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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 52)

‘Case Closed’: McConnell Urges Congress to Move On From Mueller Report

Westlake Legal Group 07dc-mcconnell-facebookJumbo ‘Case Closed’: McConnell Urges Congress to Move On From Mueller Report United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Mueller, Robert S III McConnell, Mitch House Committee on the Judiciary Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, called on Congress on Tuesday to move on from the Mueller report and issued his own verdict from the Senate floor: “Case closed.”

“With an exhaustive investigation complete, would the country finally unify to confront the real challenges before us?” Mr. McConnell asked. “Or would we remain consumed by unhinged partisanship, and keep dividing ourselves to the point that Putin and his agents need only stand on the sidelines and watch as their job is done for them?”

“Regrettably,” he continued, “the answer is obvious.”

Mr. McConnell’s speech pointed up the profound gap between the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled House. House Democrats are locked in an escalating fight with President Trump, who is trying to slam shut House investigations of all sort. The House Judiciary Committee is preparing to hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress on Wednesday for ignoring a subpoena for the full report of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and his underlying evidence.

The Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, that he would not turn over six years of Mr. Trump’s personal and business tax returns, as demanded by Mr. Neal under the federal tax code. And the White House on Tuesday instructed Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, to hold onto documents subpoenaed by House investigators because President Trump may want to assert executive privilege over them.

Even in the Senate, some moderate Republicans, such as Susan Collins of Maine, have said they would at least like to hear from Mr. Mueller.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California issued a blistering joint statement in response:

“Senator McConnell’s declaration of ‘case closed’ is a stunning act of political cynicism and a brazen violation of the oath we all take,” the said. “The Special Counsel report laid out eleven instances of the President’s obstruction, and left a raft of unanswered questions about coordination between the President’s campaign and Russia. These are not trivial or political questions — they go to the wellspring of our democracy.”

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, was similarly unsparing, given that his committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election is ongoing.

But Republican leaders say questions of abuse of power and obstruction of justice are over. Mr. McConnell waved the congressional Democrats off their investigations, arguing that “re-litigating a two-and-a-half-year-old election result” and continuing to traffic in “fanciful conspiracy theories” fixated on “delegitimizing the president” would hurt the country.

His comments are likely to be well-received by the president, who has continued to complain that Democrats are subjecting him to “the highest level of presidential harassment” in the nation’s history. Mr. McConnell’s plea to move on, however, is sure to be met only with derision by House Democrats.

Mr. McConnell also praised Mr. Trump’s efforts to “make Russia pay for its interference” in the 2016 presidential election — and took President Barack Obama to task for not taking the threat Russia posed seriously enough.

Recalling how the former president once mocked Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee at the time, for naming the country as America’s greatest geopolitical threat, Mr. McConnell speculated that “maybe stronger leadership would have left the Kremlin less emboldened.”

That assertion is sure to infuriate Democrats. The Obama White House had appealed to congressional leadership during the 2016 campaign to issue a bipartisan, bicameral statement decrying Russian interference, fearing that a statement from Mr. Obama would be interpreted as a partisan intervention in the election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Mr. McConnell blocked it.

He has also blocked a bipartisan, nonbinding resolution in the Senate to make the full Mueller report public, arguing that Mr. Barr should be in charge of determining what was made public.

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

F.B.I. Director Defends Bureau Against Spying Accusations: ‘That’s Not the Term I Would Use’

Westlake Legal Group 07dc-fbi-facebookJumbo F.B.I. Director Defends Bureau Against Spying Accusations: ‘That’s Not the Term I Would Use’ Wray, Christopher A Wiretapping and Other Eavesdropping Devices and Methods United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Papadopoulos, George (1987- ) Page, Carter Federal Bureau of Investigation Espionage and Intelligence Services Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, defended the bureau on Tuesday amid another round of accusations that agents abused their powers in investigating the Trump campaign, saying he was unaware of any illegal surveillance and refusing to call their work “spying.”

Mr. Wray’s defense of his agency put him in direct conflict with Attorney General William P. Barr, who told lawmakers last month that he believed the F.B.I. engaged in spying on the Trump campaign.

“That’s not the term I would use,” Mr. Wray told senators during a budget hearing when asked about the attorney general’s testimony. Mr. Wray also added that he would help Mr. Barr understand the origins of the investigation into Russia’s election interference and possible ties to the Trump campaign, which the attorney general has said he is reviewing.

Mr. Barr’s politically charged description of lawful F.B.I. tactics has helped stoke claims that agents might have been acting wrongfully. Mr. Barr’s use of the “fine English word,” as he put it recently, echoes accusations made by the president and his allies. Typically, law enforcement officials do not refer to surveillance as spying.

As part of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian interference, agents began investigating two Trump campaign foreign policy advisers, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. In July 2016, the F.B.I. learned that Mr. Papadopoulos had told an Australian diplomat about a Russian offer to help the Trump campaign by releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

The F.B.I. later staged an operation to learn the extent of his contacts with the Russians. In September 2016, agents arranged for Mr. Papadopoulos to meet in London with a government investigator and a longtime informant. The informant was an American professor who had helped the F.B.I. with previous counterintelligence investigations. The investigator, a woman, posed as his research assistant.

The following month, the F.B.I. obtained a court-approved warrant to wiretap Mr. Page, who had contacts with Russian intelligence. Mr. Page was not affiliated with the campaign when the F.B.I. sought the secret wiretap. Mr. Page was never charged with a crime.

Mr. Papadopoulos later pleaded to lying to the F.B.I. and served about two weeks in prison.

Neither the London operation nor the secret wiretap seemed to have yielded fruitful information for the F.B.I. But critics of the F.B.I., including Mr. Trump, have pointed to the wiretap and London operation as evidence of spying.

