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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 33)

As Impeachment Fights Begin, Administration and Congress Clash Over Deposition

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration clashed on Tuesday with leaders of the House impeachment inquiry over their demands to question State Department officials who might have witnessed President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political advantage.

In the first skirmish in what promises to be an epic impeachment struggle between the executive and legislative branches, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at three congressional committees that are seeking to depose diplomats involved in American policy toward Ukraine. Mr. Pompeo called their demands for confidential interviews “an act of intimidation.”

The House postponed the first of the depositions, which had been scheduled for Wednesday with the former United States ambassador to Ukraine, but not before the impeachment inquiry’s leaders upbraided Mr. Pompeo for questioning their work and for asserting that their bid to swiftly schedule depositions did not allow enough time for a proper response.

The latest standoff unfolded as lawmakers were unexpectedly put on notice on Tuesday afternoon that they could soon be provided with new evidence related to the State Department and Ukraine — a twist that could add crucial information to their investigation and, potentially, complicate Mr. Trump’s efforts to block it.

The department’s independent watchdog wrote to several House and Senate committees to request a last-minute meeting on Wednesday “to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents,” according to an invitation reviewed by The New York Times.

It said the documents had been given to the inspector general, Steve A. Linick, by the State Department’s acting legal adviser, but did not provide additional information or indicate whether Mr. Pompeo was aware of the action. Mr. Linick’s office has not responded to calls or emails seeking comment for two days.

The bitter back-and-forth only one week after the House started its impeachment inquiry foreshadowed what could be a consequential fight between the administration and House Democrats. They are determined to quickly nail down facts at the heart of a whistle-blower complaint detailing Mr. Trump’s attempts to press Ukraine’s leader to help smear Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president.

The White House is just as determined to thwart — or at least slow — the investigation, falling back on the approach it has used to stonewall efforts by Congress to delve into episodes detailed by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump himself, indignant as the new inquiry intensified, kept his focus on the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint prompted the House to open it. In a series of tweets, the president asked why he was not “entitled to interview” the person and suggested that Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, should be arrested. And later, Mr. Trump tweeted that he was being targeted by a “COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People.”

In a joint statement, the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees scoffed at Mr. Pompeo’s suggestion of intimidation, charging that it was the secretary who was “intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president.” Blocking them from showing up as scheduled, they added, would constitute obstruction of Congress’s work — an action Democrats view as an impeachable offense itself.

A House aide said the deposition of the former ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, would now take place on Oct. 11. It was unclear if the State Department had approved that later appearance or if Ms. Yovanovitch, who was recalled to Washington last May, was acting on her own.

The aide, who spoke anonymously to discuss private legal deliberations, also said that Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine, had confirmed to lawmakers that he would appear on Thursday for his deposition as scheduled. Mr. Volker resigned his State Department post on Friday, the same day the demand for his testimony was issued.

The State Department declined to say if it would try to block other depositions.

“Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” Mr. Schiff; Representative Eliot L. Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee said in their statement. “In response, Congress may infer from this obstruction that any withheld documents and testimony would reveal information that corroborates the whistle-blower complaint.”

Later Tuesday, the chairmen sent a letter to Mr. Pompeo’s deputy, stating that they believed Mr. Pompeo had an “obvious conflict of interest” because of news reports that he listened in on a July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to conduct investigations that would bolster Mr. Trump politically. They said they would no longer communicate with Mr. Pompeo about other witnesses.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-impeach-articleLarge As Impeachment Fights Begin, Administration and Congress Clash Over Deposition Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike House of Representatives

Protesters last week at a rally on Capitol Hill calling for the impeachment of President Trump.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“Given the secretary’s own potential role, and reports of other State Department officials being involved in or knowledgeable of the events under investigation,” they wrote, “the committee may infer that he is trying to cover up illicit activity and misconduct, including by the president.”

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s private lawyer, who is named in the whistle-blower complaint as a point man in the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government, has retained his own lawyer for the escalating inquiry.

Mr. Trump also continued an acerbic offensive against Mr. Schiff, questioning why the congressman was not “being brought up on charges for fraudulently making up a statement and reading it to Congress.” He was referring to remarks Mr. Schiff made last week during a hearing in which he dramatized the July phone call.

The online venting came a day after Mr. Trump said the White House was trying to find out the whistle-blower’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections. In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.”

Without mentioning Mr. Trump by name, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the most senior Senate Republican and a longtime champion of whistle-blower laws, said the government and the news media “should always work to respect whistle-blowers’ requests for confidentiality.”

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Mr. Grassley said in a written statement from Iowa, where he underwent surgery this week. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

Mr. Grassley also pushed back against a claim frequently repeated by Mr. Trump and his allies that the whistle-blower was a “fraud” because he was not a firsthand observer of the events he described in his complaint.

“Complaints based on secondhand information should not be rejected out of hand,” Mr. Grassley said, “but they do require additional legwork to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.”

Mr. Trump’s strongest allies rushed to his defense, denouncing House Democrats for pursuing the impeachment investigation.

During an appearance on Fox Business Network, Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, compared the Democrats to Soviet-era secret police and their effort to an “attempted coup d’état.” He also likened them three foreign adversaries: Russia, China and Iran.

Democrats were no less hyperbolic.

On Twitter, Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California and a committee chairwoman, implored Republicans to halt Mr. Trump’s “filthy talk of whistleblowers being spies & using mob language implying they should be killed.” But in the same message, she added that the president “needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement.”

In a letter and a pair of tweets sent from Rome shortly after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, Mr. Pompeo described the Sept. 27 demand for the senior State Department officials’ testimony as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly” American diplomats.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he tweeted.

Other State Department employees who have been called for depositions by the House are George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

In his letter — to Mr. Engel, Democrat of New York — Mr. Pompeo said the witnesses would not testify without Trump administration lawyers present. He also said the request did not leave the witnesses enough time to prepare for their interviews under oath.

But he did not rule out allowing the witnesses to talk to House investigators, and said the State Department would respond to a subpoena he received from the committees on Friday for documents by the Oct. 4 deadline.

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

Administration and Congress Clash Over Deposition as Impeachment Fights Begin

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration clashed on Tuesday with leaders of the House impeachment inquiry over their demands to question State Department officials who may have witnessed President Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political advantage.

In the first skirmish in what promises to be an epic impeachment struggle between the executive and legislative branches, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at three congressional committees that are seeking to depose diplomats involved in American policy toward Ukraine, calling their demands for confidential interviews “an act of intimidation.”

The House postponed the first of the depositions, which had been scheduled for Wednesday with the former United States ambassador to Ukraine, but not before the leaders of the impeachment inquiry upbraided Mr. Pompeo for questioning their work and asserting that their bid to swiftly schedule depositions did not allow enough time to properly respond.

The bitter back-and-forth only one week after the House started its impeachment inquiry foreshadowed what could be a consequential fight between the administration and House Democrats. They are determined to swiftly nail down facts at the heart of a whistle-blower complaint detailing Mr. Trump’s attempts to press Ukraine’s leader to help smear Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president.

The White House is just as determined to thwart — or at least slow — the investigation, falling back on the same approach it has used to stonewall efforts by Congress to delve into episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump that were detailed by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The latest standoff unfolded as lawmakers were unexpectedly put on notice that they could soon be provided with new evidence related to the State Department and Ukraine — a twist that could add crucial information to their investigation and, potentially, complicate efforts by Mr. Trump to block it.

The State Department’s independent watchdog wrote to several House and Senate committees on Tuesday afternoon to request a last-minute meeting on Wednesday “to discuss and provide staff with copies of documents related to the State Department and Ukraine,” according to an invitation reviewed by The New York Times.

It said the documents had been given to the inspector general, Steve A. Linick, by the department’s acting legal adviser, but did not provide additional information or indicate whether Mr. Pompeo was aware of the action. Mr. Linick’s office has not responded to calls or emails seeking comment for two days.

Mr. Trump himself, indignant as the new inquiry intensified, kept his focus on the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint prompted the House to open it. In a series of tweets, the president asked why he was not “entitled to interview” the person and suggested that Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, should be arrested. And later, he said he was being targeted by a “COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People.”

