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October 15, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com
With the Trump impeachment procedures ongoing and the connection to his conversation about the Biden family with Ukraine President Zelenskyy, there has been very little coverage of an important aspect of the relationship between Washington and Kiev. While none of us can speak to the actual intent of Donald Trump's remarks be it for personal gain or for other reasons, there is background information that may help illuminate the context of the discussion between the two world leaders.
In case you haven't read the pertinent section of the transcript of the conversation, here it is:
" President Zelenskyy : Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.
President Trump : Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.
President Zelenskyy : I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.
President Trump : Well, she's going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people." (my bolds)
Now, let's look back in time to 1998. On July 22, 1998, a treaty was signed between Ukraine and Washington.
The Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was signed in Kiev on the aforementioned date. Here is an excerpt from the The original letter of submittal from the Department of State to the President's office dated October 19, 1999 which states the following:
"I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex (``the Treaty''), signed at Kiev on July 22, 1998. I recommend that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
Also enclosed, for the information of the Senate, is an exchange of notes under which the Treaty is being provisionally applied to the extent possible under our respective domestic laws, in order to provide a basis for immediate mutual assistance in criminal matters. Provisional application would cease upon entry into force of the Treaty.
The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have entered into force with a number of other countries. The Treaty with Ukraine contains all essential provisions sought by the United States. It will enhance our ability to investigate and prosecute a range of offenses. The Treaty is designed to be self-executing and will not require new legislation." (my bold)
The Treaty was then transmitted by the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) to the Senate on November 10, 1999 (Treaty Document 106-16 -106th Congress - First Session) as shown on this letter of transmittal from Bill Clinton's office:
Note this key excerpt from the letter of transmittal:
" Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state. "
The Treaty was reported favourable by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 27, 2000, consented to ratification by the Senate on October 18, 2000 and ratified by the President of the United States on January 5, 2001. The Treaty was entered into force on February 27, 2001. Here are the title page of the Treaty and the signature page:
Here are the first two pages of the Treaty which outline the scope of assistance that is to be offered by both nations as well as the limitations on assistance:
... ... ...
If you wish to read the Treaty in its entirety, please click here .
With this background and while I don't want to appear to be pro- or anti-Trump, it is very, very clear that the current POTUS was within the law under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and Ukraine when it comes to asking Ukraine to investigate a potential criminal matter.
Oct 30, 2019 | www.unz.com
Cohen observes in his latest conversation with John Batchelor that the so-called Impeachment inquiry, whether formal or informal, will make the new Cold War even worse and more dangerous than it already is, noting that an inflection point has been reached, because at the core of these allegations -- most of which are undocumented and a substantial number of which are untrue -- revolving around Russiagate and now Ukrainegate is an underlying demonization of Russia. Relations between America and Russia will continue to deteriorate either due to the fact that the entire political spectrum is engaging in a frenzy of Russophobia or that President Trump, who ran and won on a platform of improving relations with Russia, is now completely shackled, thus it is inevitable that the new Cold War will continue to become more dangerous.
Regarding Attorney General Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate, as Cohen noted previously, Barr has made it clear that he's investigating not the FBI but the intelligence agencies, and Cohen is uncertain that even the Attorney General of the United States can be successful in that line of inquiry. For example, the young and politically inconsequential George Papadopolous, a young aid to the Trump campaign, got four or five visitors, every one of them tied to foreign intelligence, American or European, which makes it self-evident that the Intelligence Agencies were running an operation against the Trump campaign. Cohen says that even if Barr is a resolute man and says he wants to get to the bottom of this, Cohen is not confident that he will be able to do so.
Cohen notes that the Russian press, which follows American politics closely, has resulted in a consensus that all of this -- Russiagate, Ukrainegate -- was created to stop Trump from having better relations with Russia. Thus, it is important that Putin had been told the reason Trump cannot engage in détente is because of Trump being shackled.
Discussing the recent American mission against Abu Baker al-Baghdadi in Syria, Cohen stated Nancy Pelosi utterly disgraced herself when she complained Trump informed the Russians about the success of the mission and its initiation, considering the fact that this wing of Congress is so against Trump he had no guarantee that one of them would not have leaked the mission before it began. Russian intelligence in that part of the world is probably better than other nation's, so Cohen assumes Russia knew about the mission and that they helped by providing information to America.
In addition, Cohen has noted Putin discussed a partnership with America against domestic terrorism starting with his approach to Obama and noted that even considering the September 11 terror attack, Russia has suffered more victims of domestic terrorism than America has. Obama thought about the proposal, hesitated, and it never happened. These recent events are a reminder that the United States and Russia are uniquely positioned to partner against international terrorism, but this may be slightly beyond the grasp of President Trump at the present time.