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

White House Signals Fight With Congress Over McGahn’s Records

Westlake Legal Group white-house-signals-fight-with-congress-over-mcgahns-records White House Signals Fight With Congress Over McGahn’s Records United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Nadler, Jerrold Mueller, Robert S III McGahn, Donald F II House Committee on the Judiciary Executive Privilege, Doctrine of Cipollone, Pat A
Westlake Legal Group 07dc-trump-facebookJumbo White House Signals Fight With Congress Over McGahn’s Records United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Nadler, Jerrold Mueller, Robert S III McGahn, Donald F II House Committee on the Judiciary Executive Privilege, Doctrine of Cipollone, Pat A

WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday instructed Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, to hold onto documents subpoenaed by House investigators because they said President Trump may want to assert executive privilege over them.

The current White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, instructed the House Judiciary Committee to redirect to the White House its requests for the records, which relate to key episodes of possible obstruction of justice identified by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. His move was certain to enrage Democrats who are increasingly at odds with the Trump administration over access to witness and records that they say they need to conduct legitimate investigations.

“The White House provided these records to Mr. McGahn in connection with its cooperation with the special counsel’s investigation and with clear understanding that the records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes,” Mr. Cipollone wrote in a letter to the committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York. “The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principle, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”

[Read Mr. Cipollone’s letter.]

Though it raises the specter of executive privilege, a power meant to shield conversations between the president and his closest advisers, the president has not actually invoked that shield. Democrats are likely to seize on the point. They argue that Mr. Trump long ago lost the authority to withhold the material in question since he allowed Mr. McGahn to share it with his own private lawyer and discuss it at length with the Mr. Mueller. Much of it is also referenced publicly in the special counsel’s 448-page report.

Mr. McGahn, who is cited more than any other witness in the Mueller report, was obligated to turn the documents over to investigators on Tuesday, the deadline for a House Judiciary Committee subpoena.

The White House’s stance increases pressure on Mr. McGahn, a crucial witness both to Mr. Mueller and to House Democrats investigating abuse of power and obstruction of justice, to ultimately decide whether to defy Mr. Trump and cooperate with the committee or hold the administration’s line. His lawyer, William A. Burck, told the committee in a letter on Tuesday that in light of the White House position and Mr. McGahn’s continuing “duties and obligations” to Mr. Trump, he would wait out potential discussions between the House and the White House.

“Where coequal branches of government are making contradictory demands on Mr. McGahn concerning the same set of documents, the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is to maintain the status quo unless and until the committee and the executive branch can reach an accommodation,” Mr. Burck wrote.

Democrats are likely to object to the White House’s intervention in light of its other ongoing efforts to thwart their abilities to investigate the president and his administration. They could still choose to initiate contempt of Congress proceedings against Mr. McGahn, a stinging punishment for a lawyer working in private practice that could shape how he proceeds in the fight over documents.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee were separately meeting with Justice Department officials on Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to stave off another contempt proceeding, against Attorney General William P. Barr. Last week, Mr. Barr failed to comply with a subpoena to hand over a full version of Mr. Mueller’s report and underlying evidence. The committee has scheduled a Wednesday vote to recommend a contempt citation to the full House.

The subpoena requested from Mr. McGahn all documents and communications on more than 30 subjects, including all the major episodes that Mr. Mueller examined to determine whether the president obstructed justice. Among them were: the firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director; attempts to fire Mr. Mueller; and the president’s effort to have Mr. McGahn write a false document recanting what he told investigators.

In the days after the report was released, Mr. Trump’s defense lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to discredit Mr. McGahn and questioned his credibility as a witness. The attacks irritated Mr. McGahn, Mr. Burck, privately warned the White House that Mr. Giuliani’s gambit would likely boomerang on the president and only enhance the House’s argument that Mr. McGahn needed to testify, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Since then, the attacks have been curtailed.

Mr. Mueller relied most heavily on Mr. McGahn in the part of his report examining whether the president obstructed justice, using him as an unofficial narrator to recount how Mr. Trump sought to control the investigations into his campaign and administration.

The subpoena for Mr. McGahn also instructed him to appear on May 21 to testify publicly before the Judiciary Committee. Regardless of the White House’s stance, Democrats are unlikely to let him off the hook. They could force Mr. McGahn to take the witness stand anyway and publicly field questions that Mr. Trump has indicated he does not want answered.

Mr. Burck did not comment on the hearing in his letter on Tuesday.

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

Trump Denies Democrats His Tax Returns and Prepares for a Contempt Showdown

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-judiciary-facebookJumbo Trump Denies Democrats His Tax Returns and Prepares for a Contempt Showdown United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Nadler, Jerrold House Committee on the Judiciary Barr, William P Attorneys General

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration ruled out turning over President Trump’s tax returns to the House on Monday and girded for a looming contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General William P. Barr.

The actions ratcheted up the showdown between the executive and legislative branches, as Mr. Trump and his administration continued to resist the Democrats’ oversight efforts on multiple fronts.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, that he would not grant access to six years of personal and business tax returns. He said the demand “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” a view that Democrats are almost certain to contest in court.

The Democrats were already moving against Mr. Barr. The House Judiciary Committee announced a vote for Wednesday that would recommend that the House hold Mr. Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for Robert S. Mueller III’s full report and evidence. Though, by Monday evening, the Justice Department had agreed to a staff-level meeting on Tuesday to try to stave off that possibility.

While the White House and Democrats were jousting in Washington, in New York, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen reported to federal prison.

“On a day when his former fixer heads to jail and his current fixer heads the Department of Justice, President Trump obstructs both Mueller and his tax returns from speaking for themselves,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas and a Ways and Means Committee member. He added, “If Trump once again faces only Republican silence and Democratic timidity, he will continue to erode our democracy by assuming more and more power.”

Democrats for years have clamored for Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which they say could show misdeeds and tax evasions. Mr. Neal settled on a rationale that he needs them to evaluate the Internal Revenue Service’s practice of auditing sitting presidents and vice presidents.

But Mr. Mnuchin said that was not good enough.

“As you have recognized, the committee’s request is unprecedented, and it presents serious constitutional questions, the resolution of which may have lasting consequences for all taxpayers,” Mr. Mnuchin wrote in the one-page letter to Mr. Neal. Mr. Mnuchin twice delayed giving Mr. Neal a formal response to the request, made just over a month ago, saying that he needed more time to analyze the law.

