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Westlake Legal Group > Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates

In Impeachment Trial, Geography Dictates Politics

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-assess1-facebookJumbo In Impeachment Trial, Geography Dictates Politics United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Putin, Vladimir V Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment

WASHINGTON — When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a curse-laden tirade to a reporter on Friday, asked, “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” he was getting at an essential element of President Trump’s defense in the impeachment trial. White House officials are convinced that Americans are indifferent to what happens in the struggling former Soviet republic, and they may well be right.

But the impeachment trial is about more than the fate of Ukraine — and whether Mr. Trump sold it out for a “domestic political errand,” as his former adviser, Fiona Hill, put it so bitingly. To Democrats, it’s about a president who undercut his own administration’s stated goal of pushing back hard against Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia — the geopolitical challenge of a new, very different Cold War.

It is one of those cases where the geography of the debate shapes the politics of the argument.

As long as the president’s lawyers can focus the debate on the narrower question of Ukraine, they can argue that the charges against the president focus on a foreign policy sideshow: how the president uses the spigot of American aid and attention to mold another country’s behavior.

“They basically said, ‘Let’s cancel an election over a meeting with the Ukraine,’” Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, said on Saturday, characterizing the Democrats’ arguments as he opened the president’s defense. Mr. Cipollone made the case that the Democrats are seeking to undo Mr. Trump’s 2016 victory or fear that they cannot beat him in 2020.

Yet the defense team’s characterizations about Ukraine are also designed to make the impeachment charges appear to be on a fundamentally trivial affair, surrounding the treatment of a faraway country that, as Mr. Pompeo suggests, most people could not find on a map stripped of country names. (He challenged the NPR reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, to identify Ukraine, and she reported that she did.)

That is precisely why the man leading the Democrats’ prosecution of the case, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, focused so relentlessly on Russia last week.

Mr. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, understands that Russia resonates in a way that Ukraine never can. His argument revives questions of whether Mr. Putin has some strange, still unexplained control over the American president — which is why Mr. Schiff played the cringe-worthy tape of Mr. Trump’s news conference with Mr. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, in summer 2018. In his public statements, Mr. Trump appeared to adopt the Russian leader’s self-interested theory that someone else was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers in the last presidential election.

“It’s a breathtaking success of Russian intelligence,” Mr. Schiff said. “This is the most incredible propaganda coup,” he continued, because “it’s not just that the president of the United States standing next to Vladimir Putin is reading the Kremlin talking points. He won’t read his own national security staff talking points.”

Cast that way, this is no argument over the history of American aid to Kyiv. It is part of a battle over Russia’s use of Ukraine as a petri dish in disruption — the place where Mr. Putin has experimented with seizing territory, undermining a hostile government and conducting cyberattacks that literally turned off the lights.

And it is an argument over Mr. Putin’s efforts to manipulate the 2020 election, at a moment when even Mr. Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security says the Russians are already testing new techniques. By demanding that the new president of Ukraine investigate Joseph R. Biden Jr., the former vice president and a political opponent of Mr. Trump, and reviving theories that the Democratic National Committee’s server is somewhere in Ukraine, Mr. Trump was essentially joining that manipulation effort, Mr. Schiff was saying.

“The threat that he will continue to abuse his power and cause grave harm to the nation,’’ Mr. Schiff said of the president, “is not hypothetical.”

In less partisan times — say, when a presidential election does not loom — Mr. Schiff’s argument might strike a political chord, chiefly because it is the Republicans who, until recently, have been particularly hawkish about Mr. Putin’s Russia.

It is easy to forget now, but when Mr. Trump tried to water down sanctions on Russia two years ago, his own party pushed back so hard that new penalties for Moscow passed 98 to 2. (In one of the strange twists of history, one of the two opposing votes was cast by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who is a leading contender to take on Mr. Trump in November.) In the House, the measure passed 419 to 3. Angry, Mr. Trump signed the bill, knowing any veto would be overturned.

But the politics of impeachment are different than the politics of sanctions. So it is no surprise that, as the Republicans focus on Ukraine and the Democrats focus on Russia, both are bending the facts to fit their case.

Mr. Pompeo, for example, has been known to pause his episodic blasts at State Department correspondents to make the legitimate point that it was the Trump administration that gave powerful anti-tank weapons — called Javelins — to Ukrainian forces, a step that President Barack Obama refused.

The issue came up this weekend, as Jay Sekulow accused the Democrats of keeping that fact out of their 23 hours of arguments. “Javelin missiles are serious weapons,” Mr. Sekulow, the president’s personal lawyer, reminded the senators at the trial on Saturday. He quoted the testimony of the two previous top American diplomats in Ukraine, including Marie L. Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her post last year, in one of the events at the center of the impeachment charges.

The Javelin decision is the best piece of evidence that the Republicans have at hand that Mr. Trump has been willing to stand up to Mr. Putin. Almost everything else cuts the other way, leaving little doubt that in twisting the arm of the new Ukrainian government, Mr. Trump was not only pursuing his own political interests but also helping Mr. Putin’s.

Even before he was elected, Mr. Trump wondered aloud why the United States was helping Ukraine fight off the Russians. It made no sense, he argued in a March 2016 interview on foreign policy, his first extended discussion of his worldview as a candidate.

“Now I’m all for Ukraine, I have friends that live in Ukraine,” Mr. Trump said during the interview at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida golf resort. He complained that when the Obama administration moved to sanction Russia for its annexation of Crimea and “was getting very confrontational, it didn’t seem to me like anyone else cared other than us.”

He added: “Even their neighbors didn’t seem to be talking about it. And, you know, you look at Germany, you look at other countries, and they didn’t seem to be very much involved.”

In fact, they were very involved and continue to provide aid to Ukraine to prop up its democracy and its economy while often complaining about rampant corruption. But in the interview, Mr. Trump made no mention of corruption; instead, he lumped Ukraine in with the many other examples he cited of nations that the United States supports while other countries freeload.

The release over the weekend of a recording of Mr. Trump at a dinner in 2018 makes clear that the president understood early in his term that unless aid continued to Ukraine, it could be easily overrun.

“How long would they last in a fight with Russia?” Mr. Trump asked at the dinner.

“I don’t think very long,” said Lev Parnas, the Soviet émigré who worked for Rudolph W. Giuliani in pressuring Ukraine. “Without us, not very long.”

What’s missing from the record of Mr. Trump’s manipulation of the aid to Ukraine last summer is any indication that he sought an assessment from the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies or his own National Security Council over whether suspending American help could, in fact, lead to the downfall of the government.

And that, in the end, may be the most telling fact of all.

If nothing else, what Americans learned from watching the impeachment trial over the past week is that Mr. Trump regarded the conduct of foreign policy the way he has regarded any other policy: a chess move toward re-election rather than geopolitical advantage for the United States. Otherwise, there would be conversations weighing the benefits of restricting aid against the harm to American interests in countering the power of Russia.

There is anecdotal evidence that many around Mr. Trump did in fact push back — including Mr. Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, and the C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel. Their arguments were ignored until a whistle-blower’s complaint made clear that the suspension of aid to Ukraine was about to become public.

So far, not one has testified as part of the impeachment process or spoken publicly about what they told Mr. Trump about the potential consequences of his domestic political errand. It is a silence that speaks as loudly as the arguments made in the Senate.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tape Made Public of Trump Discussing Ukraine With Donors

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-tape-facebookJumbo Tape Made Public of Trump Discussing Ukraine With Donors Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Trump International Hotel (Washington, DC) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Parnas, Lev Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor

WASHINGTON — For an hour one evening in 2018, President Trump sat around a table in a private room in his Washington hotel with a group of donors, including two men at the center of the impeachment inquiry, talking about golf, trade, politics — and removing the United States ambassador to Ukraine.

The conversation, captured on a recording made public Saturday, contradicted Mr. Trump’s repeated statements that he does not know the two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who went on to work with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to carry out a pressure campaign on Ukraine.

The hourlong recording — a video shot on Mr. Fruman’s phone during the dinner in April 2018 — confirmed Mr. Parnas’s account of having raised with Mr. Trump criticisms of the ambassador to Kyiv at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, and the president’s immediate order that Ms. Yovanovitch should be removed from the post.

“Get rid of her,” Mr. Trump can be heard responding.

The recording was made public by Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, hours after the president’s lawyers began presenting their defense in the impeachment trial and as Democrats looked for leverage to persuade Republicans to support their calls to expand the inquiry by calling new witnesses.

