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Impeachment: Key Witness Envoy Kurt Volker Resigns

by Oui Sat Sep 28th, 2019 at 05:42:38 AM EST

Diary will be updated later ... more to come!

McCain Institute head Kurt Volker steps down as US diplomat | The State Press |

Executive Director of the McCain Institute Kurt Volker resigned from his position as the U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine Friday, following reports he collaborated with Ukraine and President Donald Trump.

An ASU official confirmed Volker's resignation Friday, and said the University could not speak about his future at ASU because the University does not comment on personnel matters.

Volker met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Friday to announce he would be resigning, the official said.

Continued below the fold ...

Volker's name was mentioned in the recent whistleblower complaint, which has sparked an impeachment inquiry for Trump. Trump has defended his actions, including a phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump requested dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

Updated Wikipedia page Kurt Volker

US Ambassador to NATO in close order:

Vicky Nuland - Karl Volker - Ivo Daalder

Nuland's successor Kurt Volker - US new special representative in Ukraine

The State Department appointed a special representative to conduct international activities to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. Trump administration chose former US ambassador to NATO Kurt Volcker to this post.

Volcker will coordinate the efforts of the State Department to resolve the conflict that arose after Russia's invasion of Crimea and the east of Ukraine, said State Department spokesman Gammond.

Volcker will accompany the Secretary of State during his visit to Kyiv on July 9 and will continue to hold regular meetings with participants of the "Norman format": Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, "the State Department said.

Former U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer with deep European experience and relationships at the top levels of the Transatlantic diplomatic and policy communities.

My comment in an article @TikunOlam...

Trump saw an opportunity to strike a deal ... turning the state of the Ukraine from blue to a red state. Colour my oligarchs ...

Joe Biden and US foreign policy in Ukraine - Vicky Nuland / Geoffrey Pyatt ...

... to rein in the power of its oligarchs.

But the credibility of the vice president's anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine's largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky [Israeli citizen], who was Ukraine's ecology minister under former President Viktor F. Yanukovych before he was forced into exile.

The identification of Privat Group as the owner of Burisma, though unconfirmed, is logical enough. Privat Group is a conglomerate controlled by the ferocious Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.

Plenty of dirt all around.


The House Intelligence Committee going at lightning speed ... throwing President Trump off balance .... nice to note the role Rudy Giuliani played in Ukraine ... believing in one of the GOP invented conspiracies ... bringing down his Master. The White House cover-up to seal the President's fate ... lock him up. 😊

And now it appears that Volker is happy to testify at one or more of the Impeachment Inquiries. It appears that Rudy twittered something about Volker in an attempt to show that Rudy was working in conjunction with the State Department - self defense for Rudy. It backfired.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 29th, 2019 at 10:16:15 PM EST
Material witnesses of alleged "national security" violations by the POTUS or "America's Mayor" are not named by the "Whistle Blower". Doubtless (maybe not, because House Rules) House committees will DEMAND that Volker identify "key witnesses" of alleged "national security" violations by the POTUS or "America's Mayor".

Volker plans to appear before congressional committees next week

That whistleblower also mentioned Volker's name in his complaint when discussing interactions between himself and Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, concerning pushing Ukraine to look into activities of Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.

references in the complaint

  • none to case law or USC, eg. NSA, NDAA, Patriot Acts, Administrative Procedures, etc.
  • none to "Mueller Report"
  • EO 13526
  • report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 05:25:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in re: material witnesses

Hon. Joe Hockey to Wm. "Drug Czar" Barr, 28 May 2019 facsimile

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 12:48:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in re: material witnesses


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 03:24:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community's Statement on Processing of Whistleblower Complaints, 30 Sep 2019
At the time the Complainant filed the Disclosure of Urgent Concern form with the ICIG on August 12, 2019, the ICIG followed its routine  practice and provided the Complainant information, including "Background Information on ICWPA Process," which included the following language: In order to find an urgent concern "credible," the IC IG must be in possession of reliable, first-hand information. The IC IG cannot transmit information via the ICWPA based on an employee's second-hand knowledge of wrongdoing. This includes information received from another person, such as when a fellow employee informs you that he/she witnessed some type of wrongdoing
[A]lthough the Complainant's Letter acknowledged that the Complainant was not a direct witness to the President's July 25, 2019, telephone call with the Ukrainian President, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community determined that other information obtained during the ICIG's preliminary review supported the Complainant's allegations.

references in the statement

reference public
Federal Rules of Evidence, ARTICLE VIII. HEARSAY

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 07:58:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
uscourts.gov | Federal Rules of Evidence, 1 Dec 2014. 41 pp

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 08:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the present context of this inquiry 'key witnesses' would certainly be those referenced by the whistleblower in the report. These would be given in closed session. Others would be those as designated by House Committee chairmen.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 03:32:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in re: material witness

Black's Law Dictionary, material witness, general
Wex Dictionary, material witness, general
Federal Rules of Evidence, witness, competency, rules of decision
18 U.S. Code § 3144. Release or detention of a material witness, specification

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 04:05:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
C-SPAN | House Intelligence Committee Stakeout, 3 Oct 2019, running time 06:18:00
"Members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence speak with reporters. Former Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker, who resigned last week, is scheduled to be deposed in a closed-door meeting with the committee."
APsplainin | Lawmakers question diplomat at center of Trump inquiry
"Kurt Volker produced documents for the interview including copies of text messages and photos, according to a person who wasn't authorized to speak on the record about the private session."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 06:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 06:53:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin | Diplomat testifies to Ukraine turmoil within administratio
Kurt Volker, a central figure in the House's impeachment inquiry, appeared for nearly 10 hours behind closed doors. He told lawmakers he was never pressured by Trump or others around the administration to have Ukraine conduct the investigation of the Democratic rival, and in fact said he had warned Ukrainians to steer clear of American politics.