Even before Mr. Mnuchin’s letter, tensions were rising after the Justice Department disregarded a series of deadlines to hand over material from Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, that Democrats insisted was central to the House’s ability to fully investigate and evaluate the president’s behavior detailed in Mr. Mueller’s report.

[Read the contempt resolution here.]

At the same time, the Judiciary Committee was preparing to raise the pressure on Donald F. McGahn II, a former White House counsel and chief witness in the special counsel investigation, if he misses a Tuesday deadline to hand over key documents that the White House says are subject to executive privilege.

Mr. Barr, who refused to testify last week before the Judiciary Committee because of a dispute over format, has earned special ire, serving as a kind of surrogate punching bag for Democrats frustrated with Mr. Trump but leery of impeachment. If the full House follows suit and votes to hold Mr. Barr in contempt, it would be only the second time that the nation’s top law enforcement officer has been penalized by lawmakers in that way.

The Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, said the Wednesday vote could still be avoided if the Justice Department changes course. Hours after Democrats announced their plan, a deputy to Mr. Barr wrote to hold out that possibility, kicking off a new round of exchanges with an uncertain outcome.

The deputy, Stephen E. Boyd, initially said that the department was willing to meet Wednesday afternoon — after the scheduled contempt vote — “to negotiate an accommodation that meets the legitimate interests of each of our coequal branches of government.” But the department later agreed to move the meeting up to Tuesday.

Democrats had compiled a 27-page contempt report documenting their interactions with the attorney general and the scope of their own investigation of obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Mr. Nadler said he hoped the two sides could resolve the dispute, but kept the contempt vote on Wednesday’s schedule.

“Even in redacted form, the special counsel’s report offers disturbing evidence and analysis that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice at the highest levels,” Mr. Nadler said. “Congress must see the full report and underlying evidence to determine how to best move forward with oversight, legislation and other constitutional responsibilities.”

Among those “other responsibilities,” Mr. Nadler’s accompanying report said, was determining “whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the president or any other administration official, as well as the consideration of other steps such as censure or issuing criminal, civil or administrative referrals.”

The Democrat-controlled panel will almost certainly vote in favor of contempt unless the Justice Department meets its demands. It is unclear when a full House vote would occur, and the interlude could allow another opportunity for negotiation.

Mr. Barr himself has kept out of the public eye since a hearing in the Senate last week, where he offered an unflinching defense of his decision not to charge Mr. Trump with obstruction of justice, despite evidence gathered by Mr. Mueller. His aides have argued that Democrats are being unreasonable. The attorney general, they say, voluntarily released the 448-page report on the Trump campaign’s links to Russia and possible obstruction of justice with minimal redactions and offered to testify voluntarily before the Judiciary Committee.

“The attorney general has taken extraordinary steps to accommodate the House Judiciary Committee’s requests for information regarding the special counsel’s investigation,” a Justice Department spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said on Monday.

The Treasury Department was similarly untroubled. Mr. Mnuchin said not only would he not turn over the returns but he could not. “The department may not lawfully fulfill the committee’s request,” he said.

Mr. Neal’s next move is not clear. He could file a lawsuit against the Treasury Department, accusing Mr. Mnuchin of not following the law, or he could try to access Mr. Trump’s returns with a subpoena. Both options would most likely lead to a protracted fight through the court system.

He issued a terse statement on Monday afternoon in response to Mr. Mnuchin: “I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”

Mr. Trump broke decades of precedent by not releasing his tax returns while running for president, claiming that he could not do so because he was under audit by the I.R.S. There are no laws preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns while under audit.

The disputes are only two of a growing number of confrontations between House investigators and Mr. Trump and his administration that are threatening to boil over into court and stall Democratic investigations. Party leaders, who counseled investigations over impeachment after the Mueller report, are now considering whether to change course in the face of administration stonewalling without giving the president the impeachment fight he seems to want.

Democrats got some backup on Monday when more than 375 former Justice Department officials and federal prosecutors who had worked for Republican and Democratic administrations released a letter asserting that Mr. Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice if he had not been protected by a Justice Department policy that says a sitting president cannot be indicted.

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” they wrote.

The president was giving no ground.

He said on Sunday that he objected to Mr. Mueller testifying before the Judiciary Committee, and he urged the country to move on from an investigation that did not result in criminal charges. The grounds and weight of his objection were unclear, but it could easily stall a hearing, which Democrats had hoped to hold as soon as next week.

Mr. Trump has likewise said Mr. McGahn ought not cooperate with the committee’s request for testimony or with its subpoena for documents related to key episodes of possible obstruction laid out by Mr. Mueller. Democrats were preparing for another possible court fight should the president try to assert executive privilege to block Mr. McGahn from discussing their private conversations, including when Mr. Trump tried to use Mr. McGahn to fire Mr. Mueller and alter records of their conversation.

Democrats say the first step is still to see Mr. Mueller’s entire report and the evidence that he collected. On Friday, Mr. Nadler wrote to the attorney general one last time to open the door to possible concessions in an effort to revive discussions on the documents. The Justice Department did not respond until Monday afternoon.

In his response letter, Mr. Boyd chastised Democrats for their decision not to view a less redacted version of the report made available by Mr. Barr. Democrats had objected to doing so because the department offered the arrangement to only a dozen lawmakers and said that they must sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Mr. Boyd now says he is open to reconsidering that arrangement and would be willing to discuss prioritizing the sharing of certain raw evidence collected by Mr. Mueller.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, welcomed the Justice Department’s invitation and blasted Democrats’ “illogical and disingenuous” demands.

“Democrats have launched a proxy war smearing the attorney general when their anger actually lies with the president and the special counsel, who found neither conspiracy nor obstruction,” he said.

A contempt finding would do two things for Democrats: put a mark on Mr. Barr’s record and push the dispute into the courts where a judge could decide whether to force the administration to hand over the material. But that could take months or longer, affecting the pace and scope of Democratic investigations.

