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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 64)

The Trade War, Paused for Now, Is Still Wreaking Damage

Westlake Legal Group 00trade-damage1-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 The Trade War, Paused for Now, Is Still Wreaking Damage United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Trucks and Trucking Recession and Depression Railroads Ports Labor and Jobs International Trade and World Market Factories and Manufacturing Customs (Tariff) China

The trade war is de-escalating, at least for now. But the economic damage it caused could be far from over.

Two years of tit-for-tat tariffs and on-again-off-again trade talks have left American farmers reeling. The manufacturing sector is in a recession, albeit a relatively mild one, and factory employment declined in December after rising slowly for most of last year. And in recent months, there have been signs that the damage is spreading: Railroads and trucking companies have been cutting jobs, and consumers — at least in the parts of the country most affected by the trade disputes — may be pulling back as well.

“Even if manufacturing started to recover, there’s still going to be some continuing cutbacks in nonmanufacturing industries as they start to respond,” said Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University in Indiana. “The full effect of the layoffs hasn’t really been transmitted to the full economy yet.”

Events last week in Washington signaled a shift from confrontation to conciliation. President Trump signed a preliminary trade deal with China that, if fully carried out, would increase American exports and prevent new tariffs, though it will not remove most duties already in place. And the Senate approved an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which now awaits Mr. Trump’s signature.

Experts said the agreements should help restore confidence among business leaders after months of trade-related uncertainty. But even if those deals hold, the ripple effects of the trade war could take time to dissipate.

Other factors are also hurting manufacturing. A global economic slowdown — caused partly, but not entirely, by trade tensions — has curbed demand for American products abroad. Falling energy prices have led to a pullback in oil drilling and reduced the need for oil field equipment. Boeing’s recent decision to halt production of its troubled 737 Max aircraft has sent shock waves through the company’s vast supply chain; economists at Moody’s Analytics estimate that the shutdown could shave half a percentage point off first-quarter economic growth.

But economists say there is little doubt that trade has been the driving force of the industrial slowdown, with implications for the rest of the economy. The spillover effects are clearest in the transportation sector, where business slowed for railroads and trucking companies as trade slumped last year.

Freight volumes fell 7.9 percent in December from a year earlier, the greatest year-over-year decline since the recession a decade ago, according to data from Cass Information Systems. More than 10,000 jobs were cut by transportation and warehouse employers in December, the biggest drop in nearly four years.

Job growth has slowed sharply — from an annual rate of 2.6 percent at the start of 2019 to 1.3 percent at the end — in so-called middle wage sectors that include mining, construction and transportation, according to calculations by Nick Bunker, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. That slowdown is driving the deceleration of job growth across the American economy.

Railroads have been hit particularly hard, analysts said. Ian Jefferies, president of the Association of American Railroads, said the slowdown in trade had led to lower rail volumes in grains and industrial equipment in particular.

“Trade uncertainty has played a pretty large role” in the rail slowdown, Mr. Jefferies said. The recent deals, he added, should “provide some much-needed certainty back into the system.”

To Kevin Luke, who transports goods from the Port of Long Beach near Los Angeles to local distribution centers, the effect of the trade war has been clear and pronounced.

Business was brisk in 2018, with Mr. Luke’s company, KNL Luxury, collecting about $250,000 in revenue, prompting an investment in a second truck. But the slowdown in imports meant the demand he had expected never materialized. In the end, he collected only slightly more revenue in 2019 — just shy of $290,000 — despite having doubled his capacity.

“I tried to invest in the future, I tried to be ready for opportunity,” said Mr. Luke, who has seven children ranging in age from 7 to 19.

If conditions don’t improve, Mr. Luke may have to take up long-haul trucking, which would keep him away from home for long stretches.

The trade war hit the trucking industry at a vulnerable moment, said Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research at Convoy, a shipping-focused technology company. Trucking companies expanded aggressively in recent years, adding trucks and drivers more quickly than demand was growing. The resulting glut pushed down prices, just as the slowdown in trade began eating into demand.

“There was almost this one-two punch where we were having this normal supply correction in the market and subsequently we got hit by the trade war,” Mr. Terrazas said.

Mr. Trump and his allies have said the trade deals will deliver a jolt to the economy and lead to faster growth this year. But economists are skeptical. Wall Street analysts expect growth, which is already cooling, to slow further in early 2020, and few have marked up their estimates in response to the trade announcements.

“I think we’re seeing the bottom, but we’re going to bounce around for a period of time before we really see any noticeable growth,” said Eric Starks, chief executive of FTR, a freight research firm. “That is assuming that there are no outside shocks and it seems like every other day a new shock keeps happening.”

Economists said the agreements should help shore up the struggling manufacturing sector and prevent further damage to the economy. But they won’t necessarily heal the damage that has already been done. Companies that shifted supply chains away from China in response to the trade war won’t necessarily move them back now that tensions have cooled, for example. And companies may be hesitant to commit to long-term investments until they see evidence that the trade deals will last.

“How much can we really go back to the way things were before this tiff?” Mr. Terrazas asked rhetorically. “Are they going to go back quickly to the way things were before, or are companies going to say this new uncertainty is going to be a feature of the global trade picture for the years ahead?”

Manufacturing is a relatively small part of the American economy, and there is little risk that even a sustained slump in manufacturing could, on its own, push the country into a recession. Consumer spending remains robust, and the fears of a downturn that gripped financial markets over the summer have eased.

Still, the factory sector remains the centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s economic appeal to voters, especially in the industrial states that lifted him to the White House in 2016. “This is a blue-collar boom,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday in a speech in Davos, Switzerland. “We have created 1.2 million manufacturing and construction jobs — a number also unthinkable.”

Only 197,000 of those jobs were created last year, however, a sharp deceleration from the first two years of his administration. The United States created 1.1 million manufacturing and construction jobs in the three years before he took office.

There are signs that in the places most exposed to the trade war — particularly Wisconsin and other Midwestern states — those effects have spread beyond the industrial sector and begun to affect consumers. In a recent working paper, Michael E. Waugh, an economist at New York University, found that automobile sales were growing significantly more slowly in the counties most affected by the tariffs than in the rest of the country. Those places have also seen slower job growth in their retail sectors.

“Things are spilling over in these communities that are relatively more affected,” Mr. Waugh said. “New York is all fine. But there are places in the U.S. that are really struggling.”

The Midwest went through a similar economic soft patch in 2015 and 2016, when falling oil prices and other factors caused a mini-recession in the industrial sector. Mr. Waugh said he saw parallels — although it isn’t clear how they will play out given that this time Mr. Trump is the incumbent.

“Those places slowed down” in 2016, Mr. Waugh said. “Those places influenced the election. And now what do you have today? You have those same places slowing down, and they’re looking pivotal in the election again.”

While some of the effects of the trade war could soon be reversed, others may last longer.

“A lot of customers moved their production out of Asia to Europe and some of them moved their production from Asia to Mexico, so there’s a migration,” said Lidia Yan, the chief executive and co-founder of Next Trucking, a start-up that matches shippers and truckers.

