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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 158)

Deutsche Bank Does Not Have Trump’s Tax Returns, Court Says

Westlake Legal Group 10deutsche1-facebookJumbo Deutsche Bank Does Not Have Trump’s Tax Returns, Court Says United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump Tax Returns Deutsche Bank AG

If investigators are going to get their hands on President Trump’s tax returns, they will have to find them somewhere other than Deutsche Bank.

The German bank — which for nearly two decades was the only mainstream financial institution consistently willing to lend money to Mr. Trump — has told a federal appeals court that it does not have the president’s personal tax returns, the court said on Thursday.

Democratic-controlled congressional committees issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank this year for financial records related to the president, his companies and his family. Mr. Trump sued the bank, which became his main lender after a string of bankruptcies cost other banks hundreds of millions of dollars, to block it from complying.

That litigation is working its way through the federal courts. Last month, The New York Times and other media outlets asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York to unseal a letter from Deutsche Bank that identified two members of the Trump family whose tax returns the bank possesses.

On Thursday, the court rejected the request. Part of the reason, it said, was that Deutsche Bank had informed the court that “the only tax returns it has for individuals and entities named in the subpoenas are not those of the president.”

Current and former bank officials previously told The Times that Deutsche Bank had portions of Mr. Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. The bank collected at least some of those tax records in 2011, when Deutsche Bank’s private-banking arm — which caters to the ultra-wealthy — took on Mr. Trump as a client. The returns and other financial documents were reviewed by a number of bank executives, according to the current and former officials.

Deutsche Bank relied on the information provided in the tax returns and other financial documents to approve a series of loans to Mr. Trump in early 2012 in connection with his Doral golf resort in Florida and his Chicago skyscraper.

Over the ensuing years, Deutsche Bank’s private-banking arm continued lending to Mr. Trump, including $170 million in 2014 to convert the Old Post Office building, a few blocks from the White House, into a hotel. By the time Mr. Trump was sworn in as president, he owed the bank more than $300 million, making it his largest creditor.

It is unclear when Deutsche Bank stopped retaining Mr. Trump’s tax returns. A former senior bank executive, who said he had seen the returns, said the normal practice was for Deutsche Bank to keep such materials on file.

Troy Gravitt, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, said the bank was “committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.”

Breaking with decades of presidential precedent, Mr. Trump has refused to publicly disclose his federal tax returns, and Democrats are keen to obtain the documents, believing they are crucial to unlocking his closely guarded financial secrets. Mr. Trump is fighting those efforts.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers sued Deutsche Bank and another lender, Capital One, to block them from complying with subpoenas that were issued in April by the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees.

The Financial Services Committee has said it wants to know whether Mr. Trump helped Russians and other foreign real estate buyers launder money through his properties, and the Intelligence Committee is trying to determine whether Mr. Trump’s financial dealings made him subject to foreign influence. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have argued the subpoenas have no legitimate legislative purpose.

During one hearing, judges from the appeals court asked the banks’ lawyers whether they had copies of Mr. Trump’s returns, and requested a written answer. Deutsche Bank released a partly redacted letter saying it did have at least draft versions of some returns covered by the subpoenas, prompting the news media requests for the information to be unsealed.

Investigators seeking Mr. Trump’s tax returns have other avenues to pursue.

Another congressional committee and the Manhattan district attorney have subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his tax returns. Mr. Trump has sued to block those subpoenas as well; on Monday, a federal judge sided with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but Mr. Trump’s lawyers quickly appealed.

The House Ways and Means Committee asked the I.R.S. this year to hand over six years of Mr. Trump’s returns. The Treasury Department has refused that request.

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House Impeachment Investigators Subpoena Giuliani Associates Under Indictment

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-impeach-facebookJumbo House Impeachment Investigators Subpoena Giuliani Associates Under Indictment United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Parnas, Lev impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor Federal Bureau of Investigation

WASHINGTON — House investigators issued subpoenas on Thursday to compel two associates of Rudolph W. Giuliani to sit for depositions in the impeachment inquiry, just hours after the men were indicted on campaign finance charges that touched on their work in Ukraine.

Three chairmen leading the investigation of President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals wrote that the associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were required to appear for a deposition next Wednesday and hand over records related to their work with Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s private lawyer.

Mr. Giuliani was at the center of Mr. Trump’s attempts to persuade the Ukrainian government to open corruption investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, and other Democrats, efforts that are now the subject of a rapidly expanding impeachment inquiry.

The House investigation has touched off a constitutional clash, as the White House has signaled that it will stonewall all requests for witnesses and documents. The latest subpoenas emerged as criticism of the president’s actions in the Ukraine matter continued to grow. Asked whether it was proper for the president to solicit foreign interference in the political process, H.R. McMaster, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, responded, “Of course it is not appropriate.”

Speaking at an event in Washington on Thursday, Mr. McMaster said it was up to Congress “to make a judgment as to whether or not that happened.”

It was unclear how the indictment unsealed on Thursday morning would influence the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Parnas had been scheduled to appear for a deposition on Capitol Hill on Thursday and Mr. Fruman on Friday. But even before their arrests, their lawyer, John M. Dowd, had indicated that they would not comply voluntarily.

The subpoena issued by the House Intelligence Committee makes no mention of the federal indictment. The F.B.I. arrested the two men as they were about to board an international flight late Wednesday, and on Thursday federal prosecutors charged them with funneling foreign money to government officials and campaigns in an effort to influence American policy, including toward Ukraine.

In a letter to Mr. Dowd, the three House chairmen wrote that as private citizens, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were “required by law to comply with the enclosed subpoenas.” It was signed by Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee; and Representative Eliot L. Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“They may not evade requests from Congress for documents and information necessary to conduct our inquiry,” the chairmen wrote. “They are not exempted from this requirement merely because they happen to work with Mr. Giuliani, and they may not defy congressional subpoenas merely because President Trump has chosen the path of denial, defiance and obstruction.”

The indictments could complicate congressional attempts to get them to testify, raising such issues as whether lawmakers will grant immunity to them that would bar the use of their testimony as criminal evidence.

Also, an assertion of Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination is a lawful basis to avoid answering questions despite a subpoena.

The New York Times reported in May that the two men helped connect Mr. Giuliani to Ukrainian prosecutors who provided him information related to the investigations he wanted into Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, as well as a debunked conspiracy about Ukrainian meddling to aid Democrats in the 2016 election.

The federal indictment in Manhattan made no mention of Mr. Giuliani, but stated that the men worked with one or more Ukrainian government official to try to secure the removal of Marie L. Yovanovitch as the United States’ ambassador to the country.

