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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 82)

Trump Hopes Trade Deals Will Boost Growth. Experts Are Skeptical.

Westlake Legal Group 15DC-CHINAECON-sub-facebookJumbo Trump Hopes Trade Deals Will Boost Growth. Experts Are Skeptical. United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) China

WASHINGTON — Cabinet secretaries and White House officials have predicted that President Trump’s initial trade agreement with China and his revised accord with Mexico and Canada — slated for final passage this week — will deliver twin jolts to the economy.

But outside forecasters, including some economists who have welcomed the China agreement in particular, have predicted much more modest gains — and, in some cases, no gains at all.

“We now have U.S.M.C.A.; that’s going to pass the Senate this week,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday on CNBC, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “We have China Phase 1, there is a deal with Japan, a deal with Korea. These are all going to have significant positive effects on the 2020 economy.”

He and other officials have good reason to hope: Mr. Trump is up for re-election, and the economy appears to have grown by just over 2 percent in 2019, a dip from 2018 and well short of the administration’s forecasts of growth above 3 percent for the year.

The administration has yet to publish an official 2020 growth forecast. Mr. Mnuchin said on Sunday that he expected the economy to grow between 2.5 percent and 3 percent this year, though he cautioned that growth could fall to the lower end of that range because of troubles at the aerospace giant Boeing.

Other forecasts were less optimistic. The World Bank said last week that it expected the United States economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year. The first phase of the China trade deals and the U.S.M.C.A. are not expected to have much of an impact on the more pessimistic predictions.

“I have not changed my forecast as of yet and don’t expect to materially,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief United States economist for High Frequency Economics. She expects the nation’s economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year.

The China agreement, she said, “is a step in the right direction, but tariffs remain in place, and I’m not sure they will be rolled back imminently.”

The Phase 1 agreement could affect American growth in two ways, and administration officials are counting on both to deliver.

First, the deal calls for China to begin purchasing what the administration says will be $200 billion worth of American crops and other exported goods and services. Those purchases should increase exports from the United States to China, which, all else being equal, would promote growth.

Second, and perhaps more important, administration officials appear to be counting on the agreement to revive business investment in the United States, which has fallen in recent quarters after surging in the first half of 2018. The uncertainty that Mr. Trump and the Chinese sowed as they imposed escalating tariffs on each other’s imports was largely to blame for that sluggishness, many companies and economists have said.

The bullish case for the China agreement is that it will ease that uncertainty. Some economists say the U.S.M.C.A. could do the same. For months, administration officials have touted a study by the United States International Trade Commission that predicted that the North American trade deal could raise growth by 0.35 percent, largely by reducing uncertainty over trade in digital services.

Andrew Hunter, senior United States economist at Capital Economics, backed that assessment on Tuesday. “The gap that opened up last year between investment and corporate profits suggests that tariff uncertainty has caused firms to delay” investment plans, he wrote in a research note. He added, “With the U.S.M.C.A. deal signed and the threat of further tariffs on Chinese goods seemingly off the table, that drag should now be fading.”

Many economists have praised the agreements for reducing uncertainty, but few have raised their growth forecasts because of them. That is in part because they say the deals still leave a large number of tariffs in place — particularly those against China, but also on some steel, aluminum, solar panels and washing machines imported from other countries.

They also noted that Mr. Trump had waged his trade wars on fronts well beyond North America and China. New trade battles loom this year, including one between the United States and France over a French push to impose a new tax that hits American tech giants like Google and Amazon.

Mary Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the Phase 1 agreement was “good news for the U.S. and the world economy.” But, she said, “there remains considerable uncertainly for businesses using China as a platform for products destined for the U.S. market, and we will continue to see the impact of this in slower investment and higher business costs.”

Lewis Alexander, chief United States economist at Nomura, revised his 2020 growth forecast up by 0.1 percentage points in late fall to reflect the suspension of a new round of tariffs that had been set to take effect in December. He said he did not expect a material gain in business investment because of the deals.

Several economists expressed optimism that a “Phase 2” deal with China that rolls back more tariffs — coupled with a long stretch of trade peace on other fronts — could deliver more benefits to the economy. But administration officials appear to have ruled out such a deal before November.

“Yes, there is some upside risk to our outlook if things go better than we expect,” Mr. Alexander said. “But in general the direct effects of tariff changes are not large, and to really change the tone, a lot of things about the U.S.-China relationship would have to be settled in a way that seemed durable. It’s hard to see how that could be achieved in an election year.”

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Watchdog Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid

Westlake Legal Group 16dc-gao-facebookJumbo Watchdog Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Office of Management and Budget (US) impeachment Government Accountability Office Budgets and Budgeting

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration violated the law in withholding security assistance aid to Ukraine, a nonpartisan federal watchdog agency said on Thursday, weighing in on a decision by President Trump that is at the heart of the impeachment case against him.

The Government Accountability Office said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget violated the Impoundment Control Act when it withheld nearly $400 million for “a policy reason,” even though the funds had been allocated by Congress. The decision was directed by the president himself, and during the House impeachment inquiry, administration officials testified that they had raised concerns about its legality to no avail.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the G.A.O. wrote. “The withholding was not a programmatic delay.”

The impoundment law limits a president’s power to withhold money that has been allocated by Congress, requiring that he secure approval by the legislative branch if he wishes to do so.

The White House budget office promptly rejected the report’s conclusions.

“We disagree with G.A.O.’s opinion,” said Rachel Semmel, a spokeswoman for the budget office. “O.M.B. uses its apportionment authority to ensure taxpayer dollars are properly spent consistent with the president’s priorities and with the law.”

The report, on its own, does not result in any action, although its release just as Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial is getting underway is certain to fuel additional questions about the impact of his actions.

Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, a vocal critic of Mr. Trump’s decision to block the funds, on Thursday called the G.A.O. report a “bombshell legal opinion.” It “demonstrates, without a doubt, that the Trump Administration illegally withheld assistance from Ukraine and the public evidence shows that the president himself ordered this illegal act,” he wrote on Twitter.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Ukraine Investigates Reports of Surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch

Westlake Legal Group 16ukraine-facebookJumbo Ukraine Investigates Reports of Surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations United States Ukraine Trump, Donald J Surveillance of Citizens by Government Politics and Government impeachment

The police in Ukraine have opened a criminal investigation into whether allies of President Trump had the United States ambassador to the country under surveillance while she was stationed in Kyiv, the Ukrainian government said on Thursday.

Democrats in the House of Representative on Tuesday revealed text messages to and from Lev Parnas — an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer — pointing to surveillance of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, just before Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate was scheduled to begin.

Mr. Parnas was involved in a campaign, led by Mr. Giuliani, to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate; and his son Hunter Biden over the younger Mr. Biden’s lucrative time on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.

Also on Thursday, Ukraine said it had asked the F.B.I. for help investigating the reported penetration of Burisma’s computer systems by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

As part of the pressure campaign against Ukraine, Mr. Trump’s allies were trying to have Ms. Yovanovitch, who was seen as an impediment, removed from her post. Mr. Trump recalled her last spring.

Last March, an exchange between Mr. Parnas and another man, Robert F. Hyde, indicated that Mr. Hyde was in contact with people who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

“They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” one message from Mr. Hyde read.

Mr. Parnas said in a televised interview on Wednesday that he had not taken Mr. Hyde’s offer seriously.

Mr. Hyde told the Sinclair Broadcasting host Eric Bolling in a television interview on Wednesday that he was “absolutely not” monitoring Ms. Yovanovitch. He said he was under the influence of alcohol when he sent his messages to Mr. Parnas.

“It was just colorful, we were playing — I thought we were playing,” Mr. Hyde said.

The State Department did not reply to a list of questions about the text messages, surveillance of Ms. Yovanovitch, or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s knowledge of the matter and role in her ouster.

The Internal Affairs Ministry of Ukraine said in a statement released on Thursday that the country “cannot ignore such illegal activities” on its territory. “After analyzing these materials, the National Police of Ukraine upon their publication started criminal proceedings,” the statement read.

“Our goal is to investigate whether there were any violations of Ukrainian and international laws,” the ministry added. “Or maybe it was just bravado and fake conversation between two U.S. citizens.”

Edward Wong contributed reporting.

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Ukraine Investigates Reports of Illegal Surveillance of U.S. Ambassador

Westlake Legal Group 16ukraine-facebookJumbo Ukraine Investigates Reports of Illegal Surveillance of U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations United States Ukraine Trump, Donald J Surveillance of Citizens by Government Politics and Government impeachment

The police in Ukraine have opened a criminal investigation into whether allies of President Trump had the United States ambassador to the country under surveillance while she was stationed in Kyiv, the Ukrainian government said on Thursday.

Democrats in the House of Representative on Tuesday revealed evidence pointing to surveillance of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, just before Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate was scheduled to begin.

The House released text messages to and from Lev Parnas — an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer — who was involved in a campaign to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is seen as a strong potential challenger to Mr. Trump.

As part of that campaign, the president’s allies were trying to remove Ms. Yovanovitch from her post. They ultimately succeeded.

Last March, an exchange between Mr. Parnas and another man, Robert F. Hyde, indicated that Mr. Hyde was in contact with people who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

“They are willing to help if we/you would like a price,” said a message from Mr. Hyde.

The State Department did not reply to a list of questions about the text messages, surveillance of Ms. Yovanovitch, or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s knowledge of the matter and role in her ouster.

“Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on its territory,” Ukraine’s Internal Affairs Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday. “After analyzing these materials, the National Police of Ukraine upon their publication started criminal proceedings.”

“Our goal is to investigate whether there were any violations of Ukrainian and international laws,” the ministry added. “Or maybe it was just bravado and fake conversation between two U.S. citizens.”

Edward Wong contributed reporting.

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

Trump Hopes Trade Deals Will Boost Growth. Experts Don’t Agree.

Westlake Legal Group 15DC-CHINAECON-sub-facebookJumbo Trump Hopes Trade Deals Will Boost Growth. Experts Don’t Agree. United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market China

WASHINGTON — Cabinet secretaries and White House officials have predicted that President Trump’s initial trade agreement with China and his revised accord with Mexico and Canada — slated for final passage this week — will deliver twin jolts to the economy.

But outside forecasters, including some economists who have welcomed the China agreement in particular, have predicted much more modest gains — and, in some cases, no gains at all.

“We now have U.S.M.C.A.; that’s going to pass the Senate this week,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday on CNBC, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “We have China Phase 1, there is a deal with Japan, a deal with Korea. These are all going to have significant positive effects on the 2020 economy.”

He and other officials have good reason to hope: Mr. Trump is up for re-election, and the economy appears to have grown by just over 2 percent in 2019, a dip from 2018 and well short of the administration’s forecasts of growth above 3 percent for the year.

The administration has yet to publish an official 2020 growth forecast. Mr. Mnuchin said on Sunday that he expected the economy to grow between 2.5 percent and 3 percent this year, though he cautioned that growth could fall to the lower end of that range because of troubles at the aerospace giant Boeing.

Other forecasts were less optimistic. The World Bank said last week that it expected the United States economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year. The first phase of the China trade deals and the U.S.M.C.A. are not expected to have much of an impact on the more pessimistic predictions.

“I have not changed my forecast as of yet and don’t expect to materially,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief United States economist for High Frequency Economics. She expects the nation’s economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year.

The China agreement, she said, “is a step in the right direction, but tariffs remain in place, and I’m not sure they will be rolled back imminently.”

