Nel's New Day

October 13, 2019

Pompeo, Barr Hide behind Religion

Filed under: Religion — trp2011 @ 10:10 PM
Tags: , , , ,

With the United States becoming a theocracy, two of the major leaders are self-proclaimed dedicated Christians while they lie and cheat to destroy democracy.

State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo, once a hater of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), said in 2016 that DDT would be “an authoritarian President who ignored our Constitution.” Now Pompeo himself violates the constitution while he enables DDT to do the same. He also opposed DDT’s “America First” in the world because of his belief in U.S. power to guarantee world stability. The instant that DDT was elected, Pompeo worked to get an appointment, first as CIA director and later State Department Secretary after DDT fired Rex Tillerson.

Like other DDT’s appointees, Pompeo lied under oath for his confirmation, an impeachable crime. Under oath, he signed a questionnaire that he had not been involved in any financial or business transactions within an entity controlled by a foreign government. A year later, he talked about running a small business making machine parts connected with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. When president of Sentry International, the oil-services firm manufacturing parts throughout China and sold in the U.S., he expanded the company to ten plans in China anda joint venture of the Chinese national oil firm Sinopec. He did that before he swore he hadn’t received any compensation from foreign government financial or business transactions. The State Department covered for Pompeo by stating that he wouldn’t have any idea about overseas interests in the companies that he ran.

As Pompeo made his name in Kansas, his business affairs were based on lies: he claimed that very little financial involvement in his struggling aviation company came from the Koch brothers who lived in Wichita. The Kochs’ venture-capital fund had almost 20 percent of the company, and the brothers not only participated in its management but also helped Pompeo avoid environmental cleanup required for the company that his firm took over in 1999. Pompeo’s firm continued to pollute, with high levels of their toxic chemical in residential wells that were “a threat to human health.” Although Pompeo described the firm as “small,” investors put $90 million into it before he was forced out because of mismanagement and moved on to his Chinese business.

As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, former Rep. Pompeo (R-KS) protected the Koch brothers in exchange for large donations to his campaign. Moving to the Intelligence Committee, Pompeo promoted conspiracy theories about the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. citizens at Benghazi (Libya) in 2012 and used the tragedy against Hillary Clinton throughout the next four years, highlighting fake speculation about Hillary Clinton’s deletion of 30,000 emails from a private server after he became Secretary of State.

An evangelical Christian, Pompeo wants to move all Jews to Israel and convert them to Christianity in preparation for the End Times. He also supports DDT no matter that DDT says. A former official called Pompeo “among the most sycophantic and obsequious people around Trump,” and a former American ambassador told Susan Glasser, “He’s like a heat-seeking missile for Trump’s ass.” Pompeo is a symbol of how the GOP moved from great distaste for DDT to his enabler.

Pompeo carries out his religious prejudices through the State Department, including orders to not fly the gay pride flag, his new human rights committee that opposes human rights, the incorporation of “natural” rights which means no LGBTQ justice, and his refusal to recognize the climate crisis. He also ignores human-rights abuses throughout the world, smiling with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince soon after the Saudi leader’s gruesome killing of U.S. columnist and resident Jamal Khashoggi. 

Looking like a future presidential candidate, Pompeo hosts GOP strategists such as Karl Rove and wealthy donors like Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Pompeo’s second wife, Susan, orchestrates these dinners and makes a name for herself in the media along with her husband by using government resources and treating Pompeo’s security detail as servants—“UberEats with guns.” (Pompeo married his first wife in 1986 and soon divorced her.)

Pompeo is being investigated for his use of his Secret Service team to run household errands: picking up Chinese takeout food, retrieving the family dog from the groomer, and taking an adult son to the family home from Union Station. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a federal employee “shall not encourage, direct, coerce, or request a subordinate to use official time to perform activities other than those required in the performance of official duties or authorized in accordance with law or regulation.”

Susan Pompeo may also be investigated for her personal security detail with no need. Employees were also ordered to omit all information about Susan in official emails, violating the mandated recordkeeping laws. On trips with her husband, Susan also requires a State Department staffer and chairs meetings on trip logistics at the State Department although she is not an employee. Her separate meetings require control officers, motor pool assets, security, and time even during the shutdown when furloughed employees were called to an embassy for her services.

Last March, Pompeo redefined the mission of the State Department as serving DDT—not the Constitution. An early draft was a loyalty oath, possibly aimed at leakers. A former senior official said, “I ended up feeling like we were in 1984.” Pompeo emphasizes that his sole goal is to execute DDT’s commands. Instead of generals, DDT has a captain who follows his orders.

Another of DDT’s servants is his AG Bill Barr, who doesn’t understand that his position is to support the people of the United States, not the person elected as president. Like Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, he fails to understand that his “client” is the institution, not the person in the White House.

Barr gained his fame soon after his confirmation with the release of the Robert Mueller investigation by trying to hide most of it and lying about the rest of it. In running the DOJ as DDT’s personal law firm, Barr has:

  • Redacted the Muller report that may have damaging information about DDT such as lies about his campaign’s contacts with WikiLeaks.
  • Stated that there is insufficient information “to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”  
  • Tried to hide the Ukrainian whistleblower report in violation of the law.
  • Been cited by DDT as a person who can find dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden.
  • Ordered the DOJ to block New York prosecutors using state law to demand DDT’s tax returns.
  • Fought human rights in the Supreme Court.
  • Talked to Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Fox network, presumably about negative information about DDT on Fox.
  • Traveled around the world, alienating world leaders by trying to dig up dirt about the investigations into the FBI and Mueller in their probing into the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 
  • Hid a 2018 federal report about white supremacists being responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism events in that year.

Despite past illegal acts, Barr had been looked upon as a “respectable” political figure, even by Democrats. Now, however, Barr has become DDT’s Dick Cheney—or, as bad, his Roy Cohn. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) demonstrated her disappointment in Barr when she told him:

“The American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office.”

Former FBI James Comey, a Republican fired by DDT in his search to find more compliant people, wrote an op-ed for the NYT, explaining his reason for such subservience.

“Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from.”

Comey explained the process:

  1. They become complicit in DDT’s lying because they stay silent.
  2. They display “personal fealty” in public because everyone is watching and DDT demands it.
  3. They idly stand by as DDT attacks the “institutions and values you hold dear” with the excuse that they are protecting the institutions under attack.