Mr. Bondy said it was being released in “an effort to provide clarity to the American people and the Senate as to the need to conduct a fair trial, with witnesses and evidence.”

In the recording, Mr. Parnas, who is the more talkative of the two, broached an energy deal the two were pursuing in Ukraine, and then went on to discuss several themes that became central to the pressure campaign. He claimed that Ms. Yovanovitch had been disparaging Mr. Trump, that the Ukrainians “were supporting the Clintons all these years” and even mentions in passing the family of the former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The recording does not appear to introduce substantive new information about the effort to oust Ms. Yovanovitch.

But it does seem to shed light on the origins of Mr. Trump’s interest in the issue, and to foreshadow his administration’s withholding of military assistance from the country as part of the pressure campaign. It hints at the motivations of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who had come to believe that Ms. Yovanovitch was opposed to their business plans in Ukraine, where they had tried to break into the natural gas market, according to associates of the two men, both of whom are Soviet-born American citizens.

And it provides a glimpse of something rarely seen: top-tier political donors getting a chance in an intimate setting to share their views with the president and press their agendas with him.

Democrats are seeking Mr. Trump’s removal from office on the grounds that he abused his power pressing Ukraine to investigate targets of the president, including Mr. Biden and his family. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman worked closely with Mr. Giuliani in seeking information and making contacts in Ukraine in support of the effort.

For most of the recording, the camera is pointed at the ceiling. But in its early moments it shows Mr. Trump as he enters the private room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on April 30, 2018.

The existence, and some of the conversation in the recording, was first reported by ABC News on Friday.

In the full recording released on Saturday, Mr. Parnas can be heard telling Mr. Trump that he and Mr. Fruman “are in the process of purchasing an energy company in Ukraine right now.”

Mr. Trump responds “How’s Ukraine doing?” then quickly adds “don’t answer,” prompting laughter in the room.

After some conversation about Ukraine’s war with its hostile neighbor, Russia, and its efforts to establish energy security, Mr. Trump asked, “How long would they last in a fight with Russia?”

“I don’t think very long,” Mr. Parnas responded. “Without us, not very long.”

Mr. Parnas continued by saying that “the biggest problem is corruption there,” and later added Ms. Yovanovitch, though not by name, to a list of issues Mr. Trump should address in Ukraine.

“The biggest problem there, I think, where we, where you, need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador,” he said. “She’s basically walking around telling everybody, ‘Wait, he’s gonna get impeached, just wait.’”

Mr. Trump asked for the ambassador’s name. Mr. Parnas said, “I don’t remember.” Mr. Trump then said: “Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. O.K.? Do it.”

Those comments were directed at one of Mr. Trump’s aides who was in the room at the time, Mr. Parnas has previously said. There was some laughter in the room at his remarks.

Ms. Yovanovitch remained in her job for another year after Mr. Trump’s remarks until she was recalled on the White House’s orders, according to testimony in the impeachment inquiry. It is not clear whether the president changed his mind, forgot about his order or was talked out of dismissing her.

At the beginning of the video, the person holding it walks around the private suite filming chatter between the guests, who include Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson and namesake of the legendary golfer, and Barry Zekelman, a Canadian billionaire whose business is mostly in the United States.

At one point, Mr. Fruman is warned by the voice of someone who appears to be an organizer “some people may not want their pictures taken. Just be aware of that.”

Later, Mr. Trump tells attendees, “This is all sort of, like, off the record, right?”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tape Made Public of Trump Discussing Ukraine With Donors

Westlake Legal Group 25dc-tape-facebookJumbo Tape Made Public of Trump Discussing Ukraine With Donors Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Trump International Hotel (Washington, DC) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Parnas, Lev Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor

WASHINGTON — For an hour one evening in 2018, President Trump sat around a table in a private room in his Washington hotel with a group of donors, including two men at the center of the impeachment inquiry, talking about golf, trade, politics — and removing the United States ambassador to Ukraine.

The conversation, captured on a recording made public Saturday, contradicted Mr. Trump’s repeated statements that he does not know the two men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who went on to work with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to carry out a pressure campaign on Ukraine.

The hourlong recording — a video shot on Mr. Fruman’s phone during the dinner in April 2018 — confirmed Mr. Parnas’s account of having raised with Mr. Trump criticisms of the ambassador to Kyiv at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, and the president’s immediate order that Ms. Yovanovitch should be removed from the post.

“Get rid of her,” Mr. Trump can be heard responding.

The recording was made public by Mr. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph A. Bondy, hours after the president’s lawyers began presenting their defense in the impeachment trial and as Democrats looked for leverage to persuade Republicans to support their calls to expand the inquiry by calling new witnesses.

Mr. Bondy said it was being released in “an effort to provide clarity to the American people and the Senate as to the need to conduct a fair trial, with witnesses and evidence.”

In the recording, Mr. Parnas, who is the more talkative of the two, broached an energy deal the two were pursuing in Ukraine, and then went on to discuss several themes that became central to the pressure campaign. He claimed that Ms. Yovanovitch had been disparaging Mr. Trump, that the Ukrainians “were supporting the Clintons all these years” and even mentions in passing the family of the former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The recording does not appear to introduce substantive new information about the effort to oust Ms. Yovanovitch.

But it does seem to shed light on the origins of Mr. Trump’s interest in the issue, and to foreshadow his administration’s withholding of military assistance from the country as part of the pressure campaign. It hints at the motivations of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who had come to believe that Ms. Yovanovitch was opposed to their business plans in Ukraine, where they had tried to break into the natural gas market, according to associates of the two men, both of whom are Soviet-born American citizens.

And it provides a glimpse of something rarely seen: top-tier political donors getting a chance in an intimate setting to share their views with the president and press their agendas with him.

Democrats are seeking Mr. Trump’s removal from office on the grounds that he abused his power pressing Ukraine to investigate targets of the president, including Mr. Biden and his family. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman worked closely with Mr. Giuliani in seeking information and making contacts in Ukraine in support of the effort.

For most of the recording, the camera is pointed at the ceiling. But in its early moments it shows Mr. Trump as he enters the private room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on April 30, 2018.

The existence, and some of the conversation in the recording, was first reported by ABC News on Friday.

In the full recording released on Saturday, Mr. Parnas can be heard telling Mr. Trump that he and Mr. Fruman “are in the process of purchasing an energy company in Ukraine right now.”

Mr. Trump responds “How’s Ukraine doing?” then quickly adds “don’t answer,” prompting laughter in the room.

After some conversation about Ukraine’s war with its hostile neighbor, Russia, and its efforts to establish energy security, Mr. Trump asked, “How long would they last in a fight with Russia?”

“I don’t think very long,” Mr. Parnas responded. “Without us, not very long.”

Mr. Parnas continued by saying that “the biggest problem is corruption there,” and later added Ms. Yovanovitch, though not by name, to list of issues Mr. Trump should address in Ukraine.

“The biggest problem there, I think, where we, where you, need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador,” he said. “She’s basically walking around telling everybody, ‘Wait, he’s gonna get impeached, just wait.’”

Mr. Trump asked for the ambassador’s name. Mr. Parnas said, “I don’t remember.” Mr. Trump then said: “Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. O.K.? Do it.”

Those comments were directed at one of Mr. Trump’s aides who was in the room at the time, Mr. Parnas has previously said. There was some laughter in the room at his remarks.

Ms. Yovanovitch remained in her job for another year after Mr. Trump’s remarks until she was recalled on the White House’s orders, according to testimony in the impeachment inquiry. It is not clear whether the president changed his mind, forgot about his order or was talked out of dismissing her.

At the beginning of the video, the person holding it walks around the private suite filming chatter between the guests, who include Jack Nicklaus III, the grandson and namesake of the legendary golfer, and Barry Zekelman, a Canadian billionaire whose business is mostly in the United States.

At one point, Mr. Fruman is warned by the voice of someone who appears to be an organizer “some people may not want their pictures taken. Just be aware of that.”

Later, Mr. Trump tells attendees, “This is all sort of, like, off the record, right?”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Emotional Schiff Speech Goes Viral, Delighting the Left and Enraging the Right

WASHINGTON — Senator James M. Inhofe, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, has made clear that he intends to vote to acquit President Trump. But after Representative Adam B. Schiff’s fiery speech Thursday night calling for the president’s removal, Mr. Inhofe felt compelled to give his fellow lawmaker some grudging respect.

