to Justice Department leaders arguing that Mr. Trump was within his authority to fire James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, which Mr. Mueller was investigating as potential obstruction of justice. During a hearing, Mr. Barr told Congress that he believed that “spying” had occurred on the Trump campaign, and that he wanted to determine whether that surveillance was lawfully predicated.

As Mr. Horowitz worked on his review, senior Justice Department officials have also discussed putting in place procedures and guidelines that would force the bureau to get Justice Department approval before opening an investigation on someone like the president, one person who has been briefed on those conversations said.

Mr. Horowitz also found that a low-level lawyer at the F.B.I., Kevin Clinesmith, altered a document to include false information, and then included it in a packet of information that the F.B.I. used to renew a warrant to secretly wiretap a former Trump campaign adviser.

That information could have been part of the reason Mr. Durham began his work as a departmental review and shifted it in recent months to a full criminal investigation. He is not expected to complete his work anytime soon. His criminal investigation spans not only the F.B.I., the subject of Mr. Horowitz’s report, but also the C.I.A.

Mr. Horowitz will release the more than 400-page report next Monday, and he will testify before Congress about his findings on Dec. 11.

Adam Goldman contributed reporting.

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Democrats Ready Impeachment Report as Republicans Argue Trump Did Nothing Wrong

WASHINGTON — House Democrats pressed forward on Monday with the next phase of their impeachment inquiry, putting the final touches on an Intelligence Committee report expected to form the basis of their case that President Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals was an abuse of power that warrants his removal from office.

Lawmakers from the panel reviewed the staff-written report for the first time on Monday evening, ahead of a scheduled Tuesday evening vote to transmit it to the Judiciary Committee. It is expected to conclude that Mr. Trump, working with allies inside and outside his administration, used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine to do his bidding in order to gain an advantage in the 2020 presidential race.

Though the factual conclusions are likely to closely track public witness testimony in recent weeks, key elements of the majority report remained shrouded in mystery on Monday night. It was not yet clear, for instance, whether Democrats would use the document to call for specific impeachment charges against Mr. Trump, or whether it would simply outline evidence of presidential wrongdoing and leave it to the Judiciary Committee, the arbiter of impeachment proceedings past, to make that judgment.

Either way, the vote on Tuesday will bring to a close more than two months of investigation by the intelligence panel and shift the case against Mr. Trump into the judiciary panel, which will oversee the drafting and debate of articles of impeachment in what is likely to be a messy public spectacle suffused with partisan rancor.

As the Democrats prepared their case, House Republicans moved to seize the narrative and spin it in the president’s favor, releasing their own report arguing against impeachment based on the facts both parties have reviewed.

In a 123-page document that echoed the defiant messaging that Mr. Trump has employed in his own defense, the Republicans did not concede a single point of wrongdoing or hint of misbehavior by the president. Instead, they concluded that Mr. Trump was acting on “genuine and reasonable” skepticism of Ukraine and “valid” concerns about possible corruption involving Americans, not political self-interest, when he pressed the country for investigations of his Democratic rivals.

Mr. Trump, who spent much of the day traveling to Britain to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, appeared to be preoccupied with the coming fight. He posted on Twitter from Air Force One about the weakness of the Democrats’ case and the strength of Republican unity. Not long after landing in London, the president lavished praise on the Republicans’ report, which he said he had read, and raised the prospect of unilaterally asking the Supreme Court to stop the House impeachment proceedings, a process enshrined in the Constitution, in its tracks.

“Great job!” Mr. Trump tweeted of Republicans. “Radical Left has NO CASE. Read the Transcripts. Shouldn’t even be allowed. Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?”

The Constitution puts the chief justice of the Supreme Court in charge of overseeing any impeachment trial in the Senate, but empowers the House and the Senate to carry out the proceedings as they see fit. The Supreme Court has no purview over the process.

