Saturday, November 16, 2019

Ukrainegate, Vovanovitch and More Ukraine BS

I think I'll split it today, Ukraine stuff in one post, and all non-Ukrainian Russiagate in another. So here goes the first part.

The story of yesterday was, of course, the testimony of former Ambassador to Ukraine Vovanovich, who Trump fired, and hurt her feelings, allowing Democrats to add a new impeachment charge, that Trump obstructed State Department attempts to obstruct his foreign policy. TV Never mind  that Obama Fired All Of Bush’s Politically Appointed Ambassadors In 2008, that presidents have plenary power over ambassadors and that she had no direct testimony regarding any thing Trump said or did.  Capt. Ed of Hot Air Hearsay Abbey: Yovanovitch Next Up On Inquiry, while Karen Townsend at WaPoo whined that Yovanovitch Is A Victim Of Trump’s War On Women. Ace did a pretty good running tally during the testimony in Fake Impeachment Catch-Up Thread. Lots of fun tweets:
Notable happenings during her testimony? Pencil neck repeatedly shut down Rep. Elise Stefanick, in the Democratic war on women. Sure, she was out of order at the time (Calvin Shiff made new rules for the day, allowing only Nunes and the Republican counsel to speak initially). Even AllahPundit thought that was crude, Adam Schiff Vs. Elise Stefanik: No, You Can’t Speak Right Now
Anyway, this is a stunt by Stefanik and the GOP but a sly one in that it gives Democrats a taste of their own medicine. My favorite headline about it comes from the Free Beacon: “Schiff Mansplains Committee Rules to GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik.”
When Stefanik finally got her chance to speak, she was savage: ‘This is some savagery’: GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik relishes her opportunity to question Marie Yovanovitch. Stefanik also apparently caught Vovanovich out in a lie contradiction between her opening statement, in which she claimed not to have heard of Burisma or Hunter Biden until much later and her testimony to Stefanik in which she admitted the Obama State Dept. briefed her on what to say about Biden and Burisma. Townhall,  Um, Did Yovanovitch Lie In Her Testimony?
In her opening statement before a House impeachment hearing on Friday, Yovanovitch said, "although I have met former vice president Joe Biden several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me."

But later on, when Rep. Stafanik finally made it pass Chairman Adam Schiff, Stefanik asked Yovanovitch about her previous deposition testimony where she detailed exactly how the Obama State Department had prepared her to handle the issue of Burisma and Hunter Biden during her Senate confirmation hearings.

"The first time you personally became aware of Burisma was actually when you were being prepared by the Obama State Department for your Senate confirmation hearings, and this was in the form of practice questions and answers," Stefanik told the former ambassador. "This was your deposition. And you testified in this particular practice Q & A with the Obama State Department, it wasn't just generally about Burisma and corruption. It was specifically about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Is that correct?"

Yovanovitch answered, "Yes. It is."

So was Yovanotich lying during her opening statement or during her answer to Rep. Stefanik?

Stefanik then continued, "So for the millions of Americans watching, President Obama's own State Department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden's role at Burisma, that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation."

Sundance at CTH. Lying to Congress – Marie Yovanovitch Was Prepped by Obama Administration About Issues With Hunter Biden and Burisma…  Thread: Marie Yovanovitch Committed Perjury Today  I NYPo, Marie Yovanovitch admits Obama admin prepped her on Hunter Biden It does seem like an oversight, since she mentioned it previously in her closed door deposition. I wonder which of Schiff's staffers wrote her opening statement? But if Roger Stone and Michael Cohen can go to jail for lying to Congress, so can she.

Ace catches Yovanovich claiming martyhood, "Masha" Yavonovich: When You Think About It, I'm Just Like the Four Diplomats Being Murdered in Benghazi. I'm a Hero!!! This is how all civil servants really conceived of themselves. They're all superheroes. Marvel should make movies about them. The 'Murican Mirror, Male Dem Rep cries while questioning impeachment witness? I hear Mme Vovovovanovich squeezed out a few tears on command too.

The other "big" thing that happened during the testimony was Trump's "mean tweet"
Does that make Schiff guilty of witness tampering? AP, Ousted ambassador says she felt intimidated by Trump attacks.  Allah Pundit,  Schiff To Yovanovitch: Trump’s Tweet About You During This Hearing Is An Attempt To Intimidate A Witness, Isn’t It? Mediaite, Fox’s Bret Baier: Trump Gave Schiff a New ‘Article of Impeachment in Real Time’ With Twitter Attack on Yovanovitch which of course prompted Adam Schiff to call it witness tampering, except for the fact she would never have know about during her testimony if he hadn't brought it too her attention.
Sundance at CTH, Jim Jordan and Elise Stefanik Lead a Republican Press Conference….

Buzzfeed, Twitter Has Suspended Several Accounts That Tweeted “I Hired Donald Trump To Fire People Like Yovanovitch" "A spokesperson for Twitter said they're looking into whether the phrase is trending organically."