“I have to say this,” Mr. Inhofe told reporters Friday morning in the Capitol. “Schiff is very, very effective.”

Mr. Schiff, a California Democrat who steered the impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump and is the lead prosecutor in his Senate trial, has long been a hero to the left and a villain to the right. But never has he aroused as much passion as he has during his closing arguments in the president’s impeachment trial.

First, there was Thursday’s declaration that “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country,” and then on Friday, he invoked a news report that Republican senators had been warned that their heads would be “on a pike” if they voted against Mr. Trump.

On Friday morning, the phrase #RightMatters — from the last line of Mr. Schiff’s Thursday speech — was trending as a hashtag on Twitter. The Daily Beast declared that the remarks “will go down in history.” Ryan Knight, a progressive activist, called it “a closing statement for the ages.” Video of the speech quickly went viral. Liberals lavished him with praise.

“I am in tears,” wrote Debra Messing, the “Will & Grace” actress and outspoken Trump critic. “Thank you Chairman Schiff for fighting for our country.”

Republicans had precisely the opposite reaction. Many view Mr. Schiff, 59, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, as a slick and self-righteous political operator intent on undoing the results of the 2016 election — or preventing Mr. Trump from winning in 2020. In the Senate, Republicans took particular umbrage at his declaration that they could not trust the president.

“I don’t trust Adam Schiff,” Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, shot back.

On Fox News, Mr. Schiff was filleted. “Amateur Thespian Schiff Tries Out Some New Lines,” TV monitors broadcasting the network declared Thursday, as the host Tucker Carlson mocked the congressman, calling him a “wild-eyed conspiracy nut.”

And if Mr. Schiff had made any inroads with Republicans in the Senate chamber, he may have undercut them on Friday with his “head on a pike” remark, drawn from an anonymously sourced CBS News report. Mr. Schiff used it to liken Mr. Trump to a monarch, but the implication was that Republicans were terrified of crossing him.

“The whole room was visibly upset on our side,” said Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, “and it’s sad, it’s insulting and demeaning to everyone to say that we somehow live in fear and that the president has threatened all of us to put our head on the pike.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group 24dc-schiff-2-articleLarge Emotional Schiff Speech Goes Viral, Delighting the Left and Enraging the Right Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates House of Representatives

Mr. Schiff took a risk in telling senators they must convict and remove President Trump because “you know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country.”Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

A Stanford- and Harvard-educated lawyer, Mr. Schiff is drawing on skills he honed as a young federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. He first drew national attention in 1990 by winning the conviction of an F.B.I. agent who became romantically entangled with a Russian spy, and was accused of selling government secrets in exchange for promises of gold and cash.

Prosecutors said Mr. Schiff took a risk in his bald declaration Thursday night that the president could not be trusted because Republicans in the chamber, almost all of whom support Mr. Trump, would see the criticism as implicitly directed at them.

“When you make an argument like that, you better be sure that your entire audience is with you,” said James G. McGovern, a criminal defense lawyer at Hogan Lovells in New York and a former prosecutor.

Multiple Republicans said afterward that they had not at all been moved by Mr. Schiff. “It seems to me their case is weaker today than it was yesterday,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3 Senate Republican.

But Anne Milgram, a former attorney general of New Jersey and now a law professor at New York University, described Mr. Schiff’s sharp criticism of Mr. Trump as a “wise calculation,” because unlike a regular jury trial, Mr. Schiff does not need a unanimous verdict. The argument was aimed, she said, at the four or so moderate Republicans whose votes Democrats will need to call witnesses at the trial.

Regardless of the risk, it was clear on both sides of the aisle — and to experienced prosecutors who watched — that after a long day of complicated and sometimes monotonous testimony, Mr. Schiff’s oratory broke through. Mr. Schiff apparently thought so himself. He posted the last eight minutes, the most dramatic part of his speech, on Twitter Thursday night, and by Friday evening it had been viewed 5.9 million times.

“Sometimes when Schiff steps to the mic I think he’s a little scripted,” Ms. Milgram said. “I did not feel that last night. I thought it was the most authentic I have seen him. He sort of crossed into another level.”

Mr. Schiff opened by carefully leading the Senate through the House’s case that the president abused his office by trying to enlist Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, weaving in bits and pieces of testimony and commentary along the way. He then turned to his Senate audience and stated what he believes to be the obvious: Mr. Trump is guilty.

“Do we really have any doubt about the facts here?” Mr. Schiff asked. “Does anybody really question whether the president is capable of what he’s charged with? No one is really making the argument Donald Trump would never do such a thing, because of course we know that he would, and of course we know that he did.”

Video

transcript

‘He Is a Dictator’: Democrats Finish Opening Arguments

The House impeachment managers completed their opening arguments in the Senate trial of President Trump.

“Do you think for a moment that any of you, no matter what your relationship with this president, no matter how close you are to this president — do you think for a moment that if he felt it was in his interest, he wouldn’t ask you to be investigated? Do you think for a moment that he wouldn’t? And if somewhere deep down below you realize that he would — you cannot leave a man like that in office when he has violated the Constitution.” “This is a determination by President Trump that he wants to be all-powerful. He does not have to respect the Congress. He does not have to respect the representatives of the people. Only his will goes. He is a dictator. This must not stand. And that is why — another reason he must be removed from office.” “You don’t realize how important character is in the highest office in the land until you don’t have it, until you have a president willing to use his power to coerce an ally to help him cheat, to investigate one of our fellow citizens, one of our fellow citizens. Yes, he’s running for president. He’s still a U.S. citizen. He’s still a U.S. citizen. And he deserves better than that.” “Although senior Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr, were reportedly made aware of the concerns about corrupt activity, no investigation into President Trump’s wrongdoing was even opened by the Department of Justice.” “In an effort to conceal the whistleblower’s concerns, the White House and the Department of Justice took an unprecedented step. No administration had ever intervened in such

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167723709_90cf40fa-e9a6-419a-bd52-db9469eaf0e3-videoSixteenByNine3000 Emotional Schiff Speech Goes Viral, Delighting the Left and Enraging the Right Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates House of Representatives

The House impeachment managers completed their opening arguments in the Senate trial of President Trump.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

But that, Mr. Schiff said, led to the most critical question of all: “Does he really need to be removed?” The answer was yes, Mr. Schiff said, then offered a situation in which the Russians interfered in the 2020 election to help Mr. Trump, just as they did in 2016.

“Can you have the least bit of confidence that Donald Trump will stand up to them and protect our national interest over his own personal interest?” Mr. Schiff said. “You know you can’t, which makes him dangerous to this country.’’

In the Capitol, Mr. Schiff is ordinarily serious, composed and in control. But as he moved toward his closing comments, he grew visibly emotional as he recalled the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the White House national security aide and Ukrainian immigrant who testified in impeachment hearings before Congress and helped Democrats build their case.

Colonel Vindman, who fled the former Soviet Union with his family when he was 3, testified that he felt deeply uncomfortable with a telephone call Mr. Trump had on July 25 with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, when Mr. Trump asked the Ukrainian leader to “do us a favor” and investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Schiff recalled how Colonel Vindman told lawmakers that unlike in the former Soviet Union, “right matters” in the United States.

“Well, let me tell you something,” Mr. Schiff went on, his forefinger jabbing the air for emphasis. “If right doesn’t matter, if right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn’t matter how brilliant the framers were. Doesn’t matter how good or bad our advocacy in this trial is.” If “right doesn’t matter,” he concluded, “we’re lost.”

Michael D. Shear and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

Trump on Trial is a continuing series of articles offering reporting, analysis and impressions of the Senate impeachment proceedings.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Branding Trump a Danger, Democrats Cap the Case for His Removal

WASHINGTON — The House impeachment managers concluded their arguments against President Trump on Friday with a forceful plea for the Senate to call witnesses, while portraying his pressure campaign on Ukraine as part of a dangerous pattern of Russian appeasement that demanded his removal from office.

Ending their three-day presentation in the Senate, the president’s Democratic prosecutors summoned the ghosts of the Cold War and the realities of geopolitical tensions with Russia to argue that Mr. Trump’s abuse of power had slowly shredded delicate foreign alliances to suit his own interests.

“This is Trump first, not America first, not American ideals first,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager. “And the result has been, and will continue to be, grave harm to our nation if this chamber does not stand up and say this is wrong.”

Hours later, as his time ticked down, Mr. Schiff sought to appeal to the consciences of Republican senators weighing whether to hear from witnesses and seek more documents that Mr. Trump suppressed from House investigators.

