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Westlake Legal Group > corruption

BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse

Quick bit of breaking news just dropped.

About a month ago, IG Horowitz announced he had finished his report dealing with the Trump-Russia investigation, which most assumed would only cover possible FISA abuse. Now we are getting word it’s coming out this Friday.

Per the Washington Examiner.

“I’m hearing the IG report will be out this upcoming Friday, Oct. 18, and my sources say it’s as thick as a telephone book,” Bartiromo said, adding that it covers “more than just FISA abuse.”

It has been exactly one month since Horowitz announced the completion of the investigation by his team, who pored over more than 1 million records and conducted 100-plus interviews. The inspector general gave a draft to the Justice Department and FBI for a classification review.

Upon the completion of that process, the report will first be delivered to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has pledged to do a “deep dive” of his own into FISA that will run concurrently with U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the early stages of the Russia investigation. The South Carolina Republican said his “No. 1 goal” is to have as much of the report declassified as possible.

Yeah, I’m sure Democrats and former Obama officials are shaking at the thought of another Senate committee investigation.

The real news here is that it’s seemingly confirmed that it covers more than FISA abuse, which likely will end up a dead end anyway. No doubt Horowitz will cite some breaches of protocol or label the FISA warrants illegal, but I have strong suspicions the DOJ will claim they can’t prove intent.

We’ll have to wait and see where this goes. The smart money is on it not mattering much, being buried by the media, and nothing actually happening.

————————————————

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The post BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group bill-barr-smiling-300x153 BREAKING: DOJ IG Report Due Out Friday, Will Cover More Than FISA Abuse report Politics Obama ig horowitz Front Page Stories Front Page fox news FISA Featured Story elections donald trump doj democrats corruption comey brennan Allow Media Exception abuse   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

WHERE’S HUNTER? He Just Quit His Sweet Gig On The Board Of a Chinese Company

Westlake Legal Group 17329344-1af8-4a1f-8631-ab65d20076a0-1-300x153 WHERE’S HUNTER? He Just Quit His Sweet Gig On The Board Of a Chinese Company white house washington D.C. Ukraine Social Media progressives President Trump Patriotism News Morning Briefing Media Mainstream Media Liberal Elitism journalism Joe Biden International Affairs hunter biden Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story fake news Energy donald trump democrats corruption Constitution Conservatives collusion China Campaigns bloomberg Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2019

(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

President Trump asked “Where Is Hunter?” and now we know. He just stepped down from his cool board job with a Chinese equity firm.

According to Bloomberg

Hunter Biden is stepping down from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company and promising to forego all foreign work if his father, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020.

After months of keeping a relatively low-profile as President Donald Trump leveled a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations of corruption at him, the younger Biden is publicly vowing to avoid any conflict of interest.

According to a statement released on his behalf by his lawyer George Mesires, Biden said he’ll resign at the end of the month from the management company of a private equity fund that’s backed by Chinese state-owned entities. He also pledged that he wouldn’t work for any foreign-owned companies or serve on their boards during a potential Biden administration. He reiterated that he never discussed his business activities with his father.

Trump has been teeing off on Hunter and his business dealings with great success. If you have noticed the rivals for the Democratic nomination have been whimpering support for Biden while snickering in the background as Trump does their work for them.

Even for those that want to look at the bright side of things. Hunter Biden has absolutely been able to capitalize on his father’s political position. He was not the first but also not the last. Just the appearance of him having no experience and getting gigs on both Ukraine and Chinese companies scream of impropriety.

Is it fair? Probably not.

Has it been fair when the Trump kids have had the same done to them? Probably not.

Here is where my friends that are #NeverTrump seem to skip or be appalled at.

The Democrats have done this stuff for years. Stern editorials were written at the Weekly Standard and National Review on the practice of Democrats doing these things, yet it continued on. Candidates for all sorts of office on the left could virtually say that Republicans are trying to kill grandma and make sure you starve to death in old age. Talking heads would go on news shows and say how outrageous it was and the practice continued.

Trump has broken all the old rules and this is the clearest example of that.

He went DIRECTLY at Joe Bidens son.

He accused the Bidens of some shady dealings ( While there is no proof you sure as hell can make the case it looks shady) and he made it stick. While others in politics would have had their surrogates go out and do the dirty work, Trump says hold my non-alcoholic beer and goes and does it himself.

That is why his most ardent supporters love him.

Trump has probably wounded Biden so badly with this that even if Joe survives the primary he will be badly damaged for the general election. So if Biden does not make it Trump faces a weaker candidate nationally. If Joe does make it he gets to tee off on him 3 times on national stages for Presidential debates.

Either way with the rule book being re-written by Trump since he came down those escalators in 2015, the way that national politics is done has been forever changed.

Get used to it.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post WHERE’S HUNTER? He Just Quit His Sweet Gig On The Board Of a Chinese Company appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 17329344-1af8-4a1f-8631-ab65d20076a0-1-300x153 WHERE’S HUNTER? He Just Quit His Sweet Gig On The Board Of a Chinese Company white house washington D.C. Ukraine Social Media progressives President Trump Patriotism News Morning Briefing Media Mainstream Media Liberal Elitism journalism Joe Biden International Affairs hunter biden Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story fake news Energy donald trump democrats corruption Constitution Conservatives collusion China Campaigns bloomberg Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Here We Go, Rudy Giuliani is Under Investigation for Foreign Lobbying Disclosure Violations

Westlake Legal Group trump-giuliani-AP-620x338 Here We Go, Rudy Giuliani is Under Investigation for Foreign Lobbying Disclosure Violations william barr Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko Rudy Giuliani President Trumo pete sessions Marie Yovanovitch Mainstream Media Lev Parnas john durham Impeachment of President Trump Igor Fruman Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Congress Campaigns Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020   Nope, Not Gonna Do It

 

The New York Times reports that President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for foreign lobbying disclosure violations. The charges stem from his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who was recalled in May, two months earlier than scheduled.

U.S. law requires American citizens to disclose to the DOJ “any contacts with the government or media in the United States at the direction or request of foreign politicians or government officials, regardless of whether they pay for the representation.”