When House Republicans chose to pursue contempt in 2012 against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in connection with requests for information about the botched “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation, litigation took several years, though Congress ultimately prevailed.

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

Democrats Threaten to Hold Barr in Contempt as White House Guards Tax Returns

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-judiciary-facebookJumbo Democrats Threaten to Hold Barr in Contempt as White House Guards Tax Returns United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Special Prosecutors (Independent Counsel) Nadler, Jerrold House Committee on the Judiciary Barr, William P Attorneys General

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration ruled out turning over President Trump’s tax returns to the House on Monday and girded for a looming contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General William P. Barr.

The actions ratcheted up the showdown between the executive and legislative branches, as Mr. Trump and his administration continued to resist the Democrats’ oversight efforts on multiple fronts.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, that he would not grant access to six years of personal and business tax returns. He said the demand “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” a view that Democrats are almost certain to contest in court.

The Democrats were already moving against Mr. Barr. The House Judiciary Committee announced a vote for Wednesday that would recommend that the House hold Mr. Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for Robert S. Mueller III’s full report and evidence. Though, by Monday evening, the Justice Department had agreed to a staff-level meeting on Tuesday to try to stave off that possibility.

While the White House and Democrats were jousting in Washington, in New York, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen reported to federal prison.

“On a day when his former fixer heads to jail and his current fixer heads the Department of Justice, President Trump obstructs both Mueller and his tax returns from speaking for themselves,” said Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas and a Ways and Means Committee member. He added, “If Trump once again faces only Republican silence and Democratic timidity, he will continue to erode our democracy by assuming more and more power.”

Democrats for years have clamored for Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which they say could show misdeeds and tax evasions. Mr. Neal settled on a rationale that he needs them to evaluate the Internal Revenue Service’s practice of auditing sitting presidents and vice presidents.

But Mr. Mnuchin said that was not good enough.

“As you have recognized, the committee’s request is unprecedented, and it presents serious constitutional questions, the resolution of which may have lasting consequences for all taxpayers,” Mr. Mnuchin wrote in the one-page letter to Mr. Neal. Mr. Mnuchin twice delayed giving Mr. Neal a formal response to the request, made just over a month ago, saying that he needed more time to analyze the law.

Even before Mr. Mnuchin’s letter, tensions were rising after the Justice Department disregarded a series of deadlines to hand over material from Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, that Democrats insisted was central to the House’s ability to fully investigate and evaluate the president’s behavior detailed in Mr. Mueller’s report.

[Read the contempt resolution here.]

At the same time, the Judiciary Committee was preparing to raise the pressure on Donald F. McGahn II, a former White House counsel and chief witness in the special counsel investigation, if he misses a Tuesday deadline to hand over key documents that the White House says are subject to executive privilege.

Mr. Barr, who refused to testify last week before the Judiciary Committee because of a dispute over format, has earned special ire, serving as a kind of surrogate punching bag for Democrats frustrated with Mr. Trump but leery of impeachment. If the full House follows suit and votes to hold Mr. Barr in contempt, it would be only the second time that the nation’s top law enforcement officer has been penalized by lawmakers in that way.

The Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, said the Wednesday vote could still be avoided if the Justice Department changes course. Hours after Democrats announced their plan, a deputy to Mr. Barr wrote to hold out that possibility, kicking off a new round of exchanges with an uncertain outcome.

The deputy, Stephen E. Boyd, initially said that the department was willing to meet Wednesday afternoon — after the scheduled contempt vote — “to negotiate an accommodation that meets the legitimate interests of each of our coequal branches of government.” But the department later agreed to move the meeting up to Tuesday.

Democrats had compiled a 27-page contempt report documenting their interactions with the attorney general and the scope of their own investigation of obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Mr. Nadler said he hoped the two sides could resolve the dispute, but kept the contempt vote on Wednesday’s schedule.

“Even in redacted form, the special counsel’s report offers disturbing evidence and analysis that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice at the highest levels,” Mr. Nadler said. “Congress must see the full report and underlying evidence to determine how to best move forward with oversight, legislation and other constitutional responsibilities.”

Among those “other responsibilities,” Mr. Nadler’s accompanying report said, was determining “whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the president or any other administration official, as well as the consideration of other steps such as censure or issuing criminal, civil or administrative referrals.”

The Democrat-controlled panel will almost certainly vote in favor of contempt unless the Justice Department meets its demands. It is unclear when a full House vote would occur, and the interlude could allow another opportunity for negotiation.

Mr. Barr himself has kept out of the public eye since a hearing in the Senate last week, where he offered an unflinching defense of his decision not to charge Mr. Trump with obstruction of justice, despite evidence gathered by Mr. Mueller. His aides have argued that Democrats are being unreasonable. The attorney general, they say, voluntarily released the 448-page report on the Trump campaign’s links to Russia and possible obstruction of justice with minimal redactions and offered to testify voluntarily before the Judiciary Committee.

“The attorney general has taken extraordinary steps to accommodate the House Judiciary Committee’s requests for information regarding the special counsel’s investigation,” a Justice Department spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec, said on Monday.

The Treasury Department was similarly untroubled. Mr. Mnuchin said not only would he not turn over the returns but he could not. “The department may not lawfully fulfill the committee’s request,” he said.

Mr. Neal’s next move is not clear. He could file a lawsuit against the Treasury Department, accusing Mr. Mnuchin of not following the law, or he could try to access Mr. Trump’s returns with a subpoena. Both options would most likely lead to a protracted fight through the court system.

He issued a terse statement on Monday afternoon in response to Mr. Mnuchin: “I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”

Mr. Trump broke decades of precedent by not releasing his tax returns while running for president, claiming that he could not do so because he was under audit by the I.R.S. There are no laws preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns while under audit.

The disputes are only two of a growing number of confrontations between House investigators and Mr. Trump and his administration that are threatening to boil over into court and stall Democratic investigations. Party leaders, who counseled investigations over impeachment after the Mueller report, are now considering whether to change course in the face of administration stonewalling without giving the president the impeachment fight he seems to want.