The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees scoffed at Mr. Pompeo’s suggestion, charging that it was the secretary who was “intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president.” Blocking them from showing up as scheduled, they added, would constitute obstruction of Congress’s work — an action Democrats view as an impeachable offense itself.

By late afternoon on Tuesday, a House aide said the deposition of the former ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, would now take place on Oct. 11. It was unclear if the State Department had approved that later appearance, or if Ms. Yovanovitch, who was recalled to Washington last May, was acting on her own.

The aide, who spoke anonymously to discuss private legal deliberations, also said that Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine, had confirmed to lawmakers that he would appear on Thursday for his deposition as scheduled. Mr. Volker resigned his State Department post on Friday, the same day the demand for his testimony was issued.

It was also not apparent whether the other scheduled depositions would proceed, and the State Department declined to comment.

“Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” wrote Mr. Schiff; Representative Eliot L. Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. “In response, Congress may infer from this obstruction that any withheld documents and testimony would reveal information that corroborates the whistle-blower complaint.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-impeach-articleLarge Administration and Congress Clash Over Deposition as Impeachment Fights Begin Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike House of Representatives

Protesters last week at a rally on Capitol Hill calling for the impeachment of President Trump.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s private lawyer who is named in a whistle-blower complaint as a point man in the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government, retained his own lawyer for the escalating inquiry.

Mr. Trump continued an acerbic offensive against Mr. Schiff, questioning why the congressman was not “being brought up on charges for fraudulently making up a statement and reading it to Congress.” He was referring to remarks Mr. Schiff made last week during a hearing, where he dramatized the July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to work with Mr. Giuliani and William P. Barr, the attorney general, on investigations that would bolster him politically.

The online venting came a day after Mr. Trump said the White House was trying to find out the whistle-blower person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections. In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.”

The president’s remarks appeared to prompt a forceful, if not explicit, warning on Tuesday from a senior member of his own party. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior-most Senate Republican and a longtime champion of whistle-blower laws, said the government and the news media “should always work to respect whistle-blowers’ requests for confidentiality.” He did not explicitly mention Mr. Trump.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Mr. Grassley said in a written statement from Iowa, where he underwent surgery this week. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

Mr. Grassley also pushed back against a claim frequently repeated by Mr. Trump and his allies that the whistle-blower was a “fraud” because he was not a firsthand observer of the events he described in his complaint.

“Complaints based on secondhand information should not be rejected out of hand,” Mr. Grassley said, “but they do require additional legwork to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.”

But Mr. Trump’s strongest allies rushed to his defense, denouncing House Democrats for pursuing the impeachment investigation in the first place.

During an appearance on Fox Business Network, Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s trade adviser, compared the Democrats’ effort to an “attempted coup d’état,” Soviet-era secret police and the threat posed by three foreign adversaries: Russia, China and Iran.

Democrats were no less hyperbolic with their reactions to the president’s menacing talk about the whistle-blower.

On Twitter, Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California and a committee chairwoman, implored Republicans to halt Mr. Trump’s “filthy talk of whistle-blowers being spies & using mob language implying they should be killed.” But in the same message, she added the president “needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement.”

Mr. Pompeo’s letter appeared more likely to have an immediate effect on the unfolding case.

In a letter and a pair of tweets sent from Rome shortly after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, the secretary described the Sept. 27 demand for the senior State Department officials’ testimony as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly” American diplomats.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he wrote.

Other State Department employees who have been called for depositions by the House are George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

In his letter to Mr. Engel, Democrat of New York, Mr. Pompeo said the witnesses would not testify without Trump administration lawyers present. He also said the request did not leave the witnesses enough time to prepare for their interviews under oath.

But he did not rule out allowing the witnesses to talk to House investigators, and said the State Department would respond to a subpoena he received from the committees on Friday for documents by the Oct. 4 deadline.

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

Impeachment Rules Say Senate Must Act, but Its Act Might Be a Swift Dismissal

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell’s comment this week that the Senate would be forced to “take up” articles of impeachment from the House had the capital in a swirl, bracing for a full-blown Senate trial of President Trump. But as things now stand, any trial would likely be swift, ending in dismissal of the accusations.

While the focus was on the statement by Mr. McConnell, the majority leader, that the Senate would have “no choice” but to begin an impeachment proceeding, it was his next line that might have been more telling: “How long you are on it is a whole different matter.”

The fusty rules of the Senate make clear that Republicans could not unilaterally stonewall articles of impeachment of Mr. Trump as they did the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick B. Garland. But Mr. McConnell’s declaration suggests the Republican-controlled Senate could move expeditiously to toss them out if Republicans conclude the House impeachment is meritless, or a strictly partisan affair.

“I don’t think they could just duck it,” said Donald A. Ritchie, historian emeritus of the Senate. “It is a constitutional responsibility. When you look at the weight of history, I think they would feel they have to do something. They would have to decide how abbreviated they wanted to make it.”

Judging by the initial Senate Republican response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to open an impeachment inquiry after a whistle-blower’s complaint detailed Mr. Trump’s pressuring of the leader of Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Republicans would want it to be quite short. Nearly all Senate Republicans have scoffed at the idea of an impeachment vote in the House, let alone a conviction in the Senate that would force Mr. Trump’s removal from office. That could conceivably change, of course, if new damaging information emerged.

But as both parties begin to quietly explore their strategic response to potential House action, they are zeroing in on the 1999 Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton for guidance, and that proceeding provides one obvious precedent Republicans could embrace.

As the trial threatened to gain steam after the Senate had heard from Republican House managers of the impeachment and Mr. Clinton’s defenders, Senator Robert C. Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat and the highly regarded conscience of the Senate who had said the Bible and Constitution would be his guide, moved to dismiss the entire case. Democrats were in the minority at the time, and Mr. Byrd’s surprise proposal was defeated along party lines, forcing the trial to move forward for a total of about five weeks before Mr. Clinton prevailed.

But in the case of Mr. Trump, his party controls the Senate, and it is not a stretch to envision Republicans providing the votes to throw out the articles, short-circuiting the process and sparing Mr. Trump an extended examination of his conduct.

Senate Republicans essentially laid out that scenario in background guidance circulated over the weekend, noting that a motion to dismiss the articles would be allowed under impeachment rules, and that such a vote took place during the Clinton trial after opening arguments and limited questioning by senators.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-hulse-02-articleLarge Impeachment Rules Say Senate Must Act, but Its Act Might Be a Swift Dismissal United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party McConnell, Mitch impeachment Elections, Senate Democratic Party Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to begin a formal impeachment process has forced senators from both parties to begin to quietly explore their strategic response to potential House action.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The tactic looms as a delicate proposition for Mr. McConnell and his Republican colleagues. First, they must mollify a mercurial president and Republican voters who will no doubt be incensed at the very idea of a Senate trial giving credence to the accusations that Mr. Trump improperly sought foreign help against a political rival. At the same time, they would need to demonstrate to the public that the Senate was taking its constitutional responsibilities seriously and not dismissing the House action out of hand.

In either regard, it would represent another tough vote for vulnerable Senate Republicans up for re-election in 2020, who would again have to choose between potentially alienating independents by siding with the president or angering the pro-Trump faction that dominates their party. It could also represent a risky vote for Democrats seeking re-election in swing states such as Michigan.

Democrats say they would keep the pressure on Republicans to make sure that the process for considering articles of impeachment against the president is equitable to both sides.

“If the impeachment process reaches the upper chamber, each and every Senate Republican will have the awesome responsibility of putting country over party and ensuring Leader McConnell allows a fair trial,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr. McConnell had other reasons to get out in front of questions about how he would handle impeachment. He needed to fend off what are certain to be demands from the president’s supporters to shut down the process or refuse to entertain the articles of impeachment even if it takes turning off the Senate lights and locking the doors. And to hold off those who demand another “nuclear option” to overturn the existing impeachment rules, Mr. McConnell also noted that it would require 67 votes to do so, not the simple majority vote both parties have used in recent years to reset Senate procedures.

