Trump Appeals to Supreme Court on Financial-Records Subpoena•Trump appeals to SCOTUS on financial records subpoena
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea threatened Thursday to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump and consider him a “dotard” if he keeps using provocative language, such as referring to its leader as “rocket man.”
Choe Son Hui, the first vice foreign minister, issued the warning via state media days after Trump spoke of possible military action toward the North and revived his “rocket man” nickname for North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.
The comments came as prospects dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the two countries. In recent months, North Korea has hinted at lifting its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests if the Trump administration fails to make substantial concessions in nuclear diplomacy before the end of the year.
Choe said Trump’s remarks “prompted the waves of hatred of our people against the U.S.” because they showed “no courtesy when referring to the supreme leadership of dignity” of North Korea.
She said North Korea will respond with its own harsh language if Trump again uses similar phrases and shows that he is intentionally provoking North Korea.
“If any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again … that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard,” Choe said.
On Wednesday, the North’s military chief, Pak Jong Chon, also warned that the use of force against the North would cause a “horrible” consequence for the U.S. He said North Korea would take unspecified “prompt corresponding actions at any level” if the U.S. takes any military action.
During a visit to London on Tuesday, Trump said his relationship with Kim was “really good” but also called for him to follow up on a commitment to denuclearize.
“We have the most powerful military we ever had, and we are by far the most powerful country in the world and hopefully we don’t have to use it. But if we do, we will use it,” Trump said.
Kim, Trump added, “likes sending rockets up, doesn’t he? That’s why I call him rocket man.”
In 2017, Trump and Kim traded threats of destruction as North Korea carried out a slew of high-profile weapons tests aimed at acquiring an ability to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland. Trump said he would rain “fire and fury” on North Korea and derided Kim as “little rocket man,” while Kim questioned Trump’s sanity and said he would „tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
The two leaders have avoided such words and developed better relations after North Korea entered nuclear negotiations with the U.S. last year. Trump even said he and Kim “fell in love.”
Kim and Trump have met three times, starting with a summit in Singapore in June 2018. But their nuclear diplomacy has remained largely deadlocked since their second meeting in Vietnam in February ended without any deal due to disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea.
Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Thursday night in Washington the U.S. remains hopeful that a deal can be reached with North Korea.
“Kim Jong Un has promised to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. We hope that he sticks to that promise, and we’re going to keep at the negotiations and keep at the diplomacy as long as we think that there’s hope there. And we do,” O’Brien said Thursday night on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
“I don’t want to say we’re optimistic, but we have some hope that the Koreans will come to the table … and we can get a deal.”
By Jan Wolfe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
What happens next and why Trump is unlikely to be removed from office are both explained here.
The founders of the United States feared presidents abusing their powers, so they included in the Constitution a process for removing one from office.
The president, under the Constitution, can be removed from office for „Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
High crimes and misdemeanors have historically encompassed corruption and abuses of the public trust, as opposed to indictable violations of criminal statutes.
Former President Gerald Ford, while in Congress, famously said: „An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
No president has ever been removed as a direct result of impeachment. One, Richard Nixon, resigned before he could be removed. Two, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Impeachment begins in the House, the lower chamber, which debates and votes on whether to bring charges against the president via approval of an impeachment resolution, or „articles of impeachment,” by a simple majority of the body’s members.
The Constitution gives House leaders wide latitude in deciding how to conduct impeachment proceedings, legal experts said.
The House Intelligence Committee has conducted an investigation into whether Trump abused his power to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations that would benefit him politically, holding weeks of closed-door testimony and televised hearings before issuing a formal evidence report.
The Judiciary panel will use the report to consider formal charges that could form the basis of a full House impeachment vote by the end of December.
If the House approves articles of impeachment, a trial is then held in the Senate. House members act as the prosecutors; the senators as jurors; the chief justice of the United States presides. Historically, the president has been allowed to have defense lawyers call witnesses and request documents.
CAN THE SENATE REFUSE TO HOLD A TRIAL?
There is debate about whether the Constitution requires a Senate trial. But Senate rules in effect require a trial, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly stated that he will allow one to proceed.
Republicans could seek to amend those rules, but such a move is politically risky and considered unlikely, legal experts said.
WHAT ABOUT OPENING A TRIAL AND QUICKLY ENDING IT?
The Senate rules allow members to file, before the conclusion of the trial, motions to dismiss the charges against the president. If such a motion passes by a simple majority the impeachment proceedings effectively end.
Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial, which did not end in a conviction, lasted five weeks. Halfway through the proceedings, a Democratic senator introduced a motion to dismiss, which was voted down.
WHAT’S THE PARTY BREAKDOWN IN CONGRESS?
Democrats control the House. The House comprises 431 members at present, 233 of whom are Democrats. As a result, the Democrats could impeach the Republican Trump with no Republican support.
In 1998, when Republicans had a House majority, the chamber voted largely along party lines to impeach Clinton, a Democrat.