As Washington re-engaged in the impeachment drama after Thanksgiving, the timetable for the process remained unclear. House leaders announced they would remain in session until Dec. 20, more than a week longer than initially planned, leaving open the possibility of a vote to impeach Mr. Trump days before Christmas. But with the Judiciary Committee scheduling only one hearing for this week, Democrats were facing a calendar squeeze that could make it difficult for them to complete the intricate impeachment process before year’s end.

The Judiciary Committee unveiled the list of constitutional scholars its members plan to question on Wednesday, when they convene their first formal impeachment session to help inform the debate over whether Mr. Trump’s conduct was impeachable.

The witnesses are Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School, Pamela S. Karlan of Stanford Law School, Michael J. Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina Law School and Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School. Mr. Turley was invited by Republicans on the panel.

The Justice Department filed a brief before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seeking to block impeachment investigators from gaining access to secret grand jury evidence gathered by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s 2016 election interference and the Trump campaign.

Lawyers for the House have argued that they need to see that material in part because it could further illuminate the question of whether Mr. Trump lied to Mr. Mueller, a matter they have said is part of their impeachment inquiry. But the House is likely moving too quickly for the courts to settle the case before an impeachment vote.

In the Republicans’ dissenting views, they argued that after two months of investigation, the evidence “does not support” that Mr. Trump withheld a coveted White House meeting for Ukraine’s president or nearly $400 million in security assistance for the country as leverage for securing the investigations.

Westlake Legal Group republican-impeachment-report-1575324892513-articleLarge-v2 Democrats Ready Impeachment Report as Republicans Argue Trump Did Nothing Wrong Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

Read the House Republicans’ Report on the Impeachment Inquiry

Republicans on three House committees on Monday finalized a report documenting their impeachment defense of President Trump. The Democrats are expected to release their own report in the near future.

The conclusion is at odds with sworn testimony from senior American diplomats and White House officials who said they believed Mr. Trump sought to use American influence over Ukraine to suit his domestic political purposes, repeatedly pressing President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unproven claim that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 election.

Rather than take those assertions at face value, the Republicans charged that they came from civil servants who dislike Mr. Trump’s agenda and style and are therefore allowing themselves to be part of a push by Democrats to undo the results of the 2016 election and thwart Mr. Trump’s re-election chances in 2020.

“The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is not the organic outgrowth of serious misconduct; it is an orchestrated campaign to upend our political system,” the Republicans wrote. “The Democrats are trying to impeach a duly elected president based on the accusations and assumptions of unelected bureaucrats who disagreed with President Trump’s policy initiatives and processes.”

The argument mirrored one made at the White House on Monday by Kellyanne Conway, Mr. Trump’s counselor, who sought to portray Democrats’ case as flimsy.

“One out of 12 people had ever talked to the president of the United States and met him or discussed Ukraine with him — that is just mind-boggling to me,” Ms. Conway said, referring to the number of current and former government officials who testified publicly in the inquiry. “And we are supposed to impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors for that reason?”

Ms. Conway also dared the chairman of the Intelligence Committee who has been leading the inquiry, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, to testify publicly during the Judiciary Committee’s proceedings about his handling of the case. If he did, she promised to “show up on behalf of the White House,” which on Sunday declined to participate in the hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

Democrats are expected to argue the virtual opposite of the Republican report.

The Democrats’ case centers on a July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Biden and the claim that Ukraine worked with Democrats to subvert the 2016 election. It is also likely to charge that Mr. Trump conditioned the White House meeting and military assistance money on a public commitment to the investigations.

Mr. Schiff indicated as much Monday when he said that the Republican report “ignores voluminous evidence that the president used the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival by withholding military aid and a White House meeting the president of Ukraine desperately sought.”

He added, “In so doing, the president undermined our national security and the integrity of our elections.

The minority report was compiled by committee staff for the top three Republicans on the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees.

It essentially formalized a range of defenses Republicans road-tested last month during two weeks of public impeachment hearings in the Intelligence Committee. For members of the Judiciary Committee and the larger Republican conference in the House, it provided several alternative tacks for defending Mr. Trump or at least arguing against impeachment.