That may have been a pre-emptive answer to Mr. Trump himself, who in times of frustration in the past, has sometimes criticized Mr. McConnell for being unwilling to use the “nuclear option” to circumvent rules that require 60 votes to advance most legislation.

Senate Republican officials say any discussion about how the Senate would proceed beyond Mr. McConnell’s statement is pure speculation, with the response dependent on how the House conducts itself and what is ultimately included in any impeachment claim.

In 1999, the two parties wrangled over how to conduct the first presidential impeachment trial in more than a century, but an all-senators meeting in the Old Senate Chamber in the Capitol resulted in a remarkable conclusion: unanimous agreement on the ground rules. That level of consensus seems hard to imagine in the bitterly polarized Senate of today, just 20 years later.

The two parties’ Senate leaders at the time, Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, and Tom Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota, were determined to work together and avoid a spectacle. They were both certain of the ultimate outcome, but wanted the Senate to do its duty and look reasonable doing so.

“The senators took it remarkably seriously,” said Mr. Ritchie, the Senate historian. “The bottom line was the Senate didn’t want to look as foolish as the House had. All of the senators, regardless of party, really felt they needed to act with some dignity.”

How the Senate might act if the House impeaches in this case remains to be seen, but everyone now seems to agree that act it must — in one way or another.

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

Ukraine? Impeachment? Trump Can Survive It All, Foreign Analysts Say

BRUSSELS — This summer, just after he visited the White House for the second time, President Andrzej Duda of Poland held forth about how much he admired President Trump’s transactional style.

“I must tell you that in this respect I find it very easy and good to cooperate with President Donald Trump,” Mr. Duda said in an interview in Warsaw. “Because he’s very down to earth, very concrete. He tells me what he wants, he asks me what he can get from us.”

Given that well-established style of wheeling and dealing, the revelations about Mr. Trump’s phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine — in which Mr. Trump asked the Ukrainian leader for a ‘‘favor,’’ to dig up dirt on a political opponent — have reinforced impressions of the American president.

Regardless of impeachment, for now, at least, many analysts and media commentators abroad say they assume that Mr. Trump will remain president. But some wondered if this was perhaps ‘‘the deal too many,’’ as the headline on the cover of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel read, showing Mr. Trump on the phone.

“Presidents always ask for things, but what’s different is the nature of the ask here,” said Simon Jackman, head of the United States Studies Center at the University of Sydney, Australia, the latest country Mr. Trump has appeared to pressure for renewed investigations of his political foes.

“It’s not about contributing with defense for an operation we might be doing together, or for a trade matter,’’ he added. ‘‘This is: ‘What were the circumstances under which Australia felt compelled to pass on this intelligence about election interference that helped me become president?’ We’re in a whole new category.”

Still, in Australia, there was little surprise. The same sentiment prevailed in much of Europe, along with a gloomy sense of inevitability among critics that nothing much seemed to damage Mr. Trump.

Many expected him to survive until the end of his term and very possibly be strengthened for re-election by the impeachment ordeal, which could let him trumpet his victory over the “Washington elite.”

“We all know that impeachment is a political affair, not a legal one,” said Jan Techau, an analyst with the German Marshall Fund in Berlin. “If it keeps the pressure on Trump, whose reactions already show the strain, it could cost him votes. But if it falls like a soufflé it can embolden him, as the golden one who can’t be touched.”

In Germany, which Mr. Trump loves to criticize, Mr. Techau said, “there’s lots of hope impeachment will succeed, but no confidence that the Democrats can run this thing efficiently.’’

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_161418501_56d3b92d-4006-4fad-b401-861c419b8626-articleLarge Ukraine? Impeachment? Trump Can Survive It All, Foreign Analysts Say United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russia Rottgen, Norbert Poland Merkel, Angela impeachment Germany Foreign Aid Europe Duda, Andrzej (1972- ) Crimea (Ukraine) Corruption (Institutional) Berlin (Germany) Australia

Russia sees a victory in the tensions displayed between the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Mr. Trump.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

‘‘Germans are puzzled that there is no natural leader of the opposition,’’ he added, ‘‘and it feels like Trump so dominates the stage there’s no room for anyone else.”

French reaction has been muted. Impeachment has not been on the front pages, with the media consumed with the death of former President Jacques Chirac. The center-left Le Monde editorialized a bit wearily that impeachment was forced on the Democrats, but probably without result.

“Confronted with this norm-breaking president, the Democrats were obligated to set a limit beyond which they considered that the counter-powers, the famous ‘checks and balances’ of the American system, could no longer function: in their eyes, this limit had been reached,” the paper said.

But François Heisbourg, a French analyst, noted that the notion of impeachment was itself somewhat unknown abroad.

“Nobody outside the U.S. understands impeachment,” he said. “Many would be chuffed if it works but everyone assumes it will strengthen Trump and not weaken him, which of course may be wrong.”

More important, Mr. Heisbourg said, was the impact on Ukraine and Mr. Zelensky’s standing with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and French President Emmanuel Macron, both of whom he criticized even more harshly than Mr. Trump did on their telephone call, even though the Europeans provide more economic aid to Ukraine than does Washington.

The partial phone transcript hurts Mr. Trump’s relationship with other leaders, who can no longer trust the privacy of their conversations, but “it has made Zelensky look incredibly naïve and even stupid, which he is not,” Mr. Heisbourg said.

“Zelensky didn’t just let Trump diss Merkel and Macron but does it himself,’’ Mr. Heisbourg said. ‘‘And when people say they won’t hold it against him, they’re wrong. Macron and Merkel won’t appreciate it, and in one fell swoop, Zelensky has lost a lot of good will.”

Mr. Techau agreed. “This is damaging for Ukraine, because it reinforces the image of this country as a hopeless case, where all these external powers mingle and trample and nothing comes out well,” he said. “It damages the feeling of solidarity with Ukraine, already lagging.”

Russia cited a victory not only in the tensions displayed between Mr. Zelensky and President Trump, but also between Mr. Zelensky and Ukraine’s main European supporters, especially in Germany and France, whom he needlessly insulted in the phone call.

In Moscow, where power in office is routinely traded for political favors and personal profit, there was glee.

President Andrzej Duda of Poland, in an interview this summer after he visited the White House, said he admired Mr. Trump’s transactional style.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The Russians, who annexed Crimea and are deeply engaged in the fight for Ukraine’s east, like to argue that the West is just as cynical as they are, and often cite Mr. Trump as evidence.

And Russia has seized on the scandal to promote its longstanding theme that Ukraine and Mr. Zelensky are vassals of the United States.

On Sunday, Dmitri К. Kiselyov, the anchor of the Kremlin’s flagship propaganda news show, “Vesti Nedeli” or “News of the Week,” described Mr. Zelensky’s visit to the United States as a “catastrophe.” He said that Mr. Zelensky was “literally sucked into the funnel of intra-American fights between Trump and his enemies.”

“As a result, Zelensky now has no chance of building good relations neither with Trump nor with Biden,” said Mr. Kiselyov. “For Biden, Zelensky will forever remain the man who steadfastly promised Trump to relaunch the anti-corruption case against his son.”

Mr. Kiselyov noted that Mr. Zelensky offended Ms. Merkel, too. “As a result, Germany’s Spiegel already writes about insults against Merkel and only ‘pieces of relations’ with Ukraine. So now Trump, Biden and Merkel have all been removed from the list of Zelensky’s friends. How could he do it so quickly? An outstanding result!”

Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the German Parliament, was disgusted. The phone transcript “bitterly documents how Trump, behind the scenes, exploits his power over a state president who is dependent on American support and works for his private interests, his election campaign, and against Germany and Europe,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

In Poland, despite its president’s praise of Mr. Trump, not everyone is a fan of his deal-making style.

“In my opinion the government is silent on the issue because the kind of transactional offer he offered to Ukraine is quite similar to the way he treats Polish politicians,” said Ryszard Schnepf, a former Polish ambassador to Washington.

While he might not ask for dirt on political opponents, Mr. Schnepf said, Mr. Trump’s approach to foreign policy was “compromising, unbalanced and one sided.”