Mr. Giuliani was seeking Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal, as well, and ultimately the White House called her back to Washington early, having deemed her insufficiently loyal to the president.

House investigators are scheduled to hear from Ms. Yovanovitch on Friday in a private deposition, but as of midday Thursday, it remained unclear if the State Department would try to block her testimony. Democrats were prepared to issue a subpoena to increase pressure if needed.

The indictment may also significantly complicate Mr. Giuliani’s ability to serve as a face of the president’s defense. Senate Republicans allied with the president have said they might host a public hearing with Mr. Giuliani in an effort to showcase his accusations against the Bidens and undercut the House’s impeachment narrative. Now they may simply decide he is too toxic to expose to public questioning.

Charlie Savage and Peter Baker contributed reporting.

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U.S. and China May Be Headed for Mini-Deal on Trade This Week

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-trade2-facebookJumbo U.S. and China May Be Headed for Mini-Deal on Trade This Week United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy United States Chamber of Commerce Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Intellectual Property Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — The United States and China could announce a limited trade agreement this week that would prevent President Trump’s planned tariff increase from going into effect this month and set rules around how China manages its currency, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official who has been briefed by both negotiating teams.

Top officials from the two countries are meeting again this week to try to resolve a yearlong trade war that has dragged on amid disagreements over the types of provisions any pact should include. But as the clash begins to inflict economic pain on the global economy, negotiators from both sides seem increasingly focused on reaching a mini-deal that would resolve just a portion of the trade dispute.

Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president and head of international affairs at the Chamber of Commerce, told reporters on Thursday that he was “hopeful” that a limited arrangement stopping a planned tariff increase on Oct. 15 would emerge from this week’s meetings.

Mr. Brilliant, who recently spoke with both negotiating teams, added that a more comprehensive pact could be announced this week but that the scope of the deal would depend on what Chinese negotiators brought to the table. The Trump administration could also contemplate removing the threat of additional tariffs that are scheduled to be imposed in December or roll back some of the tariffs it has already levied on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods based on the package of offers brought by the Chinese negotiating team, he said.

Such a limited arrangement would not constitute a full resolution and is unlikely to satisfy Mr. Trump’s demands that China change many of its economic practices, such as limiting state subsidies to its firms. The deal appears likely to repackage concessions that China has made to the United States in previous months and years — including an agreement reached on currency this year, before a falling-out between the countries in May brought progress to a standstill.

Still, a limited deal — which Washington officials have begun referring to as an “early harvest” or a “confidence building” measure — could lower tensions between the United States and China and help to mitigate some of the damage that tariffs and other punitive measures have begun to take on companies on both sides of the fight. Considerations of a limited deal involving currency promises were first reported by Bloomberg.

Mr. Trump said on Twitter on Thursday morning that he planned to meet China’s top trade envoy, Liu He, on Friday, raising speculation that a more limited deal might be at hand.

“Big day of negotiations with China,” the president wrote. “They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House.”

The trade meetings come amid a growing recognition on both sides that the bilateral relationship has been headed in a troubling direction. Trade between the United States and China has slumped, dragging on both economies. In the United States, uncertainty about the prospect for future tariffs has discouraged businesses from making new hires and investments, an unwelcome development at a time of gathering economic gloom.

“We can’t afford a further escalation of the trade war that will only accelerate the chance of a recession,” Mr. Brilliant said. “I am confident the U.S. administration understands the stakes here on that front.”

Administration officials have denied that they are seeking any kind of “partial” or “interim” deal. Yet people familiar with their thinking say many are open to the possibility of an arrangement that would roll back some tariffs in return for Chinese agricultural purchases, stronger protections on intellectual property or other concessions.

But they caution that it is unclear whether the president will ultimately agree to such an arrangement. Mr. Trump and his advisers are wary of being criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for making a deal that is too weak and giving up the leverage Mr. Trump has created with his tariffs.

Announcing some kind of package of concessions this week might pave the way for a larger trade deal when Mr. Trump is next expected to meet President Xi Jinping of China in person, in November at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Santiago, Chile, Mr. Brilliant said.

Other trade experts expressed support for a positive turn in relations, regardless of what an agreement would be labeled.

“On eve of China trade talks, I welcome both sides making sufficient progress to forestall future tariff hikes and even some rollbacks,” Wendy Cutler, a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute and a chief trade negotiator for the Obama administration, tweeted on Wednesday. “Some call this a partial deal — but i call it announcements of tangible progress that gives momentum to the overall talks.”

It is unclear whether the provisions that might be announced this week would be new, or how much they might change China’s economic actions.

In meetings in February, China and the United States agreed to avoid devaluing their currency to make their products cheaper abroad and give their exporters an advantage, Chinese officials said in March. They also agreed to continue to comply with previous currency agreements among the Group of 20 countries, and disclose detailed information in accordance with standards set by the International Monetary Fund.

But this and other agreements were put off in late April, when the Chinese changed the draft trade agreement and American officials accused them of reneging on a pact that was nearly complete. Since then, relations have steadily worsened. In August, the Treasury Department formally labeled China a currency manipulator after Beijing allowed its currency to weaken — a decline that many economists said was done in line with market forces.

Since then, both sides have brandished a series of carrots and sticks in an attempt to pressure each other into a favorable deal. China resumed buying American agricultural goods last month, after ceasing its purchases to put more pressure on American farmers. Chinese officials also quietly dropped earlier public demands that any deal must immediately get rid of all of Mr. Trump’s levies, paving the way for a potential interim agreement.

Mr. Trump said last month that he would delay a round of tariff increases from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. Last week, he gave a green light for his administration to issue some licenses allowing American companies to supply goods to the Chinese telecom firm Huawei, which he previously put on a blacklist barring it from buying American goods.

But other interim measures have ratcheted up the tension. The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would add 28 more entities to that blacklist, including some of China’s leading artificial intelligence firms. On Tuesday, the State Department announced visa restrictions for Chinese officials accused of involvement in human rights abuses.

Many uncertainties remain in the trade talks. In particular, China has appeared unwilling to make many of the more significant changes to its economy that the Trump administration has demanded, including restraining its subsidies to state-owned firms and allowing for the flow of data across its borders.

Mr. Brilliant said on Thursday that China’s promises on intellectual property still revolved around “20th century” issues, like copyrights for movies and software, rather than “21st century” issues involving the use of data. He said that while there could be an announcement on intellectual property this week, it appeared that more fundamental concerns about China’s treatment of technology would not be addressed.

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Shells Fired Into Turkey as Syria Offensive Extends Into 2nd Day

This is a developing news story. Check back for updates.

