web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 41)

The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained

WASHINGTON — The whistle-blower who revealed President Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine’s leader to open investigations that could benefit him politically also accused White House officials of essentially hiding a rough record of the conversation by placing it in the same highly restricted computer system for closely guarded government secrets.

In his complaint, the whistle-blower cited White House officials who portrayed the storage of the call record in that system as “solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information” and labeled it an “abuse.” Here is how the restricted storage system works, according to interviews with more than a half-dozen former National Security Council staff members who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Most of the time, the National Security Council — the foreign policy arm of the White House — memorializes presidential phone or video calls with foreign heads of state on the so-called TNet system, the officials said. This is a top-secret-level computer network that is the main platform the aides use to do their jobs. It connects with a top-secret network called JWICS, which is more widely used elsewhere in the executive branch.

TNet has access controls and auditing safeguards. For example, it keeps track of who created or uploaded files, who looked at them, who modified them and how and who printed them out. When officials create a “package” — essentially, a new file — in TNet, they can set controls so any colleague who works on a particular subject, like European affairs or counterterrorism, has access.

Officials can store any file that is classified to the top-secret level — the highest classification — so long as it is not “code word,” a term referring to a specialized category of even more delicate top-secret information that officials are permitted to know about only if they have been granted specific access to it.

Officials with a general top-secret security clearance will not be given code-word clearance to learn about covert activities unrelated to their work. For example, an aide working on North Korea policy would not have been told about planning for the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Similarly, files containing intelligence supporting the planned raid were not stored in the ordinary TNet system.

Trump’s Efforts to Push Ukraine Toward a Biden Inquiry: A Timeline

Sept. 26, 2019

Westlake Legal Group trump-ukraine-timeline-promo-1569528528277-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security

The council also has an even more locked-down system called NICE, for N.S.C. Intelligence Collaboration Environment. NICE appears to be what the whistle-blower was referring to as a “stand alone” computer system managed by the council’s directorate for intelligence programs. One former official said it was better understood as a subdomain of TNet.

Foreign policy aides typically use NICE to develop and store documents related to code-word programs. For example, staff members working on a covert activity might use NICE to draft a presidential finding or decision memo about it. When they are done, they would print a copy for the president to sign.

It significantly reduces the number of people who can gain access to it. About only 20 percent of National Security Council staff members are NICE users, one former official said. They can log into the system from their work computers using virtual private network software that limits each of them to using that particular workstation.

When NICE users create or upload a new file, they can give only other individual NICE users access to it by name; unlike in TNet, they cannot invite entire groups, the former official said.

Using the NICE system to curtail access to the record of Mr. Trump’s call with the leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, may very well be, as the whistle-blower also wrote, a sign “that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.” But calling it an “abuse” appears to be subjective.

Generally, the national security adviser can decide who can see what files. No rule prohibits putting a file with a lower-level classification into the NICE system in order to take advantage of its greater access restrictions, a former official said.

By contrast, the official said, it would clearly be an abuse — violating a specific prohibition in an executive order governing classified information — to mark something classified at an unjustifiably higher level in order to conceal violations of the law or prevent embarrassment. Here, however, the released call record was merely marked “secret,” the next highest level of classification after top secret.

According to multiple former officials who have helped create the records, the process typically starts with a note-taker who works for the White House Situation Room and monitors the call. The Situation Room uses voice-to-text software to create a rough transcription in real time — no recording is made — and then the note-taker takes a first pass at cleaning it up by correcting any obvious garbled moments.

That draft is then passed to a subject-matter expert on the National Security Council staff who was also listening to the call. That specialist — who has a greater familiarity of foreign names and places — edits the record. At the end of the process, the aides give the record to the national security adviser.

Beyond the fact that the memo is not a verbatim transcript, it contains three ellipses where Mr. Trump was speaking — and each in a place where he was asking the Ukrainian president for investigations.

It is not clear if this indicates that Mr. Trump trailed off or that something was cut out of the reconstruction. It is also not clear whether any notes exist by American officials that would indicate whether he said anything more in those spots.

But one official said that any notes or draft documents discussed by two or more National Security Council officials counts as a “record” that may not lawfully be destroyed under the Presidential Records Act. However, the initial file produced by the voice-to-text software would not count as a record and could be lawfully deleted, the official said.

It is not clear whether the administration of Mr. Zelensky recorded his call with Mr. Trump. Previous Ukrainian governments did not record calls with world leaders, according to a former senior Ukrainian official familiar with the process. Instead, with high-profile and strategically important foreign officials, Ukrainian leaders would have advisers listen in and take detailed notes, he said.

The transcript released by the White House of Mr. Trump’s July call with Mr. Zelensky was accurate and comprehensive, a Ukrainian official familiar with it said, adding that significant information was not omitted, including by the ellipses.

