1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “Donald Trump” – Google News: Trump sets ‘terrible precedent’ by crossing red line on Huawei case – CNN

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Robert Mueller releases statement confirming Michael Cohen has nailed Donald Trump on Russia

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller prefers to only “speak” to the public by including things in his court filings, and he very rarely releases actual statements from his press office. But as Michael Cohen was being sentenced to prison today, Mueller released a rare statement – and let’s just say that it’s really bad news for Donald Trump.




Here’s what Robert Mueller publicly stated today, according to CNN: “[Cohen] has provided our office with credible and reliable information about core Russia-related issues under investigation and within the purview of the Special Counsel’s Office.” Here’s the thing. Mueller already issued a sentencing memo on Friday, generically stating that Cohen had provided significant assistance, while also stating that Mueller had no position on how much prison time Cohen should serve. So it’s not as if Mueller made this statement today as a show of support for Cohen during his sentencing. Instead, this was clearly intended as a statement of a different kind.




Robert Mueller is rather clearly sending a message to the general public that the Trump-Russia election conspiracy was indeed very real, and that Donald Trump’s “no collusion” outbursts are nonsense. What’s interesting here is that because Michael Cohen is a proven and admitted liar, by definition he can’t provide “credible and reliable information” in the form of his testimony alone.



In other words, Michael Cohen has given Robert Mueller hard evidence that has nailed Donald Trump in the Russia scandal, and Mueller wants everyone to know it. Mueller apparently isn’t quite ready to blow the Trump-Russia conspiracy wide open, but he’s close enough that he’s now making a point of laying the groundwork by releasing a statement like this.



The post Robert Mueller releases statement confirming Michael Cohen has nailed Donald Trump on Russia appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: “Humiliated” and “super pissed” Donald Trump is no longer functioning on any level

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The hits just keep coming for Donald Trump. Michael Cohen was sent to prison today for election crimes that Trump directed him to commit. The National Enquirer’s David Pecker formally accused Trump of a felony. And his search for a new White House Chief of Staff has become such a fiasco, he’s had to ask John Kelly to stay on longer. It turns out this is all hitting him so hard, he’s no longer functioning on any level.




Donald Trump refused to get out of bed this morning, and as of almost noon, he still hadn’t made his way down to the Oval Office, according to a surreal report from NBC News. This is lazy even by Trump’s standards, as he always shows up for a morning meeting with his staff before blowing off most of the rest of the day. But it gets worse.




CNN is now reporting that Trump is “humiliated” and “super pissed” over the fact that Nick Ayers bailed on him at the last second, after he had already publicly sent John Kelly packing. This furthers our suspicion that Ayers was absolutely 100% taking the job until something suddenly changed that caused him to abruptly bail on both Trump and Pence, opting to resign from the White House entirely. Is he reading the tea leaves in the Michael Flynn indictment like the rest of us, or does he know something we don’t?



This all comes one day after Donald Trump was severely outmatched by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck SChumer in a nationally televised press conference, which led to Trump subsequently having a tantrum and throwing things around, according to the Los Angeles Times. You put all of this together, and it paints a picture of a guy who knows he’s hosed, and is no longer coming close to functioning. In other words, he’s truly imploding.



The post “Humiliated” and “super pissed” Donald Trump is no longer functioning on any level appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Rational Security: The ‘Smocking Gun’ Edition

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There have been big moves in the Russia investigation. We’ll put this week’s pieces together. U.S. tensions with China escalate following the arrest of a senior Chinese telecom executive. And the Saudi crown prince has duped White House adviser Jared Kushner.  