AKCAKALE, Turkey — Shells and rockets landed in several Turkish border towns on Thursday, killing four civilians, one of them an infant, and wounding 70, in a sharp escalation of the conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurdish militias who fought alongside American forces in the campaign to contain Islamist extremists in northern Syria.

The attack came as a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria entered its second day, with Turkish troops continuing an air and ground assault against the Kurdish groups, killing at least 16 Kurds, rights groups reported.

By Thursday morning, Turkey had conducted 181 airstrikes in the area, its Defense Ministry said. The Turks also used cranes to remove parts of a concrete border wall, allowing Turkish troops and military vehicles to enter Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria.

Turkish-backed Syrian Arab rebel fighters said they had taken at least one formerly Kurdish-held village that lies just yards from the border.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_162467247_af1f27e4-374b-47bc-95ad-d2230251e5a0-articleLarge Shells Fired Into Turkey as Syria Offensive Extends Into 2nd Day United States Defense and Military Forces United Nations Children's Fund Turkey Trump, Donald J Tal Abyad (Syria) Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Shelling from Syria sent residents of Akcakale, Turkey, running for cover.CreditIsmail Coskun/IHA, via Associated Press

On Thursday afternoon, Kurdish fighters appeared to return fire, as three sharp explosions in the border town of Akcakale filled streets around the town’s police headquarters with smoke, and sent pedestrians fleeing for cover and armored police vehicles barreling through the streets.

On both sides of the border, droves of civilians crammed into cars and pickup trucks search for safety from the fighting.

More than 60,000 Syrians in Kurdish-held territory have fled away from the border since Wednesday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a conflict monitor based in Britain, and United Nations officials.

The fighting, which began Wednesday, marks a new stage in the eight-year-old Syrian civil war that began as a wave of protests against President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, but which has since escalated into a jumble of overlapping conflicts involving foreign armies and an array of local militias including former Syrian government officers, Islamist extremists and Kurdish nationalists.

The United States joined forces with a Kurdish-led militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces, to clear northeastern Syria of militants from the Islamic State. Kurdish groups seized the opportunity to carve out an autonomous statelet in northeastern Syria, buttressing the southern Turkish border.

The Kurdish presence, abutting the Turkish border, enraged the Turkish government, which considers the Kurdish-led militia an enemy because of its ties to a Kurdish guerrilla force inside Turkey.

For several years, a small American force kept the peace between the Syrian Kurds and Turkey — until President Trump’s sudden decision on Sunday to pull American troops out of Turkey’s way, despite qualms from his own military officers and State Department officials, and criticism from Republican politicians.

On Thursday afternoon, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey characterized the invasion as an attempt to preserve Syria’s long-term sovereignty and to clear the area of not just Kurdish fighters but also the remnants of the Islamic State.

‘‘The aim of Operation Peace Spring is to contribute to the territorial integrity and political union of Syria,” Mr. Erdogan said in a speech to his political party, using the Turkish military’s name for the invasion.

Mr. Erdogan dismissed concerns that the mayhem of the invasion would risk allowing thousands of Islamic State militants detained by the Kurdish-led militia to escape.

“We will keep in jail the ones who should be kept in jail and send the other ones to their countries of origin, if those countries accept them,” he said.

President Emmanuel Macron of France condemned the offensive on Thursday, calling for Turkey to end it “as quickly as possible.”

“Today Turkey is forgetting that the international community’s priority in Syria is the fight against Daesh and terrorism,” he said, using another name for the Islamic State, and adding that Turkey was risking a humanitarian crisis for “millions of people.”

“This risk of helping Daesh rebuild a caliphate, and this humanitarian risk, is Turkey’s sole responsibility before the international community,” he said.

Turkish officials said that 109 Kurdish fighters had been killed since Wednesday, though independent monitors reported lower estimates. At least 16 Kurds were reported to have been killed, one monitoring group said.

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the area of Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain in northeastern Syria, along with six attackers of unknown identity, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. American troops had withdrawn from both areas on Monday.

An additional 33 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces were wounded, the monitoring group said.

Days after greenlighting the Turkish operation, Mr. Trump condemned it as a “bad idea” on Wednesday. He said this week that Turkey, a NATO ally, would face economic punishment if it did anything he considered “off limits.”

In a statement on Wednesday, Turkey’s defense minister, Hulusi Akar, said the aims of the operation were to “ensure the security of our borders and the safety of our people,” naming Kurdish militias and Islamic State militants as threats.

Six hours of airstrikes ensued, followed by Turkish and rebel Syrian Arab ground troops crossing the border into Syria.

Reached by telephone inside Syria, a member of a Syrian Arab militia said a brigade of around 1,000 Turkish-backed Syrian fighters had taken the town of Al Yabseh after meeting no resistance.

“We captured the town an hour ago without any clashes,” said Al-Hareth Dahdouni, 31, a representative of the Shami Front, a Turkish-backed Syrian militia. “The town was totally empty. It is just one minute away from the border.”

Where Turkish forces struck Kurdish-held areas

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-600 Shells Fired Into Turkey as Syria Offensive Extends Into 2nd Day United States Defense and Military Forces United Nations Children's Fund Turkey Trump, Donald J Tal Abyad (Syria) Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Ras al-Ain

KURDISH

Control

Turkey’s proposed

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Government

Control

Turkish army AND

syrian opposition

KURDISH

Control

Other

opposition

Government

Control

Deir al-Zour

Albu Kamal

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-335 Shells Fired Into Turkey as Syria Offensive Extends Into 2nd Day United States Defense and Military Forces United Nations Children's Fund Turkey Trump, Donald J Tal Abyad (Syria) Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Ras al-Ain

Turkey’s proposed

buffer zone

Turkish army

AND syrian

opposition

KURDISH

Control

Other

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Government

Control

Westlake Legal Group syria-zoom-map-300 Shells Fired Into Turkey as Syria Offensive Extends Into 2nd Day United States Defense and Military Forces United Nations Children's Fund Turkey Trump, Donald J Tal Abyad (Syria) Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kurds Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Defense and Military Forces

Ras al-Ain

Turkey’s proposed

buffer zone

Turkish army AND

syrian opposition

KURDISH

Control

Other

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Government

Control

Sources: Times reporting; Control areas via Conflict Monitor by IHS Markit | By Sarah Almukhtar, Allison McCann and Anjali Singhvi

The fighting threatens to create a humanitarian crisis for hundreds of thousands of people who have been cut off from Syrian assistance for years. Most rely on the Kurdish forces and aid groups for basic services. Civilians jammed roads while fleeing with their possessions on Wednesday.