Lara Jakes and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-barr-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v2 The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security
House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-impeach-threeByTwoSmallAt2X The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security
How the Impeachment Process Works

Sept. 24, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 24dc-explainer1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v9 The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security
Intelligence Whistle-Blower Law, Explained

Sept. 20, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_141689673_d480a713-0bd4-429c-9b66-8c24002ba49f-threeByTwoSmallAt2X The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained Zelensky, Volodymyr Whistle-Blowers United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry National Security Council Computers and the Internet Computer Security

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

House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records

WASHINGTON — House Democrats investigating whether to impeach President Trump issued a subpoena on Monday demanding that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his private lawyer, produce communications and other records related to his attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president’s Democratic rivals.

The new demands of Mr. Giuliani and separate requests sent to three of his associates said to be involved in the Ukraine matter suggest that Democrats are moving quickly to stand up their investigation, even as Mr. Trump questioned on Monday whether the chairman leading their impeachment inquiry, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason.

“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the office of the president,” Mr. Schiff and two fellow Democratic chairmen, Representative Elijah E. Cummings of the Oversight and Reform Committee and Representative Eliot L. Engel of the Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in a letter to Mr. Giuliani.

Democrats said they had also sent letters requesting documentary evidence and to schedule depositions in the coming two weeks with three associates of Mr. Giuliani: Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and Semyon Kislin.

The requests follow another subpoena sent on Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents, and a request that he make five department officials available for depositions in the coming days.

But in targeting Mr. Giuliani directly for a long list of possible communications, Democrats are now aiming at the man who appears to be at the center of the pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Giuliani is mentioned frequently in a government whistle-blower complaint that set off the House inquiry, and in recent weeks, he has admitted in interviews to taking a series of actions to advance investigations in Ukraine into Democrats, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading candidate for president.

The Democrats asked for a wide range of communications and documents going back to January 2017.

Mr. Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But like a growing list of potential witnesses, he will now face an excruciating choice: Either he can hand over material under subpoena that could help build the case against the president, or refuse and feed a possible impeachment article based on obstruction of Congress. The chairmen gave Mr. Giuliani about two weeks, until Oct. 15, to comply.

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the president or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president,” they wrote.

The new requests came as Democrats were preparing to hold closed-door depositions this week with State Department officials connected to the Ukraine matter, as well as a closed hearing with the intelligence community inspector general, who fielded the whistle-blower’s complaint.

The new subpoenas — and Mr. Trump’s threat to Mr. Schiff, who leads the Intelligence Committee — came as both sides continued to dig in on Monday for what could be a protracted and ugly fight over the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Republicans rushed to publicly defend Mr. Trump and shift attention back onto unsubstantiated accusations of wrongdoing by Democrats in Ukraine. Democrats framed the president’s remarks as a desperate attempt to confuse voters about the charges against him and discourage potential witnesses from cooperating with their inquiry.

In a sign that Washington is not preparing for a resolution anytime soon, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said Monday for the first time since the Ukraine revelations burst into public that if the House impeached the president, a Senate trial would be unavoidable.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” Mr. McConnell said on CNBC. “How long you are on it is a whole different matter.”

Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 30DCTRUMP-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W
Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’

Sept. 29, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-bossert1-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W
As Democrats Move Toward Impeachment, a Small Group Holds Back

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-dems1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W

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

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-barr-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2016 Morrison, Scott (1968- ) Justice Department Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — President Trump pushed the Australian prime minister during a recent telephone call to help Attorney General William P. Barr gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation, according to two American officials with knowledge of the call.

The White House restricted access to the call’s transcript to a small group of the president’s aides, one of the officials said, an unusual decision that is similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump. Like that call, the discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia shows the extent to which Mr. Trump sees the attorney general as a critical partner in his goal to show that the Mueller investigation had corrupt and partisan origins, and the extent that Mr. Trump sees the Justice Department inquiry as a potential way to gain leverage over America’s closest allies.

And like the call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the discussion with Mr. Morrison shows the president using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests.

President Trump initiated the discussion in recent weeks with Mr. Morrison explicitly for the purpose of requesting Australia’s help in the Justice Department review of the Russia investigation, according to the two people with knowledge of the discussion. Mr. Barr requested that Mr. Trump speak to Mr. Morrison, one of the people said. It came only weeks after Mr. Trump seemed to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on Mr. Zelensky doing him the “favor” of helping Mr. Barr with his work.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did a spokesperson for the Australian prime minister.

In making the request, Mr. Trump was in effect asking the Australian government to investigate itself. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election began after Australian officials told the bureau that the Russian government had made overtures to the Trump campaign about releasing political damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Australian officials shared that information after its top official in Britain met in London in May 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who told the Australian about the Russian dirt on Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Papadopoulos also said that he had heard that the Russians had “thousands” of Mrs. Clinton’s emails from Joseph Mifsud, an academic. Mr. Mifsud, who was last seen working as a visiting professor in Rome, has disappeared. Trump allies, like the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, have put forth an unsubstantiated claim that Western intelligence agencies planted Mr. Mifsud to trap Mr. Papadopoulos.

