FirstFT: US politicians draw battle lines on Trump house search


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U.S. lawmakers have demanded more information about the potential national security threat posed by the trove of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago during the unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s home.

Comments from Democrats and Republicans yesterday were among the first reactions from Congress to Friday’s release of the search warrant presented by the FBI on the day of the August 8 visit, revealing that Trump was under investigation. for serious violations of law related to national defense, mishandling of government materiel, and obstruction of justice.

They pointed to the sharp partisan divide over Trump’s treatment by US law enforcement, with Democrats focusing on the legal seriousness of his behavior and Republicans skeptical and critical of the research.

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has asked the director of national intelligence to examine the harm to American interests — officially known as a damages assessment — resulting from Trump’s decision to keep a wealth of sensitive documents after leaving the White House in early 2021.

“What is, to me, most disturbing here is the extent to which . . . it appears to be deliberate, on the part of the president – the retention of these documents after the government has requested them. And it adds another layer of concern,” Schiff said.

Republicans, many of whom have rushed to Trump’s side and attacked the Justice Department, FBI and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland over the past week, have called on federal authorities to release the affidavit to the support of the search warrant. The affidavits, which typically remain secret throughout a federal investigation, contain details about why the DoJ asked a federal judge to approve the search.

Trump has argued that the search was a politically motivated stunt, saying he declassified all the material before he left office, although there is no record of such a step.

“I think it’s very important in the long term for the Department of Justice, now that they’ve done this, that they show that it wasn’t just a fishing trip – that they had a valid reason. to come in and do that, that they did exhaust all other means. And if they can’t do that, then we have a serious problem on our hands,” Mike Rounds, a Republican senator from South Dakota, told NBC.

Happy Monday and thank you for reading FirstFT Asia. We hope you are having a good week. —Sophie

1. EU calls for an end to Balkan war talks The tension between Serbia and Kosovo escalated into violent protests and border unrest last month. In a bid to avoid a conflict between neighboring states, the EU has demanded they drop war talks as the bloc and NATO prepare to hold crisis talks this week.

2. The United States and China hold separate military exercises in Southeast Asia Rival superpowers showed their military might over the weekend; China sent fighter jets to Thailand yesterday while the United States and Indonesia wrapped up two weeks of war games, marking the biggest iteration of the annual Garuda Shield live-fire drills since the start of 2009. The Japan, Australia and Singapore also joined for the first time.

3. The Saudi prince made a $500 million bet with Russia around the start of the war in Ukraine Kingdom Holding, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent investors, revealed yesterday that it poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Russian energy companies shortly before and after the invasion of Ukraine. Majority-owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Kingdom made the investments even as Western leaders threatened sanctions against Russia.

4. Germany must reduce its gas consumption by 20% to avoid winter rationing Businesses and households are bracing for Europe’s biggest energy crisis in a generation, which Germany has feared since Gazprom cut supplies in mid-June. Today, Germany‘s top regulator warned the country it must cut its gas consumption by a fifth to avoid a crippling shortage.

5. Saudi Aramco’s profits hit new high amid high energy prices Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused energy prices to spike, generating profits that are now showing in earnings results. State oil group Saudi Aramco broke its quarterly profit record set in May, posting a 90% year-on-year increase in net profit in the second quarter.

The day ahead

Economic data A wide range of figures are out today, including retail sales and industrial production data from China in July, monthly industrial production figures from Japan and monthly trade statistics from India.

One year of the Taliban Today marks the first anniversary since the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan.

Indian independence India celebrates Independence Day on the 75th anniversary of the end of British rule.

Anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga attend a memorial ceremony at Tokyo’s Budokan Stadium today to mark the 77th anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.

What else we read

Afghan women speak Since Kabul fell to the Taliban in August last year, women across the country have had to find ways to cope with the upheaval in their lives. They used an app to share their thoughts, fears and dreams. Read their posts here.

The Taliban have said they will defend women’s rights ‘within the framework of Islamic law’, but analysts and diplomats remain deeply skeptical

Polio virus reappears in wealthy economies After being nearly eradicated, the virus appeared in New York, London, Israel and Ukraine. Data from the WHO and Unicef ​​show the biggest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in three decades, raising fears that vaccine hesitancy and global conflict could allow the disease to make a comeback .

We are getting closer to a world without animal testing Animal experiments have long been the only authorized way to test a drug’s safety, but many drugs that work in mice don’t work well in humans and vice versa. Today, scientists are using new technology to grow miniature human organs for more precise, human-like research.

Class computers need a restart Kids don’t necessarily learn more from laptops than they do from textbooks, suggesting that we may have gotten the technology for education wrong.

The Arctic is melting four times faster than the rest of the planet, study finds Scientists have long known that the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the planet, but have not agreed on a rate. The warming effect, along with the long-term decline in sea ice levels, are considered two main indicators of climate change.

travel adventures

Find out where to really get away from it all, in Morocco, Chile, Lapland and New Zealand.

A Martin Pescador Wilderness Angling Trip
An angling outing in the wilderness of Martin Pescador © Eleven

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