The impact of the assault was “a lot worse, a lot more dramatic” than aid organizations had feared, Panos Moumtzis, the United Nations humanitarian aid coordinator in Syria, said in a telephone interview. “The protection of civilians is now the biggest concern.”

Some aid organizations had already evacuated personnel from the area, he added.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians “are now in harms way,” Filippo Grandi, head of the United Nations refugee agency, said in a statement.

Henrietta Fore, the executive director of UNICEF, said Wednesday that the military escalation would have “dramatic consequences” on the ability to provide aid.

“I urge all parties to protect children and the civilian infrastructure on which they depend, in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law,” she said. “The use of explosive weapons in populated areas causes unacceptable harm to children.”

Inside Turkey, families also began loading up their belongings and leaving town to travel away from the border. “We are going west because people were hit on the east side of town,” said Ayse Kaya as she piled her family into a small car.

But others, including Syrian refugees now living in Turkey, were less concerned.

“I have seen this before, I am from Syria, I am going to prepare a shisha,” said Mustafa Ali, an elderly man in a long cotton robe, referring to a traditional waterpipe. “I came from Aleppo, I saw many of these in Aleppo. I am going to prepare a pipe at home.”

Mr. Ali also expressed support for the Turkish operation, which he hoped would allow Syrian Arabs to regain control of Kurdish-held territory. “What we need is for Turkey to clean our land and then we can go back to our land,” he said.

Carlotta Gall reported from Akcakale, and Patrick Kingsley from Istanbul. Daniel Victor contributed reporting from Hong Kong, Karam Shoumali from Berlin, Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon, Aurelien Breeden from Paris, and Nick Cumming-Bruce from Geneva.

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

Deutsche Bank Does Not Have President Trump’s Tax Returns, Court Says

Westlake Legal Group 10deutsche1-facebookJumbo Deutsche Bank Does Not Have President Trump’s Tax Returns, Court Says United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump Tax Returns Deutsche Bank AG

Deutsche Bank has told a federal appeals court that it does not have President Trump’s personal tax returns, the court said on Wednesday.

Congressional committees investigating Mr. Trump subpoenaed Deutsche Bank earlier this year for its financial records related to the president, his companies and his family, including federal tax returns. Mr. Trump sued the bank — which has been his main lender over the past two decades — to block it from complying with the subpoenas.

That litigation is working its way through the federal courts. Last month, The New York Times and other media outlets asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York to unseal a letter from Deutsche Bank that identified two members of the Trump family whose tax returns the bank possesses.

On Wednesday, the court rejected the media’s request, in part because, it said, Deutsche Bank had informed the court that “the only tax returns it has for individuals and entities named in the subpoenas are not those of the president.”

Current and former bank officials had previously told The Times that Deutsche Bank had portions of Mr. Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns, which it collected as it decided whether to lend him and his companies hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate and other development projects. When Mr. Trump was sworn in as president, he owed the bank more than $300 million, making it his largest creditor.

It is unclear when Deutsche Bank stopped retaining the tax returns.

“We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations,” said Troy Gravitt, a Deutsche Bank spokesman.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have fought to block subpoenas that were issued in April by the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees, saying they have no legitimate legislative purpose.

The Financial Services Committee has said it wants to know whether Mr. Trump helped Russians and other foreign real-estate buyers launder money through his properties, and the Intelligence Committee is trying to determine whether Mr. Trump’s financial dealings made him subject to foreign influence.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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2 Giuliani Associates Tied to Ukraine Scandal Arrested on Campaign Finance Charges

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-giuliani-facebookJumbo-v2 2 Giuliani Associates Tied to Ukraine Scandal Arrested on Campaign Finance Charges Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Parnas, Lev Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor

WASHINGTON — Two associates of the president’s private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who helped fund efforts to investigate one of President Trump’s political rivals, were charged in a separate case with violating campaign finance laws, according to court documents.

The two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, believed to be important witnesses in the House’s impeachment inquiry of Mr. Trump, were arrested on campaign finance charges. The arrests and charges were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, were also indicted.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman aided Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to gin up investigations in Ukraine into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, among other potentially politically beneficial investigations for Mr. Trump. Mr. Parnas had been scheduled to participate in a deposition with House impeachment investigators on Capitol Hill on Thursday, and Mr. Fruman on Friday. Neither had been expected to show up voluntarily. House Democrats were preparing to issue subpoenas to force them to do so.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were arrested and were expected to appear in court in Northern Virginia on Thursday, according to a spokesman in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.

The indictment said Mr. Parnas and Mr. Kukushkin are Ukrainian-born Americans, while Mr. Fruman was born in Belarus and became an American citizen. Mr. Correia is American-born. Mr. Correia was arrested Thursday in California and Mr. Kukushkin is still at large, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman have acted as emissaries in Ukraine for Mr. Giuliani as he has sought to uncover information about, and encourage investigations into, Mr. Trump’s rivals, including Mr. Biden.

Mr. Parnas, who has known Mr. Giuliani for years, worked with Mr. Fruman to connect Mr. Giuliani to Ukrainian prosecutors who provided information to Mr. Giuliani, as The Times revealed in May.

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman are based in South Florida, and are executives of an energy company that donated $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC last year, prompting a Federal Election Commission complaint by a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog accusing the men and the company of violating campaign finance laws.

Last month, Mr. Giuliani sought to minimize the significance of the campaign finance inquiry into the two men.

“They had a campaign finance issue,” he said in an interview late last month. “I referred them to a campaign finance expert who pretty much resolved it.”

Their lawyer, John M. Dowd, who previously represented Mr. Trump against the special counsel’s inquiry, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the arrest.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Nicholas Fandos and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

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China Trade Talks Restart and White House Weighs Escalation Options

Westlake Legal Group merlin_159733326_365ee0f3-4455-4e35-ac0d-5d771ddbe5bc-facebookJumbo China Trade Talks Restart and White House Weighs Escalation Options United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Pillsbury, Michael (1945- ) Kudlow, Lawrence A International Trade and World Market Embargoes and Sanctions Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials are weighing a range of options that could inflict additional economic pain on China as the United States continues looking for ways to force Beijing to change longstanding practices that have put American companies at a disadvantage.

The ideas under consideration would move the White House’s negotiating tool of choice beyond tariffs toward limiting China’s access to American capital markets and imposing greater scrutiny on its companies, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Administration officials, including members of the National Security Council, have begun pressing the Securities and Exchange Commission to tighten its checks on Chinese firms. They are also looking for ways to reduce the exposure of American retirement funds to certain Chinese companies.