 

 

Susan pitches a new movie

Shane finds the podcast’s Egyptian roots.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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“Peter Strzok” – Google News: ‘They’ll Do Everything to Disrupt Trump’: Outgoing Rep. Gowdy Predicts Dems to Stymie Legislature – Fox News Insider

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‘They’ll Do Everything to Disrupt Trump’: Outgoing Rep. Gowdy Predicts Dems to Stymie Legislature  Fox News Insider

Outgoing Congressman Trey Gowdy said Wednesday he predicts that Democrats will spend the next two years doing “everything that their base wants” …

“Peter Strzok” – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trump just got screwed by his own David Pecker

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“President” Donald Trump has been silent and mostly unseen today. His former fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison and gave an unflattering (at best) assessment of Trump. Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, promised to reveal all, once Special Counsel Robert Mueller releases his final report.






The Southern District of New York issued its press release announcing Cohen’s sentence. Interestingly, a portion of the press release contains the news that the SDNY had reached a non-prosecution cooperation agreement with National Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, and its boss David Pecker. The press release revealed:

The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI’s role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election. As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.

Assuming AMI’s continued compliance with the agreement, the Office has agreed not to prosecute AMI for its role in that payment. The agreement also acknowledges, among other things, AMI’s acceptance of responsibility, its substantial and important assistance in this investigation, and its agreement to provide cooperation in the future and implement specific improvements to its internal compliance to prevent future violations of the federal campaign finance laws. These improvements include distributing written standards regarding federal election laws to its employees and conducting annual training concerning these standards.



The revelation anticipates “continued compliance with the agreement” and that means even more information that AMI and David Pecker have about the activities of Donald Trump, along with what stories it suppressed, what stories it may have initiated at Trump’s request, and other information. Better start packing an overnight bag, Trump. Every report and every speck of evidence continues to point to serious legal exposure for you and those in your orbit.



The post Donald Trump just got screwed by his own David Pecker appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “michael flynn” – Google News: Michael Flynn’s lawyers call his lie to FBI ‘uncharacteristic’ – The Japan Times

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Michael Flynn’s lawyers call his lie to FBI ‘uncharacteristic’  The Japan Times

Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, are asking a judge to spare him prison time, saying he had devoted hi.

“michael flynn” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “trump money laundering” – Google News: Trump Should Cut Hezbollah’s Lifeline in the Americas – Foreign Policy

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Trump Should Cut Hezbollah’s Lifeline in the Americas  Foreign Policy

Almost halfway through his term, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has yet to launch a coordinated assault against Hezbollah’s terrorist finance …

“trump money laundering” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “donald trump racketeering” – Google News: What it’s like at the prison in Otisville where Michael Cohen may go – CNN

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What it’s like at the prison in Otisville where Michael Cohen may go  CNN

In federal court Wednesday, US District Judge William Pauley agreed to recommend that Michael Cohen serve his 36-month prison sentence at FCI Otisville, …

“donald trump racketeering” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “putin won US 2016 election” – Google News: Christopher Steele: Hillary Clinton was preparing to challenge 2016 election results – Washington Times

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Christopher Steele: Hillary Clinton was preparing to challenge 2016 election results  Washington Times

British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who wrote the Democrat-financed anti-Trump dossier, said in a court case that he was hired by a Democratic law firm in …

“putin won US 2016 election” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): “crime and terror” – Google News: Strasbourg suspect Cherif Chekatt was a violent criminal on terror watchlist – The National

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Strasbourg suspect Cherif Chekatt was a violent criminal on terror watchlist  The National

Cherif Chekatt, the 29-year-old man sought by police over a shooting in Strasbourg lived in a small apartment in a ramshackle housing block and has …

“crime and terror” – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Nancy Pelosi has Donald Trump right where she wants him

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It is often succinctly (and accurately, I think) invoked that in order to be a Trump supporter one must either be a billionaire or a fool, and if you’re uncertain what kind you are, check your bank account. The now discredited notion, however, that hairy hoards of drug-crazed, knife-wielding psychos are menacing America’s southern border with Mexico, and that the only credible way to stop them is to erect a giant wall, requires stupidity beyond the normal province of the usual Trump-endorsing idiocy.




No one understands this better than Nancy Pelosi and less than Donald Trump. But what’s more, Pelosi gets it that if the government is going to be entirely shut down because Congress will not fully fund Trump’s moronic border wall, then Donald Trump himself is going to have to accept all of the blame for the shutdown.