Sources told the New York Times that this is related to the Wednesday night arrests (for campaign finance violations) of the two Ukrainian-American men who had allegedly helped facilitate Giuliani’s investigation of the Bidens and Ms. Yovanovitch.

Giuliani has denied wrongdoing. He has openly discussed his efforts to investigate the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine and Ms. Yovanovitch’s efforts to undermine Trump in her capacity as the U.S. ambassador. He points out that he is the President’s attorney, and he works to defend his client.

When questioned by the Times, Giuliani said, “Look, you can try to contort anything into anything, but if they have any degree of objectivity or fairness, it would be kind of ridiculous to say I was doing it on [former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy] Lutsenko’s behalf when I was representing the President of the United States.”

Mr. Giuliani also told the Times he was unaware of any investigation into him, and “he defended the pressure campaign on Ukrainians, which he led, as legal and above board.” (This is not a direct quote from Giuliani, it is the Times’ version of what he said to them. I don’t believe Giuliani would characterize his actions as a “pressure campaign” on Ukrainians.)

Giuliani, who led the SDNY throughout much of the 1980s, has now become their target.

The Times’ piece can be viewed here. But, I must caution you, throughout the article, the writers leap to political conclusions that have not yet been established, which is to be expected from this newspaper.

For example, they write, “The associates were charged with funneling illegal contributions to a congressman whose help they sought in removing Ms. Yovanovitch.”

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman made contributions to multiple candidates and political action committees, one of which was a $20,000 donation to former Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R-TX) 2018 campaign. The Times portrays it as if this was their sole transaction. The men have merely been charged and while help in removing Ms. Yovanovitch may have been the motive behind this contribution, it has not been proven. Until then, it remains an allegation.

Knowing that House Democrats are now exploiting the recall of Ms. Yovanovitch in their impeachment inquiry, the authors have given this subject top billing in their article, when the main focus of Giuliani’s investigation was the Bidens.

They write, “Mr. Lutsenko had sought to relay the information he had collected on Mr. Trump’s targets to American law enforcement agencies and saw Mr. Giuliani as someone who could make that happen.” The inference was that Lutsenko was trying to violate a law by giving this information to the U.S. government.

The real wrongdoing was the measures taken by government officials to prevent the Attorney General from receiving this information. Lutsenko and Shokin had tried on numerous occasions to do so. Ms. Yovanovitch is alleged to have tried to impede their efforts. No one in the Jeff Sessions DOJ would acknowledge this material. Lutsenko and Shokin even hired a retired U.S. attorney to hand deliver it to the current U.S. attorney of the SDNY, Geoffrey Berman. Still, it was not acknowledged.

With the exception of Giuliani, no one has bothered to examine President Trump’s reasons for Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal. Rather, they’ve jumped to the conclusion that she was wrongly recalled from her post to further the President’s personal political goals. She is alleged to have discredited the President abroad, blocked both U.S. and Ukrainian government efforts to investigate the Bidens, and to have presented Lutsenko with a “do not prosecute” list among other things.

In her prepared opening statement for her testimony before House lawmakers on Friday, she said Lutsenko had retracted that accusation. I looked for such a retraction and found only a long, muddled, wildly spun explanation from ABC Go which ended with the following:

Around the same time, Lutsenko indicated in an interview with a Russian-language news outlet that his initial account of Yovanovitch giving him a “do-not-prosecute list” was not accurate.

I wrote about this here.

ABC gives us an approximate time (around the same time), they don’t name the news outlet and they say only that his statement was not accurate. How was it inaccurate? That is not a retraction. And this makes Ms. Yovanovitch’s statement that Lutsenko had retracted his accusation at the very least, misleading, or more likely, false information.

If Lutsenko had truly retracted his statement, we would have heard about it and not from a Russian-language news outlet. The truth is that many officials inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev were corrupt.

Finally, just as former FBI Director James Comey “served at the pleasure of the President” and could be removed for no reason at all, U.S. ambassadors “serve at the pleasure of the President.” If Trump wanted her removed because he didn’t like the way she looked at him, he could fire her. Yet Democrats are making this part of their impeachment inquiry. One Democrat recently called her ousting a “perversion of U.S. foreign policy.”

Democrats are employing the same tactics they used when they framed Trump for colluding with the Russians. Just as the deep state targeting Roger Stone and others in that investigation, they are now pursuing Rudy Giuliani. Same strategy, new names.

Next Friday, the DOJ Inspector General’s long-delayed report on FISA abuse is due to be released. Finally, Republicans will have some ammunition to fight back. The more comprehensive reports, those from Attorney General William Barr and Prosecutor John Durham, whose investigations have just expanded due to new evidence, may take some time.

The post Here We Go, Rudy Giuliani is Under Investigation for Foreign Lobbying Disclosure Violations appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group trump-giuliani-AP-300x164 Here We Go, Rudy Giuliani is Under Investigation for Foreign Lobbying Disclosure Violations william barr Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko Rudy Giuliani President Trumo pete sessions Marie Yovanovitch Mainstream Media Lev Parnas john durham Impeachment of President Trump Igor Fruman Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Congress Campaigns Barack Obama Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’

Westlake Legal Group stop_the_lies Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’ Ukraine U.S. Embassy in Ukraine President Trump Marie Yovanovitch Impeachment of President Trump George Kent Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

 

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was recalled in May, two months ahead of schedule. On Friday, she testified before Congress in what was called a “transcribed interview.” She was not put under oath, however, if she were to make any false or misleading statements, “the same penalties would attach.” The session was closed to the public.

If one were to read the mainstream media accounts of Yovanovitch’s testimony, one would think she handed House Democrats a new reason to impeach the President. One headline screams, “Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony on Trump cracks the wall of silence.” Another says, “Today’s testimony from Yovanovitch was a key moment in the Ukraine scandal.”

These media claims are based on her 10-page prepared opening statement, which can be viewed here.

She states that she was ousted from her position over “false and unfounded claims” and that the State Department was under pressure from President Trump to remove her. She wrote, “Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

In her statement, she lists events that occurred both before and after her tenure.

Then, she addresses events that occurred during her tenure. She writes:

I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption. As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a “do not prosecute” list is completely false—a story that Mr. Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.