Many of those efforts have been proceeding independently from the trade talks — which resumed again on Thursday — and are fueled by longer-term considerations of China’s economic and security threats. Some White House advisers now view those options as an additional lever to force China to make the kinds of deep economic concessions that have so far proved elusive in the talks, which have dragged on for more than a year.

Top-level officials from both countries began their 13th round of trade negotiations on Thursday. They are expected to discuss proposals for a somewhat limited trade deal that would address some of President Trump’s criticisms of China’s economic practices but still be acceptable to Beijing.

“Big day of negotiations with China,” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House.”

Some administration officials have been hopeful that a deal will lock in more intellectual property protections for American companies and provide those firms with greater access to Chinese markets. They also want to avoid further tariffs on Chinese goods that have begun to weigh on American consumers.

If China makes sufficient concessions, some in the administration are willing to roll back a portion of the tariffs that Mr. Trump has placed on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods, people familiar with the discussions said. In what is likely to be viewed as a gesture of good will by the Chinese, the Trump administration plans to go ahead with approving licenses soon that will allow some companies to sell nonsensitive goods to the Chinese telecom provider Huawei, which has been blacklisted from buying American products.

But China has resisted many of the administration’s demands to make more transformative changes to the way it runs its economy. Chinese officials have come to Washington this week eager to settle on a narrow deal that would involve tariff reductions in exchange for a resumption of Chinese purchases of American food. They appear unlikely to agree to the administration’s longstanding demands that Beijing limit its subsidies to Chinese firms, change its policies surrounding the treatment of data or make other structural changes, people familiar with the negotiations said.

The potential for such a limited agreement has fueled private deliberations within the White House on options for escalating economic pressure on China.

Officials have held meetings in recent weeks to consider escalation options if the current round of negotiations fails to address the administration’s primary concerns. Mr. Trump’s top economic advisers have publicly played down the discussions, which have centered on tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges and limiting the direct exposure of government-run retirement funds to China.

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, acknowledged on Tuesday that the administration was looking for ways to protect Americans who were investing in Chinese companies.

“We’ve opened up a study group to take a look at it,” Mr. Kudlow said on the Fox Business Network.

But the options under consideration go further than that. According to a memo circulated within the White House and reviewed by The New York Times, the administration is studying a menu of actions that, if carried out, would most likely rattle the Chinese government.

The memo was drafted by Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute and an outside adviser to the White House. It proposes holding Chinese companies and their employees criminally liable for financial disclosure violations, broadening the criteria that could get prominent Chinese companies blacklisted in the United States and blocking public and private pension funds and university endowments from certain Chinese investments.

Other options go beyond financial scrutiny of Chinese companies. The memo describes the possibility of fostering deeper ties between the United States and Taiwan and disrupting the flow of capital between Hong Kong and mainland China if it is determined that Hong Kong’s autonomy is not being respected.

It also lays out legislation in Congress, which Mr. Trump has yet to endorse, that would impose sanctions on China for activity in contested areas of the South China Sea and crack down on Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes at American universities.

Mr. Pillsbury declined to comment on his conversations with the White House but acknowledged that he had been analyzing such possibilities for a coming study on China strategy for the Hudson Institute.

“It appears that tariffs alone are not enough, but we also need to meet some of the Chinese demands to get the kind of deal the president wants,” Mr. Pillsbury said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs have already pushed some companies to move their operations out of China. But the raft of new investment restrictions and export controls that the administration is mulling would further sever supply chains and discourage financial integration between the countries, potentially to the detriment of financial markets.

On Monday, the White House clamped down on Chinese firms it accused of human rights violations by adding eight companies and 20 government organizations to an entity list that will prevent them from buying American products. On Tuesday, the State Department announced visa restrictions for Chinese officials allegedly involved in the detention and abuse of Muslim minorities.

An array of initiatives related to American capital markets and investments made by retirement funds in Chinese entities are also under consideration.

The most advanced discussions have centered on the Thrift Savings Plan, the retirement plan for federal employees and the military. As of next year, that plan, which holds nearly $50 billion in assets, is expected to begin investing in an index fund that includes more Chinese and Russian companies, as part of an effort to diversify its exposure.

The index fund includes companies that the United States government has imposed sanctions on — including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, which was among the companies blacklisted on Monday. It also includes AviChina Industry & Technology, an affiliate of China’s major military aircraft and weapons manufacturer; ZTE, which was hit with sanctions for providing technology to North Korea and Iran; and several Russian companies that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has put under sanctions.

Officials have also been discussing efforts to close loopholes that give Chinese companies access to American capital markets with less stringent disclosure requirements than American firms or those from other countries.

Chinese law requires the records of companies based in China to be kept there, and restricts the kind of documentation that auditors can transfer out of the country. The rules mean that hundreds of Chinese firms, with a collective market capitalization of more than $1 trillion, have received looser oversight than companies in other jurisdictions, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would force Chinese companies to comply with S.E.C. disclosure regulations or be delisted from American exchanges in three years. White House officials have debated throwing their support behind the bill, but several officials, including Mr. Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have opposed delisting as a draconian option that could throw American stock markets into turmoil.

“Delisting is not on the table,” Mr. Kudlow told reporters on Monday. He said the administration was responding to complaints to the commission about a lack of transparency and compliance, “but we’re very early in our deliberations.”

Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that addressing the lack of compliance among Chinese companies was “overdue” but that a solution would ideally be negotiated between Chinese companies and the S.E.C.

“Nobody benefits from a mass delisting of Chinese companies on U.S. stock exchanges,” Ms. Economy said.

Henrietta Treyz, the director of economic policy at Veda Partners, outlined the extensive array of economic weapons at Mr. Trump’s disposal for investors this year. She said she would not be surprised if the S.E.C. stepped up scrutiny of Chinese firms or if the United States imposed penalties on China’s electronic payments systems, such as Alipay, on national security grounds.

Such moves could be far more severe than the tariffs on $550 billion of Chinese imports that the United States will have imposed by the end of the year, leading to a decoupling not just of the American and Chinese economies but of the financial sector as well.

“Tariffs are just a tax, a cost of doing business, but those costs can be digested by passing costs on to consumers or squeezing margins or diversifying your end consumer,” Ms. Treyz said. “If you’re no longer allowed to ship or buy products from Huawei or other entity list companies, you’ve shut out an entire pipeline of access, not to mention lost 1.3 billion potential customers in China.”

