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A4 I Friday, April 13, 2018

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ U.S. NEWS_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Pressure Facing Rosenstein Intensifies
GOP leaders say the
Justice Department
hasn't turned over
requested documents
By Aruna Viswanatha
And Byron Tau

WAS HIN GTON—A dispute
between Congress and the Jus­
tice Department about access to
law-enforcement documents has
further ratcheted up pressure
on Deputy Attorney General
Rod Rosenstein, who is already
a target of President Donald
Trump’s criticism.
The president and his allies
have accused Mr. Rosenstein of
stonewalling Congress and al­
lowing special counsel Robert
Mueller’s investigation into al­
leged Russian meddling in the
2016 presidential election to
stray beyond its scope. While
leaders in both parties have
publicly said Mr. Mueller should
be allowed to finish his work,
some Republicans have increas­
ingly directed their ire at Mr.
Rosenstein.
Mr. Rosenstein, who ap­
pointed Mr. Mueller and over­

sees his investigation, is in an
increasingly precarious position
in Washington—with few allies
inside of the administration or
on Capitol Hill. This week, one
Republican
House
chairman
threatened to try to impeach
Mr. Rosenstein over an impasse
over congressional access to
documents related to the Russia
probe—an unusual confronta­
tion between a senior Republi­
can and a high-level official in
the administration of his own
party.
Justice Department officials
have said that requested docu­
ments—involving grand-jury se­
crecy and other information—
need to be redacted, making it
time-consuming to review. The
agency has put dozens of em­
ployees on the project to move
it along, officials said.
Mr. Trump, who appointed
Mr. Rosenstein last year, dispar­
aged the deputy attorney gen­
eral in a tweet on Wednesday,
writing he was conflicted and
linking him to the “Fake & Cor­
rupt
Russia
Investigation.”
Later Wednesday, Mr. Trump
directed his Twitter followers to
Sean Hannity’s Fox News pro­
gram, where a lawyer close to

Mr. Trump urged Attorney Gen­
eral Jeff Sessions to dismiss Mr.
Rosenstein.
“Jeff Sessions now has an
obligation to the president of
the United States to fire Rod

Rosenstein,” said Joseph diGenova, who briefly served on Mr.
Trump’s legal team.
The immediate cause for
concern was an FBI raid of Mr.
Trump’s personal lawyer’s of­

fice on Monday, which Mr.
Rosenstein authorized before a
federal judge signed off on it.
Mr. diGenova called the search
targeting Michael Cohen “un­
constitutional
and
unprofes­

sional.”
The increasing attacks on Mr.
Rosenstein have alarmed many
Democrats who see it as a pre­
lude to firing Mr. Mueller and
installing someone else to su­
pervise the Russia investigation.
“The road to firing Mueller
goes through Deputy Attorney
General Rosenstein,” said Sen.
Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.).
On Capitol Hill, the primary
dispute with the Justice Depart­
ment is over thousands of pages
of documents that have been
subpoenaed by several Republican-run congressional panels.
The House Intelligence Comg mittee has subpoenaed docuz ments related to the opening of
£ a counterintelligence investiga| tion into Mr. Trump’s 2016 cam3 paign. Separately, Rep. Bob
§ Goodlatte (R., Va.), chairman of
£ the House Judiciary Committee,
5 has pressed the Justice Depart5 ment to turn over documents
related to the 2016 investigation
into
Democratic
presidential
candidate Hillary Clinton’s pri­
vate email server and informa­
tion about a warrant used to
obtain a surveillance order
against an adviser to Mr.
Trump.

Comey Book Slams ‘Deeply Flawed’ Leader
Former FBI Director James
Comey
describes
President
Donald Trump as a “deeply
flawed person and leader” in a
new memoir that also com­
pares him to a Mafia boss and
characterizes
his
presidency
g as a “forest fire,” according to
“ a copy reviewed by The Wall
2 Street Journal.
g The book, “A Higher Loyg alty,” is scheduled for release
i Tuesday. Mr. Comey was fired
1 by Mr. Trump in May of last
3
year and since then has been
g the subject of frequent criti< cism by Mr. Trump on Twitter.
Mr. Comey accuses Mr.

Ex-FBI Director James Comey

Trump of “leading through
fear” and demanding personal
loyalty above all else. And Mr.
Comey says he told former
President Barack Obama in an
Oval Office meeting shortly af­
ter the election, “I dread the
next four years.”
Mr. Comey in the book de­
fends his decisions surround­
ing his controversial series of
disclosures of the Hillary Clin­
ton email investigation in the
final weeks and days of the
2016 presidential election cy­
cle. Mr. Comey suggests that
he feared that withholding in­
formation
from
the
public
could have made Mrs. Clinton
an “illegitimate president.”

