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|White House Will Say That Democrats Trying to Overturn 2016
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s legal team says Democrats mounted a “brazen” bid to overturn the 2016 election, echoing the president’s aggressive posture in the first formal White House response to impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Senate.Two people close to the team previewed how Trump’s lawyers plan to mount his defense over the coming weeks, largely tracking public statements the president and his aides have given during the process.The officials spoke in a call with reporters conducted on the condition of anonymity before the six-page filing was released on Saturday That document will be followed on Monday by the team’s complete legal brief in which they expand on their arguments.At almost the same time Saturday, the House impeachment managers filed a 111-page brief saying the president’s pattern of misconduct made him a “threat to the nation and the rule of law.” The document includes evidence the managers said “overwhelmingly” showed Trump guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.The White House filing denounced the House Democrats’ process as fundamentally unfair and the articles of impeachment as unconstitutional.The document also seemed addressed as much to the president’s political supporters as it is to the U.S. Senate, arguing that the impeachment trial was “a brazen and unlawful attempt” to invalidate the votes of Americans in the 2016 election and to meddle in the 2020 election.Trump is facing two articles of impeachment stemming from efforts to persuade Ukraine to undertake an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden.In the impeachment resolution sent to the Senate, the House of Representatives charges that Trump “solicited interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming presidential election by pressuring the government there to publicly announce the investigation.Impeachment Trial Deadlines Will Hint at Trump’s DefenseThe House also alleges that Trump conditioned $391 million in foreign aid on Ukraine’s public announcement, compromising “the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.”The people familiar with the president’s legal strategy said the filing was intended to challenge both the merits and constitutionality of the impeachment arguments.“The articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever, let alone high crimes or misdemeanors,” the team says in the filing.Trump and his lawyers have said repeatedly no such arm-twisting occurred, noting that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy denied the existence of a pressure campaign and stressing that foreign aid was eventually delivered to Ukraine despite the government never announcing an investigation into the Bidens.The White House also argued that the president was justified in asking Ukraine to investigate possible corruption, and that his responsibilities required the president to be a good steward of public funds.This week the non-partisan Government Accountability Office said it was illegal for Trump to withhold military aid to Ukraine -- a conclusion Trump’s legal team said it “obviously” disagrees with.Here’s the Story on Impeachment, Trump and Ukraine: QuickTakeSeparately, the impeachment resolution accuses the president of obstructing Congress because he instructed Executive Branch agencies and officials not to comply with the House of Representatives’ investigation into the Ukraine matter.A number of key witnesses -- including former National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney -- did not comply with subpoenas or requests for testimony during the inquest, leaving Democrats without concrete proof that Trump himself had directly ordered the withholding of aid unless Ukraine launched the Biden investigations.“Through these actions, President Trump sought to arrogate to himself the right to determine the propriety, scope, and nature of an impeachment inquiry into his own conduct,” the House argued in its impeachment resolution. The House said “no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively.”The White House argues that Trump was relying on long-standing and bipartisan notions of executive privilege, and that the president has an institutional right to protect internal deliberations.The White House also chided Democrats for voting on impeachment before legal challenges to the ignored subpoenas could be completed, suggesting that the obstruction charge was little more than political pretenseOnce the trial brief is filed, Trump’s legal team will go live with its defense as the impeachment trial begins in earnest next week. The president’s legal team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the Trump’s private attorney, Jay Sekulow.They’ll be joined by former Clinton impeachment prosecutor Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz, the law professor and constitutional rights expert who gained notoriety for his efforts to defend high-profile men accused of harming women, including O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein.Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, Trump private attorney Jane Raskin, former independent counsel Robert Ray, and Eric Herschmann, a partner at a law firm who has represented Trump in numerous cases in recent years, round out the president’s team.The people familiar with the president’s strategy said the current plan for the trial was for Cipollone to lead off the president’s defense, with Sekulow following him. Other members of the legal team expect to give discrete presentations on specific topics.Seven House Democrats -- iincluding Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler -- have been appointed by the House to present their case. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will oversee the proceedings, and swore in senators as jurors last week.Those familiar with the president’s strategy described the calling of witnesses as a two-way street, saying they expected to be able to call individuals they wanted to testify if senators voted to compel White House officials to speak.The trial is expected to begin in full on Tuesday, with a vote on rules including how many hours each side has to make their case.Democrats are preparing to force a vote at the outset to call witnesses, including Mulvaney, Bolton, Office of Management and Budget official Michael Duffey and Mulvaney senior adviser Robert Blair.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants to decide that issue at a later time, and appears to have the votes to withstand the bid by Democrats.Trump’s chances of actual removal remain slim, as 67 senators are needed to remove him from office - meaning 20 Republicans would need to cross party lines to convict the president.(Updates with White House tweets, adds reference to House legal brief in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at email@example.com, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 6:17 PM
|ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'
Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. “This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said Saturday the city would review the subpoenas.
POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 7:23 PM
|Angolan ex-president dos Santos denies ties to daughter's alleged graft
Angola's former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos has denied links to alleged public company embezzlement during his rule, in his first response to corruption investigators last month freezing his daughter's assets. Isabel dos Santos, the ex-president's billionaire first-born, has been the target of an anti-corruption campaign led by her father's successor President Joao Lourenco. The investigation is looking at alleged irregularities involving diamond marketing firm Sodiam and Sonangol -- Angola's national oil company, which was handed over to Isabel dos Santos by her father in 2016.