Cohen noted that expert opinion in Russia -- which informs the Kremlin leadership, including Putin -- has soured on the United States; the older generation of Russian America specialists who like America, who visit regularly and appreciate American culture, have become utterly disillusioned and cannot promote a Russian-American partnership given what has happened to Trump.
Regarding Ukraine, Cohen notes it shares a very large border with Russia, tens of millions of intermarriages, language, culture and history, and although the United States shares none of this with Ukraine, the United States has declared Ukraine is a strategic ally, and this would be equivalent to Russia stating that Mexico is its strategic ally, which is preposterous; the term "strategic" clearly has military implications.
Expanding on the topic of Ukraine, despite its size and natural resources, it is the poorest country in Europe. The new president, a comedian who starred in a TV show portraying the Ukranian president and thus life imitates art, ran as a peace candidate; that and his promise to fight corruption resulted in his victory. Part of his pledge was to meet with Putin to try to solve the conflicts; but he promised to end the hot war with Russia. American politics got in the way and people are still dying: at last count, there were approximately thirteen thousand dead, including women and children. And the peace candidate has been dragged into American politics and the commentary on Ukraine has a colonial tone. America speaking of Ukraine as a "strategic ally" is foolishness and warfare thinking. What should be the American policy is to encourage Zelensky to pursue these peace policies with Russia so the war doesn't spread and the killing stops and that Ukraine, which is a potentially rich country, can recover. While Obama egged on the war policy, Trump seemed to have no policy, other than to encourage Zelensky in his peace initiative. What isn't known in the conversation Trump had with Zelensky was whether he encouraged him in his peace initiative; the transcript is a fragment, redacted and edited so that it doesn't mention the war but certainly it was discussed. The issue is whether the United States should give Ukraine's government $400 million dollars in military equipment. Obama, who Cohen observes was not a good foreign policy president refused to do so but Cohen concludes that was a wise decision. All that providing weapons to Ukraine would accomplish is to incite the pro-war forces in Kiev against the anti-war forces led by Zelensky; the military advantage in any event lies with Russia.
Despite the fact Zelensky is an actor, he did run on a program of peace and Cohen believes that he is sincere; Cohen notes the problem is not Russia, but the armed Nationalists who are opposed to peace -- approximately 30,000 -- who have publicly threatened Zelensky. Cohen notes Putin wants to end the war with Ukraine and he has made efforts to help Zelensky, such as the recent prisoner release, although he included people Russians consider terrorists. Thus, Zelensky doesn't have a lot of political power. While there are bad nationalist actors -- the Azov battalion, which threatened Zelensky with either removal or death -- nevertheless Cohen has asked where the regular army stands: will it back him, will it be loyal? That answer now is unknown.
Cohen concluded to most Ukrainians Zelensky represented hope, hope in the war against corruption and hope against the war. The Kremlin wants to end the war; Zelensky has a chance, he's supported by Germany and France, Putin is helping, but the United States is not a party of the Minsk Agreement peace acccord. Trump has intruded in his own unusual way but can be a factor for good. If Cohen were advising President Trump, he'd tell him if he favored the negotiations for Russian and Ukrainian peace, this would favor his historical reputation.
Oct 23, 2019 | caucus99percent.com
bondibox on Sat, 10/19/2019 - 3:17pm https://youtu.be/QYNf4sHPgHk?t=1259
Victor Pinchuk. Ukranian Parliament member.
Atlantic Council board member
$25 million in charitable contributions to the Clinton Foundation
Atlantic Council is a partner with Burisma
How systemic was the corruption within the Obama administration, and who was really pulling the strings?This article talks about the Atlantic Council
and all of its connections in Ukraine with ByeDone's son etc. I was going to essay it, but it's better if you all just read the whole thing. It's really really good.
DC's Atlantic Council Raked in Funding from Hunter Biden's Corruption-Stained Ukrainian Employer While Courting His VP Father
Oct 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 12, 2019 at 04:10 PMIf the coup has less than 70% they have no more than the CNN crowd.likbez -> ilsm... , October 15, 2019 at 06:54 PM
Equating Ukraine to US security is false and not selling the coup. Bashing Trump for going after his corrupt opponent Biden is not selling!
Crooked media coverage fools 50% of the people all the time, especially when 35% of the are duped by Pelosi, Schumer and Biden usually they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Democrats; shady neocons equate not arming the corrupt regime in Ukraine to "security". Siding with corruption is a huge threat to US security!
Many of us who turn down polls will never again vote for a democrat.