This was news to me. In March, investigative reporter John Solomon interviewed Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. He told Solomon that there was tension in his relationship with most U.S. Embassy personnel. He said that, during the Obama era, Yovanovitch gave him a list of individuals “he would not be allowed to pursue and then refused to cooperate in an early investigation into the alleged misappropriation of U.S. aid in Ukraine.” This was the “do not prosecute” list which she refers to above. I have not heard that Lutsenko had retracted this allegation. In fact, Solomon referred to this only recently in a different article.

I searched for evidence that Lutsenko had retracted and finally found this in an ABC Go article.

Then, in a March interview with a conservative columnist at The Hill newspaper, Lutsenko offered a new explosive allegation against Yovanovitch: In their first meeting, Lutsenko alleged, the ambassador gave him a “do-not-prosecute list” — a list of Ukrainians that the Ukrainian government could not investigate.

Lutsenko also said he had opened an investigation into whether Ukrainian officials tried to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 presidential election by leaking a series of financial documents linking Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to corrupt proceeds. Lutsenko has since retracted some of his previous statements, particularly his claims about Biden.

Nevertheless, despite questions about Lutsenko’s credibility, Trump posted the reporting to his Twitter account within hours of it being published.

Victoria Toensing, an outspoken Trump ally who has worked with Giuliani and Parnas, also posted the reporting to her Twitter page, writing, “The real collusion began in Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.”

Five days later, the conservative columnist who published Lutsenko’s claims sent an email to Parnas and Toensing, forwarding them a preview of his upcoming report that would allege further political bias at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and offer new alleged details on the purported “do-not-prosecute list” that Lutsenko claimed Yovanovitch gave him.

The next day, the website Medium published a story by an unknown author named “Tony Sealy,” noting The Hill newspaper’s previous reporting and disclosing what it claimed was the purported “do-not-prosecute list.” But, according to internal emails described to ABC News, officials inside the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine almost immediately recognized it as “a totally manufactured, fake list” and a “classic disinfo play,” as one senior official wrote at the time.

“One key sign of it being fake is that most of the names are misspelled in English — we would never spell most that way,” a top diplomat at the embassy, George Kent, wrote. And the embassy could find no evidence that “Tony Sealy” even existed.

“This list appears to be an effort by Lutsenko to inoculate himself for why he did not pursue corrupt [former] associates and political allies,” Kent said, adding that Lutsenko wanted “to claim that the U.S. told him not to.”

“Complete poppycock,” Kent added.

Nevertheless, two weeks later, Giuliani went on Fox News to claim Mueller’s “phony investigation” stemmed from Yovanovitch.

Around the same time, Lutsenko indicated in an interview with a Russian-language news outlet that his initial account of Yovanovitch giving him a “do-not-prosecute list” was not accurate.

That explanation makes my head spin. They give us an approximate time, they don’t name the news outlet and they say only that his statement was not accurate. As Kent says, this is “complete poppycock.”

If Lutsenko had truly retracted his statement, we would have heard about it and not from a Russian-language news outlet. The truth is that many officials inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev were corrupt. They were in the tank for Hillary and now they have to cover their tracks. And this includes then-embassy Charge d’ Affaires George Kent.

Solomon wrote an informative article in March which addresses Kent’s corruption. (It can be viewed here.) I posted about his article at the time and here are some of the highlights.

Lutsenko provided Solomon with a copy of a letter from a U.S. official named George Kent, which can be viewed here, asking him “to stand down on the misappropriation-of-funds case.” The letter said, “We are gravely concerned about this investigation for which we see no basis.”

Solomon said that, several day later, “the State Department issued a statement declaring that it no longer financially supports Lutsenko’s office in its anti-corruption mission and considers his allegation about the do-not-prosecute list “an outright fabrication.”

In May 2018, then-House Rules Committee Chairman, Rep. Peter Sessions (R-TX) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him “to recall the current U.S. ambassador, alleging that she made disparaging statements about President Trump.” This letter can be viewed here.

Sessions wrote that Marie Yovanovich, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, “has spoken privately and repeatedly about her disdain for the current administration in a way that might call for the [her] expulsion.”

Solomon says that Lutsenko and Kulyk have been trying for a year to present their evidence to officials at the Sessions/Rosenstein led DOJ, however, not a single official they’ve contacted has shone any interest in pursuing the claims.

The men then decided to travel to the U.S. to speak with new Attorney General William Barr directly about their findings.

However, their attempts to obtain visas have been thwarted repeatedly by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a highly partisan Democrat. Kulyk told Solomon, “We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States. However, the [U.S.] ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

Here are a few more of her disclaimers:

* Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached.” That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else.

* Next, the Obama administration did not ask me to help the Clinton campaign or harm the Trump campaign, nor would I have taken any such steps if they had.

* I have never met Hunter Biden, nor have I had any direct or indirect conversations with him. And although I have met former Vice President Biden several times over the course of our many years in government, neither he nor the previous Administration ever, directly or indirectly, raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.

* With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him—a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr.Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.

* Finally, after being asked by the Department in early March to extend my tour until 2020, I was then abruptly told in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine “on the next plane.” You will understandably want to ask why my posting ended so suddenly. I wanted to learn that too, and I tried to find out. I met with the Deputy Secretary of State,

Yovanovitch’s prepared statement didn’t move the needle one way or the other. Naturally, she denies all allegations of wrong doing. We didn’t really expect her to fess up to everything at this point.

Although Yovanovitch was a creature of the deep state, she wasn’t a major player. She, and many like her, were facilitators. And they were necessary.

The post Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group stop_the_lies-300x300 Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’ Ukraine U.S. Embassy in Ukraine President Trump Marie Yovanovitch Impeachment of President Trump George Kent Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’

Westlake Legal Group stop_the_lies Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’ Ukraine U.S. Embassy in Ukraine President Trump Marie Yovanovitch Impeachment of President Trump George Kent Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats corruption Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power

 

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was recalled in May, two months ahead of schedule. On Friday, she testified before Congress in what was called a “transcribed interview.” She was not put under oath, however, if she were to make any false or misleading statements, “the same penalties would attach.” The session was closed to the public.