Even in cases where production has been shifted from China to other parts of Asia, including Vietnam and India, West Coast ports may be losers, as exports from the more southerly Asian countries tend to be shipped to the East Coast.

“It’s early days,” said Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “But it’s enough to notice at this point in time, and we’re watching it very closely.”

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

The Trade War, Paused for Now, Is Still Wreaking Damage

Westlake Legal Group 00trade-damage1-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 The Trade War, Paused for Now, Is Still Wreaking Damage United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Trucks and Trucking Recession and Depression Railroads Ports Labor and Jobs International Trade and World Market Factories and Manufacturing Customs (Tariff) China

The trade war is de-escalating, at least for now. But the economic damage it caused could be far from over.

Two years of tit-for-tat tariffs and on-again-off-again trade talks have left American farmers reeling. The manufacturing sector is in a recession, albeit a relatively mild one, and factory employment declined in December after rising slowly for most of last year. And in recent months, there have been signs that the damage is spreading: Railroads and trucking companies have been cutting jobs, and consumers — at least in the parts of the country most affected by the trade disputes — may be pulling back as well.

“Even if manufacturing started to recover, there’s still going to be some continuing cutbacks in nonmanufacturing industries as they start to respond,” said Michael Hicks, an economist at Ball State University in Indiana. “The full effect of the layoffs hasn’t really been transmitted to the full economy yet.”

Events last week in Washington signaled a shift from confrontation to conciliation. President Trump signed a preliminary trade deal with China that, if fully carried out, would increase American exports and prevent new tariffs, though it will not remove most duties already in place. And the Senate approved an overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which now awaits Mr. Trump’s signature.

Experts said the agreements should help restore confidence among business leaders after months of trade-related uncertainty. But even if those deals hold, the ripple effects of the trade war could take time to dissipate.

Other factors are also hurting manufacturing. A global economic slowdown — caused partly, but not entirely, by trade tensions — has curbed demand for American products abroad. Falling energy prices have led to a pullback in oil drilling and reduced the need for oil field equipment. Boeing’s recent decision to halt production of its troubled 737 Max aircraft has sent shock waves through the company’s vast supply chain; economists at Moody’s Analytics estimate that the shutdown could shave half a percentage point off first-quarter economic growth.

But economists say there is little doubt that trade has been the driving force of the industrial slowdown, with implications for the rest of the economy. The spillover effects are clearest in the transportation sector, where business slowed for railroads and trucking companies as trade slumped last year.

Freight volumes fell 7.9 percent in December from a year earlier, the greatest year-over-year decline since the recession a decade ago, according to data from Cass Information Systems. More than 10,000 jobs were cut by transportation and warehouse employers in December, the biggest drop in nearly four years.

Job growth has slowed sharply — from an annual rate of 2.6 percent at the start of 2019 to 1.3 percent at the end — in so-called middle wage sectors that include mining, construction and transportation, according to calculations by Nick Bunker, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. That slowdown is driving the deceleration of job growth across the American economy.

Railroads have been hit particularly hard, analysts said. Ian Jefferies, president of the Association of American Railroads, said the slowdown in trade had led to lower rail volumes in grains and industrial equipment in particular.

“Trade uncertainty has played a pretty large role” in the rail slowdown, Mr. Jefferies said. The recent deals, he added, should “provide some much-needed certainty back into the system.”

To Kevin Luke, who transports goods from the Port of Long Beach near Los Angeles to local distribution centers, the effect of the trade war has been clear and pronounced.

Business was brisk in 2018, with Mr. Luke’s company, KNL Luxury, collecting about $250,000 in revenue, prompting an investment in a second truck. But the slowdown in imports meant the demand he had expected never materialized. In the end, he collected only slightly more revenue in 2019 — just shy of $290,000 — despite having doubled his capacity.

“I tried to invest in the future, I tried to be ready for opportunity,” said Mr. Luke, who has seven children ranging in age from 7 to 19.

If conditions don’t improve, Mr. Luke may have to take up long-haul trucking, which would keep him away from home for long stretches.

The trade war hit the trucking industry at a vulnerable moment, said Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research at Convoy, a shipping-focused technology company. Trucking companies expanded aggressively in recent years, adding trucks and drivers more quickly than demand was growing. The resulting glut pushed down prices, just as the slowdown in trade began eating into demand.

“There was almost this one-two punch where we were having this normal supply correction in the market and subsequently we got hit by the trade war,” Mr. Terrazas said.

Mr. Trump and his allies have said the trade deals will deliver a jolt to the economy and lead to faster growth this year. But economists are skeptical. Wall Street analysts expect growth, which is already cooling, to slow further in early 2020, and few have marked up their estimates in response to the trade announcements.

“I think we’re seeing the bottom, but we’re going to bounce around for a period of time before we really see any noticeable growth,” said Eric Starks, chief executive of FTR, a freight research firm. “That is assuming that there are no outside shocks and it seems like every other day a new shock keeps happening.”

Economists said the agreements should help shore up the struggling manufacturing sector and prevent further damage to the economy. But they won’t necessarily heal the damage that has already been done. Companies that shifted supply chains away from China in response to the trade war won’t necessarily move them back now that tensions have cooled, for example. And companies may be hesitant to commit to long-term investments until they see evidence that the trade deals will last.

“How much can we really go back to the way things were before this tiff?” Mr. Terrazas asked rhetorically. “Are they going to go back quickly to the way things were before, or are companies going to say this new uncertainty is going to be a feature of the global trade picture for the years ahead?”

Manufacturing is a relatively small part of the American economy, and there is little risk that even a sustained slump in manufacturing could, on its own, push the country into a recession. Consumer spending remains robust, and the fears of a downturn that gripped financial markets over the summer have eased.

Still, the factory sector remains the centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s economic appeal to voters, especially in the industrial states that lifted him to the White House in 2016. “This is a blue-collar boom,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday in a speech in Davos, Switzerland. “We have created 1.2 million manufacturing and construction jobs — a number also unthinkable.”

Only 197,000 of those jobs were created last year, however, a sharp deceleration from the first two years of his administration. The United States created 1.1 million manufacturing and construction jobs in the three years before he took office.

There are signs that in the places most exposed to the trade war — particularly Wisconsin and other Midwestern states — those effects have spread beyond the industrial sector and begun to affect consumers. In a recent working paper, Michael E. Waugh, an economist at New York University, found that automobile sales were growing significantly more slowly in the counties most affected by the tariffs than in the rest of the country. Those places have also seen slower job growth in their retail sectors.

“Things are spilling over in these communities that are relatively more affected,” Mr. Waugh said. “New York is all fine. But there are places in the U.S. that are really struggling.”

The Midwest went through a similar economic soft patch in 2015 and 2016, when falling oil prices and other factors caused a mini-recession in the industrial sector. Mr. Waugh said he saw parallels — although it isn’t clear how they will play out given that this time Mr. Trump is the incumbent.