“I ask you — I implore you,” Mr. Schiff said. “Give America a fair trial. She’s worth it.”

But at one point, Mr. Schiff’s fiery final oration appeared to alienate the very Republicans he was attempting to win over. When he referred to an anonymously sourced news report that Republican senators had been warned that their heads would be “on a pike” if they voted against Mr. Trump, several of them vigorously shook their heads and broke the trial’s sworn silence to say “not true.”

“I hope it’s not true,” Mr. Schiff responded, pressing his point.

Mr. Schiff and the six other managers prosecuting the president spent much of Friday tying up the facts of the second charge, obstruction of Congress, and arguing that Mr. Trump’s attempts to shut down a congressional inquiry into his actions toward Ukraine was unprecedented and undermined the very ability of the government to correct itself.

“He is a dictator,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. “This must not stand.”

But even as the managers pulled together their complex case, the Republican-controlled Senate appeared unmoved — not just on the question of whether to acquit Mr. Trump, which it is expected to do, but also on the crucial question of compelling witnesses and documents that the president has suppressed.

“We have heard plenty,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3 Senate Republican.

He said that many in his party had quickly soured on the soaring appeals by House Democrats to repudiate Mr. Trump’s behavior. As day turned to evening on the fourth full day of the trial, many senators unaccustomed to long hours in the Capitol appeared to have simply been numbed by the House managers, and were anticipating the president’s defense, set to begin Saturday.

They were presented with three days of often vivid narrative and painstaking legal arguments that Mr. Trump sought foreign interference in the 2020 election on his own behalf, by using vital military aid and a White House meeting as leverage to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Yet the pool of moderate Republican senators that had expressed openness to joining Democrats in insisting on witnesses or new documents appeared to be dwindling, not growing.

Comments by Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska suggested that they may have cooled to the idea, although Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah gave no indication that they had shifted.

Still, Ms. Collins was among those shaking her head when Mr. Schiff referred to the purported threat against Republican defectors, as he portrayed Mr. Trump as a tyrant bent on intimidating would-be critics.

“‘Head on a pike,’ that’s where he lost me,” Ms. Murkowski said afterward, clarifying that she meant in the speech, not necessarily on votes for witnesses. “I thought he did fine until he overreached.”

Throughout Friday, inside and outside the chamber, the House managers and Democratic senators worked in tandem to appeal to their consciences, hinting strongly at the political stakes if they failed to press for a more thorough airing of the charges against the president.

“We’ve made the argument forcefully, the American people have made the argument forcefully that they want the truth,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “Will four Republican senators — just four — rise to the occasion, do their duty to the Constitution, to their country to seek the truth?”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167720496_e41957fe-74dc-4276-a2ff-bbe9bc7711db-articleLarge Branding Trump a Danger, Democrats Cap the Case for His Removal Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates House of Representatives

“It was clear who was the chief cook and bottle washer in this whole horrible scheme, this whole evil scheme: Mick Mulvaney,” Mr. Schumer said before the proceedings got underway.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

They got an unexpected lift early in the day when a 2018 recording surfaced of Mr. Trump appearing to order the firing of Marie L. Yovanovitch, then the United States ambassador to Ukraine. The recording was first reported by ABC News and later handed over to the House by Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.

The recording appeared to confirm earlier claims by Mr. Parnas that he had told Mr. Trump about rumors that Ms. Yovanovitch was not loyal to him. The House’s impeachment inquiry concluded that the ambassador was ultimately removed in 2019 as part of Mr. Trump’s attempt to strong-arm Ukraine to announce investigations of his political adversaries.

“Get rid of her,” Mr. Trump can be heard to say, according to ABC. “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care.”

Without an agreement to take new testimony or subpoena documents relevant to the case, Mr. Trump may be headed toward a historically speedy acquittal in as little as a week from now, before the Iowa caucuses or his planned State of the Union address. That would make the third impeachment trial of a president in American history the shortest.

Mr. Trump’s defense team plans to open its arguments on Saturday, though senators were expected to meet for only an abbreviated, two- to three-hour session before adjourning the trial until Monday afternoon.

Mr. Trump was not pleased about the schedule, writing Friday morning on Twitter that his team had been “forced” to start on a Saturday, a time “called Death Valley in T.V.” He also turned around Democrats’ accusation, declaring that “the Impeachment Hoax is interfering with the 2020 Election,” not him.

Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, said his team would treat the weekend session like a “trailer,” providing an overview of their case for acquittal while holding back until Monday the president’s more television-friendly lawyers, the former independent counsel Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz.

Democrats used almost every one of the 24 hours afforded to them by senators to make their case, determined to persuade American voters watching at home who will cast ballots in just 10 months, if not senators.

On Wednesday, Mr. Schiff and each of the managers took turns introducing the facts of the case in narrative form, unfolding the tale of Mr. Trump’s alleged misconduct chapter by chapter. Beginning with the abrupt removal of Ms. Yovanovitch, they said that Mr. Trump empowered first Mr. Giuliani and then American officials to push Ukraine to announce investigations of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats, before himself asking that country’s leader to “do us a favor.”

When the Ukrainians resisted, they added, he withheld a coveted White House meeting and almost $400 million in military aid the fledgling democracy badly needed to fend off a menacing Russia. And when Congress found out, he undertook an across-the-board campaign to block officials from testifying or producing records that would reveal the scheme.

On Thursday, Mr. Nadler lectured extensively on the constitutional and historical standards for impeachment, setting the stage for the managers to methodically argue that Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine constituted an impeachable abuse of power that warrants his removal from office.

Mr. Schiff completed that case on Friday, directly engaging the national security implications of Mr. Trump’s actions as he argued that the president was a serial offender in seeking foreign help for his own political benefit, allowing himself to be used as a tool of Moscow’s agenda in the process. As a candidate, Mr. Trump welcomed Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to help him win the White House, Mr. Schiff noted, and then as president, he repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusions of American intelligence agencies about that interference. Later, Mr. Trump said outright that he would welcome foreign campaign assistance again.

The California Democrat played a video of the news conference in Helsinki, Finland, where Mr. Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and accepted his denial that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.

“That’s one hell of a Russian intelligence coup,” Mr. Schiff said. “They got the president of the United States to provide cover for their own interference with our election.”

At another point, Mr. Schiff showed a clip of Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who was an outspoken champion of Ukraine and Russia hawk, promoting the benefits of bipartisan American support for Kyiv to contain Russia and its anti-democratic agenda.

The move appeared to be a subtle effort to appeal to Republican senators, many of whom respected Mr. McCain and share his strongly anti-Russia stance, to place those values above their loyalty to the president.

As the managers moved on to the obstruction of Congress charge, they contended that Mr. Trump’s blockade of evidence was far more pernicious than the kind of partisan squabbles that are typical between Congress and the White House.

Even Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard M. Nixon, they said, had produced documents to the investigations that would threaten them with impeachment. Mr. Trump’s administration had not handed over a single page, declaring for the first time an across the board objection to House subpoenas.

Trying to head off Mr. Trump’s defense team, which argues that the president was lawfully protecting the interests of the executive branch from a politically motivated House, the managers pointed out that he never actually invoked executive privilege, the legal mechanism afforded to presidents.

“Only one person in the world has the power to issue an order to the entire executive branch,” said Representatives Val B. Demings, Democrat of Florida. “And President Trump used that power not to faithfully execute the law, but to order agencies and employees of the executive branch to conceal evidence of his misconduct.”

Reporting was contributed by Maggie Haberman, Carl Hulse, Catie Edmondson, Michael D. Shear and Emily Cochrane.

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Now Testifying for the Prosecution: President Trump

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WASHINGTON — The House managers prosecuting President Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors have failed so far to persuade Senate Republicans to let them call new witnesses in his impeachment trial. But in their own way, they have come up with a star witness they can bring to the floor: Mr. Trump himself.

Barred at this point from presenting live testimony, the managers have offered up the president as the most damning witness against himself, turning his own words against him by quoting from his public remarks, citing accounts of private discussions and showing video clips of him making audacious statements that the House team argues validate its case.

Thanks to screens set up in front of the senators, Mr. Trump’s voice has repeatedly echoed through the Senate chamber the past three days. There he was on the South Lawn of the White House publicly calling on Ukraine to investigate a campaign rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. There he was calling on China to go after Mr. Biden, too. There he was declaring that he would willingly take foreign help to win an election. And there he was back in 2016 calling on Russia, “if you’re listening,” to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email.