The Phase 1 agreement could affect American growth in two ways, and administration officials are counting on both to deliver.

First, the deal calls for China to begin purchasing what the administration says will be $200 billion worth of American crops and other exported goods and services. Those purchases should increase exports from the United States to China, which, all else being equal, would promote growth.

Second, and perhaps more important, administration officials appear to be counting on the agreement to revive business investment in the United States, which has fallen in recent quarters after surging in the first half of 2018. The uncertainty that Mr. Trump and the Chinese sowed as they imposed escalating tariffs on each other’s imports was largely to blame for that sluggishness, many companies and economists have said.

The bullish case for the China agreement is that it will ease that uncertainty. Some economists say the U.S.M.C.A. could do the same. For months, administration officials have touted a study by the United States International Trade Commission that predicted that the North American trade deal could raise growth by 0.35 percent, largely by reducing uncertainty over trade in digital services.

Andrew Hunter, senior United States economist at Capital Economics, backed that assessment on Tuesday. “The gap that opened up last year between investment and corporate profits suggests that tariff uncertainty has caused firms to delay” investment plans, he wrote in a research note. He added, “With the U.S.M.C.A. deal signed and the threat of further tariffs on Chinese goods seemingly off the table, that drag should now be fading.”

Many economists have praised the agreements for reducing uncertainty, but few have raised their growth forecasts because of them. That is in part because they say the deals still leave a large number of tariffs in place — particularly those against China, but also on some steel, aluminum, solar panels and washing machines imported from other countries.

They also noted that Mr. Trump had waged his trade wars on fronts well beyond North America and China. New trade battles loom this year, including one between the United States and France over a French push to impose a new tax that hits American tech giants like Google and Amazon.

Mary Lovely, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the Phase 1 agreement was “good news for the U.S. and the world economy.” But, she said, “there remains considerable uncertainly for businesses using China as a platform for products destined for the U.S. market, and we will continue to see the impact of this in slower investment and higher business costs.”

Lewis Alexander, chief United States economist at Nomura, revised his 2020 growth forecast up by 0.1 percentage points in late fall to reflect the suspension of a new round of tariffs that had been set to take effect in December. He said he did not expect a material gain in business investment because of the deals.

Several economists expressed optimism that a “Phase 2” deal with China that rolls back more tariffs — coupled with a long stretch of trade peace on other fronts — could deliver more benefits to the economy. But administration officials appear to have ruled out such a deal before November.

“Yes, there is some upside risk to our outlook if things go better than we expect,” Mr. Alexander said. “But in general the direct effects of tariff changes are not large, and to really change the tone, a lot of things about the U.S.-China relationship would have to be settled in a way that seemed durable. It’s hard to see how that could be achieved in an election year.”

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

Lev Parnas, Key Player in Ukraine Affair, Completes Break With Trump and Giuliani

Westlake Legal Group merlin_166609758_87322c82-08ee-4f02-827d-a568d50bd233-facebookJumbo Lev Parnas, Key Player in Ukraine Affair, Completes Break With Trump and Giuliani Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Jr Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican National Committee Presidential Election of 2020 Parnas, Lev One America Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor America First Action

WASHINGTON — Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born businessman who played a central role in the campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rivals of President Trump, completed his break with the White House on Wednesday, asserting for the first time in public that the president was fully aware of the efforts to dig up damaging information on his behalf.

In an interview with The New York Times on the day the House transmitted articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump to the Senate, Mr. Parnas also expressed regret for having trusted Mr. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer and the architect of the Ukraine pressure campaign. His lawyer said he was eager to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating Mr. Giuliani.

Mr. Parnas made his remarks as House impeachment investigators released more material he had turned over to them. The material, including text messages, photos and calendar entries, underscored how deeply Mr. Parnas and others were involved in carrying out the pressure campaign and how new information continues to surface even as the Senate prepares to begin Mr. Trump’s trial next week. And it provided additional evidence that the effort to win political advantage for Mr. Trump was widely known among his allies, showing that Mr. Parnas communicated regularly with two top Republican fund-raisers about what he was up to.

Text messages and call logs show that Mr. Parnas was in contact with Tom Hicks Jr., a donor and Trump family friend, and Joseph Ahearn, who raised money for pro-Trump political groups, about developments in the Ukraine pressure campaign.

In the text messages, Mr. Parnas kept Mr. Hicks and Mr. Ahearn apprised of efforts to disseminate damaging information about targets of Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani, including the United States ambassador to Kyiv, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ukrainians who spread information about Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman.

The records seem to expand the circle of people around Mr. Trump who were aware in real time of the pressure campaign. The campaign led to Mr. Trump’s impeachment in the House last month and a Senate trial that will start next week just as the 2020 presidential campaign is moving into high gear.

In the interview with The Times, Mr. Parnas said that although he did not speak with Mr. Trump directly about the efforts, he met with the president on several occasions and was told by Mr. Giuliani that Mr. Trump was kept in the loop. Mr. Parnas pointed in particular to text messages, released by the House this week, in which Mr. Giuliani refers to an effort to obtain a visa for a former Ukrainian official who leveled corruption allegations against Mr. Biden.

In the messages, Mr. Giuliani boasted of the effort to secure the visa: “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it.” Mr. Parnas said the reference to No. 1 was to Mr. Trump.

“I am betting my whole life that Trump knew exactly everything that was going on that Rudy Giuliani was doing in Ukraine,” Mr. Parnas said.

Mr. Parnas, an American citizen who was arrested in October on largely unrelated federal criminal charges, expressed remorse for his role in helping the Ukrainian pressure campaign, but pinned blame on the president and Mr. Giuliani.

“My biggest regret is trusting so much,” he said. “I thought I was being a patriot and helping the president,” he said, adding that he “thought by listening to the president and his attorney that I couldn’t possibly get in trouble or do anything wrong.”

