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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 84)

Documents Provide New Details of Trump’s Pressure Campaign on Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 14dc-impeach-sub2-facebookJumbo Documents Provide New Details of Trump’s Pressure Campaign on Ukraine United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — New details emerged on Tuesday of President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine, intensifying demands on Senate Republicans on the eve of a historic impeachment trial to include witness testimony and additional documents in the proceeding.

The dozens of pages of notes, text messages and other records lay out work conducted by Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, and his associate Lev Parnas on behalf of the president. They include handwritten notes scrawled on a sheet of hotel paper at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that mention getting President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son.

House Democrats released the records even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a Wednesday vote to name House prosecutors and send the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump to the Senate to begin the trial. The material undergirds the accusations against Mr. Trump, and highlights how much is still to be learned about the scope of a scheme that the impeachment charges call a blatant effort to solicit foreign help in the 2020 election.

The documents, provided by Mr. Parnas, contain a series of exchanges between him and a Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who was helping Mr. Giuliani unearth damaging information about the Bidens.

In one of the exchanges, from March 2019, Mr. Lutsenko messaged Mr. Parnas on the WhatsApp messaging service to complain that the Trump administration had not yet ousted the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch. Mr. Lutsenko, who had clashed with Ms. Yovanovitch and wanted her gone, appeared to link her removal to his assistance in attacking the Bidens.

“It’s just that if you don’t make a decision about Madam — you are bringing into question all my allegations. Including about B,” he wrote to Mr. Parnas, in apparent references to Ms. Yovanovitch and Mr. Biden.

Mr. Lutsenko added: “And here you can’t even get rid of one [female] fool,” an apparent reference to Ms. Yovanovitch. He also inserted a frowning emoji.

“She’s not a simple fool[,] trust me,” Mr. Parnas responded. “But she’s not getting away.” The president, with Mr. Giuliani’s encouragement, recalled Ms. Yovanovitch from her post in late April.

The Parnas documents also include a May 2019 letter from Mr. Giuliani requesting a meeting with Mr. Zelensky in which he said Mr. Trump had “knowledge and consent” of his actions. It is the first document to be made public to say as much.

Mr. Parnas, who is under federal indictment, has only recently been cleared to hand over the material to Congress, and an official involved in the inquiry indicated more was likely to be made public soon.

Senior Democrats who led the House impeachment inquiry said the new records underscored the need for senators to demand additional evidence at trial. The new documents, they said in a statement, “demonstrate that there is more evidence relevant to the president’s scheme, but they have been concealed by the president himself.”

“There cannot be a full and fair trial in the Senate without the documents that President Trump is refusing to provide to Congress,” they said.

Ms. Pelosi said she would announce the names of her impeachment managers at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and a vote to formally name them and send the articles was scheduled for early afternoon. “The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial,” she said.

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, indicated that senators would be ready to receive the charges on Wednesday and take sworn oaths to render “impartial justice” in the trial shortly thereafter, if not the following day.

But after weeks of demanding the charges be brought forward speedily, he said the Senate would put off considering the terms of the trial or the substance of the case for nearly a week, until next Tuesday. That would allow lawmakers time to vote late this week to approve Mr. Trump’s new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico and give senators time to travel home this holiday weekend before the trial requires them to remain at their desks in the Senate chamber six days a week.

The announcements paved the way for a choreographed exchange between the two chambers that will unfold on Wednesday as they look toward the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. With little precedent to guide them, House and Senate leaders were working with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who will preside over the trial, to nail down the timing of what was to come.

If all goes according to plan, the trial would officially open about a month after the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charges that stemmed from his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponents, then stonewall the House inquiry into his actions.

The White House, readying its own case, welcomed the progress toward a trial and predicted Mr. Trump’s eventual acquittal.

“We’ve been ready for a long time,” Eric Ueland, Mr. Trump’s congressional liaison, told reporters in the Capitol after huddling with Senate Republicans over lunch. “We could have started the morning after the House vote in December. We’re good to go, and we’re ready to go, and we’d be shocked if the House isn’t ready to go either.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign was already capitalizing on what promises to be a brutally partisan proceeding, circulating a fund-raising appeal signed by the president that announced, “We’re taking this fight to the Senate,” and asked supporters to donate to an “Emergency 2020 Impeachment Defense Fund.”

Behind the scenes, Mr. Trump’s team was bracing for a potentially damaging period, inviting conservative activists to the White House to plan strategy for the coming trial.

Lawmakers were anxious, too, as they moved toward an unpredictable process that will test an already strained Senate, consuming lawmakers for weeks or longer. Debates raged in public and private over difficult questions that may darken the proceeding, including whether to call witnesses and compel new evidence or to consider a motion, endorsed by Mr. Trump but opposed by Republican leaders, to quickly dismiss the charges against him with no arguments or deliberations.

Mr. McConnell used an extended Republican luncheon to brief lawmakers on protocols and procedures. He played down Mr. Trump’s apparent enthusiasm for a motion to dismiss, insisting that such a move was not viable.

Although he has resisted seeking new testimony, the majority leader also signaled to lawmakers during the luncheon and an earlier private meeting that he was receptive to a “reciprocity” proposal by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senate officials familiar with the matter said. The proposal, first reported by Politico, calls for Republicans to support calling witnesses the president has pushed for, like Mr. Biden’s son Hunter Biden, if Democrats secured the votes for one of their witnesses.

“When you get to that issue, I cannot imagine that only the witnesses that our Democratic colleagues would want to call would be called,” Mr. McConnell told reporters after the lunch ended.

Mr. McConnell, working to hold his conference together against Democratic complaints, predicted that he still had the Republican votes to set rules for the trial next week. His proposal would put off a debate over calling witnesses until after opening arguments and senatorial questioning is complete.

“All 53 of us have reached an understanding very, very similar to the one that was achieved at the beginning of the Clinton impeachment trial,” Mr. McConnell said, referring to the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton.

Democrats argue that a trial without witnesses and new evidence would be a sham, and want a guarantee up front that they will be included. Mr. Trump blocked the House from gaining access to both during its impeachment inquiry.

In her statement earlier in the day, Ms. Pelosi accused Mr. McConnell and Mr. Trump of working together to cover up the facts the House had unearthed.

“The American people will fully understand the Senate’s move to begin the trial without witnesses and documents as a pure political cover-up,” she said. “Leader McConnell and the president are afraid of more facts coming to light.”

Ms. Pelosi plans to convene her newly appointed managers at 5 p.m. Wednesday to complete necessary paperwork to transmit the articles. Immediately after, the House managers will ceremonially walk the articles of impeachment from the House, through the Rotunda, to the Senate. When they do, they will formally present the articles.

The team of managers is likely to be led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee who spearheaded the House’s Ukraine inquiry, and Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Judiciary Committee chairman.

Reporting was contributed by Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael D. Shear from Washington, and Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum and Michael Rothfeld from New York.