“Those places slowed down” in 2016, Mr. Waugh said. “Those places influenced the election. And now what do you have today? You have those same places slowing down, and they’re looking pivotal in the election again.”

While some of the effects of the trade war could soon be reversed, others may last longer.

“A lot of customers moved their production out of Asia to Europe and some of them moved their production from Asia to Mexico, so there’s a migration,” said Lidia Yan, the chief executive and co-founder of Next Trucking, a start-up that matches shippers and truckers.

Even in cases where production has been shifted from China to other parts of Asia, including Vietnam and India, West Coast ports may be losers, as exports from the more southerly Asian countries tend to be shipped to the East Coast.

“It’s early days,” said Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “But it’s enough to notice at this point in time, and we’re watching it very closely.”

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

Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream

Video

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-livevid-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream washington dc United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Each of the seven House managers will present different elements of their case against President Trump.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead prosecutor, opened oral arguments in the case to convict and remove President Trump from office, accusing him of subverting the power of his position to leverage foreign aid to win an election.

“President Trump solicited foreign interference in our democratic elections, abusing the power of his office to seek help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home,” Mr. Schiff, a California Democrat, said from the well of the Senate. “President Trump,” he added, “withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to a strategic partner at war with Russia to secure foreign help with his re-election. In other words, to cheat.”

While the Senate has so far refused to allow witnesses, Mr. Schiff in effect brought a few to the floor anyway by playing video clips from current and former officials like Fiona Hill, Gordon D. Sondland, William B. Taylor Jr. and David Holmes, who testified before Mr. Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee last year. And he played a few from Mr. Trump himself, showing the president in 2016 publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email and last year publicly calling on Ukraine and even China to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167584080_dd4e6921-55bc-478e-8d3a-a15fab41fa16-articleLarge Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream washington dc United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Representative Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and other House impeachment managers speaking to reporters on Wednesday before the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Schiff previewed the presentation his team of seven House impeachment managers will make over the next three days. They started by laying out the case in narrative form, how the president and his associates sought to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of Mr. Biden and Democrats while withholding $391 million in American aid. Then he said the managers will explore the constitutional ramifications of the case.

“If not remedied by his conviction in the Senate and removal from office,” Mr. Schiff said, “President Trump’s abuse of his office and obstruction of Congress will permanently alter the balance of power among the branches of government, inviting future presidents to operate as if they are also beyond the reach of accountability, congressional oversight and the law.”

Mr. Schiff went on to reject the notion that impeachment is outdated and therefore no longer a viable instrument to hold a president accountable. “If it is a relic,” he said, “I wonder how much longer our republic can succeed.”

For Mr. Trump and Republicans, the next three days may prove uncomfortable as the House Democrats have exclusive access to the microphone.

Unlike the procedural arguments on Tuesday in which both sides went back and forth offering their points, the trial rules now provide the House managers with 24 hours over three days to make their case uninterrupted by the other side or any of the senators.

For hour after hour, the president’s lawyers and their Republican allies are being forced to sit silent in their seats, listening to the most nefarious interpretations of Mr. Trump’s actions without any ability to rebut the points except during breaks in front of television cameras in the hallways.

But it may also be the first time that some senators have heard the totality of the evidence presented in a sustained way. Always on the move, constantly running from one meeting to another, senators almost never have hours on end, much less three days straight, to focus on a single subject. Few if any of them are likely to have watched all of the House hearings that led to the impeachment.

The White House team will get its turn, though, and the House managers will be the ones having to sit quiet as the president’s lawyers present their case uninterrupted and unrebutted.

On Tuesday, House managers repeatedly criticized the Republican senators who will decide Mr. Trump’s fate, with one manager accusing them of “treacherous” behavior. By Wednesday morning, it was clear that the tone did not go over very well.

Republicans laced into Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, whose aggressive tone toward senators — and accusation of treachery — during his remarks after midnight were too much for some in the chamber.

“What Chairman Nadler said and how he conducted himself was outrageous and an insult to the Senate,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. “We don’t need to continue the clown circus that started over in the House.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, lashed out at the managers for suggesting that Republican senators were part of a cover-up by not voting in support of subpoenaing additional documents and witnesses. “You can say what you want about me but I’m covering up nothing,” Mr. Graham told reporters.

Even some Democrats offered some mild criticism. Senator Jon Tester of Montana told reporters that Mr. Nadler “could have chosen better words” and Senator Chris Coons of Delaware told CNN that “frankly, several of those folks who were making arguments in the chamber took an aggressive tone. The tone in the Senate has always been and tries to remain measured and civil.”

All of which may explain why Mr. Schiff opened Wednesday’s presentation with an olive branch to the senators, heaping praise on them for their forbearance. “I want to begin today by thanking you for the conduct of the proceedings yesterday,” he told the senators. “And for inviting your patience as we go forward.”

Michael D. Shear

The White House passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against Mr. Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

Mr. Trump was halfway around the world as he faced trial but he weighed in from afar, hurling insults at two of the House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Mr. Schiff a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend the trial — something no other president has done and his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.” But he praised his lawyers for their performance on Tuesday.

“We’re doing very well,” he said. “I got to watch enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.”

The last comment about the material immediately provoked criticism from Democrats, who called it a boast about his success at withholding documents and evidence from Congress. But it was unclear from the context whether he was instead saying, however inartfully, that his side had the stronger argument.

Mr. Trump defended his refusal to authorize current or former aides to testify, especially John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser who opposed the pressure campaign on Ukraine and has said he would testify if the Senate subpoenas him. Mr. Trump said allowing Mr. Bolton to testify would interfere with his ability to conduct foreign policy.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?” He added that he would be reluctant to agree to Mr. Bolton testifying because he left the administration on bad terms, “due to me — not due to him.”

In addition to the news conference, Mr. Trump was active on Twitter, posting or reposting roughly 100 messages overnight and into the morning. He left Davos after the news conference and was scheduled to land at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington at 4:50 p.m.

Tuesday night’s Senate floor brawl was not the end of the haggling over potential witnesses at the impeachment trial. Democrats are still demanding to hear from current and former White House officials including Mr. Bolton.

And Republicans are increasingly answering with a provocative demand of their own: “Where’s Hunter?” as the Republican National Committee put it in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

The reference is to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The younger Mr. Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office, and in a July phone call, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do him “a favor” and investigate both men, a request that is now at the heart of the impeachment charges.

Democratic leaders regard the idea of calling the younger Mr. Biden as a nonstarter, arguing that he is not relevant to the case, and senior aides say there are no serious conversations about calling him. On Wednesday, Mr. Schiff said senators should not agree to it.

“This isn’t like some fantasy football trade,” he told reporters before beginning arguments against Mr. Trump. “Trials aren’t trades for witnesses.”

The former vice president’s many allies in the Senate have been particularly insistent on the point.

“The president is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close ally of the elder Mr. Biden, said in a tweet Tuesday night. “VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Yet some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are pressing the idea of “witness reciprocity,” that their side might be open to calling someone like Mr. Bolton if Democrats would agree to summon a figure like Hunter Biden.

