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Rick Perry induced Trump blunder

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Adding  Biden to an important conversation with Zelensky about CrowdStrike server in Ukraine (which probaly was used for conversion of DNC internal leak into Russian hack) was a blunder, that was immediately use by Obama/Brennan intelligence agencies faction and his allied in House of Representative, State department and Democratic Party to launch a vicious counterattack on Trump -- impeachment proceedings.

It was very foolish on the part of Trump to mention Biden -- who is optimal candidate against him on 2020 elections, but he was was pretty solid legal grounds to do so.

There is actually an old (1999) treaty between the USA and Ukraine under which Ukraine is legally obligated to help the USA exactly in the matters discussed by Trump. Under this treaty very little sovereignty is reserved for Ukraine, if the USA wants to investigate something. So no pressure, or God forbid quid pro quo is needed at all. Ukraine is legally obligated to deliver the materials requested and/or open their own investigation to get those materials for the USA.

Due to existence of this treaty, from the legal standpoint Trump behaved exactly as if he was asking Governor of NJ for help in investigation of Jon Corzine, or older Kushner for their misdeeds. So while ethically he was wrong, and it was politically suicidal to include Biden (who, being semi-senile is an ideal for Trump opponent on Dem side) along with legitimate request to provide information about Ukrainian actions of CrowdStrike during Russiagate, and, especially, servers that were used for this (from which probably fake Russian attack on DNC originated)

That blunder allowed Dems plotters to launch a very successful counterattack on his attempt to get to the origins of Russiagate.

But his action do have some legal ground: below is the quote from Bill Clinton to the Senate on November 10, 1999 Treaty Document 106-16 -106th

” 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. ”

Critics point out that  such action by Trump should be  proceed by submitting formal documents to Ukraian sive via regular diplomatic channels, which probably was not done; but Trump is Trump while the lack of follow-up  and attempt to substitute diplomatic channel with Giuliani team are regrettable, they reflect the situation under which Trump operates: the State Department is fully captured by neocons and is very anti-Trump. I suspect that the top layer of the Kiev embassy  (including  ambassador to Ukraine, Taylor, Volker and other high level officials)  were full participant in the color revolution against Trump from say one and played role with extracting dirt of Manafort from the Poroshenko government.  

steven t johnson 11.01.19 at 3:27 pm 64

likbez@42 doesn’t realize that the legal course was for the US Justice Department to draw up a list of requirements of the sort specified in the treaty. The US embassy in Kyiv would then relay the request to their counterparts. If and only if the request was denied would there be any occasion for presidents to discuss the matter, and only then would such discussion be legally mandated. What Trump did was press Zelensky for a public announcement of an investigate, or worse, to rig and investigation. It is the equivalent of the CIA planting a libel in the foreign press so that it can be “reported” as legitimate news in the US. There are legal and ethical issues with the President directing underlings to begin investigations of his opponents in the domestic sphere. They don’t disappear abroad. I don’t think there’s any doubt, except for Trump’s lawyers, the call was a campaign violation.

In short, what the OP sees as arrogant dismissal of science I see as desperation masked with bravado.

Orange Watch 11.01.19 at 3:34 pm @65


That treaty does not say what you want it to say. Very pointedly, it does not allow requesting states to compel the requestee to pursue new investigations. It is a treaty that would allow the requestor to request specific assistance with ongoing domestic investigations, but even then it spells out a formal process requiring explicit assistance requests – and pointedly, at no point does it allow the requestor to compel public statements by the requestee’s executive that they are pursuing such actions. Indeed, as the treaty explicitly excludes private citizens from making requests and lists political offenses as a category of offense that the requestee can deny assistance in pursuing, it looks like that treaty if anything would undermine your claims. Is there a specific American investigation into Burisma into crimes under American law being undertaken by the American federal gov’t? If so, then the treaty (which is described as a standard LE assistance treaty, not some extrodinary document) requires the US openly request specific aid in writing. Again, there is nothing in that treaty allowing a requestor to compel the other party to initiate investigations – and there is no reason for standard LE assistance to be pursued through verbal communication by the hands-off, rips-up-papers-after-reading-them American President.

OTOH, if your claim that this is the authority under which Trump made a totally legitimate request… someone needs to file a FOIA request, because per Article 4 there’s a paper trail:

1. A request for assistance shall be in writing except that the Central Authority of the Requested State may accept a request in another form in urgent situations. If the request is not in writing it shall be confirmed in writing within ten days unless the Central Authority of the Requested State agrees otherwise. The request shall be in the language of the Requested State unless otherwise agreed.

2. The request shall include the following:
(a) the name of the authority conducting the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding to which the request relates;
(b) a description of the nature and subject matter of the investigation, prosecution, or proceeding, and the applicable provisions of law for each offence;
(c) a description of the evidence, information, or other assistance sought; and
(d) a statement of the purpose for which the evidence, information, or other assistance is sought.
[3. is roughly ‘to the extent necessary and possible, specific information/persons sought, and/or a description of exactly what is being sought, to possibly include specific questions to be answered’]

I would LOVE to see a formal description of this fishing expedition’s scope, purpose, and anticipated deliverables.


Rick Perry role

Rick Perry looks in this story like a greedy neoliberal bastard.

Donald Trump reportedly told House Republicans that he made the July 25 phone call at the urging of Energy Secretary Rick Perry. According to Axios, Trump said something to the effect of “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to,” adding that “more of this will be coming out in the next few days,” referring to Perry.

The day before Trump tried to place Perry directly under the wheels of the Ukraine bus, reports circulated that the Energy secretary was planning to retire by the end of the year, but if he was thinking he was going to ride off into the sunse

On Thursday, House Democrats served Perry with a subpoena, demanding he turn over a series of documents related to his knowledge of Trump’s phone call. In addition to noting Trump’s claim that Perry was allegedly behind the call, the three House committees investigating the situation requested information about whether Perry tried to get the Ukrainian government to add Americans to the board of Naftogaz, the country’s state-owned oil and gas company. (Volodymyr Zelensky told the Kyiv Post on Thursday that Perry never asked him to dismiss the head of the company.)

The subpoena also asks for records and communications related to Zelensky’s May inauguration, which Perry attended; records concerning a host of meetings at the White House and abroad that Perry attended with senior Ukrainian officials; and all records regarding “proposed or actual transactions, investments, or projects relating to liquified natural gas (LNG) in Ukraine.”

Earlier this week, Perry said he had “asked the president multiple times” to speak with Zelensky, arguing that “it is in the United States’ and in Ukraine’s best interest that you and the president of Ukraine have conversations.”

 He acknowledged that he had made recommendations concerning Naftogaz, but only at the request of the Ukrainian government. The former Texas governor said that he’d discussed corruption generally with Zelensky, in an effort to make energy investment in Ukraine more attractive, but strenuously denied mentioning Joe or Hunter Biden. “Not once as God as my witness, not once was a Biden name—not the former vice president, not his son—ever mentioned,” Perry told the Christian Broadcasting Network.

On Wednesday night, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, “associates” of Giuliani’s, who reportedly had attempted to influence changes to the Naftogaz board, were arrested on conspiracy and campaign finance charges. The two men were picked up at Dulles International Airport where they were headed out of the country on one-way tickets to Vienna—where Giuliani was reportedly planning to travel tonight.


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