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

Trump Administration Weighs Economic Escalation Against China

Westlake Legal Group merlin_159733326_365ee0f3-4455-4e35-ac0d-5d771ddbe5bc-facebookJumbo Trump Administration Weighs Economic Escalation Against China United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Pillsbury, Michael (1945- ) Kudlow, Lawrence A International Trade and World Market Embargoes and Sanctions Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials are weighing a range of options that could inflict additional economic pain on China as the United States continues looking for ways to force Beijing to change longstanding practices that have put American companies at a disadvantage.

The ideas under consideration would move the White House’s negotiating tool of choice beyond tariffs toward limiting China’s access to American capital markets and imposing greater scrutiny on its companies, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Administration officials, including members of the National Security Council, have begun pressing the Securities and Exchange Commission to tighten its checks on Chinese firms. They are also looking for ways to reduce the exposure of American retirement funds to certain Chinese companies.

Many of those efforts have been proceeding independently from the trade talks — which resume again this week — and are fueled by longer-term considerations of China’s economic and security threats. Some White House advisers now view those options as an additional lever to force China to make the kinds of deep economic concessions that have so far proved elusive in the talks, which have dragged on for more than a year.

Top-level officials from both countries will convene on Thursday for their 13th round of trade negotiations. They are expected to discuss proposals for a somewhat limited trade deal that would address some of President Trump’s criticisms of China’s economic practices but still be acceptable to Beijing.

Some administration officials have been hopeful that a deal will lock in more intellectual property protections for American companies and provide those firms with greater access to Chinese markets. They also want to avoid further tariffs on Chinese goods that have begun to weigh on American consumers.

If China makes sufficient concessions, some in the administration are willing to roll back a portion of the tariffs that Mr. Trump has placed on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods, people familiar with the discussions said. They may also approve licenses that would allow some companies to sell nonsensitive goods to the Chinese telecom provider Huawei, which has been blacklisted from buying American products.

But China has resisted many of the administration’s demands to make more transformative changes to the way it runs its economy. Chinese officials have come to Washington this week eager to settle on a narrow deal that would involve tariff reductions in exchange for a resumption of Chinese purchases of American food. They appear unlikely to agree to the administration’s longstanding demands that Beijing limit its subsidies to Chinese firms, change its policies surrounding the treatment of data or make other structural changes, people familiar with the negotiations said.

The potential for such a limited agreement has fueled private deliberations within the White House on options for escalating economic pressure on China.

Officials have held meetings in recent weeks to consider escalation options if the current round of negotiations fails to address the administration’s primary concerns. Mr. Trump’s top economic advisers have publicly played down the discussions, which have centered on tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges and limiting the direct exposure of government-run retirement funds to China.

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, acknowledged on Tuesday that the administration was looking for ways to protect Americans who were investing in Chinese companies.

“We’ve opened up a study group to take a look at it,” Mr. Kudlow said on the Fox Business Network.

But the options under consideration go further than that. According to a memo circulated within the White House and reviewed by The New York Times, the administration is studying a menu of actions that, if carried out, would most likely rattle the Chinese government.

The memo was drafted by Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute and an outside adviser to the White House. It proposes holding Chinese companies and their employees criminally liable for financial disclosure violations, broadening the criteria that could get prominent Chinese companies blacklisted in the United States and blocking public and private pension funds and university endowments from certain Chinese investments.

Other options go beyond financial scrutiny of Chinese companies. The memo describes the possibility of fostering deeper ties between the United States and Taiwan and disrupting the flow of capital between Hong Kong and mainland China if it is determined that Hong Kong’s autonomy is not being respected.

It also lays out legislation in Congress, which Mr. Trump has yet to endorse, that would impose sanctions on China for activity in contested areas of the South China Sea and crack down on Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes at American universities.

Mr. Pillsbury declined to comment on his conversations with the White House but acknowledged that he had been analyzing such possibilities for a coming study on China strategy for the Hudson Institute.

“It appears that tariffs alone are not enough, but we also need to meet some of the Chinese demands to get the kind of deal the president wants,” Mr. Pillsbury said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs have already pushed some companies to move their operations out of China. But the raft of new investment restrictions and export controls that the administration is mulling would further sever supply chains and discourage financial integration between the countries, potentially to the detriment of financial markets.

On Monday, the White House clamped down on Chinese firms it accused of human rights violations by adding eight companies and 20 government organizations to an entity list that will prevent them from buying American products. On Tuesday, the State Department announced visa restrictions for Chinese officials allegedly involved in the detention and abuse of Muslim minorities.

An array of initiatives related to American capital markets and investments made by retirement funds in Chinese entities are also under consideration.

The most advanced discussions have centered on the Thrift Savings Plan, the retirement plan for federal employees and the military. As of next year, that plan, which holds nearly $50 billion in assets, is expected to begin investing in an index fund that includes more Chinese and Russian companies, as part of an effort to diversify its exposure.

The index fund includes companies that the United States government has imposed sanctions on — including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, which was among the companies blacklisted on Monday. It also includes AviChina Industry & Technology, an affiliate of China’s major military aircraft and weapons manufacturer; ZTE, which was hit with sanctions for providing technology to North Korea and Iran; and several Russian companies that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has put under sanctions.

Officials have also been discussing efforts to close loopholes that give Chinese companies access to American capital markets with less stringent disclosure requirements than American firms or those from other countries.

Chinese law requires the records of companies based in China to be kept there, and restricts the kind of documentation that auditors can transfer out of the country. The rules mean that hundreds of Chinese firms, with a collective market capitalization of more than $1 trillion, have received looser oversight than companies in other jurisdictions, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would force Chinese companies to comply with S.E.C. disclosure regulations or be delisted from American exchanges in three years. White House officials have debated throwing their support behind the bill, but several officials, including Mr. Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have opposed delisting as a draconian option that could throw American stock markets into turmoil.

“Delisting is not on the table,” Mr. Kudlow told reporters on Monday. He said the administration was responding to complaints to the commission about a lack of transparency and compliance, “but we’re very early in our deliberations.”

Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that addressing the lack of compliance among Chinese companies was “overdue” but that a solution would ideally be negotiated between Chinese companies and the S.E.C.

“Nobody benefits from a mass delisting of Chinese companies on U.S. stock exchanges,” Ms. Economy said.

Henrietta Treyz, the director of economic policy at Veda Partners, outlined the extensive array of economic weapons at Mr. Trump’s disposal for investors this year. She said she would not be surprised if the S.E.C. stepped up scrutiny of Chinese firms or if the United States imposed penalties on China’s electronic payments systems, such as Alipay, on national security grounds.

Such moves could be far more severe than the tariffs on $550 billion of Chinese imports that the United States will have imposed by the end of the year, leading to a decoupling not just of the American and Chinese economies but of the financial sector as well.