Democrats got some backup on Monday when more than 375 former Justice Department officials and federal prosecutors who had worked for Republican and Democratic administrations released a letter asserting that Mr. Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice if he had not been protected by a Justice Department policy that says a sitting president cannot be indicted.

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting president, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” they wrote.

The president was giving no ground.

He said on Sunday that he objected to Mr. Mueller testifying before the Judiciary Committee, and he urged the country to move on from an investigation that did not result in criminal charges. The grounds and weight of his objection were unclear, but it could easily stall a hearing, which Democrats had hoped to hold as soon as next week.

Mr. Trump has likewise said Mr. McGahn ought not cooperate with the committee’s request for testimony or with its subpoena for documents related to key episodes of possible obstruction laid out by Mr. Mueller. Democrats were preparing for another possible court fight should the president try to assert executive privilege to block Mr. McGahn from discussing their private conversations, including when Mr. Trump tried to use Mr. McGahn to fire Mr. Mueller and alter records of their conversation.

Democrats say the first step is still to see Mr. Mueller’s entire report and the evidence that he collected. On Friday, Mr. Nadler wrote to the attorney general one last time to open the door to possible concessions in an effort to revive discussions on the documents. The Justice Department did not respond until Monday afternoon.

In his response letter, Mr. Boyd chastised Democrats for their decision not to view a less redacted version of the report made available by Mr. Barr. Democrats had objected to doing so because the department offered the arrangement to only a dozen lawmakers and said that they must sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Mr. Boyd now says he is open to reconsidering that arrangement and would be willing to discuss prioritizing the sharing of certain raw evidence collected by Mr. Mueller.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, welcomed the Justice Department’s invitation and blasted Democrats’ “illogical and disingenuous” demands.

“Democrats have launched a proxy war smearing the attorney general when their anger actually lies with the president and the special counsel, who found neither conspiracy nor obstruction,” he said.

A contempt finding would do two things for Democrats: put a mark on Mr. Barr’s record and push the dispute into the courts where a judge could decide whether to force the administration to hand over the material. But that could take months or longer, affecting the pace and scope of Democratic investigations.

When House Republicans chose to pursue contempt in 2012 against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in connection with requests for information about the botched “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking investigation, litigation took several years, though Congress ultimately prevailed.

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

Trump Advisers Accuse China of Reneging on Trade Commitments

Westlake Legal Group trump-advisers-accuse-china-of-reneging-on-trade-commitments Trump Advisers Accuse China of Reneging on Trade Commitments United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E Economic Conditions and Trends
Westlake Legal Group 06DC-CHINATRADE-01-facebookJumbo-v3 Trump Advisers Accuse China of Reneging on Trade Commitments United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E Economic Conditions and Trends

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s top economic advisers on Monday accused China of reneging on previous commitments to resolve a monthslong trade war and said Mr. Trump was prepared to prolong the standoff to force more significant concessions from Beijing.

Mr. Trump, angry that China is retreating from its commitments as the sides appeared to be nearing a deal and confident the American economy can handle a continuation of the trade war, will increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning, his top advisers said.

“We’re moving backwards instead of forwards, and in the president’s view that’s not acceptable,” his top trade adviser, Robert Lighthizer, told reporters on Monday. “Over the last week or so, we have seen an erosion in commitments by China.”

Mr. Trump’s last-minute escalation highlights his administration’s difficult political position as it tries to fend off criticism that he has not been sufficiently tough on China. The president is facing pressure to show that the pain of his trade war will be worth it for the companies, farmers and consumers caught in the middle. Mr. Trump’s decision to potentially upend an agreement that many expected to be finalized this week in Washington appears to be a political calculation that staying tough on China will be a better proposition in the 2020 campaign.

Fueling that decision is the president’s growing confidence that his trade policies are bolstering the American economy, without any downside. Mr. Trump and his advisers have seized on strong first-quarter growth in the gross domestic product as vindication that their tough approach to trade is accelerating the economy, and putting the United States in a stronger position than China to withstand any blowback from higher tariffs. Gross domestic product surged past forecasts in the first quarter, rising 3.2 percent on an annual basis in part because of a sharp slowdown in imports.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, attributed the strong growth to Mr. Trump’s economic policies, including on trade.

“There’s no question that some of the trade policies helped in the G.D.P. number,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

While the president and his advisers have interpreted the figures as evidence that his tariffs are reducing the trade deficit and boosting growth, economists have been more skeptical.

“If you look at imports and exports, it jumps around a lot,” said Torsten Slok, the chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities. “The recent changes we’ve seen in net exports, it’s probably premature to claim credit for that.”

American investors seemed to back Mr. Trump’s position on Monday, as markets opened lower but then largely shrugged off Mr. Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods to 25 percent on Friday and eventually tax an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese products.

A final trade agreement could still be reached. Mr. Lighthizer and Mr. Mnuchin said on Monday that the Chinese delegation had not canceled travel plans to come to Washington on Thursday and Friday for negotiations.

“We’re not breaking up talks at this point,” Mr. Lighthizer said.

Mr. Mnuchin said the United States would reconsider imposing higher tariffs on China if the negotiations got “back on track.” He added that negotiators had been optimistic in the past about the prospects for a deal and had been planning for a summit meeting between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China to finalize the deal.

But Mr. Mnuchin said it became “particularly clear over the weekend” that the Chinese had moved negotiations “substantially backwards.”

China, which depends on the United States economy for trade, said on Monday that it still planned to send a delegation to the United States this week for talks, though a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry declined to specify whether it would include Vice Premier Liu He, who has led the talks for the Chinese.

The threat of additional tariffs poses a major problem for Mr. Xi, who had been counting on a trade deal to keep China’s growth engine humming.

China’s economic growth began to slow last year as Beijing tried to tame the country’s overreliance on lending. Mr. Trump’s initial tariffs last year hurt Chinese manufacturers and consumer confidence, worsening the slowdown. China’s economic slowdown limited Mr. Xi’s options to retaliate against American tariffs and put pressure on him to reach a deal.