The strategy seeks to capitalize on Mr. Trump’s astonishingly unfiltered approach to politics, which has led him again and again to say openly what other presidents with more of an understanding of the traditional red lines of Washington — or at least more of an instinct for political self-preservation — would never say in front of a camera.

In effect, the managers are challenging the president’s own penchant for announcing his motivations without apparent regard for whether it could get him into trouble. At the same time, the managers are challenging the senators to take Mr. Trump at his word about what really drove him to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Mr. Biden and other Democrats.

While Mr. Trump’s lawyers have argued that he was legitimately concerned with corruption in Ukraine when he held up nearly $400 million in security aid to that former Soviet republic, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California and the other House Democrats on the managers team have pointed to the president’s own words to contend that he cared only about tarnishing his domestic rivals.

In his presentation on Thursday, Mr. Schiff played about a half-dozen video clips of Mr. Trump, including one of the president on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 3 speaking with reporters who asked him what he was hoping to get Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to do when they talked by telephone on July 25.

“Well, I would think if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens,” the senators saw Mr. Trump saying.

“So here we hear again from the president’s own words what his primary object is,” Mr. Schiff then told the senators, “and his primary object is helping his re-election campaign, help to cheat in his re-election campaign.”

Mr. Schiff said Mr. Trump’s own words made clear that he learned nothing from the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. “He was at it again,” Mr. Schiff said, “unrepentant, undeterred, if anything emboldened by escaping accountability from his invitation and willful use of Russian hacked materials in the last election.”

Under the trial rules, the president’s lawyers have had no chance to respond to their client’s star turn on the Senate floor over the last two days, but they are poised to open their own arguments on Saturday. In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s team has been left to defend him in the hallways during breaks.

“You’re only hearing one side of the story here,” said Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, one of a squadron of House Republicans enlisted by the president to serve as an adjunct of his defense team, working the cameras outside the chamber rather than the senators inside.

Mr. Johnson said it was wrong to contend that Mr. Trump was not concerned about corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere around the world. “Of course he was,” Mr. Johnson told reporters. “He’s been talking about it as a central theme of his campaign before he was president. When he ran on the priority of America first, that’s what he meant. He wanted to make sure that American taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”

Mr. Trump is not the only person who has been presented to the Senate via video clips during the prosecution arguments, but even the other witnesses against him were largely drawn from his own team. Many of them testified during House hearings last fall about their concerns over the president and his allies pressuring Ukraine for help with his domestic politics.

Among the prosecution’s key witnesses are officials appointed by the Trump administration itself, including Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union; Kurt D. Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine; Fiona Hill, the president’s former Europe and Russia adviser, and her successor, Tim Morrison; Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director; Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff; William B. Taylor Jr., the former top diplomat in Ukraine; and Thomas P. Bossert, the former White House homeland security adviser.

Others brought electronically into the chamber over the last three days include career public servants like Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine; Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a National Security Council staff member; and State Department officials like George Kent and David Holmes.

“Why did President Trump’s own officials — not so-called Never Trumpers, but public servants — report this in real time?” Mr. Schiff asked, referring to the mixing of politics with Ukraine policy. “Because they knew it was wrong.”

Indeed, the managers used Mr. Trump’s own appointees to rebut his assertion that he was right to push Ukraine to investigate its own supposed interference in the 2016 presidential election, a conspiracy theory that American intelligence agencies have called a Russian disinformation operation. The managers showed clips of Mr. Wray, Mr. Bossert and Dr. Hill all debunking the theory.

But the most compelling voice in the chamber this week has been that of the president himself. In his three years in office, Washington has learned that when it wants to understand what Mr. Trump is doing or thinking, he will most likely spell it out in bracingly candid terms in front of a microphone or on Twitter — and not always follow the official party line offered by his aides.

That uninhibited style appeals to supporters who love that he does not hew to standard talking points, but it can make him a frustrating client for lawyers who would prefer he be more circumspect at the very least. Either way, it makes his statements more important in judging him. Which is presumably one reason his legal team has resisted Mr. Trump’s suggestions that perhaps he should attend the trial and testify himself.

Absent that, there will be the television clips and quotes from the rough transcript of his call with Mr. Zelensky and recollections of people like Mr. Sondland.

Mr. Schiff played one clip after the other that he said exposed Mr. Trump’s true intentions. In one, Mr. Trump told reporters: “There was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us. We want to get to the bottom of it.

When the clip was shown, Mr. Schiff focused on the “us” in Mr. Trump’s comment: “What does that president say? Corruption against us. He is not concerned about actual corruption cases, only matters that affect him personally.”

But the managers had it easy the last couple of days with exclusive access to the microphone and the screens on the Senate floor, and unchallenged by either the White House legal team or the senators. On Saturday, the president’s lawyers will have their chance to explain what Mr. Trump meant and provide the other side of the story, one that will interpret his words in a far different light than Mr. Schiff. Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s lawyers, told reporters during a break on Thursday that the managers had presented nothing new and hardly proved their case.

“I saw nothing that has changed in the last day and a half, two and a half days, we’ve been going here,” he said. “We’re going to begin a robust case when the Senate says it’s time to start.”

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Barr Once Contradicted Trump’s Claim That Abuse of Power Is Not Impeachable

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WASHINGTON — Scholars have roundly rejected a central argument of President Trump’s lawyers that abuse of power is not by itself an impeachable offense. But it turns out that another important legal figure has contradicted that idea: Mr. Trump’s attorney general and close ally, William P. Barr.

In summer 2018, when he was still in private practice, Mr. Barr wrote a confidential memo for the Justice Department and Mr. Trump’s legal team to help the president get out of a problem. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was pressuring him to answer questions about whether he had illegally impeded the Russia investigation.

Mr. Trump should not talk to investigators about his actions as president, even under a subpoena, Mr. Barr wrote in his 19-page memo, which became public during his confirmation. Mr. Barr based his advice on a sweeping theory of executive power under which obstruction of justice laws do not apply to presidents, even if they misuse their authority over the Justice Department to block investigations into themselves or their associates for corrupt reasons.

But Mr. Barr tempered his theory with a reassurance. Even without the possibility of criminal penalties, he wrote, a check is in place on presidents who abuse their discretionary powers — impeachment.

The fact that the president “is ultimately subject to the judgment of Congress through the impeachment process means that the president is not the judge in his own cause,” he wrote.

He added, “The remedy of impeachment demonstrates that the president remains accountable under law for his misdeeds in office,” quoting from a 1982 Supreme Court case.

Mr. Barr has long embraced a maximalist philosophy of executive power. But in espousing the view that abuse of power can be an impeachable offense, he put himself squarely in the mainstream of legal thinking. Most constitutional scholars broadly agree that the constitutional term “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which an official may be impeached includes abuse of power.

But in a 110-page brief on Monday, Mr. Trump’s impeachment team — led by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel and a former aide to Mr. Barr in the first Bush administration, and Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow — portrayed the article of impeachment claiming that Mr. Trump abused his power in the Ukraine affair as unconstitutional because he was not accused of an ordinary crime.

“House Democrats’ novel conception of ‘abuse of power’ as a supposedly impeachable offense is constitutionally defective,” they wrote. “It supplants the framers’ standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ with a made-up theory that the president can be impeached and removed from office under an amorphous and undefined standard of ‘abuse of power.’”

Contrary to what Mr. Barr wrote 20 months ago, the Trump defense team also insisted that the framers did not want Congress to judge whether presidents abused their discretion and made decisions based on improper motives.

“House Democrats’ conception of ‘abuse of power’ is especially dangerous because it rests on the even more radical claim that a president can be impeached and removed from office solely for doing something he is allowed to do, if he did it for the ‘wrong’ subjective reasons,” the Trump team wrote.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr declined to comment. A spokesman for Mr. Trump’s impeachment defense team did not respond to a request for comment about the tensions.

But Mr. Barr’s view was no passing thought. His 2018 memo emphasized that presidents who misuse their authority by acting with an improper motive are politically accountable, not just in elections but also via impeachment.

Between elections, “the people’s representatives stand watch and have the tools to oversee, discipline, and, if they deem appropriate, remove the president from office,” he wrote. “Under the framers’ plan, the determination whether the president is making decisions based on ‘improper’ motives or whether he is ‘faithfully’ discharging his responsibilities is left to the people, through the election process, and the Congress, through the impeachment process.”

