Sunday, September 22, 2019

Russia, Uh, Ukrainegate Today

It's all Ukraine all the time. First, from  Instapundit BIG “BOMBSHELL” IS JUST LAME HEARSAY;" Whistleblower ‘didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications’ between Trump and Ukraine.
The whistleblower who filed a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general did not have direct knowledge of the communications between President Trump and the foreign leader in question.

The conversation was reportedly a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is alleged that Trump urged Zelensky multiple times to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his ties to an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch. Giuliani has previously urged a top official in Ukraine to look into the ties.

An official who has been briefed on the matter, however, told CNN that the whistleblower “didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications.” The official said that the concerns and subsequent complaint came in part from the whistleblower “learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work.”

Matt Vespa at Town Hall, Did This CNN Contributor Just Expose This Whole Trump Whistleblower Story As Another Nothing Burger?
So what? The president can talk to whomever he wants and he or she can say whatever he wants to them. Period. It’s also not the intelligence community’s job to snitch on the president. Phil Mudd, who worked for the CIA and FBI, in his capacity as a CNN contributor, absolutely torched this whistleblower for going way beyond his mandate. Mudd said that he wanted to “blow a gasket” over this development. He called this whole episode incredibly unusual and he was someone who did what this whistleblower has done: listen in on presidential communications. When he did this, he was focused on ensuring the security of the nation was solid, not reporting to some anti-Trump Democrats what Trump was saying to the leader of another country (via Washington Examiner) . . .

Roger Kimball at AmGreat, Another Week,Another Pseudo-Scandal

Althouse becomes aware of the John Solomon piece yestersday in "The coverage suggests Giuliani reached out to new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team this summer solely because he wanted to get dirt...", which strongly suggests that
 Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department. Giuliani didn’t initiate it.... So, rather than just a political opposition research operation, Giuliani’s contacts were part of a diplomatic effort by the State Department to grow trust with the new Ukrainian president, Zelensky, a former television comic making his first foray into politics and diplomacy.
from Yancey Ward, in the comments
Look, story here is actually very simple- the Ukranian government is trying to curry favor from whoever is the president. This explains everything in Althouse's posts this morning- in 2015-2016, they were trying to curry favor with the soon to be president elect, Hillary! Clinton, but when Clinton lost against all expectations, the Ukranian government turned on a dime and tried to curry favor with the Trump Administration. This is why they have been trying to give over the details of the previous efforts to torpedo the Trump Campaign as it relates to Biden and Obama.

One reason to believe Solomon's story in The Hill is this- this isn't new news concocted to defend Trump over the Zelenskiy conversation- this has been reported for months now. Giuliani has not been shy about telling people about the Ukranian government trying to make amends- he has been telling this story since the end of last year, but the mainstream media ignored it completely because it damages Biden. I strongly suspect that the main motivation for this "Whistleblower" campaign is to get rid of Biden- it causing discomfort for Trump is just dessert in their view.

I am guessing we will get the transcript of the conversation when Trump decides the media have gone out on the limb far enough to saw it off. The WaPo story from late yesterday afternoon was that paper preparing their retreat- they were warned by the leaker that the previous descriptions about the conversation might not have been entirely accurate.
At NR Andrew McCarthy as a pretty good but long article, Breaking Down the Whistleblower Frenzy from the legal point of view as a former federal prosecutor. Read it.

Peter Schweizer at Fox, Peter Schweizer: Trump right to question Biden dealings with Ukraine, despite Dem criticism, and from Jeff Dunetz at The Lid, There’s Enough Evidence Proving Ukraine SHOULD Investigate Hunter Biden. ENM News, For Biden, Whistle-Blower Complaint Could Cut 2 Ways. While Biden says he did not speak to Hunter about the deal, Hunter says he spoke with Dad about it. Let's put them both under oath! Da Perfesser at Legal Insurrection, Joe Biden and Ukraine is “Hillary’s Emails” all over again

Angelo Codevilla at AmGreat, Shamelessness and Ignorance Unlimited "The CIA whistleblower “scandal” is nothing of the sort. It’s about the constitutional power of the president to make foreign policy—and obligation of the intelligence community to submit to the president’s authority. No more, no less."
The Washington Post, after a thousand words in a story that speculates on Trump’s dangerous, possibly unconstitutional behavior, includes the following half-sentence: “ [legal experts] also noted that the president has broad authority to decide unilaterally when to classify or declassify information. Not quite. The president’s authority over national security information is more than broad. It is total. All who exercise such authority do so on his behalf and by his leave. That is because any and all foreign intelligence activities—which are subordinate to foreign and military policy in general—are pursuant to the president’s judgment.

The deep state and the media worked together to limit Ronald Reagan and to scare George W. Bush. But their assault on Donald Trump is little short of a coup d’état.

In short, “Whistleblower-gate” (if you will forgive the term) is arguably the most naked, most shameless attempt yet by the deep state to strike a blow at Trump by going to the press with an interpretation of classified information that neither the press nor the public has seen, will not see, and that concerns an activity that, in itself, is perfectly proper and indeed constitutes the president doing his job.
Althouse, again. Trump goes big on the offense in the Ukraine story.

And now for the pro-Biden side, Hot Air, with Behind The Whistleblower Case, A Long-Held Trump Grudge Toward Ukraine (cribbed from NYT), There’s An Obvious Problem With Giuliani’s Spin On Ukraine (David French is unhappy with it), and We’re Now In The Hot Zone For Impeachment,

And of course, there's the usual harvest from the tainted vineyards of the Washington Post. Ukraine call points to a president convinced of his own invincibility‘A diplomatic disaster’: Ukrainian leaders feel trapped between warring Washington factionsThe U.S. has no rules for when the president is a national security threat, Giuliani said I exposed Manafort’s Ukraine deals to help Democrats. That’s a lie, Yes, there is something the House can do to punish Trump right now, What did Trump tell Ukraine’s president?Max Boot: If Trump extorted a foreign leader for political gain, it’s impeachment timeThe Post’s View: Trump tries to force Ukraine to meddle in the 2020 election,
Jennifer Rubin: What might finally ensnare TrumpHarry Litman: A whistleblower filed a complaint to the intelligence IG. Why is it being withheld from Congress?The Post’s View: The Trump administration cannot withhold a whistleblower complaint from Congress
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