President Donald Trump lashed out at the investigations against him at Saturday's Conservative Political Action Conference
President Donald Trump lashed out at the investigations against him at Saturday's Conservative Political Action Conference © Jose Luis Magana/AP

FT subscribers can click here to receive FirstFT every day by email.

The chair of the judicial committee has announced plans to request documents from more than 60 people today as House Democrats step up investigations into President Donald Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House judiciary committee, said the panel would on Monday request documents from individuals in the White House and justice department, as well as from Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son, and Trump Organisation chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.

Documents may also be requested from John Kelly, former White House chief of staff, and Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, according to Mr Nadler.

Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul will vote to disapprove of Mr Trump’s national emergency declaration to secure billions for his border wall, clinching a bipartisan majority in opposition of the president’s move. (FT, Politico)

In the news

Hopes rise for a US-China trade deal
China and the US are in the final stage of completing a trade deal, with Beijing offering to lower tariffs and other restrictions on American farm, chemical, auto and other products and Washington considering removing most, if not all, sanctions levied against Chinese products since last year. Meanwhile, in China stocks surged to a nine-month high on Monday ahead of the country’s annual legislative session. (WSJ, FT)

Tornado takes its toll
At least 23 people were killed and dozens more were injured on Sunday when two powerful tornadoes swept through eastern Alabama. The worst of the damage was created by a tornado near the town of Beauregard, authorities said. “The devastation is incredible,” said Sheriff Jay Jones of Lee County. Here’s a selection of photos and videos of the devastation. (NBC, AL.com)

S Korea drills downgraded
The US and South Korea agreed to call off annual military drills. The decision comes after President Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended abruptly last week without a denuclearisation deal. The annual large-scale joint exercises will be replaced by smaller scale drills, called “Alliance,” which begin today. (FT)

Huawei CFO sues Canada
Meng Wanzhou, who is facing extradition to the US, filed a lawsuit against the Canadian police and federal government, alleging she was illegally interrogated after being detained in December. In Vancouver, Ms Meng cuts a sympathetic figure with the local Chinese community, our reporter Hannah Murphy discovered. (Reuters, FT)

Ghosn’s upbeat new lawyer
Carlos Ghosn’s new lawyer has expressed optimism that the former Nissan chairman could be released on bail “in the near future”. The lawyer, known as “the razor” for his reputation in winning difficult cases, also said he would carefully look into the link between Nissan and Japan’s ministry for economy, trade and industry (Meti) when asked whether there were political forces at play in the criminal case against Mr Ghosn. (FT)

Vestager issues merger warning
EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager cautioned governments against watering down merger rules, telling the FT that such a move would amount to a “strategic choice” to change Europe’s economic model. Vestager drew outrage last month when she blocked a planned Siemens-Alstom merger to create a European rail competitor to China’s state-backed operator. (FT)

Vale CEO resigns
Vale’s chief executive Fabio Schvartsman has resigned following pressure from prosecutors in Brazil investigating the company’s deadly dam burst in January that is likely to have killed more than 300 people. The move comes after state and federal prosecutors on Friday asked for the “immediate removal” of Mr Schvartsman and other executives. (FT)

Glass-Steagall 2.0
The US should consider subjecting large technology companies to the kinds of restriction imposed on global banks after the Great Depression, a senior Democratic member of Congress has told the FT. His support for legislation akin to the Glass-Steagall rules for banks add to growing calls from senior figures in the Democratic party to curb the market power held by the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon. Rana Foroohar has more on this in Swamp Notes. (FT)

The day ahead

Guaidó returns to Venezuela
Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó has vowed to return to Venezuela on Monday to lead new protests against President Nicolás Maduro on Monday. Mr Guaidó runs the risk of being arrested if he returns after flouting a travel ban by undertaking a tour of South American nations. Meanwhile, the US has moved to cut off the flow of foreign currency to Mr Maduro’s government. (Reuters, FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

Canadian cannabis fund reaps returns
The world’s first cannabis exchange traded fund is set to become the second most profitable ETF in Canada after returning more than 50 per cent so far this year. Its success is emblematic of the popularity of thematic ETFs and investors’ interest in the marijuana industry. (FT)

Backing a German uber-bank
When the German finance minister and his deputy recently met investment bankers in a series of discreet meetings in London they did not discuss the slowing economy or Brexit. Instead, they talked about what could be done to revive Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, and whether a merger with Commerzbank could save it. This long read looks at why the idea of creating a new uber-bank in Germany has the political backing of Berlin. (FT)

End of an era
Financialisation is the practice of a non-financial company behaving like a financial company. Such behaviour has been a key driving force in the global economy for decades, writes Rana Foroohar, but she now believes this trend has reached its peak and there will be diminishing returns for companies that choose to focus more on markets than the real economy. Also, read Rana on how Washington is getting tough with Silicon Valley in the latest Swamp Notes. (FT)

The ‘attainable’ supercar
Ahead of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show this week, McLaren is rolling out the 600 LT Spider for “entry-level” supercar consumers. The model boasts a retractable hardtop roof, sleek cockpit and an “affordable” $256,500 base price. (WSJ)

The importance of social status?
When the FT’s Lucy Kellaway changed careers, she expected a drop-off in professional prestige (as well as income). But instead, she writes, an avalanche of undeserved admiration blew in. She wasn’t alone: her research revealed that new teachers experienced the “virtue of feeling useful”. (FT)

Instagram influencers explained by Victorian economics 
At the end of the 19th century, American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen said that people took their cues about what to consume from the social class immediately above their own. That could explain Instagram's influencer economy. (Quartz)

The end of Isis
Trapped on all sides by Kurdish, Syrian and Russian forces, the remnants of jihadist group Isis are fighting to the death in their last stronghold in the Syrian desert town of Baghuz, on the banks of the Euphrates. This is a dispatch from the last vestige of the “caliphate”.(Guardian)

Video of the day

Tech titans
Are technology companies becoming too powerful? As the top US consumer protection agency sets up a task force to probe competition in the tech sector, Washington correspondent Kiran Stacey reports on whether it’s possible to regulate new giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. (FT)

Get alerts on World when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article