Comey wrote that the silent ones must then become part of DDT’s team with more compromises; they end up perjuring themselves on DDT’s behalf. And they use religion as the justification as Barr did when he accused “secularists” and “progressives” of deliberately and systematically destroying democracy. Comey concludes, “And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.” The question is whether any of DDT’s “loyalists” can escape; Pompeo and Barr are likely destined to join VP Mike Pence as DDT’s scapegoats for the rising corruption charges against the man who sits in the Oval Office.  

October 12, 2019

Impeachment Causes Panic, Disaster

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) presided over two campaign rallies in the past week, those in Minnesota and Louisiana, and ramped up his fury. While networks no longer televise his speeches because they lack information, the media publicizes clips, many of them “bleeped” because the man in the Oval Office uses such coarse language that it cannot be broadcast. Amidst abusive insults, DDT’s liberal sprinkling of “R-rated” vulgarities are delivered to an audience where small children are present. At one point, he seemed to be trying to imitate language during sex between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page. It’s the new normal for how the leader of the U.S. represents the nation throughout the world—foul fury delivered in profanities with no relationship to policy.

The visuals from DDT’s rallies always show wildly cheering people, ecstatic about every curse that comes out of DDT’s mouth. There is a reason: he orchestrates his rallies like a “reality” television program with section leaders guiding their every move. John Pence, VP Mike Pence’s nephew, acts as one of these section leaders who urge the audience to chant, leads them, and then tells them when to quit, according to Omarosa Manigault Newman. She added that Pence is “particularly responsible for all of the staging and choreography of the campaigns … to get the outcome that we saw from Donald Trump saying go back to your countries that you came from and if you don’t love it, leave it.” All of it is coordinated and manufactured “to stoke fear in this country and we’ve seen it, we feel it, and they’re going to continue on because they believe it’s a winning strategy,” Newman said. About the 13-second “send her back” chant in Greenville, Newman said:

“If he wanted to shut it down, he would have looked to his right which is where the lead is standing, and he would have given a signal. They would have been shut down immediately. The way that he stepped back and he basked in the glow of these ugly chants, it indicated to the section leaders to let them keep going, to stoke them up, to keep it going.”

DDT’s rallies look good for his campaign, but they’re bad news for city and county budgets. Knowing that DDT’s campaigns have already stiffed at least ten cities over millions of dollars in unpaid expenditures, Minneapolis demanded the $530,000 cost for this week’s rally upfront. DDT threatened to sue the city, and it backed down. 

At today’s speech for the hate group Values Voters Summit, DDT seemed to have a mental breakdown. After complaining about the IRS being used against him, he said:

“Generations of Americans before us … did not work. They fight. They sacrifice. They do so much.”

He apparently cleaned up his language for the evangelicals, however, who have criticized DDT for “using the Lord’s name in vain.”

The Scottish government also can’t get legal costs out of DDT after he lost his case to block windmills near his Aberdeen golf course and was ordered to the government’s bills. DDT lost $14.3 million at his two Scottish golf courses last year, adding to losses for each of several previous years.

DDT’s business is also selling off real estate—about $110 million—in about 100 transactions in a goal to hoard money.  In January 2018, the sale of land in the Dominican Republic for $3.2 million clearly violated DDT’s promise to have no foreign deals while he was in office. DDT’s mansion in Beverly Hills went for $13.5 million to a company tied to Indonesian billionaire and DDT’s business partner Hary Tanoesoedibjo. A woman running a business selling access to Chinese officials got a Manhattan penthouse. HUD Ben Carson okayed the $900 million sale of the biggest federal subsidized housing complex, Spring Creek Towers, with DDT having a four-percent ownership. Sales erased liabilities of $19 million in New York, $8 million in San Francisco, and $12 million in Las Vegas Condo as the business repaid $60 million liabilities since his inauguration. Details here.  

DDT has failed to live up to his campaign promises in every major way except getting rid of regulations, and that goal is to help himself and big business at the cost of public safety and economic benefit. His focus, “drain the swamp,” has shifted to “fill the swamp.” In 33 months, DDT has put more ex-lobbyists into his Cabinet than either President Obama or George W. Bush did in their entire eight years. The $3.4 billion spent on lobbying in 2019 is the most since 2010, and DDT uses his office to make money for his personal businesses. Without DDT’s executive orders for two years hiatus before appointments or avoidance of conflicts of interest, these former lobbyists represent their earlier employers’ interests in the departments of Defense, Interior, EPA, Labor, Trade.

During his campaign, DDT suckered in voters by claiming to be a fabulous businessman, and he continues to brag about having “a lot of business ability” to make the right decisions. His narcissism drives him to be the most aggressive micromanager ever seated in the Oval Office. Former Jim Mattis disagrees with DDT’s style of telling people what to do with no background for his orders. In his memoir Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Read, Mattis, who has a personal collection of over 7,000 books, wrote:

 “If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you. Any commander who claims he is ‘too busy to read’ is going to fill body bags with his troops as he learns the hard way. Reading sheds light on the dark path ahead. By traveling into the past, I enhance my grasp of the present.”

DDT doesn’t know if Rudy Giuliani remains his lawyer because he hasn’t spoken to Giuliani for several days, starting to throw Giuliani “under the bus.” Giuliani stated that he is still DDT’s lawyer, and DDT today defended Giuliani after federal prosecutors began a criminal investigation into Giuliani’s breaking lobbying laws while trying to drive Ukraine’s U.S. ambassador Marie Yavonovitch out of the country.

Giuliani may have incriminated DDT in the Ukrainian crimes by saying that he wasn’t guilty of foreign lobbying violations because he was following DDT’s directions. Referring to his work to get Marie Yovanovitch, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, pulled out of the country, he said:

“It would be kind of ridiculous to say I was doing it on [former Ukrainian prosecutor] Lutsenko’s behalf when I was representing the president of the United States.”

DDT’s withdrawal of assistance from Kurds to allow Turkish invasion has reached a new level of disaster: Turkish forces are deliberately attacking U.S. forces in Syria to take over the land. Turkey knows where U.S. forces are stationed in Syria, and Brett McGurk, former special envoy for DDT against ISIS, said that the attack against the U.S. was deliberate. DDT’s military leaders Mark Esper and Mark Milley said that the Pentagon would not abandon the Kurds but have withdrawn forces to protect them from Turkey’s invasion.

In another unprecedented anti-immigrant action, DDT signed an executive order requiring state and local governments to consent in writing before people can arrive. He announced his move at his Minneapolis rally when he called their U.S. representative, Ilhan Omar, “an American-hating socialist.” No GOP governments and state officials are commenting on DDT’s new order. Case history shows that refugee and immigration policy is federal, not state.