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Democratic Debate Recap: Gender, War and Taking on Trump

DES MOINES — The Democratic presidential candidates clashed in starkly personal terms Tuesday over who had the best chance to defeat President Trump, as Senator Elizabeth Warren sought to jump-start her campaign in the last debate before the Iowa caucuses by highlighting her electoral success and that of other female candidates in the Trump era.

Prompted by the moderators, Ms. Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders continued a debate over the fraught subject of whether a woman could be elected president, an issue that in recent days had caused the first serious breach in their relationship. One day after she confirmed a report that Mr. Sanders had told her in a private meeting that he did not think a woman could defeat Mr. Trump, Ms. Warren trumpeted her Senate victory over an incumbent Republican and then gestured down the debate stage toward the four male candidates.

“Collectively they have lost 10 elections,” she said, before acknowledging the only other female candidate present, Senator Amy Klobuchar. “The only people on this stage who have won every single election they have been in are the women: Amy and me. And the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican in the past 30 years is me.”

Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren’s top rival for progressive support, flatly denied that he had made the comment when the two lawmakers met without aides in 2018. He said it was “incomprehensible that I would think that a woman couldn’t be president of the United States,” noting Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote in the 2016 general election.

The Democrats disagreed over international affairs and keeping troops in the Middle East, whether to support Mr. Trump’s trade deal for North America, how aggressively to tackle climate change, and, yet again, they sparred on health care. But the issue animating much of the evening was the same question that has shaped the primary race for the past year: which of them would be the most formidable contender against Mr. Trump.

The contest has increasingly revolved around questions of electability, but the matter has become more urgent in the weeks since hostilities increased between the United States and Tehran after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the powerful Iranian commander. Much of Tuesday’s debate, which featured six of the remaining candidates, touched on national security as the Democrats excoriated Mr. Trump, urged caution in the Middle East and laid claim to the mantle of being the best potential commander in chief.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. came under far less scrutiny than his standing as the national front-runner might have merited in the final debate before voting begins in Iowa on Feb. 3. Just as notable, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who has slipped in Iowa, seemed satisfied to make his own case without sharply criticizing his top rivals.

New polls in Iowa show that Democratic voters are roughly split between four top candidates: Mr. Biden, Mr. Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Warren of Massachusetts and Mr. Buttigieg.

But while Mr. Sanders was criticized for the cost of his plans, Ms. Warren for how many people would be turned off by hers and Mr. Buttigieg for the scope of his ambitions, Mr. Biden went long stretches on Tuesday receiving scant attention.

The debate unfolded at an extraordinarily volatile moment in American politics, with impeachment looming and escalated tensions with Iran. Befitting the setting and the stakes of the debate less than three weeks before the caucuses, multiple candidates — Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Klobuchar — all invoked Iowa or retold stories of specific Iowans they had met along the campaign trail, tailoring their pitch to the crucial state.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167147265_c7ad252a-f5e0-4071-a48d-b9756ea0d03f-articleLarge Democratic Debate Recap: Gender, War and Taking on Trump Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

The debate featured six candidates, from left, Tom Steyer, Ms. Warren, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Amy Klobuchar.Credit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

But it was the contretemps between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders that was the most memorable moment in the lea-up to the caucuses here. It was a remarkable exchange between the two senators, in part because they are friends and have labored to abide by a de facto nonaggression pact for the past year. But more important, it also crystallized the competing cases that the leading Democratic contenders were making for why they were best positioned to defeat Mr. Trump.

Even as Ms. Warren said “Bernie is my friend and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie,” she flashed him a smile after Mr. Sanders noted that he, like Ms. Warren, had once defeated an incumbent Republican. “Just to set the record straight, I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress,” he said, before Ms. Warren pointed out that it had been 30 years ago.

Acknowledging that she was facing doubts about her chances to defeat Mr. Trump, she pointed out that John F. Kennedy had addressed questions about his Catholicism and, more recently, Barack Obama overcame doubts that he could win the presidency as a black man.

Both times, Ms. Warren said, “the Democratic Party stepped up and said yes.” It was an unusual closing argument in Iowa for a candidate who first rose to contention on the basis of her policy proposals, but it reflected the urgency she was facing to reverse her decline in a state where she led in the polls last year.

Mr. Sanders used the exchange to make his own case for why he was the most electable candidate: because he could lure a stream of new voters to the polls. “The real question” he said, “is how do we beat Trump? And the only way we beat Trump is by a campaign of energy and excitement and a campaign that has, by far, the largest voter turnout in the history of this country.”

For his part, Mr. Sanders did not seem rattled by the confrontation, at least during the forum. But in the immediate aftermath of the debate, CNN cameras captured Ms. Warren appearing to refuse to shake Mr. Sanders’s hand, and the two of them engaged in what seemed to be a pointed conversation.

Mr. Biden, who has increasingly placed his own polling strength against Mr. Trump at the center of his candidacy, was just as emphatic that he was best equipped to win the general election.

“The real issue is who can bring the whole party together,” said Mr. Biden, citing his endorsements from a variety of Democrats, including many racial minorities. “I am the one who has the broadest coalition of anyone running up here.”

Ms. Klobuchar cited her success appealing to a range of voters in Minnesota and even boasted that every one of her Republican opponents had left politics since they lost to her. “I think that sounds pretty good with the president we have right now,” she said.

But Ms. Klobuchar struggled momentarily when she sought to highlight the success of other Midwestern Democratic women and forgot the name of Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas before receiving a cue.

“Kansas has a woman governor right now and she beat Kris Kobach,” she began. “And her name, um, is, I’m very proud to know her, and her name is, uh, Governor Kelly. Thank you.”

In a rare policy split, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren clashed on the new North American trade deal that Mr. Trump is trying to push through Congress. Mr. Sanders said it was not worth supporting — even if it made a “modest” improvement. “We can do much better than a Trump-led trade deal,” he said.

Ms. Warren, however, said that was the reason to support it. “We have farmers here in Iowa who are hurting,” she said.

The exchange was an example of how Ms. Warren has sought to position herself as a progressive more willing to get things done than Mr. Sanders.

The candidates clashed, as they have in all the debates, on health care. Mr. Sanders was pressed by the moderators about the cost of his “Medicare for all” package; unlike Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders has not said what his proposal would cost or revealed which taxes he would increase to pay for it.

Mr. Buttigieg was asked directly about his lack of support among black voters, whom he will need to activate not just to win the nomination but also a potential general election against Mr. Trump. Mr. Buttigieg said those who know him best — in South Bend — support him, cited his African-American backers in Iowa and noted that his new campaign co-chairman was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

A large part of the electorate remains up for grabs in a contest that many of the campaigns believe will produce record-setting turnout. A Des Moines Register-CNN poll last week indicated that 45 percent of caucusgoers said they could still be persuaded to support a different candidate. The four leading candidates in Iowa — Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg — are knotted so tightly together that Mr. Biden was fourth in the poll last week, but first in another, from Monmouth University. Mr. Sanders topped the Des Moines Register/CNN poll for the first time, putting perhaps the biggest target on his back yet ahead of a debate.