If the Democrats’ case hinges on linking actions by Mr. Trump and his agents to a unified pressure campaign, the Republican defense is staked on pulling those pieces apart and offering an alternate explanation for each.

Many of the actions in question, Republicans argue, stem from Mr. Trump’s “longstanding, deep-seated skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption.”

“Understood in this proper context, the president’s initial hesitation to meet with President Zelensky or to provide U.S. taxpayer-funded security assistance to Ukraine without thoughtful review is entirely prudent,” the Republicans wrote.

Likewise, they argued, there was “nothing wrong with asking serious questions” about Mr. Biden and his younger son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm when his father was vice president, or about “Ukraine’s attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.”

Though some officials who testified before the inquiry said that Hunter Biden’s role had prompted concerns about the appearance of a conflict of interest, no evidence had emerged to support any accusations of wrongdoing. And Mr. Trump’s own former national security advisers testified that the concerns he raised to Mr. Zelensky about 2016 were conspiracies promulgated by Russia to absolve its own interference campaign in 2016 and harm American democracy. They said the president had repeatedly been told as much.

Republicans also argued there was “nothing inherently improper” with Mr. Trump empowering Rudolph W. Giuliani, his private lawyer who led the push for investigations, to help steer Ukraine matters, despite testimony that there was widespread alarm at Mr. Giuliani’s involvement.

Fiona Hill, the former top Europe and Russia adviser at the White House, testified that her boss, John R. Bolton, had called Mr. Giuliani a “hand grenade.” Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are also investigating whether Mr. Giuliani’s Ukraine work broke the law.

The report also repeated familiar Republican grievances about the denial of “fundamental fairness” in the investigative process put forward by Democrats. Mr. Trump’s decision to discourage participation in the inquiry, they wrote, was “a legitimate response to an unfair, abusive, and partisan process, and does not constitute obstruction of a legitimate impeachment inquiry.”

Democrats do not see it that way, and have prepared a catalog of all of the ways that Mr. Trump has obstructed their inquiry that could form the basis for its own article of impeachment.

Michael D. Shear and Charlie Savage contributed reporting.

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Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events

Westlake Legal Group 02trumpbloomberg01-facebookJumbo Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) News and News Media Bloomberg, Michael R Bloomberg News

President Trump’s re-election campaign said on Monday that it would bar Bloomberg News journalists from attending its rallies and political events, an attempt to retaliate against the news organization’s decision to cease investigating Democratic candidates in the wake of its billionaire owner’s entry into the 2020 presidential race.

The Trump campaign broke from years of precedent in 2016 by revoking the press credentials of journalists from outlets like The Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed News, an early sign of the efforts to demonize the news media that have become a hallmark of the Trump presidency.

But Bloomberg News is facing a fraught situation, too. After the company’s owner, Michael R. Bloomberg, decided last month to pursue the Democratic nomination, editors at the news outlet instructed their reporters to avoid “in-depth investigations” of Mr. Bloomberg or any other Democratic candidate. It was an attempt at fairness that some journalists called stifling.

On Monday, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, called it something else: biased.

“Bloomberg News has declared that they won’t investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump,” Mr. Parscale wrote in a statement, calling the decision “troubling and wrong.”

“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” Mr. Parscale wrote. The campaign said it would decide “on a case-by-case basis” whether to respond to inquiries from individual reporters on stories.

The editor in chief of Bloomberg News, John Micklethwait, quickly fired back.

“The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth,” Mr. Micklethwait wrote in a statement. “We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”

Howard Wolfson, a top campaign adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, also weighed in, pithily. “One week in and Mike is already under Trump’s skin,” Mr. Wolfson wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Trump and his senior aides routinely disparage individual reporters and entire news organizations for coverage they deem unfavorable. Press advocacy groups say the president’s attacks have contributed to one of the more hostile domestic environments for journalists in recent memory.

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, criticized the Trump campaign’s move in a statement on Monday. “We condemn any action that keeps quality news media from reporting fairly and accurately on the presidency and the leadership of the country,” Mr. Baquet wrote.