The result of Mr. Barr’s main argument in 2018 and the Trump team’s theory in 2020 is identical: Both posited that facts were immaterial, both in a way that was convenient to counter the threat Mr. Trump faced at that moment.

If Mr. Barr’s obstruction of justice theory is correct — and many legal scholars reject it — then Mr. Mueller had no basis to scrutinize Mr. Trump’s actions that interfered with the Russia investigation.

Similarly, if the Trump impeachment team’s theory is correct, the Senate has no basis to subpoena documents or call witnesses. The lawyers are implying that even if Mr. Trump did abuse his power to conduct foreign policy by trying to coerce Ukraine into announcing investigations that could help him in the 2020 election, the Senate should acquit Mr. Trump anyway.

Another member of Mr. Trump’s legal team, Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and criminal defense lawyer, is expected to make a presentation to the Senate trial this week laying out in detail the theory that abuses of power are not impeachable without an ordinary criminal violation.

Critics of Mr. Dershowitz’s arguments have pointed to the seeming tension with comments he made in 1998, when he did not have a client facing impeachment for abuse of power: “If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don’t need a technical crime.”

In an interview this week, Mr. Dershowitz argued that his position now was not inconsistent with what he said in 1998, pointing to his use then of the phrase “technical crime” and saying that he is arguing today that impeachment requires “crimelike” conduct.

Mr. Dershowitz went further on Tuesday, saying on Twitter that he had not thoroughly researched the question in 1998 but recently has done so. “To the extent therefore that my 1998 off-the-cuff interview statement suggested the opposite,” he wrote, “I retract it.”

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Democrats Seek More Testimony and Evidence for Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-questions01-facebookJumbo Democrats Seek More Testimony and Evidence for Impeachment Trial Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parnas, Lev National Security Agency Mulvaney, Mick Hill, Fiona (1965- ) Giuliani, Rudolph W Cipollone, Pat A central intelligence agency Burisma Holdings Ltd Bolton, John R Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — With President Trump’s impeachment trial getting underway, Democrats are intensifying their demands for more testimony and documents that could add to the already voluminous evidence against him and bolster their case by shedding new light on several key questions.

Despite the White House strategy of blocking testimony from top officials and rejecting demands for documents, the Senate will have in front of it considerable evidence that Mr. Trump eagerly sought to persuade Ukraine’s new president to pursue investigations into two matters that could benefit him in his re-election campaign. Those matters are dealings in Ukraine involving former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, and purported Ukrainian meddling in the American 2016 presidential election.

But in part because of the White House’s decision not to cooperate, the record of actions by Mr. Trump and his underlings is riddled with gaps — and new evidence has been surfacing at the 11th hour.

On Sunday, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead House impeachment manager, said he was concerned that the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency were withholding information about Ukraine out of fear of angering the president.

“The N.S.A. in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial,” Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California, said on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the National Security Agency.

Republicans called those complaints proof that the case against Mr. Trump was so weak that Democrats were scrambling to bolster it. “But this, to me, seems to undermine or indicate that they’re getting cold feet or have a lack of confidence in what they’ve done so far,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

Even before new information emerged in recent days — including material from Lev Parnas, who worked closely with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to seek damaging information about the Bidens and to impugn the United States’ ambassador in Kyiv — the Senate’s 100 jurors faced unanswered questions that go to the heart of the matter.

What exactly did John R. Bolton, then the White House’s national security adviser, see and hear last year that convinced him a group of diplomats and aides were cooking up a geopolitical “drug deal” involving Ukraine?

How often and how thoroughly did Mr. Giuliani, the chief engineer of the pressure campaign, brief the president on what he was up to? What has Mr. Trump said behind closed doors about his order to freeze military aid to Ukraine?

Democrats in the Senate want to call Mr. Bolton to the stand, compel the testimony of three other top Trump aides, including the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and obtain the records that the administration has withheld. But they would need the support of at least four Republican senators to do so.

“A fair trial, everyone understands, involves evidence,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Evidence would be documents and witnesses. We know the president has refused to provide documentation beyond the July 25 telephone memo. And he’s refused to provide basic witnesses who actually heard what happened on that conversation and saw what happened afterwards.”

Here are some of the key questions that more witness testimony or additional documents could address:

Some Trump allies have tried to suggest that Mr. Giuliani was a rogue actor pursuing his own interests in Ukraine. But Mr. Giuliani said last spring, as he planned a trip to Ukraine to press for investigations into the Bidens, that his efforts had Mr. Trump’s full support and that the president “basically knows what I’m doing.”

Mr. Trump has called Mr. Giuliani a “crime fighter” who was “seeking out corruption” because he was “very, very incensed at the horrible things that he saw.” He also said Mr. Giuliani had the right to look into whether the Ukrainians helped sow the seeds for the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Giuliani has insisted that his conversations with Mr. Trump are protected by attorney-client privilege. He has pointed out that Kurt D. Volker, then Mr. Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine, put him in touch with a top Ukrainian aide whom he met in August in Madrid.

Unquestionably, Mr. Trump sought to vest Mr. Giuliani with at least some informal authority to operate on his behalf. He urged President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, during a phone call on July 25, to consult Mr. Giuliani about the investigations he wanted. And he urged his own diplomats and aides involved with Ukraine to consult with Mr. Giuliani after they returned from Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration in May.

Among them was Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, who testified that Mr. Trump instructed him to “talk to Rudy” about Ukraine, and said that Mr. Giuliani had made it clear to him that he spoke for the president.

In a letter in May from Mr. Giuliani that Mr. Parnas turned over last week to House investigators, the president’s lawyer told Mr. Zelensky that he was acting with Mr. Trump’s “knowledge and consent.” Mr. Parnas, who faces felony charges involving campaign finance violations, said in interviews that Ukrainian officials met with him because Mr. Giuliani assured them that he represented both him and Mr. Trump.

But virtually nothing is known about the substance of communications between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump, although they appear to have spoken regularly. Mr. Mulvaney told associates that he would leave the room whenever the men would talk in order to preserve attorney-client privilege.

Whether the president decided to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine for his own political gain, at the expense of the nation’s strategic foreign policy interests, is at the crux of the case against him. His decision thwarted the will of Congress, undercut an American ally enmeshed in a war with Russia and, according to a report last week by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, violated American law.

During the House inquiry, Mr. Sondland testified that he had informed Ukraine that it would most likely not receive the aid unless it was willing to commit to carrying out the investigations Mr. Trump wanted. But he also testified that Mr. Trump insisted to him there was no “quid pro quo” — although only after the aid freeze had become public and the president had been told about the whistle-blower complaint setting out details of the pressure campaign.

Democrats in the Senate are seeking testimony from four other witnesses who played key roles in White House deliberations about the suspension in aid: Mr. Bolton; Mr. Mulvaney; Robert B. Blair, a senior adviser to Mr. Mulvaney, and Michael Duffey, the associate director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The New York Times reported last month that many administration officials involved in carrying out the aid freeze were kept in the dark about the president’s motivations.

Mr. Mulvaney said at a news conference in October that the aid had been withheld in part because Mr. Trump wanted an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 election. Mr. Mulvaney later said that was not true, and that the aid was withheld only because of concerns about Ukraine’s willingness to battle corruption and about whether other nations were providing their fair share of aid to Ukraine.

In mid-August, Mr. Bolton unsuccessfully tried to persuade Mr. Trump to lift the freeze. In an Oval Office meeting later that month, Mr. Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper asked the president to release the funds but were rebuffed.

Mr. Duffey, a political appointee, enforced the hold on the aid after taking control of the funds from a career budget officer, Mark Sandy — a highly unusual move.

On July 25, after days of exchanges about the topic but also just 90 minutes after Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky held their fateful telephone conversation, Mr. Duffey reiterated to Defense Department officials in an email that no funds should be disbursed — instructions he said should be “closely held” because of “the sensitive nature of the request.”

“Everyone was in the loop.”

That was Mr. Sondland’s characterization of who knew what about the push to win a commitment from the Ukrainians to announce the investigations. He testified that several top officials, including Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney, knew that Mr. Trump would extend an Oval Office invitation to Mr. Zelensky only if Ukraine publicly announced the investigations.

Fiona Hill, at the time the top Russia specialist on the National Security Council, testified that at a White House meeting on July 10, Mr. Sondland said that he had a deal with Mr. Mulvaney: an Oval Office invitation for Mr. Zelensky in exchange for a public statement that the inquiries were underway.