“But the fact is we did get him to say, to fully own that the shutdown was his,” Pelosi said, according to sources. “That was an accomplishment.”
 In the course of the meeting Trump lied about the effectiveness of those portions of the wall that have been built. Citing made up statistics for reduced unlawful border crossings in San Diego, El Paso, Tucson and Yuma, Trump insisted these places experienced recent steep drops in illegal border crossings of 90% or more.




If you replace the word “wall” with the word “fence” and reveal that the statistics Trump is quoting go back to the 1990s then there is some truth in what Trump is claiming. But these areas have, at best, only had reinforcement work done to existing fences. The wall remains unbuilt, and, it goes without saying, unpaid for by Mexico.



It is because of Trump’s failure to make good on his campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall that he has now had to turn to Congress for its funding. Threatening to shutdown the government if the funding is not forthcoming is his only recourse. That and his embarrassingly juvenile attempts to inflate a nonexistent threat at the border. All to create angst over a wall that still hasn’t been built to keep out hordes that aren’t there and to prevent a threat that doesn’t exist.



The post Nancy Pelosi has Donald Trump right where she wants him appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Sulking Donald Trump refused to get out of bed today

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It’s not that Donald Trump ever really does any work in the White House. His daily schedule is famously dominated by “executive time” which consists of him watching Fox News in bed. But by all accounts, Trump is an early riser, and once he’s done watching the morning Fox News programming, he does come down to the Oval Office for a staff meeting before blowing off the rest of the day. Today, however, was very different.




As of 11:37am eastern time this morning, Donald Trump still had “not yet come to work” according to Hans Nichols of NBC News. Why does this matter? It’s a significant break from his usual routine, which is a big deal for someone who – despite his erratic behavior – is largely driven by (a very lazy) routine. There are two plausible explanations, and neither of them is good for Trump at all.




The first would be that he stayed in bed watching television while he waited to find out what kind of prison sentence Michael Cohen received. If this is the case, it means Trump was genuinely worried about Cohen being sent to prison – not because he has any concern for Cohen’s well being, but because he stands criminally accused of having instructed Cohen to commit felonies.



The second would be that Donald Trump is simply so depressed by everything that’s rapidly going wrong for him, he’s no longer willing or able to get out of bed in the morning. Again, he’s lazy and he does very little work, but this would be a new level of detachment for him. It also comes after he reportedly threw a tantrum and began throwing things after his failed press conference with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.



The post Sulking Donald Trump refused to get out of bed today appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: National Enquirer owner admits coordinating ‘catch and kill’ payment with Trump campaign

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AMI told prosecutors it worked with Trump’s campaign to pay Karen McDougal for her story of a sexual affair with Trump, before suppressing it

The publisher of National Enquirer has said it coordinated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 in hush money, an allegation that places the president and his inner circle in further legal peril.

American Media Inc (AMI) told prosecutors it worked “in concert” with Trump’s campaign when it paid Karen McDougal for her story of a sexual affair with Trump, before suppressing the story “so as to prevent it from influencing the election”.

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Detention of Huawei’s CFO is Legally Justified. Why Doesn’t the U.S. Say So?

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The detention of a top executive from Chinese technology giant Huawei shocked financial markets around the world last week as investors worried that the arrest would derail U.S.-China trade talks. But the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada, pending her extradition to the U.S., has grown from a trade irritant to a full-blown diplomatic crisis. Over the weekend, the Chinese government threatened both Canada and the U.S. with “grave consequences” if Meng was not immediately released from detention. Its threats have been supported and amplified by Chinese state-run media and on Chinese social media. Boycotts of Apple products and Canada Goose down coats are spreading in China. Most dramatically, a Canadian think-tank scholar and diplomat, Michael Kovrig appears to have been detained in Beijing on murky charges of endangering Chinese state security.