If one were to read the mainstream media accounts of Yovanovitch’s testimony, one would think she handed House Democrats a new reason to impeach the President. One headline screams, “Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony on Trump cracks the wall of silence.” Another says, “Today’s testimony from Yovanovitch was a key moment in the Ukraine scandal.”

These media claims are based on her 10-page prepared opening statement, which can be viewed here.

She states that she was ousted from her position over “false and unfounded claims” and that the State Department was under pressure from President Trump to remove her. She wrote, “Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

In her statement, she lists events that occurred both before and after her tenure.

Then, she addresses events that occurred during her tenure. She writes:

I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption. As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a “do not prosecute” list is completely false—a story that Mr. Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.

This was news to me. In March, investigative reporter John Solomon interviewed Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. He told Solomon that there was tension in his relationship with most U.S. Embassy personnel. He said that, during the Obama era, Yovanovitch gave him a list of individuals “he would not be allowed to pursue and then refused to cooperate in an early investigation into the alleged misappropriation of U.S. aid in Ukraine.” This was the “do not prosecute” list which she refers to above. I have not heard that Lutsenko had retracted this allegation. In fact, Solomon referred to this only recently in a different article.

I searched for evidence that Lutsenko had retracted and finally found this in an ABC Go article.

Then, in a March interview with a conservative columnist at The Hill newspaper, Lutsenko offered a new explosive allegation against Yovanovitch: In their first meeting, Lutsenko alleged, the ambassador gave him a “do-not-prosecute list” — a list of Ukrainians that the Ukrainian government could not investigate.

Lutsenko also said he had opened an investigation into whether Ukrainian officials tried to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 presidential election by leaking a series of financial documents linking Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to corrupt proceeds. Lutsenko has since retracted some of his previous statements, particularly his claims about Biden.

Nevertheless, despite questions about Lutsenko’s credibility, Trump posted the reporting to his Twitter account within hours of it being published.

Victoria Toensing, an outspoken Trump ally who has worked with Giuliani and Parnas, also posted the reporting to her Twitter page, writing, “The real collusion began in Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.”

Five days later, the conservative columnist who published Lutsenko’s claims sent an email to Parnas and Toensing, forwarding them a preview of his upcoming report that would allege further political bias at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and offer new alleged details on the purported “do-not-prosecute list” that Lutsenko claimed Yovanovitch gave him.

The next day, the website Medium published a story by an unknown author named “Tony Sealy,” noting The Hill newspaper’s previous reporting and disclosing what it claimed was the purported “do-not-prosecute list.” But, according to internal emails described to ABC News, officials inside the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine almost immediately recognized it as “a totally manufactured, fake list” and a “classic disinfo play,” as one senior official wrote at the time.

“One key sign of it being fake is that most of the names are misspelled in English — we would never spell most that way,” a top diplomat at the embassy, George Kent, wrote. And the embassy could find no evidence that “Tony Sealy” even existed.

“This list appears to be an effort by Lutsenko to inoculate himself for why he did not pursue corrupt [former] associates and political allies,” Kent said, adding that Lutsenko wanted “to claim that the U.S. told him not to.”

“Complete poppycock,” Kent added.

Nevertheless, two weeks later, Giuliani went on Fox News to claim Mueller’s “phony investigation” stemmed from Yovanovitch.

Around the same time, Lutsenko indicated in an interview with a Russian-language news outlet that his initial account of Yovanovitch giving him a “do-not-prosecute list” was not accurate.

That explanation makes my head spin. They give us an approximate time, they don’t name the news outlet and they say only that his statement was not accurate. As Kent says, this is “complete poppycock.”

If Lutsenko had truly retracted his statement, we would have heard about it and not from a Russian-language news outlet. The truth is that many officials inside the U.S. Embassy in Kiev were corrupt. They were in the tank for Hillary and now they have to cover their tracks. And this includes then-embassy Charge d’ Affaires George Kent.

Solomon wrote an informative article in March which addresses Kent’s corruption. (It can be viewed here.) I posted about his article at the time and here are some of the highlights.

Lutsenko provided Solomon with a copy of a letter from a U.S. official named George Kent, which can be viewed here, asking him “to stand down on the misappropriation-of-funds case.” The letter said, “We are gravely concerned about this investigation for which we see no basis.”

Solomon said that, several day later, “the State Department issued a statement declaring that it no longer financially supports Lutsenko’s office in its anti-corruption mission and considers his allegation about the do-not-prosecute list “an outright fabrication.”

In May 2018, then-House Rules Committee Chairman, Rep. Peter Sessions (R-TX) wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him “to recall the current U.S. ambassador, alleging that she made disparaging statements about President Trump.” This letter can be viewed here.

Sessions wrote that Marie Yovanovich, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, “has spoken privately and repeatedly about her disdain for the current administration in a way that might call for the [her] expulsion.”

Solomon says that Lutsenko and Kulyk have been trying for a year to present their evidence to officials at the Sessions/Rosenstein led DOJ, however, not a single official they’ve contacted has shone any interest in pursuing the claims.

The men then decided to travel to the U.S. to speak with new Attorney General William Barr directly about their findings.

However, their attempts to obtain visas have been thwarted repeatedly by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a highly partisan Democrat. Kulyk told Solomon, “We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States. However, the [U.S.] ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

Here are a few more of her disclaimers:

* Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached.” That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else.

* Next, the Obama administration did not ask me to help the Clinton campaign or harm the Trump campaign, nor would I have taken any such steps if they had.

* I have never met Hunter Biden, nor have I had any direct or indirect conversations with him. And although I have met former Vice President Biden several times over the course of our many years in government, neither he nor the previous Administration ever, directly or indirectly, raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.

* With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him—a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr.Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.

* Finally, after being asked by the Department in early March to extend my tour until 2020, I was then abruptly told in late April to come back to Washington from Ukraine “on the next plane.” You will understandably want to ask why my posting ended so suddenly. I wanted to learn that too, and I tried to find out. I met with the Deputy Secretary of State,

Yovanovitch’s prepared statement didn’t move the needle one way or the other. Naturally, she denies all allegations of wrong doing. We didn’t really expect her to fess up to everything at this point.