The Senate now has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who usually vote with the Democrats. Conviction and removal of a president would require a two-thirds majority. A conviction seems unlikely. Should all 100 senators vote, at least 20 Republicans and all the Democrats and independents would have to vote against him.
WHO BECOMES PRESIDENT IF TRUMP IS REMOVED?
In the unlikely event the Senate convicted Trump, Vice President Mike Pence would become president for the remainder of Trump’s term, which ends on Jan. 20, 2021.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe, editing by Ross Colvin and Howard Goller)
Key point: The F-35 will provide modern stealth and the new F-3 will patrol for longer distances.
In February 2019, Japan turned heads with its decision to proceed with the development of an indigenous stealth fighter jet. This came in the wake of the decision to purchase more than one hundred American F-35 jets, and the supposed cancellation of the Japanese X-2 stealth fighter prototype in 2018.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense announced the move to develop the new fighter, currently named Future Fighter or F-3 as part of their Mid-Term Defense Program (MTDP) that lays out modernization and procurement decisions for the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) for the next ten years.
The addition of a new fighter to Japan’s MTDP is a surprise but not out of character. The last revision of the MTDP significantly increases defense spending in response to what Japan perceives as a worsening security situation in the region.
But what will the F-3 actually look like?
According to the Japanese MoD, the F-3 is expected to replace Japan’s Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jets. The F-3 is a single-engine light tactical fighter developed from the American F-16, with the addition of Japanese technology.
At the turn of the millennium, it was one of the most advanced fighters in the world, featuring an AESA radar and composite materials for limited radar cross-section minimization. It also had increased wing area to be able to carry powerful anti-ship missiles. The last production F-2 rolled off the line in 2011 and the type is expected to exit service in the 2030s.
However, based on earlier projects the new F-3 may not look much like the F-2. Being based on the F-16, the F-2 is a single engine design. But the two airplanes that were offered for the new Japanese stealth fighter contract are both double-engine designs.
Kaisa Siren/Lehtikuva via AP
- Authorities in western Russia arrested a man accused of building fake border posts and tricking migrants into believing they marked the state borders between Russia and Finland, the Interfax news agency reported.
- The incident happened in Russia’s Vyborg region, which is about 15 miles from the actual border.
- The unidentified man from central Asia is accused of charging four South Asian migrants more than 10,000 euros, or $11,000, to help them cross what they believed was the EU border, Interfax reported, citing border agents.
- The man is thought to have taken the migrants on an extended route along a series of roads and around a lake, while carrying an inflatable boat, the news agency reported.
- The suspect faces fraud charges, and the South Asians were deported for violating migrant rules.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Russian authorities arrested a man accused of building a fake border with Finland and charging four South Asian migrants more than 10,000 euros, or $11,000, to help them cross into what they believed was the European Union, local media reported.
The suspect is thought to have constructed fake frontier posts in a forest in Russia’s western Vyborg region and marked them as the state border between Russia and Finland, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday, citing regional border-control officials working for the Federal Security Service, or FSB.
The westernmost tip of Vyborg region is about 15 miles from the Russian border with Finland.
The man is accused of charging the male migrants for guiding them across the fake state borders, taking them on an extended route by car and foot along a series of roads and around a lake while carrying an inflatable boat „just in case,” Interfax reported.
The incident took place last week, resulting in all five men — the suspect and the migrants — being arrested and detained.
The Vyborg district court expelled the four migrants from Russia and fined them an undisclosed amount, Interfax reported the FSB border agency as saying.
The suspect faces fraud charges, Interfax reported.
In the early 2000s, the George W. Bush administration embraced an approach to chronic homelessness that prioritized putting unsheltered people in homes. Housing First, as it came to be known, was part of the “compassionate conservatism” Bush touted to show that Republicans really do care about the less fortunate.
Since 2007, that policy helped cut by 26% the number of people experiencing chronic patterns of homeless, according to the most recent report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Trump administration seems to be going in the opposite direction by nominating Robert Marbut to head the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Marbut is a San Antonio, Texas-based community college professor who branched out as a homelessness containment expert in the mid-2000s. Cities hire him for advice on how to get homeless people off their downtown streets.
Marbut tells officials to crack down on public food distribution, and he is definitely not a proponent of Housing First. “I believe in Housing Fourth,” he told HuffPost in 2015 for a story about his consulting work.
He did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
Rhetorically, Trump is often fixated on the subject of chronic homelessness, suggesting he thinks it’s getting worse. He ousted Marbut’s predecessor last month and has reportedly been plotting some kind of crackdown on homeless people in California. And Trump doesn’t sound like he’s looking for a compassionate solution.
“What they are doing to our beautiful California is a disgrace to our country,” Trump said at an August rally in Ohio. “Look at Los Angeles with the tents and the horrible, horrible disgusting conditions.”
The number of homeless people in San Francisco and Los Angeles increased from 2018 to 2019, according to the most recent counts.
Administration officials this week toured an unused jail building in Portland, Oregon, for possible use as a shelter (it’s not clear if it would be for Portland residents or people from California). Officials previously toured an empty federal building near Los Angeles.