In AG Bill Barr’s attack on the First Amendment separation of church and state before the Notre Dame’s law school audience, he blamed “secularists” and “so-called progressives” for destroying U.S. society. He said:

“This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”

Barr profited off these industries while serving as general counsel at Verizon, being paid as a Time Warner board member, and representing telecom GTE. To Barr, freedom of religion is a “moral upheaval,” especially in public schools. This is the man selected to protect all the people in the United States.

Other Bits:

Two valuable advisory boards to protect marine life and fight invasive species disappeared after DDT refused to fund them. Both NOAA’s Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee and the Interior Department’s Invasive Species Advisory Committee had operated for over a decade.

If DDT gets his way, reporters will be exempted from the White House, in conflict with the constitution’s First Amendment, if DDT gets his way.

Microsoft discovered that Iran tried to identify, attack and breach email accounts belonging to DDT’s campaign last summer. Will Republicans who aren’t bothered by Russian interference in past elections mind if countries opposed to them do the same thing for the other side in 2020?

October 11, 2019

DDT: Week 142 – For Those Tired of Impeachment News

A public radio program complained today about endless talk about impeachment, which of course comes from the media. Here’s some non-impeachment news about Dictator Donald Trump (DDT).

DDT lost three cases today:

Last week, DDT signed an executive order for a health care mandate—but only for immigrants. He ordered all immigrants who couldn’t pay for their health insurance or didn’t have the insurance to be blocked from entering the U.S. This week, a federal judge followed the Supreme Court ruling against a mandate by temporarily blocking DDT’s “public charge” linking immigrants legal status to use of public benefits. According to DDT’s rule, any immigrant who receiving at least one designated public benefit such as Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, or public housing for over 12 months within three years will denied a green card. The judge ruled that DDT likely exceeded its authority and failed to justify the action. He wrote, “The rule is simply a new agency policy of exclusion in search of a justification.” All U.S. citizens are left to getting their health care through GoFundMe sites, forgoing medications, and sometimes just die.

In Texas, a federal judge ruled DDT’s proclamation of a national emergency on the southern border is illegal and blocked his diversion of funding for a border wall. The judge gave El Paso standing to sue DDT and his Cabinet because their acts and rhetoric caused the county to suffer “reputational and economic injuries.”

A third federal decision in a third state ruled that DDT’s accounting firm must turn over his financial records requested by the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The one dissenting person on the three-person appeals court said that the House should impeach DDT to get the records, demonstrating approval of the impeachment process in contradiction to DDT’s legal team. The dissenting judge was appointed by DDT.

The cases follow an earlier decision this week declaring that DDT doesn’t not have total immunity and that he’s not above the law.

Three important people resigned today:

DDT’s Fox polls regarding impeachment looked very bad for him, AG Bill Barr talked to owner Rupert Murdoch, and chief news anchor Shep Smith left his job within 36 hours after 23 years with Fox. Hmm.  

After being acting DHS Secretary for fewer than six months, Kevin McAleenan left in the same way that his predecessor, Kirstjen Nielsen, did in April. DDT used the “more time with his family” excuse, but DDT, worried about McAleenan’s “loyalty,” has been unhappy him and not appointed him for a permanent position. A replacement might be Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who has a contentious relationship with the Senate, making confirmation difficult.

Michael McKinley, senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is also gone because of consistently deteriorating moral in the agency from Pompeo’s refusal to support his personnel. McKinley has had a wide range of diplomatic posts in South America, Asia, and the Middle East. Talking about professional blocked from “doing the right thing,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said, “[People] are not going to put up with this anymore and can’t look the other way.”

After DDT pulled out 50 service members protecting Kurds from Turkey, claiming to stop the U.S. from “senseless wars,” he sent 1,800 military members to protect Saudi Arabia, supposedly to deter Iranian aggression. Another 14,000 U.S. service members have been sent to the Middle East since the spring, including over 6,000 part of a naval strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Defense Secretary Mark said he may send more troops. He said that U.S. troops were removed from Syria to keep them from a dispute between Turkey and the Kurds.

In another stupid military decision, DDT considers withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty: participating countries must notify other nations 72 hours before an observational flight and give the “host country” one day to respond. Russia and the U.S. joined 32 countries for this treaty promoting transparency.

After a 30-month investigation, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and its ongoing efforts to control the current one. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has consistently fought to allow this continuing interference. For DDT’s second presidential campaign, Mark Zuckerberg is allowing lies on Facebook—this time with DDT-paid attack ads against Joe Biden—aimed at electing DDT. The campaign is also paying millions of dollars for anti-impeachment ads, again with falsehoods.

DDT and new Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia want wait-people to keep their $2.13 minimum wage, compared to $7.25 for other people, while doing duties that keep them from getting enough tips to make up the difference between the two wage levels.

Conservative abstinence-only policies and DDT’s defunding of free test clinics combined to raise cases of STDs—syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia—to a record high last year. With the 71-percent increase in syphilis cases since 2014 came a 22-percent raise from 2017 in newborn deaths related to congenital syphilis.

An eight-year-old girl climbed a replica of DDT’s wall that he called “virtually impenetrable” in less than a minute using only a belay designed to catch a falling climber. An adult went over the wall in 40 seconds. The video is here

DDT has given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, to former AG Ed Meese, who makes current AG Bill Barr look honest. Meese barely survived confirmation because of accusations of poor ethical standards and failure to enforce civil rights laws. Before his seven years in Ronald Reagan’s administration, he was known for arranging jobs for those who did him financial favors and receiving special treatment from government agencies in his business affairs. He participated in the Iran-Contra scandal when the U.S. sold weapons to Iran as a way to finance Nicaraguan Contra rebels. In his investigation Meese failed to notify Congress about his investigation, failed to protect National Security Council documents, and failed to take notes during his interviews. No charges were filed after an investigation into his possible involvement of a coverup.

Other investigations concerned filing a false tax return, bribing the Israel Labor Party to not destroy a $1 billion pipeline from Jordan to Iraq, and having stock in a telephone company while reviewing telecommunications policy when AG. Meese was also involved in a scam about the allocation of U.S. military contracts to a New York company called Wedtech. As AG in 1985, he opposed the 1966 Miranda ruling that allowed a suspect’s right to remain silent and have an attorney during police questioning. The medal was awarded on the same day that DDT violated the law by blocking all House-issued subpoenas for himself and everyone else.  

