‘We are not a tool of trade’: U.S. assistant attorney general for security on Trump’s Huawei remark

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On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump advised media he would intervene within the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou if it meant serving to to foster a commerce cope with China.

Someday later, the U.S. assistant lawyer normal for safety sat earlier than a Senate committee and affirmed that the Division of Justice is “not a instrument of commerce.”

WATCH: Freeland discusses Trump’s remarks on Huawei CFO arrest





John Demers was testifying at a Senate listening to on Chinese language espionage in opposition to the U.S.

Meng’s case got here up when it was Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s flip to ask questions.

“[Trump’s] suggestion that he would intervene to dam motion by the Division of Justice, both in that extradition continuing or within the underlying legal motion, is extraordinarily disturbing to me, and I feel could also be to others within the regulation enforcement group,” Blumenthal mentioned.


READ MORE:
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He requested the assembled panel — which included Demers in addition to Invoice Priestap, assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company (CISA) on the Division of Homeland Safety — whether or not Trump’s actions ship a “harmful message to our regulation enforcement group.”

Demers responded first.

“What we do on the Justice Division is regulation enforcement. We don’t do commerce,” he mentioned.


READ MORE:
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“We comply with the info and we point out violations of U.S. regulation. That’s what we’re doing once we convey these circumstances, and I feel it’s crucial for different nations to grasp that.

“We’re not a instrument of commerce once we convey the circumstances; that’s what we do once we see them via to their conclusion.”

WATCH: Meng Wanzhou, Huawei CFO, launched from custody





Blumenthal then mentioned that Trump’s assertion makes it appear like “regulation enforcement is a instrument for his or her commerce or different political or diplomatic ends of this nation.”

“That could be true in different nations, however not on this one,” he mentioned.


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Priestap then spoke, saying: “I might solely echo what John mentioned.

“I don’t know when you’re a New England Patriots soccer fan in any respect, however my son is, and what I perceive is the Patriots have this motto: ‘Do your job.’ I need you to know from the FBI’s finish, we’re going to proceed to do our job.”

Trump’s remarks got here in a Reuters interview, through which he mentioned: “If I feel it’s good for what might be actually the most important commerce deal ever made, which is an important factor, what’s good for nationwide safety, I would definitely intervene if I believed it was vital.”


READ MORE:
Chinese state media urges Canada to free Huawei exec to ‘help maintain international order’

The president’s feedback might complicate issues for Canada, as ex-Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained this week in a transfer broadly seen as a response to Meng’s apprehension.

A second Canadian has additionally gone lacking in China.

“I can let you know that primarily based on my 13 years of expertise in China, there are not any coincidences,” mentioned former Canadian ambassador to China Man Saint-Jacques, underneath whom Kovrig labored from 2014 to 2016, mentioned of Kovrig’s arrest.

—With information from Rahul Kalvapalle, Reuters and the Canadian Press

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