Now that he faces criminal charges in the Southern District of New York, Mr. Parnas, who has pleaded not guilty, is looking to cooperate with prosecutors in his case, who are conducting a broader investigation into Mr. Giuliani and his dealings in Ukraine.

“We very much want to be heard in the Southern District,” Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, said in the interview with The Times. “We very much want to provide substantial assistance to the government.”

Taken together, the comments on Wednesday capped a stunning turnabout for a man who was a Trump donor and once considered himself a close friend of Mr. Giuliani, who is a godfather to his son.

Mr. Giuliani said in a text message on Wednesday that it was “sad to watch how the Trump haters are using” Mr. Parnas. He attributed Mr. Parnas’s willingness to share documents with congressional Democrats to a desire for “attention.”

He called Mr. Parnas “a proven liar,” and suggested he was undermining his credibility as a potential witness. “Let him run himself out then I’ll respond if necessary,” Mr. Giuliani said.

During the interview with The Times, as well as in a taped interview Mr. Parnas gave on Wednesday to the MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Mr. Parnas emphasized that he was always acting on behalf of Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani.

When asked by The Times how he knew that Mr. Trump was aware of the pressure campaign, he said that Mr. Giuliani assured him that was the case.

Before taking his first trip to Ukraine in February 2019, Mr. Parnas said that he met with Mr. Giuliani at the Grand Havana Room, a smoke-filled private club high above Midtown Manhattan, and relayed a concern that he and an associate, Igor Fruman, lacked the diplomatic credentials to carry out their task. Mr. Parnas said he proposed that the president designate them “special envoys” to ensure their safety and access.

Then, Mr. Parnas said, Mr. Giuliani walked away to call Mr. Trump, and returned with a new plan: He would represent Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, as well as the president, a move that might afford their shared mission the confidentiality of attorney-client privilege. Mr. Giuliani has denied Mr. Parnas’s account.

Days later, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman embarked for Eastern Europe.

Upon his return, Mr. Parnas began working with influential conservatives to disseminate the information and claims he helped collect from Ukraine. The materials released Wednesday also show him maintaining regular communication with Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor at the time, who was advocating the removal of the United States ambassador in Kyiv and was promising help in getting information about Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

By late March, as the claims began to circulate widely in the pro-Trump conservative news media, Mr. Parnas texted an associate, “I’m officially part of team trump,” according to the records released Wednesday.

In addition to the text messages, Mr. Parnas, who was indicted in October on campaign finance charges, provided Democrats in the House with voice mail messages left on his phone by Mr. Giuliani and another lawyer who worked on the Ukraine effort, emails, calendar entries and a bevy of photographs of Mr. Parnas with Trump allies.

In one photograph, which appears to be from May 2018, Mr. Parnas poses at a restaurant table with Mr. Fruman, who was also charged in the campaign finance case, as well as Mr. Hicks and the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

That same month, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman donated $325,000 in the name of a newly-created energy company, Global Energy Producers, to a pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, with which Mr. Hicks and Mr. Ahearn were affiliated.

In February, Mr. Hicks sent Mr. Parnas a video of a segment on the conservative television channel One America News Network that criticized a Ukrainian lawmaker who disseminated information about cash payments earmarked for Mr. Manafort by a Russia-aligned Ukrainian political party.

“Show Rudy,” Mr. Hicks wrote.

“On it now,” Mr. Parnas responded.

Mr. Hicks, who is friendly with Donald Trump Jr., later suggested that Mr. Parnas share “what we know at right time” with the editor and owner of the conservative Daily Caller website, whom he called “a friend. I trust him 100%.”

The next month, after the publication of a series of articles critical of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, on which Mr. Parnas and Mr. Giuliani had worked with a conservative journalist, Mr. Parnas shared a tweet on a related subject by the Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“You should retweet it,” Mr. Parnas wrote.

Mr. Hicks responded “I should probably keep my hands clean on that!”

That day, Mr. Ahearn texted Mr. Parnas asking “What should I send Don to tweet,” an apparent reference to Donald Trump Jr.

Mr. Parnas responded with links to tweets highlighting the articles about Ms. Yovanovitch, and a Ukrainian official who released the documents about the payments earmarked for Mr. Manafort. “Have jr retweet it,” Mr. Parnas wrote.

“Sent,” Mr. Ahearn responded.

It is unclear if Mr. Ahearn passed along the request to Donald Trump Jr., though Mr. Trump did retweet a Republican strategist criticizing Ms. Yovanovitch.

And a few days later, Mr. Parnas texted Mr. Ahearn another article about calls to remove Ms. Yovanovitch, which Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, commenting that the United States needs “less of these jokers as ambassadors.”

Mr. Parnas then sent an image of Mr. Trump’s tweet to Mr. Ahearn.

Mr. Trump ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s recall in late April amid mounting calls for him to do so from conservative figures.

Peter Chavkin, a lawyer for Mr. Ahearn, said, “Nothing in the communications seems out of the ordinary or sparks any concern.”

Mr. Hicks, who was the chairman of America First Action before stepping aside to become a co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for America First declined to comment. The organization has provided documents to prosecutors investigating the campaign finance charges against Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman. And two people who have helped raise money for America First Action were subpoenaed by the prosecutors last year.

Kenneth P. Vogel reported from Washington, and Ben Protess from New York. William K. Rashbaum and Michael Rothfeld contributed reporting from New York.

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Trump Tax Break That Benefited the Rich Is Being Investigated

Westlake Legal Group merlin_159286794_466e4461-31b4-4904-9e56-3b080ef88def-facebookJumbo Trump Tax Break That Benefited the Rich Is Being Investigated United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J High Net Worth Individuals Federal Taxes (US) Enterprise Zones

A federal tax break meant to help poor communities that became a windfall for wealthy investors is being investigated by the Treasury Department, the agency’s deputy inspector general said on Wednesday.