In the Arab world, reports of Mr. Trump’s efforts to extract favors from foreign leaders have generally been met with shrugs, not least because many people in the region are used to their leaders behaving in similar ways.

Leaders of the Arab world’s nondemocratic governments commonly use their offices for personal gain, and in the monarchies, there is often no clear distinction between public and private money.

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Pompeo and House Chairmen Trade Charges of Intimidation

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration and the leaders of the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump clashed on Tuesday over Democrats’ demands to depose State Department officials who are witnesses in their growing investigation, trading accusations of underhanded tactics.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back in a letter on Tuesday morning on a demand from three House committees for American diplomats to sit this week for depositions on Capitol Hill, saying the effort amounted to “an act of intimidation” and did not allow enough time for the State Department to properly respond.

The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees who have scheduled the confidential interviews scoffed at the suggestion, accusing Mr. Pompeo of being the one who was “intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president.” Blocking them from showing up as scheduled, they added, would constitute obstruction of Congress’s work — an action Democrats view as an impeachable offense itself.

“Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” wrote Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Representative Eliot L. Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. “In response, Congress may infer from this obstruction that any withheld documents and testimony would reveal information that corroborates the whistle-blower complaint.”

In his letter, Mr. Pompeo did not refuse outright to allow the State Department employees to answer House investigators’ questions about the actions of Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Those issues are at the heart of the whistle-blower’s complaint, which details attempts by the president to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to help smear one of his top Democratic challengers, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., using Mr. Giuliani to spearhead the effort.

But the testy exchange cast doubt on whether Democrats would be able to begin the depositions as planned on Wednesday, and raised the possibility that they might instead have to first issue a subpoena demanding compliance or turn to other pressure points.

Others in the president’s camp appeared to be preparing to confront the fast-moving inquiry, too.

Mr. Giuliani, who is named in a whistle-blower complaint as a point man in the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government, retained his own lawyer for the escalating inquiry.

And Mr. Trump himself, in an angry round of Twitter posts, suggested that Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California, should be arrested.

The House chairmen who jointly scheduled the depositions were said to be preparing additional requests and subpoenas for information related to the case.

They have already issued a subpoena to Mr. Pompeo for documents related to the matter.

At the White House, an indignant Mr. Trump kept his focus on the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint prompted the House inquiry. In a series of tweets, the president asked why he was not “entitled to interview” the person. The online venting came a day after Mr. Trump said the White House was trying to find out the person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections.

In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.”

The president’s remarks appeared to prompt a forceful, if not explicit, warning on Tuesday from a senior member of his own party. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior-most Senate Republican and a longtime champion of whistle-blower laws, said the government and the news media “should always work to respect whistle-blowers’ requests for confidentiality.” He did not explicitly mention Mr. Trump.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Mr. Grassley said in a written statement from Iowa, where he underwent surgery this week. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-impeach-articleLarge Pompeo and House Chairmen Trade Charges of Intimidation Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike House of Representatives

Protesters last week at a rally on Capitol Hill calling for the impeachment of President Trump.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Grassley also pushed back against a claim frequently repeated by Mr. Trump and his allies that the whistle-blower was a “fraud” because he was not a firsthand observer of the events he described in his complaint.

“Complaints based on secondhand information should not be rejected out of hand,” Mr. Grassley said, “but they do require additional legwork to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.”

Mr. Trump’s latest attack on Mr. Schiff questioned why the congressman was not “being brought up on charges for fraudulently making up a statement and reading it to Congress.” The president was referring to remarks Mr. Schiff made last week during a hearing, where he dramatized the July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to work with Mr. Giuliani and William P. Barr, the attorney general, on investigations that would bolster him politically.

Mr. Pompeo’s letter appeared more likely to have an immediate effect on the unfolding case.

In a letter and a pair of tweets sent from Rome shortly after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, the secretary described the Sept. 27 demand for the senior State Department officials’ testimony as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly” American diplomats.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he wrote.

Standing with the Italian president, Mr. Pompeo ignored a question from journalists about his own participation in the July call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats late last week subpoenaed Mr. Pompeo for documents and also asked for access to witnesses who were expected to speak to investigators this week. But given the recent disclosure that he also listened in on the telephone call, Mr. Pompeo himself could be subpoenaed to testify.

The State Department witnesses who have been called for depositions include Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled to Washington last May. Ms. Yovanovitch was instructed by the House to appear on Wednesday.

It appeared more likely that Kurt D. Volker, the United States special envoy to Ukraine, would appear on Thursday for his scheduled deposition. Mr. Volker resigned his State Department post on Friday, the same day the demand for his testimony was issued.

Other State Department employees who have been called are George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

In his letter to Mr. Engel, Democrat of New York, Mr. Pompeo said the witnesses would not testify without Trump administration lawyers present. He also said the request did not leave the witnesses enough time to prepare for their interviews under oath.

But he did not rule out allowing the witnesses to talk to House investigators, and said the State Department would respond to the subpoena for the documents by the Oct. 4 deadline.

Mr. Engel and two other House Democrats who are leading committees involved in the investigation sent two letters to Mr. Pompeo on Sept. 27. One said that the State Department had failed to comply with at least two earlier requests for information, starting Sept. 9.

The second letter warned Mr. Pompeo that a failure by the State Department employees to appear for their interviews “shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.” Mr. Pompeo replied that there was no legal basis for what he described as a “threat.”

“I urge you to exercise restraint in making such unfounded statements in the future,” Mr. Pompeo wrote on Tuesday.

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Pompeo and House Chairmen Clash Over Impeachment Depositions, Trading Charges of Intimidation

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration and the leaders of the House impeachment inquiry into President Trump clashed on Tuesday over Democrats’ demands to depose State Department officials who are witnesses in their growing investigation, trading accusations of underhanded tactics.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back in a letter on Tuesday morning on a demand from three House committees for American diplomats to sit this week for depositions on Capitol Hill, saying the effort amounted to “an act of intimidation” and did not allow enough time for the State Department to properly respond.

The chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform Committees who have scheduled the confidential interviews scoffed at the suggestion, accusing Mr. Pompeo of being the one who was “intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president.” Blocking them from showing up as scheduled, they added, would constitute obstruction of Congress’s work — an action Democrats view as an impeachable offense itself.

“Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” wrote Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Representative Eliot L. Engel, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. “In response, Congress may infer from this obstruction that any withheld documents and testimony would reveal information that corroborates the whistle-blower complaint.”

In his letter, Mr. Pompeo did not refuse outright to allow the State Department employees to answer House investigators’ questions about the actions of Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Those issues are at the heart of the whistle-blower’s complaint, which details attempts by the president to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to help smear one of his top Democratic challengers, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., using Mr. Giuliani to spearhead the effort.

But the testy exchange cast doubt on whether Democrats would be able to begin the depositions as planned on Wednesday, and raised the possibility that they might instead have to first issue a subpoena demanding compliance or turn to other pressure points.

Others in the president’s camp appeared to be preparing to confront the fast-moving inquiry, too.

Mr. Giuliani, who is named in a whistle-blower complaint as a point man in the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine’s government, retained his own lawyer for the escalating inquiry.

And Mr. Trump himself, in an angry round of Twitter posts, suggested that Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California, should be arrested.

The House chairmen who jointly scheduled the depositions were said to be preparing additional requests and subpoenas for information related to the case.

They have already issued a subpoena to Mr. Pompeo for documents related to the matter.

At the White House, an indignant Mr. Trump kept his focus on the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint prompted the House inquiry. In a series of tweets, the president asked why he was not “entitled to interview” the person. The online venting came a day after Mr. Trump said the White House was trying to find out the person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections.

In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.”

The president’s remarks appeared to prompt a forceful, if not explicit, warning on Tuesday from a senior member of his own party. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior-most Senate Republican and a longtime champion of whistle-blower laws, said the government and the news media “should always work to respect whistle-blowers’ requests for confidentiality.” He did not explicitly mention Mr. Trump.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Mr. Grassley said in a written statement from Iowa, where he underwent surgery this week. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-impeach-articleLarge Pompeo and House Chairmen Clash Over Impeachment Depositions, Trading Charges of Intimidation Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike House of Representatives

Protesters last week at a rally on Capitol Hill calling for the impeachment of President Trump.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Grassley also pushed back against a claim frequently repeated by Mr. Trump and his allies that the whistle-blower was a “fraud” because he was not a firsthand observer of the events he described in his complaint.