Although Yovanovitch was a creature of the deep state, she wasn’t a major player. She, and many like her, were facilitators. And they were necessary.

The post Ex-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Couldn’t Believe She’d Been Recalled; Claims were ‘False and Unfounded’ appeared first on RedState.

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Whistleblowers Start Coming out of the Woodwork; Take a Number, We’ll Get to you Shortly

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It looks like people are responding to former CIA Director John Brennan’s call to action.

Two Congressional sources have told The Daily Beast that additional whistleblowers have contacted the House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee. They report:

Congressional investigators are currently vetting the new accounts they’ve received for credibility. Accordingly, knowledgeable sources would not discuss where in the government these new would-be whistleblowers come from, nor what they purport to have to say.

It’s also unknown if their accounts are as significant as that of the intelligence whistleblower whose alarm over President Trump’s July 25 phone call sparked the impeachment probe. Investigators often encounter cranks as well as those with genuine knowledge of wrongdoing. Nor is it clear if these new ostensible whistleblowers have contacted any inspectors general, as the original two whistleblowers did.

Attorney Mark Zaid, who represents the first two whistleblowers, told The Daily Beast, “There are clearly numerous whistleblowers out there and many people who possess firsthand relevant information who could come forward, and I expect some will.”

For those of us who followed the senate confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, all of this is very predictable. Last fall, it seemed that a new witness came forward every day. And as time went on, the stories became more and more fantastic. One woman said that every month or so, Kavanaugh would throw a rape party. Another woman, who had been drinking heavily, vaguely remembers a man exposing himself to her at a college dorm party. It might have been Judge Kavanaugh. There were at least five or six of these completely bogus accusations made against him. All of which were lies.

I think it’s time for Adam Schiff to be investigated. I would be interested to read his communications, particularly around the time that the whistleblower was in touch with his staff. We need to determine what level of involvement Schiff had with this individual. Additionally, Schiff needs to be held accountable for his lie. In an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he was asked if he or any members of his staff had spoken to the whistleblower. He answered, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.” When his lie was revealed, Schiff “expressed regret.” Is that all a Democrat has to do when they’re caught in a lie? It would seem so.

Schiff told The Daily Beast he would not comment on “whether investigators had heard from additional whistleblowers. Schiff noted that his committee rarely acknowledges receiving whistleblower complaints because “people can reverse-engineer who whistleblowers are” given an abundance of identifying information.” Always looking out for the little guy.

Okay, so let’s brace ourselves for the long line of partisans we’ll be hearing from over the next several weeks.

And when in the world will the FISA report be released?

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More on Whistleblowing: Twists and Turns

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters about the release by the White House of a transcript of a call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump is said to have pushed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

Whistle-blowing is all the rage these days; just ask your average Democrat, including those who infest the legacy media. This latest Ukraine gambit, they say, is “sure” to get “Orange Man Bad” once and for all. I don’t think so, as the story continues to evince red flags nearly every day. Here are a few tidbits – some well-known, some more obscure. How were the seeds of this Ukraine complainant sowed? Daniel Greenfield exposes the root cause as – no surprise! – an Obama-era policy change. It was aimed at Romney but snared President Trump:

Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive 19 opened the door by expanding whistleblowing protection to members of the “intelligence community” and other personnel handling classified information. But PPD19 was never really meant to help the likes of Manning and Snowden. Instead it was part of a larger pattern of politicizing national security organizations that led directly to the current crisis.

Both the Russians and the Democrats understood that whistleblowers were a strategic vulnerability. Whistleblowers were seen as sympathetic underdogs who were trying to do the right thing. That was the perfect camouflage for an enemy agent or the agent of a police state. Astroturfing, the practice of manufacturing grass roots efforts and building causes around individual protesters, like Greta Thunberg or David Hogg, had moved into the national security infrastructure before going off like a bomb. The real purpose of PPD19 was to aid Obama loyalists is undermining a Romney administration.

[Whistleblower protections] are not meant to allow an anonymous government employee to assist in a partisan campaign to remove the President of the United States as part of a ploy orchestrated by the opposition party. That is a breathtaking abuse that will damage whistleblower protections indefinitely. The Obama administration and its allies have tried to turn government agencies into bear traps, seeking to retain control of policymaking through a network of lefty loyalists in agencies and activist judges in the courts, and, beyond that, to force out Trump appointees and to even force out President Trump.

Read the rest here.

But PPD19 apparently wasn’t good enough for the Deep State, particularly after President Trump beat Shrillary, and the “resistance” was off to the races looking for ways to impeach him. They resorted to other measures, including changing the whistleblower disclosure form. As many have previously reported, the disclosure form was modified to permit use of second-hand information such that any allegation deemed “credible” could be used to target someone for policy differences or even personal reasons. That form was approved by the current IC IG, and we have subsequently learned that the new form was backdated to enable the Ukraine complaint and that the IC IG refused to explain why in testimony before the House Intel Committee last week:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist. As … the Intelligence Community Inspector General confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12.

Read the rest here.

You think that the Ukraine hit-job was a one-off and don’t think the Democrats have weaponized whistleblowers across the federal government? Check out this Mark Zaid tweet from June 2018, as they are no longer hiding their actions. Whistleblowers are just the latest extension of the Democrats’ lawfare practices!

https://mobile.twitter.com/MarkSZaidEsq/status/1009900750116442112

Returning to Ukraine, any reasonable person might suspect that the complaint was a set-up from the beginning but, of course, there are more red flags:

  • There was no firsthand evidence used at all in the complaint.
  • The complainant was found to have a “professional association” with a 2020 Democrat candidate.
  • The declassified and released phone transcript summary between Presidents Trump and Zelenskiiy thoroughly debunked the complaint.
  • President Zelenskiiy and several US diplomats (including Kurt Volker, the recently-resigned US envoy to Ukraine in testimony in closed-door hearings) confirmed that there was no US pressure applied on Ukraine for anything.
  • Shifty received the complaint weeks before it was formally lodged and then lied about those contacts, and either he, his staff, or outside counsel appeared to have coordinated with and provided advice to the complainant. Many have remarked that the complaint itself was more of a legal brief than something a normal whistleblower would have submitted.
  • Contrary to established House rules, the Democrats did not share the complaint information with the Republicans on the House Intel committee when it was received.
  • We just learned, as reported by RedState’s own Elizabeth Vaughn, that the Ukrainians had reinitiated an investigation into Burisma Holdings months before that presidential phone call, thus pulling the rug out from under another Democrat talking point that @POTUS strong-armed Zelenskiiy to “investigate the Bidens.”
  • The Democrats are running their impeachment “inquiry,” which heavily features abuse of power allegations stemming from the false Ukraine complaint, on an exclusively partisan basis without any Republican involvement.
  • The “whistleblower” apparently wrote a memo that contradicted his later complaint and was inconsistent with the contents of the actual presidential phone call. Refer to Nick Arama’s piece here.
  • The “whistleblower’s” attorney, Charles McCullough (the former Obama-appointed IC IG!!), worked directly for James Clapper. “Partisan witch hunt coordination we much” (a play on Al Sharpton’s ridiculous “Resist we much” statement). McCullough is the likely author of the complaint itself!
  • The Democrats selectively leaked parts of former Ambassador Kurt Volker’s testimony to the HPSCI but refused to make the entire testimony public.
  • I like the 11 facts presented by John Nolte that early on undermined the Ukraine complaint.

As if those weren’t enough reasons to question the veracity of the complaint, a left-wing journalist who is no friend of POTUS weighs in with his own skepticism and some points from out in left field:

  • The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn’t sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn’t wipe its ass with a real whistleblower. Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.
  • The common thread in whistleblower stories is loneliness. Typically, the employer has direct control over their ability to pursue another job in their profession. Many end up reviled as traitors, thieves, and liars. Actual whistleblowers are alone. The Ukraine complaint seems to be the work of a group of people, supported by significant institutional power, not only in the intel community, but in the Democrat Party and the commercial press.

Read the rest here. [Note: While Taibbi implies they are “heroes,” Snowden and Manning should have been hung for what they disclosed.]

To briefly summarize before proceeding further:

  • The Obama regime laid the groundwork for enabling the Ukraine complaint with PPD19.
  • The whistleblower disclosure form was changed specifically to permit a deluge of “whistleblowers” against Trump.
  • Real WBs were required to submit their complaints previously via internal processes within their own agency (confirmed by a long-time IC representative).
  • This whole thing was a Deep State cabal/Democrat set-up and conspiracy, as being revealed on a daily if not hourly basis. The goal is/was to serve as the basis for impeaching POTUS.
  • The Ukraine hoax is being debunked further debunked with each passing day.

It should be readily apparent that, after over two years of incessant hoaxes and lies being perpetrated on Americans by Democrats in Congress and the media and their allies in the Deep State, we are headed for a civil war in this country if these people are not held accountable – and harshly so! – for their actions.

The Democrats are attempting to nullify a presidential election and also turn America into a one-party totalitarian socialist/communist state using authoritarianism to control political speech and stifle opposing viewpoints. Their crackpot socialist economic and social policies will require a totalitarian communist dictatorship to force it all down our throats. The sedition perpetrators associated with the Russia and Ukraine hoaxes now deserve not just long jail terms, but firing squads. These criminals are hell-bent on destroying the US for their singular goal of obtaining total and complete power over all three branches of the federal government, and to make up the rules, the laws, and reinvent the Constitution as they please to suit their purposes.

The Ukraine hoax has smoked them all out; we see their spinning, lies, and outright panic daily as we listen to their public statements and cable news interviews. Everything we hold dear in this country – especially the rule of law and its equal application to all Americans – is riding on a full exposure of the Ukraine hoax. This includes all of its tentacles leading to the Democrat Party, Deep State, and their Uniparty partners in the Republican Party like the Romneys and McCains.

May the Barr/Durham investigation lead to the arrest and prosecution of all the perpetrators, no matter how high or how low! And may the Deep State be gutted and bureaucratic norms restored across the federal government to at least a semblance of non-political even-handedness, especially to include correcting the Obama-instigated whistleblower statute changes while they’re at it.

The end.

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Whistleblower, Whose Complaint has all but Unraveled, Seeks to Answer Lawmakers Questions in Writing Rather than in Person

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(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

 

Citing “people who are familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reports that the whistleblower, whose complaint sparked the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, really doesn’t feel comfortable about testifying before Congress in person. His or her attorneys have asked lawmakers if their client might instead answer questions in writing. So far, there has been no response.

The source said the whistleblower’s attorneys fear that Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee would leak their client’s identity. Republicans can be so untrustworthy.

Several ideas have been tossed around about how to protect the whistleblower’s anonymity such as having him or her “appear remotely and using technology like voice modulation software to conceal his identity.”

Other ideas involve the use of secure rooms called Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, or SCIFs. The source said that “while those rooms are available on Capitol Hill, appearing there likely would pose additional challenges to protecting the whistleblower’s anonymity given the number of people, especially reporters, in the halls of Congress. One alternative that has been discussed is using a SCIF at an executive branch agency, people familiar with the matter said.”

A former congressional intelligence official who worked on whistleblower issues told the Journal that he “could recall no precedent for such steps” because “there had never been a whistleblower complaint as high-profile as” this one.

The Democrats’ mollycoddling of the whistleblower stands in sharp contrast to their Stalinesque treatment of the President. This is BS. When an individual tries to bring down a sitting President of the United States, throwing the government into turmoil, the least they can do is appear in person.

Moreover, the whistleblower’s complaint is on life support. Many of the whistleblower’s claims and the interpretations spun by eager liberal commentators have been discredited.

First, we were told there were eight references to Biden during President Trump’s July 25th conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Turns out there were three.

Next, the media breathlessly reported that a ‘promise’ had been made, there was a quid pro quo. There was no promise, no quid pro quo.

The document also claimed that “by mid-May, U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker sought to “contain the damage” from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s outreach to Ukraine.” Text messages from Volker to Giuliani have since shown that to be false. Even ABC News has acknowledged this. They reported, “The State Department has confirmed that Volker put Giuliani in touch with Zelensky adviser Andriy Yermak at Yermak’s request.”

