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AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s fact-challenged week over impeachment

Going through an impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump is popping to a well-known playbook to defend himself: attacking his investigators , blasting the inquiry as unlawful and deriding the method as all-but-rigged.

Many information are getting misplaced within the course of.

He repeatedly lambasted Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the Home Intelligence Committee chairman who’s main the impeachment evaluate, as responsible of treason or defamation for mocking Trump’s July 25 cellphone name with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Neither cost is legitimate.

Trump additionally assailed the whistleblower criticism as improperly filed and “dishonest,” in contrast with a “phrase for phrase” transcript of the decision. Really, no precise transcript exists, and the appearing director of nationwide intelligence advised Congress that he believed the whistleblower criticism was “in alignment” with a tough transcript launched by the White Home.

Trump had the same playbook to dispute the Russia investigation by assailing particular counsel Robert Mueller as biased and saying the inquiry was illegally hatched by Democrats. These costs have been proven to be unfaithful.

In the meantime, amid indicators of producing weak point , Trump unfairly pointed a finger of blame on the Federal Reserve reasonably than his escalating commerce battle with China, and overstated his function in a World Commerce Group ruling for the USA.

A evaluate:

IMPEACHMENT

TRUMP: “As I study increasingly every day, I’m coming to the conclusion that what’s going down will not be an impeachment, it’s a COUP, meant to remove the Energy of the….Individuals.” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: No unlawful coup is afoot.

Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., final month initiated impeachment proceedings towards Trump. She accused him of abusing presidential powers by in search of assist from a overseas authorities to undermine Democratic rival Joe Biden and assist his personal reelection. The transfer adopted a criticism by a whistleblower, a CIA officer, who made the costs.

A coup is often outlined as a sudden, violent and unlawful seizure of presidency energy. The impeachment course of is specified by the Structure, giving Congress the authority to question and check out a president as a part of its duties as a coequal department of presidency to offer a test on a president when she or he commits treason, bribery, or “different excessive crimes and misdemeanors.”

The usual of “excessive crimes and misdemeanors” is obscure and open-ended to embody abuses of energy even when they don’t seem to be, strictly talking, unlawful.

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2016 ELECTION

TRUMP: “The Do Nothing Democrats must be targeted on build up our Nation, not losing everybody’s time and vitality on BULLSHIT, which is what they’ve been doing ever since I obtained overwhelmingly elected in 2016, 223-306.” — tweet Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump once more misstates the Electoral School vote. The official rely was 304 to 227, based on an Related Press tally of the electoral votes in each state.

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UKRAINE

TRUMP: “I had a transcript executed by very, very gifted folks — phrase for phrase, comma for comma. … We had a precise transcript. And after we produced that transcript, they died.” — information convention Wednesday with Finland’s president.

TRUMP: “They by no means thought in one million years that I might launch the dialog … And that is a precise word-for-word transcript of the dialog, proper? Taken by very gifted stenographers.” — remarks Wednesday to reporters within the Oval Workplace.

THE FACTS: It isn’t a word-for-word transcript.

The memorandum of Trump’s July 25 cellphone name with Zelenskiy itself makes clear that it doesn’t symbolize a precise transcript of what was mentioned.

In response to the doc, it’s “not a verbatim transcript” and as an alternative “data the notes and recollections of Scenario Room Obligation Officers and NSC coverage employees assigned to hear and memorialize the dialog in written kind because the dialog takes place. Quite a lot of elements can have an effect on the accuracy of the file.” It cited potential elements comparable to the standard of the cellphone connection, variations in accent “and/or interpretation.”

NSC refers back to the Nationwide Safety Council.

The appearing director of nationwide intelligence, Joseph Maguire, advised a Home panel final month that he believed the whistleblower acted in “good religion” and the criticism was in keeping with the White Home’s tough transcript.

