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  • thunderlips
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Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2800 on: October 10, 2019, 06:15:09 am »
https://www.google.co.kr/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna817411


https://apple.news/AOkUtFgN7QIqOh3qeL5fmMg

Debbie Wasserman Shultz had to resign her position and she was immediately hired by Clinton campaign. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
https://ivn.us/2016/07/25/leaked-dnc-e-mails-suggest-anti-sanders-bias/
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 06:18:35 am by thunderlips »


  • gogators!
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Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2801 on: October 10, 2019, 08:03:34 am »
Cogitate on this:
"The Constitution’s War Powers Clause grants Congress, not the president, the exclusive power to decide whether to engage in warfare. To be sure, the president is “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy.” However, constitutional history — reflected in the Framers’ deliberations, the Federalist Papers, debates in state ratifying conventions, the writings of James Madison, and more — confirms that the Framers intended to empower the president “to repel sudden attacks” and to command military forces in offensive wars, but not to decide whether to engage in them. As Leon Friedman and Burt Neuborne have noted, “There are areas where the intentions of the Founders are ambiguous. In matters of war and peace, however, they could not be clearer.”

But is unauthorized presidential warfare impeachable? In his 1974 classic Impeachment: A Handbook, Charles Black described unauthorized military action as “the most agonizing question of all.” He observed that “[a]s a new matter, I should have thought that totally unauthorized entrance into hostilities, without any emergency or any immediate threat to the nation, was the grossest possible usurpation of power, clearly impeachable.” Yet he ultimately concluded that “only a very extreme and not now visible case ought to bring the impeachment weapon into play as a sanction against presidential warlike activity.” Does Trump’s ongoing pursuit of the war in Yemen meet that test?

I. IMPEACHMENT AND UNAUTHORIZED MILITARY ACTION
A. History and precedent
Based on historical practice, the Nixon impeachment inquiry’s landmark report on Congressional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment divided impeachable offenses — what the Constitution calls “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” — into three broad categories, starting with “exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of the office in derogation of the powers of another branch of government.”

History teaches that unauthorized warfare fits into that category. As far back as 1682, Maryland’s colonial legislature impeached and convicted an official for undertaking an unauthorized war against the Piscataway Indians. But the most salient example was contemporaneous with the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. In 1787, just weeks before the convention opened, the British House of Commons voted to impeach Warren Hastings, the former Governor-General of India. Reports of Hastings’s impeachment circulated widely in North America. And notably, the very first article of impeachment against Hastings charged that he violated instructions not to engage in “any offensive war whatever.”

As the Framers debated the wording of the Constitution’s impeachment clause, George Mason cited the well-known charges against Hastings to illustrate why impeachment should cover more than just treason or bribery. As Mason explained, treason would not cover “many great and dangerous offences,” noting as an example that “Hastings is not guilty of Treason.” To cover the “great and dangerous offences” illustrated by the charges against Hastings — which, again, began with unauthorized war — Mason eventually proposed the phrase “other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Just seven years after the Constitution’s ratification, the young nation’s very first impeachment case confronted the issue. In 1797, the House voted to impeach Sen. William Blount for conspiring to conduct an unauthorized “military hostile expedition” against Spanish territories. (The Senate expelled Blount, but dismissed impeachment charges on the grounds that senators are not “civil Officers” subject to impeachment.)

The closest that Congress has come to impeaching a president for unauthorized military action involved Richard Nixon. In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee considered — but decided against — an article of impeachment for unauthorized (and secret) bombing of Cambodia. In the committee debate, Rep. Don Edwards (D-Cal.) explained that impeachment would help re-establish a critical constitutional principle: “t is time to send the message to future Presidents and this President about undeclared wars. Congress alone has the power to declare war. The President does not have the power, and it is an impeachable offense to wage an undeclared war.” However, the article was defeated 12-26 in committee.

Finally, even though no president has yet been impeached for unauthorized warlike activity, federal courts have on multiple occasions cited the availability of impeachment as a reason to treat litigation over the War Powers Clause as non-justiciable.

B. Arguments against impeachment for unauthorized military action
Black identified four main objections to impeaching a president for unauthorized warlike activity, and they deserve consideration.

First, Black noted that previous presidents had engaged in unauthorized military operations, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion, that did not result in impeachment.

