Trump Says He Could Intervene in US Case Against Huawei CFO

By Reuters
December 11, 2018US News

WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada Dec. 1 and has been accused by the United States of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

The arrest came the same day Trump and Xi declared a 90-day truce in their trade war during summit talks in Buenos Aires.

When asked if he would intervene with the Justice Department in her case, Trump said in an interview with Reuters: “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do.”

“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made—which is a very important thing—what’s good for national security—I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said.

A Canadian court on Dec. 11 granted Meng bail for C$7 million after a three-day hearing while she awaits a hearing for extradition to the United States, a move that could help placate Chinese officials angered by her arrest.

In his decision, the judge said that Meng is a “well-educated businesswoman with no criminal records.” He said he is satisfied that Meng has only two valid passports, and that she will surrender all her other ones.

Meng will have to wear a GPS bracelet, report weekly to a bail supervisor, and pay all costs associated with her monitoring program, as among other conditions.

Trump also said the White House has spoken with the Justice Department about the case, as well as Chinese officials.

“They have not called me yet. They are talking to my people. But they have not called me yet,” he said when asked if he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the case.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions. A Canadian court on Tuesday granted Meng bail while she awaits an extradition hearing.

U.S. authorities have until Jan. 8, 2019 to file a formal extradition request or else Meng will be released.

Trump said that Huawei’s alleged practices are troubling.

“This has been a big problem that we’ve had in so many different ways with so many companies from China and from other places,” he said.

If China requests for Meng’s release, Trump said it could be a possible outcome depending on what happens during the trade negotiations.

“A lot of different things could happen,” he said.

By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland. Epoch Times staff Cora Yu and Margaret Wollensak contributed to this report.

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