At least one Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, indicated in recent days he would be open to such a trade. But most Democrats dismiss the idea.

Republican leaders told Mr. Trump weeks ago they did not have the votes on their side to call the younger Mr. Biden, and senior Democratic aides say discussing a swap now makes little sense given that. But things could change in what promises to be a lively Senate negotiation that will culminate next week over whether to hear from witnesses — and if so, which ones.

Nicholas Fandos

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Impeachment Trial Stream washington dc United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

The only liquids allowed on the Senate floor during the trial are water and milk, but Chief Justice Roberts could be forgiven for wishing for a good jolt of coffee.

After presiding over the Senate trial until nearly 2 a.m., the chief justice reported to his day job for oral arguments at the Supreme Court at 10 a.m. before then returning to the Senate chamber for the session that started at 1 p.m.

The arguments at the Supreme Court focused on a different issue than the one at stake on the Senate floor but one that has been hotly disputed nonetheless. The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, focuses on a since-disbanded voucher program in Montana that provided tax breaks for donors to scholarships for private schools, including religious schools.

After running the oral arguments at the court in the morning, the chief justice resumed his temporary assignment as presiding officer at the Senate proceeding, a role that so far has been essentially ministerial with the exception of his late-night chiding of both sides to keep civil.

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

Emails Show Budget Office Working to Carry Out Ukraine Aid Freeze

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-emails-facebookJumbo Emails Show Budget Office Working to Carry Out Ukraine Aid Freeze Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sandy, Mark Steven Portman, Rob Office of Management and Budget (US) Defense Department Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

The same morning last July when President Trump had his fateful call with Ukraine’s president, White House officials were working behind the scenes to impose the freeze sought by the president on military assistance to Ukraine, reviewing the legal wording they would use to implement the hold, emails released late Tuesday night show.

The emails were released as a result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit, even as the Senate was rejecting a series of resolutions introduced by Democrats intended to force the disclosure of some of these same materials from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and other agencies involved in the aid freeze.

The 192 pages of documents, released just before a midnight deadline to the nonprofit group American Oversight, do not contain major new revelations in terms of the participants in the aid freeze or the sequence of events beyond what had been detailed by The New York Times in the last month based on interviews and documents.

But it does offer new evidence of the friction between the Defense Department and the White House as the aid freeze dragged on through the summer, and the confusion and surprise when members of Congress, including some prominent Republicans, learned that the military assistance to Ukraine had been held up.

An aide to Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leader of group that promotes Ukraine’s interests in the Senate, wrote on Aug. 23 to Michael P. Duffey, a political appointee from the Office of Management and Budget who instituted the freeze.

The aide noted that Mr. Portman “is very interested in ensuring Ukraine has the military capabilities it needs to defend itself against Russian aggression,” adding that “I would appreciate if you could lay out for me the reason behind the O.M.B. hold and what the process is for getting the funding released.”

Calls and emails for an explanation also had come in from Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Representative Mac Thornberry, Republican of Texas, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, the emails show.

The White House aides, in the documents, did not offer an explanation for the aid freeze, and instead simply worked to figure out who should respond.

The friction with the Pentagon was obvious in email exchanges between the Office of Management and Budget and a senior Pentagon official, Elaine McCusker, a deputy under secretary of defense who oversees spending.

On August 20, Mr. Duffey wrote to Ms. McCusker to notify her that the aid freeze was going to be extended again, long past the deadline when the Pentagon had said it needed the hold to be lifted if it was going to be able to spend all of the money before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

“It is our intent to add the following footnote to the Ukraine apportionment this afternoon to take effect immediately,” Mr. Duffey said in his email to Ms. McCusker, explaining the technical process the White House was using to impose the aid freeze.

“Mike,” Ms. McCusker wrote back several hours later, to Mr. Duffey and other senior officials at the Office of Management and Budget. “Seems like we continue to talk (email) past each other a bit. We should probably have a call.”

William S. Castle, the principal deputy general counsel at the Pentagon, got involved in the debate, reaching out to the budget office’s top lawyer at Ms. McCusker’s request to question him on the hold. Mark Paoletta, the general counsel at the budget office, sent a lengthy response.

But other than about a dozen words — the greeting and the closing of the email — the entire contents of the response were blacked out before being released under the Freedom of Information Act suit.

“Hi Scott,” the email said, followed by four large blacked out areas of text that the White House declined to make public. “Please let me know if you have any questions, Thanks.”

The White House cited a provision of the Freedom of Information that allows the federal government to withhold “deliberative communications, the disclosure of which would inhibit the frank and candid exchange of views that is necessary for effective government decision-making.”

The emails from July 25 — the same morning Mr. Trump had his phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and asked him to look into issues related to the 2016 election in the United States and to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden — show that administration aides were preparing to carry out Mr. Trump’s order for the aid freeze.

Mr. Trump had first raised the issue in June, after he learned the Defense Department was about to release $250 million of military assistance to Ukraine. But it was not until July 25 that the money that had been allocated for the Pentagon was formally frozen, using a legal provision called an apportionment.

“Did GC send the footnote?” Mr. Duffey wrote at 9 a.m. on July 25, just as the call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky was getting underway, referring to the agency’s general counsel and a footnote that would be applied to the apportionment document to freeze the funding.

“Mike, here’s the OGC-approved, revised footnote,” Mark Sandy, a career official at the budget office, wrote back to his boss, in response to the question, that same morning.

About 90 minutes after Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Duffey told the Pentagon to keep quiet about the aid freeze because of the “sensitive nature of the request,” according to a message released last month by the Defense Department.

The emails released to American Oversight, as well as Center for Public Integrity and details about correspondence shared with The New York Times, have led Democrats in Congress to push the White House to release copies of all these exchanges, without the redactions. The Senate voted repeatedly on Tuesday night to block proposals by Democrats to require the release of these documents.

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Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-livevid-videoSixteenByNine3000 Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Each of the seven House managers will present different elements of their case against President Trump.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House on Wednesday passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167566659_0d892dd6-18f2-4e40-8553-7040794cbd34-articleLarge Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

President Trump held a press conference in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

During an unplanned news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a break from talking about the economy and lashed out at Democrats back home for impeaching him. He hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who is leading the prosecution, a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend his own trial — something his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

While his legal team spent Tuesday arguing that Democrats’ calls for witnesses were inappropriate and a sign of a weak case, and Mr. Trump himself spent months blocking his advisers from participating in the House impeachment inquiry, the president said on Wednesday that he actually would like them to be able to testify.

“I would rather interview Bolton,” he said, referring to John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser. “I would rather interview a lot of people.”

Mr. Bolton has said he would testify during the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so, and Democrats have demanded to hear from him. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump said, national security — and his own reputation — depends on Mr. Bolton staying silent.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”

Mr. Trump, who is often very open about his opinions of people, including world leaders, added: “It’s going to make the job really hard.”