Second, he observed that Congress sometimes sends mixed messages regarding authorization. That was certainly a major factor in the Judiciary Committee’s decision to reject an article of impeachment against Nixon for the Cambodia campaign. As the committee report summarized, “opponents of the Article concluded that, even if President Nixon usurped Congressional power, Congress shared the blame through acquiescence or ratification of his actions.”

Third, Black noted the difficulty in separating the constitutional issue of a war powers violation from opinions about the military action itself. Referring to the (then recent) Yom Kippur War of 1973, he rhetorically asked: “[W]ould it be thought that an impeachable offense had been committed if our forces in the Mediterranean were ordered to intervene to keep the Syrians from taking Haifa?” Black concluded that “the wrongness of unauthorized military action is likely to seem clear, on the whole, only to those who disapprove substantively of the particular intervention.”

Finally, Black emphasized the importance of alternative remedies, memorably writing that Congress need not “sit idly by, counting up grievances, until time comes to call a council of elders and sharpen the impeachment spear.” Rather, Congress has a wide range of tools which, Black believed, should be tried before impeachment. For example, Congress could refuse to appropriate funds for prosecuting an unauthorized war, or pass a concurrent resolution “declaring in unmistakeable terms that the war was immoral and against the country’s interest.”

II. THE CASE OF US MILITARY ACTION IN YEMEN
In the spring of 2019, Congress passed an unprecedented joint resolution, S.J. Res. 7, by votes of 54-46 in the Senate and 247-175 in the House. The resolution provides that “Congress hereby directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen, except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al Qaeda or associated forces, by not later than the date that is 30 days after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution.”

Here the matter gets slightly cloudier. President Trump vetoed the resolution, and the Senate could not override the veto.

A. War powers analysis
While a full analysis of the doctrine and history of the relation between Congress and presidents over war powers is beyond this discussion, the most widely-accepted framework for assessing questions of presidential power versus that of Congress comes from Justice Jackson’s famous concurrence in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer. Jackson described three categories: 1) when the president acts pursuant to congressional authorization, he has maximum authority; 2) when Congress has neither authorized nor opposed action, there is a “zone of twilight” where the president can rely on his independent powers, but the scope is uncertain; and 3) “[w]hen the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb, for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the matter.”

Here, Congress passed a resolution — but then the president vetoed it. Consequently, the resolution was not enacted into statutory law. But what is its implication for a constitutional test that focuses on the “expressed or implied will of Congress”?

The most straightforward interpretation is that, notwithstanding the president’s veto, Congress has expressed its will, and the passage of S.J. Res. 7 moved this situation squarely into the third Youngstown category.

Consider the opposite argument: that the vetoed S.J. Res. 7 has no effect, and Congress has entirely failed to express its opposition. That would require claiming that if a majority of both houses pass a resolution purporting to express Congress’s will, but at least one of the Houses falls short of two-thirds, then Congress has done nothing at all, and left the matter in the “zone of twilight” where it has neither authorized nor opposed action.

That would reverse the Constitution’s entrustment of the war power to Congress rather than the president. Virtually any president conducting an undeclared war would veto a resolution like S.J. Res. 7. Under a rule that Congress’s will is unclear when it passes a resolution ordering withdrawal but the president vetoes it, every presidential war would fall into the Youngstown zone of twilight unless Congress mustered two-thirds of each body. That would make hash of the War Powers Clause. As David French argues in National Review, “A declaration of war requires an affirmative act of Congress. A bipartisan majority’s rejection of American participation in the Yemeni conflict is anything but an affirmation.”

Kristen Eichensehr develops a middle position. She agrees that it’s absurd to call vetoed resolutions like S.J. Res. 7 “nullities.” Yet, she argues, in such cases “Congress hasn’t succeeded in perfecting its opposition to the President,” and the vetoed resolution “come close to [Youngstown] Category 3, but not quite.” Instead, she suggests that Congress’s opposition justifies narrowly construing ambiguous presidential authorities within a Youngstown category 2 analysis. But while this interpretive canon may generate insights in other contexts, Eichensehr acknowledges that her approach is “a bigger lift” in the war powers context, where courts are almost never the final arbiters on the merits.