“Complaints based on secondhand information should not be rejected out of hand,” Mr. Grassley said, “but they do require additional legwork to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility.”

Mr. Trump’s latest attack on Mr. Schiff questioned why the congressman was not “being brought up on charges for fraudulently making up a statement and reading it to Congress.” The president was referring to remarks Mr. Schiff made last week during a hearing, where he dramatized the July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to work with Mr. Giuliani and William P. Barr, the attorney general, on investigations that would bolster him politically.

Mr. Pompeo’s letter appeared more likely to have an immediate effect on the unfolding case.

In a letter and a pair of tweets sent from Rome shortly after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, the secretary described the Sept. 27 demand for the senior State Department officials’ testimony as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly” American diplomats.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he wrote.

Standing with the Italian president, Mr. Pompeo ignored a question from journalists about his own participation in the July call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats late last week subpoenaed Mr. Pompeo for documents and also asked for access to witnesses who were expected to speak to investigators this week. But given the recent disclosure that he also listened in on the telephone call, Mr. Pompeo himself could be subpoenaed to testify.

The State Department witnesses who have been called for depositions include Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled to Washington last May. Ms. Yovanovitch was instructed by the House to appear on Wednesday.

It appeared more likely that Kurt D. Volker, the United States special envoy to Ukraine, would appear on Thursday for his scheduled deposition. Mr. Volker resigned his State Department post on Friday, the same day the demand for his testimony was issued.

Other State Department employees who have been called are George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

In his letter to Mr. Engel, Democrat of New York, Mr. Pompeo said the witnesses would not testify without Trump administration lawyers present. He also said the request did not leave the witnesses enough time to prepare for their interviews under oath.

But he did not rule out allowing the witnesses to talk to House investigators, and said the State Department would respond to the subpoena for the documents by the Oct. 4 deadline.

Mr. Engel and two other House Democrats who are leading committees involved in the investigation sent two letters to Mr. Pompeo on Sept. 27. One said that the State Department had failed to comply with at least two earlier requests for information, starting Sept. 9.

The second letter warned Mr. Pompeo that a failure by the State Department employees to appear for their interviews “shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.” Mr. Pompeo replied that there was no legal basis for what he described as a “threat.”

“I urge you to exercise restraint in making such unfounded statements in the future,” Mr. Pompeo wrote on Tuesday.

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Pompeo Calls House Request to Interview Diplomats ‘Intimidation’ and Rushed

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration fought on multiple fronts on Tuesday to resist the House’s growing impeachment inquiry, pushing back on demands for depositions of potential witnesses from a key committee as President Trump insisted he was entitled to interview the whistle-blower whose allegations touched off the investigation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threw up the first potential roadblock when he told lawmakers in a letter Tuesday morning that a demand from three House committees for American diplomats to sit for depositions this week amounted to “an act of intimidation” and did not allow enough time for the State Department to properly respond.

Meanwhile Mr. Trump, in an angry round of Twitter posts, suggested that the Democrat now running the impeachment investigation, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who leads the Intelligence Committee, should be arrested.

Mr. Pompeo did not refuse outright to allow the State Department employees to answer House investigators’ questions about the actions of Mr. Trump and his private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Those issues are at the heart of the whistle-blower’s complaint, which details attempts by the president to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to help smear one of his top Democratic challengers, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., using Mr. Giuliani as a point man in the effort. But the letter cast doubt on whether Democrats would be able to begin the depositions as planned on Wednesday, and raised the possibility they might instead have to first issue a subpoena demanding compliance.

The House chairmen running the inquiry did not immediately respond to Mr. Pompeo’s letter, but were said to be preparing additional requests and subpoenas for information related to the case.

At the White House, an indignant Mr. Trump kept his focus on the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint prompted the House inquiry. In a series of tweets, the president asked why he was not “entitled to interview” the person. The online venting came a day after Mr. Trump said the White House was trying to find out the person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections.

In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.”

The president’s remarks appeared to prompt a forceful, if not explicit, warning on Tuesday from a senior member of his own party. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior-most Senate Republican and a longtime champion of whistle-blower laws, said the government and the media “should always work to respect whistle-blowers’ requests for confidentiality.” He did not explicitly mention Mr. Trump.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Mr. Grassley said in a written statement from Iowa, where he underwent surgery this week. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

Mr. Grassley also pushed back against a claim frequently repeated by Mr. Trump that the whistle-blower was a “fraud” because he was not a firsthand observer of the events he described in his complaint.

“Complaints based on secondhand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility,” Mr. Grassley said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-impeach-articleLarge Pompeo Calls House Request to Interview Diplomats ‘Intimidation’ and Rushed Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike House of Representatives

Protesters at a rally calling for the impeachment of President Trump on Capitol Hill last week.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s latest attack on Mr. Schiff questioned why the congressman was not “being brought up on charges for fraudulently making up a statement and reading it to Congress.” The president was referencing remarks Mr. Schiff made during a hearing last week, where he dramatized the July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to work with Mr. Giuliani and William P. Barr, the attorney general, on investigations that would boost him politically.

Mr. Pompeo’s letter appeared more likely to have an immediate impact on the unfolding case.

In a letter and a pair of tweets sent from Rome, shortly after meeting President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, the secretary described the Sept. 27 demand for the senior State Department officials’ testimony as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly” American diplomats.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he wrote.

Standing with the Italian president, Mr. Pompeo ignored a question from journalists in Rome about his own participation in a July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats late last week subpoenaed Mr. Pompeo for documents and also asked for access to witnesses who were expected to speak to investigators this week. But given the recent disclosure that he also listened in on the telephone call, Mr. Pompeo himself could be subpoenaed to testify as well.

The State Department witnesses who have so far been called for depositions include Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled to Washington last May. Ms. Yovanovitch was instructed by the House to appear on Wednesday.

It appeared more likely that Kurt D. Volker, the United States special envoy to Ukraine, would appear for his scheduled deposition on Thursday. Mr. Volker resigned his State Department post on Friday, the same day the demand for his testimony was issued.

Other State Department employees who have been called are George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

In his letter to Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York and the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Mr. Pompeo said the witnesses would not testify without Trump administration lawyers present. He also said the request did not leave the witnesses enough time to prepare for their interviews under oath.

But he did not rule out allowing the witnesses to talk to House investigators, and said the State Department would respond to the subpoena for the documents by the Oct. 4 deadline.

Mr. Engel and two other House Democrats who are chairing committees involved in the investigation sent two letters to Mr. Pompeo on Sept. 27. One said that the State Department had failed to comply with at least two earlier requests for information, starting Sept. 9.

The second letter warned Mr. Pompeo that a failure by the State Department employees to appear for their interviews “shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.” Mr. Pompeo replied that there was no legal basis for what he described as a “threat.”

“I urge you to exercise restraint in making such unfounded statements in the future,” Mr. Pompeo wrote on Tuesday.

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Pompeo Calls House Request to Interview Diplomats ‘Intimidation’ and Rushed

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration fought on multiple fronts on Tuesday to resist the House’s growing impeachment inquiry, pushing back on demands for depositions of potential witnesses from a key committee as President Trump insisted he was entitled to interview the whistle-blower whose allegations touched off the investigation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threw up the first potential roadblock when he told lawmakers in a letter Tuesday morning that a demand from three House committees for American diplomats to sit for depositions this week amounted to “an act of intimidation” and did not allow enough time for the State Department to properly respond.

Meanwhile Mr. Trump, in an angry round of Twitter posts, suggested that the Democrat now running the impeachment investigation, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who leads the Intelligence Committee, should be arrested.