Mr. Sanders had the opportunity right from the start to emphasize his pacifist credentials as the debate opened with questions about the heightened tensions with Iran and who was best positioned to serve as commander in chief. Mr. Sanders immediately seized the opportunity to trumpet his past opposition to the war in Iraq. “I not only voted against the war, I helped lead the effort against the war,” he said.

Mr. Sanders warned that both the Iraq and Vietnam wars had been based on “lies.” “Right now, what I fear very much is that we have a president that is lying again and could drag us into a war that is even worse than the war in Iraq,” he said.

Mr. Sanders drew a distinction with Mr. Biden, who had supported the Iraq war resolution in the Senate. “Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush and Rumsfeld had to say,” Mr. Sanders said. “I thought they were lying. Joe saw it differently.”

Mr. Biden said he regretted his vote for that war. “It was a mistake and I acknowledge that,” Mr. Biden said, while noting that as vice president he had brought thousands of troops home from the Middle East.

In another twist that had the potential to affect the race in Iowa, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, as well as Ms. Klobuchar and Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado (who did not make the debate), are confronting another looming challenge: how to mount a successful Iowa campaign while their duties in Congress require them to be in Washington.

With the senators likely to be in the Capitol up to six days a week for the impeachment trial of Mr. Trump, they will be unable to make their final appeals to Iowa voters in person as frequently as Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg.

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

Democrats Debate Stances on War and a Woman’s Chance at the White House

Westlake Legal Group 14debate-ledeall-new1-facebookJumbo Democrats Debate Stances on War and a Woman’s Chance at the White House Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J Steyer, Thomas F Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

DES MOINES — The leading Democratic presidential candidates clashed on Tuesday over America’s role in the Middle East and their credentials to be commander in chief, as the progressive candidates highlighted their dovish credentials and the moderates called for pragmatism in the last debate before the high-stakes Iowa caucuses next month.

The six candidates also debated the fraught subject of whether a woman could win the presidency, an issue that had produced a breach in recent days between the two top liberal candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Meeting onstage for the first time since President Trump ordered the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran this month, and in a state known for its anti-interventionist tendencies, each of the six contenders urged restraint about projecting American power.

But Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren were especially vocal in arguing that American troops should not be committed to the Middle East.

“The American people are sick and tired of endless wars,“ Mr. Sanders declared.

Ms. Warren invoked the parade of generals who claimed progress in Afghanistan as they testified before her at the Senate Armed Services Committee and said it is time to withdraw combat troops from the region.

“We’ve turned the corner so many times we’re going in circles in these regions,” she said. “This has got to stop. It’s not enough to say, ‘Someday, we’re going to get out.’”

Joseph R. Biden Jr., however, was more cautious on troop commitments. While he boasted about his efforts as vice president to draw down American forces from Iraq, he said there was a difference between deploying waves of combat troops and retaining the American special forces he said had degraded the Islamic State. “They’ll come back if we do not deal with them,” Mr. Biden said of the group, also known as ISIS.

At the same time, both Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., both said they were opposed to a conflict with Iran but vowed to stop the country from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The debate over a woman’s chances to win the White House followed two days of acrimony between Mr. Sanders’s campaign and Ms. Warren’s. On the eve of the debate, CNN reported that in December 2018 Mr. Sanders told Ms. Warren in a private meeting that he did not think a woman could win the presidency. Before the debate, Mr. Sanders denied he had said it; Ms. Warren said he had.

Mr. Sanders stood by his denial — “As a matter of fact I didn’t say it,” he said onstage — and said it was “incomprehensible that I would think that a woman couldn’t be president of the United States.” Citing that Hillary Clinton won a plurality of votes in the 2016 general election, he went on, “How could anyone in a million years not believe a woman could become president of the United States?”

Ms. Warren said she disagreed with Mr. Sanders’s version, but then tried to de-escalate the conflict, saying “Bernie is my friend and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie.’’ She pivoted to address a question that has loomed over her candidacy: how she matches up against Mr. Trump, and said the women onstage — Ms. Warren and Ms. Klobuchar — had outperformed the men.

“Collectively they have lost 10 elections,” Ms. Warren said. “The only people on this stage who have won every single election they have been in are the women: Amy and me. And the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican in the past 30 years is me.”

The clash onstage could be consequential for the treasuries of the candidates in the closing weeks, as well. The Sanders campaign said it had received 15,000 donations in just the first hour of the debate — accounting for 43 percent of all money raised on ActBlue, the party’s online donation-processing platform.

In a rare policy split, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren clashed on the new North American trade deal that Mr. Trump is trying to push through Congress. Mr. Sanders said it was not worth supporting — even if it made a “modest” improvement. “We can do much better than a Trump-led trade deal,” he said.

Ms. Warren, however, said that was the reason to support it. “We have farmers here in Iowa who are hurting,” she said.

The exchange was an example of how Ms. Warren has sought to position herself as a progressive more willing to get things done than Mr. Sanders.

The candidates sparred, as they have in all the debates, on health care. Mr. Sanders was pressed by the moderators about the cost of his “Medicare for all” package; unlike Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders has not said what his proposal would cost or revealed which taxes he would increase to pay for it.

Mr. Sanders did not offer specifics onstage, saying only that it would cost “substantially less than the status quo.” Mr. Biden hit him for the size of the plan, which he said would double “the entire federal budget per year.” Mr. Sanders responded by saying that leaving the system as is would be “insane,” given how much of a worker’s earnings is devoted to health care.

Ms. Warren, who has found herself on the defensive over her embrace of Medicare for all in recent months, did not open by defending that package but instead focused on the first step of her transition plan, which would expand coverage with a public option.

“We have got to get as much help to as many people as quickly as possible,” she said, while pitching her plan as more expansive than those offered by Ms. Klobuchar or Mr. Buttigieg.

Ms. Klobuchar responded, “You would kick 149 million Americans off their health insurance.” And Mr. Buttigieg said, “It’s just not true that the plan I’m proposing is small,” suggesting that Ms. Warren’s approach would turn off too many voters.

The debate unfolded at an extraordinarily volatile moment in American politics — even by the standards of an unusually fluid primary race.

New polls in Iowa show that Democratic voters are roughly split between four top candidates, the longstanding nonaggression pact between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders was fraying and half the contenders onstage are about to leave the campaign trail in the crucial days before the caucuses to serve as jurors at President Trump’s impeachment trial.

A large part of the electorate remains up for grabs in a contest that many of the campaigns believe will produce record-setting turnout. A Des Moines Register-CNN poll last week indicated that 45 percent of caucusgoers said they could still be persuaded to support a different candidate. And Tuesday’s debate was sure to reach more voters than any other event in the dwindling days before the Feb. 3 caucuses.

The four leading candidates in Iowa — Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg — are knotted so tightly together that Mr. Biden was fourth in the poll last week, but first in another, from Monmouth University. Mr. Sanders topped the Des Moines Register/CNN poll for the first time, putting perhaps the biggest target on his back yet ahead of a debate.