The mass school shooting last year in Parkland (FL) caused CEO Edward Stack of Dick’s Sporting Goods to stop selling firearms to anyone under 21 and banned the sale of military-style rifles because the Dick’s had sold the killer a shotgun. Now Dick’s is destroying $5 million worth of assault weapons, turning them into scrap metal. The father of Stack, a staunch Second Amendment supporter, started Dick’s as a fish-and-tackle shop in 1948.

Last year, after the Republicans passed a massive tax cut for the wealthy and big businesses, the nation’s richest 400 billionaire families paid a lower tax rate than the working class, according to The Triumph of Injustice  by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. The ultrarich paid 23 percent, over one full percent less than the 24.2 percent paid by the bottom half of U.S. households. The study compares the totality of taxes paid—not only federal taxes but also corporate taxes, and those paid at the state and local levels, and “indirect taxes” such as licenses for motor vehicles and businesses. The top 400 families have more wealth than the bottom 60 percent of households, while the top 0.1 percent own as much as the bottom 80 percent.

As if the national debt didn’t take a big enough hit from the 2017 tax cuts for the wealthiest, DDT wants to remove regulations that allow corporations to pay less tax by sending profits overseas. The scam is to inflate foreign profit, frequently taxed below the current 21 percent U.S. tax.  Former Goldman Sachs banker and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin calls the repeal of regulations “business-friendly.” At the same time, DDT wants to cut food stamps to save money.

The 2017 tax law capping federal deductions for state and local property and income taxes at $10,000 a year and elimination of some mortgage interest deductions have dropped house prices by about four percent. That means house owners have less equity in their homes, and 80 percent of the people in the U.S. are paying higher taxes to give to the rich.

October 10, 2019

Corruption Begins at Home

With his current obsession in investigating corruption, which he claimed after the extortion call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) needs to look closer to home.

Today, two men who worked with DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested as they tried to board a plane to Vienna at Dulles airport near Washington, DC on charges of conspiring to skirt federal laws that prohibit foreign nationals from contributing to US campaigns. They allegedly laundered foreign money with corporate identities and “straw donors” in “secret agreements” to hide the plan from candidates and federal regulators. Parnas and Fruman had one-way tickets, and Giuliani had planned to fly there last night. He refused to comment other than he didn’t plan to meet with them there. DDT said, “I don’t know those gentlemen.” Parnas had posted photos of his dinner with DDT at the White House on May 1, 2018 that have since been pulled. [From left: Vice President Mike Pence, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, President Donald Trump, and Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani – Miami Herald]

Two other defendants, Andrey Kukushkin and Parnas’ longtime partner David Correia, a longtime business partner of Parnas, were also indicted on the same charges while allegedly working with Parnas and Fruman. Kukushkin was arrested last night in San Francisco. Bill Sweeney, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said that “this investigation is about corrupt behavior, deliberate lawbreaking.” Paul Manafort’s lawyers are representing Parnas and Fruman.

House Democrats had subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman for documents and testimony after they refused to voluntarily appear before House committees.  Both men are immigrants, Parnas from Ukraine and Fruman from Belarus. Parnas also worked with Guiliani to push falsehoods that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 election on the part of Hillary Clinton.

Parnas’ involvement in the Ukraine scandal seems to go back to the beginning with his job as Giuliani’s fixer, the man who connected Giuliani to Ukrainian prosecutors willing to do bogus investigations on Joe and Hunter Biden. Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who lost his district in 2018, is also involved with Parnas. Sessions received money from Parnas for his campaign and wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to ask that Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch be recalled to Washington, DC because she wouldn’t pressure Ukrainians for the investigations. Parnas also donated to campaigns for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Florida GOP governor Ron Desantis. Sessions had been considering a run for a district 100 miles away from his old one.

Parnas’ company is called Fraud Guarantee.

Another Ukrainian player is Rick Perry, who urged Ukraine to fire the board of state-owned gas company Naftagaz and replace them with big U.S. donors to GOP campaigns. Parnas and Fruman, in partnership with oil magnate Harry Sargeant III, wanted to import natural gas to Ukraine. Sargeant told a senior executive at the gas company that he “regularly meets with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and that the gas-sales plan had the president’s full support.” The executive “perceived it to be a shakedown.” Parnas said that Yovanovitch would be removed, and Giuliani told reporters, “I did play a role in that.” Perry, who plans to resign soon, has been subpoenaed about his involvement in the Ukrainian scandal.

DDT said that if Zelensky wanted to meet with him, they should circumvent official diplomatic channels and go strictly through Giuliani, who created a more direct role than earlier known. Monday, Fiona Hill, DDT’s former Senior Director for European and Russian affairs, plans to testify that Giuliani and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland circumvented the NSC and normal White House process to run a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine. DDT had appointed Sonderland to perform ambassador responsibilities in Ukraine although the nation is not in the European Union and then blocked him from testifying before the House. He tried to do the same for Parnas and Fruman and lied about their working for the White House before he denied knowing them.

Other Corruption Tidbits:

DDT’s former national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said it was “absolutely not” appropriate for Mr. Trump to seek help from foreign powers for an election.

The eight-page letter written to House Democrats in an attempt to stop impeachment includes more quid pro quo in DDT’s “art of the deal.” Pat Cipollene wrote that if House Democrats “return to the regular order of oversight requests, we stand ready to engage in that process,” and ends by asking House Democrats to “abandon the current invalid efforts to pursue an impeachment inquiry and join the President in focusing on the many important goals that matter to the American people.” Earlier, DDT threatened Congress to shut down legislation, forgetting that if he refuses to either sign or veto a bill, it goes into law.

DDT is finally taking an interest in congressional affairs, calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) three times a day in an attempt to lock down GOP loyalty in case of impeachment.  

At least four national security officials raised concerns about DDT’s call with Zelensky that pressured Ukraine in exchange for DDT’s “favors.” Their worries began with Yovanovitch’s recall from Ukraine and continued with Giuliani’s promotion of Ukrainian conspiracies and DDT’s statements in White House meetings that he wanted damaging information on Biden. People who listened to the July 25 telephone call between DDT and Zelensky said that “alarm bells were kind of ringing.”

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), released from Fox network for his plans to join DDT’s legal impeachment team, won’t be part of the group until January—if ever. DDT said that lobby rules prevent Gowdy from joining until next year. NYT Maggie Haberman questions the reason. She tweeted:

 “Someone in West Wing badly wanted a win internally and put out Gowdy before it was a done deal. So it was quickly done yesterday and then had to be undone.”