Mr. Pompeo did not refuse outright to allow the State Department employees to answer House investigators’ questions about the actions of Mr. Trump and his private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Those issues are at the heart of the whistle-blower’s complaint, which details attempts by the president to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to help smear one of his top Democratic challengers, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., using Mr. Giuliani as a point man in the effort. But the letter cast doubt on whether Democrats would be able to begin the depositions as planned on Wednesday, and raised the possibility they might instead have to first issue a subpoena demanding compliance.

The House chairmen running the inquiry did not immediately respond to Mr. Pompeo’s letter, but were said to be preparing additional requests and subpoenas for information related to the case.

At the White House, an indignant Mr. Trump kept his focus on the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint prompted the House inquiry. In a series of tweets, the president asked why he was not “entitled to interview” the person. The online venting came a day after Mr. Trump said the White House was trying to find out the person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections.

In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.”

The president’s remarks appeared to prompt a forceful, if not explicit, warning on Tuesday from a senior member of his own party. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior-most Senate Republican and a longtime champion of whistle-blower laws, said the government and the media “should always work to respect whistle-blowers’ requests for confidentiality.” He did not explicitly mention Mr. Trump.

“No one should be making judgments or pronouncements without hearing from the whistle-blower first and carefully following up on the facts,” Mr. Grassley said in a written statement from Iowa, where he underwent surgery this week. “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.”

Mr. Grassley also pushed back against a claim frequently repeated by Mr. Trump that the whistle-blower was a “fraud” because he was not a firsthand observer of the events he described in his complaint.

“Complaints based on secondhand information should not be rejected out of hand, but they do require additional leg work to get at the facts and evaluate the claim’s credibility,” Mr. Grassley said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 01dc-impeach-articleLarge Pompeo Calls House Request to Interview Diplomats ‘Intimidation’ and Rushed Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike House of Representatives

Protesters at a rally calling for the impeachment of President Trump on Capitol Hill last week.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s latest attack on Mr. Schiff questioned why the congressman was not “being brought up on charges for fraudulently making up a statement and reading it to Congress.” The president was referencing remarks Mr. Schiff made during a hearing last week, where he dramatized the July phone call in which Mr. Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to work with Mr. Giuliani and William P. Barr, the attorney general, on investigations that would boost him politically.

Mr. Pompeo’s letter appeared more likely to have an immediate impact on the unfolding case.

In a letter and a pair of tweets sent from Rome, shortly after meeting President Sergio Mattarella of Italy, the secretary described the Sept. 27 demand for the senior State Department officials’ testimony as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly” American diplomats.

“Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,” he wrote.

Standing with the Italian president, Mr. Pompeo ignored a question from journalists in Rome about his own participation in a July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats late last week subpoenaed Mr. Pompeo for documents and also asked for access to witnesses who were expected to speak to investigators this week. But given the recent disclosure that he also listened in on the telephone call, Mr. Pompeo himself could be subpoenaed to testify as well.

The State Department witnesses who have so far been called for depositions include Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled to Washington last May. Ms. Yovanovitch was instructed by the House to appear on Wednesday.

It appeared more likely that Kurt D. Volker, the United States special envoy to Ukraine, would appear for his scheduled deposition on Thursday. Mr. Volker resigned his State Department post on Friday, the same day the demand for his testimony was issued.

Other State Department employees who have been called are George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor; and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.

In his letter to Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York and the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Mr. Pompeo said the witnesses would not testify without Trump administration lawyers present. He also said the request did not leave the witnesses enough time to prepare for their interviews under oath.

But he did not rule out allowing the witnesses to talk to House investigators, and said the State Department would respond to the subpoena for the documents by the Oct. 4 deadline.

Mr. Engel and two other House Democrats who are chairing committees involved in the investigation sent two letters to Mr. Pompeo on Sept. 27. One said that the State Department had failed to comply with at least two earlier requests for information, starting Sept. 9.

The second letter warned Mr. Pompeo that a failure by the State Department employees to appear for their interviews “shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry.” Mr. Pompeo replied that there was no legal basis for what he described as a “threat.”

“I urge you to exercise restraint in making such unfounded statements in the future,” Mr. Pompeo wrote on Tuesday.

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Trump Wants to ‘Interview’ Whistle-Blower

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday kept his focus on an anonymous whistle-blower, asking why he was not “entitled to interview” the person, a day after he said the White House was trying to find out the person’s identity, despite institutional directives and confidentiality protections.

In addition to interviewing the “so-called ‘Whistleblower,’” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday, he would also like to interview “the person who gave all of the false information to him.” On Sunday, Mr. Trump said, “Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser.”

Mr. Trump’s focus on the whistle-blower is one of several ways the White House has addressed the complaint — which alleged that Mr. Trump was using his office for personal gain — and the phone call at the center of it between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Mr. Trump has repeatedly defended his conversation with Mr. Zelensky as “perfect.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump Wants to ‘Interview’ Whistle-Blower Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCreditIllustration by The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s focus on learning the identity of the whistle-blower is inappropriate at best.

“The law and policy supports protection of the identity of the whistle-blower from disclosure and from retaliation,” a lawyer representing the whistle-blower, Mark Zaid, has said. “No exceptions exist for any individual.”

House Democrats announced an impeachment inquiry last week into the allegations before the full complaint and reconstructed transcript were released.

Since then, the House has subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s private lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani’s name comes up multiple times in the July 25 conversation between the president and Mr. Zelensky, and he has publicly acknowledged trying to gather damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials, specifically targeting former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading Democratic presidential candidate for the 2020 race against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Giuliani did not say how he planned to respond to the subpoena, if at all. House Democrats have warned Trump administration officials not to stonewall their investigation. And Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said Monday that if the House impeached Mr. Trump, “I would have no choice but to take it up.” It was the first time Mr. McConnell addressed the Ukraine impeachment inquiry and was a sign that the fallout from the phone call was not likely to disappear.

House investigators have arranged to meet privately with the whistle-blower, although a date has not been set.

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Me and My Whistle-Blower

One sunny Wednesday in February, a gangly man in a sports jacket and a partly unbuttoned paisley shirt walked into the Los Angeles field office of the F.B.I. At the reception desk, he gave his name — Val Broeksmit — and began to pace anxiously in the lobby.

Mr. Broeksmit couldn’t believe he was voluntarily meeting with the F.B.I. An unemployed rock musician with a history of opioid abuse and credit card theft, not to mention a dalliance with North Korea-linked hackers, he was accustomed to shunning if not fearing law enforcement. But two investigators had flown from the bureau’s New York office specifically to speak with him, and Mr. Broeksmit had found their invitation too seductive to resist. Now the agents arrived in the lobby and escorted him upstairs.

They wanted to talk about Deutsche Bank — one of the world’s largest and most troubled financial institutions, and the bank of choice to the president of the United States. Mr. Broeksmit’s late father, Bill, had been a senior executive there, and his son possessed a cache of confidential bank documents that provided a tantalizing glimpse of its internal workings. Some of the documents were password-protected, and there was no telling what secrets they held or how explosive they could be.

Federal and state authorities were swarming around Deutsche Bank. Some of the scrutiny centered on the lender’s two-decade relationship with President Trump and his family. Other areas of focus grew out of Deutsche Bank’s long history of criminal misconduct: manipulating markets, evading taxes, bribing foreign officials, violating international sanctions, defrauding customers, laundering money for Russian billionaires.

In a windowless conference room, one of the agents pressed Mr. Broeksmit, 43, to hand over his files. “You’re holding documents that only people within the inner circle of Deutsche would ever see,” he said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157663062_41bacd08-1113-4095-ba88-47b844b59e00-articleLarge Me and My Whistle-Blower Whistle-Blowers Trump, Donald J Sony Pictures Entertainment Sony Corporation Simpson, Glenn R Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Politics and Government North Korea News and News Media New York Times Money Laundering Justice Department Guardians of Peace Fusion GPS Federal Bureau of Investigation Deutsche Bank AG Cyberattacks and Hackers Boies, David Banking and Financial Institutions

The United States headquarters of Deutsche Bank in New York.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

“Clearly, things went on in Deutsche Bank which weren’t kosher,” added the second agent. “What we’re up against is, all those bad acts are being pushed down on the little people on the bottom.”