“Tariffs are just a tax, a cost of doing business, but those costs can be digested by passing costs on to consumers or squeezing margins or diversifying your end consumer,” Ms. Treyz said. “If you’re no longer allowed to ship or buy products from Huawei or other entity list companies, you’ve shut out an entire pipeline of access, not to mention lost 1.3 billion potential customers in China.”

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

As China Trade Talks Start, White House Weighs Escalation Options

Westlake Legal Group merlin_159733326_365ee0f3-4455-4e35-ac0d-5d771ddbe5bc-facebookJumbo As China Trade Talks Start, White House Weighs Escalation Options United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Pillsbury, Michael (1945- ) Kudlow, Lawrence A International Trade and World Market Embargoes and Sanctions Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials are weighing a range of options that could inflict additional economic pain on China as the United States continues looking for ways to force Beijing to change longstanding practices that have put American companies at a disadvantage.

The ideas under consideration would move the White House’s negotiating tool of choice beyond tariffs toward limiting China’s access to American capital markets and imposing greater scrutiny on its companies, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Administration officials, including members of the National Security Council, have begun pressing the Securities and Exchange Commission to tighten its checks on Chinese firms. They are also looking for ways to reduce the exposure of American retirement funds to certain Chinese companies.

Many of those efforts have been proceeding independently from the trade talks — which resume again this week — and are fueled by longer-term considerations of China’s economic and security threats. Some White House advisers now view those options as an additional lever to force China to make the kinds of deep economic concessions that have so far proved elusive in the talks, which have dragged on for more than a year.

Top-level officials from both countries will convene on Thursday for their 13th round of trade negotiations. They are expected to discuss proposals for a somewhat limited trade deal that would address some of President Trump’s criticisms of China’s economic practices but still be acceptable to Beijing.

Some administration officials have been hopeful that a deal will lock in more intellectual property protections for American companies and provide those firms with greater access to Chinese markets. They also want to avoid further tariffs on Chinese goods that have begun to weigh on American consumers.

If China makes sufficient concessions, some in the administration are willing to roll back a portion of the tariffs that Mr. Trump has placed on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods, people familiar with the discussions said. They may also approve licenses that would allow some companies to sell nonsensitive goods to the Chinese telecom provider Huawei, which has been blacklisted from buying American products.

But China has resisted many of the administration’s demands to make more transformative changes to the way it runs its economy. Chinese officials have come to Washington this week eager to settle on a narrow deal that would involve tariff reductions in exchange for a resumption of Chinese purchases of American food. They appear unlikely to agree to the administration’s longstanding demands that Beijing limit its subsidies to Chinese firms, change its policies surrounding the treatment of data or make other structural changes, people familiar with the negotiations said.

The potential for such a limited agreement has fueled private deliberations within the White House on options for escalating economic pressure on China.

Officials have held meetings in recent weeks to consider escalation options if the current round of negotiations fails to address the administration’s primary concerns. Mr. Trump’s top economic advisers have publicly played down the discussions, which have centered on tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges and limiting the direct exposure of government-run retirement funds to China.

Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, acknowledged on Tuesday that the administration was looking for ways to protect Americans who were investing in Chinese companies.

“We’ve opened up a study group to take a look at it,” Mr. Kudlow said on the Fox Business Network.

But the options under consideration go further than that. According to a memo circulated within the White House and reviewed by The New York Times, the administration is studying a menu of actions that, if carried out, would most likely rattle the Chinese government.

The memo was drafted by Michael Pillsbury, a China scholar at the Hudson Institute and an outside adviser to the White House. It proposes holding Chinese companies and their employees criminally liable for financial disclosure violations, broadening the criteria that could get prominent Chinese companies blacklisted in the United States and blocking public and private pension funds and university endowments from certain Chinese investments.

Other options go beyond financial scrutiny of Chinese companies. The memo describes the possibility of fostering deeper ties between the United States and Taiwan and disrupting the flow of capital between Hong Kong and mainland China if it is determined that Hong Kong’s autonomy is not being respected.

It also lays out legislation in Congress, which Mr. Trump has yet to endorse, that would impose sanctions on China for activity in contested areas of the South China Sea and crack down on Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes at American universities.

Mr. Pillsbury declined to comment on his conversations with the White House but acknowledged that he had been analyzing such possibilities for a coming study on China strategy for the Hudson Institute.

“It appears that tariffs alone are not enough, but we also need to meet some of the Chinese demands to get the kind of deal the president wants,” Mr. Pillsbury said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs have already pushed some companies to move their operations out of China. But the raft of new investment restrictions and export controls that the administration is mulling would further sever supply chains and discourage financial integration between the countries, potentially to the detriment of financial markets.

On Monday, the White House clamped down on Chinese firms it accused of human rights violations by adding eight companies and 20 government organizations to an entity list that will prevent them from buying American products. On Tuesday, the State Department announced visa restrictions for Chinese officials allegedly involved in the detention and abuse of Muslim minorities.

An array of initiatives related to American capital markets and investments made by retirement funds in Chinese entities are also under consideration.

The most advanced discussions have centered on the Thrift Savings Plan, the retirement plan for federal employees and the military. As of next year, that plan, which holds nearly $50 billion in assets, is expected to begin investing in an index fund that includes more Chinese and Russian companies, as part of an effort to diversify its exposure.

The index fund includes companies that the United States government has imposed sanctions on — including Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, which was among the companies blacklisted on Monday. It also includes AviChina Industry & Technology, an affiliate of China’s major military aircraft and weapons manufacturer; ZTE, which was hit with sanctions for providing technology to North Korea and Iran; and several Russian companies that the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has put under sanctions.

Officials have also been discussing efforts to close loopholes that give Chinese companies access to American capital markets with less stringent disclosure requirements than American firms or those from other countries.

Chinese law requires the records of companies based in China to be kept there, and restricts the kind of documentation that auditors can transfer out of the country. The rules mean that hundreds of Chinese firms, with a collective market capitalization of more than $1 trillion, have received looser oversight than companies in other jurisdictions, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation that would force Chinese companies to comply with S.E.C. disclosure regulations or be delisted from American exchanges in three years. White House officials have debated throwing their support behind the bill, but several officials, including Mr. Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have opposed delisting as a draconian option that could throw American stock markets into turmoil.

“Delisting is not on the table,” Mr. Kudlow told reporters on Monday. He said the administration was responding to complaints to the commission about a lack of transparency and compliance, “but we’re very early in our deliberations.”

Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that addressing the lack of compliance among Chinese companies was “overdue” but that a solution would ideally be negotiated between Chinese companies and the S.E.C.