Yet Volker also recalled being told that plans for a meeting between Trump and the new Ukrainian president elected in the spring were being put on ice, according to one person familiar with the private meeting who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it.
Volker denied any personal involvement in Trump's push on Biden, yet reports late Thursday indicated he had knowledge of a draft statement, intended for new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, that would have committed Ukraine to conduct the investigations Trump was seeking.
Volker told investigators Thursday that he warned Giuliani not to rely on information coming from Ukraine's former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko.
Volker told the House investigators it was unusual for the U.S. to withhold the aid, but he* said he was given no explanation for it, the person said.

The rest is reportage on background.
* "'It wasn't explained to me' why the money didn't come through earlier, Zelenskiy said.""

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 04:33:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Full Statement from U.S. Ukraine Envoy Ambassador Kurt Volker on October 3, 2019
First, my efforts were entirely focused on advancing U.S. foreign policy goals with respect to Ukraine. In this, we were quite successful. U.S. policy toward Ukraine for the past two years has been strong, consistent, and has enjoyed support across the Administration, bipartisan support in Congress, and support among our Allies and Ukraine.
Second, in May of this year, I became concerned that a negative narrative about Ukraine, fueled by assertions made by Ukraine's departing Prosecutor General, was reaching the President of the United States, and impeding our ability to support the new Ukrainian government as robustly as I believed we should. After sharing my concerns with the Ukrainian leadership, an advisor to President Zelenskyy asked me to connect him to the President's personal lawyer, Mayor Rudy Giuliani. I did so. I did so solely because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those, like Mayor Giuliani, who believed such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that, under President Zelenskyy, Ukraine is worthy of U.S. support. Third, at no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion. Moreover, as I was aware of public accusations about the Vice President, several times I cautioned the Ukrainians to distinguish between highlighting their own efforts to fight corruption domestically, including investigating Ukrainian individuals (something we support as a matter of U.S. policy), and doing anything that could be seen as impacting U.S. elections (which is in neither the United States' nor Ukraine's own interests). To the best of my knowledge, no such actions by Ukraine were ever taken, at least in part, I believe, because of the advice I gave them. Notably, I did not listen in on the July 25, 2019 phone call between President Trump and President Zelenskyy, and received only superficial readouts about that conversation afterwards. In addition, I was not aware that Vice President Biden's name was mentioned, or a request was made to investigate him, until the transcript of this call was released on September 25, 2019.
Third, at no time was I aware of or took part in an effort to urge Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden. As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion.
Fourth, while executing my duties, I kept my colleagues at the State Department and National Security Council informed, and also briefed Congress, about my actions. This included inperson meetings with senior U.S. officials at State, Defense, and the NSC, as well as staff briefings on Capitol Hill, and public testimony in the Senate on June 18, 2019. I have an extensive record of public commentary about our Ukraine policy.
Fifth and finally, I strongly supported the provision of U.S. security assistance, including lethal defensive weapons, to Ukraine throughout my tenure. I became aware of a hold on Congressional Notifications about proceeding with that assistance on July 18, 2019, and immediately tried to weigh in to reverse that position.
bought? stayed bought?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 06:14:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
is the salient feature of "character develpment" cast for this US story set in Ukraine rather than, say, any other NATO member. Yes, I can say that the government of Ukraine was an independent operator in arms and RE racketeering until the EU, acting as NATO's lead agent, made Viktor Yanukovich an offer he should not have refused on or about FYE 2013. (Ukraine "background" foreign policy detail in Wikiwtf's extensive article about Yanukovich is conspicuously uninformative.) The offer, Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, seems to omit a "hotlink" to the $18B line of credit concurrently provided to Ukraine government by IMF among lucrative trade inducements to agree to EU association and membership. Which is to say, institutional knowledge of crimes in Ukraine disguise individual agency on behalf of NATO-member "leaders" and personal investment or partisan exploits ("interest in") to "launder" M&A of Ukraine government operations since the so-called Orange Revolution. Quite a number of Anglo-american observers have noted the similarities in dissolutions  of Ukraine and Russia (1991) states and entry by commercial opportunists from NATO's capitols.
Trump saw an opportunity to strike a deal ... turning the state of the Ukraine from blue to a red state. Colour my oligarchs ...["Meet the Florida Duo Helping Giuliani Investigate for Trump in Ukraine"]
The article, published by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a non-profit organization providing an investigative reporting, helpfully identifies Parnas and Furman, two naturalized US citizens of Russian Federation origin, as clients of one of "America's Mayor." It also casually mentions the avuncular advice of former-VP, current DNC POTUS candidate Biden for CFR subscribers [A/V, transcript] on how to provide "limited defense" to governments of Ukraine, based on his experience "dealing" with Yatsenyuk, PM 2014-2016.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 04:56:01 PM EST
"... until the EU, acting as NATO's lead agent, made Viktor Yanukovich an offer he should not have refused ..."

From my diaries ...

Ukraine: Extremists Reject EU Deal, Demand Violent Overthrow by Oui @EuroTrib on Feb. 21, 2014

See the tough deal brokered for the Ukrainian people between opposition leaders and the government.

Peace deal brings Maidan protest in Kiev to an end  :: RT.com view

The point of no return has been breached. From tomorrow morning, all hell will break lose unless Yanukovich steps down and leaves office. Today parliament voted to rescind the powers of the president in favor of decisions by parliament. The minister of Interior responsible for the the clashes of the last three days was made the scapegoat and parliament voted for his dismissal.

The crowd in Independence Square will be forced by agitators and armed thugs to continue mob violence in the morning and more bloodshed. Cool heads cannot prevail, the genie is out of the bottle and Ukrainian people will be led to a brutal civil war. The makeover from a protest to a revolution happened months ago. The most populist speaker wins over the crowd.

Parliament votes 328-0 to impeach Yanukovych on Feb. 22; sets May 25 for new election; Tymoshenko free (VIDEO)

How the Events of Sniper Fire In Instytutska Street Unfolded by Oui @BooMan on March 7, 2014

There had to be a colour revolution ... ask John McCain - Vicky Nuland - Geoffrey Pyatt

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 05:30:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same Nuland who declared, "That case has nothing to do with us"?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 05:36:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

@7:42: "We have invested over five billion dollars to assist Ukraine in these and other goals"

by das monde on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 04:00:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
structural adjustment programming, codename: "austerity"

Ukraine Unveils Reform Program with IMF Support, index 2014
Ukraine and the IMF, *.ppt 2014

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 08:53:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sputnik is funded in part or in whole by Russia government.