In recent months, thanks in part to new lending, China’s slowdown appeared to stabilize. The prospect of a trade deal also increased consumer and investor confidence and led many economists to project that China’s growth would improve.

New tariffs could derail that progress.

“If tariffs are hiked this Friday and new tariffs come soon after that, the biggest negative impact will likely occur in the next few months,” Tao Wang, an economist specializing in China at UBS, said in a research note.

She estimated that a full-blown trade war with the United States could cut China’s economic growth rate by 1.6 to 2 percentage points over the next 12 months. That would be a considerable cut: Last year, China’s economy grew 6.6 percent, according to official figures, and the government has set an official target of 6 to 6.5 percent this year.

On Monday, Mr. Trump repeated his insistence that China rebalance its economic relationship with the United States and end its role as a net exporter of goods.

The decision to up the ante came after Mr. Trump’s trade advisers made a short trip to Beijing last week. Mr. Lighthizer returned from that visit dismayed by China’s refusal to mention commitments it had made to update various Chinese laws in the final text of the trade agreement, people familiar with the situation said. Even Mr. Mnuchin, who has been more optimistic about the prospects of a deal, was dismayed that the Chinese were not doing more to reach an agreement.

Instead, Chinese negotiators had insisted that any concessions would need to be achieved through regulatory and administrative actions, not changes to Chinese law passed through its legislature. The provisions included the forced transfer of technology from American companies to Chinese firms, the people familiar with the negotiations said.

Chinese negotiators have also continued to insist that Mr. Trump lift the tariffs he has placed on $250 billion worth of goods more quickly than the administration wants. With the two sides still disagreeing over issues including how China subsidizes its companies, its restrictions on data transfers, its approvals of genetically modified seeds and rules for foreign cloud computing companies, the president concluded late last week that China’s offers were not good enough.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump’s tariff threats sparked concern among business and industry groups, but drew praise from both sides of the political aisle.

“Hang tough on China, President @realDonaldTrump,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said on Twitter.

“Excellent decision by @realDonaldTrump!” Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host, tweeted, which the president retweeted onto his feed. “No other president has had the guts to take on the China challenge.”

Mr. Lighthizer said on Monday that the United States was targeting some “very pernicious actions” by the Chinese, and that reversing them would have an enormous benefit for the American economy and the world. He also pushed back against reports that the evolving agreement would do little to address China’s subsidization of key industries.

Analysts have questioned whether volatility in the stock markets could change the president’s mind. Mr. Trump’s tariff threats caused markets in Asia to plummet Monday morning, but in the United States, the S&P 500 index closed down 0.45 percent, while the Dow Industrial was down just 0.25 percent.

It was unclear whether markets viewed Mr. Trump’s tariff threat merely as a negotiating tactic. The president has turned to tariffs as a source of leverage to bring other negotiations to the close. In talks last year over the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mr. Trump threatened to leave Canada out of the deal entirely and strike a deal with Mexico, a gambit that brought negotiations to a rapid conclusion.

In a note on Monday, Joshua Shapiro, the chief United States economist for MFR, an economic research firm, said his forecast and most others assumed that the United States-China trade talks resulted in no further damage, at a minimum. “Given expectations of an agreement, failure to achieve one would be a serious blow to markets and the economy,” he wrote.

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Steven Mnuchin Refuses to Release Trump’s Tax Returns to Congress

Westlake Legal Group 06DC-TRUMPTAX-01-facebookJumbo Steven Mnuchin Refuses to Release Trump’s Tax Returns to Congress United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump Tax Returns Treasury Department Neal, Richard E Mnuchin, Steven T Justice Department Federal Taxes (US)

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department said on Monday that it would not release President Trump’s tax returns to Congress, defying a request from House Democrats and setting up a legal battle likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, wrote in a letter to Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, that Mr. Neal’s request for the tax returns “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose” and that he was not authorized to disclose them. The decision came after weeks of delays as Mr. Mnuchin said that his department and the Justice Department needed to study the provision of the tax code that Democrats were using to seek six years’ worth of the president’s personal and business tax returns.

The request for Mr. Trump’s taxes is the latest instance of the Trump administration rebuffing congressional oversight efforts.

“As you have recognized, the committee’s request is unprecedented, and it presents serious constitutional questions, the resolution of which may have lasting consequences for all taxpayers,” Mr. Mnuchin wrote in the one-page letter.

He added that “the department may not lawfully fulfill the committee’s request.”

Mr. Neal issued a terse statement on Monday afternoon in response to Mr. Mnuchin: “I will consult with counsel and determine the appropriate response.”

Mr. Mnuchin, who is one of Mr. Trump’s most trusted aides, has signaled his concern about the request, arguing that it appeared to be political in nature and that honoring the demand would be a violation of taxpayer privacy. He has warned that if the I.R.S. releases Mr. Trump’s returns, then lawmakers from both parties could be vulnerable to such prying. In an April 23 letter to Mr. Neal, Mr. Mnuchin said that the demand amounted to “exposure for the sake of exposure.”

The Treasury secretary said that the Justice Department would memorialize its advice on the matter in a published legal opinion.

House Democrats have argued that the law is clear that congressional tax writing committees have broad authority to request the returns of any taxpayer. Mr. Neal said that the request was made so that Congress can assess the effectiveness of the automatic audits that all sitting presidents face.

In his letter, Mr. Mnuchin said that the Treasury Department was willing to provide more information to the committee about how the I.R.S. conducts its mandatory examinations of presidential tax returns.

Mr. Trump has argued that the request was an example of presidential harassment by House Democrats, who have been investigating his business dealings since taking power this year. The president’s personal lawyer sent letters to the Treasury Department urging it not to release his financial information.

Mr. Neal’s next move is not clear. He could file a lawsuit against the Treasury Department, accusing Mr. Mnuchin of not following the law, or he could try to access Mr. Trump’s returns with a subpoena. Both options would likely lead to a protracted fight through the court system.