At the same time, Bloomberg News’s approach to covering its owner’s candidacy has proved divisive.

Roughly 2,700 journalists work at Bloomberg L.P., the financial data company that is the wellspring of Mr. Bloomberg’s fortune, and this is not the first time that Mr. Bloomberg’s ambitions have placed his employees in an awkward spot. During Mr. Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor of New York City, coverage of the billionaire’s wealth and personal life were considered off limits at Bloomberg News.

In a memo last month, Mr. Micklethwait acknowledged that “there is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy,” but added that the newsroom would continue to investigate Mr. Trump’s administration “as the government of the day.”

On Monday night, Mr. Trump, who had flown to London for a conference, added his own thoughts on the matter, deriding Mr. Bloomberg in a Twitter post as “Mini Mike Bloomberg” and describing Bloomberg News as a “third rate news organization.” (He also accused The Times of “hatred & bias.”) The president wrote that “It’s not O.K.!” for Bloomberg News to skip investigations of Democratic candidates.

While Bloomberg News has pledged to continue covering polls, policies and “who is winning and who is losing” the 2020 race, the prohibition against investigative reporting — considered among the most valuable forms of campaign journalism — has caused some uproar.

Megan Murphy, a former Washington bureau chief at Bloomberg News, wrote on Twitter that it was “staggering” for the news outlet to prevent “an army of unbelievably talented reporters and editors from covering massive, crucial aspects of one of the defining elections of our time.”

Marc Tracy contributed reporting.

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

Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events

Westlake Legal Group 02trumpbloomberg01-facebookJumbo Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) News and News Media Bloomberg, Michael R Bloomberg News

President Trump’s re-election campaign said on Monday that it would bar Bloomberg News journalists from attending its rallies and political events, an attempt to retaliate against the news organization’s decision to cease investigating Democratic candidates in the wake of its billionaire owner’s entry into the 2020 presidential race.

The Trump campaign broke from years of precedent in 2016 by revoking the press credentials of journalists from outlets like The Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed News, an early sign of the efforts to demonize the news media that have become a hallmark of the Trump presidency.

But Bloomberg News is facing a fraught situation, too. After the company’s owner, Michael R. Bloomberg, decided last month to pursue the Democratic nomination, editors at the news outlet instructed their reporters to avoid “in-depth investigations” of Mr. Bloomberg or any other Democratic candidate. It was an attempt at fairness that some journalists called stifling.

On Monday, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, called it something else: biased.

“Bloomberg News has declared that they won’t investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump,” Mr. Parscale wrote in a statement, calling the decision “troubling and wrong.”

“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” Mr. Parscale wrote. The campaign said it would decide “on a case-by-case basis” whether to respond to inquiries from individual reporters on stories.

The editor in chief of Bloomberg News, John Micklethwait, quickly fired back.

“The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth,” Mr. Micklethwait wrote in a statement. “We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”

Howard Wolfson, a top campaign adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, also weighed in, pithily. “One week in and Mike is already under Trump’s skin,” Mr. Wolfson wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Trump and his senior aides routinely disparage individual reporters and entire news organizations for coverage they deem unfavorable. Press advocacy groups say the president’s attacks have contributed to one of the more hostile domestic environments for journalists in recent memory.

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, criticized the Trump campaign’s move in a statement on Monday. “We condemn any action that keeps quality news media from reporting fairly and accurately on the presidency and the leadership of the country,” Mr. Baquet wrote.

At the same time, Bloomberg News’s approach to covering its owner’s candidacy has proved divisive.

Roughly 2,700 journalists work at Bloomberg L.P., the financial data company that is the wellspring of Mr. Bloomberg’s fortune, and this is not the first time that Mr. Bloomberg’s ambitions have placed his employees in an awkward spot. During Mr. Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor of New York City, coverage of the billionaire’s wealth and personal life were considered off limits at Bloomberg News.

In a memo last month, Mr. Micklethwait acknowledged that “there is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy,” but added that the newsroom would continue to investigate Mr. Trump’s administration “as the government of the day.”