DDT assigned his politically appointed official Michael Duffey the authority to withhold $391 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine because career staff questioned the legality of delaying funds.

In an interview with Bob Schieffer, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talked about how DDT tried to break the law. In one of the times, DDT pushed Tillerson to persuade DOJ to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader, Giuliani’s client for money laundering. Tillerson refused to interfere in the ongoing investigation of Reza Zarrab and reported his objections to then-chief of Staff John Kelly. When asked if he talked to DDT about Zarrab, Giuliani said “So what [if I did].” Asked if he had talked to Tillerson, Giuliani said, “You have no right to know that.”

Zarrab was arrested in 2016 for evading U.S. sanctions against Iran. Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who DDT fired, wrote that Zarrab had “facilitated millions of dollars-worth of transactions on behalf of Iran . . . through a global network of companies located in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.” Bharara added that Zarrab was “engaged in a massive bribery scheme . . . paying cabinet-level [Turkish] governmental officials and high-level bank officers tens of millions of Euro and U.S. dollars” to facilitate his transactions. DDT’s interest in Zarrab ties into his facilitation of the Turkish invasion of the Kurds: the attempt at Zarrab’s release was another way that DDT could do a favor for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Republican lawmakers make themselves complicit by their silence, denial, of arguments that DDT’s behavior is wrong but not impeachable. The laws that DDT have broken could put anyone else in prison. For a start:

18 U.S. Code § 872, “Extortion by officers or employees of the United States”: “Whoever, being an officer, or employee of the United States or any department or agency thereof, or representing himself to be or assuming to act as such, under color or pretense of office or employment commits or attempts an act of extortion, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

2 U.S. Code § 192, “Refusal of witness to testify or produce papers”:  punishable by a year in prison.

In a bizarre twist to Turkey news, two Russian pranksters pretending to be Turkey’s minister of defense Hulusi Akar called Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham said that DDT would try to be helpful “within the limits of his power” to Erdogan on the case. Now criticizing DDT for abandoning “our Kurdish allies,” Graham also told the pranksters that Turkey’s “Kurdish problem is a big problem.” He continued by saying that Turkey needs to be “protected from this threat in Syria” and that both he and DDT are “sympathetic” to the problem. It is a big different from Graham’s criticism of DDT’s pulling the troops as “shortsighted and irresponsible.”

It’s a deep swamp, with many more stories to be uncovered. Republicans need to start their investigations at home.

October 9, 2019

DDT Kills Kurds, Fights Impeachment

This morning, Turkey invaded northeast Syria and attacked U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters who opposed ISIS, thanks to Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Turkish bombings put thousands of civilian lives at risk, and Kurds may have to release 10,000 imprisoned ISIS militants after DDT withdrew troops from the area. Russians are also mobilizing for invasion of the Kurdish area so that they can allow Iran to put its forces on Israel’s northern border. ISIS has already started bombing Kurdish military positions. DDT said that he wants to stop “endless, senseless wars,” but he just created another one. Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Saudi Arabia will pile on with Turkey, Russia, and the Kurds as DDT’s move gives Iran a chance to attack Israel and lose the evangelical vote for DDT.  

Instead of sending the 50 service members home, DDT moved them to another Middle East region. The U.S. launched the most airstrikes in Afghanistan during one month in about a decade, increased airstrikes in Libya, and continued its war in Somalia. 

Top officials in the Pentagon and the State Department recommended not removing the U.S. forces because the Kurds are the most reliable partners in fighting ISIS in that location. Last year, DDT’s threat to remove the forces caused his Defense Secretary James Mattis to resign. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), a former Marine who served in Iraq, called DDT’s current decision to abandon the Kurds “one of the most destabilizing moves we can do in the Middle East.”

A member of the National Security Council with firsthand knowledge of telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that DDT gave in to another authoritarian’s ranting. Furious with DDT’s snub at the UN last month, Erdoğan got his permission to invade Syria and visit DDT at the White House in November. DDT got nothing except “a state of increased danger [in national security] for decades to come,” according to the national security official. DDT consulted neither EU allies nor congressional members before his decision.

After the call, DDT said that he would sanction Turkey if it attacked the Kurds but made no claims about this to Erdoğan. Instead he tweeted:

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).”

This tweet was not the only strange one: he said Russia will be unhappy about his withdrawal of troops. They won’t. About the Kurds, DDT tweeted that they “fought with us” but “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.” About the Turkish attacks on Kurds, DDT mildly said it was a “bad idea.” Later he tweeted, “[The Kurds] didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy…” 

DDT made millions of dollars in profits from his Trump Towers in Istanbul, owned by Turkish conglomerate Dogan Holding, but four months ago, leaders of a major party in Turkey called for the government to seize the complex. The value of DDT’s name in Turkey has fallen in the past two years.  

The message across the world is that the U.S. will not meet their commitments and will not support its allies. In his regard for former allies, DDT wrote wasn’t worried about the escape of ISIS fighters because they’ll go to Europe. John Sipher, 28-year veteran in the CIA clandestine service including station chief in hot spots near Europe and Asia, said:

“Well, at least the Trump Administration is consistent. We are about screwing our allies, partners and friends. Don’t trust America, even if you shed blood on their behalf. If you want favors, build a Trump tower.”

Columnist Paul Krugman asked if DDT abandoned the Kurds because of (a) personal business interests in Turkey; (b) support of Erdoğan, another vicious autocrat; or (c) directions from his boss Vladimir Putin.

Even DDT’s GOP sycophants criticized DDT’s abandoning the Kurds to certain death. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called DDT’s actions “a disaster in the making.” He added, “ISIS is not defeated. This is the biggest lie being told by this administration.” Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox & Friends, echoed Graham’s term “disaster.” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), in trouble for her strong support of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, stuck her neck out to declare DDT’s actions “a terribly unwise decision,” and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called it a “grave mistake.” Even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has supported DDT through thin and thin, told the government to “keep its word” with its foreign allies.

Senators now demand a hearing about DDT’s decision to withdraw troops in Syria, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) indicated that leaving the Kurds to Turkish slaughter might be wrong. He called on DDT to reconsider the plan and said that a Senate supermajority disagreed with DDT and withdrawal “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.”

With one impulsive moment, DDT abandoned an ally, emboldened Iran, revived ISIS, offended Israel, and infuriated Republicans. While being blasé about DDT’s extortion attempts in Ukraine and China to get dirt on Joe Biden, GOP lawmakers are horrified by DDT’s refusal to protect the nation’s Kurdish allies. Israel, also shocked by DDT’s move, understand that he is not to be trusted.