Mr. Sanders had the opportunity right from the start to stress his pacifist credentials as the debate opened with questions about the heightened tensions with Iran and who was best positioned to serve as commander in chief. Mr. Sanders immediately seized the opportunity to trumpet his past opposition to the war in Iraq. “I not only voted against the war, I helped lead the effort against the war,” he said.

Mr. Sanders warned that both the Iraq and Vietnam wars had been based on “lies.” “Right now, what I fear very much is that we have a president that is lying again and could drag us into a war that is even worse than the war in Iraq,” he said.

Mr. Sanders drew a distinction with Mr. Biden, who had supported the Iraq war resolution in the Senate. “Joe and I listened to what Dick Cheney and George Bush and Rumsfeld had to say,” Mr. Sanders said. “I thought they were lying. Joe saw it differently.”

Mr. Biden said he regretted his vote for that war. “I was a mistake and I acknowledge that,” Mr. Biden said, while noting that as vice president he had brought thousands of troops home from the Middle East.

The rift between Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders over whether a woman could be elected had been the dominant news of the primary the last several days, and had the ability to shake up the race if it divides the liberal camp and weakens either Mr. Sanders or Ms. Warren, or both of them, and produces a stronger moderate lane chiefly occupied by Mr. Biden.

Progressive activists who have hoped that either Mr. Sanders or Ms. Warren would emerge from a scrambled primary race were hoping that the sudden left-on-left violence would abate. And there were signs that both the Sanders and Warren campaigns would try to de-escalate the tension.

But in a sign that Mr. Sanders, whose most fervent online supporters have long faced claims of sexism, recognized the grave political risk of the accusations, his campaign began airing an ad in Iowa on Tuesday morning that highlighted his support of women’s rights.

“Bernie Sanders is on our side and he always has been,” a female narrator says in the commercial, trumpeting the senator’s support for abortion rights, support for family leave guarantees and equal pay legislation.

In another twist that had potential to impact the race in Iowa, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, as well as Ms. Klobuchar and Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado (who did not make the debate), are confronting another looming challenge: how to mount a successful Iowa campaign while their duties in Congress require them to be in Washington.

With the senators likely to be in the Capitol up to six days a week for the impeachment trial of Mr. Trump, they will be unable to make their final appeals to Iowa voters in person as frequently as Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg.

That could make for a most unusual ending of the caucuses in their over-four-decade history: a split-screen between candidates hustling for votes in the state’s high school gyms and union halls and others seated at their desks in the Senate chamber deliberating about whether to remove from office the president they are trying to defeat.

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Senate Has Votes to Pass Limits on Trump’s Iran War Power, Likely Drawing a Veto

Westlake Legal Group 14dc-powers-facebookJumbo Senate Has Votes to Pass Limits on Trump’s Iran War Power, Likely Drawing a Veto War Powers Act (1973) War and Emergency Powers (US) United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Suleimani, Qassim Senate Republican Party Kaine, Timothy M Iran

WASHINGTON — A measure that would force President Trump to win congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran now has enough Republican support to pass the Senate, a key Democratic senator said Tuesday.

The senator, Tim Kaine of Virginia, said at least four Republicans would break ranks to pass a bill to curtail Mr. Trump’s war-making powers, underscoring growing dissatisfaction with the president’s Iran strategy among members of his own party. It would be a rebuke to the president as his impeachment trial gets underway and will most likely set up the seventh veto of his presidency.

The Republican defectors “were discouraged that the attitude that was being communicated to us was that Congress was an annoyance,” Mr. Kaine said. “After that, they came to me and we have been able to make some amendments.”

Senator Susan Collins of Maine, one of the Republicans who will support the measure, said in a statement that “Congress cannot be sidelined on these important decisions.” She said that although the resolution would continue to allow Mr. Trump to repel an imminent attack, “only the legislative branch may declare war or commit our armed forces to a sustained military conflict with Iran.”

Joining her in planning to vote with the Democrats were Senators Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Lawmakers have grown increasingly angry over Mr. Trump’s shifting justifications for a Jan. 3 strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important general, and sent the two nations to the brink of war.

What most angered them was a classified, closed-door briefing last week from the president’s national security team. White House officials at the briefing, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, cautioned lawmakers not to question the president’s judgment on Iran, according to people who were there.

Mr. Lee and Mr. Paul cited the administration’s “demeaning” briefing when they pledged to support Mr. Kaine’s bill.

A torrent of shifting statements from administration officials in the past week on the reasons for General Suleimani’s killing had also privately rankled Republican lawmakers. On Monday, the narrative collapsed entirely when Mr. Trump tweeted that the focus on whether General Suleimani was planning an imminent attack on American interests, as the administration had initially claimed, was irrelevant. “It doesn’t really matter,” he wrote, “because of his horrible past.”

“In conversations with Republican colleagues, especially after the briefing last week, they were discouraged that the attitude that was being communicated to us was that Congress was an annoyance,” Mr. Kaine said. “After that, they came to me and we have been able to make some amendments.”

The resolution, which would give Mr. Trump a 30-day deadline to come to Congress for authorization for military action in Iran, would still need to be passed by the House. And it would be unlikely to overcome a veto from the president.

Mr. Kaine introduced the measure, which invokes the War Powers Act of 1973, as a privileged joint resolution, which allows him to force a vote on the measure and win over the support of a simple majority of senators. With 45 Democrats in the Senate and two independents who routinely vote with them, Mr. Kaine needed just four Republicans to sign on.

The vote could come as early as next week, though it is unclear if the timing will be affected by the impeachment trial, which Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, announced would begin next Tuesday. Democratic leaders will also need to corral senators running for president back to the Capitol to ensure passage.

The House passed similar legislation last week, though that measure was viewed as largely symbolic without the force of law.

But even Mr. Kaine’s legislation, considered to be the stronger of the two measures, has its limitations. The War Powers Resolution restricts actions only by the United States military, so it would not stop Mr. Trump from carrying out targeted attacks on Iranian military leaders or other discrete operations, as long as he carried them out covertly under the authority of the C.I.A.

Congress has rarely passed legislation invoking the War Powers Act in an attempt to restrain a president’s war-making authority. Last year, it sent to Mr. Trump just such a measure in a bid to cut off American military support of the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, an intervention that has created the world’s greatest humanitarian disaster. While Mr. Trump vetoed that legislation, supporters of the legislation hoped it would create a new model for curtailing presidential war powers.

In a sign that Democrats intend to make good on their vow to impose another check on Mr. Trump and his mercurial style of foreign policymaking, House Democratic leaders announced on Tuesday afternoon that the House will vote later in the month on two other measures that would further seek to shackle Mr. Trump’s war-making authority. One would repeal the 2002 authorization of military force in Iraq, and another would prohibit federal funds from being used to take military action in Iran unless explicitly approved by Congress.

“President Trump does not have a unilateral authority to take our country into war against Iran and must work with Congress to meet this challenge,” Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, said in announcing the votes.

Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

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New Details Emerge on Shadow Campaign to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 14parnas-facebookJumbo New Details Emerge on Shadow Campaign to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Politics and Government Parnas, Lev impeachment Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

In April 2019, Rudolph W. Giuliani believed he was on the cusp of achieving an important goal: ousting the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch. As Ms. Yovanovitch’s standing with the White House grew more precarious, Mr. Giuliani texted an associate.

“He fired her again,” Mr. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, told the associate, Lev Parnas.

Mr. Parnas responded in kind.

“I pray it happens this time I’ll call you tomorrow my brother,” he wrote.

The exchange was included in an array of documents released by House Democrats on Tuesday that offered new details on the shadow diplomacy campaign at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment and highlighted the effort to remove Ms. Yovanovitch.

Mr. Parnas, who is facing federal charges in Manhattan, recently turned the documents over to the House Intelligence Committee as part of its impeachment inquiry.

One of the new documents shows Mr. Giuliani saying that he had Mr. Trump’s blessing to seek a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president-elect, last spring, potential new evidence on the eve of the president’s impeachment trial.

Mr. Giuliani has previously said he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction in his dealings with Ukrainian officials, but the letter released on Tuesday is the first public document that says he was doing so.

“In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this upcoming Monday, May 13th or Tuesday, May 14th,” Mr. Giuliani wrote in the letter to Mr. Zelensky, who was sworn in as president soon after.

Mr. Giuliani shared a copy of the letter with Mr. Parnas, who then texted it to a close aide to Mr. Zelensky.

Many of the documents released on Tuesday highlight the effort by Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Parnas and a Ukrainian prosecutor to have Ms. Yovanovitch removed.

Mr. Giuliani had been critical of Ms. Yovanovitch, whom he and other Republicans have said opposed Mr. Trump. She also butted heads with the Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, over the nature of his investigations.

In March, Mr. Lutsenko messaged Mr. Parnas in Russian on the WhatsApp messaging service to say that he was making progress in getting information about Mr. Trump’s rivals, according to a translation provided by impeachment investigators.

Mr. Lutsenko added: “And here you can’t even get rid of one [female] fool,” an apparent reference to Ms. Yovanovitch. He also inserted a frowning emoji.

“She’s not a simple fool[,] trust me,” Mr. Parnas responded. “But she’s not getting away.”

Mr. Trump ultimately recalled Ms. Yovanovitch from her post in late April.

In a separate series of cryptic text messages, Mr. Parnas communicated with another man who appeared to be monitoring the movements of Ms. Yovanovitch. The texts, exchanged in March on WhatsApp, indicated that the second man, Robert F. Hyde, was in touch with people in Ukraine who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

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

It was not clear who was watching the ambassador or why.

In a brief interview conducted via text on Tuesday, Mr. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, denied that he had tracked Ms. Yovanovitch’s movements in Kyiv, and called Representative Adam B. Schiff, the intelligence committee chairman, a “commie.”

Mr. Giuliani said on Tuesday that he had no knowledge of potential surveillance of Ms. Yovanovitch.

A lawyer for Mr. Parnas, Joseph A. Bondy, said that the text messages indicated that his client did not take part in any possible surveillance.

“There is no evidence that Mr. Parnas participated, agreed, paid money or took any other steps in furtherance of Mr. Hyde’s proposals,” Mr. Bondy said in a statement.

In a separate interview, Mr. Bondy said that he and Mr. Parnas were “very gratified that these materials” had become public, adding that “we remain committed to providing sworn testimony to Congress as it deems necessary.”

The House is set to vote on Wednesday to send its impeachment charges against Mr. Trump to the Senate, and a trial could begin in the coming days.

Mr. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman based in Florida who was indicted in October on campaign finance charges, did not testify during the impeachment hearings last year. Mr. Bondy turned over the records to the House in response to a subpoena, after receiving permission to do so from the judge overseeing Mr. Parnas’s criminal case.

Federal prosecutors also charged Mr. Parnas’s associate, Igor Fruman, another Soviet-born businessman who worked alongside Mr. Parnas to assist Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine. Two other men were also charged in the case.

Mr. Giuliani’s effort in Ukraine hinged on convincing officials there to open investigations that would benefit Mr. Trump politically. One potential investigation would center on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter; the other would involve claims that Ukraine, and not Russia, stole Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

After their arrests, Mr. Fruman remained close to Mr. Giuliani, but Mr. Parnas split from him, vowing to speak out about the Ukrainian pressure campaign. His lawyer, Mr. Bondy, has since created a #LetLevSpeak hashtag on Twitter.

Kenneth P. Vogel and Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting. Jack Begg and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

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New Details Emerge on Shadow Campaign to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 14parnas-facebookJumbo New Details Emerge on Shadow Campaign to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Politics and Government Parnas, Lev impeachment Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

In April 2019, Rudolph W. Giuliani believed he was on the cusp of achieving an important goal: ousting the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch. As Ms. Yovanovitch’s standing with the White House grew more precarious, Mr. Giuliani texted an associate.

“He fired her again,” Mr. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, told the associate, Lev Parnas.

Mr. Parnas responded in kind.

“I pray it happens this time I’ll call you tomorrow my brother,” he wrote.

The exchange was included in an array of documents released by House Democrats on Tuesday that offered new details on the shadow diplomacy campaign at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment and highlighted the effort to remove Ms. Yovanovitch.

Mr. Parnas, who is facing federal charges in Manhattan, recently turned the documents over to the House Intelligence Committee as part of its impeachment inquiry.

One of the new documents shows Mr. Giuliani saying that he had Mr. Trump’s blessing to seek a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president-elect, last spring, potential new evidence on the eve of the president’s impeachment trial.

Mr. Giuliani has previously said he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction in his dealings with Ukrainian officials, but the letter released on Tuesday is the first public document that says he was doing so.

“In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this upcoming Monday, May 13th or Tuesday, May 14th,” Mr. Giuliani wrote in the letter to Mr. Zelensky, who was sworn in as president soon after.

Mr. Giuliani shared a copy of the letter with Mr. Parnas, who then texted it to a close aide to Mr. Zelensky.

Many of the documents released on Tuesday highlight the effort by Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Parnas and a Ukrainian prosecutor to have Ms. Yovanovitch removed.

Mr. Giuliani had been critical of Ms. Yovanovitch, whom he and other Republicans have said opposed Mr. Trump. She also butted heads with the Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, over the nature of his investigations.

In March, Mr. Lutsenko messaged Mr. Parnas in Russian on the WhatsApp messaging service to say that he was making progress in getting information about Mr. Trump’s rivals, according to a translation provided by impeachment investigators.

Mr. Lutsenko added: “And here you can’t even get rid of one [female] fool,” an apparent reference to Ms. Yovanovitch. He also inserted a frowning emoji.

“She’s not a simple fool[,] trust me,” Mr. Parnas responded. “But she’s not getting away.”

Mr. Trump ultimately recalled Ms. Yovanovitch from her post in late April.