Mr. Barr flew to Italy last week and met with Italian government officials on Friday. The Justice Department spokeswoman would not say whether he discussed the election inquiry in those meetings, but former Justice Department officials said that Mr. Barr would need to ask foreign countries for cooperation in turning over documents pertaining to the 2016 election.

Mr. Barr began a review of the Russia investigation this year with the stated goal of determining whether law enforcement or intelligence officials acted inappropriately in their decision during the height of the 2016 presidential campaign to begin investigating whether the Trump campaign was conspiring with Russia’s election interference. But the president has made no secret he sees a larger purpose: to validate his victory and to settle scores with his perceived “deep state” enemies.

The Justice Department said last week that it is exploring the extent to which other countries, including Ukraine, “played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign.” At the very least, Mr. Barr has made it clear that he sees his work treading into sensitive territory: how the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the United States’ closest allies share information with American officials.

Mr. Mueller’s investigation confirmed that Australia played a central role in the origins of the original F.B.I. investigation, even if his final report does not mention the country by name. It said that information from a “foreign government” prompted the F.B.I. to “open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities.”

But like so much about the pre-election period, the episode has been the subject of a counternarrative marbled with conspiracy: that the Obama administration had dispatched the Australian official, Alexander Downer, to spy on the Trump campaign as part of a broader effort to help Mrs. Clinton get elected.

There is no evidence to support this, but the conspiracy has been advanced by some of the president’s allies in Congress, by some Fox News commentators, and in frequent tweets by Mr. Papadopoulos, who was sentenced last year to two weeks in prison for lying to F.B.I. agents in the Russia inquiry who questioned him about any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intermediaries.

Mr. Morrison, the Australian prime minister, met Mr. Trump in Washington this month for official meetings and a state dinner at the White House. Mr. Barr attended the dinner.

The attorney general sparked a controversy in April when he said during congressional testimony that “spying” on the Trump campaign had taken place as part of the Russia investigation, and that there was a “failure among a group of leaders at the upper echelons” of the intelligence community. He later announced that he was reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation, and President Trump said, “I am so proud of our attorney general that he is looking into it.”

In May, Mr. Trump told reporters that he wanted his attorney general to scrutinize all of the countries that he believes conspired to damage his 2016 election hopes. He said he hopes Mr. Barr “looks at the U.K., and I hope he looks at Australia, and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything, because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country.”

Mr. Barr appointed a career prosecutor, John H. Durham, to lead the inquiry, but American officials said that the attorney general has taken an active role in overseeing Mr. Durham’s work. That has fueled concerns that Mr. Trump has personally directed his attorney general to micromanage a law enforcement inquiry to advance the president’s political agenda.

Justice Department officials have said that it would be neither illegal nor untoward for Mr. Trump to ask world leaders to cooperate with Mr. Barr. And it is within Mr. Barr’s powers to speak with foreign law enforcement officials about what his prosecutor needs from them.

The president and his allies have been open about their view that Mr. Durham’s review is potentially helpful for the White House. Stephen Miller, a top adviser to Mr. Trump, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the president initiated the July call with Mr. Zelensky in part to discuss “the collusion investigation that is inflicted so much pain and damage to our country,” and that “the attorney general has appointed somebody from the Justice Department to look into that issue.”

But separately on Sunday, the president’s first homeland security adviser, Thomas P. Bossert, said the theory that the Ukrainian government had intervened in 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign had been “completely debunked.” Mr. Bossert said on ABC’s “This Week” that he had relayed that to the president and was “deeply disturbed” that he pushed Mr. Zelensky to find evidence to support the unsubstantiated accusation.

Mr. Trump has said that he did not order Mr. Barr to conduct a review, but he did grant the attorney general broad powers to declassify any intelligence involved in the Russia investigation — a move that also essentially stripped the C.I.A. of its power to choose which national security information should remain secret.

Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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

House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records

WASHINGTON — House Democrats investigating whether to impeach President Trump issued a subpoena on Monday demanding that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his private lawyer, produce communications and other records related to his attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president’s Democratic rivals.

The new demands of Mr. Giuliani and separate requests sent to three of his associates said to be involved in the Ukraine matter suggest that Democrats are moving quickly to stand up their investigation, even as Mr. Trump questioned on Monday whether the chairman leading their impeachment inquiry, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason.

“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the office of the president,” Mr. Schiff and two fellow Democratic chairmen, Representative Elijah E. Cummings of the Oversight and Reform Committee and Representative Eliot L. Engel of the Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in a letter to Mr. Giuliani.

Democrats said they had also sent letters requesting documentary evidence and to schedule depositions in the coming two weeks with three associates of Mr. Giuliani: Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and Semyon Kislin.

The requests follow another subpoena sent on Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents, and a request that he make five department officials available for depositions in the coming days.