Although the State Department refused Mr. Sondland’s request for documents to support his testimony, he produced several emails to back up his assertions. On July 18, he wrote a group of officials — including Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Bolton and Rick Perry, then the energy secretary — that Mr. Zelensky was ready to promise the president in their upcoming phone call that his prosecutors would “turn over every stone.”

Mr. Pompeo was among the officials who listened the July 25 phone call, in which Mr. Trump raised with Mr. Zelensky the need to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election and Mr. Zelensky seemed to agree.

In August, Mr. Sondland wrote Mr. Pompeo that Mr. Zelensky would deliver a public statement that “will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation” because it would include “specifics.” That meant, he testified, that Mr. Zelensky would name Burisma, a Ukrainian company that had hired Hunter Biden, as an investigative target, along with the 2016 election.

A number of State Department witnesses blamed Mr. Giuliani for Mr. Trump’s animus toward Ukraine, saying they struggled mightily to counteract his influence. But there are indications that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary helped solidify Mr. Trump’s views.

Mr. Volker, the envoy to Ukraine, testified that the president’s negative opinion of Ukraine was “very deeply rooted” and evident as far back as September 2017, when Mr. Trump met Mr. Zelensky’s predecessor Petro O. Poroshenko in the Oval Office.

One explanation is that Mr. Trump blamed the Ukrainians for helping to expose the financial misdeeds of Paul Manafort, who was forced to resign as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman in August 2016 and is now in prison for his crimes. In an Oval Office meeting on May 23, Mr. Trump insisted to his aides that Ukrainians were “terrible people” who “tried to take me down.”

But George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified that Mr. Trump’s view of Mr. Zelensky and Ukraine had darkened in the interval between that meeting and his first phone call with the Ukraine leader a month earlier, in which he congratulated him on his victory.

In the interim, Mr. Putin reportedly disparaged Mr. Zelensky to Mr. Trump in a phone call on May 3. And Mr. Trump held an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Orban, who is antagonistic toward Mr. Zelensky. No transcripts of those conversations have been released. Mr. Kent attributed the shift in Mr. Trump’s attitude to the combined influence of those two foreign leaders and Mr. Giuliani.

A group of government lawyers is charged with monitoring White House and National Security Council decisions for unethical or illegal behavior. The top-ranking lawyers involved in the Ukraine affair were John A. Eisenberg at the National Security Council and Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel.

Two security council staff members — Ms. Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman — told Mr. Eisenberg they feared that Mr. Sondland was improperly pressuring Ukraine to benefit Mr. Trump politically. Ms. Hill testified that Mr. Bolton had ordered her to tell Mr. Eisenberg that he did not want any part of “whatever drug deal” that Mr. Sondland and Mr. Mulvaney were cooking up.

According to people familiar with the situation, Mr. Eisenberg shared those concerns with Mr. Cipollone, his superior, but rejected Mr. Cipollone’s advice that he bring them up with the president.

Colonel Vindman also reported concerns about the president’s July 25 phone call. Mr. Eisenberg warned him not to discuss the call with others and ordered that access be restricted to the reconstructed transcript. A person briefed on his actions said officials misinterpreted that directive as an order to put the transcript on the White House’s most secure computer.

Mr. Eisenberg eventually alerted the Justice Department to the July 25 call, but only weeks later, after the C.I.A.’s top lawyer informed him that a C.I.A. officer had filed an anonymous complaint about it.

Ben Protess contributed reporting from New York. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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Justice Dept. Investigating Years-Old Leaks and Appears Focused on Comey

Westlake Legal Group 07dc-comey-facebookJumbo Justice Dept. Investigating Years-Old Leaks and Appears Focused on Comey Washington Post United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Presidential Election of 2016 Newspapers News and News Media New York Times Netherlands Liu, Jessie Kong Justice Department Federal Bureau of Investigation Espionage and Intelligence Services Comey, James B Classified Information and State Secrets

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in Washington are investigating a years-old leak of classified information about a Russian intelligence document, and they appear to be focusing on whether the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey illegally provided details to reporters, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

The case is the second time the Justice Department has investigated leaks potentially involving Mr. Comey, a frequent target of President Trump, who has repeatedly called him a “leaker.” Mr. Trump recently suggested without evidence that Mr. Comey should be prosecuted for “unlawful conduct” and spend years in prison.

The timing of the investigation could raise questions about whether it was motivated at least in part by politics. Prosecutors and F.B.I. agents typically investigate leaks of classified information around the time they appear in the news media, not years later. And the inquiry is the latest politically sensitive matter undertaken by the United States attorney’s office in Washington, which is also conducting an investigation of Mr. Comey’s former deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, that has been plagued by problems.

Law enforcement officials are scrutinizing at least two news articles about the F.B.I. and Mr. Comey, published in The New York Times and The Washington Post in 2017, that mentioned the Russian government document, according to the people familiar with the investigation. Hackers working for Dutch intelligence officials obtained the document and provided it to the F.B.I., and both its existence and the collection of it were highly classified secrets, the people said.

The document played a key role in Mr. Comey’s decision to sideline the Justice Department and announce in July 2016 that the F.B.I. would not recommend that Hillary Clinton face charges in her use of a private email server to conduct government business while secretary of state.

The investigation into the leaks began in recent months, the people said, but it is not clear whether prosecutors have impaneled a grand jury or how many witnesses they have interviewed. What prompted the inquiry is also unclear, but the Russian document was mentioned in a book published last fall, “Deep State: Trump, the F.B.I., and the Rule of Law” by James B. Stewart, a Times reporter.

A lawyer for Mr. Comey declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the United States attorney’s office in Washington.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly pressured the Justice Department to investigate his perceived enemies. In 2018, he told the White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn II, to prosecute Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey. Mr. McGahn refused, telling the president that he did not have the authority to order investigations and that doing so could prompt abuse-of-power accusations. Mr. Trump had also discussed the appointment of a second special counsel to conduct the investigations he sought.

Previously, federal prosecutors in New York scrutinized Mr. Comey after his personal lawyer and friend, Daniel C. Richman, provided the contents of a memo about Mr. Comey’s interactions with Mr. Trump to a Times reporter at Mr. Comey’s request. Though officials retroactively determined that the memo contained classified information, prosecutors declined to charge Mr. Comey with illegally disclosing the material. The Justice Department’s inspector general, who had examined Mr. Comey’s conduct and referred his findings to prosecutors in New York, concluded that Mr. Comey violated F.B.I. policy.

The latest investigation involves material that Dutch intelligence operatives siphoned off Russian computers and provided to the United States government. The information included a Russian analysis of what appeared to be an email exchange during the 2016 presidential campaign between Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida who was also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the time, and Leonard Benardo, an official with the Open Society Foundations, a democracy-promoting organization whose founder, George Soros, has long been a target of the far right.

In the email, Ms. Wasserman Schultz suggested that then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch would make sure that Mrs. Clinton would not be prosecuted in the email case. Both Ms. Wasserman Schultz and Mr. Benardo have denied being in contact, suggesting the document was meant to be Russian disinformation.

That document was one of the key factors that drove Mr. Comey to hold a news conference in July 2016 announcing that investigators would recommend no charges against Mrs. Clinton. Typically, senior Justice Department officials would decide how to proceed in such a high-profile case, but Mr. Comey was concerned that if Ms. Lynch played a central role in deciding whether to charge Mrs. Clinton, Russia could leak the email.

Whether the document was fake remains an open question. But American officials at the time did not believe that Ms. Lynch would hinder the Clinton email investigation, and neither Ms. Wasserman Schultz nor Mr. Benardo had any inside information about it. Still, if the Russians had released the information after the inquiry was closed, it could have tainted the outcome, hurt public confidence in the Justice Department and sowed discord.

Prosecutors are also looking at whether Mr. Richman might have played a role in providing the information to reporters about the Russia document and how it figured into Mr. Comey’s rationale about the news conference, according to the people familiar with the investigation. Mr. Comey hired Mr. Richman at one point to consult for the F.B.I. about encryption and other complex legal issues, and investigators have expressed interest in how he operated.

Mr. Richman was quoted in the April 2017 article in The Times that revealed the document’s existence. A month later, The Post named Ms. Wasserman Schultz and Mr. Benardo as subjects of the document in a detailed article. A lawyer for Mr. Richman declined to comment.