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TRUMP, on the whistleblower: “He obtained his info, I assume, second or thirdhand. He wrote one thing that was complete fiction.” — remarks to reporters Thursday.

GOP HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN McCARTHY: “Whistleblowers have been required to offer direct, first-hand information of allegations…however simply days earlier than the Ukraine whistleblower got here ahead, the IC secretly eliminated the requirement from the criticism kind.” — tweet on Sept. 28.

TRUMP: “Who modified the lengthy standing whistleblower guidelines simply earlier than submittal of the pretend whistleblower report? Drain the swamp!” — tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: The method for submitting a whistleblower criticism was not rigged towards Trump.

There was nothing improper in how the criticism was submitted. No whistleblower legislation was modified and nothing underneath that legislation requires the complaints to have firsthand info. In a uncommon assertion this previous week , the inspector normal for the intelligence group additionally made clear that it had decided the whistleblower did have some firsthand, “direct information of sure alleged conduct.”

It isn’t true that the whistleblower may “present nothing greater than secondhand or unsubstantiated assertions,” the IG mentioned.

Intelligence company staff have lengthy been in a position to blow the whistle primarily based on secondhand or rumour info. The legislation solely requires federal staff to have a “cheap perception” of misconduct with a view to file a criticism, based on Debra D’Agostino, a federal employment lawyer.

On this case, the whistleblower flagged partly Trump’s July name to Zelenskiy in a typed, nine-page doc addressed to the Home Intelligence Committee. The watchdog mentioned that whereas the whistleblower was not a direct witness to the decision, the inspector normal individually obtained different info throughout its preliminary evaluate to deem the allegations credible.

Pointing to suspicious exercise, McCarthy, R-Calif., cites the elimination of some info from the standardized criticism kind, which beforehand burdened the necessity for firsthand info for an inspector normal to find out the criticism credible. The inspector normal’s workplace mentioned it had eliminated that language from the shape earlier this 12 months as a result of it decided that “it might be learn – incorrectly – as suggesting that whistleblowers should possess first-hand info with a view to file an pressing concern criticism with the congressional intelligence committees.”

In any occasion, the inspector normal’s workplace mentioned it had offered the whistleblower separate background materials on submitting a criticism that included that language.

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SCHIFF

TRUMP: “Congressman Adam Schiff ought to resign for the Crime of, after studying a transcript of my dialog with the President of Ukraine (it was good), fraudulently fabricating a press release of the President of the USA and studying it to Congress, as if mine!” — tweet Wednesday.

TRUMP: “Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & horrible assertion, pretended it to be mine as an important a part of my name to the Ukrainian President, and browse it aloud to Congress and the American folks. It bore NO relationship to what I mentioned on the decision. Arrest for Treason?” — tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: Trump is overstating Schiff’s exaggerations. The California Democrat, in what he mentioned was a parody throughout a committee listening to, mocked and overstated the president’s pleas in his July name to Zelenskiy, as Trump does together with his critics routinely.

Underneath the Structure, treason happens when a U.S. citizen, or a noncitizen on U.S. territory, wages battle towards the nation or gives materials help, not simply sympathy, to a declared enemy of the USA. It’s outlined narrowly as a part of an effort by the framers to stop the federal government from utilizing it as a purpose to suppress political speech, mentioned J. Richard Broughton, affiliate dean at College of Detroit Mercy and a member of the Republican Nationwide Attorneys Affiliation.

The chief department can solely deliver costs in extraordinarily restricted instances.

As an example, within the Chilly Warfare case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who have been executed for giving atomic secrets and techniques to Russia, the Rosenbergs have been convicted of espionage, not treason, as a result of the U.S. and Russia weren’t formally at battle. Nobody has been convicted of treason for the reason that aftermath of World Warfare II, says Carlton F.W. Larson, a College of California legislation professor who has a guide on treason.

Throughout final week’s Home Intelligence Committee listening to, Schiff made clear he was offering an account that was in “essence” what he believed Trump was conveying to Zelenskiy, when “shorn of its rambling character.”