There’s something else odd about ascribing constitutional significance to Trump’s veto: the resolution was only even submitted to the president at all due to the procedural happenstance that the Senate chose to use a joint resolution rather than a concurrent resolution, which — for this purpose — would have been equally sufficient to express congressional will. (Black himself suggested a concurrent resolution as a step Congress should take before resorting to impeachment on this ground.) To be sure, the resolution’s Senate co-sponsors deliberately chose this vehicle, which has procedural advantages under the War Powers Resolution. But still: The Framers demanded the express affirmation of both houses of Congress for launching a war. When the president insists on prosecuting a war against the express opposition of both houses of Congress, should a momentous constitutional question turn on a point of parliamentary procedure?

Rather, as Justice Jackson explained, congressional will need not even be explicit — the issue is the “expressed or implied will of Congress.” If Congress’s will is clear, it doesn’t need to be expressed in an enacted law, let alone one backed by a veto-proof supermajority — certainly not in the war powers context, where the Constitution requires affirmative action by Congress.

B. Impeachment analysis
The unprecedented joint resolution dispatches three of Black’s four objections to impeachment over unauthorized wars. As for precedent, none of the previous examples of unauthorized military action involved defying a congressional joint resolution to end US involvement. As for clarity of congressional intent, barring a comprehensive statutory scheme (Black’s preference), the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy has noted that “Congress could draw a red line in an individual case.” So it did with S.J. Res. 7. And as for conflating the merits of the military action with the constitutional questions, the substantive deliberations about US involvement in Yemen have already been held by the very body that the Constitution entrusts with such decisions.

(Of course, these points apply only to President Trump’s continuation of US military intervention after Congress passed the Yemen resolution. Consequently, an article of impeachment against President Trump should only address continued prosecution of the war after May 2019.)

But Black’s preference for remedies short of impeachment deserves more discussion. Building on Black’s argument, Benjamin Wittes and Jane Chong have repeatedly argued that impeachment should be reserved for misconduct that Congress cannot stop by lesser means.

The obvious question is whether Congress must first override the veto of S.J. Res. 7 before considering impeachment. Certainly, the bill of particulars would be longer if the president were violating a statute as well as a constitutional provision. But requiring a veto override is contrary to constitutional structure. The Framers entrusted impeachment to the House by simple majority, but a veto override requires a two-thirds vote. Requiring a veto override as a prerequisite to impeachment would impose a new, non-textually-grounded supermajority requirement for impeachment.

Of course, Congress still has many lesser tools available. It could (still) pass a concurrent resolution. Or it could refuse to appropriate funds for the conflict. (The National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, passed by the House in July 2019, includes several provisions along those lines.)

Shouldn’t Congress exhaust other remedies first before resorting to impeachment? If impeachment’s only purpose were to stop the president from engaging in particular ongoing misconduct, that might be so.

But that’s not how the Framing generation thought about impeachment—certainly not in the case of unauthorized warfare. When Hastings was impeached, his military campaigns were already over; Blount was impeached for a military adventure that never even happened.

Here, impeachment serves other functions that wouldn’t be addressed by lesser remedies. Start with deterrence. Defunding one war doesn’t deter the same president, let alone others, from starting new wars. A president could rationally calculate that he can continue to start new wars and, at worst, Congress will compel him to withdraw. But that’s not much worse than the existing deterrent of an unpopular war weakening the president politically, as Vietnam did to Lyndon Johnson. In contrast, as John Adams confessed to Thomas Jefferson, a credible threat of impeachment can fill a president with “terror.”

As Black wrote, even for the specifically enumerated impeachable offenses of treason and bribery, we impeach a traitorous or corrupt president “principally because we fear he will do it again.” When a president persists in defying Congress and prosecuting a war over its stated objection, it’s reasonable to assume that he’ll continue to engage in undeclared wars, and Congress is not doomed to play whack-a-mole.

Finally, a critical purpose of impeachment is, in the words of Keith Whittington, “to articulate, establish, preserve and protect constitutional norms.” That seems to have been the purpose of Hastings’ impeachment. And the House impeachments of both Andrew Johnson and Justice Samuel Chase succeeded in establishing important constitutional norms, despite their ultimate acquittal. The norm here — that Congress, not the president, decides when to engage in warfare — has been fraying for years, but it is being undermined by President Trump even more than by Nixon, since Trump is continuing in defiance of explicit congressional disapproval.

In 1974, Edwards urged the Judiciary Committee to “send the message to future Presidents and this President about undeclared wars.” An article of impeachment would convey that message well."


  • gogators!
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Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2802 on: October 10, 2019, 08:05:08 am »
Zuckerberg says facebook will continue to run trump's ads even though they contain false information after meeting with dishonest don.  Quid pro quo--the punk meets the godfather.


Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2803 on: October 10, 2019, 01:19:20 pm »
Zuckerberg says facebook will continue to run trump's ads even though they contain false information after meeting with dishonest don.  Quid pro quo--the punk meets the godfather.
Aren't most political ads by almost all politicians, regardless of party, bending the truth and overhyping things?

For effs sake, Ralph Northam tried to link his opponent to Jim Crow lynchings when in fact Northam had a history of blackface. That's dishonest. Should it still be allowed to be put on facebook? Absolutely.


Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2804 on: October 10, 2019, 01:27:44 pm »
Zuckerberg says facebook will continue to run trump's ads even though they contain false information after meeting with dishonest don.  Quid pro quo--the punk meets the godfather.
Aren't most political ads by almost all politicians, regardless of party, bending the truth and overhyping things?

For effs sake, Ralph Northam tried to link his opponent to Jim Crow lynchings when in fact Northam had a history of blackface. That's dishonest. Should it still be allowed to be put on facebook? Absolutely.

yeah but i think there's a line we need to draw between being dishonest and referencing false information. for example, if someone makes an ad saying "mr. XYZ is a racist because 1, 2, 3" that's fine so long as 1, 2, and 3 are not false (whether they support the claim is irrelevant). on the other hand, an ad claiming "mr. XYZ is a racist because he stabbed a latino man at a bar in 1992" should NOT be allowed if he didn't actually do that.

i'm not sure exactly what facebook's position on this is, but it seems there should be a clear distinction between the first case, which is "dishonest" (specifically, dishonest reasoning) and the second, which is "factually incorrect" (i.e. "that shit never happened).

in other words, bending the truth and over-hyping are fine and expected to an extent. providing false information seems to cross a line.


Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2805 on: October 10, 2019, 04:12:28 pm »
Quote
“They didn’t help us in the second world war, they didn’t help us with Normandy … but they’re there to help us with their land.”

How the fukc did he come up with this as a reason for fukcing over a close ally?  Who fed him this shit?   Equally, we know who'll swallow this all. 


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Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2806 on: October 10, 2019, 08:03:21 pm »
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html

y
Quote
James Risen

    Dec. 8, 2015

WASHINGTON — When Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to Kiev , Ukraine, on Sunday for a series of meetings with the country’s leaders, one of the issues on his agenda was to encourage a more aggressive fight against Ukraine’s rampant corruption and stronger efforts to rein in the power of its oligarchs.

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

Hunter Biden, 45, a former Washington lobbyist, joined the Burisma board in April 2014. That month, as part of an investigation into money laundering, British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr. Zlochevsky.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevksy, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.
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But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.

“In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”

Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma.

But Edward C. Chow, who follows Ukrainian policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the involvement of the vice president’s son with Mr. Zlochevsky’s firm undermined the Obama administration’s anticorruption message in Ukraine.

“Now you look at the Hunter Biden situation, and on the one hand you can credit the father for sending the anticorruption message,” Mr. Chow said. “But I think unfortunately it sends the message that a lot of foreign countries want to believe about America, that we are hypocritical about these issues.”
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Kate Bedingfield, a spokeswoman for the vice president, said Hunter Biden’s business dealings had no impact on his father’s policy positions in connection with Ukraine.
Video
1:42Biden Urges Ukraine to Fight Corruption
Speaking during a visit to Ukraine, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged the country to weed corruption out of its system.CreditCreditMikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,” she said. “The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. The vice president has pushed aggressively for years, both publicly with groups like the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum and privately in meetings with Ukrainian leaders, for Ukraine to make every effort to investigate and prosecute corruption in accordance with the rule of law. It will once again be a key focus during his trip this week.”

Ryan F. Toohey, a Burisma spokesman, said that Hunter Biden would not comment for this article.

It is not known how Mr. Biden came to the attention of the company. Announcing his appointment to the board, Alan Apter, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker who is chairman of Burisma, said, “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.”

Joining the board at the same time was one of Mr. Biden’s American business partners, Devon Archer. Both are involved with Rosemont Seneca Partners, an American investment firm with offices in Washington.

Mr. Biden is the younger of the vice president’s two sons. His brother, Beau, died of brain cancer in May. In the past, Hunter Biden attracted an unusual level of scrutiny and even controversy. In 2014, he was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. He received a commission as an ensign in 2013, and he served as a public affairs officer.

Before his father was vice president, Mr. Biden also briefly served as president of a hedge fund group, Paradigm Companies, in which he was involved with one of his uncles, James Biden, the vice president’s brother. That deal went sour amid lawsuits in 2007 and 2008 involving the Bidens and an erstwhile business partner. Mr. Biden, a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale Law School, also worked as a lobbyist before his father became vice president.

Burisma does not disclose the compensation of its board members because it is a privately held company, Mr. Toohey said Monday, but he added that the amount was “not out of the ordinary” for similar corporate board positions.

Asked about the British investigation, which is continuing, Mr. Toohey said, “Not only was the case dismissed and the company vindicated by the outcome, but it speaks volumes that all his legal costs were recouped.”

In response to Mr. Pyatt’s criticism of the Ukrainian handling of Mr. Zlochevsky’s case, Mr. Toohey said that “strong corporate governance and transparency are priorities shared both by the United States and the leadership of Burisma. Burisma is working to bring the energy sector into the modern era, which is critical for a free and strong Ukraine.”

Vice President Biden has played a leading role in American policy toward Ukraine as Washington seeks to counter Russian intervention in Eastern Ukraine. This week’s visit was his fifth trip to Ukraine as vice president.

Ms. Bedingfield said Hunter Biden had never traveled to Ukraine with his father. She also said that Ukrainian officials had never mentioned Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma to the vice president during any of his visits.

“I’ve got to believe that somebody in the vice president’s office has done some due diligence on this,” said Steven Pifer, who was the American ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000. “I should say that I hope that has happened. I would hope that they have done some kind of check, because I think the vice president has done a very good job of sending the anticorruption message in Ukraine, and you would hate to see something like this undercut that message.”


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Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2807 on: October 10, 2019, 08:05:22 pm »
https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story

Quote
Former Vice President Joe Biden, now a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, has locked into a specific story about the controversy in Ukraine.

He insists that, in spring 2016, he strong-armed Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor solely because Biden believed that official was corrupt and inept, not because the Ukrainian was investigating a natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, that hired Biden's son, Hunter, into a lucrative job.

There’s just one problem.

Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative.

And they raise the troubling prospect that U.S. officials may have painted a false picture in Ukraine that helped ease Burisma’s legal troubles and stop prosecutors’ plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

For instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered “an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures” about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor's firing was announced.

In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails.

The memos raise troubling questions:

1.)   If the Ukraine prosecutor’s firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma's American legal team refer to those allegations as “false information?"

2.)   If the firing had nothing to do with the Burisma case, as Biden has adamantly claimed, why would Burisma’s American lawyers contact the replacement prosecutor within hours of the termination and urgently seek a meeting in Ukraine to discuss the case?

Ukrainian prosecutors say they have tried to get this information to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) since the summer of 2018, fearing it might be evidence of possible violations of U.S. ethics laws. First, they hired a former federal prosecutor to bring the information to the U.S. attorney in New York, who, they say, showed no interest. Then, the Ukrainians reached out to President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, told Trump in July that he plans to launch his own wide-ranging investigation into what happened with the Bidens and Burisma.

“I’m knowledgeable about the situation,” Zelensky told Trump, asking the American president to forward any evidence he might know about. "The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.”

Biden has faced scrutiny since December 2015, when the New York Times published a story noting that Burisma hired Hunter Biden just weeks after the vice president was asked by President Obama to oversee U.S.-Ukraine relations. That story also alerted Biden’s office that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had an active investigation of Burisma and its founder.

Documents I obtained this year detail an effort to change the narrative after the Times story about Hunter Biden, with the help of the Obama State Department.

Hunter Biden’s American business partner in Burisma, Devon Archer, texted a colleague two days after the Times story about a strategy to counter the “new wave of scrutiny” and stated that he and Hunter Biden had just met at the State Department. The text suggested there was about to be a new “USAID project the embassy is announcing with us” and that it was “perfect for us to move forward now with momentum.”

I have sued the State Department for any records related to that meeting. The reason is simple: There is both a public interest and an ethics question to knowing if Hunter Biden and his team sought State’s assistance while his father was vice president.

The controversy ignited anew earlier this year when I disclosed that Joe Biden admitted during a 2018 videotaped speech that, as vice president in March 2016, he threatened to cancel $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, to pressure Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin.

