Mueller. Midterms. Manafort’s trial continues. Iran sanctions reimposed, and the trade war with China escalates. Our news roundtable takes it all in.
Margaret Talev, senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. (@margarettalev)
Michael Lindenberger, editorial writer and member of the editorial board at The Dallas Morning News. (@Lindenberger)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
USA Today: “Paul Manafort trial: Key takeaways as the prosecution prepares to rest” — “Over the course of eight days, Paul Manafort’s criminal-fraud trial has featured testimony about extravagant wardrobes, secret offshore bank accounts, fake loan applications and doctored bank accounts, an ostrich jacket and a fall from wealth.
“The trial has attracted packed galleries to the federal courthouse each day, with U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III setting a pretty brisk pace for the proceedings, the first case to come to trial as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.”
New York Times: “Trump’s Tariffs Are Changing Trade With China. Here Are 2 Emerging Endgames.” — “The United States and China have sparred repeatedly over trade, in a tit-for-tat skirmish that has shown little sign of abating. High-level talks have stalled, while both sides have been threatening further tariffs in recent days.
“But beneath the acrimony, two potential paths for China seem to be emerging, according to participants in the trade negotiations and their advisers. Both would deliver trade wins for President Trump and his more moderate advisers, while also letting President Xi Jinping of China push ahead with his ambitious industrial plan to build national champions in cutting-edge technologies.
“A stalemate appears the most likely endgame, with new American and Chinese tariffs staying in place for months or even years. So far, the United States has imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese technology goods and $3 billion of Chinese steel and aluminum, with another $16 billion in the offing. China has responded in kind, outlining its own plan on Wednesday for measures on $16 billion of American goods.”
CNN: “There is no rule that says Robert Mueller must end his investigation by September as Giuliani claims” — “With the November midterm elections 89 days away, President Donald Trump has yet to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump’s legal team has suggested the timing of the midterms could affect the investigation.
“Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Fox News on Wednesday that if the special counsel’s investigation is not completed by September, then there would be a ‘very, very serious violation of Justice Department rules,’ because Mueller ‘shouldn’t be conducting one of these investigations in the 60-day period.’
“That’s false — there is no such rule.”
It was a swampy week in Washington. The fraud and conspiracy trial of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, and an insider trading indictment of a congressman close to the president, has some wondering if the drain is broken. Also, what should have been an easy Ohio primary win for Republicans turns into a nailbiter. And, Virginia and other cities brace for protests marking the anniversary of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Also, Mike Pence wants to take the Pentagon into space.
This hour, On Point: the weekly news roundup.
— Eric Westervelt