Mr. Trump is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers will start laying out their case to convict President Trump and remove him from office some time after 1 p.m. today. They have up to 24 hours over a period of three days to persuade senators to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. It’s a tall ask for Senate Republicans, who have been expected to acquit Mr. Trump long before the trial even began. Each manager is expected to present a different aspect of the case without interruption from senators, who are sworn to silence.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has the same amount of time to present their side and could start presenting their case as soon as the House managers are done. It’s likely that Mr. Trump’s lawyers could spend Saturday presenting their case, based on the Senate impeachment rules which call for the trial to be conducted six days a week, with 1 p.m. start times.

But the clock might not start ticking for the managers at 1 p.m. Wednesday if they or Mr. Trump’s lawyers make any motions. Under the trial rules, the managers and lawyers can make any motions except for a motion to seek documents and witnesses — that will come later.

After each side completes their oral arguments, senators will have up to 16 hours ask questions, which much be submitted in writing. After that, the Senate will reconsider whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

Tuesday night’s Senate floor brawl was not the end of the haggling over potential witnesses at the impeachment trial. Democrats are still demanding to hear from current and former White House officials including Mr. Bolton.

And Republicans are increasingly answering with a provocative demand of their own: “Where’s Hunter?” as the Republican National Committee put it in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

The reference is to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The younger Mr. Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office, and in a July phone call, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do him “a favor” and investigate both men, a request that is now at the heart of the impeachment charges.

Democratic leaders regard the idea of calling the younger Mr. Biden as a nonstarter, arguing that he is not relevant to the case, and senior aides say there are no serious conversations about calling him.

“The president is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close ally of the elder Mr. Biden, said in a tweet. “VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Yet some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are pressing the idea of “witness reciprocity,” that their side might be open to calling someone like Mr. Bolton if Democrats would agree to summon a figure like Hunter Biden.

At least one Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, indicated in recent days he would be open to such a trade.

Republican leaders told Mr. Trump weeks ago they did not have the votes on their side to call the younger Mr. Biden, and senior Democratic aides say discussing a swap now makes little sense given that. But things could change in what promises to be a lively Senate negotiation that will culminate next week over whether to hear from witnesses — and if so, which ones.

Nicholas Fandos

The first day of the trial lasted until around 2 a.m. Wednesday, as Democrats forced a number of votes seeking to change the rules and insist on new evidence. Democrats said the Republicans had deliberately pushed the debate into the early morning hours when most Americans were sleeping.

“Is this really what we should be doing when we are deciding the fate of a presidency, we should be doing this at the midnight hour?” asked Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, said. Mr. Schiff, of California, said he started Tuesday asking whether Americans expect the trial to be fair. “Watching now at midnight this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial.”

Republicans tried several times without success to get Democrats to drop their demands for changes to the rules and speed the process along, but Democrats refused, forcing 11 votes in a strikingly partisan start to the proceeding. Republicans held together unanimously on almost every vote, blocking subpoenas for witnesses and documents. The Senate will revisit those issues later in the trial.

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Stream: Trump Impeachment Trial Updates washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to decide if states have to include religious schools in state scholarship programs.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over the court session, and then head to the Senate for the 1 p.m. start of Mr. Trump’s trial, where he serves a mostly ceremonial role — one that could be perilous for his reputation and that of his court.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts scolded both sides, the one of the impeachment managers, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone for trading insults. Chief Justice Roberts told them to remain civil and “remember where they are.”

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Impeachment Trial Schedule Explained

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WASHINGTON — With the adoption early Wednesday morning of the ground rules for President Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate prepared to plunge forward over the next week with oral arguments, questions from senators and consequential votes on whether to admit new evidence.

The trial could be over in two weeks, or it could stretch on much longer, depending on how much time is used by each side and how much additional evidence — if any — senators vote to review.

After a bruising 12-hour debate that underscored the deep acrimony between Republicans and Democrats at the outset of the trial, Republicans pushed through a set of rules that would postpone until next week at the earliest a final decision on whether to call witnesses or subpoena documents for the trial.

That brought into focus what will unfold in the Senate over the coming days. Here is what to expect:

The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. Wednesday, but oral arguments might not begin immediately. Under the rules, the managers and White House lawyers are allowed to make any motion they want, except for seeking documents and witnesses, a matter that will be debated later in the proceedings.

What motions could they make? Mr. Trump has said publicly that he wants to end the trial quickly, so his lawyers could move for dismissal. That is seen as unlikely because Republican senators — including staunch allies of the president’s — have said there is little support among their colleagues to dismiss the case before the arguments have been heard.

After any motions are considered, the seven House members serving as prosecutors in the impeachment trial have 24 hours to lay out their case, most likely starting at some point Wednesday afternoon. Under the rules adopted on Tuesday, they can use their time over three days.

The managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have so far not been shy about taking every minute they are owed. During Tuesday’s debate over the rules, Mr. Schiff and the other managers filled their time with lengthy, detailed arguments that included the use of PowerPoint presentations and video clips of Mr. Trump and the witnesses who appeared in the House inquiry.

If that trend continues, the House managers could spend the balance of the week making their case for Mr. Trump’s removal from office.

One consideration for the managers? The patience of senators, some of whom already looked a bit bored on Tuesday — one even appeared to doze off — as they sat in silence through several hours of Mr. Schiff and his colleagues delivering dense, detailed arguments. The House leadership could decide, as the impeachment managers did during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, that taking every minute of the 24 hours afforded to them will not help their case.

If the House managers take all of their time, the White House lawyers — led by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer — will have the chance to deliver their oral arguments defending the president starting on Saturday, Jan. 25. Senate rules that date back more than three decades hold that during impeachment, senators must meet six days a week, taking only Sunday off.

If the debate over rules was any guide, the president’s lawyers may take far less than their allotted 24 hours. But if they took it all, they would complete their presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Like the House managers, the White House lawyers will probably think about how long they want to keep senators in their seats. But they also have another audience: Mr. Trump, who has been itching to see a vigorous defense of him played out on television screens. That might encourage Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow to take a longer time outlining the case for his acquittal.

Under a clause inserted by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the rules allow Mr. Trump’s legal team to move after opening arguments to object to pieces of evidence the House impeachment investigators collected in their inquiry. If the president’s legal team did so, it is not clear whether Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. would rule on those objections or if the Senate would debate and vote on them, but the process could take some time.

After each side has presented its case, the trial rules give senators up to 16 hours to ask questions. But unlike during a normal Senate session, they are not allowed to speak. They must submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. Under the rules of the Senate, the chief justice will decide which questions to ask, directing them to the managers or to the White House legal team.

That does not mean there will not be any grandstanding. When the chief justice reads a question aloud, he will indicate which senator submitted it. (Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, frequently boasts that during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial, she and Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, were the only two senators to submit a bipartisan question.)

It is not clear whether the senators will use all 16 hours. If they do, it would probably occur by the middle of next week, though when they start would depend on how long the House managers and White House lawyers have chosen to talk.

Once senators have exhausted all of their time for questions, they will take up whether the Senate should subpoena witnesses and seek additional documents from the administration that could be relevant to the impeachment inquiry. Depending on what has occurred up to that point, the debate could begin on Friday, Jan. 31.