Democrat is synonym for corrupt, liar"Equating Ukraine to US security is false and not selling the coup. "ilsm , October 12, 2019 at 03:59 PM
I would say more: calling foreign interference of Ukraine in the US election in case of Biden is an insult to the intelligence of US voters.
This is the level of chutzpah almost equal to claiming orphan privileges after killing both parents.
After 2014 Ukraine with its marionette government 'midwifed' by Ms. Nuland (Google Nulandgate) is a colony for all practical purposes; the country governed directly from the US embassy ( Washington Obcom as locals sarcastically call it as it performs functions similar to the CPSU offices in the past).
For all key matters it's Washington who decided that policy Ukraine will pursue. That decides the issue of interference once and forever. Under Obama Ukraine participated in anti-Trump coup d'état. How this marionette government can pursue independent policy as for the USA is beyond my understanding of the situation.
What is funny is that Biden was Obama's viceroy in Ukraine all that time up to election of Trump. He also was the best friend on Yanukovich and his political mentor (that's probably why Yanukovich ended his career is such a way; which such friends, who needs the enemies ;-)The main feature of the democrat coup the foundation of the party is corruption.
This aspect of the party demanded that Clinton run against Trump, rather than on any policy. Shew hid the neocon militarism, attacking Trump deplorables as isolationists.
The Ukraine connection is money for family members of democrat elites. A most corrupt regime the image of not supporting the corruption is a democrat defined national security issue!
The US ust sell Javelin tank busters to Ukraine so they can keep their Russian sectors and plunder them to pay Biden's (Romney kid, Pelosi kid) son.
This coup is about plunder and it is not Trump whose plunder is at stake!
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs , October 07, 2019 at 07:37 AM(How times change.)likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 09, 2019 at 02:48 PM
'We Absolutely Could Not Do That': When Seeking Foreign
Help Was Out of the Question https://nyti.ms/30Lkzni
NYT - Peter Baker - October 6
WASHINGTON -- One day in October 1992, four Republican congressmen showed up in the Oval Office with an audacious recommendation. President George Bush was losing his re-election race, and they told him the only way to win was to hammer his challenger Bill Clinton's patriotism for protesting the Vietnam War while in London and visiting Moscow as a young man.
Mr. Bush was largely on board with that approach. But what came next crossed the line, as far as he and his team were concerned. "They wanted us to contact the Russians or the British to seek information on Bill Clinton's trip to Moscow," James A. Baker III, Mr. Bush's White House chief of staff, wrote in a memo (*) later that day. "I said we absolutely could not do that."
President Trump insists he and his attorney general did nothing wrong by seeking damaging information about his domestic opponents from Ukraine, Australia, Italy and Britain or by publicly calling on China to investigate his most prominent Democratic challenger. But for every other White House in the modern era, Republican and Democratic, the idea of enlisting help from foreign powers for political advantage was seen as unwise and politically dangerous, if not unprincipled.
A survey of 10 former White House chiefs of staff under Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama found that none recalled any circumstance under which the White House had solicited or accepted political help from other countries, and all said they would have considered the very idea out of bounds.
"I served three presidents in the White House and don't remember even hearing any speculation to consider asking for such action," said Andrew H. Card Jr., who ran the younger Mr. Bush's White House and was the longest-serving chief of staff in the last six decades.
William M. Daley, who served as commerce secretary under Mr. Clinton and chief of staff under Mr. Obama, said if someone had even proposed such an action, he probably would "recommend the person be escorted out of" the White House, then fired and reported to ethics officials.
Other chiefs were just as definitive. "Did not happen on Reagan's watch. Would not have happened on Reagan's watch," said Kenneth M. Duberstein, his last chief of staff. "I would have shut him down," said Leon E. Panetta, who served as Mr. Clinton's chief of staff and Mr. Obama's defense secretary.
The sense of incredulity among White House veterans in recent days crossed party and ideological lines. "This is unprecedented," said Samuel K. Skinner, who preceded Mr. Baker as chief of staff under Mr. Bush. Other chiefs who said they never encountered such a situation included Thomas F. McLarty III and John D. Podesta (Clinton) and Rahm Emanuel, Denis R. McDonough and Jacob J. Lew (Obama).
History has shown that foreign affairs can be treacherous for presidents, even just the suspicion of mixing politics with the national interest. As a candidate in 1968, Richard M. Nixon sought to forestall a Vietnam peace deal by President Lyndon B. Johnson just before the election.