The whistleblower claimed that White House officials were so shocked by the call that it was stored on a special, separate server. It turned out that the use of this server has become common practice in the Trump administration for a valid reason. Early in his presidency, the contents of Trump’s conversations with leaders from Mexico and Australia were leaked to the media.

Then, we heard that the whistleblower had been in touch with Adam Schiff’s staff members before the complaint was submitted.

Until yesterday, the most stunning detail we’d heard was The Federalist’s Sean Davis’ report that only days before the complaint was filed, the intelligence community had quietly eliminated the “requirement that whistleblower complaints contain only direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing allegations.” This change allowed the whistleblower to file a complaint based on hearsay information.

On Thursday, we learned that the whistleblower likely worked with Biden during his vice presidency. A retired CIA officer told The Washington Examiner, “From everything we know about the whistleblower and his work in the executive branch then, there is absolutely no doubt he would have been working with Biden when he was vice president.” The Examiner reported:

As an experienced CIA official on the NSC with the deep knowledge of Ukraine that he demonstrated in his complaint, it is probable that the whistleblower briefed Biden and likely that he accompanied him on Air Force Two during at least one of the six visits the 2020 candidate made to the country.

A former Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said Biden’s work on foreign affairs brought him into close proximity with the whistleblower either at the CIA or when he was detailed to the White House.

“This person, after working with Biden, may feel defensive towards him because he feels [Biden] is being falsely attacked. Maybe he is even talking to Biden’s staff,” the former official said. “Maybe it is innocent, maybe not.”

It’s obvious to all that the impeachment inquiry is based on a political dirty trick. And we no longer need to concern ourselves with maintaining the whistleblower’s anonymity. In fact, his identity should be revealed. He should answer questions in front of the American people and face the President whom he is accusing.

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Informal Trump advisor: China gave me some information on Hunter Biden last week

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The nice thing about soliciting foreign governments to investigate your would-be election opponent in full view of cameras on the White House lawn is that you only need to do it once. Never again does Trump need to repeat that request behind closed doors or send an emissary like Rudy Giuliani on his behalf. If you’re Beijing and you’re looking to soften up Trump’s position on the trade war or other global matters, you know what to do.

In fact, after reading this Financial Times story, I thought back to how quiet Trump has been about the NBA kerfuffle this week and about Hong Kong generally. A reporter specifically asked him last night if he was okay with the Chinese government pressuring the NBA over Hong Kong. That’s between them, said the president of the United States. Did he pass on criticizing China because, let’s face it, he’s an authoritarian by instinct himself and would love to have the power to silence corporate critics through economic pressure? Or did he pass on criticizing China because they’ve been cooperative lately in investigating corruption by family members of certain former U.S. officials?

Michael Pillsbury is an “informal” advisor to Trump on China, a trade hawk in the mold of Peter Navarro. He was in Beijing last week. Guess what subject came up.

“I got a quite a bit of background on Hunter Biden from the Chinese,” [Michael] Pillsbury told the Financial Times…

“I tried to bring up the topic in Beijing,” Mr Pillsbury told the [Fox Business channel]. “I’ve never seen them get so secretive in my entire life. They would discuss ICBM warheads sooner than talk about what Hunter Biden was doing in China with [former] vice-president Biden.”…

Mr Pillsbury declined to say whether he was asked to raise the issue by the president. The White House did not respond to a request for comment…

Asked to provide details about the information he received from his Chinese contacts, Mr Pillsbury would only say that it related to a $1.5bn payment from the Bank of China. That figure matches the amount that Mr Trump last week claimed Hunter Biden received from China — a statement that has not been backed up with any evidence.

Trump mentioned the sum of $1.5 billion last week in connection with Hunter Biden and China but it’s unclear where he got that number. The NYT notes that $1.5 billion happens to be the amount that a Chinese private equity firm was trying to raise in 2014; Hunter Biden sits on the board of that firm and owns 10 percent of it. The Bank of China is its biggest shareholder. The theory, I guess, is that the Chinese government is or was laundering bribes to Hunter Biden disguised as returns on investment in the firm, presumably to buy influence with his dad. But there’s no evidence of that. Did Pillsbury get some or is he just trying to mess with Joe Biden’s head in chattering about information on Hunter?

Either way, it’s an … interesting strategy to tell the media that a foreign state is giving you “background” on Biden’s son after the president encouraged that state to investigate him when Democrats are on the verge of impeaching Trump for exactly that offense in another context. Marco Rubio has taken to saying lately that Trump calling on China to investigate the Bidens was “inappropriate” but that ultimately it’s no big deal because it wasn’t a “real proposal,” just a bit of presidential trolling to bait the media. Now that he knows that Pillsbury has actually received information about Hunter Biden from China — and is being coy about whether the president himself asked him to raise the issue — does Marco want to revisit his opinion?

Here’s something else on the wires today. It’s not directly related to Ukraine but consider the substance of what Trump’s being accused of here.

President Donald Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Rudy Giuliani, according to three people familiar with the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office.

Tillerson refused, arguing it would constitute interference in an ongoing investigation of the trader, Reza Zarrab, according to the people. They said other participants in the Oval Office were shocked by the request.

Tillerson immediately repeated his objections to then-chief of staff John Kelly in a hallway conversation just outside the Oval Office, emphasizing that the request would be illegal.

A high government official attempts to use the power of his office to disrupt a criminal investigation as a personal favor to the target of that investigation. That’s what Joe Biden is accused of in Ukraine — in Trump’s telling, he pressured the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor probing corruption at Burisma because he was afraid the probe might eventually reach Hunter Biden. Meanwhile, according to this Bloomberg story, Trump asked his chief diplomat to pressure prosecutors at the Justice Department into dropping a probe into Rudy Giuliani’s friend. In each case the goal is to spare a crony from legal consequences simply because he has a connection to the White House.

Is that going to end up tacked onto the Democrats’ articles of impeachment? If nothing else, “Trump did exactly what he accused Biden of doing” is a good talking point for them.

Exit question: Does China want Trump reelected next year? The easiest counterargument to the Pillsbury story is that it makes no sense that they would be trying to help Trump defeat Biden. Of the two, Trump is by far the bigger China hawk. Trump’s the one who’s damaged their economy with a protracted trade war. If anything, China might be inclined to offer Biden dirt on Trump, right?