While it is tempting to ignore histrionic Chinese claims that Meng has been denied due process and basic legal rights, the complexity of the legal process surrounding Meng’s detention has allowed China’s government to sow doubts about the legal legitimacy of the arrest. Indeed, the complete silence by the U.S. Department of Justice on the matter has only made it more difficult for the U.S. government to push back against the Chinese government’s increasingly ridiculous statements and demands. Meanwhile, President Trump’s recent statement that he would consider intervening in the proceeding for trade or national security reasons has only further confused the already muddled U.S. government message about the Meng case.

This ambiguity undermines one of the important policy goals behind pursuing this prosecution in the first place: enforcing neutral legal standards to punish and deter both Chinese governmental and individual wrongdoing. This post will clarify the legal basis for Meng’s detention and eventual prosecution as well as rebut the often ridiculous (not to mention hypocritical) attacks by the Chinese government and media.

 

1. Meng is not being charged with violating Iran sanctions, but with bank fraud.

Some U.S. commentators, like Zachary Karabell and Jeffrey Sachs, have suggested that Meng’s detention is somehow illegitimate because, as a Chinese national running a Chinese company, neither Meng nor Huawei should not have to comply with U.S. sanctions on Iran due to their extraterritorial nature. This is a serious argument, but a mistaken one.

First of all, according to the affidavit described at Meng’s Vancouver bail hearing, Meng is being charged with bank fraud, rather than violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. It is likely that Meng will be charged by the U.S. with violating the bank fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1344, which criminalizes any attempt “to defraud a financial institution,” or obtain funds from a “financial institution, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.” According to reports describing the U.S. affidavit, Meng is alleged to have personally made a presentation to HSBC claiming that a company doing business with Iran was not controlled by Huawei in violation of U.S. sanctions. If Meng knowingly misled HSBC in order to get some financial benefit or support, this would likely violate the statute—a breach that carries a possible 30-year jail sentence or $1 million fine.

It is worth noting that bank fraud prosecutions are not rare in the U.S. The Justice Department’s web page is filled with press releases about numerous bank fraud convictions. Moreover, if the allegations are true, Meng really did expose HSBC to severe liability: as a financial institution operating in the United States, the bank is fully subject to all U.S. sanctions on Iran. Indeed, in 2012, HSBC agreed to settle various charges against it in U.S. courts, including violating U.S. sanctions, at a cost of over $1.2 billion dollars.

It is also important to recognize that the extraterritorial application of the U.S. bank fraud statute has long been recognized in the U.S. Indeed, the Senate report that accompanied the passage of the bank fraud statute stated that “even if the conduct constituting the offense occurs outside the United States, once the offender is present within the country, he may nonetheless be subject to federal prosecution.” This extraterritorial reach can be justified under the international law “passive personality principle,” wherein a state can in some cases punish foreign conduct that injures its own nationals (or corporate residents). In other words, there is nothing illegitimate about the U.S. seeking to punish bank fraud against its own corporations and nationals under U.S. or international law.

 

2. It is not improper to subject Meng and Huawei to U.S. sanctions laws.

Even if Meng had been punished for directly violating the Iran sanctions rather than misleading banks into doing so, this would not be an unreasonable exercise of U.S. power. Meng and Huawei do substantial business with the United States. Huawei purchases U.S.-origin goods for use in Huawei’s telecommunications products. Both before the international nuclear deal with Iran, during the period in which the U.S. considered the deal binding and after the U.S. withdrew, U.S. export regulations prohibited any sale of U.S.-origin goods to Iran without a license, which is usually only granted for medical and agricultural exports. The origin of this embargo goes back to the 1979 U.S. hostage crisis as well as various ups and downs in the U.S.-Iran relationship since then. By limiting the application of U.S. sanctions law to sale of U.S.-origin goods, U.S. jurisdiction is based on the substantial effects such a sale would have on the U.S. and its national security.

Under international law, the U.S. has typically relied on the “protective principle” to justify such laws on the theory that trade with certain countries threatens U.S. security or interferes with the operation of its government functions. In 2017, the U.S. imposed criminal penalties on Huawei competitor ZTE for an Iran sanctions breach (although those were later revised in a subsequent plea agreement).1In any event, both Huawei and Meng were almost certainly on notice that any re-sale of U.S. origin goods to Iran violated U.S. law.