Facing the danger of impeachment and the Kurdish disaster leading to war in the Middle East, DDT went on a demented rant today at the White House against California’ auto-emission guidelines and the shift from incandescent to LED light bulbs and their disposal—all lies:

“Of course, who cares about looks? But you do look better with incandescent, but they weren’t allowed, and you have the privilege of buying now a much more expensive bulb, under the passed rules, much more expensive bulb that doesn’t have a good looking light, but maybe very importantly when the bulb is out, and not good, it’s literally considered a hazardous waste site because of all the gasses. If it breaks, you’re supposed to bring it to a certain location, and I say who does that? Nobody. Nobody.”

The impeachment inquiry keeps plugs along with a 58 percent approval—over twice the 25 percent that DDT claims. His latest attempt to quash the process is an eight-page emotional letter filled with falsehoods from White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and three committee chairs. In short, Cipollone states that DDT is banning everyone and everything from Congress, in opposition to his claim of transparency and no wrong-doing with the excuse that following the U.S. Constitution is unconstitutional. DDT’s demands for the rights to see all the evidence and question all the witnesses shows his ignorance of the law. The constitution does not require a vote by the House to open an inquiry. Like a grand jury, the House looks at the evidence in secret and votes to decide on impeachment which, if approved, moves on to the Senate for an open trial.  

Cipollone accused Democrats that they are using impeachment to overturn the 2016 election and kill DDT’s chances for reelection in 2020. The absolutist position in the letter demonstrates DDT’s belief that Article II of the constitution gives him unlimited powers, like a king. DDT defender and former U.S. attorney Joe diGenova supported DDT’s delusions by accusing Democrats of “regicide,” killing a king. Last summer, DDT said, “Article II allows me to do whatever I want.” Section Four of Article II gives Congress the power to remove a president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Because impeachment is a constitutional remedy, it cannot be “unconstitutional.”

DDT’s defense plan for impeachment is to stall, obfuscate, attack, and repeat. The letter combines all four of these strategies. Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who slammed President Obama for not turning over materials about the tragic deaths of four U.S. employees at Benghazi, is part of the team to prevent Congress from obtaining evidence. The Fox network has dropped Gowdy as a contributor.  At this time, DDT’s actions constitute obstruction of justice if not crimes. DDT keeps bragging about how he can’t be impeached because he’s “doing a great job” as president. Even if that were true—which it isn’t—he lost a great deal of cred by allowing Turkey to slaughter Kurds. China has refused to follow DDT’s directive to investigate the Bidens, and Republicans have no logical way to defend DDT. A second whistleblower negates criticism of the first one. And 24 percent of Republicans want an alternative to DDT. That percentage could grow.

A bad sign for DDT is a federal judge’s refusal to keep DDT’s tax returns hidden. The judge said that he could not grant such a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity.” DDT plans to challenge the order to release his tax returns to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance.

In a Fox poll 55 percent think that DDT does what’s best for himself and doesn’t put the country first. This week, The New Yorker follows that belief in its illustration of DDT and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani throwing away the country.

October 6, 2019

Week 141 – Whistleblower Complaints Expand

Filed under: impeachment,Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 9:37 PM
Tags: , ,

Last Thursday, a federal judge ordered the White House to keep evidence dealings that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has with foreign leaders, including those with Ukraine that have fueled the current impeachment inquiry into DDT’s actions. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to preserve “all records of efforts by White House or other executive branch officials to return, ‘claw back,’ ’lock down’ or recall White House records” about dealings with foreign officials. The DOJ promised that it had already taken steps to secure the records, but Jackson issued an unusual order to maintain the records with any violation resulting in sanction or criminal charge for contempt of court. The order seems to directly cover DDT because the “defendants” in the lawsuit are only the Executive Office of the President and President Donald J. Trump.

DDT’s telephone call transcripts could make for good reading, according to the worry expressed by his aides, some of them “genuinely horrified” according to Washington Post journalists. Of concern were promises that might not be kept, policies in opposition to the U.S. positions, critical alliances jeopardized because of diplomatic blunders, or pressures for a personal favor.

DDT:

  • (Ukraine) Pressured the president into investigating the Bidens to get promised military aid and meet with him.
  • (Russia) Fawned over Vladimir Putin while knowing that he interfered in the 2016 election and asked for help in making friends with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un.
  • (Saudi Arabia) Pledged to help the monarchy enter the G7, the world’s leading economies that share democratic philosophy. (Russia was excluded in 2014 for violating international law after invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea.)
  • (Peru) Promised to send them a C-130 military cargo plane overnight.
  • (Ukraine) Pressured the president into investigating the Bidens to get promised military aid and meet with him.
  • (China, Turkey) Struck a cozy tone with authoritarian leaders.
  • (Philippines) Praised the president who killed thousands of suspected drug dealers without judicial involvement by telling he was doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”
  • (Japan) Begged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to recommend him for a Novel prize.
  • (UK) Harangued Prime Minister Theresa May about money for NATO and refuted her intelligence community’s conclusion that Putin’s government had orchestrated the attempted murder and poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil.

The first whistleblower who filed a complaint on August 12 and the second person with firsthand knowledge supporting the first one are no longer alone. The person’s attorney said that “multiple” whistleblowers have come forward. Meanwhile, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) hid out at his golf course yesterday and the White House today. Friday, DDT tweeted that his extortion of Ukraine “this has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens.” By Sunday, he tweeted that he wants to run “against 1% Joe Biden” and his family were “PAID OFF, pure and simple!”

Seven possible DDT criminal actions in the Ukrainian scandal:

  • Campaign Finance Violation: Seeking something of value exceeding $25,000 (a felony) for his reelection from Zelensky.
  • Bribery: A public official seeking “anything of value” for influencing a public act.
  • Honest Services Fraud: Performing an official act in exchange for personal gain.
  • Extortion: Threatening a person for a payout.
  • Witness Intimidation: Obstructing an impeachment inquiry.
  • Obstruction of Justice: Hiding records from an investigation.
  • Conspiracy: Agreeing with others to commit any of the above crimes.