In a separate series of cryptic text messages, Mr. Parnas communicated with another man who appeared to be monitoring the movements of Ms. Yovanovitch. The texts, exchanged in March on WhatsApp, indicated that the second man, Robert F. Hyde, was in touch with people in Ukraine who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

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

It was not clear who was watching the ambassador or why.

In a brief interview conducted via text on Tuesday, Mr. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, denied that he had tracked Ms. Yovanovitch’s movements in Kyiv, and called Representative Adam B. Schiff, the intelligence committee chairman, a “commie.”

Mr. Giuliani said on Tuesday that he had no knowledge of potential surveillance of Ms. Yovanovitch.

A lawyer for Mr. Parnas, Joseph A. Bondy, said that the text messages indicated that his client did not take part in any possible surveillance.

“There is no evidence that Mr. Parnas participated, agreed, paid money or took any other steps in furtherance of Mr. Hyde’s proposals,” Mr. Bondy said in a statement.

In a separate interview, Mr. Bondy said that he and Mr. Parnas were “very gratified that these materials” had become public, adding that “we remain committed to providing sworn testimony to Congress as it deems necessary.”

The House is set to vote on Wednesday to send its impeachment charges against Mr. Trump to the Senate, and a trial could begin in the coming days.

Mr. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman based in Florida who was indicted in October on campaign finance charges, did not testify during the impeachment hearings last year. Mr. Bondy turned over the records to the House in response to a subpoena, after receiving permission to do so from the judge overseeing Mr. Parnas’s criminal case.

Federal prosecutors also charged Mr. Parnas’s associate, Igor Fruman, another Soviet-born businessman who worked alongside Mr. Parnas to assist Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine. Two other men were also charged in the case.

Mr. Giuliani’s effort in Ukraine hinged on convincing officials there to open investigations that would benefit Mr. Trump politically. One potential investigation would center on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter; the other would involve claims that Ukraine, and not Russia, stole Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

After their arrests, Mr. Fruman remained close to Mr. Giuliani, but Mr. Parnas split from him, vowing to speak out about the Ukrainian pressure campaign. His lawyer, Mr. Bondy, has since created a #LetLevSpeak hashtag on Twitter.

Kenneth P. Vogel and Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting. Jack Begg and Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

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China Trade Deal Details Protections for American Firms

Westlake Legal Group merlin_160540425_17d3afb7-26c5-4b09-8598-8ce2076069fc-facebookJumbo China Trade Deal Details Protections for American Firms United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Lighthizer, Robert E Inventions and Patents International Trade and World Market Intellectual Property Customs (Tariff) Agriculture and Farming

WASHINGTON — The trade deal that President Trump will sign on Wednesday includes commitments by China to curtail practices that American firms complain put them at a disadvantage and force them to hand over valuable intellectual property to Chinese firms, according to several people with knowledge of the deal.

Those concessions, along with China’s agreement to buy $200 billion worth of American goods and to allow greater access to its markets, are expected to be announced at a White House ceremony for the signing of the long-awaited trade deal.

As part of the agreement, China has promised to punish Chinese firms that infringe on or steal corporate trade secrets, satisfying a concern of American businesses. China will also refrain from directing Chinese companies to obtain delicate foreign technologies through acquisitions, including halting purchases by state-owned enterprises that “harm” American interests. American officials say Beijing has used the practice to leap to the forefront of advanced industries, like semiconductors.

Another primary concern of American companies — a requirement that they turn over technology as a condition of doing business in the country — is also addressed in the deal. China has agreed not to force companies to transfer technology, which it has done by requiring joint ventures with Chinese firms and forcing companies to license their intellectual property at low prices.

Trump administration officials say the deal to be signed on Wednesday is only the first step in talks that are expected to help cool tensions between the world’s two largest economies and start to stabilize relations after more than a year of escalating threats from both sides. Mr. Trump has said the second phase of the agreement would be negotiated “at a later date.”

To prevent China from violating the agreement, the administration will continue to have tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods, along with the threat of future tariffs if China reneges on its promises. The deal does not include any agreement for future tariff reductions, according to a spokesman for the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The success of the deal hinges on whether China will follow through on its commitments on paper — something Trump administration officials and China hawks say it has failed to do in the past. Some critics say China’s promises appear both broad and vague and overlap with other changes it has been pursuing anyway.

Still, the concessions may go at least part of the way toward resolving some of the business community’s concerns about China’s treatment of foreign firms and the kind of unfair trade practices that Mr. Trump said his administration would end.

The agreement was “more positive” than expected, Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday. He added that striking an agreement had calmed tensions in a long-running trade war.

“We are pleased from what we’ve heard,” Mr. Brilliant said.

Administration officials say the tariff threat gives the deal more teeth than previous pacts with China. But it also raises the possibility that both countries could wind up back in the same type of tit-for-tat trade war that has inflicted economic damage across the globe.

Text of the trade deal has not been made public in either English or Chinese. It appears to include significant concessions, but it remains to be seen how the pact’s legal language will translate into action.

For instance, China has yet to admit that it ever forced foreign companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms, said Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Reading the agreement from the Chinese perspective, he said, they have committed to continue doing the same thing they have always been doing.

“We’ve had the Chinese agree in this public fashion to things we think were important before, and it hasn’t made a difference,” Mr. Scissors said.

Clete Willems, a partner at Akin Gump who helped to advise on trade policy until he left the administration last year, said the deal would fulfill three of the four major conditions laid out in the administration’s initial report that justified tariffs on Chinese goods. That included a requirement that China not direct its companies to acquire sensitive foreign technology.

Mr. Willems said the deal also contained new language protecting trade secrets, including a promise to set up judicial proceedings and criminal penalties for Chinese entities that steal confidential business information. It would also provide greater patent protection for the pharmaceutical sector.

The one major concern outlined in the administration’s report that was not addressed in the trade deal is cybertheft, Mr. Willems said. China had rebuffed American demands to include promises to refrain from hacking American firms in the text, insisting it was not a trade issue.

“We didn’t fix every single problem with China in this agreement, there is no question about that,” Mr. Willems said. “But what was done is really significant.”

Some analysts have expressed skepticism that a broad threat of tariffs on the overall Chinese economy would really deter Chinese companies bent on gaining a technological edge by stealing trade secrets.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, sent a letter to Mr. Trump on Tuesday expressing “serious concern” about the potential for entering into a weak trade deal.

“China pledging to make short-term purchases of American goods will not address the fundamental problems that undermine long-term U.S. economic opportunity, prosperity, and security,” he said.

The Trump administration itself has cited China’s failure to live up to its agreements. In March 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative detailed a pattern of failed promises by the Chinese government to no longer force foreign companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms. China had failed to live up to that commitment “on at least eight occasions since 2010,” the trade office said.

The deal also includes large purchasing agreements that Mr. Trump has said will raise exports and shrink the American trade deficit with China, but that experts say might be hard to achieve.