The White House didn’t im­
mediately respond to a re­
quest for comment. The ad­
ministration,
however,
is
preparing to counter the criti­
cisms of Mr. Trump. At the
White House’s urging, the Re­
publican National Committee
has drafted talking points for
surrogates on the book and is
preparing
a
rapid-response
operation, according to people
familiar with the matter.
One person familiar with
the White House’s thinking on
the Comey book said in an in­
terview Thursday: “The presi­
dent has been very clear what
he thinks of James Comey. He
has
politicized
investigations,

leaked
confidential
material
and lied under oath.”
In the book’s discussion of
the Clinton probe, the former
FBI director accuses then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch
of effectively siding with the
Clinton campaign in directing
him, in his initial public com­
ments at an event with report­
ers in October 2015, to play
the probe down by calling it a
“matter” instead of using the
word “investigation.” “The FBI
didn’t do ‘matters,’ ” he says.
Recalling the first time he
met Mr. Trump—when he went
to Trump Tower to brief the
president-elect on the dossier
written by former British spy

White House Rethinks TPP to Counter China
By Michael C. Bender

WASHINGTON—A little over
a year after withdrawing the
U.S. from the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, President Donald
Trump has asked his top eco­
nomic advisers to study the
possibility of re-entering the
trade pact negotiations.
Mr. Trump has deputized
Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade
representative, and Larry Kudlow, the director of the National

Economic Council, to study the
possibility of re-entering the
TPP if the terms were favorable,
the president told a group of
lawmakers on Thursday.
“Would only join TPP if the
deal were substantially better
than the deal offered to Pres.
Obama,” Mr. Trump said in a
tweet Thursday night.
The president’s new open­
ness toward the TPP, which he
had said during his campaign
was a deal “pushed by special

Continued from Page One

ist at the Peterson Institute
for
International
Economics.
“Trump has got to get some
allies. As of now, [China’s
President] Xi has the upper
hand in world opinion.”
After Mr. Trump in recent
weeks took aim at China with
new steel and aluminum tariffs,
the two nations have issued titfor-tat retaliatory levies on var­
ious imports. Beijing responded
by announcing it would place
penalties on a list of agricul-

tural products that would affect
swaths of the president’s politi­
cal base. Mr. Trump has since
threatened tariffs on as much
as $150 billion in Chinese im­
ports over a fight involving in­
tellectual property. Once again,
China retaliated by threatening
to add levies on imports of U.S.
agriculture.
Mr. Trump was meeting with
lawmakers from states that rely
on agriculture when he made
the comments about TPP.

tariff on vehicles, compared
with the U.S. 2.5% tariff—an
imbalance Mr. Trump has re­
peatedly attacked, even though
the U.S. has its own 25% tariffs
on pickup trucks.
Beijing also requires foreign
car makers to enter into a
50%-50% partnership with Chi­
nese companies to set up
plants. Chinese officials said
the auto tariff would be re­
duced and the ownership cap
would be lifted gradually, add­
ing they might lift the cap
within three to five years.
While that might seem slow
to U.S. officials, such a timeta­
ble would require Beijing to
take on powerful local inter­
ests,
including
state-owned
firms. “Pressure from the U.S.
is providing an impetus to the
need for change,” said a Chi-

nese official.
Resistance to such change
was on display at a closed-door
panel discussion Tuesday at the
high-level Boao Forum, where
politicians mingle with business
leaders. China’s former com­
merce minister, Chen Deming,
said at one panel that if Beijing
were to make concessions in
the auto sector, it should ask
Washington for similar conces­
sions in return, said people fa­
miliar with the discussions.
Both sides are gearing up
for a lengthy fight. When Mr.
Trump announced the addi­
tional tariffs on $100 billion in
goods on April 5, many trade
experts dismissed it as simply
talk. But officials said that it
had been discussed earlier with
U.S. Trade Representative Rob­
ert Lighthizer, Treasury Secre-

tary
Steven
Mnuchin
and
White House trade adviser Pe­
ter Navarro, among others.
According to the Trump
White House, the U.S. had been
judicious in its initial threat of
tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese
goods, which equals about 10%
of Chinese merchandise exports
to the U.S. of $506 billion.
China quickly retaliated with its
own $50 billion threat, but that
equals 38% of the U.S.’s $130
billion in exports to China. The
additional $100 billion in goods
targeted for retaliation was
meant to even the score—about
30% of China’s goods exports
would be subject to tariffs, U.S.
officials said. China said it
would retaliate for these levies
too but wasn’t specific.