Associates of Mr. Reagan were accused of trying to delay the release of hostages by Iran when he was a candidate in 1980 for fear that it would aid President Jimmy Carter, but a bipartisan House investigation concluded that there was no merit to the charge. Mr. Clinton faced months of investigation over 1996 campaign contributions from Chinese interests tied to the Beijing government.
In none of those cases did an incumbent president personally apply pressure to foreign powers to damage political opponents. Mr. Trump pressed Ukraine's president this summer to investigate involvement with Democrats in 2016 and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. while holding up $391 million in American aid. Mr. Trump has said he was simply investigating corruption, not trying to benefit himself.
"The right way to look at it is the vice president was selling our country out," Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, said in an interview on Sunday. Mr. Trump was fulfilling his duty, he said. "I don't see what the president did wrong."
Mr. Giuliani has been leading Mr. Trump's efforts to dig up evidence of corruption by the Democrats in Ukraine, meeting with various officials and negotiating a commitment by the newly installed government in Kiev to investigate conspiracy theories about Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election and supposed conflicts of interest by Mr. Biden.
Told that past White House chiefs of staff said any legitimate allegations should be handled by the Justice Department, not the president, Mr. Giuliani said: "That's if you can trust the Justice Department. My witnesses don't trust the Justice Department, and they don't trust the F.B.I." He added that he would not have either until Attorney General William P. Barr took over.
Mr. Barr has contacted foreign officials for help in investigating the origin of the special counsel investigation by Robert S. Mueller III into Russian interference and ties with Mr. Trump's campaign, part of an effort to prove that the whole matter was a "hoax," as the president has insisted.
Mr. Trump defends himself by saying that other presidents have leaned on foreign governments for help. That is true, but when other presidents have pressured counterparts and even held up American assistance to coerce cooperation, it has generally been to achieve certain policy goals -- not to advance the president's personal or political agenda.
As an example, Mr. Trump often cites Mr. Obama, who was overheard telling President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia in 2012 that he would have more "more flexibility" to negotiate missile defense after the fall election. While that may be objectionable, it is not the same thing as asking a foreign government to intervene in an American election.
"They assume everybody's as sleazy and dirty as they are, which is not the case," Mr. Emanuel said.
Mr. Trump points to Mr. Biden, arguing that the former vice president was the one who abused his power by threatening to withhold $1 billion in American aid to Ukraine unless it fired its prosecutor general.
Mr. Biden's son Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, earning $50,000 a month. The company's oligarch owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, had been a subject of cases overseen by the prosecutor, and so Mr. Trump contends that Mr. Biden sought the prosecutor's ouster to benefit his son.
As a matter of appearances, at least, the former vice president's family left him open to suspicion. Even some of his defenders say it was unseemly for Hunter Biden to seemingly trade on his family name. The elder Mr. Biden has said he never discussed his son's business dealings in Ukraine with him, but some Democrats suggest he should have if only to prevent just such a situation from arising.
For all of that, however, no evidence has emerged that Mr. Biden moved to push out the prosecutor to benefit his son. No memo or text message has become public linking the two. None of the American officials who were involved at the time have come forward alleging any connection. No whistle-blower has filed a complaint.
In pressing for the prosecutor's ouster, Mr. Biden was carrying out Mr. Obama's policy as developed by his national security team and coordinated with European allies and the International Monetary Fund, all of which considered the Ukrainian prosecutor to be deliberately overlooking corruption.
Indeed, at the time Mr. Biden acted, there was no public evidence that the prosecutor's office was actively pursuing investigations of Burisma, although Mr. Zlochevsky's allies say the prosecutor continued to use the threat of prosecution to try to solicit bribes from the oligarch and his team.
The 1992 episode involving Mr. Bush and Mr. Baker provides an intriguing case study in the way previous administrations have viewed seeking political help overseas. At the time, Mr. Bush was trailing in the polls and eager for any weapon to turn things around.
Representatives Robert K. Dornan, Duncan Hunter and Duke Cunningham of California and Sam Johnson of Texas urged the president to ask Russia and Britain for help.
Mr. Dornan, reached last week, said Mr. Baker offered no objections during the meeting. "Baker sat there in the Oval Office like a bump on a log," he recalled. "He said nothing." If Mr. Baker advised Mr. Bush not to reach out to foreign governments, then he did so after the congressmen had left, Mr. Dornan said.
Mr. Dornan said that was a mistake and that Mr. Bush should have done as Mr. Trump has. "The bottom line from me was, 'If you don't do this, Mr. President, leader of the free world, you will lose,'" Mr. Dornan said. "And he didn't do it and he lost. Baker cost Bush that second term."
As it was, Mr. Baker and some of his aides got in trouble anyway because State Department employees searched Mr. Clinton's passport file to determine whether he had ever tried to renounce his American citizenship. They found no such evidence, but an independent counsel was appointed to investigate whether the search violated any laws.
The attorney general who requested the investigation? Mr. Barr, in his first tour running the Justice Department. The independent counsel who was appointed? Joseph diGenova, a lawyer now helping Mr. Giuliani look for information in Ukraine. In the passport case, Mr. diGenova concluded that no laws had been broken and that he should never have been appointed in first place.
As for seeking help from Russia and Britain, Mr. Baker declined to comment last week, but his peers said he did exactly as they would have. "It would have been ludicrous at that stage to do anything," Mr. Skinner said. "Baker's decision was obviously the right one."
* Read the 1992 Memo President George Bush's Team
Sent About Seeking Foreign Help to Beat Bill Clinton
When Republican congressmen suggested Mr. Bush reach out to Russia or Britain for information that could help him win his re-election race against Bill Clinton, James A. Baker III, then the White House chief of staff, wrote this memo.
This is pretty superficial: Ukraine is vassal state dully controlled by Washington (kind of Puerto Rico); what foreign influence we are talking about ?
Peter Baker just repeats Clinton camp talking points.
Ukrainian security establishment and probably large part of Ukrainian Congress (Rada) is probably fully controlled by CIA.
Actually representatives of CIA were sitting in SBU ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_Service_of_Ukraine) since the first Orange revolution ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Revolution which brought to power Viktor Yushchenko who lost to Yanukovich general election in 2004)
So anything Ukrainian side was doing to interfere with the US election has to be ordered from Washington, DC (which was done by "Obama regime", who wanted dirt of Trump team)
Oct 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
kurt -> kurt... , October 07, 2019 at 10:33 AMlikbez -> kurt... , October 08, 2019 at 06:50 AM
Trump solicited a campaign contribution from a foreign power and withheld congressionally approved military aid in an act of extortion. The transcript is 7 freaking pages. If you are okay with this you are a traitor.
Further, last night he did what Putin wanted him to do in respect to Syria and Kurdistan - and this will like result in our ally being annihilated. If you are okay with this you are a traitor.
You just do not understand the reality basking in your delusional neoliberal Grand Myth.
Ukraine is not a sovereign state. At least since 2014. It is a a vassal state totally (I mean totally) controlled from Washington, DC. Including country security services. Kind of Puerto Rico.
Oct 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
EMichael , October 04, 2019 at 09:26 AMBe interesting to see what, if anything, China does about trump's request for campaign aid.ken melvin -> EMichael... , October 04, 2019 at 01:26 PM
"We Had the Quid, Now We Have the Quo
Ukraine has gotten its $400 million in military assistance and its visit to the White House, where President Zelensky dutifully reported that he had felt no pressure from the Trump administration to open an investigation into the Biden family. So this, I suppose, is just an amazing coincidence:
'Ukraine's new chief prosecutor said Friday his office will conduct an "audit" of an investigation into Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that had recruited Hunter Biden for its board.
Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka reiterated at a news conference Friday that he knows of no evidence of criminal activity by Biden. He said that he is aware of at least 15 investigations that may have touched on Burisma, its owner Nikolai Zlochevsky, an associate named Serhiy Zerchenko, and Biden, and that all will be reviewed. He said no foreign or Ukrainian official has been in touch with him to request this audit.'
See? Ryaboshapka has been on vacation on Mars for the past few months and just got back. And when he did, he immediately turned around to his deputy and said, "Hey, we really need to audit the investigations of Burisma. It just seems like the right thing to do."
https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/10/we-had-the-quid-now-we-have-the-quo/Private prisons, detention centers, Saudi Arabia, Russia, ... these deals were all made before the election in 2016. Who amongst Trump's circle made them? This is what needs be brought out.
Sep 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs , September 29, 2019 at 07:30 PMTrump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory
Was 'Completely Debunked' https://nyti.ms/2mUMP99
NYT - Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Maggie Haberman
and Peter Baker - September 29
WASHINGTON -- President Trump was repeatedly warned by his own staff that the Ukraine conspiracy theory that he and his lawyer were pursuing was "completely debunked" long before the president pressed Ukraine this summer to investigate his Democratic rivals, a former top adviser said on Sunday.
Thomas P. Bossert, who served as Mr. Trump's first homeland security adviser, said he told the president there was no basis to the theory that Ukraine, not Russia, intervened in the 2016 election and did so on behalf of the Democrats. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Bossert said he was "deeply disturbed" that Mr. Trump nonetheless tried to get Ukraine's president to produce damaging information about Democrats.
Mr. Bossert's comments, on the ABC program "This Week" and in a subsequent telephone interview, underscored the danger to the president as the House moves ahead with an inquiry into whether he abused his power for political gain. Other former aides to Mr. Trump said on Sunday that he refused to accept reassurances about Ukraine no matter how many times it was explained to him, instead subscribing to an unsubstantiated narrative that has now brought him to the brink of impeachment.
The latest revelations came as the impeachment inquiry rushed ahead at a brisk pace. The House chairman taking the lead said that the whistle-blower who brought the matter to light would testify soon and that a subpoena for documents would be issued early this week to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer who spearheaded the effort to find dirt on Democrats in Ukraine. In a letter to the acting director of national intelligence, lawyers for the whistle-blower requested stepped-up efforts to ensure his safety, citing "serious concerns we have regarding our client's personal safety."
As Democrats pressed forward, a new poll showed that a majority of Americans supported an impeachment inquiry for the first time, a worrying development for a White House that until now has been able to make the argument that the public opposed impeaching Mr. Trump. A senior White House aide tried to turn the tables by arguing that Mr. Trump was the real whistle-blower because he was uncovering Democratic corruption.
As Republicans struggled to defend the president on Sunday, Mr. Bossert's remarks offered a hint of cracks in the Republicans' armor. While Mr. Bossert was forced out in 2018 when John R. Bolton became national security adviser, he has remained publicly loyal until now to a president who prizes fealty above all else.
"It is completely debunked," Mr. Bossert said of the Ukraine theory on ABC. Speaking with George Stephanopoulos, Mr. Bossert blamed Mr. Giuliani for filling the president's head with misinformation. "I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again, and for clarity here, George, let me just again repeat that it has no validity."
He added that pressing Ukraine's president was disturbing, but noted that it remained unproven whether Mr. Trump's decision to withhold aid to Ukraine was tied to the demand for investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.
"It is a bad day and a bad week for this president and for this country if he is asking for political dirt on an opponent," Mr. Bossert said. "But it looks to me like the other matter that's far from proven is whether he was doing anything to abuse his power and withhold aid in order to solicit such a thing." On Twitter on Sunday evening, he added that he did "not see evidence of an impeachable offense."
Other former aides said separately on Sunday that the president had a particular weakness for conspiracy theories involving Ukraine, which in the past three years has become the focus of far-right media outlets and political figures. Mr. Trump was more willing to listen to outside advisers like Mr. Giuliani than his own national security team.
Mr. Trump has known Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, for years and likes his pugnacious approach and the fact that he never pushes back, said one former aide, who like others asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. Mr. Giuliani would "feed Trump all kinds of garbage" that created "a real problem for all of us," said the former aide.
House Democrats may try to explore that as they move expeditiously in their inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday that the whistle-blower whose complaint rocked Washington last week would testify "very soon" and that Mr. Giuliani would be ordered to turn over documents.
Mr. Schiff, a former prosecutor who is the de facto chief of the inquiry, also issued a pointed warning to Mr. Trump and the White House, who have a history of blocking congressional requests for witnesses and records. "If they're going to obstruct, then they are going to increase the likelihood that Congress may feel it necessary to move forward with an article of obstruction," he said on "This Week."
Mr. Trump continued his bellicose attacks on his accusers. "I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason," he wrote on Twitter. And he threatened the whistle-blower, who is protected by law from retribution. "Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!"
Republicans have had a tough time defending Mr. Trump and have mostly tried to redirect the conversation to suggest that Mr. Biden engaged in wrongdoing. Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 Republican in the House, repeatedly changed the subject on Sunday when Chuck Todd, the moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press," pressed him on whether he believed a summary transcript of the Ukraine call merited further investigation. ...
(Wikipedia: Tom Bossert was officially appointed to the post of Homeland Security Advisor (officially titled the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism) on January 20, 2017, the date of President Trump's entrance into office. ...
On April 10, 2018, Bossert resigned a day after John R. Bolton, the newly-appointed National Security Advisor, started his tenure.)
Sep 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
JohnH -> likbez... , September 28, 2019 at 07:59 PMI think Team Pelosi at the behest of the intelligence services freaked out when they saw Trump going to Ukraine to get to the bottom of the allegations against him.
They have created their narrative Russiagate being conveniently replaced by Ukrainegate. They will aggressively push their narrative through the mainstream media.
Trump, if he gets organized, will push his narrative through Fox and the conservative echo chamber.
So far, advantage Democrats/CIA. Pretty good for a hapless bunch of politicians incapable of putting together a message coherent enough to win an election!
However, there is a lot of information out there to raise questions about what Biden was really up to in Ukraine:
As I noted earlier, the plot is Byzantine. The winner will be the side with the most superficially plausible story. But both Trump and Biden are likely to be damaged severely in the process and for that we can be grateful.
Sep 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
BM , Sep 26 2019 19:38 utc | 53The "whistleblower's" letter is so pathetic, it is quite funny. It is nothing but drivel, very Russiagate-like, nothing but dredging mud.
What is striking about the letter is the inordinate lengths the author goes to to justify that the letter is non-classified and should not be classified, including verbose and detailed notes with arguments as to why it should not be classified, taking up a full half of the document. This is underlined in particular by his statement in the letter:If a classification marking is applied retrospectively, I believe it is incumbent upon the classifying authority to explain why such a marking was applied, and to which specific information it pertains.which proves beyond doubt that this is a purely political document, intended for public consumption as a tool for political ends, not for the intelligence committees. Typical Clinton-Cabal manipulation.
Apparently a desperate action to obfuscate something in Barr's investigation, as I interpret it. Obviously considerable effort (and considerable discussion) has been expended in trying to make it as watertight as possible - but by people incapable of seeing outside their narrow interests.
The other thing that is striking is the extent to which the Whitehouse staff are stuffed full of Obomber holdovers conspiring in every breath of their working lives to find ways and means to undermine and attack the US President.
A Non , Sep 26 2019 22:15 utc | 79karlof1 , Sep 26 2019 20:52 utc | 69
Ollie Richardson has written "a reminder of what Joe Biden did"
Spotted by Elena Evdokimova @elenaevdokimov7
'Did the "leak" about Trump & Zelensky conversation originate in Ukraine?
Has Ukrainian foreign office staff or SBU leaked it to the alleged "whistle blower"?
'It seems that former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin boasts about it.'
Google translate: "To keep things going, Ukraine will remain in the history of the United States as the country that led to the impeachment of the US President. Not a very fun prospect. But now everyone understands what we are capable of"chet380 @66--BM , Sep 26 2019 20:31 utc | 68
In the vid I linked @58, the Judicial Watch person suspects it's the work of D-Congressman Schiff as it bears the hallmarks of his craftmanship , but check the vid for confirmation.
You interpreted it correctly. The best site I've visited for information on Gabbard is this Wikipedia page that lists most everything together all on one page and links to other Wiki pages about her.
Draining the Swamp and depriving its denizens of their food is an election ploy that ought to get universal support; it sure garnered Trump votes in 2016 but he did nothing afterwards and allowed corrupt officials to remain in their posts. IMO, the Duopoly's parties are both corrupt from head to toe as is the Current Oligarchy that pulls their strings. All three entities need to be slain for US citizens to regain their freedom and ability to control their federal, state, and local governments. That such a conception is termed radical indicates just how far from the center those proclaiming it radical have become--they prove themselves to be the true radicals: 100% Reactionaries defending the vile and corrupt.Why is Trump"s DoS stonewalling what ought to be seen as an ally in this affair? More Obama holdovers?Peter AU 1 , Sep 26 2019 20:20 utc | 66
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 26 2019 20:00 utc | 58
It seems like the mole-like permanent puppet-string-puller* network installed - or more likely expanded and deepened, and made more permanently pro-Dem - by Obomber throughout the US government is much like an infestation of mould, whose spores are impervious to destruction and constantly reinfest the infestation.
* (but not puppetmaster, because members of the network are themselves puppets to the Deep State).karlof1
Another interesting aspect is this. Whistle blower gives evidence to Trump appointed intel honcho, who forwards evidence to higher Trump appointed intel honcho, who then takes evidence to Trump appointed presidential legal advisor for clearance.
Higher Trump intel honcho then waits until phone call transcript is made public before sending whistle blower evidence to senate intel circus.
So either massive conspiracy by those around Trump to take him down with very week ammo, or option b - those involved in RussiaGate being set up for massive fall.
Sep 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
steven t johnson , Sep 27 2019 0:34 utc | 105Did Ukrainian officials interfere in the 2016 election by creating or hyping the debunked Russiagate affair and by supporting the Clinton campaign? Alleged Russian interference in the election was a big issue....
"Did Joe Biden use his influence to get his unqualified son a high paying job in Ukraine? Did he use his official powers as vice president to the advantage of Hunter Biden's employer?" The true corruption is what's legal. There's no law against influence peddling, as in Hunter Biden offering himself for hire.
As for the other question, no question with zero evidence need be answered. Is Trump using his influence to advance his son and son-in-law's career? That isn't a legit question eiher.