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 12:36 PM
|Fewer Americans are binge-drinking, but those who do are drinking more per session
New CDC data shows binge-drinking is declining, but American adults who do drink heavily are consuming 12% more alcohol per session.
POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 11:31 AM
|Gulf carriers fly over Iraq, Iran after military action deters others
Qatar Airways, Emirates and several other Gulf airlines still fly in Iraqi and Iranian airspace and to cities in both countries, even as other international carriers have rerouted planes since the United States and Iran traded military strikes. Executives and analysts said carriers in the Gulf, a major transit stop between European and Asian destinations, have few alternative routes to choose from in an area where much of the airspace is kept clear of civilian aircraft for military use. In the latest flare up, a U.S. drone strike killed a top general in Iraq on Jan. 3 and Iran fired missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq on Jan. 8.
POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 2:54 AM
|The 25 Best PSP Games
POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 9:00 AM
|China Thinks It Can Nuke American Cities. Should We Worry?
World War III is no joke...
POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 5:00 PM
|Killer beer: El Chapo 701 craft lager coming soon thanks to drug lord's daughter
The mug shot of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, imprisoned leader of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, is not just for police blotters anymore.
POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 10:00 AM
|Spain's Balearic Islands crack down on alcohol-fuelled holidays
Spain's Balearic Islands passed a bill Friday aimed at clamping down on alcohol-fuelled holidays in the Mediterranean archipelago which bans happy hours when drinks are offered a discount and open bars. "This is the first law adopted in Europe which restricts the sale and promotion of alcohol in certain touristic areas," the regional government of the Balearic Islands which have long been a magnet for young German and British tourists, who often drink heavily and enjoy rowdy late-night clubbing. The restrictions will apply to three areas with a reputation for excess: San Antoni on the island of Ibiza and El Arenal and Magaluf -- which has been nicknamed "Shagaluf" because of its reputation for drunken casual sex -- on Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic's four islands.
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 12:07 PM
|Trump slams Virginia Democrats for pushing gun safety regulations as suspected white supremacists are arrested for discussing opening fire at a Richmond gun rally
"Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia," the president tweeted on Friday evening.
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 6:35 PM
News – Insurance Journal
|Minnesota School District Sued by Parents of Students Who Were Sexually Exploited
The parents of two students are suing the Bemidji school district, alleging it was negligent in allowing a former assistant principal to sexually exploit their children. Brandon Bjerknes, who was arrested in 2017, is serving a federal prison sentence for …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 5:33 PM
|Brown & Brown Acquires Assets of Texas All Risk
Brown & Brown Inc. through its subsidiary, Hull & Company LLC, has acquired substantially all of the assets of Dallas-based Texas All Risk, a managing general agent (MGA) placing a wide range of property/ casualty insurance for businesses and individuals …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 5:24 PM
|Hurricane Dorian’s Bahamas Storm Toll: $3.4 Billion in Damages, 3 Years of Rebuilding
The Bahamas may need to tap international debt markets as it confronts the steep cost of recovering from the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the islands. The government will probably borrow about $500 million in coming months as it …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 5:02 PM
|California Lawmaker Wants Probe of PG&E’s Chief Regulator
A state lawmaker is demanding an extensive review of the California Public Utilities Commission to determine whether regulators’ lax oversight enabled neglect at Pacific Gas & Electric that triggered catastrophic wildfires, a messy bankruptcy and exasperating blackouts. The request by …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:40 PM
|California Sleep Apnea Company Pays $37.5M to Settle Kickback Lawsuits
ResMed, a San Diego, Calif.-based company that sells sleep apnea machines, will pay $37.5 million to settle allegations that it provided kickbacks to obtain customer referrals, federal prosecutors announced this week. The settlement covers five whistleblower lawsuits filed on behalf …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:36 PM
|Forex Firm Travelex Resumes Customer-Facing Operations After Ransomware Attack
More than two weeks after a crippling ransomware attack forced Travelex staff to use pen and paper to calculate foreign currency exchanges, the company said the first of its customer-facing systems in Britain was up and running again. The cyber …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:24 PM
|USG Adds Aguilar as a Producer in Arizona
USG Insurance Services Inc. has named Jay Aguilar a producer/broker in commercial lines in the Scottsdale, Ariz. office. Aguilar will work to expand USG’s Southwestern territory. Aguilar has 23 years of insurance industry experience, most recently at Agents Alliance Services. …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 4:18 PM
|MGA Incubator Castel Taps Carlos from Arch Insurance as Head of Specialty
Castel Underwriting Agencies Ltd., the managing general agent and club-style MGA formation platform, has announced the appointment of Raoul Carlos as head of Specialty as it structures its underwriting cells and MGAs into a number of centres of excellence focused …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 3:26 PM
|Three Massachusetts Workers Shocked When Scaffolding Touches Power Line
Three people were injured, one critically, on Tuesday when scaffolding they were working with at a Massachusetts home came in contact with power lines, police said. Beverly police responded to a report that two workers had fallen from the roof …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 3:06 PM
|SterlingRisk Insurance Promotes DelPrete to President of Programs
SterlingRisk Insurance, a Woodbury, N.Y.-based independently owned insurance brokerage, has promoted Geraldine DelPrete to president of Programs. According to SterlingRisk CEO David Sterling in a company press release, DelPrete’s background in reinsurance and underwriting and understanding of programs has directly …
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 3:04 PM