It would be plainly unconstitutional for the federal government to round up homeless people and force them into a shelter. But if Trump wants people off the street, and he wants them to go to a shelter, probably no better person could try to orchestrate that outcome than Marbut.
BERLIN (AP) — Germany expelled two Russian diplomats Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian on the streets of Berlin in August as prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia’s republic of Chechnya.
The allegation by Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office was the latest from a Western European nation accusing Russia of an attack on its soil, after Britain last year blamed Moscow for an attempt to poison a former Russian spy in the English city of Salisbury.
Russia denied those allegations, and similarly Russia’s ambassador to Germany Sergey Nechaev rejected the accusations in the Berlin killing, while threatening consequences for the expulsion of its diplomats.
“Such German action will have a strong negative impact on the Russian-German relations and naturally will not be left unanswered,” Nechaev said in a statement.
The case comes at a delicate time in relations between the two nations, as Germany pursues a hard line on sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea, but at the same time is working on a joint pipeline project to bring Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic. Germany also needs Russia’s help to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran, which has been unraveling since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of it unilaterally last year.
On Aug. 23, a 40-year-old man initially identified as Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, an ethnically Chechen Georgian citizen, was gunned down in a Berlin park on his way to a mosque by an assailant on an electric bicycle who sped away and ditched the bike, weapon and a wig in the Spree River, according to news reports.
German authorities said Khangoshvili was also known as Tornike K., and that Russian authorities had him on a terrorist list and accused him of being a member of the “Caucasus Emirate” extremist organization.
Tornike K. was known to have fought against Russian troops in Chechnya. He had previously survived multiple assassination attempts and continued to receive threats after fleeing to Germany in 2016.
Witnesses saw the suspect disposing of the evidence after the killing and alerted police, who quickly identified and arrested the man, identified at the time as 48-year-old Russian national Vadim K. Prosecutors said he went by the alias Vadim S., and German and international news outlets have reported his full name as Vadim Sokolov.
Prosecutors said they had found multiple indications that he carried out the attempt with official help, and no evidence that the hit was “contracted by a nonstate actor.”
Federal prosecutors took over the investigation from Berlin state prosecutors after the political nature of the case became evident, spokesman Markus Schmitt told The Associated Press.
„There are enough indications of the fact that the death of Tornike K. was either contracted by government offices of the Russian Federation or the autonomous Chechen Republic as part of the Russian Federation” to suggest a political motive, Schmitt’s office said in a statement, using only a last initial for the victim in line with German privacy laws.
Immediately after Schmitt’s office said it had taken over the case, the Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats, citing a lack of cooperation with the investigation.
“Russian authorities, despite repeated, high-level and insistent demands, did not participate enough in the investigation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It did not identify the two diplomats being expelled.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, whose office issued a statement saying Berlin’s “politicized approach to the investigation is inappropriate,” said Moscow will look into the claims made by German authorities but that it would take time to respond.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the allegations of Russian involvement “absolutely groundless.”
Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO meeting outside London, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she planned to talk about the issue with Putin when she meets with him next week in France for talks on the Ukraine peace process.
“We have received no active help from Russia in solving this case,” she said, sidestepping a question on whether it would harm bilateral relations between the two nations.
Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky, head of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee, called Germany’s expulsion of diplomats “completely crooked logic.”
“The symmetrical position of the Russian Foreign Ministry is absolutely reasonable in this case,” he added.
German investigators used facial recognition techniques to match the suspect to a photograph Russia had sent partner agencies in 2014 as it sought help finding Vadim K. in connection with a killing in Moscow. That request was canceled on July 7, 2015, and a person with the identity of Vadim S. first appears on Sept. 3, 2015, with a Russian passport.
Russian authorities confirmed the suspect’s passport, found on him at the time of his arrest, was valid, prosecutors said.
Under the identity Vadim S., prosecutors said he flew on Aug. 17, 2019, from Moscow to Paris and had been granted a visa by French authorities. In his visa application, prosecutors said the suspect claimed to work for a St. Petersburg, Russia, firm known as Zao Rust.
Investigators found that Zao Rust had only one employee in 2018 and on April 10, 2019, was listed as being in “reorganization.” The company’s fax number was one used by two firms that are operated by the Russian Defense Ministry, prosecutors said.
He left Paris on Aug. 20 and flew to Warsaw where he had a hotel booked until Aug. 25. Upon arrival, he extended his room to Aug. 26, but left at 8 a.m. on Aug. 22 and never returned, prosecutors said.
It is not clear, they said, what he did between his departure from the hotel and the killing in Berlin at 11:55 a.m. on Aug. 23.
The case evokes memories of the attempt to poison Sergei Skripal, a Russian spy turned double agent for Britain, with the nerve agent Novichock in Salisbury in 2018. Britain blamed the attack on Russian intelligence and Moscow denied involvement.
Afterward, Western nations banded together to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats they accused of being spies, including 60 from the U.S.
Associated Press writers Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin and Daria Litvinova and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed.