Saturday, September 21, 2019

Russiagate Evolving into Ukrainegate

Before we dive into the fresh Ukrainian matter, one piece of "spygate" to deal with. CNN contributor, and accused leaker and liar from the FBI, Andrew McCabe Suggests DOJ Inspector General Should Be Replaced (Chuck Ross at Da Caller). I wonder why? /sarc

And onto Ukraine! AP, Trump, in call, urged Ukraine to investigate Biden’s son
President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump.
The Washington Post today is full of the Ukrainian story, all of it heavily slanted against Trump, of course. How Trump, Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate president’s rivalsTrump’s freeze on Ukraine aid draws fresh attentionThe Debrief: How Trump tries to quell controversies by saying the quiet part out loud, Trump has done plenty to warrant impeachment. But this is over the top, Trump and his lawyer can do better on Ukraine. I’m here for them.Trump brushes off political controversy to wine and dine Australia at state dinner, but eventually does get around to suggesting that it might not look so good for Joe Biden, either, Scrutiny over Trump’s Ukraine scandal may also complicate Biden’s campaign.
As a Premium Subscriber to The Washington Post, I'm able to share with you a free 30-day digital subscription pass. The pass requires no obligation from you, so please simply enjoy the free 30-day digital subscription with my best wishes. --Nona
AllahPundit at HotAir, WSJ Exclusive: Trump Told Ukrainian President “About Eight Times” In Phone Call To Reopen Biden Investigation; Update: Release The Transcript, Says Biden

At Althouse, "A potentially explosive complaint by a whistle-blower in the intelligence community said to involve President Trump emerged... While the allegation remains shrouded in mystery..."
I'm trying to read this very confusing shrouded-in-mystery report in the New York Times, "Whistle-Blower Complaint Sets Off a Battle Involving Trump/The complaint, from a member of the intelligence community, remained opaque but involved at least one of the president’s communications with a foreign leader."

Is there some idea that this is the issue that will be used in the future against Biden and that it ought to come out now?
Ace's title says it all, Joe Biden Bragged That, With Barack Obama's Permission, He Threatened To Withhold Billions in Aid to Ukraine Unless They Fired a Prosecutor Investigating His Son's Company. And Now, The Deep State Refashions This as a Trump Scandal. Althouse has the goods: "In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees..."
"... sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. 'I said, "You’re not getting the billion." I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: "I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,"' Biden recalled telling Poroshenko. 'Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,' Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat."

From "Joe Biden's 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived," an article in The Hill from last April.
The Washington Sentinel, Biden Used U.S. Aid as Weapon to Force Ukraine to Fire Prosecutor Looking Into His Son’s Business. Just a lucky coincidence, I'm sure.

Allah, again, Trump: I Don’t Know Who The Whistleblower Is In The Ukraine Matter But I Hear They’re Partisan. I saw Matthew Whitaker on Fox say he was pretty sure it was a deep state operation. Sundance at CTH, Whistleblower Complaint Now Looks Like Democrat Effort to Protect Joe Biden from Investigation…
The mysterious “whistleblower” case now looks like a coordinated Democrat effort to block any investigation of presidential candidate Joe Biden for corrupt pressure on Ukraine to drop the investigation of Burisma, an energy company operating in the country, on which his son Hunter Biden was a board member.
and President Trump Responds to “Deep State” Intelligence Leak – Another Pre-Planned Legislative/Lawfare Effort… and a prediction regarding the "whistblower"
Remember, this stuff comes in pre-planned waves. These efforts are well coordinated, planned and then rolled out by legislative democrats. They are assisted by their corrupt and ideological allies in the Lawfare group who operate as middle-men between the politicians, left-wing allied teams and the media narrative engineers.
. . .
If I had to hazard a guess based on timing, prior events, prior political advocacy, prior political demands and protestations, and prior alignment by the democrats toward an intelligence official; the connections would indicate Lawfare alignment with former ODNI Principal Deputy Director Sue Gordon. However, that’s just a supposition – and if we wait a while (usually six days) we’ll see if that suspicion is accurate.
Others think that the damage to Biden may be more than just a happy coincidence. By way of the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 09.20.19 (Late Night Edition), Tom Maguire at Just One Minute gives us Taking Down Trump AND Biden!
Good plot twist by the showrunners - there are a lot of Democrats and media members who will love this whistle-blowing scandal even more if it also ensnares Sleep (But Corrupt!) Joe Biden.