As part of the agreement, China has committed to purchasing an additional $200 billion of goods over the next two years. That total includes $50 billion of new oil and gas exports, $32 billion of new agriculture, $78 billion of additional manufactured goods and $38 billion of new services, according to three people briefed on the deal.

Some trade experts have said the agricultural export commitments, which would translate to $16 billion in new shipments a year, would be difficult to meet without rerouting shipments to other countries.

But the targets for manufacturing and services, which includes tourism and education, may be even harder. The number of Chinese students coming to the United States has been trending downward. And exports of manufactured goods, which will include Boeing airplanes, medical devices, automobiles and auto parts and factory equipment, are set far above current levels.

The agreement also includes substantial changes to Chinese regulations surrounding food, which Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s chief negotiator, discussed in a briefing with reporters in December. The changes will reduce barriers for products including meat, poultry, pet food, seafood, animal feed, baby formula, dairy and biotech, likely increasing American exports to China in those categories.

The first-phase agreement does not address some of the administration’s bigger concerns about China’s economic practices, including its use of subsidies and state plans to build domestic industries that flood the global market with low-priced products, often driving American competitors out of business. Critics say the practice has undermined American industries like steel and solar panels, and could prove detrimental to high-tech manufacturers of electric vehicles, computer chips and robots.

The Trump administration, which had hoped to curtail state subsidies as part of a trade deal, tried to head off criticism on Tuesday morning by announcing progress on a multilateral effort to address these practices.

Mr. Lighthizer met with ministers from Japan and the European Union in Washington, and resolved to press for changes at the World Trade Organization that would ban many of the subsidies that China provides to its industries.

He said the three countries would work together to restrict a variety of unfair subsidies and funds provided through state-owned enterprises, which the W.T.O. had previously ruled were not subject to its subsidy rules. Both are practices China has relied on.

Jennifer Hillman, a trade expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who has worked at both trade office and the W.T.O., said the statement represented “great promise to correct one of the major problems with the W.T.O. rules: its inability to discipline subsidies.”

“What remains to be seen is whether these good ideas can be brought into a formal agreement that is binding on China and others,” she said.

Keith Bradsher contributed reporting from Beijing.

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Ukrainian Ambassador Was Under Surveillance, Documents Suggest

Westlake Legal Group 14parnas-facebookJumbo Ukrainian Ambassador Was Under Surveillance, Documents Suggest United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Politics and Government Parnas, Lev impeachment Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

New documents released by House Democrats on Tuesday offered fresh detail on the shadow diplomacy campaign at the center of President Trump’s impeachment, including text messages suggesting that the former United States ambassador to Ukraine was under surveillance while in Kyiv.

In a series of cryptic text messages, Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, communicated with another man who appeared to be monitoring the movements of the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch. The texts, exchanged in March on the WhatsApp messaging service, indicated that the other man, Robert F. Hyde, was in touch with people in Ukraine who were watching Ms. Yovanovitch.

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

It was not clear who was watching the ambassador or why. Lawyers for Mr. Parnas and Ms. Yovanovitch did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Giuliani had been critical of Ms. Yovanovitch, whom he and other Republicans have said was opposed to the president. She also butted heads with a Ukrainian prosecutor over the nature of his investigations. Ultimately, Mr. Trump recalled Ms. Yovanovitch from her post in late April.

The documents were part of a number of items that Mr. Parnas recently had turned over to the House Intelligence Committee as part of its impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman based in Florida who is facing federal criminal charges in Manhattan, did not testify during the impeachment hearings last year. His lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, recently turned over the records to the House, in response to a subpoena, after receiving permission to do so from the judge overseeing the criminal case.

The House is set to vote on Wednesday to send its impeachment charges against Mr. Trump to the Senate, and a trial could begin in the coming days.

In October, federal prosecutors in Manhattan filed campaign finance-related charges against Mr. Parnas and his associate, Igor Fruman, another Soviet-born businessman who worked alongside Mr. Parnas to assist Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine. Two other men were also charged in the case.

The effort in Ukraine hinged on convincing officials there to open investigations that would benefit Mr. Trump politically. One potential investigation would center on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden; the other would involve claims that Ukraine — and not Russia — stole Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

After their arrests, Mr. Fruman remained close to Mr. Giuliani, but Mr. Parnas split from their alliance, vowing to speak out about the Ukrainian pressure campaign. His lawyer, Mr. Bondy, has since created a #LetLevSpeak hashtag on Twitter.

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House to Send Impeachment Charges to Senate as New Evidence Emerges

Westlake Legal Group 14dc-impeach-sub2-facebookJumbo House to Send Impeachment Charges to Senate as New Evidence Emerges United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — On the eve of a historic impeachment trial, new details emerged of President Trump’s campaign to solicit political interference from Ukraine, intensifying pressure on Senate Republicans to include witness testimony and additional documents in their proceeding.

Even as Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a Wednesday vote to name House prosecutors and send the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump to the Senate for the long-awaited start of the trial, Democrats released a tranche of previously unseen records that bolstered their case.

It included dozens of pages of notes, text messages and other records provided to the Intelligence Committee by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, detailing work the men did in Ukraine on behalf of the president.

Among them were handwritten notes scrawled on a sheet of hotel paper at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna that mention getting President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, and a May 2019 letter from Mr. Giuliani requesting a meeting with Mr. Zelensky in which he said Mr. Trump had “knowledge and consent” of his actions.

The records also included text messages suggesting that Mr. Giuliani’s associates were tracking the former United States ambassador to Ukraine in Kyiv.

The material provided compelling new details undergirding the charges against Mr. Trump, and highlighted how much is still to be learned about the scope of his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, a scheme that the impeachment charges call a blatant effort to solicit foreign help in the 2020 election. Senior Democrats who led the House impeachment inquiry said the new records underscored the need for senators to demand additional evidence at trial.

“All of this new evidence confirms what we already know: The president and his associates pressured Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would benefit the president politically,” they said in a statement accompanying the release. “There cannot be a full and fair trial in the Senate without the documents that President Trump is refusing to provide to Congress.”

The evidence came to light as the House prepared to vote on Wednesday to send its impeachment charges — one on abuse of power, and one on obstruction of Congress — to the Senate, where leaders signaled that the tribunal would not begin in earnest until after the holiday weekend.

“The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial,” Ms. Pelosi said. The speaker said she would announce the names of her managers at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and a vote to formally name them and send the articles was scheduled for early afternoon.

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, indicated that senators would be ready to receive the charges on Wednesday and take sworn oaths to render “impartial justice” in the trial shortly thereafter, if not the following day.

But after weeks of demanding the charges be brought forward speedily, he said the Senate would put off considering the terms of the trial or the substance of the case for nearly a week, until next Tuesday. That would allow lawmakers time to vote late this week to approve Mr. Trump’s new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico and give senators time to travel home this holiday weekend before the trial requires them to remain at their desks in the Senate chamber six days a week.

“We hope to be able to achieve that by consent, which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday,” Mr. McConnell told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

The announcements paved the way for a choreographed exchange between the two chambers that will unfold on Wednesday as they look toward the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. With little precedent to guide them, House and Senate leaders were working with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who will preside over the trial, to nail down the timing of what was to come.