< reckless eyeballin' >

'A Racket, in Short': Praising Putin, UK Chief of Defence Staff Exposes NATO's True Nature
yer Smedley Butler aphorism for the w/e 4 Oct


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 07:24:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump suggests arresting House intelligence committee chairman | The Guardian  - Live blog |

Here's something you don't get to say every day in a democratic country: the president is floating the idea of arresting a senior lawmaker of the opposing party who is investigating him.

During the 2016 election, Donald Trump's supporters relished chanting that Hillary Clinton should be "locked up." But the president is now turning his attention to Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee who is investigating whether Trump solicited assistance from Ukraine in the 2020 election.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 05:42:57 PM EST
I for one would be delighted would that Trump and Schiff "got a room". Then Miss Nancy need only make one stop for service.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 05:55:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
House Committees Subpoena Rudy Giuliani In Impeachment Inquiry

The chairmen oHouse Committees Subpoena Rudy Giuliani In Impeachment Inquirf three House committees subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani on Monday as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump launched last week.

The subpoena requires Giuliani, the former New York mayor and personal lawyer to Trump, to produce documents related to Trump pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This should be interesting.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 08:52:06 PM EST
Biden bragged openly about denying aid unless a criminal investigation of his son was called off.

Sounds like criminal activity to me. And the President should do all he can to bring Biden to justice, regardless of whether he is a "political rival" or not.
Are Democrats immune to prosecution?

by StillInTheWilderness on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 03:36:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 03:18:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 04:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read the conspiracy Trump's personal lawyer Giuliani believes in ...

It's based on a false timeline ... a dud.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 05:34:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 06:21:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Biden bragged openly" - But the question is 'about what?' I have seen videos of Biden bragging about getting rid of Shokin, but that did not involve Hunter Biden:
But sources ranging from former Obama administration officials to an anti-corruption advocate in Ukraine say the official, Viktor Shokin, was ousted for the opposite reason Trump and his allies claim.

It wasn't because Shokin was investigating a natural gas company tied to Biden's son; it was because Shokin wasn't pursuing corruption among the country's politicians, according to a Ukrainian official and four former American officials who specialized in Ukraine and Europe.

Shokin's inaction prompted international calls for his ouster and ultimately resulted in his removal by Ukraine's parliament.

And, as Oui has noted, there are timeline problems with the allegation that Joe Biden took those actions to protect Hunter.

In addition, Trump's own Homeland Security Secretary had warned Trump that the 'Joe Biden acted to protect Hunter Biden' story had been debunked.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 03:54:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rudy Giuliani believing a conspiracy theory Made in USA bij de Repugs themselves. Getting the State Department to run with it is a grave error in judgment ... as I have written before, after the succes of the Feb. 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev, the Ukrainian leaders put their trust in the US Administration which happened to be Blue. All proceeds of corruption went into the pockets of the politicians who won the Verkova election.

The resources of fossil fuels is a blessing and a curse ... many oligarchs switched allegiance from East to West w/o a blink of the eye. Follow the money for the last three decades.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 04:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The truth is irrelevant. It's just a story for the MAGA faithful to hang their hat on so they can discount Trump's crimes. Distraction and misdirection are all that is required. Leave truth and complicated explanations for the do-gooder suckers.
by Andhakari on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 04:38:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Y'all persist in disputing specific business activities inferred from Hunter Biden's associates in Ukraine (whatEVER those are),

when the utmost question presented by the US for public impeachment --THIS WEEK-- is WHETHER OR NOT perceptible propriety or impropriety, lawfulness or unlawfullness, legality or illegality, of one's capacity in a US public office to proffer ultimatums to induce political agreement from foreign government officials applies both to Joe Biden and Trump.

Neither ARGeezer, Oui, nor rifek respond to material evidence or any legal standard of evidence or law governing the USA.

StillInTheWilderness's opinion, "Biden bragged openly about denying aid unless a criminal investigation of his son was called off" is an example of an ultimatum to induce political agreement from foreign government officials.

Biden testimony, while VP, are memorialized verbatim in Council on Foreign Relations, "Foreign Affairs Issue Launch with Former Vice President Joe Biden,", Tuesday, January 23, 2018, A/V, running time 00:59:49. (3x)

Biden's testimony is said by some US House representatives to be imcomparable to transcript of Trump's phone conversation with Zelensky, because Trump allegedly induced "personal" gain or profit from cooperation from a foreign government official in ongoing US investigation into alleged unlawful activity involving US and Ukraine persons. Material evidence of those facts obtained by US DOJ is not known to the public nor US House committees which is why committee chairs have subpoenaed particular US agencies.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 06:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Biden bragged openly about denying aid unless a criminal investigation of his son was called off"
It is the veracity of this statement that is at question. You provided a link to video over an hour long as substantiation. I am not watching the whole of that video just to find out what is there. If you want to provide a minute at which the relevant portion starts I will look at that. I have to hear Biden in his own words, not some characterization of them.

I have seen video of Biden bragging openly about getting the Ukrainian government to fire Sholkin, but not a quote from Biden that links Biden's bragging to providing relief to his son, such as 'I got that prosecutor going after my son fired!' I am not unwilling to believe such an allegation per se. Biden is hardly my favorite candidate in the current primary. So, if it were true, it would be two birds with one stone.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 03:18:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of course

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 03:59:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Timeline of the Trump-Ukraine Scandal | Lawfare blog |

The chain of events leading up to the inquiry is complicated--and the Washington Post has provided a helpful timeline of its own. To help sort through the story, we have put together a timeline of how allegations of wrongdoing by the Bidens in Ukraine percolated up through right-wing news circles to the president's desk, what the president and his lawyer have said and done about it, what the Ukrainian government has said about the situation, and how Congress has reacted.

