US attorney general William Barr
File photo of US attorney general William Barr | Photo: Al Drago | Bloomberg
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Trump invokes executive privilege to block Muller report

The Democratic Party-led House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee has accused William Barr, the Attorney General and an appointee of President Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress.

Barr was accused of contempt after he defied a subpoena by the Congress to hand them an unredacted copy of the Muller report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 US Presidential elections and all the supporting evidence.

Meanwhile, Trump has asserted executive privilege to block the release of the report.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said in a statement, “Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the attorney-general’s request, the president has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege.”

The redacted version of the report suggests that while Trump had no collusion with Russia during the 2016 Presidential elections, the report mentions ten instances when President Trump might have tried to obstruct the on-going investigation.

The recent moves by Congress have led to a fresh constitutional crisis, which would lead to a confrontation between the Democrats-controlled House of Representatives and the White House.

“We are now in a constitutional crisis,” said Jerrold Nadler, Democratic House Judiciary Chairman.

China broke trade deal, will pay through tariffs, says Trump

An unusual dynamic has developed between the US and China in connection with their on-going trade negotiations. US President Donald Trump announced that America would more than double the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. He also accused China of breaking the trade deal.

“They broke the deal…They can’t do that. So they’ll be paying,” said Trump.

Trump’s statement comes after China declared to adopt countermeasures in case the US further raised tariffs.

Interestingly, these threatening statements come just a day before the two countries are set to meet for trade talks.

Meanwhile, Asian markets have reacted very sharply to a looming trade war between the US and China. The Chinese currency Yuan even dropped to its weakest since January.

In other news:

South Africa election: Polls close in test for ANC, BBC

Weakest US Bond Auction in Decade Validates Dimon’s Warning, Bloomberg

US hits Iran with sanctions on metals sectors, Financial Times

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