Mr. Trump broke decades of precedent by not releasing his tax returns while running for president, claiming that he could not do so because he was under audit by the I.R.S. There are no laws preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns while under audit.

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Trump Prepared to Hit China With More Tariffs

Westlake Legal Group 06DC-CHINATRADE-01-facebookJumbo-v3 Trump Prepared to Hit China With More Tariffs United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E Economic Conditions and Trends

WASHINGTON — President Trump, emboldened by ongoing strength in the American economy and angered by China’s attempts to renege on previous commitments, is prepared to prolong his monthslong trade war rather than settle for a weak agreement, his top advisers said Monday.

Mr. Trump’s threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning followed a visit last week by his top advisers to Beijing, in which the Chinese “retreated” on parts of the deal, the advisers said.

“We’re moving backwards instead of forwards, and in the president’s view that’s not acceptable,” Robert Lighthizer, the president’s top trade negotiator, told reporters on Monday.

Mr. Trump on Sunday threatened to hit nearly all of China’s exports to the United States with tariffs. The president was angered by China’s attempt to reverse commitments to essentially codify an agreement to provide American companies with more equal treatment, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The president was also irked by China’s insistence that the United States quickly lift all of the tariffs Mr. Trump had placed on $250 billion worth of imports.

A final trade agreement could still be reached, and China, which depends on the United States economy for trade, said on Monday that it still planned to send a delegation to the United States this week for talks. However, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry declined to specify on Monday whether Vice Premier Liu He, who has led the talks for the Chinese, would still travel to the United States for scheduled meetings, instead saying that “the Chinese team is preparing to go to the U.S. for consultations.”

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said the United States would reconsider imposing higher tariffs on China if the negotiations got “back on track.” He added that negotiators had been optimistic in the past about the prospects for a deal, but that recent interactions with the Chinese had moved negotiations “substantially backwards.”

Mr. Trump’s last-minute warning highlights the difficult political position facing his administration as it tries to convince businesses, lawmakers and consumers that the deal it strikes with China will truly level the playing field and put the United States in a better economic position. He is also facing pressure to show that the pain of his trade war will be worth it for the companies, farmers and consumers caught in the middle.

On Monday, Mr. Trump repeated his insistence that China rebalance its economic relationship with the United States and end its role as a net exporter of goods.

The president’s promise to raise tariffs to 25 percent on Friday and eventually tax another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods sent global markets down on Monday, as investors worried that the trade war could be prolonged indefinitely. Stocks fell sharply after trading opened, with the S&P 500 starting down more than 1 percent. But the market gained ground throughout the trading day. Shortly before 3 p.m., the S&P 500 was down a bit less than 0.5 percent.

The decision to up the ante came after Mr. Trump’s trade advisers returned dismayed by China’s refusal to mention commitments it had made to update various Chinese laws in the final text of the trade agreement.

Instead, Chinese negotiators had insisted that any concessions would need to be achieved through regulatory and administrative actions, not through changes made to Chinese law through its legislature. The provisions included, but were not limited to, the forced transfer of technology from American companies to Chinese firms, the people familiar with the negotiations said.

Chinese negotiators have also continued to insist that Mr. Trump lift the tariffs he has placed on $250 billion worth of goods more quickly than the administration wants. With the two sides still disagreeing over issues including how China subsidizes its companies, its restrictions on data transfers, rules for foreign cloud computing companies and its approvals of genetically modified seeds, the president concluded that China’s offers were not good enough.

Late last week, Mr. Trump and a small circle of advisers decided the United States was in a strong enough economic position to ramp up tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports. People familiar with the president’s thinking said that he believed that a strong American economy would enable the United States to withstand any blowback from those higher tariffs — including Chinese retaliation — until China was ready to come back to the negotiating table.

His unconventional approach drew accolades from both sides of the political aisle.

“Hang tough on China, President @realDonaldTrump,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, said on Twitter.

“Excellent decision by @realDonaldTrump!” Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host, tweeted, which the president retweeted onto his feed. “No other president has had the guts to take on the China challenge.”

Advisers to Mr. Trump say he has felt vindicated by a string of positive economic data, in particular the first-quarter gross domestic product, which increased partly as a result of rising exports. While economists have attributed economic growth in the first quarter to a variety of factors, the president and his advisers interpreted the figures as evidence that his tariffs are reducing the trade deficit and boosting growth.

Mr. Trump’s belief that his trade war is not having an economic downside is fueling his insistence that some of the tariffs on China remain in place. But China has insisted that all of the tariffs must come off as part of the deal.

The president has turned to tariffs as a source of leverage to bring other negotiations to the close. In talks last year over the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mr. Trump threatened to leave Canada out of the deal entirely and strike a deal with Mexico, a gambit that brought negotiations to a rapid conclusion.

Yet analysts have questioned whether volatility in the stock markets could change the president’s mind. He has repeatedly referred to stock markets as a kind of scoreboard for his presidency.

In a note on Monday, Joshua Shapiro, the chief United States economist for MFR, an economic research firm, said that his forecast and most others assumed that the United States-China trade talks resulted in no further damage, at a minimum. “Given expectations of an agreement, failure to achieve one would be a serious blow to markets and the economy,” he wrote.

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Trump’s Tariff Threat Stemmed From Concerns U.S. Is Losing in Trade Deal

Westlake Legal Group 06DC-CHINATRADE-01-facebookJumbo-v3 Trump’s Tariff Threat Stemmed From Concerns U.S. Is Losing in Trade Deal United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E Economic Conditions and Trends

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s threat to impose more tariffs on China before this week’s final round of trade talks stemmed from his concerns that the United States was about to be on the losing end of a historic trade deal.

Mr. Trump, whose Sunday threat could derail efforts to end a monthslong trade war, was angered by China’s attempt to reverse commitments to essentially codify an agreement to provide American companies with more equal treatment, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The president was also irked by China’s insistence that the United States quickly lift all of the tariffs Mr. Trump had placed on $250 billion worth of imports.