Following cries from observers about Shokin's own ineptitude and corruption and pressure from Vice President Biden, among others, Shokin was fired in 2016. Shokin's firing drew praise from Western observers, including from the European Union's envoy to Ukraine, who noted that the firing of Shokin "creates an opportunity to make a fresh start in the prosecutor general's office" and expressed "hope that the new prosecutor general will ensure that [his] office ... becomes independent from political influence and pressure and enjoys public trust."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 06:52:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There isn't one.  According to the "transcript" (which isn't actually a transcript but rather is a "summary" written by the White House), Trump made the accusation in yet another bout of verbal diarrhea, but both WSJ and Business Insider have stated no evidence has been presented to support the claim.  I'm not holding my breath.
by rifek on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 06:16:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 06:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are others, just use the Google
by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 02:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Shokin is the prosecutor that the USA, European Allies and international agencies all agreed was protecting the worst of the corruption. Biden was carrying out US policy at the time, policy set by Obama.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 03:22:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that make it Holy Writ?


Assuming the money was appropriated, it was a criminal act.
Biden's son's involvement meant he should have recused himself.

by StillInTheWilderness on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 11:42:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I learned a new word today "vacuity" ...

Let me say the piece written by Joe Biden and Michael Carpenter deserves that description: "vacuity."

From the introduction:

    ... and more broadly how to respond to the geopolitical challenge that Russia poses to the U.S. interests around the world.

    And let me say, I returned from Moscow a few days ago, and I was struck by how limited this relationship is, our bilateral relationship. It's actually less to it right now substantively than it was during most of the four decades of Cold War.

    I'm struck, too, by how different our views of the world are, ...


Oh dear, oh dear ... is that the result of not engaging with the Russian Federation after the Boris Yeltsin years of state asset theft?

From one of the U.S. Ambassadors to NATO in the range of Vicky Nuland - Kurt Volker - Ivo Daalder  - :

    Just as the United States resolved in the aftermath of World War II to counter the Soviet Union and its global ambitions, Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood and effectively making it a pariah state.

NATO Declares Russia Nr. 1 Adversary, Starts Troops Buildup

and  a former Secretary General of NATO Jaap de Hoop Scheffer:

"The West should respect the red lines of Russia."

And where would Wall Street prodigy Joe put the blame for the Cold War 2.0??

The Obama administration's decision to isolate Russia is a new version of "containment" | The Nation - May 2014 |
Cold War and containment from President Truman and George Kennan - 1947

A good read here @EuroTrib from 2007 ...

The dismantling of the Soviet Union, revisited.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 08:27:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would be interested in a link that shows this was a common position at the time.

Given the time and place where he was a career prosecutor it would not be surprising if he was corrupt. Then again, the Obama administration can't have been that concerned about corruption given the politicians they installed in Ukraine.

by fjallstrom on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 03:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is circulating in US culture today a common, colloquial measure of political expedience and moral rectitude anywhere that is seldom attributed to its author.

"An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 03:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The endemic culture of corruption was one good reason for leaving Ukraine alone and not bringing about the 'orange revolution' to begin with. In a place like Ukraine one is forced to go with what you got if you are to intervene. Those that have power and could be a useful ally are all corrupt and those that might be honest are pretty much impotent and useless.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 03:50:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've been wondering exactly when and if Trump retained the exclusive services of "America's Mayor". Several of "Trump's personal lawyer's" enterprises are defunct despite enthusiasm for his ahh leadership skills, groomed by his public appearances in the decades following 9/11 and Bush II retirement. Domestic and international clientele associated with his "key" businesses have not closely followed by the yella sheets. Wikiwtf articles are dated.

AFAIKT the going concerns are
Giuliani Partners LLC, which probably include legal advice,
Giuliani Security & Safety.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 08:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani hires Watergate prosecutor Jon Sale to represent him in Trump impeachment probe | CNBC |

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has hired an attorney to represent him in the congressional investigation into the president's actions related to Ukraine.

Jon Sale, a Florida-based white-collar attorney at Nelson Mullins, will represent Giuliani, he confirmed to CNBC. Sale served as an assistant special Watergate prosecutor and is a former assistant U.S. attorney.

The House Intelligence Committee on Monday subpoenaed Giuliani as part of its impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Rudy Giuliani is joining President Trump's personal legal team for the Mueller probe | CNBC - April 19, 2018 |

Where Rudy Giuliani's Money Comes From | Bloomberg |

While he represents the president for free, he travels the world consulting, giving speeches, and building his brand.

The Ukrainian gig is one slice of a globe-trotting consulting business Giuliani has continued to pursue while serving first as a key campaign surrogate for Trump, then as his cybersecurity adviser, and finally as his personal lawyer during special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani call for regime change in Tehran | Paris - May 2018 |

How Iranian MEK went from US terror list to halls of Congress

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 09:41:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nah. That joint was set up by  Condi "Greater Middle East" Rice (NSC, SOS) and her water boys from PNAC running around Iraq. synopsis.  

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 10:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pompeo took part in Trump-Zelensky call:  The Hill

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is part of the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The Journal reported Pompeo was among the administration officials who listened into the call, citing a senior State Department official.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 09:02:57 PM EST
Rose-Compass letter to DNI McGuire and Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr requesting federal protectionClick the link to read the pdf.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 30th, 2019 at 09:21:34 PM EST
I read the transcipt and I didn't see Trump asking for "dirt". I saw him asking for help in a criminal investigation.
Quite a bit of differenc3e there.
by StillInTheWilderness on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 03:16:15 AM EST
Pompeo realizes 'Bullying®' is a Republican tactic in White House politics and foreign affairs ...
Delays request on procedures and awaiting a formal subpoena with judicial arguments!

Pompeo accuses Democrats of 'bullying' and rebuffs demand to quiz key officials

Donald Trump's administration has shown its intent to defy the law and resist an impeachment inquiry by refusing to comply with congressional hearings.