At the time, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000. 

Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong. A British-based investigation of Burisma's owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General's office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me. One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017.

After I first reported it in a column, the New York Times and ABC News published similar stories confirming my reporting.

Joe Biden has since responded that he forced Shokin’s firing over concerns about corruption and ineptitude, which he claims were widely shared by Western allies, and that it had nothing to do with the Burisma investigation.

Some of the new documents I obtained call that claim into question.

In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.

“On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,” Shokin added.

Shokin certainly would have reason to hold a grudge over his firing. But his account is supported by documents from Burisma’s legal team in America, which appeared to be moving into Ukraine with intensity as Biden’s effort to fire Shokin picked up steam.

Burisma’s own accounting records show that it paid tens of thousands of dollars while Hunter Biden served on the board of an American lobbying and public relations firm, Blue Star Strategies, run by Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, who both served in President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Just days before Biden forced Shokin’s firing, Painter met with the No. 2 official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington and asked to meet officials in Kiev around the same time that Joe Biden visited there. Ukrainian embassy employee Oksana Shulyar emailed Painter afterward: “With regards to the meetings in Kiev, I suggest that you wait until the next week when there is an expected vote of the government’s reshuffle.”

Ukraine’s Washington embassy confirmed the conversations between Shulyar and Painter but said the reference to a shakeup in Ukrainian government was not specifically referring to Shokin’s firing or anything to do with Burisma.

Painter then asked one of the Ukraine embassy’s workers to open the door for meetings with Ukraine’s prosecutors about the Burisma investigation, the memos show. Eventually, Blue Star would pay that Ukrainian official money for his help with the prosecutor's office.

At the time, Blue Star worked in concert with an American criminal defense lawyer, John Buretta, who was hired by Burisma to help address the case in Ukraine. The case was settled in January 2017 for a few million dollars in fines for alleged tax issues.

Buretta, Painter, Tramontano, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s campaign have not responded to numerous calls and emails seeking comment.

On March 29, 2016, the day Shokin’s firing was announced, Buretta asked to speak with Yuriy Sevruk, the prosecutor named to temporarily replace Shokin, but was turned down, the memos show.

Blue Star, using the Ukrainian embassy worker it had hired, eventually scored a meeting with Sevruk on April 6, 2016, a week after Shokin’s firing. Buretta, Tramontano and Painter attended that meeting in Kiev, according to Blue Star’s memos.

Sevruk memorialized the meeting in a government memo that the general prosecutor’s office provided to me, stating that the three Americans offered an apology for the “false” narrative that had been provided by U.S. officials about Shokin being corrupt and inept.

“They realized that the information disseminated in the U.S. was incorrect and that they would facilitate my visit to the U.S. for the purpose of delivering the true information to the State Department management,” the memo stated.

The memo also quoted the Americans as saying they knew Shokin pursued an aggressive corruption investigation against Burisma’s owner, only to be thwarted by British allies: “These individuals noted that they had been aware that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine had implemented all required steps for prosecution … and that he was released by the British court due to the underperformance of the British law enforcement agencies.”

The memo provides a vastly different portrayal of Shokin than Biden's. And its contents are partially backed by subsequent emails from Blue Star and Buretta that confirm the offer to bring Ukrainian authorities to meet the Obama administration in Washington.

For instance, Tramontano wrote the Ukrainian prosecution team on April 16, 2016, saying U.S. Justice Department officials, including top international prosecutor Bruce Swartz, might be willing to meet. “The reforms are not known to the US Justice Department and it would be useful for the Prosecutor General to meet officials in the US and share this information directly,” she wrote.

Buretta sent a similar email to the Ukrainians, writing that “I think you would find it productive to meet with DOJ officials in Washington” and providing contact information for Swartz. “I would be happy to help,” added Buretta, a former senior DOJ official.

Burisma, Buretta and Blue Star continued throughout 2016 to try to resolve the open issues in Ukraine, and memos recount various contacts with the State Department and the U.S. embassy in Kiev seeking help in getting the Burisma case resolved.

Just days before Trump took office, Burisma announced it had resolved all of its legal issues. And Buretta gave an interview in Ukraine about how he helped navigate the issues.

 Today, two questions remain.

One is whether it was ethically improper or even illegal for Biden to intervene to fire the prosecutor handling Burisma’s case, given his son’s interests. That is one that requires more investigation and the expertise of lawyers.