To be sure, some critics dislike U.S. sanctions law as it is applied to Iran. But that does not mean imposing an embargo on the sale of most U.S. products to Iran is illegitimate or illegal under U.S. or international law.

 

3. Meng has received due process appropriate for an extradition proceeding.

The Chinese government has used remarkably strong language to condemn Canada’s detention of Meng. After summoning the Canadian ambassador, China’s vice-minister of foreign affairs called her detention “unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature.” Even more remarkably, he threatened Canada with “grave consequences” if Meng is not released. China’s leading party-run newspaper further developed this point when an editorial there argued that:

To arrest someone without offering a clear reason is an undisguised infringement upon the human rights of that person. The Canadian side, even though there had not been a trial and determination of guilt, went entirely against the spirit of the law, choosing to infer guilt and placing the person in handcuffs and fetters. To treat a Chinese citizen like a serious criminal, to roughly trample their basic human rights, and to dishonour their dignity, how is this the method of a civilised country?

These attacks have been repeated ad nauseum within China in state media and on social media. The New York Times reported that one angry Chinese supporter of Meng demonstrated his disdain for the U.S. and Canada by hammering his iPhone to pieces on video. But none of these criticisms are credible, and it is worth explaining in detail why.

Meng was detained in Canada pursuant to request by the U.S. under the U.S.-Canada extradition treaty. According to reports, Meng was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in Brooklyn in August 2018 and an arrest warrant was issued. The U.S. then sent that an official request to Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which eventually sent it to the Ministry of Justice and then local authorities in Vancouver. In Canada, the minister of justice must first conduct a review to determine whether the defendant could be extradited under Canadian law and the U.S.-Canada Extradition Treaty. A judge in Vancouver must also review the U.S. request and the specific charges and the supporting evidence provided by the U.S.

Meng’s arrest, and the evidence underlying it, were the subject of a long prior investigation and a review by both law enforcement and judicial authorities. It is not a last-minute sanction dreamed up by Trump while having dinner with President Xi Jinping, even if Trump’s comments yesterday made it sound like it was. Even the Chinese complaints about the lack of public information about the charges is misguided. The only reason the charges were not publicly revealed at the time of Meng’s detention was Meng’s own request for a publication ban about her case.

Chinese media have also claimed Meng was placed in handcuffs and fetters before her trial. There is actually no photographic evidence that Meng was in fact restrained, but if she was, it is not in any way improper. Both Canadian and Chinese police literally do this every single day when they arrest individuals prior to their trial or conviction.

In sum, nothing in this procedure is irregular or unfair to Meng. She has had access to counsel from the time of her detention, and she will have a chance to challenge her extradition before a neutral independent Canadian judge who is independent of the prosecutor. If she is extradited, she will have a chance to invoke all relevant U.S. constitutional rights and fully defend herself before an independent U.S. judge (or even a jury if she prefers). Moreover, the U.S. government will have to meet the heaviest legal standard possible, beyond reasonable doubt, in order to convict her.

For these reasons, the Chinese government’s criticisms should be dismissed not only as utterly ridiculous and shameless propaganda, but also as rank hypocrisy. The Chinese government regularly seeks extradition from other countries, places restraints and hoods on such detainees prior to trial, and, domestically, often detains individuals for months without revealing any charges publicly or allowing those detainees to communicate with family, attorneys or their consulates (if they are foreign citizens). Indeed, that appears to be what it has done to this week to Canadian Michael Kovrig in apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest. It is hard to take China’s vitriolic criticisms of Canada’s judicial system seriously.

 

4. Law enforcement is an important tool to advance U.S. policy toward China.

Legal proceedings often seem like awkward tools when conducting foreign policy. But in the case of U.S.-China relations, enforcing certain U.S. laws can be very helpful in advancing important U.S. policy objectives. U.S. law already prohibits cyber-theft of trade secrets, economic espionage, money laundering, bank fraud, foreign lobbying, and of course, evasion of sanctions. Allowing Chinese government entities (or even nominally private entities like Huawei) to operate in defiance of these laws signals to the Chinese that these legal rules are not to be taken seriously, or that they can be simply part of a larger bargaining process and negotiation. But while prosecutors do exercise discretion over the types of cases they bring, it is much more difficult to drop such proceedings once they have begun.

Law enforcement actions demonstrate a country’s credible commitment to a particular policy and can set a baseline for demanding adherence from another country. Unlike tariffs, which are highly political and often discretionary, law enforcement proceedings are constrained by evidence, procedures and legal standards. They cannot be easily altered or bargained away, even if Trump’s comments yesterday suggest he would like to do so. The political cost for interfering in an ongoing federal criminal investigation is high, as the president has discovered with respect to the multiple federal investigation into his own activities. For this reason, criminal charges such as those brought against Meng are best seen as separate from the trade war. Even if the U.S. ran a healthy trade surplus with China, it would be strange for the U.S. government to decide as a result of good trade relations with China, it no longer needed to enforce its sanctions against Iran.

To be sure, the law enforcement approach fits awkwardly within the Trump administration’s larger overall China strategy. The U.S. government messaging on its action against Huawei has veered between trying to simply describe it as separate and unrelated to trade talks (as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer tried to do on Dec. 9) to Trump’s suggestion that he might very well intervene to obtain leverage on trade. But the message should have come from the prosecutors handling the case and the Department of Justice, which would have emphasized the credibility and impartiality of the proceeding, instead of from White House. This messaging failure is allowing the Chinese government to make outlandish charges about the case and whip up popular anger in China.

Shortly before he resigned, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department’s formation of a “China Initiative” to direct resources at prosecuting Chinese hacking, economic espionage, and other violations. If this China Initiative is to succeed, the United States will need more than just sufficient evidence to bring those charges against Chinese individuals and entities in future cases. It will also need a robust and sophisticated public relations strategy to explain and justify those charges—something that has been missing throughout the Meng episode.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: The Guardian view on global warming: time is running out | Editorial

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Rightwing nationalism threatens the global solidarity needed to avoid a climate catastrophe

Global warming is a crisis for civilisation and a crisis for life on Earth. Human-caused climate change was behind 15 deadly weather disasters in 2017, including droughts, floods and heatwaves. The world’s leading climate scientists, in a special report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have warned that there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. To meet that target, global carbon emissions need to drop by 45% by 2030. Instead they are going up. We need radical, urgent change. So it is appalling that negotiators in Poland at the 24th Conference of the Parties, or COP24, are finding it so hard to push ahead with implementing the climate deal signed three years ago in Paris.

This is largely because rising rightwing nationalism has vitiated the global solidarity needed to avoid a catastrophe. Under the Paris agreement, effective action to tackle climate change requires global cooperation on three fronts: first, nations set demanding carbon-reduction targets for their own societies; second, countries are held accountable for meeting these targets through surveillance mechanisms; and third, rich states provide cash for poorer ones to transition to a carbon-free future. Yet none of this is possible when the most important actors on the world stage think that the chief business of the nation state lies at home. The biggest problem is the US president, Donald Trump – a longtime climate-change denier. While negotiators were discussing how to lower carbon emissions, Mr Trump’s officials unveiled two schemes promoting fossil fuels. The US’s rogue behaviour has encouraged others to behave badly: notably Saudi Arabia, which played a key role in attempts to wreck the summit’s “welcoming” of the IPCC report. Last month, Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, chose as his foreign minister a climate-change denier, and the nation has pulled out of hosting COP25. The top European leaders – Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May and Angela Merkel – are inwardly focused, leaving Poland, the current talks’ host, to sing the virtues of its large coal stocks. The other big players are India and China: the latter has the global heft but is not internationally deft; for the former, the opposite is true.

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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