I don’t know. Trump is certainly more of a threat economically than a Democrat would be, but arguably he’s less of a threat militarily than Democrats are. He’s telegraphed repeatedly via his outreach to North Korea and Iran how reluctant he is to go to war, preferring diplomacy even with the world’s worst rogue regimes. And he’s waaaaaaaay less of a believer in international alliances than virtually every prominent Democrat is. One of the reasons Obama pursued TPP at the end of his presidency was because he thought a trade alliance between the U.S. and China’s neighbords in the Far East would work to contain China’s regional influence. Trump left TPP. And he’s talked before about withdrawing U.S. troops from Japan and the Korean peninsula. And he’s made his disdain for NATO, America’s most significant military alliance, repeatedly clear. A second term for Trump might mean a protracted trade war with the U.S. but it might also see American withdrawal from various theaters — including the Far East — which would give China a freer hand to operate militarily in Hong Kong and Taiwan, among other places.

And maybe the trade war won’t be protracted. China understands that Trump is under pressure to end it sooner rather than later to spare American manufacturing and agriculture any more grief. Odds are no worse than fair that Trump will make a bad deal sometime next year to end the standoff purely in the interest of being able to tout the end of tariffmania on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, there’s no guarantee that a Democratic president wouldn’t continue the trade war if elected. Elizabeth Warren is a populist too and a skeptic of free trade, remember. And often policies passed by one administration have a certain inertia in persisting in succeeding administrations, even when they’re managed by the other party. (The words “Afghanistan” and “ObamaCare” come to mind.) China may believe that it’ll meet more hostility on balance from a Democratic president than it will from Trump, particularly if it earns his good favor by lending him a hand quietly in his reelection effort.

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Ukrainian MP Reports Biden Received $900K from Burisma for Lobbying Activities; Update: Solomon Disagrees

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenSunglassesAPimage-620x317 Ukrainian MP Reports Biden Received $900K from Burisma for Lobbying Activities; Update: Solomon Disagrees Ukraine Rudy Giuliani Mykola Zlochevsky MP Andriy Derkach John Solomon Joe Biden Impeachment of President Trump hunter biden Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats corruption Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden pays for his order at a Krispy Kreme following a campaign town hall on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Spartanburg, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

 

A Ukrainian member of parliament held a press conference on Wednesday at Interfax-Ukraine’s press center in Kiev and made a rather startling announcement.

MP Andriy Derkach told reporters that former Vice President Joe Biden had received $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company founded and owned by Mykola Zlochevsky. The notation on the funds transfer allegedly said, “for consultative services.”

Derkach revealed documents which “describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden, Sr.” He said:

This was the transfer of Burisma Group’s funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services.

Rosemont Seneca Partners is the company owned by Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer. It’s inaccurate to say it is affiliated with Biden.

According to the Interfax release, Derkach also announced funds that had been transferred to others, specifically the former vice president’s son, Hunter Biden.

According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014].

Using political and economic levelers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group.

Biden’s fifth visit to Kyiv on December 7-8, 2015 was devoted to making a decision on the resignation of [then Ukrainian Prosecutor General] Viktor Shokin over the case of Zlochevsky and Burisma. Loan guarantees worth $1 billion that the United States was to give to Ukraine was the point of pressure. Biden himself admitted exerting pressure in his speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018, calling Shokin ‘son of a bitch who was fired.’

The timeline of events proves that the U.S. linked the Zlochevsky case to loan guarantees.

After the decree dismissing Shokin was published on April 3, 2016, the governments of the United States and Ukraine signed a loan guarantee agreement worth $1 billion, several months later, on June 3.

In this case, there are facts should be subject to investigation. There is an agency that has powers to investigate them; the U.S. Department of Justice. If the Ukrainian Prosecutor General signs documents and send them to U.S. Department of Justice without any requests, he will accomplish his mission.

Considering international corruption in public is a way-out for President Zelensky. I am certain that he is not involved in international corruption.

Derkach told reporters he is creating a “parliamentary investigative commission and has already requested launching a criminal case against Ukrainian officials into interference into U.S. elections.” He also stated that a court hearing was scheduled for October 21st.

Ukraine is well-known for its corruption and it’s naive to take anything one hears from their media and even members of the Ukrainian government at face value.

It sounds rather incredible that Joe Biden himself would become involved in such a shady deal. He is on tape threatening to withhold U.S. aid unless Shokin was fired. We have evidence of that. Biden denies he wanted Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin fired because he was about to question his son. Rather, he claims that Shokin was corrupt.

But accepting funds from a foreign corporation, or any corporation, sounds a little over the top, especially given the tremendous risks associated with it. Would Biden gamble his reputation and his future on a payment of $900,000? It seems unlikely.

On the other hand, why would a member of parliament make a completely unwarranted accusation against a former U.S. Vice President?

In the meantime, Rudy Giuliani discussed this story on “Hannity” last night. Predictably, he appeared to find the accusation to be somewhat credible. Here’s what he told Sean:

Let me tell you who Mykola Zlochevsky is. He’s a major oligarch. He stole $5 billion from his people. He very suspiciously was allowed to come back [to Ukraine]. His case got dismissed when they dismissed Hunter Biden’s case [involving Burisma]…He the one who paid the $16.5 million and the $900,000…It wasn’t $16.5, it was more like $8 million to the Biden group. This guy’s one of the major criminals in the Ukraine and he’s now walking around free because Joe Biden got the case dismissed.

This gentleman has said that this information should be turned over to the Justice Department. And for their own purposes, they should investigate it. I’m going to tell you why Sean. Because they suspect that the President of the Ukraine received a very major bribe in order to tank this case.

I’m not saying Biden was involved in that bribe, but it was the only thing he wasn’t involved in.

This case stinks. They can run away from it all they want.

UPDATE:  10/10/2019 at 12:00:  Investigative reporter John Solomon disagrees.

Watch the video. (Relevant segment starts at 26:00.)

The post Ukrainian MP Reports Biden Received $900K from Burisma for Lobbying Activities; Update: Solomon Disagrees appeared first on RedState.

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