On Tuesday, secretary of state Mike Pompeo rejected demands from House Democrats for five current and former state department officials to testify before committees investigating the president's attempts to push Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political rival.

Pompeo wrote to the House foreign affairs committee, accusing Democrats of "an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly" the officials. The requested dates were he said "not feasible".

The speed of the investigation raises "significant legal and procedural concerns", Pompeo wrote. "I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals."

Pompeo claimed House Democrats had been "sending intimidating communications" to State Department officials | Salon |

Related reading five days ago ...

Pompeo defends State Department role in Giuliani's Ukraine efforts | ABC News - 5 days ago |

Scott Morrison pledges Australia's help as Donald Trump investigates Mueller probe 'hoax' | ABC News AU |

    A Federal Government spokesperson confirmed the request, which is believed to have happened weeks ago after Mr Trump criticised Australia over the investigation by former FBI head Robert Mueller.

    "The Australian Government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation," a Federal Government spokesperson told the ABC.

    "The PM confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the President."

Reminded me of another surprise visit to the White House some months ago ...
Trump welcomes Dutch prime minister to the White House [video]

The Dutch government [and media!] has been quite supportive in the NATO alliance attacks on Russia in stand-off with Ukraine and European policy change to boost US imported LNG above the Russian Nord Stream pipelines and gas coming into Germany.  The Dutch intelligence AIVD / MIVD, wiretapping and cyberattacks are all done in close cooperation with the Nine Eyes intelligence alliance. I have covered these unique successes in recent years. The Dutch government was key in dropping StuxNet virus inside the Iranian centrifuge project.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 07:00:04 PM EST
US Foreign Policy from Crisis to Crisis

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 07:33:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my diaries @BooMan ...

Biden's Ukrainian Oligarchs and Corruption by Oui on Aug. 6, 2017
VP's Son Hunter Biden Joins Ukraine Gas Corporation by Oui on May 13, 2014

No one questions VP Biden's role in fighting corruption and getting rid of the Ukraine czar Viktor Shokin in 2016. It was about oligarchs linked to the Russian community ... oligarchs were minded to switch allegiance to the West and be left alone. Oligarch Poroshenko was the leader to favor Democrats and was quite taken aback when the Electoral College vote went to Trump. Surprise!

    Shokin was appointed Prosecutor General of Ukraine on 10 February 2015, replacing Vitaly Yarema. He was a controversial appointee due to his perceived role in blocking prosecutions against those accused of shooting demonstrators in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. As Prosecutor General, he was accused of blocking major cases against allies and influential figures and hindering the fight against corruption in Ukraine.

    Various street protests demanding Shokin's resignation were held. On 2 November 2015, there was an assassination attempt against him when an unidentified sniper fired three shots into his office, but was foiled by the bulletproof glass window. [...] Shokin was formally dismissed in a parliamentary vote on 29 March 2016. The European Union praised Shokin's dismissal due to a "lack of tangible results" of his office's investigations, and also because people in Shokin's office were themselves being investigated.
    [Source: Wikipedia]

Doesn't appear the timeline of and influence of VP Joe Biden had ANY effect on Shokin's dismissal!

Related reading ...

Poroshenko's Losing Bet on a Clinton Win
Russian Oil Wealth, Kremlin and Oligarchs
Fugitive Georgian Ex-President Saakashvili Appointed Governor of Odessa Region
Saakashvili Lashes Out At Poroshenko, Quits As Odesa Governor | RFERL - Nov. 2016 |

    Saakashvili said that "the last straw that broke my patience" was Ukrainian officials' income declarations made public. The data exposed vast gaps between the fortunes of politicians and those they represent at a time when Ukraine is pleading with the West for financial assistance.

    The declarations placed Poroshenko and several lawmakers from his political party -- the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Solidarity -- on a list of the richest individuals in Ukraine, with millions of dollars' worth of assets in cash and property.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 07:36:42 PM EST
Actually, some do where upon controversy arises in the yella sheets and sometimes US courts.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 08:11:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Media: Former environment minister Zlochevsky returns to Ukraine | Kyiv Post - Feb. 2018 |

Zlochevsky was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources in the government of ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov from July 2010 to April 2012.

Late in 2014, Zlochevsky left Ukraine. It became known in early 2015 that the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) had put him on the wanted list on suspicion of illegal enrichment. Zlochevsky was suspected of committing crime under Part 3 of Article 368-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (illegal enrichment).

As the Ukrainian media reported, Zlochevsky's company sold gas to the companies of the incumbent president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, and his entourage. In December 2016, TSN correspondent Olha Vasylevska reported that Zlochevsky had met with Member of Parliament from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction Ihor Kononenko in Vienna, Austria. However, this fact was denied by Kononenko.

In September 2016, Burisma's press service said that Kyiv's Pechersky District Court had ruled that the PGO should remove Zlochevsky from the wanted list.

In January 2017, Burisma announced the closure of all procedural and judicial actions against Zlochevsky and the Burisma Group's operation companies in Ukraine.

Burisma Holdings has a controlling stake in LLC KUB-Gas, as well as owns Ukrainian producing companies: Energy & Service Company Esko-Pivnich, LLC Pari, the First Ukrainian Petroleum Company, and Aldea. Its license portfolio includes gas fields in the Dnieper-Donets Basin, the Pannonian (Carpathian) Basin, the Azov and Kuban Basin. Burisma Holdings owns 20 licenses for hydrocarbon production. Natural gas accounts for 99 percent of its output. Burisma's beneficiary is Zlochevsky.

Related reading ...

Ukraine readies giant shale gas deal with Shell | EurActiv - Jan. 2013 |
Russia's silent shale gas victory in Ukraine
The largest future producers of shale gas in Europe are likely to be Poland, UK and Ukraine | Energy Market - Nov. 2013 |

More ...

Ukraine must investigate Joe Biden's son, says ex-Ukrainian PM Azarov | Reuters |

    Ukrainian prosecutors have said they are not investigating Hunter Biden, but are looking into the legality of Burisma's activities before Biden joined its board. Burisma, which denies any wrongdoing, has faced allegations of dodging taxes and of improperly securing licenses for gas deposits.