Under the rules, there would first be a four-hour debate — two hours for each side — on whether motions about specific witnesses and documents are in order, followed by a vote. If Republicans succeed in defeating that motion, they would move quickly to final votes on the two articles of impeachment.

If Democrats succeed in persuading at least four Republican senators to back their demands for more evidence, they would most likely make motions to subpoena witnesses they have insisted upon for weeks: John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; Robert B. Blair, a top aide to Mr. Mulvaney; and Michael Duffey, a White House budget official. The Senate would probably debate and vote on each one.

Even though all of the chamber’s Republican senators voted on Tuesday to reject seeking testimony from witnesses, a few — including Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Ms. Collins — have indicated they would be open to calling witnesses toward the end of the trial instead of at the beginning.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers would also have an opportunity to request witnesses. Some Republicans have suggested that the White House lawyers should call witnesses like Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Democrats have repeatedly said they do not think witnesses like Mr. Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, are relevant to the question of Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

If the senators agreed to call witnesses, the trial schedule would get much fuzzier, potentially extending well into February. The Senate would issue subpoenas in the name of the chief justice, seeking their testimony. Those who agreed to testify willingly would first be deposed in private sessions with House managers and White House lawyers and their staff. It is unclear how long it would take to conduct those sessions.

Under the rules, witnesses who are deposed in private do not automatically testify in person or by video in the Senate chamber. Senators must take a final vote after the depositions are completed to decide whether to allow the testimony. It is difficult to know when such votes might take place.

After all of the witnesses testify, the rules call for senators to move to a vote on the articles of impeachment — in Mr. Trump’s case, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The resolution calls for no debate, only two final votes, bringing to an end the third Senate trial of a president in the nation’s history.

There is little doubt about the outcome. The Constitution requires that two-thirds of all senators, 67 of 100, must find Mr. Trump guilty in order to convict him on an article of impeachment and remove him from office. Both sides agree that is almost certain not to happen.

But when the final votes take place is very much up in the air. Depending on the choices made by the managers, the White House lawyers and the senators, the votes could happen days before the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 4 — or well after.

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Trump, in Davos to Talk Trade, Lashes Out at Enemies Back Home

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DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump said on Wednesday that he would prefer a long impeachment trial with witness testimony before the Senate, but that national security concerns made that impossible, and added that he would like to attend the trial.

Mr. Trump unleashed on Democrats and the news media in a wide-ranging news conference before leaving Davos, where he met with business and government leaders from around the world, to return to Washington, where impeachment overshadows all else.

A day earlier, Mr. Trump managed to stick to a script about a strong United States economy while addressing a global audience at the World Economic Forum, and he largely swatted away any questions about the impeachment proceedings. But before leaving Switzerland, he called a last-minute news conference, during which he vented at length about his political enemies in Washington as some of his top economic advisers stood silently behind him.

Mr. Trump called Representative Jerry Nadler of New York a “sleaze bag” and referred to Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

The president referred to Mr. Schiff and the other House impeachment managers as “major sleaze bags” and said he would love to attend his own trial in order to “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.” But he acknowledged that his lawyers would most likely advise him against doing so.

Mr. Trump’s comments ran counter to the actions of Senate Republicans, who have turned back Democrats’ attempts to subpoena documents and compel White House officials to testify in the impeachment trial. Mr. Trump claimed that he favored a drawn-out process that would allow witnesses like John Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff; and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but said that allowing them to testify would create “a national security problem.”

But Mr. Trump also expressed reservations about the idea of Mr. Bolton, whom he forced out in September, appearing as a witness because “you don’t like people testifying when they didn’t leave on good terms.” He said his break with Mr. Bolton was “due to me, not due to him.”

White House officials had hoped that the World Economic Forum would give the president an opportunity to highlight economic successes that they see as being supplanted at home by the impeachment investigations and, now, a trial.

Mr. Trump began the news conference on Wednesday by pointing out economic gains and claiming that “Davos has treated us beautifully.” But after a day of ignoring reporters’ questions, he appeared eager to discuss the impeachment proceedings.

He said that the White House would be right to assert executive privilege to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, even as he claimed he was open to hearing from his former adviser.

“John would certainly fit into that,” he said. “When he knows my thoughts on certain people and other governments, war and peace and different things, that’s a national security problem.” He said a “national security problem” would also stand in the way of Mr. Pompeo appearing before the Senate.

He cited an October appearance by Mr. Mulvaney on “Fox News Sunday” as the reason his testimony under oath was not necessary. “He’s really expressed himself very well when he did a Chris Wallace interview,” Mr. Trump said. “I think there’s not much to add.”

Mr. Trump appeared eager to defy expectations that he would pick a fight with another high-profile guest at the conference, the 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, whom he has criticized in the past.

“She beat me out on Time magazine,” Mr. Trump said, referring to her being named Time’s person of the year in December.

“I would have loved to have seen her speak,” he said, but he recommended she “start working on those other countries,” because “our water numbers, our numbers on air, are tremendous.”

Mr. Trump also launched a broadside against the news media, even as he congratulated an NBC News television correspondent, Kristen Welker, on a promotion and hinted that he might be willing to appear on her show. “If we could straighten out the press in our country, we would have a place that would be so incredible,” he said.

Mr. Trump also insisted that his side of the story was the easy one to explain, and that he was simply a target because of his own success. “I’m honest,” he said. “I make great deals.”

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Live Updates: Trump Impeachment Trial

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167578659_d50b765a-856f-4f92-85ff-9cee8bfe1996-articleLarge Live Updates: Trump Impeachment Trial washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arriving Wednesday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House on Wednesday passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

During an unplanned news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a break from talking about the economy and lashed out at Democrats back home for impeaching him. He hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who is leading the prosecution, a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend his own trial — something his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

While his legal team spent Tuesday arguing that Democrats’ calls for witnesses were inappropriate and a sign of a weak case, and Mr. Trump himself spent months blocking his advisers from participating in the House impeachment inquiry, the president said on Wednesday that he actually would like them to be able to testify.

“I would rather interview Bolton,” he said, referring to John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser. “I would rather interview a lot of people.”

Mr. Bolton has said he would testify during the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so, and Democrats have demanded to hear from him. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump said, national security — and his own reputation — depends on Mr. Bolton staying silent.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”

Mr. Trump, who is often very open about his opinions of people, including world leaders, added: “It’s going to make the job really hard.”

Mr. Trump is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers will start laying out their case to convict President Trump and remove him from office some time after 1 p.m. today. They have up to 24 hours over a period of three days to persuade senators to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. It’s a tall ask for Senate Republicans, who have been expected to acquit Mr. Trump long before the trial even began. Each manager is expected to present a different aspect of the case without interruption from senators, who are sworn to silence.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has the same amount of time to present their side and could start presenting their case as soon as the House managers are done. It’s likely that Mr. Trump’s lawyers could spend Saturday presenting their case, based on the Senate impeachment rules which call for the trial to be conducted six days a week, with 1 p.m. start times.