Typically, prosecutors would decline to open investigations into older leaks of classified information because the passage of time makes such cases much harder to pursue as the memories of witnesses fade. Also, the initial leaks can generate more leaks as more officials feel comfortable discussing the information with journalists because it has become public.

Multiple news stories about the classified disclosures also make it harder to determine whether one person was speaking to reporters or several people, according to former law enforcement officials. And the larger the universe of government officials who have been briefed on classified information, the more difficult it is to find the leaker, former officials said. In this case, lawmakers were briefed on the Russian document in addition to executive branch officials.

In inquiries where investigators determine that a leak is coming from members of Congress or their staff, political sensitivities make those cases difficult to investigate. Most of the time, former officials said, such inquiries are dead on arrival.

Additionally, investigators could also decline to open an investigation into an older leak because it might further harm national security if the information once again made headlines, as in this inquiry.

“Leak cases are incredibly difficult to prosecute,” said Brian J. Fleming, a former lawyer with the Justice Department who worked on many such cases in his work on national security issues. “They are very challenging to present to a jury both as an evidentiary matter and in terms of presenting a compelling, coherent narrative. That is a big reason so few leak cases get charged and even fewer ever go to trial.”

Still, if a government agency is determined to hunt down the source of a leak, as the C.I.A. was in the case of Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer who was convicted of leaking details about an anti-Iran operation to a Times reporter, Justice Department officials generally will pursue the case aggressively.

Federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia have embraced politically fraught cases under the United States attorney, Jessie K. Liu, an ambitious prosecutor who has angled for bigger jobs in the Trump administration.

She aggressively pushed for the prosecution of Mr. McCabe on suspicion of lying to investigators about sensitive law enforcement information provided to a reporter. Mr. McCabe was accused of misleading investigators conducting an administrative review, not a criminal inquiry; typically, such cases are not referred for prosecution.

The relatively straightforward case against Mr. McCabe has dragged on for more than 20 months. Prosecutors have refused to tell Mr. McCabe’s lawyers whether they intend to bring charges.

Ms. Liu’s office also charged Gregory B. Craig, a onetime White House counsel in the Obama administration, after prosecutors in New York passed on the case. Mr. Craig was charged with lying to the F.B.I. about his work for the Ukrainian government, but a jury last year quickly acquitted him, handing Ms. Liu an embarrassing defeat.

Mr. Trump nominated Ms. Liu last month to be the Treasury Department’s under secretary for terrorism and financial crimes. He had previously tapped her to be the No. 3 spot in the Justice Department, but she withdrew from consideration after Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, raised concerns about her conservative credentials.

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Russians Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Center of Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 13burisma-hack-facebookJumbo-v2 Russians Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Center of Impeachment United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Russia Presidential Election of 2020 Cyberwarfare and Defense Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

With President Trump facing an impeachment trial over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, Russian military hackers have been boring into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the affair, according to security experts.

The hacking attempts against Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Hunter Biden served, began in early November, as talk of the Bidens, Ukraine and impeachment was dominating the news in the United States.

It is not yet clear what the hackers found, or precisely what they were searching for. But the experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens — the same kind of information that Mr. Trump wanted from Ukraine when he pressed for an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma, setting off a chain of events that led to his impeachment.

The Russian tactics are strikingly similar to what American intelligence agencies say was Russia’s hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. In that case, once they had the emails, the Russians used trolls to spread and spin the material, and built an echo chamber to widen its effect.

Then, as now, the Russian hackers from a military intelligence unit known formerly as the G.R.U., and to private researchers by the alias “Fancy Bear,” used so-called phishing emails that appear designed to steal usernames and passwords, according to Area 1, the Silicon Valley security firm that detected the hacking. In this instance, the hackers set up fake websites that mimicked sign-in pages of Burisma subsidiaries, and have been blasting Burisma employees with emails meant to look like they are coming from inside the company.

The hackers fooled some of them into handing over their login credentials, and managed to get inside one of Burisma’s servers, Area 1 said.

“The attacks were successful,” said Oren Falkowitz, a co-founder of Area 1, who previously served at the National Security Agency. Mr. Falkowitz’s firm maintains a network of sensors on web servers around the globe — many known to be used by state-sponsored hackers — which gives the firm a front-row seat to phishing attacks, and allows them to block attacks on their customers.

“The timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the G.R.U. hacks we saw in 2016 against the D.N.C. and John Podesta,” the Clinton campaign chairman, Mr. Falkowitz said. “Once again, they are stealing email credentials, in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.”

The Justice Department indicted seven officers from the same military intelligence unit in 2018.

The Russian attacks on Burisma appear to be running parallel to an effort by Russian spies in Ukraine to dig up information in the analog world that could embarrass the Bidens, according to an American security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence. The spies, the official said, are trying to penetrate Burisma and working sources in the Ukrainian government in search of emails, financial records and legal documents.

Neither the Russian government nor Burisma responded to requests for comment.

American officials are warning that the Russians have grown stealthier since 2016, and are again seeking to steal and spread damaging information and target vulnerable election systems ahead of the 2020 election.

[Read: Even as American election defenses have improved, Russian hackers and trolls have become more sophisticated.]

In the same vein, Russia has been working since the early days of Mr. Trump’s presidency to turn the focus away from its own election interference in 2016 by seeding conspiracy theories about Ukrainian meddling and Democratic complicity.

The result has been a muddy brew of conspiracy theories that mix facts, like the handful of Ukrainians who openly criticized Mr. Trump’s candidacy, with discredited claims that the D.N.C.’s email server is in Ukraine and that Mr. Biden, as vice president, had corrupt dealings with Ukrainian officials to protect his son. Spread by bots and trolls on social media, and by Russian intelligence officers, the claims resonated with Mr. Trump, who views talk of Russian interference as an attack on his legitimacy.

With Mr. Biden’s emergence as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination last spring, the president latched on to the corruption allegations, and asked that Ukraine investigate the Bidens on his July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. The call became central to Mr. Trump’s impeachment last month.

The Biden campaign sought to cast the Russian effort to hack Burisma as an indication of Mr. Biden’s political strength, and to highlight Mr. Trump’s apparent willingness to let foreign powers boost his political fortunes.

“Donald Trump tried to coerce Ukraine into lying about Joe Biden and a major bipartisan, international anti-corruption victory because he recognized that he can’t beat the vice president,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign.

“Now we know that Vladimir Putin also sees Joe Biden as a threat,” Mr. Bates added. “Any American president who had not repeatedly encouraged foreign interventions of this kind would immediately condemn this attack on the sovereignty of our elections.”

The corruption allegations hinge on Hunter Biden’s work on the Burisma board. The company hired Mr. Biden while his father was vice president and leading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, including a successful push to have Ukraine’s top prosecutor fired for corruption. The effort was backed by European allies.

The story has since been recast by Mr. Trump and some of his staunchest defenders, who say Mr. Biden pushed out the prosecutor because Burisma was under investigation and his son could be implicated. Rudolph W. Giuliani, acting in what he says was his capacity as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, has personally taken up investigating the Bidens and Burisma, and now regularly claims to have uncovered clear-cut evidence of wrongdoing.

The evidence, though, has yet to emerge, and now the Russians appear to have joined the hunt.

Area 1 researchers discovered a G.R.U. phishing campaign on Ukrainian companies on New Year’s Eve. A week later, Area 1 determined what the Ukrainian targets had in common: They were all subsidiaries of Burisma Holdings, the company at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment. Among the Burisma subsidiaries phished were KUB-Gas, Aldea, Esko-Pivnich, Nadragas, Tehnocom-Service and Pari. The targets also included Kvartal 95, a Ukrainian television production company founded by Mr. Zelensky. The phishing attack on Kvartal 95 appears to have been aimed at digging up email correspondence for the company’s chief, Ivan Bakanov, whom Mr. Zelensky appointed as the head of Ukraine’s Security Service last June.

To steal employees’ credentials, the G.R.U. hackers directed Burisma to their fake login pages. Area 1 was able to trace the look-alike sites through a combination of internet service providers frequently used by G.R.U.’s hackers, rare web traffic patterns, and techniques that have been used in previous attacks against a slew of other victims, including the 2016 hack of the D.N.C. and a more recent Russian hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

“The Burisma hack is a cookie-cutter G.R.U. campaign,” Mr. Falkowitz said. “Russian hackers, as sophisticated as they are, also tend to be lazy. They use what works. And in this, they were successful.”

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