“The low-hanging fruit,” said the first agent.

“And the larger bank in its entirety is claiming ignorance and that it’s one bad player,” said his partner. “But we know what we’ve seen. It’s a culture of just — ”

“Fraud and dirt,” Mr. Broeksmit interjected. Already, he was warming to the idea of having a cameo in a high-stakes F.B.I. investigation. He spent the next three hours vaping, munching on raspberry-flavored fig bars and telling his story, entranced by the idea of helping the investigators go after executives high up the Deutsche Bank food chain. (Deutsche Bank has said it is cooperating with authorities in a number of investigations.)

When he finally emerged from the Los Angeles field office, Mr. Broeksmit got into a Lyft and called me. His adrenaline, I could tell, was still pumping; he was talking so fast he had to stop to catch his breath.

“I am more emotionally invested in this than anyone in the world,” he said. “I would love to be their special informer.”

Here’s the thing about whistle-blowers: They tend to be flawed messengers. Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden — each of them was dismissed as selfish, damaged, reckless and crazy. Yet all of them, regardless of motivation, used secret documents to change the course of history.

For more than five years, Val Broeksmit has been dangling his Deutsche Bank files in front of journalists and government investigators, dreaming of becoming the next great American whistle-blower. He wants to expose what he sees as corporate wrongdoing, give some meaning to his father’s death — and maybe get famous along the way. Inside newsrooms and investigative bodies around the world, Mr. Broeksmit’s documents have become something of an open secret, and so are the psychological strings that come attached. I pulled them more than anyone, as part of my reporting on Deutsche Bank for The New York Times and for a book, “Dark Towers,” to be published next year. It has been the most intense source relationship of my career.

An endless procession of bank executives and friends of the Broeksmit family have warned me that Mr. Broeksmit is not to be trusted, and, well, they might have a point. His drug use has sent him reeling between manias and stupors. He has a maddening habit of leaping to outrageous conclusions and then bending facts to fit far-fetched theories. He fantasizes about seeing his story told by Hollywood, and I sometimes wonder whether he’s manipulating me to achieve that ambition. He can be impatient, erratic and abusive. A few days ago, irate that he was not named in a blurb for my book on Amazon, among other perceived slights, he sent me a string of texts claiming that he’d taken out a brokerage account in my name and traded on secret information I’d supposedly fed him. (This is not true.) A little later, he left me a voice mail message saying it was all a joke.

Why do I put up with this? Because his trove of corporate emails, financial materials, boardroom presentations and legal reports is credible — even if he is not. (In this article, every detail not directly attributed to Mr. Broeksmit has been corroborated by documents, recordings or an independent source.) Besides, there’s something uncanny about how Mr. Broeksmit’s fearlessness and addiction to drama have led him, again and again, to the center of the news. In addition to Deutsche Bank’s troubles, he has figured into North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures, the collapse of the world’s oldest bank and the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into Mr. Trump.

We might wish our whistle-blowers were stoic, unimpeachable do-gooders. In reality, to let you in on a journalistic secret, they’re often more like Val Broeksmit.

Val Broeksmit with his father at Wimbledon in 2013.CreditVal Broeksmit

On a drizzly Sunday in London in January 2014, Bill Broeksmit cinched his dog’s red leash around his neck, slung it over a door and lunged forward. He was 58.

The elder Broeksmit was widely known as the unofficial conscience of Deutsche Bank and a longtime confidant of the company’s chief executive, and his death shocked the financial world. I was a reporter in The Wall Street Journal’s London bureau, and there were rumors that Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide was connected to his work — that he regretted what he’d seen and done. My colleagues and I divvied up the unpleasant task of contacting his family, and I got Val. He was easy to track down: His band, Bikini Robot Army, had a website with his email address.

When I reached him, he was in New York for his father’s funeral, and at first he asked me to leave his family alone. “Everyone is very sad and grieving right now,” he wrote. But before long he was on the phone — angry, slurring his speech, insisting without evidence that he knew why his father had killed himself and that it had nothing to do with Deutsche Bank. Over the next several months, we kept in sporadic touch as Mr. Broeksmit bounced between rehab facilities in Florida and California, trying to beat an opioid addiction and teasing me with provocative messages. (He is open about his struggles with substance abuse.) He would say things like “I think I know what happened” and then never follow up; once, apropos of nothing, he sent a picture of a San Francisco building on fire.

Finally, on a Tuesday in July 2014, he emailed me a single line: “Are you still looking into deutsche?”

The evening after his father died, Mr. Broeksmit had found the passwords to his email accounts. Now, he told me that he had discovered hundreds of messages related to Deutsche Bank. Mr. Broeksmit asked if I could help him sift through and decipher them, and I suggested a list of search terms: things like “subpoena” and “DOJ,” for the Department of Justice.

He soon forwarded an item with a number of those keywords. “Don’t know what it means,” he said. I started skimming: It was a detailed letter to Deutsche Bank from a senior official at the New York arm of the Federal Reserve, who was furious with the bank for its slipshod accounting. Trying to contain my excitement, I asked if I could write about the document. I braced for a negotiation, but all Mr. Broeksmit said was, “That’s cool. Please don’t tell anyone where you’re getting this info.” (He has since released me from that promise.)

Four days later, I published an article describing the Fed’s concerns. The bank’s shares fell 3 percent. Mr. Broeksmit told me he felt empowered by having dented Deutsche’s market value by more than $1 billion.

What makes a person crave the attention of journalists? Consider where Val Broeksmit comes from.

He was born in Ukraine in 1976, and his parents, Alla and Alexander, emigrated to Chicago three years later. Their marriage collapsed; Val and his father landed in a homeless shelter; and in 1982, Cook County took custody of the boy, placing the frightened 6-year-old in a foster home.

Meanwhile, Alla met and married Bill Broeksmit, who was then an up-and-coming banker. They moved to New Jersey and eventually extracted Val, then 9, from the foster care system. Bill adopted him — an angry, impulsive child with a strong anti-authority streak. A caseworker who visited the family noted that he insisted on calling his parents by their first names.

Val’s friends told me that he acted out through his boarding school and college years, compensating for what he described as his parents’ icy detachment. He was the guy trying to keep the party going with a little coke at 3 a.m., cajoling girls to make out with each other, stealing expensive gear from his college’s music department. (Mr. Broeksmit acknowledges all of this.) He wanted to be the center of attention, to prove that he mattered. That’s part of the reason he became a rocker — “It’s less lonely with an audience,” he once told me — but Bikini Robot Army never hit it big. When his father died and Mr. Broeksmit came into possession of his documents, he finally had an opportunity to make the world pay attention.

After his initial leak to me in the summer of 2014, Mr. Broeksmit started seeking out other big stories. Late that year, a group of North Korea-linked hackers, calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, penetrated the computer systems of Sony Pictures. When the hack became public, Mr. Broeksmit followed a bread crumb trail of links until he eventually came across an email address for the hackers.

“I’m interesting in joining your GOP, but I’m afraid my computer skills are sophomoric at best,” Mr. Broeksmit emailed the Guardians of Peace. (Typo his.) “If I can help in any other facility please let me know.” He doubted the hackers would reply, but an email soon arrived with a primer on how to access Sony’s stolen materials. As he waited for the hundreds of gigabytes to download, he sent another email. “Hey, you guys ever thought about going after Deutsche Bank?” he wrote. “Tons of evidence on their servers of worldwide fraud.” The hackers didn’t respond.

Mr. Broeksmit, leaning into his new persona as an exposer of corporate secrets, took to Twitter to post embarrassing Sony files: deliberations over who might direct a remake of “Cleopatra”; Brad Pitt freaking out about the edit of “Fury.” He wasn’t the only one airing Sony’s laundry, but his prolific postings set him apart.

David Boies in New York in July. Mr. Boies was representing Sony when it demanded that Twitter shut down Val Broeksmit’s account.CreditCarlo Allegri/Reuters

David Boies — Sony’s attorney and arguably the most famous lawyer in America — sent Twitter a letter demanding that it shut down Mr. Broeksmit’s account. Another letter, from a Sony executive, warned Mr. Broeksmit that Sony would “hold you responsible for any damage or loss” stemming from the materials he had published. A few days before Christmas, a colleague and I published an article about the huge corporation and its powerful lawyer threatening this random musician.