The only defense of DDT on Sunday shows came from congressional GOP members and DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who sent contradictory explanations. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) shouted over Chuck Todd’s questions on Meet the Press to vehemently cite anti-media messages from Fox-generated conspiracy theories that reject knowledge from U.S. intelligence agencies, finishing with how DDT “adamantly denied” any quid pro quo. On Fox, Giuliani argued that DDT “has every right to ask countries to help us in a criminal investigation that should be undertaken.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) used the line that DDT’s request for an investigation from China wasn’t “a real request” but dodged questions. Earlier Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) claimed that DDT was only joking about the call for an investigation. Explaining the GOP support for DDT, a former administration official said, “Nobody wants to be the zebra that strays from the pack and gets gobbled up by the lion.”  

Two lesser known people, unofficial envoys reporting to Giuliani, have set up meetings for him with top Ukrainian officials. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns and used DDT to tout a new business to sell natural gas in Ukraine. They are part of the conspiracy claiming that Ukraine tried to rig the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton. Donations may have been funneled from foreigners. GOP lawmakers struggling with the Ukrainian scandal had expressed the wish that Giuliani would disappear.  

DDT plans to use Energy Secretary Rick Perry as a patsy to cover himself and VP Mike Pence. Although DDT claims that Perry encouraged him to make the July 25 call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the Energy Department said the encouragement to talk about energy matters, a subject not in the call according to DDT’s summary. Perry said about his conversations with Zelensky, “Not once as God as my witness, not once was a Biden name—not the former vice president, not his son ever mentioned.”

People indicate that they are tired of the word “unprecedented,” but DDT, with his massive number of lies and legal violations, fits the term. His pressure on Ukraine to investigate his opponent in a probe that has already exonerated Joe Biden may go beyond his other “unprecedented” actions. Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat who worked for Democratic and Republican administrations, tweeted about DDT’s calling on China to investigate Biden:

“This is a first in American history dating to 1789. An American President has asked our strongest adversary, a communist dictatorship, to investigate his major opponent. Let that sink in. It is corruption—morally and legally wrong.”

Four historians—Texas A&M’s Elizabeth A. Cobbs, Arizona State’s Kyle Longley, Colorado School of Mines’ Kenneth Osgood, and the University of Texas at Austin’s Jeremi Suri—agreed they’ve “never seen anything like” this DDT scandal in their investigation of books about the first 44 presidents and how they conduct U.S. foreign policy:

“Nothing really surprises us anymore.

“Until now.

“Trump’s documentary record differs dramatically from his predecessors. A worrisome thread runs through each conversation. Trump appears laser-focused on his own fortunes to the exclusion of the national security of the United States. Unfortunately, this is part of a larger and startling pattern of Trump promoting his personal agenda ahead of the nation’s interests.”

Their piece was published the day before DDT appealed to two foreign governments from the White House South Lawn to attack his political opponent. DDT creates uncharted territory.

DDT’s phone calls aren’t his only legal and impeachment problems. Acting Inspector General Rich Delmar, an independent watchdog at the Treasury Department, is examining why the IRS rejected requests from Ways and Means Chair Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) for DDT’s tax returns. Delmar said he didn’t know whether his inquiry will consider a complaint from a whistleblower that someone tried to improperly influence the IRS’s audits of DDT. Neal said the federal employee had “credible allegations of ‘evidence of possible misconduct’ – specifically, potential ‘inappropriate efforts to influence’ the mandatory audit program.” Neal is suing in federal court to enforce a subpoena for the records under a 1924 law allowing the heads of Congress’s tax committees to examine anyone’s private tax information. A district court has a scheduled November 6 hearing by DDT’s lawyers to have the case dismissed, and Delmar is stalling to investigate the complaint. The DOJ is also trying to delay the process.

The complaint was filed months ago, but the public didn’t learn about it until recently. The person claimed that at least one Treasury Department political appointee tried to interfere with the annual audit of DDT’s or VP Mike Pence’s tax returns. Once again, DDT claimed that the secondhand information was meaningless, but an inquiry can locate firsthand evidence. The whistleblower said that he followed his supervisors’ advice to ask for an investigation of the complaint. DDT has continually lied about reasons for not releasing his tax returns as all other presidents have done in the past.

The impeachment inquiry has driven DDT into a mad frenzy as shown by his supposed press conference with Finland’s President Saulli Niinistö on October 2. During the fiasco, DDT accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the left of having a mental breakdown about “a call that didn’t take place” in reference to the July 25 telephone call with Zelensky that he had already discussed. The Finns are now convinced that DDT is a fool. Niinistö’s classic comment to DDT was “Mr. President, you have here a great democracy. Keep it going on.” DDT won’t do it; that responsibility is left up to the people of the United States.

October 5, 2019

DDT: Week 141 – Impeachment, Level 1

News about a presidential impeachment inquiry has escalated for 11 days, starting with the extortion of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) to get “dirt” on Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for DDT’s releasing the $391 million congressional appropriation to Ukraine for its protection from Russian aggression. Outrage built after the DOJ and the Director of National Intelligence violated the law by refusing to release a whistleblower complaint about DDT’s “agreement” to Congress and expanded after public information about the proof in a July 25 telephone call between DDT and Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Against the advice of his advisers, DDT released the call’s “rough transcript,” which DDT falsely described as an “exact word-for-word transcript” but was labeled as “not a verbatim transcription.” Sen. Angus King (I-ME) pointed out that the released document was only ten minutes long whereas the call lasted 30 minutes. The document also contained punctuation indicating deleted information, particularly in the DDT’s questions about the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike and his assumption that Hillary Clinton’s “missing emails,” created by conspiracy theories, are hidden in Ukraine. Under the control of John Bolton, the actual telephone call transcript, along with many others, is buried in deepest classification computer server.

For over a week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hid the fact that he was on the July 25 call until that information leaked. That fact makes him a witness in the impeachment process. Pompeo then tried to obstruct justice by saying five subpoenaed State Department officials could not testify before House committees. They have not complied with his order.

Kurt Volker, who recently resigned as an envoy to Ukraine, has already testified. He told House members that he warned Ukraine to stay out of DDT’s and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s politics because it would be interfering in the U.S election and Giuliani that Ukrainian political figures were giving him untrustworthy information about the Bidens. Giuliani ignored him and supported Ukrainian corruption. He admitted that he tried to pass off his Ukraine conspiracy theories as real by putting put fake White House logos that he gave to the State Department. Giuliani got his lies about the Bidens from an affidavit provided to Dimtry Firtash, former business partner of Paul Manafort imprisoned for financial fraud, who fled Ukraine to Austria after pro-Russian President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014. Other people involved in Giuliani’s conspiracy theory are frequent Sean Hannity husband-and-wife guests Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing who now work for Firtash’s legal team. After recent Ukraine top prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko said the Bidens had not violated the law, Guiliani turned on Lutsenko, no longer calling him an “honest guy.” The House has subpoenaed Giuliani’s documents to determine if he acted as DDT’s agent to advance DDT’s “personal political interests” by abusing his power. 