    Azarov said he thought it was "absolute nonsense", but that he believed allegations from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others that Joe Biden had gotten Ukraine's prosecutor general fired to protect his son Hunter must also be investigated. He did not provide the basis for his views.

У НАБУ кажуть, що мають ще одну справу щодо Мінекології часів Злочевського | Radio Svoboda |

Who is Azarov?

Euromaidan, the protest movement, occurred in Ukraine on November 21, 2013, transpired when President Yanukovych unilaterally delayed the signing of the European Union Association Agreement. Thus, it was the abrupt policy shift from Pro-European to Pro-Russian by the second Azarov government that propelled the thousands of demonstrators (predominantly young students) to go out onto the streets.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 09:39:22 PM EST
Politico.eu | Trump's man in Brussels at center of impeachment inquiry
Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to EU
U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland's role at the center of the impeachment scandal can be traced to one of Donald Trump's obsessions -- not with Joe Biden and the Democrats, but with Germany's reliance on Russian gas and Berlin's support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built by Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled energy behemoth.

It was Trump's fury at Germany, which he voiced directly to Chancellor Angela Merkel before a NATO summit in July 2018

The President: "When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine."
and his fixation on increasing sales of U.S. liquified natural gas that led to Sondland being deployed as one of three U.S. officials responsible for managing relations with Ukraine, which fiercely opposes the Nord Stream 2 project.
According to other messages, that "deliverable" appears to have been a draft statement, ultimately never issued by the Ukrainian president, in which he was supposed to announce an investigation of Hunter Biden's connection to a Ukrainian gas company, as well as into allegations of Ukrainian connections to interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Ukrainian Aide Seeks White House Date First: On August 10, 2019, President Zelensky's aide, Andrey Yermak, pressed Ambassador Volker for a date for the White House visit before committing to a statment announcing an investigation explicitly referencing the 2016 election and Burisma:
[8/10/19, 5:01:32 PM] Andrey Yermak: Hi Kurt. Please let me know when you can talk. I think it's possible to make this declaration and mention all these thins. Which we discussed yesterday. But it wil be logic to do after we receive a confirmation of date. We inform about date of visit and about our expectations and our guarntees for future visit. Let discuss it
[8/10/19, 5:02:18 PM] Kurt Volker: I agree with your approach. Let's iron out statement and use that to get date and then PreZ can go forward with it?
[8/10/19, 5:26:17 PM] Andrey Yermak: OK
[8/10/19, 5:38:43PM] Kurt Volker: Great. Gordon [Sondland] is available to join as well
[8/10/19, 5:41:45 PM] Andrey Yermak: Excellent
[8/10/19, 5:42:10 PM] Andrey Yermak: Once we have a date, will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of US-UKRAINE relationship, including among other things Burisma and election meddling in investigations
[8/10/19, 5:42:30 PM] Kurt Volker: Sounds great!
In June, Kushner attended a dinner that Sondland organized as part of a U.S. Independence Day celebration -- oddly held one month early -- that was also attended by Zelenskiy and [U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick] Perry. As part of that celebration, Sondland arranged a stand-up comedy performance in Brussels by Jay Leno, the former host of "The Tonight Show."
Some weeks earlier, Sondland met in Brussels with Perry and a top adviser to Zelenskiy, Oleksandr Danyluk, to discuss gas and other energy issues. Zelenskiy would later name Danyluk as head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.
State Department Officials on Withholding Security Assistance: On September 9. 2019, Ambassador Taylor and Ambassador Sondland had the following exchange regarding the withholding of military assistance to Ukraine:
[9/9/19, 12:34:44 AM] Bill Taylor: Counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon.
[9/9/19, 12:37:16 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I never said I was "right". I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Lets hope it works.
[9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.
[9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.
Sondland and Volker were first in Ukraine together last February, on a trip to the port city of Odesa, where a U.S. Navy destroyer, the U.S.S. Donald Cook, was docked on a symbolic visit. The two Americans were part of a delegation that also included a senior European Commission official,  Jean-Christophe Belliard, and was intended to show support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia.
"We have what are called the three amigos," [Sondland] said. "And the three amigos are Secretary Perry, again Ambassador Volker and myself. And we have been tasked with sort of overseeing the Ukraine-U.S. relationship between our contacts at the highest levels of the U.S. government and now the highest levels of the Ukrainian government."
< wipes tears >

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 6th, 2019 at 03:37:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
APsplainin | Ukraine's leader: Trump didn't use US military aid as lever
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is STRUGGLING to distance himself from U.S. politics -- and to contain the damage to Ukraine and his own reputation from a July phone conversation with Trump that UNLEASHED a congressional impeachment inquiry.

"It is impossible to put pressure on me," he told reporters Tuesday. "Many people try to influence me," he said, but "I am the president of independent Ukraine."

Zelenskiy suggested Tuesday that military aid was raised in other discussions, but didn't say when they took place.

The PENTAGON announced plans in JUNE to send $250 million in aid to Ukraine, but its delivery was delayed. A defense official said last week that the Trump administration held up the money to analyze the extent to which Ukraine was addressing long-standing U.S. concerns about corruption.

The funding was then released in September.

"It wasn't explained to me" why the money didn't come through earlier, Zelenskiy said.

Trump signs bipartisan budget and debt deal into law, 2 Aug
"Follow-up legislation would fill in the line-by-line details of agency budgets when the Senate returns in September."
White House: Trump supports stopgap funding bill, 23 Sep
"The Senate is scheduled to leave town for a two-week recess Friday [23 Sep]; Trump has to sign the bill by midnight Oct. 1 or a shutdown would begin."
House committee leaders demand budget documents related to Ukraine aid holdup, 27 Sep
"[T]hey are concerned OMB actions that withheld military aid to Ukraine "constitute unlawful impoundments in violation" of the landmark 1974 [?] budget law. [...] The letter says that, according to [news] reports, there was concern within the administration that if the money was not spent, the administration would 'run afoul' of the law. OMB eventually released the funds [Sep 2019]."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 11:17:34 PM EST
s/b "... a two-week recess Friday [25 Sep]"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 1st, 2019 at 11:21:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Budget Control Act of 2011, Pub.L No: 112-25, of which "Sec. 105. Amendments to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 12:43:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"reader friendlier" display of Budget Control Act of 2011 which amended and emended ("marked up" as shown in text above) the Budget Act of 1974:
sect. 105 by table jump list

Review provisions (a)-(c) for reporting revised budget "impoundments," "suballocations," and "adjustments" by either chamber.