No precise transcript of Trump’s feedback with Ukraine’s president truly exists, only a tough transcript launched by the White Home.

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TRUMP: “Liddle’ Adam Schiff … fraudulently and illegally inserted his made up & twisted phrases into my name with the Ukrainian President to make it appear to be I did one thing very improper. He then boldly learn these phrases to Congress and hundreds of thousands of individuals, defaming & libeling me.” — tweets on Sept. 28.

THE FACTS: Schiff’s remarks are usually not unlawful nor wouldn’t it be defamatory or libelous. Lawmakers are given vast protections from legal responsibility for feedback made in the midst of Congress underneath the “speech or debate” clause within the Structure, which seeks to foster political debate.

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ECONOMY and TRADE

TRUMP, on a World Commerce Group ruling permitting the U.S. to tax impose tariffs on $7.5 billion value of European imports yearly: “You by no means had wins with different presidents, did you? However we’re having a number of wins on the WTO since I grew to become president.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump is improper that the U.S. by no means obtained any WTO victories underneath different presidents.

The U.S. has all the time had a excessive success price when it pursues instances towards different nations on the WTO. In 2017, commerce analyst Daniel Ikenson of the libertarian Cato Institute discovered that the U.S. had gained 91% of time it introduced a criticism that ended up being adjudicated by the Geneva-based commerce monitor. True, Ikenson famous, the nations bringing complaints are inclined to win overwhelmingly. That is as a result of they do not hassle going to the WTO within the first place if they do not have a reasonably robust case.

The WTO announcement culminated a 15-year battle over EU subsidies for Airbus — a battle that started lengthy earlier than Trump was in workplace.

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TRUMP: “As I predicted, Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve have allowed the Greenback to get so robust, particularly relative to ALL different currencies, that our producers are being negatively affected. Fed Price too excessive.” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Really, most economists and lots of manufacturing unit house owners level to Trump’s commerce insurance policies for the difficulties in U.S. manufacturing, not the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell.

The Institute for Provide Administration reported on Tuesday that manufacturing unit exercise shrank in September for the second straight month. That report reveals that the manufacturing unit sector has been contracting largely due to the commerce battle towards China that Trump sparked by launching a salvo of tariffs.

The index is predicated on a survey of producers. Of the 10 quoted within the report, none blames the challenges they face on the Fed or the robust greenback. However three say the tariffs and commerce battle have harm their companies.

“The first offender right here is the commerce battle,” Eric Winograd, senior U.S. economist at AllianceBernstein, mentioned Tuesday.

Trump is true that the Fed’s choice to boost short-term rates of interest 4 occasions final 12 months contributed to a stronger greenback. However it wasn’t the one issue. The U.S. financial system is rising extra shortly than Europe’s or Japan’s, which attracts extra funding and boosts the greenback’s worth. And plenty of international traders choose to spend money on U.S. Treasury securities when the worldwide financial system slows, as it’s now, as a result of Treasuries are seen as a protected haven. That additionally pushes up the greenback.

The Fed has reversed itself this 12 months and minimize its benchmark rate of interest twice, however that hasn’t weakened the greenback, as a result of different central banks are additionally chopping charges. Trump has beforehand urged the Fed to slash its price to zero, however that might spook shoppers and companies, who would possibly see it as an indication {that a} recession is close to. Shopper spending may fall consequently and gradual the U.S. financial system.

The sort of sharp price cuts by the Fed that Trump is demanding would additionally probably encourage traders to position extra money in shares and different speculative investments. This might danger inflating a inventory market bubble to ranges that may finally destabilize the U.S. financial system.

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AP Economics Writers Josh Boak and Christopher Rugaber in Washington and Related Press author Amanda Seitz in Chicago contributed to this report.

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Discover AP Truth Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

Comply with @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

EDITOR’S NOTE _ A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures




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