(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats distilled their case for impeaching President Donald Trump into a 111-page document that will serve as a playbook for the Senate trial beginning on Tuesday.The report, released on Saturday, lays out their findings related to Trump’s actions toward Ukraine from weeks of impeachment hearings in the House, outlining their accusations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.The White House also released its first formal response to the president’s impeachment, offering a terse six-page brief assailing Democrats for trying to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election.Here are the key takeaways:Incorporating new evidenceThe House managers cited new developments since the House’s Dec. 18 impeachment vote. Most notable in Saturday’s brief was a government watchdog finding that the Trump administration broke the law by withholding congressionally approved aid for Ukraine.The report from the Government Accountability Office released Thursday undercut a Republican talking point that Trump and his administration didn’t commit any crimes. The GAO found that the 1974 Impoundment Control Act prohibits Trump from superseding Congress’s power of the purse for his own policy priorities.However, new material from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, was only mentioned in a footnote. Parnas, who was arrested and indicted for campaign finance violations, turned over additional documents and phone records to House investigators this month.Citing the Mueller reportDemocrats referenced former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election to establish an “ominous pattern” of behavior from Trump. They used it to suggest a pattern where Trump has more than once welcomed foreign interference in U.S. elections -- and sought to obstruct investigations of those allegations.“Allowing this pattern to continue without repercussion would send the clear message that President Trump is correct in his view that no governmental body can hold him accountable for wrongdoing,” according to the brief. “That view is erroneous and exceptionally dangerous.”Neither of the two articles of impeachment adopted by the House mentions Mueller or his findings.Clearing Biden of wrongdoingHouse Democrats also used the trial brief to clear the name of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now a leading candidate to challenge Trump in 2020. They sought to refute the GOP claim that Trump was justified in pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden because his son, Hunter, served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.The trial brief says Biden, as vice president, was carrying out official U.S. policy, supported by allies and lawmakers of both parties, to pressure Ukraine to remove a prosecutor widely regarded as corrupt. Republicans accuse Biden of protecting his son by halting an investigation of Burisma, although the Ukrainian prosecutor had already closed a probe of the gas company.Saturday’s filing also discredits the claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Various impeachment witnesses expressed frustration that Republicans have repeated theories discredited by U.S. intelligence agencies.Democrats argue Trump presents an ongoing threatThe impeachment managers said senators must remove Trump from office to prevent future harm to American democracy and government. Along with questions of election security, they say acquitting Trump would allow future presidents to misdirect taxpayer money for political gain and would upset the balance of power laid out in the Constitution.“The Senate should convict and remove President Trump to avoid serious and long-term damage to our democratic values and the Nation’s security,” according to the brief. “Failure to remove President Trump would signal that a president’s personal interests may take precedence over those of the Nation, alarming our allies and emboldening our adversaries.”Trump brief echoes president’s tweetsThe White House’s defiant response to the Senate trial, also filed Saturday, insists the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader makes “absolutely clear that the president did nothing wrong,” echoing Trump’s repeated tweets that his critics should, “READ THE TRANSCRIPT.”White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, his personal lawyer, wrote that Trump’s call was “perfectly legal.” Trump has frequently described it as a “perfect” call.Their response also repeats several other arguments that Trump has made repeatedly, including by criticizing House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff for his exaggerated dramatization of Trump’s phone call in a hearing.The White House is due to file a fuller response on Monday.To contact the reporters on this story: Billy House in Washington at email@example.com;Anna Edgerton in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at email@example.comFor 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.
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.
Two more bodies have been discovered at a Tijuana, Mexico, property where investigators earlier found the remains of a missing California couple buried under the dirt floor of a house on Friday. Jesús Rubén López Guillén, 70, a U.S. resident, and his wife Maria Teresa Guillén, 65, a naturalized U.S. citizen, were reported missing by their daughter Norma López after they traveled from Garden Grove to Tijuana on Jan. 10 to collect more than $6,400 in overdue rent from their 37-year-old son-in-law. Police in Garden Grove launched a missing persons investigation after López said she could no longer track her parents’ movements through the Find My Phone app. She said the last signal she received before their phone went dead was at the property they owned where her husband was living in southern Tijuana, about 4 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Their bodies were found buried under the dirt floor of one of the property’s three homes late Friday.While conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the Guilléns’ murder, Mexican investigators say they discovered the bodies of another couple buried in the property. It is not known if they were found in the same house as the Guilléns’ remains. The new victims have not yet been identified, but police in Mexico say they also may have been involved in a monetary dispute with the son-in-law.The son-in-law, a Mexican national who was deported from the U.S. in 2012 and identified only as “Santiago” in court documents, was first charged with the California couple’s disappearance and taken into custody while the property was searched. Baja California state prosecutor Hirán Sánchez confirmed that when his in-law’s bodies were found, he was charged with their murder.Sanchez told reporters that when the son-in-law was first questioned about what happened to his in-laws, he offered up a “series of contradictions” including a tale that they had walked across the border and that he had picked them up. López says her parents had instead driven their own pickup truck to retrieve the money. The son-in-law also told police that he first took them to their property and then they went together to a bank to exchange currency he paid them, after which he said he drove them back to the border. Instead investigators say that the son-in-law tried to extract money with the couple’s bank cards.“The Guilléns drove themselves to their houses, not Santiago,” Sanchez said at a news conference. “They never left.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Vanessa Smallwood of Maple Shade, N.J., was 46 at the time of her disappearance. She was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce on Sunday his presidential campaign’s new plan aimed at bolstering economic opportunity for black Americans, promising to triple their income over the next decade, but stopping short of promising reparations.
Workers for cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian might be away from home for over six months, so they need to be thoughtful about what they pack.
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.
World War III is no joke...
New photos have emerged which for the first time show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk at the Sobibor death camp, a Berlin archive confirmed Monday, although he always denied ever being there. Ukrainian-American Demjanjuk was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of nearly 30,000 Jews at Sobibor by a German court in 2011. According to the Berlin-based Topography of Terror archive, photos of Demjanjuk are among a newly discovered collection of more than 350 snaps which give "detailed insight" into the camp in German-occupied Poland.
Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger tells president’s daughter-in-law to ‘grow up’ and ‘show some decency’ in New York Times columnChesley Sullenberger, the pilot who performed the “Miracle on the Hudson”, has told Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump to “grow up” and “show some decency”, after she mocked Joe Biden for stuttering.Biden, a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to face President Trump in November, has spoken openly about his lifelong experiences with a stutter.Lara Trump, who is married to the president’s second son Eric, works for the Trump re-election campaign and spoke in that capacity at an event in Iowa on Friday, the day after the seventh Democratic debate.“I feel kind of sad for Biden,” she said. “And you know that’s when it’s not going well for him, right, because I’m supposed to want him to fail at every turn. But every time he comes onstage or they turn to him, I’m like, ‘Joe, can you get it out? Let’s get the words out, Joe.’”Trump is not the first prominent supporter of her father-in-law to face criticism for mocking Biden’s stutter: Fox News has aired montages of his stuttering on the debate stage and former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders deleted a mocking tweet in December.Nonetheless, on Friday Trump criticised reporting of her remarks and insisted in a tweet that “anyone who takes 10 seconds to watch what I actually said can clearly see that I never mention a stutter – didn’t even know he had one”.> Here’s @LaraLeaTrump at Trump event in Iowa mocking Biden for stuttering: "I feel kind of sad for Biden ... I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time they turn to him I'm like, 'Joe can you get it out? Let's get the words out Joe.’” pic.twitter.com/0inN9wXYJF> > — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 17, 2020On Saturday, a well-known voice fired back. Sullenberger, known as “Sully”, became famous in January 2009 after his airliner struck a flock of Canada geese but he managed to land it on the Hudson river, saving the lives of all 155 people onboard. In 2016, Clint Eastwood made the story into a film with Tom Hanks in the eponymous title role.In a column for the New York Times, Sullenberger began by remembering his own experiences with a stutter in his childhood in Texas, “the anguish of being called on in grade school, knowing that I was going to have a hard time getting the words out; that my words could not keep up with my mind, and they would often come out jumbled”.“My neck and face would quickly begin to flush a bright red,” he wrote, “the searing heat rising all the way to the top of my head; every eye in the room on me; the intense and painful humiliation, and bullying that would follow, all because of my inability to get the words out.“Those feelings came rushing back, when I heard Lara Trump mocking former Vice-President Joe Biden at a Trump campaign event, with the very words that caused my childhood agony.”Sullenberger disclosed that he attended a Biden fundraiser last year, but said: “This issue goes beyond politics.”“Regardless of how you feel about Joe Biden,” he wrote, “or his chances of becoming the Democratic nominee for president; whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or none of the above; whether you stuttered as a child or laughed at one who did; whether as a parent you try to protect your own stuttering child from taunts such as those made by the president’s daughter-in-law; these words come without hesitation: Stop. Grow up. Show some decency. People who can’t have no place in public life.”Trump’s words, he said, were indicative of a “culture of cruelty” which “drives decent people from public service and … makes millions of Americans recoil from politics, and even from participating in our democracy”.“Vice-President Biden has spoken openly – and courageously, in my view – about the pain of his severe childhood stutter,” Sullenberger wrote. “He takes time to reach out to children who have suffered as he did.“So, to every child who feels today, what I felt, after hearing those cruel remarks by an adult who should know better, here is what I want you to know: “You are fine, just as you are.”Sullenberger concluded by saying “a speech disorder is a lot easier to treat than a character defect” and telling any children reading to “ignore kids (and adults) who are mean, or don’t know what it feels like to stutter.“Respond by showing them how to be kind, polite, respectful and generous, to be brave enough to try big things, even though you are not perfect.”In a tweet on Sunday, Biden thanked Sullenberger for “sharing your story. There’s a lot of kids who I bet needed to hear it. Being different isn’t a barrier to success. It can give you the strength to save lives in a crash landing – or even run for president.”