“Nobody benefits from a mass delisting of Chinese companies on U.S. stock exchanges,” Ms. Economy said.

Henrietta Treyz, the director of economic policy at Veda Partners, outlined the extensive array of economic weapons at Mr. Trump’s disposal for investors this year. She said she would not be surprised if the S.E.C. stepped up scrutiny of Chinese firms or if the United States imposed penalties on China’s electronic payments systems, such as Alipay, on national security grounds.

Such moves could be far more severe than the tariffs on $550 billion of Chinese imports that the United States will have imposed by the end of the year, leading to a decoupling not just of the American and Chinese economies but of the financial sector as well.

“Tariffs are just a tax, a cost of doing business, but those costs can be digested by passing costs on to consumers or squeezing margins or diversifying your end consumer,” Ms. Treyz said. “If you’re no longer allowed to ship or buy products from Huawei or other entity list companies, you’ve shut out an entire pipeline of access, not to mention lost 1.3 billion potential customers in China.”

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

Military Leaders Fear They’ve Seen This Before. It Ended in the Iraq War.

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-military-1-facebookJumbo Military Leaders Fear They’ve Seen This Before. It Ended in the Iraq War. United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Turkey Trump, Donald J Syria Persian Gulf War Kurds Iraq War (2003-11) Iraq Hussein, Saddam Defense Department Bush, George

WASHINGTON — The last time the United States abandoned allies in the Middle East, military officials say, it helped lead to the Iraq war.

Now, almost 30 years later, President Trump has pulled American special forces and support troops away from Kurdish allies in northern Syria, easing the way for Turkey’s promised offensive, which began on Wednesday.

It is too soon to say with any certainty where Mr. Trump’s abandonment of the Kurdish fighters who did the heavy lifting in the fight against the Islamic State will lead. But already, anguished American military and national security officials are sounding alarms that clearing the way for Turkey to bomb the Kurds could have long-term repercussions, just as the desertion of allies did then.

“In the course of American history, when we have stuck with our allies in troubling circumstances, from the U.K. and Australia under attack in WWII to South Korea in the Korean War, things tend to work out to our benefit,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral and former supreme allied commander for Europe. “When we walk away from loyal allies, as we did in Vietnam and are now threatening to do in Afghanistan and Syria, the wheels come off.”

At the end of the Persian Gulf war, the United States’ refusal to aid a rebellion it encouraged in Iraq allowed Saddam Hussein to brutally crush the insurgents, leaving him in power and American allies on the ground alienated and slaughtered by the thousands.

Now, with the Kurds potentially facing a similar fate, a Pentagon official said anger within the military was deeper than at any other point in Mr. Trump’s tenure as commander in chief.

That is in part because American military officials personally know the Kurds they have been fighting alongside. They consider them friends and even, in some cases, brothers in arms. While the Kurds may not have been with the Americans in Normandy, as Mr. Trump curiously noted on Wednesday, neither were the American service members who are now in Iraq and Syria. What those service members know, military officials say, is that the Kurds have been with them in Manbij, and Raqqa, and the Middle Euphrates River Valley.

“What happens if we leave?” the normally reticent Gen. Joseph L. Votel, who until March was the commander of United States Central Command overseeing the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, wrote in an op-ed article in The Atlantic on Tuesday, two days after the White House announced it was leaving the Kurds. In the piece, General Votel spoke fondly of the top Kurdish general, Mazloum Abdi, whom he called “impressive and thoughtful.”

General Votel, now retired, wrote that Turkish attacks on the Kurdish fighters, “coupled with a hasty U.S. departure, now threaten to rapidly destabilize an already fragile security situation in Syria’s northeast, where ISIS’ physical caliphate was only recently defeated.”

Paul D. Eaton, a retired major general and veteran of the Iraq war, was more blunt. “It takes time to build trust,” he said. “And any time you erode trust, like this, it’s that much harder to bring it back.”

Pentagon officials fear that Turkey’s incursion could lead to the release of tens of thousands of Islamic State fighters and their families who are being held in detention facilities under Kurdish control, and a return, quickly, of the self-proclaimed caliphate that the United States and its partners have spent the last five years destroying.

But even more, they fear that the next time the United States is looking for help from fighters on the ground in the region, the Americans will not be able to find it.

This has happened before. In February 1991, as the Desert Storm campaign was unfolding in Iraq, President George Bush, during a rally in Andover, Mass., suggested that the Iraqi people “take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside.”

Two weeks later, Mr. Bush made another call to arms, saying that putting Hussein “aside” would “facilitate the resolution of all these problems that exist and certainly would facilitate the acceptance of Iraq back into the family of peace-loving nations.”

Iraq’s feared Republican Guard did not heed Mr. Bush. But the Shiites and the Kurds did. On March 1, the day after Mr. Bush halted the Desert Storm war effort, Iraqi Shiites in the south and Kurds in the north began a rebellion against Hussein.

At first, things went swiftly and well for the Shiites and the Kurds, as a succession of Iraqi cities and towns — although not Baghdad — came under their control.

But the United States never stepped in to assist, and Hussein’s military soon regrouped and began a counteroffensive. In fact, the cease-fire negotiated by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf to end Desert Storm helped Hussein quell the uprising. The deal prohibited the Iraqi military from using fixed-wing aircraft over the country but allowed helicopters, which Hussein then deployed to bombard the Shiites, who had few surface-to-air missiles or heavy weapons. They were largely defenseless against the helicopters strafing the ground.

In the north, Iraqi divisions crushed the Kurdish rebellion.

Shiite and Kurdish leaders turned to the Americans, begging for help. It did not come. American warplanes in the south did not engage as the Republican Guard wiped out the rebellious Shiites by the thousands.

Human Rights Watch reported that “in their attempts to retake cities, and after consolidating control, loyalist forces killed thousands of unarmed civilians by firing indiscriminately into residential areas” and “executing young people on the streets, in homes and in hospitals.” The Iraqi military, Human Rights Watch said, was shooting people “en masse.”

Paul D. Wolfowitz, then the under secretary of defense for policy, was “dismayed,” he would say later, by the president’s unwillingness to support the Shiite uprising, and particularly by the order that American pilots not shoot down Iraqi military helicopters that were strafing the rebels.

More than a decade later, President George W. Bush was surrounded by many of the same national security advisers his father had. One in particular, Mr. Wolfowitz, was forcefully making the case that it was time for the United States to do what it did not in 1991: Go after Hussein.

When the United States finally did enter Iraq in 2003, the Shiites, while welcoming the toppling of Hussein, did not greet the Americans as liberators.

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