But the clock might not start ticking for the managers at 1 p.m. Wednesday if they or Mr. Trump’s lawyers make any motions. Under the trial rules, the managers and lawyers can make any motions except for a motion to seek documents and witnesses — that will come later.

After each side completes their oral arguments, senators will have up to 16 hours ask questions, which much be submitted in writing. After that, the Senate will reconsider whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

The first day of the trial lasted until around 2 a.m. Wednesday, as Democrats forced a number of votes seeking to change the rules and insist on new evidence. Democrats said the Republicans had deliberately pushed the debate into the early morning hours when most Americans were sleeping.

“Is this really what we should be doing when we are deciding the fate of a presidency, we should be doing this at the midnight hour?” asked Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, said. Mr. Schiff, of California, said he started Tuesday asking whether Americans expect the trial to be fair. “Watching now at midnight this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial.”

Republicans tried several times without success to get Democrats to drop their demands for changes to the rules and speed the process along, but Democrats refused, forcing 11 votes in a strikingly partisan start to the proceeding. Republicans held together unanimously on almost every vote, blocking subpoenas for witnesses and documents. The Senate will revisit those issues later in the trial.

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167547744_14db007b-ac74-48c8-aeae-a53f82afaf86-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Trump Impeachment Trial washington dc United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to decide if states have to include religious schools in state scholarship programs.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over the court session, and then head to the Senate for the 1 p.m. start of Mr. Trump’s trial, where he serves a mostly ceremonial role — one that could be perilous for his reputation and that of his court.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts scolded both sides, the one of the impeachment managers, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone for trading insults. Chief Justice Roberts told them to remain civil and “remember where they are.”

Tuesday night’s Senate floor brawl was not the end of the haggling over potential witnesses at the impeachment trial. Democrats are still demanding to hear from current and former White House officials including Mr. Bolton.

And Republicans are increasingly answering with a provocative demand of their own: “Where’s Hunter?” as the Republican National Committee put it in an email to reporters on Wednesday.

The reference is to Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The younger Mr. Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was in office, and in a July phone call, Mr. Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do him “a favor” and investigate both men, a request that is now at the heart of the impeachment charges.

Democratic leaders regard the idea of calling the younger Mr. Biden as a nonstarter, arguing that he is not relevant to the case, and senior aides say there are no serious conversations about calling him.

“The president is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden,” Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware and a close ally of the elder Mr. Biden, said in a tweet. “VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

Yet some Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas are pressing the idea of “witness reciprocity,” that their side might be open to calling someone like Mr. Bolton if Democrats would agree to summon a figure like Hunter Biden.

At least one Democrat, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, indicated in recent days he would be open to such a trade.

Republican leaders told Mr. Trump weeks ago they did not have the votes on their side to call the younger Mr. Biden, and senior Democratic aides say discussing a swap now makes little sense given that. But things could change in what promises to be a lively Senate negotiation that will culminate next week over whether to hear from witnesses — and if so, which ones.

Nicholas Fandos

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Impeachment Trial Schedule: What You Need to Know

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WASHINGTON — With the adoption early Wednesday morning of the ground rules for President Trump’s impeachment trial, the Senate prepared to plunge forward over the next week with oral arguments, questions from senators and consequential votes on whether to admit new evidence.

The trial could be over in two weeks, or it could stretch on much longer, depending on how much time is used by each side and how much additional evidence — if any — senators vote to review.

After a bruising 12-hour debate that underscored the deep acrimony between Republicans and Democrats at the outset of the trial, Republicans pushed through a set of rules that would postpone until next week at the earliest a final decision on whether to call witnesses or subpoena documents for the trial.

That brought into focus what will unfold in the Senate over the coming days. Here is what to expect:

The trial will reconvene at 1 p.m. Wednesday, but oral arguments might not begin immediately. Under the rules, the managers and White House lawyers are allowed to make any motion they want, except for seeking documents and witnesses, a matter that will be debated later in the proceedings.

What motions could they make? Mr. Trump has said publicly that he wants to end the trial quickly, so his lawyers could move for dismissal. That is seen as unlikely because Republican senators — including staunch allies of the president’s — have said there is little support among their colleagues to dismiss the case before the arguments have been heard.

After any motions are considered, the seven House members serving as prosecutors in the impeachment trial have 24 hours to lay out their case, most likely starting at some point Wednesday afternoon. Under the rules adopted on Tuesday, they can use their time over three days.

The managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, have so far not been shy about taking every minute they are owed. During Tuesday’s debate over the rules, Mr. Schiff and the other managers filled their time with lengthy, detailed arguments that included the use of PowerPoint presentations and video clips of Mr. Trump and the witnesses who appeared in the House inquiry.

If that trend continues, the House managers could spend the balance of the week making their case for Mr. Trump’s removal from office.

One consideration for the managers? The patience of senators, some of whom already looked a bit bored on Tuesday — one even appeared to doze off — as they sat in silence through several hours of Mr. Schiff and his colleagues delivering dense, detailed arguments. The House leadership could decide, as the impeachment managers did during President Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, that taking every minute of the 24 hours afforded to them will not help their case.

If the House managers take all of their time, the White House lawyers — led by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer — will have the chance to deliver their oral arguments defending the president starting on Saturday, Jan. 25. Senate rules that date back more than three decades hold that during impeachment, senators must meet six days a week, taking only Sunday off.

If the debate over rules was any guide, the president’s lawyers may take far less than their allotted 24 hours. But if they took it all, they would complete their presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

Like the House managers, the White House lawyers will probably think about how long they want to keep senators in their seats. But they also have another audience: Mr. Trump, who has been itching to see a vigorous defense of him played out on television screens. That might encourage Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow to take a longer time outlining the case for his acquittal.

Under a clause inserted by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, the rules allow Mr. Trump’s legal team to move after opening arguments to object to pieces of evidence the House impeachment investigators collected in their inquiry. If the president’s legal team did so, it is not clear whether Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. would rule on those objections or if the Senate would debate and vote on them, but the process could take some time.

After each side has presented its case, the trial rules give senators up to 16 hours to ask questions. But unlike during a normal Senate session, they are not allowed to speak. They must submit their questions in writing to Chief Justice Roberts, who is presiding over the trial. Under the rules of the Senate, the chief justice will decide which questions to ask, directing them to the managers or to the White House legal team.

That does not mean there will not be any grandstanding. When the chief justice reads a question aloud, he will indicate which senator submitted it. (Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, frequently boasts that during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial, she and Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, were the only two senators to submit a bipartisan question.)

It is not clear whether the senators will use all 16 hours. If they do, it would probably occur by the middle of next week, though when they start would depend on how long the House managers and White House lawyers have chosen to talk.

Once senators have exhausted all of their time for questions, they will take up whether the Senate should subpoena witnesses and seek additional documents from the administration that could be relevant to the impeachment inquiry. Depending on what has occurred up to that point, the debate could begin on Friday, Jan. 31.

Under the rules, there would first be a four-hour debate — two hours for each side — on whether motions about specific witnesses and documents are in order, followed by a vote. If Republicans succeed in defeating that motion, they would move quickly to final votes on the two articles of impeachment.