The inquiry is being conducted at the request of three Democratic lawmakers, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Representative Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri and Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin.

The lawmakers made their request after articles in The New York Times and ProPublica raised questions about the Opportunity Zone tax break.

The legislation, part of the 2017 tax overhaul, is supposed to encourage new investment in poor neighborhoods, leading to new housing, businesses and jobs. However, wealthy investors are piling into the initiative, including developers with ties to the Trump administration.

Last year, The Times reported how money eligible for the tax break — supported by both Democrats and Republicans — was going to luxury projects in affluent neighborhoods, including deals that were underway long before the tax break took effect.

In October, The Times described how the financier Michael Milken stood to benefit from a move the Treasury Department made over the objections of some agency officials to permit a census tract in Nevada to qualify for the Opportunity Zone tax break. Mr. Milken is a longtime friend of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s.

“Despite these warnings from staff, Secretary Mnuchin instructed Treasury officials to allow the otherwise ineligible tract to qualify for the incentive,” the lawmakers wrote in seeking the inquiry. “If the Treasury Department provided a stamp of approval as a political favor, it is not only unacceptable, but in complete violation of the congressional intent of the Opportunity Zones.”

The Treasury’s internal watchdog expects “to complete our work and respond to the congressional requesters in early spring,” Rich Delmar, the department’s deputy inspector general, said in a statement.

Other potential beneficiaries of the Opportunity Zone tax break, The Times reported last year, were billionaire financiers like Leon Cooperman; Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor; Richard LeFrak, a New York real estate titan who is close to the president; and the family of Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

The initiative allows people to sell stocks or other investments and delay capital gains taxes for years — as long as they put the proceeds into projects in federally certified opportunity zones. Investors can avoid federal taxes on any profits from those projects.

In late December, the administration finished the program’s regulations. Officials said the regulations gave investors more clarity and flexibility on how to deploy their money, and push more funds into designated areas.

NBC News earlier reported the news of the inquiry.

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Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized Senate Faces a Steep Impeachment Test

WASHINGTON — It is finally the Senate’s turn. And if recent history is any guide, President Trump’s impeachment trial will be an intensely partisan display that will make the polarization of the Clinton era look like a bygone period of political harmony.

While Democrats and Republicans managed to unanimously come to terms on how to start President Bill Clinton’s trial in 1999, the two parties — and their two leaders — are today irreconcilably divided on how to proceed and whether the trial is even legitimate.

Hanging over the showdown is a decade of intensifying Senate conflict exemplified by ruthless party-line rule changes, constant filibusters, the Republican blockade of Judge Merrick B. Garland, poisonous confirmation fights and a dearth of legislative action as Senate leaders shy from votes that could threaten incumbents up for re-election.

The Trump trial provides an opportunity for senators to show that the institution can still rise above brutal partisan combat at a moment of constitutional gravity. But there is little reason for optimism as Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, has repeatedly expressed deep disdain for the House proceedings and the conduct of his political rivals across the aisle, a reflection of the view held by most of his Republican colleagues.

Video

transcript

Impeachment Highlights: House Initiates Impeachment Trial

The House named the impeachment managers, held a floor vote and took part in a rarely used engrossment ceremony.

The house has passed H.Res.798, a resolution appointing and authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, president of the United States. Good morning, everyone. Today is an important day, because today is the day that we name the managers who go to the floor to pass the resolution to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate. And later in the day when we have our engrossment, that we march those articles of impeachment to the United States Senate. I believe that they bring to this case and the United States Senate: great patriotism, great respect for the Constitution of the United States, great comfort level in a courtroom. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. Thank you, Madame Speaker. This trial is necessary because President Trump gravely abused the power of his office. Back when this national nightmare began, Speaker Pelosi laid bare her intentions and purely partisan agenda. President Trump put his own personal interests above the national interests, above our national security. And if not stopped, he will do it again. This has nothing to do with the facts. The only real emergency here is that there’s a 2020 election in which the Democrats can’t stand to see the fact, this president is going to win again. Yeas are 228; the nays are 193. The resolution is adopted and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. Today, we will make history. For the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, president of the United States. The message will be received. The Senate is ready to receive the managers appointed by the House for the purpose of exhibiting articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, president of the United States. At the hour of 12 noon on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, the Senate will receive the managers on the part of the House of Representatives. This is a difficult time for our country. But this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate. I’m confident this body can rise above short-termism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation. We can do this, and we must.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167197866_07eb2e44-9ebf-465c-9e11-bcada8e08d0b-videoSixteenByNine3000 Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized Senate Faces a Steep Impeachment Test United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party Pelosi, Nancy impeachment Elections, Senate Democratic Party Clinton, Bill

The House named the impeachment managers, held a floor vote and took part in a rarely used engrossment ceremony.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

“It is a bad beginning, but that doesn’t dictate the ending,” said Kent Conrad, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota who took part in the Clinton impeachment trial. “We could have some people have a crisis of conscience and realize that history is going to judge them on how they perform here.”

Those inside and outside the Senate say the partisan atmosphere has deteriorated markedly from the days of the Clinton trial. That itself was contentious as House Republicans, at the urging of Tom DeLay of Texas, the Republican whip known for a take-no-prisoners approach, pushed through impeachment articles against the president in a lame-duck Congress in 1998.

Still, the two Senate leaders at the time, Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, and Tom Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota, reached an agreement for the trial that the full Senate found acceptable as a starting point.

Senators took their responsibilities seriously despite a consensus acknowledgment from the beginning that Mr. Clinton would not be removed from office, as well as deep disagreement over the appropriateness of the accusations against him — circumstances similar to the present.