no

to 25% import tariffs. The ini­
tial hit list of $50 billion in
Chinese imports didn’t include
some consumer staples such as
clothing,
mobile
phones
or
shoes, to minimize consumer
impact and limit domestic crit­
icism. But trade experts say the
sheer size of the expansion of
the hit list makes the inclusion
of consumer goods inevitable.
At the same time, the Trea­
sury Department is crafting
sharp prohibitions on Chinese
investment in advanced U.S.
technology, whether by acquisi­
tion, joint ventures, licensing or
any other arrangement, accord­
ing to a senior administration
official. The agency is targeting
China’s subsidization of domes­
tic industries to turn them into
so-called
technology
national
champions, the official said.
The administration is debat­
ing whether to make the in­
vestment
restrictions
perma­
nent, even if China changes its
industrial policies, the official
said.
The
restrictions
then
could be used to make sure
China carries out pledges and
would warn other countries
not to mimic Chinese behavior.
The Treasury is expected to de­
vise a plan by early June.
The actions come as admin­
istration officials argue the
Chinese are already bending to
the U.S.’s will. They point to a
speech on Tuesday by Chinese
President
Xi
Jinping,
who
promised to roll out measures
this year to lower tariffs on im­
ported cars and to ease foreign
ownership restrictions on auto
makers in China.
“It was the most concilia­
tory thing we’ve heard since
the whole discussion began,”
said a White House official.

interests who want to rape our
country,” comes as he is facing
criticism from farmers and
looking for allies in his escalat­
ing trade battle with China. Bei­
jing had long feared that Wash­
ington would use the TPP,
envisioned as having 12 mem­
bers, as a way to try to contain
China economically.
“You can explain this initia­
tive entirely in the context of
U.S.-China
relations,”
said
Gary Hufbauer, a trade special-

n-

TRADE

Christopher Steele—Mr. Comey
writes that he was alarmed by
Mr. Trump’s behavior.
After Mr. Comey disclosed
some of the dossier’s allega­
tions to the president-elect,
including the assertion that
Mr. Trump had engaged pros­
titutes in a Moscow hotel in
2013, Mr. Trump asked if he
seemed like someone who re­
quired the services of prosti­
tutes and launched into a rec­
ollection of cases in which
women had accused him of
sexual assault.
To curb Mr. Trump’s reac­
tion, Mr. Comey writes, he told
Mr. Trump that, “we are not
investigating you.”

co Fo
m rp
m e
er rs
ci on
al a
us l,
e
on
ly
.

By Erica Orden

Chin
“Up to then, it was mean,
nasty, cruel name-calling.”
Business groups in Washing­
ton have been lobbying hard,
telling the White House that tar­
iffs are counterproductive. But
administration
officials
have
come to the opposite conclu­
sion: They believe the threats
are working. “China basically
surrendered
[with
the
Xi
speech] and he [Trump] is prob­
ably going to put even more
pressure on them before he ac­
cepts whatever their bottom
line becomes,” said a person fa­
miliar with White House views.
Publicly,
Chinese
officials
deny they are bending to Wash­
ington’s pressure, but privately,
they acknowledge that the trade
threats are leading them to ac­
celerate their plans to liberalize.
Beijing levies a 25% import

—Peter Nicholas
contributed to this article.

Trump
To Pardon
Cheney
Aide Libby

By Peter Nicholas

President Donald Trump in­
tends to pardon I. Lewis
“Scooter” Libby Jr., who was a
former top aide to Vice Presi­
dent Dick Cheney—a step that
George W. Bush refused to
take, a person familiar with
the matter said Thursday.
Mr. Libby, now 67 years old,
was convicted in 2007 of lying
to a grand jury and obstruct­
ing justice in a case that in­
volved the leaking of the iden­
tity of a Central Intelligence
Agency officer, Valerie Plame.
The White House didn’t im­
mediately respond to a ques­
tion about why Mr. Trump has
chosen to pardon Mr. Libby.
Mr. Libby was sentenced to
30 months in prison. ThenPresident Bush commuted the
sentence, describing it as “ex­
cessive.” But he didn’t issue a
pardon,
despite
entreaties
from Mr. Cheney.
In his memoir, “Decision
Points,” Mr. Bush described a
tense encounter with Mr. Che­
ney over Mr. Libby’s fate.
He instructed lawyers to re­
view the case and hear out Mr.
Libby. In the end, they told Mr.
Bush they could find “no justi­
fication for overturning the
jury’s
verdict,”
the
former
president wrote.
He concluded the jury’s ver­
dict “should be respected.”
As his tenure was winding
down, during one of their final
meetings, Mr. Cheney asked
him to reconsider.
“I can’t believe you’re going
to leave a soldier on the bat­
tlefield,” Mr. Cheney said.
Mr. Bush wrote that over
the previous eight years he
had “never seen Dick like this,
or even close to it.”
Mr.
Libby’s
conviction
capped a four-year investiga­
tion by special counsel Patrick
Fitzgerald into the leak of Ms.
Plame’s CIA identity.
At a 2005 news conference,
after Mr. Libby was indicted,
Mr. Fitzgerald cast Mr. Libby’s
obstruction-of-justice
charge
as serious, saying it was tanta­
mount to throwing “sand” in
the eyes of a baseball umpire.