But in targeting Mr. Giuliani directly for a long list of possible communications, Democrats are now aiming at the man who appears to be at the center of the pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Giuliani is mentioned frequently in a government whistle-blower complaint that set off the House inquiry, and in recent weeks, he has admitted in interviews to taking a series of actions to advance investigations in Ukraine into Democrats, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading candidate for president.

The Democrats asked for a wide range of communications and documents going back to January 2017.

Mr. Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But like a growing list of potential witnesses, he will now face an excruciating choice: Either he can hand over material under subpoena that could help build the case against the president, or refuse and feed a possible impeachment article based on obstruction of Congress. The chairmen gave Mr. Giuliani about two weeks, until Oct. 15, to comply.

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the president or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president,” they wrote.

The new requests came as Democrats were preparing to hold closed-door depositions this week with State Department officials connected to the Ukraine matter, as well as a closed hearing with the intelligence community inspector general, who fielded the whistle-blower’s complaint.

The new subpoenas — and Mr. Trump’s threat to Mr. Schiff, who leads the Intelligence Committee — came as both sides continued to dig in on Monday for what could be a protracted and ugly fight over the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Republicans rushed to publicly defend Mr. Trump and shift attention back onto unsubstantiated accusations of wrongdoing by Democrats in Ukraine. Democrats framed the president’s remarks as a desperate attempt to confuse voters about the charges against him and discourage potential witnesses from cooperating with their inquiry.

In a sign that Washington is not preparing for a resolution anytime soon, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said Monday for the first time since the Ukraine revelations burst into public that if the House impeached the president, a Senate trial would be unavoidable.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” Mr. McConnell said on CNBC. “How long you are on it is a whole different matter.”

Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 30DCTRUMP-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W
Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’

Sept. 29, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-bossert1-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W
As Democrats Move Toward Impeachment, a Small Group Holds Back

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-dems1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W

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

House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records

WASHINGTON — House Democrats investigating whether to impeach President Trump issued a subpoena on Monday demanding that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his private lawyer, produce communications and other records related to his attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president’s Democratic rivals.

The new demands of Mr. Giuliani and separate requests sent to three of his associates said to be involved in the Ukraine matter suggest that Democrats are moving quickly to stand up their investigation, even as Mr. Trump questioned on Monday whether the chairman leading their impeachment inquiry, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason.

“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the office of the president,” Mr. Schiff and two fellow Democratic chairmen, Representative Elijah E. Cummings of the Oversight and Reform Committee and Representative Eliot L. Engel of the Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote in a letter to Mr. Giuliani.

Democrats said they had also sent letters requesting documentary evidence and to schedule depositions in the coming two weeks with three associates of Mr. Giuliani: Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and Semyon Kislin.

The requests follow another subpoena sent on Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents, and a request that he make five department officials available for depositions in the coming days.

But in targeting Mr. Giuliani directly for a long list of possible communications, Democrats are now aiming at the man who appears to be at the center of the pressure campaign on Ukraine. Mr. Giuliani is mentioned frequently in a government whistle-blower complaint that set off the House inquiry, and in recent weeks, he has admitted in interviews to taking a series of actions to advance investigations in Ukraine into Democrats, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading candidate for president.

The Democrats asked for a wide range of communications and documents going back to January 2017.

Mr. Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But like a growing list of potential witnesses, he will now face an excruciating choice: Either he can hand over material under subpoena that could help build the case against the president, or refuse and feed a possible impeachment article based on obstruction of Congress. The chairmen gave Mr. Giuliani about two weeks, until Oct. 15, to comply.

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the president or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president,” they wrote.

The new requests came as Democrats were preparing to hold closed-door depositions this week with State Department officials connected to the Ukraine matter, as well as a closed hearing with the intelligence community inspector general, who fielded the whistle-blower’s complaint.

The new subpoenas — and Mr. Trump’s threat to Mr. Schiff, who leads the Intelligence Committee — came as both sides continued to dig in on Monday for what could be a protracted and ugly fight over the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Republicans rushed to publicly defend Mr. Trump and shift attention back onto unsubstantiated accusations of wrongdoing by Democrats in Ukraine. Democrats framed the president’s remarks as a desperate attempt to confuse voters about the charges against him and discourage potential witnesses from cooperating with their inquiry.

In a sign that Washington is not preparing for a resolution anytime soon, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said Monday for the first time since the Ukraine revelations burst into public that if the House impeached the president, a Senate trial would be unavoidable.

“I would have no choice but to take it up,” Mr. McConnell said on CNBC. “How long you are on it is a whole different matter.”

Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 30DCTRUMP-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W
Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was ‘Completely Debunked’

Sept. 29, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 29dc-bossert1-promo-threeByTwoSmallAt2X-v3 House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W
As Democrats Move Toward Impeachment, a Small Group Holds Back

Sept. 30, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-dems1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W

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

Tax Law’s Cap on State and Local Deductions Is Upheld by Court

Westlake Legal Group 30tax1-facebookJumbo Tax Law’s Cap on State and Local Deductions Is Upheld by Court United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017) Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions Suits and Litigation (Civil) New York State New Jersey Federal Taxes (US)

Congress didn’t unconstitutionally penalize Democratic-leaning states when it imposed a cap on federal deductions for state and local taxes, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The 2017 federal tax law, which President Trump signed after a party-line vote in Congress, limited to $10,000 the state and local tax payments that families can write off on their federal income taxes if they itemize deductions.

The provision, known as the SALT cap, disproportionately affected residents of wealthy, high-tax states, where residents are more likely to have state tax bills that exceed the $10,000 limit.

Four states, including New York, sued the federal government last year, arguing that the cap is an “unconstitutional assault” on their sovereignty.

But on Monday, a Federal District Court judge in Manhattan rejected that argument.

“The court recognizes that the SALT cap is in many ways a novelty,” the judge, J. Paul Oetken, wrote in his decision. “But the states have failed to persuade the court that this novelty alone establishes that the SALT cap exceeds Congress’s broad tax power.”

The other states joining in the suit were New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland.

The cap on state and local tax deductions, which had been unlimited, was one of a handful of provisions intended to offset the cost of trillions of dollars in tax cuts included in the 2017 law. The Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s nonpartisan scorekeeper on tax matters, estimated the cap and related provisions would raise close to $700 billion in revenue over 10 years.

Independent analyses have found that even in high-tax states like New York, most residents received at least a modest tax cut under the 2017 law. Other provisions of the law, such as the reduction in marginal tax rates, offset the loss of the deduction for many families.

The state and local tax issue is in some ways an awkward one for Democrats, because they are trying to restore a tax break that primarily benefited relatively high earners. In 2017, before the cap took effect, households earning $200,000 or more accounted for roughly half of the nearly $600 billion in state and local tax payments deducted on federal tax returns.

But Democrats argue that the SALT cap penalizes states with progressive tax policies because it effectively makes state and local taxes more expensive for residents. That could make it harder for states to raise taxes, particularly on wealthy residents, and could increase pressure to cut spending. In their lawsuit, the four states argued that the SALT cap amounted to a coercive effort by the federal government to push certain states to change their tax policies.

Many Democrats suspected a political motive. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has described the law as an “economic missile” aimed at families in his state. He and other governors from predominantly Democratic states have tried to engineer ways for their residents to escape the cap, so far largely without success.

In a statement on Monday, Mr. Cuomo said New York would consider appealing the ruling.

“The bottom line is this policy is unprecedented, unlawful, punitive and politically motivated — and it must be stopped,” he said.

Judge Oetken said he would not “speculate on Congress’s motives in passing the SALT cap.” But in any case, he said, it didn’t matter — Congress is allowed to try to influence state policies, and a law isn’t unconstitutional just because it affects some states more than others.

“The states have failed to show that the financial burden their taxpayers will experience as a result of the SALT cap is any more severe than the sort of burden that might accompany any other statewide economic disappointment,” he wrote.

Daniel Hemel, a professor of tax law at the University of Chicago, said he wasn’t surprised that the court had rejected the states’ argument. He noted that Congress had limited the state and local tax deduction in the past, albeit indirectly, through policies such as the alternative minimum tax.

“The states’ constitutional challenge to the SALT cap was a long shot from the start,” Mr. Hemel wrote in an email. “Supporters of the SALT deduction need to convince the next president (or a critical mass of Congress) that the deduction is a desirable feature of federal income tax law. They were never going to convince a federal judge that the SALT deduction is constitutionally ordained, though.”

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

Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-trump-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Treason and Sedition Schiff, Adam B impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that the White House was “trying to find out” the identity of the whistle-blower whose claims led Democrats to begin an impeachment inquiry last week, even as the whistle-blower’s lawyers have outlined “serious” safety concerns for their client as Mr. Trump has repeatedly targeted him and compared him to a spy.

Mr. Trump’s latest comment, made to reporters in the Oval Office during the swearing-in of his new labor secretary, Eugene Scalia, followed up on a series of Twitter posts over the weekend, in which Mr. Trump claimed that he deserved “to meet my accuser.”

It was not immediately clear what steps the White House was taking to identify the whistle-blower, but the White House has known for weeks that a C.I.A. officer lodged concerns about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Still, Mr. Trump’s fixation on discovering and discussing the identity of the whistle-blower, whose anonymity is protected by law, was seen as a brazen move for a president under scrutiny for abuse of power.

“As the acting D.N.I. testified last week, the law and policy supports protection of the identity of the whistle-blower from disclosure and from retaliation,” Mark Zaid, the lawyer for the whistle-blower, said Monday, referring to the acting director of national intelligence, in response to Mr. Trump’s most recent comments. “No exceptions exist for any individual.”