More Ukrainian BS,Capt. Ed, White House Releases First Trump-Zelensky Transcript — As Yovanovitch Testimony Opens, Matt Margolis, PJ Media, White House Releases Transcript of April Ukraine Call, Shows No Pre-Conditions for Meeting,
“When you're settled in and ready, I’d like to invite you to the White House. We’ll have a lot of things to talk about, but we’re with you all the way,” Trump said during the call, without making any pre-conditions for the White House meeting. Testimony from the Democrats' witnesses have suggested that a White House meeting was predicated on Zelensky making a public anti-corruption statement, which many saw as part of the so-called quid pro quo.
Althouse, "When I owned Miss Universe, they always had great people. Ukraine was always well represented."
From Trump's first call to Zelensky, quoted in "Trump bragged about Miss Universe pageant — and didn’t mention corruption — in perfunctory first call to Ukraine president" (Daily News).
Sundance, Ukraine Foreign Minister Refutes Central Claims to Democrat Impeachment Narrative – There Was Never a Trump Request to Investigate Biden…
‘Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations,’ Prystaiko told journalists in Kiev. ‘You should ask him. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. It was not we, the Ukrainian officials (who were told this).’

The Ukrainian official is suggesting that if there were any quid pro quo – as Democrats claim – it was not communicated to the Ukrainian government, adding that he never had contact with Sondland.
Ace, Ukranian Foreign Minister Says There Was No Quid Pro Quo, and Trump Says That's the End of ImpeachmentTrump added that "little Adam Schiff" "has a ten inch neck." Fact check: True. Gateway Pundit, Ukrainian Officials Speak Out — Say Schiff’s Upcoming Special Witness Lev Parnas Is COMPLETE LIAR About US Aid to Ukraine. Well, somebody is not telling the truth, and Schiff doesn't have a very good record.

More hearsay, Witness says he overheard Trump demand Ukrainian investigation of Bidens
David Holmes, an embassy staffer in Kyiv, testified that he overheard a July 26 phone call in which Trump pressed U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland about whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would “do the investigation,” according to three people who have read his opening statement and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe its contents.

“Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ adding that President Zelensky will do ‘anything you ask him to,’ ” Holmes said, according to these people.
CNN, Taylor Aide Testifies: Sondland Told Me Trump Only Cares About Ukraine Insofar As It Benefits Him while Politico whines that Trump lays off Republican Ukraine critics while at WaPoo, Zelensky planned to announce Trump’s ‘quo’ on my show. Here’s what happened. But he didn't did he?

Mark Steyn, Once More into the Fogged Bottom
In a functioning system, the head of the government sets foreign policy and the diplomats enact it. So naturally there's not a chance of that in Washington. When Taylor and Kent whine that there seemed to be a "shadow foreign policy", the shadow is theirs; they spent a day testifying that everything had been going ticketty-boo for decades just as they'd always done things - and then Trump came along and took a different view. Oh, my! Anyone would think that, as Barack Obama once proposed, "elections have consequences".

First up was George Kent, the "Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus". He warmed up the crowd with some extensive biographical material about the "nearly sixty years" of George Kents (I believe he's George III or some such) who have "chosen" to endow America with the blessings of their "public service". It didn't help that he wore a bow tie. Eventually he stopped talking about himself and started talking about Ukraine:
Our strategic aim for the entirety of my foreign service career is not possible without a Ukraine whole, free, and at peace, including Crimea and Donbas, territories currently occupied by Russia.
Crimea is, of course, familiar to anyone who's read "The Charge of the Light Brigade"
Theirs not to reason why
Theirs but to do or die...
Or, in the case of low-level diplomats who've never had a single conversation with the President, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do or tender their resignations after first ensuring that their pensions won't be affected. Instead:
Into the valley of the SCIF
Rode the six hundred hearsay witnesses...
As I said, any Tom, Dick or Harry can bandy Crimea, but it takes a career striped-pants Foggy Bottom public servant to toss in "Donbas" with gay abandon. It would have been interesting to see whether Adam Schiff or anyone else in the room could have found Donbas on a map. The odds of pinning the tail on the Donbas blindfolded are better. It's bordered to the north, east and south-east by Russia, so it's akin to the Russian foreign ministry regarding northern Mexico as a vital national-security interest of Moscow's.

In fact, northern Mexico is a vital national-security interest of America's, but, under the mass wankerization of public policy, Perma-Beltway cares more about the borders of Ukraine than it does about the borders of the United States.

The proper response to George Kent bleating about "our strategic aim for the entirety of my foreign service career" is to advise him to join the Council on Foreign Relations and write a widely unread book. Instead, Kent rode on deeper into the valley of delusion:
Ukraine is on a path to become a full security partner of the United States within NATO.
By "full security partner", that means that, if Quebec annexes New Hampshire, Ukraine will be obligated to come to America's defense. It also means that the next time Putin invades Donbas America will be going to war with Russia:
Hunter DeRensis, at Da National Interest, What Impeachment Really Reveals About Ukraine. Small dogs do what they have to avoid being chewed by the big ones.

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