On Monday night, Mr. Trump, who had flown to London for a conference, added his own thoughts on the matter, deriding Mr. Bloomberg in a Twitter post as “Mini Mike Bloomberg” and describing Bloomberg News as a “third rate news organization.” (He also accused The Times of “hatred & bias.”) The president wrote that “It’s not O.K.!” for Bloomberg News to skip investigations of Democratic candidates.

While Bloomberg News has pledged to continue covering polls, policies and “who is winning and who is losing” the 2020 race, the prohibition against investigative reporting — considered among the most valuable forms of campaign journalism — has caused some uproar.

Megan Murphy, a former Washington bureau chief at Bloomberg News, wrote on Twitter that it was “staggering” for the news outlet to prevent “an army of unbelievably talented reporters and editors from covering massive, crucial aspects of one of the defining elections of our time.”

Marc Tracy contributed reporting.

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

Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events

Westlake Legal Group 02trumpbloomberg01-facebookJumbo Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) News and News Media Bloomberg, Michael R Bloomberg News

President Trump’s re-election campaign said on Monday that it would bar Bloomberg News journalists from attending its rallies and political events, an attempt to retaliate against the news organization’s decision to cease investigating Democratic candidates in the wake of its billionaire owner’s entry into the 2020 presidential race.

The Trump campaign broke from years of precedent in 2016 by revoking the press credentials of journalists from outlets like The Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed News, an early sign of the efforts to demonize the news media that have become a hallmark of the Trump presidency.

But Bloomberg News is facing a fraught situation, too. After the company’s owner, Michael R. Bloomberg, decided last month to pursue the Democratic nomination, editors at the news outlet instructed their reporters to avoid “in-depth investigations” of Mr. Bloomberg or any other Democratic candidate. It was an attempt at fairness that some journalists called stifling.

On Monday, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, called it something else: biased.

“Bloomberg News has declared that they won’t investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump,” Mr. Parscale wrote in a statement, calling the decision “troubling and wrong.”

“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” Mr. Parscale wrote. The campaign said it would decide “on a case-by-case basis” whether to respond to inquiries from individual reporters on stories.

The editor in chief of Bloomberg News, John Micklethwait, quickly fired back.

“The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth,” Mr. Micklethwait wrote in a statement. “We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”

Howard Wolfson, a top campaign adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, also weighed in, pithily. “One week in and Mike is already under Trump’s skin,” Mr. Wolfson wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Trump and his senior aides routinely disparage individual reporters and entire news organizations for coverage they deem unfavorable. Press advocacy groups say the president’s attacks have contributed to one of the more hostile domestic environments for journalists in recent memory.

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, criticized the Trump campaign’s move in a statement on Monday. “We condemn any action that keeps quality news media from reporting fairly and accurately on the presidency and the leadership of the country,” Mr. Baquet wrote.

At the same time, Bloomberg News’s approach to covering its owner’s candidacy has proved divisive.

Roughly 2,700 journalists work at Bloomberg L.P., the financial data company that is the wellspring of Mr. Bloomberg’s fortune, and this is not the first time that Mr. Bloomberg’s ambitions have placed his employees in an awkward spot. During Mr. Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor of New York City, coverage of the billionaire’s wealth and personal life were considered off limits at Bloomberg News.

In a memo last month, Mr. Micklethwait acknowledged that “there is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy,” but added that the newsroom would continue to investigate Mr. Trump’s administration “as the government of the day.”

On Monday night, Mr. Trump, who had flown to London for a conference, added his own thoughts on the matter, deriding Mr. Bloomberg in a Twitter post as “Mini Mike Bloomberg” and describing Bloomberg News as a “third rate news organization.” (He also accused The Times of “hatred & bias.”) The president wrote that “It’s not O.K.!” for Bloomberg News to skip investigations of Democratic candidates.

While Bloomberg News has pledged to continue covering polls, policies and “who is winning and who is losing” the 2020 race, the prohibition against investigative reporting — considered among the most valuable forms of campaign journalism — has caused some uproar.