Mr. Trump on Monday also questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump called for Mr. Schiff — the California Democrat who is the de facto head of an impeachment inquiry into the call — to be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”

Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Schiff of lying to Congress when Mr. Schiff summarized a portion of what Mr. Trump said to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during a July 25 phone call. Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats — a request Democrats say is an abuse of power for personal gain. They have started an impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump has defended his part of the conversation as “perfect,” and focused on Mr. Schiff’s public retelling of the call, which the president suggested was mischaracterized.

Mr. Trump pointed to Mr. Schiff’s summary of portions of the exchange between the president and Mr. Zelensky and how they veer from the reconstructed transcript of the call released by the White House.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Schiff addressed a portion of the reconstructed transcript and introduced his summary of it saying, “Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates.”

Then, Mr. Schiff summarized Mr. Trump’s comments and said: “We’ve been very good to your country, very good. No other country has done as much as we have, but you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though.”

The summary appears to be drawn from several portions of the call, including statements from Mr. Trump to Mr. Zelensky.

“The United States has been very very good to Ukraine,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky. “I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”

And later, the president said, “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump said of Mr. Schiff in a Twitter post, “His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber.” Mr. Trump continued, “He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States.”

Mr. Schiff on Monday did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A former prosecutor with experience impeaching federal judges, Mr. Schiff has taken the lead in the impeachment inquiry regarding the president’s phone call with Ukraine. On Sunday he said the anonymous whistle-blower would testify before the House Intelligence Committee “very soon.”

As for Mr. Trump’s accusations of lying to Congress, Mr. Schiff said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” “Let’s not pretend that this is really what the president is upset with me about.”

Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump was “furious with me” because as soon as Mr. Schiff learned a whistle-blower complaint had been filed, he publicly called for its release to Congress.

“The president believes that it is his God-given right to shake down foreign leaders for help in his re-election, and he should not be encumbered by the public finding out about it,” Mr. Schiff said Sunday. “That’s what has incensed the president. And I am willing to take the brunt of that.”

The president’s attack on Mr. Schiff is one of several lines of defense Mr. Trump has embraced since the release of a reconstructed transcript of the phone call and a whistle-blower complaint about the call and the White House’s handling of the call’s records.

In addition to accusing Mr. Schiff of treason, Mr. Trump is calling the impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt,” questioning the source of an anonymous whistle-blower’s information, calling the complaint “fake,” and raising questions about whether the whistle-blower law was changed before the complaint was filed in August.

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

Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-trump-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Seeks Whistle-Blower’s Identity Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Treason and Sedition Schiff, Adam B impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump called for Mr. Schiff — the California Democrat who is the de facto head of an impeachment inquiry into the call — to be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”

Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Schiff, of lying to Congress when Mr. Schiff summarized a portion of what Mr. Trump said to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during a July 25 phone call. Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats — a request Democrats say is an abuse of power for personal gain. They have started an impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump has defended his part of the conversation as “perfect,” and focused on Mr. Schiff’s public retelling of the call, which the president suggested was mischaracterized.

Mr. Trump pointed to Mr. Schiff’s summary of portions of the exchange between the president and Mr. Zelensky and how they veer from the reconstructed transcript of the call released by the White House.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Schiff addressed a portion of the reconstructed transcript and introduced his summary of it saying, “Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates.”

Then, Mr. Schiff summarized Mr. Trump’s comments and said: “We’ve been very good to your country, very good. No other country has done as much as we have, but you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though.”

The summary appears to be drawn from several portions of the call, including statements from Mr. Trump to Mr. Zelensky.

“The United States has been very very good to Ukraine,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky. “I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”

And later, the president said, “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump said of Mr. Schiff in a Twitter post, “His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber.” Mr. Trump continued, “He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States.”

Mr. Schiff on Monday did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A former prosecutor with experience impeaching federal judges, Mr. Schiff has taken the lead in the impeachment inquiry regarding the president’s phone call with Ukraine. On Sunday he said the anonymous whistle-blower would testify before the House Intelligence Committee “very soon.”

As for Mr. Trump’s accusations of lying to Congress, Mr. Schiff said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” “Let’s not pretend that this is really what the president is upset with me about.”

Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump was “furious with me” because as soon as Mr. Schiff learned a whistle-blower complaint had been filed, he publicly called for its release to Congress.

“The president believes that it is his God-given right to shake down foreign leaders for help in his re-election, and he should not be encumbered by the public finding out about it,” Mr. Schiff said Sunday. “That’s what has incensed the president. And I am willing to take the brunt of that.”

The president’s attack on Mr. Schiff is one of several lines of defense Mr. Trump has embraced since the release of a reconstructed transcript of the phone call and a whistle-blower complaint about the call and the White House’s handling of the call’s records.

In addition to accusing Mr. Schiff of treason, Mr. Trump is calling the impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt,” questioning the source of an anonymous whistle-blower’s information, calling the complaint “fake,” and raising questions about whether the whistle-blower law was changed before the complaint was filed in August.