“As absurd as the Clinton impeachment was, it was handled with, generally speaking, the proper solemnity,” said Russ Feingold, a former Democratic senator from Wisconsin who was the only member of his party at the time to vote with Republicans against a motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment against Mr. Clinton. “The trial was generally viewed as essentially fair.”

In contrast, Mr. McConnell and his Democratic counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, are not in talks about the ground rules for the Trump trial. Instead, Mr. McConnell is plunging ahead and next week, he plans to set the parameters purely with Republican votes if necessary, leaving some of the larger questions, including whether to call witnesses as demanded by Democrats, until later.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who has pushed to leave open the possibility of calling witnesses in the trial, said she had pressed Mr. McConnell to allow it in part because of her experience with Mr. Clinton’s trial in 1999, and her desire to honor the Senate’s unique obligation on impeachment.

“I happen to believe in the oath, and I believe in precedent, and that’s why I’m doing it,” Ms. Collins said on Wednesday.

Mr. McConnell has repeatedly denigrated the House impeachment as weak and rushed, derided the tactics of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and questioned the motivations of Mr. Schumer. The minority leader, Republicans say, is using the impeachment trial to undermine embattled Republicans such as Cory Gardner of Colorado and Ms. Collins in an attempt to wrest control of the Senate from Republicans in November.

“The Senate Democratic leader recently said that as long as he can try to use the trial process to hurt some Republicans’ re-election chances, quote, ‘it’s a win-win,’” Mr. McConnell said this week. “That’s what this is all about.”

Democrats bristle at the idea that they are playing politics and say that Mr. Trump put national security at risk by withholding military aid from Ukraine as leverage to force an investigation of a political rival and then stonewalled the House investigation of his actions.

In a tale of two chambers, the contrast between the House and Senate was on full display Wednesday. House Democrats showcased their selection of impeachment prosecutors and the ritualistic delivery of the articles of impeachment across the Rotunda while Senate Republicans treated the matter like a hot potato, appearing in no hurry to take possession of the charges. Mr. McConnell promptly put off until Thursday the formal reception of the paperwork.

“The far left has been desperate to get rid of President Trump since Day 1, and that has been made abundantly clear throughout this process,” said Senator Todd Young, Republican of Indiana, who nevertheless said he would try to weigh the merits of the case. “Now that the articles are being delivered and a trial will be held in the Senate, I will uphold my duty as an impeachment juror and carefully evaluate the legal arguments.”

Before the Clinton impeachment trial got underway, the full Senate gathered in the old chamber down a marble hallway from the Senate floor to work out their differences in a free-flowing private discussion that participants remember as a singular event during their service. They said the weight of what they confronted, and the historic surroundings of the chamber where illustrious senators of the past had roamed the floor, encouraged them to find common ground.

Mr. McConnell, in contrast, apparently wants nothing to do with the old Senate chamber. Republicans say he would prefer to stay out of the storied space for fear an all-hands meeting there would lend undue import to the trial and create an atmosphere in which some Republicans could decide to ally themselves with Democrats on procedural issues, effectively costing him control of the process.

With his name on the ballot in November, Mr. McConnell must also manage his own relationship with Mr. Trump. Any move that the White House interprets as backing away from a staunch defense or giving Democrats room to press their case is likely to provoke an angry response from the president and aggravate Republican voters who believe the matter should not even be dignified by a trial.

But Mr. McConnell is also keenly aware that the trial is a test of the Senate and of his own ability to navigate the political crosscurrents of an election-year impeachment debate.

“This is a difficult time for our country but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate,” he said on the floor on Wednesday as the articles were delivered. “I’m confident this body can rise above the short term-ism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation. We can do this, and we must.”

With the disposition of the articles now the responsibility of the Senate, former members of both parties who served during the Clinton trial say senators should strive to do their jobs in a way that ultimately reflects well on an institution that has struggled of late to inspire public confidence.

“While any Republican senator could say, ‘I’m voting not guilty because they treated him unfairly,’ they have to vote on the merits,” said Slade Gorton, a former Republican senator from Washington State who worked with Democrats in 1999 to develop a bipartisan trial framework. “They have to go through a real process of thought on this. It is a very serious matter, and it has to appear to be right from the point of view of the people.”

Other participants from 1999 said they feared the future consequences for the Senate and the impeachment process if the Senate is viewed as botching the trial.

“The Senate’s reputation is clearly on the line with impeachment,” said Mr. Daschle, the Democratic leader who worked with Mr. Lott to try to avert partisan disaster during the Clinton trial. “How it is handled will not only affect the perception of the quality of governance at a critical moment for our country, it will have profound ramifications for how matters similar to this are addressed in the future.”

Trump on Trial is a continuing series of articles offering analysis and impressions of the Senate impeachment proceedings.

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

Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized Senate Faces a Steep Impeachment Test

WASHINGTON — It is finally the Senate’s turn. And if recent history is any guide, President Trump’s impeachment trial will be an intensely partisan display that will make the polarization of the Clinton era look like a bygone period of political harmony.

While Democrats and Republicans managed to unanimously come to terms on how to start President Bill Clinton’s trial in 1999, the two parties — and their two leaders — are today irreconcilably divided on how to proceed and whether the trial is even legitimate.

Hanging over the showdown is a decade of intensifying Senate conflict exemplified by ruthless party-line rule changes, constant filibusters, the Republican blockade of Judge Merrick B. Garland, poisonous confirmation fights and a dearth of legislative action as Senate leaders shy from votes that could threaten incumbents up for re-election.

The Trump trial provides an opportunity for senators to show that the institution can still rise above brutal partisan combat at a moment of constitutional gravity. But there is little reason for optimism as Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, has repeatedly expressed deep disdain for the House proceedings and the conduct of his political rivals across the aisle, a reflection of the view held by most of his Republican colleagues.

Video

transcript

Impeachment Highlights: House Initiates Impeachment Trial

The House named the impeachment managers, held a floor vote and took part in a rarely used engrossment ceremony.

The house has passed H.Res.798, a resolution appointing and authorizing managers for the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, president of the United States. Good morning, everyone. Today is an important day, because today is the day that we name the managers who go to the floor to pass the resolution to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate. And later in the day when we have our engrossment, that we march those articles of impeachment to the United States Senate. I believe that they bring to this case and the United States Senate: great patriotism, great respect for the Constitution of the United States, great comfort level in a courtroom. Without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. Thank you, Madame Speaker. This trial is necessary because President Trump gravely abused the power of his office. Back when this national nightmare began, Speaker Pelosi laid bare her intentions and purely partisan agenda. President Trump put his own personal interests above the national interests, above our national security. And if not stopped, he will do it again. This has nothing to do with the facts. The only real emergency here is that there’s a 2020 election in which the Democrats can’t stand to see the fact, this president is going to win again. Yeas are 228; the nays are 193. The resolution is adopted and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. Today, we will make history. For the impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, president of the United States. The message will be received. The Senate is ready to receive the managers appointed by the House for the purpose of exhibiting articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, president of the United States. At the hour of 12 noon on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, the Senate will receive the managers on the part of the House of Representatives. This is a difficult time for our country. But this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate. I’m confident this body can rise above short-termism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation. We can do this, and we must.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167197866_07eb2e44-9ebf-465c-9e11-bcada8e08d0b-videoSixteenByNine3000 Its Reputation Tattered, Polarized Senate Faces a Steep Impeachment Test United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Republican Party Pelosi, Nancy impeachment Elections, Senate Democratic Party Clinton, Bill

The House named the impeachment managers, held a floor vote and took part in a rarely used engrossment ceremony.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

“It is a bad beginning, but that doesn’t dictate the ending,” said Kent Conrad, a former Democratic senator from North Dakota who took part in the Clinton impeachment trial. “We could have some people have a crisis of conscience and realize that history is going to judge them on how they perform here.”

Those inside and outside the Senate say the partisan atmosphere has deteriorated markedly from the days of the Clinton trial. That itself was contentious as House Republicans, at the urging of Tom DeLay of Texas, the Republican whip known for a take-no-prisoners approach, pushed through impeachment articles against the president in a lame-duck Congress in 1998.

Still, the two Senate leaders at the time, Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, and Tom Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota, reached an agreement for the trial that the full Senate found acceptable as a starting point.

Senators took their responsibilities seriously despite a consensus acknowledgment from the beginning that Mr. Clinton would not be removed from office, as well as deep disagreement over the appropriateness of the accusations against him — circumstances similar to the present.

“As absurd as the Clinton impeachment was, it was handled with, generally speaking, the proper solemnity,” said Russ Feingold, a former Democratic senator from Wisconsin who was the only member of his party at the time to vote with Republicans against a motion to dismiss the articles of impeachment against Mr. Clinton. “The trial was generally viewed as essentially fair.”

In contrast, Mr. McConnell and his Democratic counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, are not in talks about the ground rules for the Trump trial. Instead, Mr. McConnell is plunging ahead and next week, he plans to set the parameters purely with Republican votes if necessary, leaving some of the larger questions, including whether to call witnesses as demanded by Democrats, until later.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who has pushed to leave open the possibility of calling witnesses in the trial, said she had pressed Mr. McConnell to allow it in part because of her experience with Mr. Clinton’s trial in 1999, and her desire to honor the Senate’s unique obligation on impeachment.

“I happen to believe in the oath, and I believe in precedent, and that’s why I’m doing it,” Ms. Collins said on Wednesday.

Mr. McConnell has repeatedly denigrated the House impeachment as weak and rushed, derided the tactics of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and questioned the motivations of Mr. Schumer. The minority leader, Republicans say, is using the impeachment trial to undermine embattled Republicans such as Cory Gardner of Colorado and Ms. Collins in an attempt to wrest control of the Senate from Republicans in November.

“The Senate Democratic leader recently said that as long as he can try to use the trial process to hurt some Republicans’ re-election chances, quote, ‘it’s a win-win,’” Mr. McConnell said this week. “That’s what this is all about.”

Democrats bristle at the idea that they are playing politics and say that Mr. Trump put national security at risk by withholding military aid from Ukraine as leverage to force an investigation of a political rival and then stonewalled the House investigation of his actions.

In a tale of two chambers, the contrast between the House and Senate was on full display Wednesday. House Democrats showcased their selection of impeachment prosecutors and the ritualistic delivery of the articles of impeachment across the Rotunda while Senate Republicans treated the matter like a hot potato, appearing in no hurry to take possession of the charges. Mr. McConnell promptly put off until Thursday the formal reception of the paperwork.

“The far left has been desperate to get rid of President Trump since Day 1, and that has been made abundantly clear throughout this process,” said Senator Todd Young, Republican of Indiana, who nevertheless said he would try to weigh the merits of the case. “Now that the articles are being delivered and a trial will be held in the Senate, I will uphold my duty as an impeachment juror and carefully evaluate the legal arguments.”

Before the Clinton impeachment trial got underway, the full Senate gathered in the old chamber down a marble hallway from the Senate floor to work out their differences in a free-flowing private discussion that participants remember as a singular event during their service. They said the weight of what they confronted, and the historic surroundings of the chamber where illustrious senators of the past had roamed the floor, encouraged them to find common ground.

Mr. McConnell, in contrast, apparently wants nothing to do with the old Senate chamber. Republicans say he would prefer to stay out of the storied space for fear an all-hands meeting there would lend undue import to the trial and create an atmosphere in which some Republicans could decide to ally themselves with Democrats on procedural issues, effectively costing him control of the process.

With his name on the ballot in November, Mr. McConnell must also manage his own relationship with Mr. Trump. Any move that the White House interprets as backing away from a staunch defense or giving Democrats room to press their case is likely to provoke an angry response from the president and aggravate Republican voters who believe the matter should not even be dignified by a trial.

But Mr. McConnell is also keenly aware that the trial is a test of the Senate and of his own ability to navigate the political crosscurrents of an election-year impeachment debate.

“This is a difficult time for our country but this is precisely the kind of time for which the framers created the Senate,” he said on the floor on Wednesday as the articles were delivered. “I’m confident this body can rise above the short term-ism and factional fever and serve the long-term best interests of our nation. We can do this, and we must.”

With the disposition of the articles now the responsibility of the Senate, former members of both parties who served during the Clinton trial say senators should strive to do their jobs in a way that ultimately reflects well on an institution that has struggled of late to inspire public confidence.

“While any Republican senator could say, ‘I’m voting not guilty because they treated him unfairly,’ they have to vote on the merits,” said Slade Gorton, a former Republican senator from Washington State who worked with Democrats in 1999 to develop a bipartisan trial framework. “They have to go through a real process of thought on this. It is a very serious matter, and it has to appear to be right from the point of view of the people.”

Other participants from 1999 said they feared the future consequences for the Senate and the impeachment process if the Senate is viewed as botching the trial.

“The Senate’s reputation is clearly on the line with impeachment,” said Mr. Daschle, the Democratic leader who worked with Mr. Lott to try to avert partisan disaster during the Clinton trial. “How it is handled will not only affect the perception of the quality of governance at a critical moment for our country, it will have profound ramifications for how matters similar to this are addressed in the future.”

Trump on Trial is a continuing series of articles offering analysis and impressions of the Senate impeachment proceedings.

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

What We Learned After The House Vote on Impeachment Articles

Westlake Legal Group 15dc-impeach-live-facebookJumbo What We Learned After The House Vote on Impeachment Articles United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Roberts, John G Jr Politics and Government Pelosi, Nancy Nadler, Jerrold Lofgren, Zoe impeachment House of Representatives Garcia, Sylvia R. Crow, Jason

Here’s what you need to know:

Just after 5:30 p.m., the seven House Democrats named as impeachment managers solemnly walked across the Capitol, from the House chamber to the Senate, to deliver two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

The formal fanfare came after an engrossment ceremony in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, signed the articles using multiple pens. Afterward, she handed the pens to the lawmakers who surrounded her during the ceremony.

Once the representatives reached the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, announced that the articles would be officially presented by the impeachment managers on Thursday and that the trial would begin on Tuesday.

Earlier Wednesday, House lawmakers voted to officially transmit the articles to the Senate. The 228-to-193 vote was largely along party lines, much like the House’s vote in December to impeach Mr. Trump.

After a monthslong impeachment inquiry unfolded in the House, the action will shift to the Senate on Thursday. Once the Senate signals it is ready to proceed with the trial, the impeachment managers will again walk to the Senate chamber, where they will be guided to a precise spot to read the articles of impeachment aloud.

The House also voted Wednesday to send seven Democrats as “managers” to prosecute its case before the Senate.

The team, announced by Ms. Pelosi at a morning news conference, is smaller and far more diverse than the 13 white men chosen by Republicans in 1998 to prosecute President Bill Clinton during his Senate impeachment trial. Ultimately, Ms. Pelosi said, she decided on a team heavy with “litigators.” Most of the managers have had direct experience in a courtroom.

The managers are Representatives Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee; Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Zoe Lofgren of California; Hakeem Jeffries of New York; Val B. Demings of Florida; Jason Crow of Colorado and Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas.

They will serve as the public face of the impeachment process for Democrats and may be the only voices for their party heard inside the Senate during the trial.

Even as the House was formally moving the impeachment of the president to the trial stage, lawmakers were still reacting to new details and documents House Democrats released a day earlier about Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine. The release included the first document that shows the president knew about and condoned the alternate foreign policy agenda with Ukraine led by his private lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The documents also showed how Mr. Giuliani and his associate, Lev Parnas, worked to force out the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, because she did not support efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to announce investigations that would personally benefit Mr. Trump. Mr. Parnas is under federal indictment.

Democrats said the latest disclosures and other potential new testimonies should be part of the Senate’s trial. Mr. McConnell has waved off these demands as he pushes for a quick trial with little debate.

One of the managers, Mr. Schiff, predicted Wednesday morning that the Senate trial would be a “sham” under those conditions.

“And if McConnell makes this the first trial in history without witnesses, it will be exposed for what it is, and that is an effort to cover up for the president,” said Mr. Schiff, who led most of the impeachment inquiry.

Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, hit back, calling the impeachment a “sham” and accusing Ms. Pelosi of lying in describing the inquiry as “vital to national security.”

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, said on Wednesday that she negotiated an agreement with Mr. McConnell to allow the Senate to vote on whether to subpoena witnesses or documents after both sides had presented their cases.

Mr. McConnell announced plans last week to do just that, saying he would model the trial rules on those that governed the impeachment trial of Mr. Clinton.

Senate Democrats need four Republicans to reach the 51 votes necessary to call witnesses. Along with Ms. Collins, Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Mitt Romney of Utah have also indicated that they may be open to considering new witnesses and evidence.

Sometime Thursday, after the impeachment managers formally exhibit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is expected to be sworn in to preside over Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial.

Chief Justice Roberts will cross the street from the Supreme Court to the Senate for the official ceremony.

The Senate will then summon Mr. Trump to answer the impeachment charges against him. The chamber will most likely break for the holiday weekend and reconvene on Tuesday, when the trial will formally begin.

Senate leaders have predicted that the trial could last three to five weeks. But senior Trump administration officials said on Wednesday that they expected at most a two-week trial that would vindicate the president.

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