Sep 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
With the “Russiagate” hoax proving to be the “most fraudulent political scandal in American history,” as Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen puts it, now we have emerging an alternative – “Ukrainegate”.
... ... ...Democratic political opponents and the anti-Trump liberal media are renewing demands for his impeachment. They are adamant that he has now crossed a clear red line of criminality by seeking a foreign power to interfere in US elections by damaging a presidential rival.
For his part, Trump denies his conversations with the Ukrainian president were improper. He said he phoned Zelensky back in July to mainly congratulate him on his recent election. Trump does however admit that he mentioned Biden's name to Zelensky in the context of Ukraine's notorious culture of business corruption. The American leader maintains that Joe Biden should be investigated for possible conflict of interest and abusing the office of vice president back in 2016 in order to enhance the business affairs of his son, Hunter.
Trump's phone call to Ukraine hit the news last week when a US intelligence officer turned whistleblower to allege that the president was overheard in a conversation inappropriately making "a promise to a foreign leader". The identity of the foreign leader was not disclosed. But immediately, the anti-Trump US media began speculating that it was Russian President Vladimir Putin. The keenness to point fingers at Putin showed that the Russiagate fever is still virulent in the US political establishment, even though the long-running narrative alleging Russian interference or collusion collapsed earlier this year when the two-year Robert Mueller "Russia investigation" floundered into oblivion for lack of evidence.
Turns out now that Trump's telephone liaison was not with Putin, but rather Ukraine's Zelensky. And the anti-Trump politicos and media are getting all fired up with "Ukrainegate" -- as a replacement for the non-entity Russiagate.
Trouble is that this alternative conspiracy could backfire badly for Trump's enemies.
Because, despite the obsession with trying to impeach Trump, the renewed focus on Ukraine raises legitimate and serious questions about the past dealings of Joe Biden.
In March 2014, Biden's son Hunter was slung out of the Navy Reserve for his cocaine habit. Then a month later, the younger Biden ends up on the executive board of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings. This was all only weeks after the Obama administration and European allies had backed an illegal coup in Kiev against the elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Vice President Joe Biden was the White House's point man to Ukraine, supporting the new regime in Kiev by organizing financial and military aid. Biden even boasted how he personally warned Yanukovych that the game was up and that he better step down during the tumultuous CIA-backed street violence in Kiev during February 2014. "He was a dollar short and a day late," quipped Biden about the ill-fated president.
The appointment of Biden's washed-up son to a plum job in Ukraine should have merited intense US media scrutiny and investigation. But it didn't. One can only imagine their reaction if, say, it had been Trump and one of his sons involved.
Moreover, in 2016, when Ukraine's Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was conducting a probe into allegations of corruption and sleaze at the gas company Burisma, among other businesses, it was Vice President Joe Biden who intervened in May 2016 to call for the state lawyer to be sacked. Biden threatened to withhold a $1 billion financial loan from Washington if the prosecutor was not axed. He duly was in short order and the probe into Burisma was dropped.
Potentially, Joe Biden, the current top Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidency, could see his chances unraveling if "Ukrainegate" is pushed further. The dilemma for his supporters among the political establishment is that the more they try to beat up on Trump over his alleged horse-trading with Ukraine, the more the heat can be turned by him on Biden over allegations of graft and abuse of office to further his family's business interests.
Senator Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is this week calling for an investigation into Biden's conduct in Ukraine.
"Joe Biden said everybody's looked at this and found nothing. Who is everybody? Nobody has looked at the Ukraine and the Bidens," Mr. Graham told Fox News.
"There is enough smoke here," Graham added. "Was there a relationship between the vice president's family and the Ukraine business world that was inappropriate? I don't know. Somebody other than me needs to look at it and I don't trust the media to get to the bottom of it."
Ukrainegate could turn out to be even far more damaging to the Democrats. Because there is evidence that it was the US-backed Kiev regime which helped seed political dirt on Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager. Manafort is facing jail time for fraud and tax offenses unearthed by the Mueller probe. Mueller did not find any link between Manafort and a "Kremlin influence campaign", as was speculated. However, because Manafort did work previously as a political manager for the ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovcyh, he was seen as a liability for Trump. Was Russiagate always Ukrainegate all along?
Apart from Biden's potential personal conflict of interests in Ukraine, the country may turn out to be the key to where the whole Russiagate fiasco was first dreamt up by Democrats, Kiev regime operatives and US intelligence enemies of Trump.
Ukrainegate has a lot more political skeletons to tumble from the wardrobe. Those skeletons may bury Democrats and their liberal media-intelligence backers , rather than Trump.
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