A final trade agreement could still be reached, and China, which depends on the United States economy for trade, said on Monday that it still planned to send a delegation to the United States this week for talks. However, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry declined to specify on Monday whether Vice Premier Liu He, who has led the talks for the Chinese, would still travel to the United States for scheduled meetings, instead saying that “the Chinese team is preparing to go to the U.S. for consultations.”

Mr. Trump’s last-minute warning highlights the difficult political position facing his administration as it tries to convince businesses, lawmakers and consumers that the deal it strikes with China will truly level the playing field and put the United States in a better economic position. He is also facing pressure to show that the pain of his trade war will be worth it for the companies, farmers and consumers caught in the middle.

On Monday, Mr. Trump repeated his insistence that China rebalance its economic relationship with the United States and end its role as a net exporter of goods.

The president’s promise to raise tariffs to 25 percent on Friday and eventually tax another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods sent global markets down on Monday, as investors worried that the trade war could be prolonged indefinitely. Stocks fell sharply after trading opened, with the S&P 500 starting down more than 1 percent. But the market gained ground throughout the trading day. Shortly before 3 p.m., the S&P 500 was down a bit less than 0.5 percent.

The decision to up the ante came after Mr. Trump’s trade advisers made a short trip to Beijing last week. Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, returned from that visit dismayed by China’s refusal to mention commitments it had made to update various Chinese laws in the final text of the trade agreement.

Instead, Chinese negotiators had insisted that any concessions would need to be achieved through regulatory and administrative actions, not through changes made to Chinese law through its legislature. The provisions included, but were not limited to, the forced transfer of technology from American companies to Chinese firms, the people familiar with the negotiations said.

Chinese negotiators have also continued to insist that Mr. Trump lift the tariffs he has placed on $250 billion worth of goods more quickly than the administration wants. With the two sides still disagreeing over issues including how China subsidizes its companies, its restrictions on data transfers, rules for foreign cloud computing companies and its approvals of genetically modified seeds, the president concluded that China’s offers were not good enough.

Late last week, Mr. Trump and a small circle of advisers decided the United States was in a strong enough economic position to ramp up tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports. People familiar with the president’s thinking said that he believed that a strong American economy would enable the United States to withstand any blowback from those higher tariffs — including Chinese retaliation — until China was ready to come back to the negotiating table.

His unconventional approach drew accolades from both sides of the political aisle.

“Hang tough on China, President @realDonaldTrump,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, said on Twitter.

“Excellent decision by @realDonaldTrump!” Laura Ingraham, a Fox News host, tweeted, which the president retweeted onto his feed. “No other president has had the guts to take on the China challenge.”

Advisers to Mr. Trump say he has felt vindicated by a string of positive economic data, in particular the first-quarter gross domestic product, which increased partly as a result of rising exports. While economists have attributed economic growth in the first quarter to a variety of factors, the president and his advisers interpreted the figures as evidence that his tariffs are reducing the trade deficit and boosting growth.

Mr. Trump’s belief that his trade war is not having an economic downside is fueling his insistence that some of the tariffs on China remain in place. But China has insisted that all of the tariffs must come off as part of the deal.

The president has turned to tariffs as a source of leverage to bring other negotiations to the close. In talks last year over the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mr. Trump threatened to leave Canada out of the deal entirely and strike a deal with Mexico, a gambit that brought negotiations to a rapid conclusion.

Yet analysts have questioned whether volatility in the stock markets could change the president’s mind. He has repeatedly referred to stock markets as a kind of scoreboard for his presidency.

In a note on Monday, Joshua Shapiro, the chief United States economist for MFR, an economic research firm, said that his forecast and most others assumed that the United States-China trade talks resulted in no further damage, at a minimum. “Given expectations of an agreement, failure to achieve one would be a serious blow to markets and the economy,” he wrote.

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Stocks Slump as Trump Threatens New Tariffs on China

Westlake Legal Group stocks-slump-as-trump-threatens-new-tariffs-on-china Stocks Slump as Trump Threatens New Tariffs on China United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds International Trade and World Market China

A surprise hitch in trade talks between the United States and China spooked investors on Monday, sending global stocks tumbling.

The S&P 500 dropped more than 1 percent soon after the open, with trade-related sectors such as industrials, semiconductors and technology shares leading the market lower.

The decline on Monday interrupted what had been a placid rise for the benchmark index for much of the year. Through late April, the market had enjoyed its best start since 1987, as volatility declined and stocks reached record highs.

The climb helped the market recover all of the ground lost during last year’s ugly fourth quarter, when the S&P dropped 14 percent and flirted with falling into a bear market in December.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154441692_4cae49ea-90ac-47a9-88dc-8e8d2b14bcba-articleLarge Stocks Slump as Trump Threatens New Tariffs on China United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds International Trade and World Market China

A sidewalk screen in Hong Kong showing the Hang Seng Index in decline on Monday.CreditAnthony Wallace/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Federal Reserve’s about-face on further interest rate increases helped set off the rally, but signs of progress — and an absence of public rancor — in the trade negotiations between China and the United States also contributed to the recovery in stocks.

Confidence in that progress was dented on Sunday, when President Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on Chinese-made goods unless he saw more progress toward a deal.

“It’s 100 percent about trade,” said Michael Gibbs, director of portfolio and technical strategy at the brokerage firm Raymond James in Memphis. “We do the know market had priced in the fact that the deal was just about to be done and signed.”

[Read more about the president’s latest threat and China’s reaction.]

The Chinese economy, the world’s second-largest and the most important growth engine in Asia, had also picked up momentum in recent weeks after a surge of government-driven lending. Mr. Trump’s comments on Sunday threatened to upend that growth, rattling investors across the board.

Shares in China led the market decline on Monday, falling more than 6 percent at one point. The value of China’s currency weakened, and prices for oil and agricultural products fell. Markets across Asia ended broadly lower as well, and markets in France and Germany were about 1.8 percent lower in early afternoon trading.

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