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

How Iran’s President Left Trump Hanging, and Macron in the Hall

The telephone line had been secretly set up. President Trump waited on the other end. All President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had to do was come out of his hotel suite and walk into a secure room where Mr. Trump’s voice would be piped in via speaker.

Mr. Rouhani and his aides were blindsided by the offer, presented to them by President Emmanuel Macron of France on an unannounced visit last Tuesday night to their quarters at the Millenium Hilton Hotel near the United Nations, where world leaders had converged for the annual General Assembly.

It was a mission lifted out of a Hollywood thriller. Mr. Macron has sought for months to broker a thaw in the standoff between the United States and Iran, which has threatened to escalate into a new Middle East war.

Accompanied by a small team of advisers, Mr. Macron awaited an answer outside the Iranian leader’s suite, according to three people with knowledge of the diplomatic gambit, which was first reported on Monday by The New Yorker. Messages were passed between them via Mr. Rouhani’s aides.

In the end, Mr. Rouhani refused even to come out of his room. Mr. Macron left empty-handed and Mr. Trump was left hanging.

With no guarantee that Mr. Trump would end the onerous sanctions he has imposed on Iran, Mr. Rouhani feared he would be trapped in an encounter that Mr. Trump could exploit as a headline-grabbing success, the people with knowledge of the episode said.

It also was clear that Mr. Rouhani might suffer a political backlash at home, where hard-liners were already fuming at the mere possibility that Mr. Rouhani would consider a dialogue with Mr. Trump.

For the Iranians, however, the incident underscored what they see as Mr. Trump’s eagerness, bordering on desperation, to connect directly to Iran’s leaders and defuse the spiraling hostility. For them, it was a validation that their strategy of escalating tensions in response to Mr. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions was paying off.

“For Rouhani, talking to Trump is a liability,” said Ali Vaez, director of the Iran program at the International Crisis Group, a research organization on conflict resolution. Mr. Rouhani would not take such a risk, Mr. Vaez said, unless “he knew a reward would come out of it.”

Mr. Trump’s desire for a meeting or at least a phone call with Mr. Rouhani during the General Assembly reflected what some analysts called the American leader’s broader frustrations over international problems that keep piling up.

Those frustrations have only been compounded by the congressional impeachment inquiry over Mr. Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president in July, in which he pushed for an investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading Democratic challenger in the 2020 presidential election.

“Trump really wants a foreign policy win and can’t find one,” said Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, a political-risk consulting firm in Washington. “He thinks talks with Iran now may be his best shot.”

Mr. Kupchan said Mr. Trump “was especially desperate at the U.N.G.A. — he wanted to flip the news cycle from Ukraine and Biden to a dramatic meeting with Rouhani.”

The people who recounted Mr. Macron’s ill-fated visit to Mr. Rouhani’s hotel declined to be identified by name or nationality because they were not authorized to discuss it. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Officials from the foreign ministries of France and Iran declined to comment.

Mr. Macron’s visit followed Mr. Trump’s speech that day at the General Assembly, in which he repeated his standard denunciations of Iran but signaled the possibility of a reconciliation, reminding the world that some of America’s current friends are former enemies.

But on Wednesday, when it was Mr. Rouhani’s turn to address the General Assembly, he appeared to all but rule out a meeting with Mr. Trump as he castigated the United States for quitting the 2015 nuclear agreement. For Iran, Mr. Rouhani said, photo opportunities must come after, not before, progress has been achieved. He did not hint that Mr. Trump had tried unsuccessfully to talk with him by phone the night before.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159662166_9e1ae01b-c320-48e3-a68a-8f7688ba17c3-articleLarge How Iran’s President Left Trump Hanging, and Macron in the Hall United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Rouhani, Hassan Nuclear Weapons Macron, Emmanuel (1977- ) Iran France Embargoes and Sanctions

President Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, at the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz, France, in August.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

Richard Nephew, the former principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department and now a research scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, said the Iranians had two reasons for keeping such an episode to themselves.

“They don’t see any upside internationally in them embarrassing Macron by showing the rebuff,” Mr. Nephew said. “They may want this channel in the future, so why undermine it?”

The second reason, he said, was that “Rouhani may be concerned about how his opponents in Tehran would use this regardless of him having said ‘no.’”

For the members of Iran’s hierarchy, which has largely defined itself by hostility to the United States government since the 1979 Islamic revolution, any hint of an easing in estranged relations comes with extraordinary political risk.

At the United Nations General Assembly in particular — the one place where Iranian and American officials could run into each other — Iran’s leaders have gone out of their way to avoid encounters.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton and Iran’s president at the time, Mohammad Khatami, had a near encounter at the General Assembly. Aides on both sides had orchestrated a hallway handshake that was meant to look impromptu, but Mr. Khatami had a change of heart at the last minute and hid in a bathroom until Mr. Clinton and his party had left the hallway, diplomats who knew about the incident have said.