Volker released damning State Department text messages showing DDT’s efforts to “exchange” summit meetings for Ukraine’s promise to investigate the Bidens both before and after the July 25 telephone call. The language clearly gives the quid pro quo: “Assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/ ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for a visit to Washington.” In a text, Bill Taylor, senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, showed the connection between releasing the $391 million in military aid and Ukraine’s investigating the Bidens: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” A detailed look at the texts. The thread of messages was broken when Sondland concealed it through telephone calls instead of texts. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who lied about ignorance about sexual assaults while he was an assistant wrestling coach, was scorched for his lies about the text messages.

DDT assigned Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to the EU, to run his Ukrainian extortion plan after the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, refused to take that role and DDT recalled her to Washington. DDT said that Yovanovitch is “going to go through some things” and she’s “bad news.” Yavanovitch testifies before the House committee on Tuesday. Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) asked Pompeo to fire Yavanovitch for expressing “disdain” for the current administration. Sessions is now trying to become a House candidate for a district 100 miles from his former one.

Volker and Sondland drafted a statement for Zelensky soon after DDT’s July 25 telephone call that committed Ukraine to pursuing DDT’s requested investigations against his political rivals. Despite the incriminating texts, Sondland, a hotel developer and major DDT donor, claimed that no “quid pro quo” existed, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said Sondland had told him the release of U.S. aid to Ukraine was tied to Ukraine’s investigations of the Bidens. Weeks before the Ukraininan scandal erupted, DDT told Johnson that the conservative senator could not tell Zelensky that the U.S. foreign aid was on its way. Sondland testifies on Tuesday. DDT got renewed probes into the Bidens in exchange for $391 million although former investigations revealed no wrong on the Bidens’ part.

Questioned about Ukraine, DDT called on China to investigate the Bidens, saying he might ask President Xi Jinping to do this. DDT had already done this in a June 18 telephone call to Xi when he also offered to keep quiet about the Hong Kong protests for democracy in exchange for trade talks. The White House didn’t deny this conversation. About China, DDT said, “If they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.”

The national intelligence inspector general, Michael Atkinson, testified Friday about his process for he substantiating the whistle-blower’s account. Another person who met with Atkinson about joining the whistleblower in expressing concerns about DDT’s dealings with Ukraine has first-hand information about the events.

Part of DDT’s Ukrainian shakedown in May was to send Energy Secretary Rick Perry to Zelensky’s inauguration instead of VP Mike Pence. Perry pushed Ukraine for changes at its state-run oil and gas company including two U.S. citizens on its board, making him a part of the impeachment inquiry. He may resign as Secretary as soon as next month. Perry, who met with Zelensky at least two other times, said he will cooperate with the House in its empeachment inquiry. The DOD has also agreed to cooperate.

The House has subpoenaed acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify, and the whistleblower agreed to testify. DDT’s threats against the person—going so far as murder—have made the negotiations difficult.

In a memorable segment on The Late Night Show, Stephen Colbert talked about Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt’s confusion about the impeachment story:

“I think this is too much in the weeds. First they are going after the president with impeachment, then they are going after Rudy Giuliani. Now it’s Bill Barr. And Americans are saying what? How are they all connected? Connect the dots for us? What are you talking about? It’s so much information.”

Colbert clarified the issue with a chalkboard on which he drew an arrow from “Trump” to “Ukraine” and said, “Trump asked for dirt on Biden from the Ukraine.” Earhardt’s ignorance may come from her getting news from the Fox network.

Most congressional Republicans can’t find any way to defend DDT except to attack the Bidens and the process. An accusation of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) seeing the whistleblower complaint before it was submitted—even helping write it—bore little fruit because it was a lie. Schiff’s staff members followed protocol by advising that the whistleblower see a lawyer. Another lie designed to distract is that the rules for whistleblower complaints changed after this filing; the intelligence IG said that was false. DDT also called for violence from white supremacist militias by declaring that impeachment—a congressional inquiry—is a coup—a violent overthrow of a government. He also threatened civil war if he is impeached.  

Republicans are operating from a position of blustering ignorance. On 60 Minutes, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) demonstrated ignorance about the contents of the July 25 telephone call summary. [Left: McCarthy.] Republicans complained that the whistleblower is not credible although they don’t know the identity of the person and the complaint is true. Not knowing the identity means that they cannot slime the whistleblower. DNI Joe Maguire said under oach that the whistleblower is not a “partisan hack.”

DDT and Republicans started out by saying that he had no communication with Zelensky. Evidence for the communication led to the claim thatit wasn’t illegal. DDT now claims the constitutional duty to personally fight global corruption—like a comic book hero—for the first time in almost three years. Asked by a reporter whether he had asked any foreign leaders to investigate anyone who isn’t a political rival, Mr. Trump said he’d have to check on that.

AG Bill Barr’s name is largely missing from the current scandal news because he’s trying to look “nonpartisan.” Instead he’s traveling the world, talking to foreign leaders, in an attempt to get “dirt” on the Mueller investigation and legitimize DDT’s 2016 election. Barr’s appointment to investigate the origins of the Russia probe, John Durham, has not interviewed any FBI or DOJ employees directly involved in the opening of the Russia investigation in 2016. The Ukrainian complaint was filed, however, after the DOJ refused to address the whistleblower’s earlier concern. The CIA counsel asking for an investigation, Countney Simmons Elwood, is a strong Republican. Barr also consistently protects DDT in lawsuits about DDT’s private finances, and his name will reappear.  

Last Sunday, a CBS/You-Gov poll showed that 55 percent of people support the impeachment inquiry. In an ABC News/Ipsos poll, 64 percent think that DDT tried to pressure Ukraine for dirt on Biden, and 64 percent see this action as a serious problem.

DDT’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and subpoenaed Mulvaney are evidently the lead in defending DDT. Kushner was one of DDT’s White House officials who met with Zelensky—possibly making him part of the impeachment inquiry. Zelensky is on Kushner’s left at this dinner seven weeks before the telephone call. Also in attendance were Rick Perry and U.S. State Department Counselor, Ulrich Brechbuhl, who heard the July 25 telephone call. 

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