Megan Murphy, a former Washington bureau chief at Bloomberg News, wrote on Twitter that it was “staggering” for the news outlet to prevent “an army of unbelievably talented reporters and editors from covering massive, crucial aspects of one of the defining elections of our time.”

Marc Tracy contributed reporting.

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

French Wine Could Face 100% Tariffs as Trump Confronts France Over Tech Taxes

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-francetax-facebookJumbo French Wine Could Face 100% Tariffs as Trump Confronts France Over Tech Taxes World Trade Organization United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Science and Technology Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development International Trade and World Market France Customs (Tariff) Corporate Taxes

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Monday that a new French tax that hit American technology companies discriminated against the United States, a declaration that could lead to retaliatory tariffs of as high as 100 percent on French wines.

It could also jeopardize international efforts to negotiate a truce on so-called digital taxes.

The announcement from the Office of the United States Trade Representative ended a monthslong investigation into the French tax, which hits companies like Facebook and Google even though they have little physical presence in France. The investigation concluded that the tax “discriminates against U.S. companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy and is unusually burdensome for affected U.S. companies.”

It recommended tariffs as high as 100 percent on certain French imports valued at $2.4 billion, including cheese, wine and handbags.

The administration suggested it could open similar investigations into digital taxes proposed by Italy, Austria and Turkey.

The finding does not immediately impose tariffs on French products such as wine, which was already hit with a 25 percent tariff in October in a separate dispute, but it allows the president to impose them if and when he chooses. It could also upend an effort led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to unite 135 countries around a shared system of taxing technology companies and other multinational corporations, which leaders had hoped would come together in 2020.

An escalation of tensions between France and the United States would complicate any resolution to those negotiations.

The French government approved a new “digital service tax” this year on online economic activity, which would hit large American tech companies widely frequented by French citizens. French leaders have expressed concern that their government has not been able to capture revenue from companies that sell or advertise online in France, a concern that is shared by a growing number of countries, including Britain and India.

President Trump’s trade representative responded to the French tax by opening the investigation into whether it unfairly targeted American companies. In July, the president threatened to impose tariffs on French wine as a response to the new tax.

But in August, French and American leaders reached a 90-day agreement to pause the dispute and allow multinational negotiations to proceed on an ambitious global agreement on taxes that would extend well beyond technology companies.

Those talks, which include an array of countries and multinational corporations, are making progress, said Bart le Blanc, an Amsterdam-based partner and tax adviser at the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm. But such an agreement would require countries like France to scrap their individual digital taxes, he said.

“There seems to be room for everybody to agree to this proposal,” Mr. le Blanc said, “if everything falls into place.”

While past administrations have treated European leaders as close economic allies, the Trump administration has taken a more adversarial approach. Mr. Trump has accused the Europeans of manipulating their currency and the terms of trade to export more goods to the United States than they import from it. He has threatened a variety of tariffs to block European goods from American markets.

In October, his administration slapped tariffs on French aircraft, wine and cheese and a range of other European products after the World Trade Organization gave the United States permission to impose levies on up to $7.5 billion of European exports annually. That decision was part of a long-running trade case about subsidies provided to the European plane maker Airbus.

On Monday, the World Trade Organization issued another ruling saying that Europe’s efforts to reform its subsidies had been insufficient and that its aid to Airbus still ran afoul of global trade rules. In a statement, the Office of the United States Trade Representative said it was starting a process to assess whether to increase its tariff rates or place levies on new European products.

The Trump administration has also considered other types of tariffs that do not have the approval of the World Trade Organization. Mr. Trump threatened to tax European cars, but chose to let a Nov. 13 deadline to impose those tariffs lapse last month.

Some in the administration have discussed opening a new investigation into European trade practices, under a legal authority known as Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, that could allow Mr. Trump to levy more tariffs, people familiar with the discussions said. That is the same sort of investigation that the administration conducted in the case of the French digital tax.

But there is no concrete sign that the administration has begun those machinations yet.

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