If all goes according to plan, the trial would officially open almost a month to the day after the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charges that stemmed from his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponents, then stonewall the House inquiry into his actions.

The White House, readying its own case, welcomed the progress toward a trial and predicted Mr. Trump’s eventual acquittal.

“We’ve been ready for a long time,” Eric Ueland, Mr. Trump’s congressional liaison, told reporters in the Capitol after huddling with Senate Republicans over lunch. “We could have started the morning after the House vote in December. We’re good to go, and we’re ready to go, and we’d be shocked if the House isn’t ready to go either.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign was already capitalizing on what promises to be a brutally partisan proceeding, circulating a fund-raising appeal signed by the president that announced, “We’re taking this fight to the Senate,” and asked supporters to donate to an “Emergency 2020 Impeachment Defense Fund.”

Behind the scenes, Mr. Trump’s team was bracing for a potentially damaging period, inviting conservative activists to the White House to plan strategy for the coming trial.

Lawmakers were anxious, too, as they moved toward an unpredictable process that will test an already strained Senate, consuming lawmakers for weeks or longer. Debates raged in public and private over difficult questions that may darken the proceeding, including whether to call witnesses and compel new evidence or to consider a motion, endorsed by Mr. Trump but opposed by Republican leaders, to quickly dismiss the charges against him with no arguments or deliberations.

Mr. McConnell used an extended Republican luncheon to brief lawmakers on protocols and procedures. Heplayed down Mr. Trump’s apparent enthusiasm for a motion to dismiss, insisting that such a move was not viable.

“There is little to no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss,” Mr. McConnell told reporters after the lunch. “Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments.”

Mr. McConnell predicted that he still had the Republican votes to set rules for the trial next week that would put off a debate over calling witnesses until after opening arguments and senatorial questioning is complete.

“All 53 of us have reached an understanding very, very similar to the one that was achieved at the beginning of the Clinton impeachment trial,” Mr. McConnell said, referring to the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton.

Democrats argue that a trial without witnesses and new evidence would be a sham. Mr. Trump blocked the House from gaining access to both during its impeachment inquiry.

In her statement earlier in the day, Ms. Pelosi accused Mr. McConnell and Mr. Trump of working together to cover up the facts the House had unearthed.

“The American people will fully understand the Senate’s move to begin the trial without witnesses and documents as a pure political cover-up,” she said. “Leader McConnell and the president are afraid of more facts coming to light.”

Still uncertain is precisely when the House managers will ceremonially walk the articles of impeachment from the House chamber to the Senate. When they do, they will formally present the articles and read them aloud in their entirety, beginning the trial.

At some point after the procession, the chief justice will travel from the Supreme Court across the street to the Senate chamber to administer the oath to senators.

The team of managers is likely to be led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee who spearheaded the House’s Ukraine inquiry.

During the meeting on Tuesday, Mr. Schiff laid out his expectations for trial procedures, telling members that House managers would likely have 24 hours to present their case against Mr. Trump, spread over four six-hour days. The president’s lawyers would be given the same amount of time.

Mr. Schiff’s presentation appeared to be based on the procedures from Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. Mr. McConnell has said he plans to adopt similar procedures this time, but he has yet to release a detailed proposal, leaving the House in the dark.

“None of us have been through it before,” said Representative Peter Welch, Democrat of Vermont.

Reporting was contributed by Catie Edmondson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael D. Shear from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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Priorities USA, Democratic Super PAC, Will Spend $150 Million on Anti-Trump Ads

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DES MOINES — One of the leading Democratic super PACs, Priorities USA, will spend $50 million more than previously announced against President Trump before the Democratic National Convention, with plans to make nearly $30 million in TV ad reservations in the coming days.

The super PAC, which had announced a $100 million campaign in early 2019, has increased its preconvention budget to $150 million, according to Guy Cecil, the committee’s chairman. “Donors are stepping up earlier than they have before,” he said.

The group will begin booking $30 million in television ads across four battleground states — Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — later this week, as well as $40 million on digital platforms like YouTube, Hulu and Pandora. The first television ads are slated to appear in Wisconsin at the end of February, with ads in the other three states beginning to air in the middle or end of March. The Democratic convention will be held July 13 to 16 in Milwaukee.

“These are the four closest states in any way you want to measure,” Mr. Cecil said.

The television ad campaign will go live months earlier than the group’s first anti-Trump television ads did in 2016, when they began to air in May. Mr. Cecil said more bookings were coming. “I would emphasize ‘so far,’” he said of the reservations.

“We think that the preconvention period is really critical, especially if the primary moves into late spring or early summer,” he added. “You can’t let Donald Trump define the election, whether it’s online or on television.”

The Trump campaign ended 2019 with $102.7 million in cash on hand, and the president was already seeking to shape the perception of the Democratic candidates, including in a series of Twitter posts on Monday.

Priorities USA is one of three major groups now running anti-Trump ads. The others are the campaign of Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, who has pledged to spend $100 million in anti-Trump digital ads, and a $75 million online anti-Trump campaign by Acronym, a nonprofit with an affiliated political action committee.

The combined $325 million eased some Democratic concerns from mid-2019 that the party was being — and would be — outpaced in online ad spending by Mr. Trump.

Priorities USA has been running anti-Trump messaging online since last summer, spending nearly $1.4 million just on Facebook in Pennsylvania in the last 90 days — making it, by far, the largest political advertiser in the state during that time, according to company data. The group’s ads hit Mr. Trump for a range of policies — cutting corporate taxes, raising health care costs or pushing his trade war — and sometimes promote news articles.

One ad currently running in Michigan, for instance, tells a story about the state’s shrinking share of the American economy. “Trump promised Michigan he’d bring back all the jobs, but his trade war has killed 300,000 so far,” it reads.

The group is not booking ads in every market in those four states. In Florida, for instance, Miami is missing, as are Tallahassee and Jacksonville. In Pennsylvania, the initial list of reservations does not include Philadelphia.

“Whenever you get into bigger markets, they just become less efficient,” Mr. Cecil said of TV ads, adding that there would be digital campaigns in those markets.

The most television money was being booked in Florida ($12.6 million) and its 29 electoral votes, the biggest bounty of any swing state. But Mr. Cecil said the three Midwestern states — each of which would have between $5.8 million and $6 million in initial reservations — were most likely to serve as the general election tipping point.

“These states are so close that when we do projection updates, the tipping-point state can change between Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin,” he said.

The single largest market for the Priorities USA television ads will be Tampa, Fla., with nearly $5 million. “Tampa, in almost every election for the last decade, has had the largest number of persuadable voters in Florida,” Mr. Cecil said.

But he warned against preconceptions about what those 2020 swing voters look like.

“When people hear ‘persuasion,’ they think white working class or Obama-Trump voters,” he said. “But in Florida, one out of every five Hispanic voters is a persuasion target.”

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