If Democrats succeed in persuading at least four Republican senators to back their demands for more evidence, they would most likely make motions to subpoena witnesses they have insisted upon for weeks: John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; Robert B. Blair, a top aide to Mr. Mulvaney; and Michael Duffey, a White House budget official. The Senate would probably debate and vote on each one.

Even though all of the chamber’s Republican senators voted on Tuesday to reject seeking testimony from witnesses, a few — including Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Ms. Collins — have indicated they would be open to calling witnesses toward the end of the trial instead of at the beginning.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers would also have an opportunity to request witnesses. Some Republicans have suggested that the White House lawyers should call witnesses like Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Democrats have repeatedly said they do not think witnesses like Mr. Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, are relevant to the question of Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

If the senators agreed to call witnesses, the trial schedule would get much fuzzier, potentially extending well into February. The Senate would issue subpoenas in the name of the chief justice, seeking their testimony. Those who agreed to testify willingly would first be deposed in private sessions with House managers and White House lawyers and their staff. It is unclear how long it would take to conduct those sessions.

Under the rules, witnesses who are deposed in private do not automatically testify in person or by video in the Senate chamber. Senators must take a final vote after the depositions are completed to decide whether to allow the testimony. It is difficult to know when such votes might take place.

After all of the witnesses testify, the rules call for senators to move to a vote on the articles of impeachment — in Mr. Trump’s case, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The resolution calls for no debate, only two final votes, bringing to an end the third Senate trial of a president in the nation’s history.

There is little doubt about the outcome. The Constitution requires that two-thirds of all senators, 67 of 100, must find Mr. Trump guilty in order to convict him on an article of impeachment and remove him from office. Both sides agree that is almost certain not to happen.

But when the final votes take place is very much up in the air. Depending on the choices made by the managers, the White House lawyers and the senators, the votes could happen days before the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 4 — or well after.

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Trump Impeachment Trial: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

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Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, arriving Wednesday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

The White House on Wednesday passed up a chance to force a vote to dismiss the impeachment charges against President Trump before arguments get underway.

Both the president’s defense lawyers and the House Democratic impeachment managers had until 9 a.m. on Wednesday to offer motions related to the trial, except for ones that would call for witnesses and new evidence, issues that will be dealt with next week. Neither side did so, aides in both parties said.

The White House’s silence was more significant. Though Republican leaders have been discouraging the president’s team from seeking a swift dismissal, Mr. Trump had endorsed the idea and his conservative allies said the Senate ought to vote promptly to do so. A dismissal vote this week would almost certainly have failed to attract a majority of senators, dividing Republicans and dealing Mr. Trump an early symbolic defeat.

A motion to dismiss could still be offered later in the trial. For now, Republican congressional leaders have counseled the White House that it is better politically for the trial to run its course and deliver a full acquittal of the president, rather than cutting it short and enabling Democrats to argue the result is illegitimate.

Nicholas Fandos

During an unplanned news conference in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a break from talking about the economy and lashed out at Democrats back home for impeaching him. He hurled insults at two of the prominent House managers, calling Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman, a “sleaze bag” and branding Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, who is leading the prosecution, a “con job” and a “corrupt politician.”

Mr. Trump said he would love to attend his own trial — something his lawyers have advised against — so he could “sit right in the front row and stare into their corrupt faces.”

While his legal team spent Tuesday arguing that Democrats’ calls for witnesses were inappropriate and a sign of a weak case, and Mr. Trump himself spent months blocking his advisers from participating in the House impeachment inquiry, the president said on Wednesday that he actually would like them to be able to testify.

“I would rather interview Bolton,” he said, referring to John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser. “I would rather interview a lot of people.”

Mr. Bolton has said he would testify during the Senate trial if he was subpoenaed to do so, and Democrats have demanded to hear from him. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump said, national security — and his own reputation — depends on Mr. Bolton staying silent.

“He knows some of my thoughts, he knows what I think about leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader, and it’s not very positive? And then I have to deal on behalf of the country?”

Mr. Trump, who is often very open about his opinions of people, including world leaders, added: “It’s going to make the job really hard.”

Mr. Trump is expected to return to the White House on Wednesday evening and is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Doral, Fla., on Thursday.

The seven House Democratic impeachment managers will start laying out their case to convict President Trump and remove him from office some time after 1 p.m. today. They have up to 24 hours over a period of three days to persuade senators to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. It’s a tall ask for Senate Republicans, who have been expected to acquit Mr. Trump long before the trial even began. Each manager is expected to present a different aspect of the case without interruption from senators, who are sworn to silence.

Mr. Trump’s legal defense team has the same amount of time to present their side and could start presenting their case as soon as the House managers are done. It’s likely that Mr. Trump’s lawyers could spend Saturday presenting their case, based on the Senate impeachment rules which call for the trial to be conducted six days a week, with 1 p.m. start times.

But the clock might not start ticking for the managers at 1 p.m. Wednesday if they or Mr. Trump’s lawyers make any motions. Under the trial rules, the managers and lawyers can make any motions except for a motion to seek documents and witnesses — that will come later.

After each side completes their oral arguments, senators will have up to 16 hours ask questions, which much be submitted in writing. After that, the Senate will reconsider whether to subpoena witnesses or documents.

The first day of the trial lasted until around 2 a.m. Wednesday, as Democrats forced a number of votes seeking to change the rules and insist on new evidence. Democrats said the Republicans had deliberately pushed the debate into the early morning hours when most Americans were sleeping.

“Is this really what we should be doing when we are deciding the fate of a presidency, we should be doing this at the midnight hour?” asked Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, said. Mr. Schiff, of California, said he started Tuesday asking whether Americans expect the trial to be fair. “Watching now at midnight this effort to hide this in the dead of night cannot be encouraging to them about whether there will be a fair trial.”

Republicans tried several times without success to get Democrats to drop their demands for changes to the rules and speed the process along, but Democrats refused, forcing 11 votes in a strikingly partisan start to the proceeding. Republicans held together unanimously on almost every vote, blocking subpoenas for witnesses and documents. The Senate will revisit those issues later in the trial.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning to decide if states have to include religious schools in state scholarship programs.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over the court session, and then head to the Senate for the 1 p.m. start of Mr. Trump’s trial, where he serves a mostly ceremonial role — one that could be perilous for his reputation and that of his court.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts scolded both sides, the one of the impeachment managers, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, and the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone for trading insults. Chief Justice Roberts told them to remain civil and “remember where they are.”

Video

transcript

Chief Justice Admonishes Impeachment Managers and President’s Counsel

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.

I think it is appropriate, at this point, for me to admonish both the House managers and the president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body. One reason it has earned that title is because its members avoid speaking in a manner and using language that is not conducive to civil discourse. In the 1905 Swain trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word pettifogging — and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.

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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. had a warning for the House impeachment managers and the president’s lawyers as both sides debated the proposed trial rules.CreditCredit…Senate Television, via Associated Press

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