Remember, Ukraine aid is in the Pentagon Hufflepuff bag (sequestered or not sequestered)?

Recall, the odious wrote this itself, and Obama signed it.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 01:09:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump will never be impeached.  Too many GOP Senators depend on Trump voters to be re-elected.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 09:23:12 PM EST
It's about bipartisan "donors" preserving institutional knowledge, while Trump messes with sanctimonious "norms". Their PR machine is in a bit of a bind at the moment on how to sort indispensible unlawful and lawful executive prerogatives from "rule of law".

I keep warning y'all, liars can't keep their stories straight. After that, it's up to you accept the risk of climbing that totem or not. Don't expect liar to distribute PPE though.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Oct 2nd, 2019 at 10:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Conway he's losing it ... more erratic than ever. The Boris trick of bluster and blatter.

The Guardian - Live Blog

Donald Trump's remarks just now were extraordinary.

Trump, currently under investigation for urging Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, again encouraged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. On live tv.

Not only that, the president then urged China to investigate Biden.

Some context:

As if Xi wants to do Der Trumpf some favours in the trade stand-off and the imprisonment of a Huawei executive in Canada.

After 70 years of economic progress, is China on the right road to achieve Xi Jinping's 'Chinese dream'? | SCMP |

George Conway, husband of Trump's adviser Kellyanne Conway and a persistent thorn in the president's side, has resumed his criticism of the president in an article for the Atlantic.

Conway, an attorney, has been asking questions about Trump's mental state throughout Trump's presidency.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Oct 3rd, 2019 at 05:48:17 PM EST
3 of 5 EYES

U.S., [Australia, UK] urge Facebook not to encrypt messages as they fight child abuse, terrorism

The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia plan to sign a special data agreement on Thursday that would fast track requests from law enforcement to technology companies for information about the communications of terrorists and child predators, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Law enforcement could get information in weeks or even days instead of the current wait of six months to two years, one document said.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 04:55:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mike Pence said in the 2016 vice presidential debate: "This is basic stuff. Foreign donors - and certainly foreign governments - cannot participate in the American political process."

And today:

Federal judge orders Trump to hand over eight years of tax returns

by das monde on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 04:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The President won't and can't deny the quid pro quo on Biden investigation in addition to Ukraine's meddling in 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton. The President is going full blast on how corrupt the Democrats are ...

US diplomats told Zelenskiy that Trump visit was dependent on Biden statement

US diplomats told Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, that a prestigious White House visit to meet Donald Trump was dependent on him making a public statement vowing to investigate Hunter Biden's company, and a Ukrainian role in the 2016 elections, according to texts released on Thursday night.

The texts, released by three congressional committees holding impeachment hearings, show that the diplomats made clear that any improvement in Kyiv's relations with Washington would be dependent on Zelenskiy's cooperation in Trump's quest to find damaging material about son of his leading political opponent, and on the Democrats in general.

In August, Zelenskiy's government became aware, through a US press report, that military aid for its struggle with Russia, had been withheld by Trump, in an apparent effort to increase the pressure on the Ukrainian government.

The texts are exchanges from July to early September between three US diplomats - Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, Kurt Volker, the then special envoy on Ukraine, and Bill Taylor, the acting ambassador to Kyiv. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani and a Zelenskiy aide, Andrey Yermak, also make brief appearances in the correspondence.


Trump and his supporters have sought to create a counter-narrative to the US intelligence community finding that Russia intervened in the 2016 US election in Trump's favour. According to the counter-narrative, the real interference came from Ukrainian oligarchs and was in Hillary Clinton's favour. There is no evidence for the theory [sic - Oui], but the launch of an investigation by Kyiv would have given it credence.

Attachment letter of correspondence

'Crazy to withhold security assistance' to Ukraine for political campaign: Top US diplomat | ABC News |

In the Sept. 9 exchange, obtained by ABC News, the concerns are expressed by Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine. Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, responds to Taylor, saying that charge is "incorrect."

"Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo's of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelenskiy promised during his campaign," Sondland says.

Sondland then suggests to the group take the conversations off line, typing, "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text." It's unclear whether the material obtained by ABC News included the full exchange.

Volker Texts on Ukraine Shared With Congress | ABC News |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 08:32:54 AM EST

Trump's impeachment defiance spooks key voting blocs | Politico |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 08:33:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sondlond's insistence that there was no quid pro quo is just argument by assertion - again.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 04:04:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Appeared To Offer D.C. Visit To Zelenskiy In Return For Biden-Related Probe | RFE/RL |

A cache of correspondence was made public late on October 3 by U.S. House of Representative officials following a 10-hour interview with Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine who resigned last week after his name surfaced in a whistle-blower complaint.

In the morning ahead of a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Zelenskiy, the envoy wrote a text message that said: "Heard from White House -- Assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington."

An adviser to Zelenskiy appeared to accept the proposal, which included a probe into Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Biden's son Hunter was on the board of the firm at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration's dealings with Kyiv. No evidence has been presented indicating any wrongdoing by the Bidens in the case.

"Phone call went well," Andriy Yermak wrote in a text to Volker the day after Trump and Zelenskiy spoke.

Yermak then suggested several dates in September when Trump and Zerenskiy could hold a meeting. But the deal fell through when Yermak failed to put out a statement about the investigations.