On the other hand, Establishment Republicans may be thinking that keeping Joe propped up doesn't look so bad relative to a President Warren. That said, they have to realize he is this election cycle's version of Jeb Bush, running on name recognition and fumes.
"Bonchie" at Red State, As Predicted, That Trump-Ukraine “Whistle-Blower” Story Just Blew Up In Epic Fashion
Per The Wall Street Journal.

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.
“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation…
And there it is. There was no quid-pro-quo. He did not threaten to withhold military aid. He simply asked several times on a single phone call for them to look into it. He never even called back to press the issue further. None of the nonsensical gnashing of teeth we heard all day about this supposedly being an impeachment bombshell is true. A President asked an ally to investigate corruption that Biden himself admitted to on tape.

Some still can’t let this go though. We have certain conservatives of the anti-Trump bent asserting that the President didn’t actually have to say the words to be asking for a quid-pro-quo. Actually, yes, yes he does have to say the words. Especially when we know the military aid went through anyway despite no investigation being opened by Ukraine. The idea that we are now going to go after Trump based on suppositions of what Ukraine should have deemed from a perfectly legal request is asinine.
. . .
Biden’s involvement on the other hand? That story will only grow.
A blast from the past at Politico, from 01/11/2017:  Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
. . .
The Ukrainian antipathy for Trump’s team — and alignment with Clinton’s — can be traced back to late 2013. That’s when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had been advising, abruptly backed out of a European Union pact linked to anti-corruption reforms. Instead, Yanukovych entered into a multibillion-dollar bailout agreement with Russia, sparking protests across Ukraine and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country to Russia under Putin’s protection.
But, but, I thought foreigners interfering in our elections was bad! Sundance again, Despite Warnings Media Steps on a Rake With “Whistleblower” Story – Ukraine Government Initiated Contact – Giuliani Engagement Was Requested by State Dept. Officials…
With more reporting by John Solomon, cited and attributed to on-the-record officials in the State Department and Ukraine, a much more clear picture emerges. In reality, and unfortunately as expected, the fulsome picture is 180° divergent from the media narrative.

The government of Ukraine under both Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and now President Volodymyr Zelensky, had been trying to deliver information about Obama officials and Democrat party officials (DNC on behalf of Hillary Clinton) requesting the government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election.

Both Poroshenko and Zelensky administrations had tried, unsuccessfully, to get information to current U.S. officials. U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine were refusing to give visa’s to Ukrainian emissaries because they did not want the damaging information sent to the President Trump administration.

Failing to get help from the U.S. State Department, the Ukranians tried a workaround, and hired a respected U.S. lawyer to hand deliver the documentary evidence directly to the U.S. Department of Justice. The contracted American lawyer hand-delivered the information to the U.S. Department of Justice in New York.

However, after delivering the information and not hearing back from the U.S. government, the Ukrainian government, now led by President Zelensky, interpreted the silence as the Trump administration and U.S. government (writ large) being upset about the Ukraine involvement overall. Out of concern for a serious diplomatic breakdown, the Zelensky administration made a personal request to the U.S. State Department for assistance.

The U.S. State Department then reached out to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and asked him if he would meet with Zelensky’s top lawyer, Andrei Yermak.

Rudy Giuliani agreed to act as a diplomatic intermediary and met with Yermak in Spain. After the meeting, Mr. Giuliani then contacted the State Department Officials in charge of Ukraine and Europe and debriefed them on the totality of the subject matter as relayed by Andrei Yermak.
Go read the entire John Solomon piece cited above, Missing piece to the Ukraine puzzle: State Department's overture to Rudy Giuliani

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