In 2013, in the midst of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations, American and Iranian officials discussed the possibility of President Barack Obama and Mr. Rouhani shaking hands at the General Assembly.

Ultimately the two only shared a phone call — but even that was like a diplomatic thunderbolt, the first time leaders of the two countries had spoken since the Tehran hostage crisis more than three decades earlier. In Iran, hard-liners rebuked Mr. Rouhani for having spoken to Mr. Obama.

Later that year, Mr. Rouhani did not attend the funeral for the South African leader Nelson Mandela, partly over fear of getting cornered into seeing Mr. Obama. The Iranian newspaper Kayhan, a mouthpiece of Tehran’s hard-line faction, warned that the funeral would be a trap, leading to face-to-face contact “with the head of Great Satan’s government.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of Iran accidentally ran into Mr. Obama at the sidelines of the General Assembly in 2015 and the two shook hands. But when news of the handshake leaked, Mr. Zarif sought assurances from the White House that a photograph of the handshake, taken by one of Mr. Obama’s staff members, would not be released.

Mr. Macron’s misadventure at the Millennium Hotel was not the first time he had been entangled in awkwardness involving Mr. Trump’s effort to talk with the Iranians.

According to Aftab, a semiofficial Iranian news agency, Mr. Trump made a spontaneous attempt to meet Mr. Zarif in August at the Group of 7 summit in France hosted by Mr. Macron, who had invited Mr. Zarif to discuss a potential meeting with the Americans.

Iran’s condition for accepting the invitation was that there would be no chance encounters with the American delegation, the Aftab account said.

When Mr. Macron told Mr. Trump that he would be meeting Mr. Zarif, Aftab said, Mr. Trump surprisingly insisted that he join Mr. Macron, but the French president said he had promised the Iranians there would be no such contacts.

During his meeting with Mr. Zarif, Aftab said, Mr. Macron joked that he could call Mr. Trump to join them. Mr. Zarif declined.

The persistent efforts of European leaders to broker a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani has engendered jokes among Iranians.

They say the effort to push the two leaders into a meeting reminds them of a wedding where cousins who are locked in a family dispute encounter each other, and elders push them to kiss and make up without resolving their issues.

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

Trump Raises Idea of Arresting House Chairman for Treason

Westlake Legal Group 30dc-trump-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Trump Raises Idea of Arresting House Chairman for Treason Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Treason and Sedition Schiff, Adam B impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump called for Mr. Schiff — the California Democrat who is the de facto head of an impeachment inquiry into the call — to be “questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason.”

Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Schiff, of lying to Congress when Mr. Schiff summarized a portion of what Mr. Trump said to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during a July 25 phone call. Mr. Trump asked Mr. Zelensky to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats — a request Democrats say is an abuse of power for personal gain. They have started an impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump has defended his part of the conversation as “perfect,” and focused on Mr. Schiff’s public retelling of the call, which the president suggested was mischaracterized.

Mr. Trump pointed to Mr. Schiff’s summary of portions of the exchange between the president and Mr. Zelensky and how they veer from the reconstructed transcript of the call released by the White House.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, Mr. Schiff addressed a portion of the reconstructed transcript and introduced his summary of it saying, “Shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words, this is the essence of what the president communicates.”

Then, Mr. Schiff summarized Mr. Trump’s comments and said: “We’ve been very good to your country, very good. No other country has done as much as we have, but you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here. I hear what you want. I have a favor I want from you, though.”

The summary appears to be drawn from several portions of the call, including statements from Mr. Trump to Mr. Zelensky.

“The United States has been very very good to Ukraine,” Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky. “I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.”

And later, the president said, “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump said of Mr. Schiff in a Twitter post, “His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber.” Mr. Trump continued, “He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States.”

Mr. Schiff on Monday did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A former prosecutor with experience impeaching federal judges, Mr. Schiff has taken the lead in the impeachment inquiry regarding the president’s phone call with Ukraine. On Sunday he said the anonymous whistle-blower would testify before the House Intelligence Committee “very soon.”

As for Mr. Trump’s accusations of lying to Congress, Mr. Schiff said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” “Let’s not pretend that this is really what the president is upset with me about.”

Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump was “furious with me” because as soon as Mr. Schiff learned a whistle-blower complaint had been filed, he publicly called for its release to Congress.

“The president believes that it is his God-given right to shake down foreign leaders for help in his re-election, and he should not be encumbered by the public finding out about it,” Mr. Schiff said Sunday. “That’s what has incensed the president. And I am willing to take the brunt of that.”

The president’s attack on Mr. Schiff is one of several lines of defense Mr. Trump has embraced since the release of a reconstructed transcript of the phone call and a whistle-blower complaint about the call and the White House’s handling of the call’s records.

In addition to accusing Mr. Schiff of treason, Mr. Trump is calling the impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt,” questioning the source of an anonymous whistle-blower’s information, calling the complaint “fake,” and raising questions about whether the whistle-blower law was changed before the complaint was filed in August.

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