Ukraine's Ambassador: Zelensky, Trump "will have chemistry" during upcoming meeting | UNIAN |

Changing Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, Valery Chaly, is needed to relaunch relations between the two countries, said Assistant to President Vladimir Zelensky Andrey Yermak.

"I fully support this decision. Ukrainian-American relations should reflect and take into account the position of President Zelensky. Ukraine should become a mutually beneficial strategic partner for the United States. Naturally, this all implies another person at the post of ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, "he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine's Ambassador to U.S. (now retired)

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 08:43:19 AM EST
"The CIA general counsel is no "angry Democrat" - DKos

With the news that CIA general counsel Courtney Simmons Elwood was so alarmed by the whistleblower report that she made a criminal referral to the Justice Department, it's almost inevitable that you're going to hear wailings of "swamp creature" and "angry Democrat" from the deplorables.

But a quick dive into Elwood's background should put that to rest, and quickly. According to her CIA biography, Elwood clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and later clerked for J. Michael Luttig, a Bush 41 appointee to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. During the Bush 43 administration, Elwood served as an associate counsel to Bush, deputy counsel to Cheney and deputy chief of staff to the Attorney General.

In other words, this woman is Republican through and through. And she was able to take off her partisan label long enough to see that the behavior in that whistleblower report was criminal. Simply put, Courtney Simmons Elwood is a patriot. And she is proof that it is still possible to put your oath of office above your party label--and any supposed loyalty to the president who appointed you.

Wm. Barr dully dismissed that referral, no doubt. And some still wonder why the whistleblower contacted the Intelligence Committee staff directly.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2019 at 03:22:56 PM EST
Second Whistle-Blower Over Trump and Ukraine
The second whistle-blower is said to have firsthand knowledge of President Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

WASHINGTON -- An intelligence official with "firsthand knowledge" has provided information related to President Trump's dealings with Ukraine and is now protected from retaliation as a whistle-blower, lawyers representing the official said on Sunday, confirming that a second individual has come forward in the matter.

Much is unknown about the official, who has been interviewed by the intelligence community's inspector general but has not filed a formal complaint.

But the individual has hired the same legal team as the first whistle-blower. That, and the claim of "firsthand knowledge," suggests testimony that might bolster the impeachment case against Mr. Trump and further undermine one of his main defense claims: that the accusations against him are based on inaccurate, secondhand information.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 04:01:14 PM EST
Judge rules Trump must turn over tax returns to Manhattan D.A.  LA Times

A federal judge Monday emphatically rejected President Trump's challenge to the release of his tax returns to New York prosecutors, saying the president's broad claim of immunity from all criminal investigations is at odds with the Constitution. But an appeals court blocked the handover of the documents for now.

At issue is a request from Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. that Trump's accounting firm turn over eight years' worth of his business and personal tax returns for an investigation into the payment of hush money to two women who claimed to have had affairs with the president. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero turned down Trump's challenge, saying he could not grant the president a "categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity."

Trump's lawyers immediately appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and it granted a temporary stay of the judge's ruling "pending expedited review" by the court....Trump's lawyers have said that the investigation led by Vance, a Democrat, is politically motivated and that the request for his tax records should be stopped because he is immune from any criminal probe as long as he is president. Marrero called Trump's claim of a broad immunity "extraordinary" and "an overreach of executive power."

"As the court reads it, presidential immunity would stretch to cover every phase of criminal proceedings, including investigations, grand jury proceedings and subpoenas, indictment, prosecution, arrest, trial, conviction, and incarceration," the judge wrote. "That constitutional protection presumably would encompass any conduct, at any time, in any forum, whether federal or state, and whether the President acted alone or in concert with other individuals." The judge said he couldn't accept that legal view, "especially in the light of the fundamental concerns over excessive arrogation of power" that led the founding fathers to create a balance of power among the three branches of government.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 04:14:36 PM EST
"must"? mmm, no, not just yet.
Judge Denies `Virtually Limitless' Shield to Trump in Tax ["]Fight["]
Before the subpoena could be enforced this afternoon, the Second Circuit ordered a temporary stay in connection to an an emergency appeal filed by Trump's attorneys. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in turn is requesting that the Second Circuit fast-track Trump's appeal, holding a hearing before the end of the week.
Hello from the most illiterate, litigious nation on the planet!

diabolical. unprecedented. egregious. inconceivable. Kill all the lawyers.

US District Court, Southern District of New York
Donald J. Trump v. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., in his official capacity as District Attorney of the County of New York [Manhattan], and Mazars USA, LLP. 75 pp. (Too much?)

Questions and controversy over the scope of presidential immunity from judicial process, and unqualified invocations of such an exemption as advanced by some Presidents, are not new in the nation's constitutional experience. In fact, disputes concerning the doctrine arose during the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the Framers' deliberations gave it some consideration. The underlying issues, however, wer not explicitly articulated in the text of the charter that emerged from the Convention and thus have remained largely unresolved. Consequently, the only thing truly absolute about presidential immunity from criminal process is the Constitution's silence about the existence andd contours of such an exemption, a void the President seeks to fill by the expansive theory he proffers.
[...blah monarchy blah arbitrary rule blah ...]
In numberous rulings, the courts have circumscribed claims of presidential immunity in multiple was. Specifically, they have held that such protection from judicial process does not extend to civil suits regarding private conduct that occurred before the President assumed office, to responding to subpoenas regarding the conduct of third-persons, and to providing testimony in court proceedings relating to private disputes involving third persons.
[...yadda yadda yadda...]
Because this Court finds aspects of such a doctrine repubnant to the nation's governmental structure and constitutional values, and for reasons further stated below, it ABSTAINS from adjudicating this dispute and DISMISSES the President's suit. In the alternative, in the event on appeal abstention wer found unwarranted unter the circumstances presented her, the Court DENIES the President's motion for injuctive relief.

archived case and controversy appeals
Can [JEAN] really do that?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Oct 7th, 2019 at 07:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, further down in the article was the notice that a stay had been granted by the Second District. They promised an expedited review. We will have to wait to see the outcome.

What else is new? And who could have known?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 at 01:15:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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