For the first time, Mr. Broeksmit was in the public spotlight. Soon he was on the Fox Business channel. “It seems like somebody’s trying to make you the fall guy, doesn’t it, Mr. Broeksmit?” an anchor asked. The lesson was clear: The media had ravenous appetites for documents that exposed the guts of giant corporations. It even seemed virtuous to share juicy material. And Mr. Broeksmit had plenty of that.

Spelunking through his Deutsche files, Mr. Broeksmit encountered detailed information about what was going on deep inside the bank. There were minutes of board meetings. Financial plans. Indecipherable spreadsheets. Password-protected presentations. And evidence of his father’s misery.

Here was the elder Broeksmit scolding his colleagues for not taking the Fed’s annual “stress tests” seriously. Here he was, in the months before his suicide, pushing executives to deal with the American division’s alarming staff shortages. Here he was talking to a criminal defense lawyer.

Mr. Broeksmit concluded that all this might help explain why his father had hanged himself. He told his therapist, an addiction specialist named Larry Meltzer, that he was on a quest to understand the suicide. Mr. Meltzer told me that he encouraged the inquiry. He also persuaded Alla Broeksmit to increase her son’s monthly stipend from $300 to $2,500.

Figuring that more information about his father’s death might be lodged in Alla’s email accounts, Mr. Broeksmit consulted some online tutorials and broke into her Gmail. Inside, he found an extraordinary demonstration of corporations’ power to control what the public knows.

In his mother’s inbox was a scan of the elder Broeksmit’s suicide note to Anshu Jain, at the time the co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank. It was four sentences, handwritten in black ink on white printer paper.

Anshu,

You were so good to me and I have repaid you with carelessness. I betrayed your trust and hid my horrible nature from you. I can’t even begin to fathom the damage I have done.

I am eternally sorry and condemned.

Bill

Mr. Broeksmit could feel his father’s anguish. It left him in tears — and baffled. Why had his father been sorry? When had he ever been careless? How had he damaged the bank?

Mr. Broeksmit read on. He learned that his father had once looked into the conduct of some Deutsche Bank traders and concluded — mistakenly — that nothing was amiss. It turned out the traders were manipulating a benchmark known as Libor. The elder Broeksmit feared he could become a target of government investigators because he had failed to detect the fraud; spiraling, he consulted his physician and a psychologist.

Those doctors wrote to the coroner investigating Mr. Broeksmit’s suicide. One described the banker as having been “extremely anxious” over the Libor affair. The other added: “He was catastrophising, imagining worst case outcomes including prosecution, loss of his wealth and reputation.”

The coroner, Fiona Wilcox, scheduled a public hearing to discuss her findings. She intended to read aloud from the doctors’ letters. But on the morning of the inquest, at the courthouse, lawyers that Deutsche Bank had hired for the Broeksmit family took her aside and urged her not to do so in order to protect the family’s privacy.

Ms. Wilcox, who declined to comment, acquiesced. Nearly everything about Mr. Broeksmit’s specific anxieties was expunged. Where the psychologist had written that his patient imagined prosecution, the words were crossed out and replaced with “He imagined various issues.” The physician had originally described Mr. Broeksmit’s worry “about going to prison or going bankrupt even though he knew he was innocent. He kept on thinking back over all the thousands of emails he had sent over the years. He knew how lawyers can twist things round.” It was replaced with: “He told me he had been extremely anxious.” All of this — the originals, and the whitewashed version — had been emailed to Alla Broeksmit. Now they were in her son’s hands.

Val Broeksmit in Los Angeles, where he moved to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story.CreditOriana Koren for The New York Times

Mr. Broeksmit’s antics escalated. He fished his mother’s American Express details out of her email and bought laptops, a plane ticket to Paris, rooms in luxury hotels. He told friends he was investigating his father’s death, but I wondered if he just wanted to tell people (and himself) that he was on a noble mission. At one point, Mr. Broeksmit filled out a form on the Justice Department’s website: “I’m writing in hopes of speaking to someone at the DOJ in reference to the evidence I have showing major fraud at one of the world’s largest banks.” He got a note that his message had been passed to the F.B.I.’s New York field office, but no other acknowledgment.

Ms. Broeksmit eventually wised up to her son’s credit card theft, and by the end of 2016, he was running low on cash. (In a brief phone call last year, she told me that Mr. Broeksmit “is completely ostracized from the family.”) Word spread in journalism circles that the son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive had access to revelatory materials. In Rome on New Year’s Eve of 2016, Mr. Broeksmit shared the files with a reporter for the Financial Times, periodically excusing himself to snort 80-milligram hits of OxyContin, and the journalist later connected him with someone willing to pay for the documents. On the third anniversary of his father’s death — Jan. 26, 2017 — $1,000 arrived in his PayPal account.

The money was from Glenn R. Simpson, a former journalist who ran a research company called Fusion GPS. Weeks earlier, it had rocketed to notoriety as the source of the so-called Steele Dossier — a report by a former intelligence agent containing salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. Mr. Simpson was searching for more dirt and, Mr. Broeksmit told me, he agreed to pay $10,000 for the Deutsche materials. (Mr. Simpson declined to be interviewed.)

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to start searching for specific topics. “Any Russia stuff at all,” he wrote on an encrypted chat program. “Let’s get you here asap.”

They met two days later in the U.S. Virgin Islands and began combing for material on Mr. Trump, Russia and Robert Mercer, a top Trump donor. They didn’t discover bombshells — more like nuggets. One spreadsheet, for example, contained a list of all of the banks that owed money to one of Deutsche Bank’s American subsidiaries on a certain date — a list that included multiple Russian banks that would soon be under United States sanctions.

Mr. Simpson asked Mr. Broeksmit to travel with him to Washington and meet some of his contacts. Mr. Broeksmit shared some of his files with a Senate investigator and — after snorting some heroin — a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The documents found their way to a team of anti-money-laundering agents at the New York Fed. Coincidence or not, a few months later, the Fed fined Deutsche Bank $41 million for violations inside the American unit that Bill Broeksmit had overseen. (A Fed spokesman declined to comment.)

Mr. Broeksmit moved to Los Angeles to drum up Hollywood interest in his life story. Early this year, a producer invited him to a dinner party. Among the guests was Moby, the electronic music legend, who told me he was impressed by Mr. Broeksmit’s exploits and existential sadness. Moby arranged an introduction to his friend Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which had recently opened an investigation into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Schiff’s investigators badly wanted the secret Deutsche files. Mr. Broeksmit tried to extract money from them — he pushed to be hired as a consultant to the committee — but that was a nonstarter. An investigator, Daniel Goldman, appealed to his sense of patriotism and pride. “Imagine a scenario where some of the material that you have can actually provide the seed that we can then use to blow open everything that [Trump] has been hiding,” Mr. Goldman told Mr. Broeksmit in a recorded phone call. “In some respects, you — and your father vicariously through you — will go down in American history as a hero and as the person who really broke open an incredibly corrupt president and administration.” (Mr. Broeksmit wouldn’t budge; eventually, Mr. Schiff subpoenaed him.)

It was around this time that Mr. Broeksmit had his meeting at the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office. Someone at the bureau had finally noticed his submission to the Justice Department’s website. After the three-hour session, Mr. Broeksmit still needed some stroking, and the F.B.I. agents obliged. They told Mr. Broeksmit he could have a special advisory title. They promised to keep him in the loop as their investigation proceeded. They let him tell the world — via this article — that he was a cooperating witness in a federal criminal investigation. They even helped procure a visa for his French girlfriend.

I had to tip my hat to Mr. Broeksmit. The man whom everyone had discounted and demeaned had managed to get his information into the hands of the Federal Reserve, Congress and the F.B.I. Even if the documents ultimately prove underwhelming to these powerful investigators, Mr. Broeksmit had accomplished one of his life’s goals: He mattered.

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