The second is whether Biden has given the American people an honest accounting of what happened. The new documents I obtained raise serious doubts about his story’s credibility. And that’s an issue that needs to be resolved by voters.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports.


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 795

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2808 on: October 10, 2019, 08:07:38 pm »
https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/440730-how-the-obama-white-house-engaged-ukraine-to-give-russia-collusion

Quote
As Donald Trump began his meteoric rise to the presidency, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to coordinate ongoing anti-corruption efforts inside Russia’s most critical neighbor.

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long — during the meetings and afterward — to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump.

U.S. officials “kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united,” said Andrii Telizhenko, then a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington tasked with organizing the meeting.

Telizhenko, who no longer works for the Ukrainian Embassy, said U.S. officials volunteered during the meetings — one of which was held in the White House’s Old Executive Office Building — that they had an interest in reviving a closed investigation into payments to U.S. figures from Ukraine’s Russia-backed Party of Regions.

That 2014 investigation was led by the FBI and focused heavily on GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort, whose firm long had been tied to Trump through his partner and Trump pal, Roger Stone.

Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying.

The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort.

Telizhenko said he couldn’t remember whether Manafort was mentioned during the January 2016 meeting. But he and other attendees recalled DOJ officials asking investigators from Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could help locate new evidence about the Party of Regions’ payments and its dealings with Americans.

“It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election,” he said.

That makes the January 2016 meeting one of the earliest documented efforts to build the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative and one of the first to involve the Obama administration’s intervention.

Spokespeople for the NSC, DOJ and FBI declined to comment. A representative for former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did not return emails seeking comment.

Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn’t remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.

But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election. Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort — a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions — was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump’s campaign chairman: “Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious.”

Kholodnytskyy said he explicitly instructed NABU investigators who were working with American authorities not to share the ledger with the media. “Look, Manafort’s case is one of the cases that hurt me a lot,” he said.

“I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort."

“For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial,” he added.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general’s international affairs office, said that, shortly after Ukrainian authorities returned from the Washington meeting, there was a clear message about helping the Americans with the Party of the Regions case.

“Yes, there was a lot of talking about needing help and then the ledger just appeared in public,” he recalled.

Kulyk said Ukrainian authorities had evidence that other Western figures, such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, also received money from Yanukovych’s party. But the Americans weren’t interested: “They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else.”

Manafort joined Trump’s campaign on March 29, 2016, and then was promoted to campaign chairman on May 19, 2016. 

NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.

A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU’s release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine’s parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The other case raised at the January 2016 meeting, Telizhenko said, involved Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company under investigation in Ukraine for improper foreign transfers of money. At the time, Burisma allegedly was paying then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter as both a board member and a consultant. More than $3 million flowed from Ukraine to an American firm tied to Hunter Biden in 2014-15, bank records show.

According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.

"Unfortunately, the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., was not invited to join the DOJ and other law enforcement-sector meetings," it said. It said it had no record that the Party of Regions or Burisma cases came up in the meetings it did attend.

Ukraine is riddled with corruption, Russian meddling and intense political conflicts, so one must carefully consider any Ukrainian accounts.

But Telizhenko’s claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort probe as the 2016 election ramped up is supported by the DOJ’s own documents, including communications involving Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.

DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the “black ledger” documents that led to Manafort’s prosecution.

“Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions’ Black Cashbox,” Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU’s release of the documents.

Bruce Ohr and Steele worked on their own effort to get dirt on Manafort from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who had a soured business relationship with him. Deripaska was “almost ready to talk” to U.S. government officials regarding the money that “Manafort stole,” Bruce Ohr wrote in notes from his conversations with Steele.

The efforts eventually led to a September 2016 meeting in which the FBI asked Deripaska if he could help prove Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia. Deripaska laughed off the notion as preposterous.

Previously, Politico reported that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted Clinton’s campaign through a DNC contractor. The Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges it got requests for assistance from the DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort but denies it provided any improper assistance.

Now we have more concrete evidence that the larger Ukrainian government also was being pressed by the Obama administration to help build the Russia collusion narrative. And that onion is only beginning to be peeled.

But what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3642

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2809 on: October 10, 2019, 08:13:42 pm »
How about just posting the link?

Or if not, better to just quote the highlights than the whole thing.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5397

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2810 on: October 11, 2019, 11:44:47 am »
Please don't post quotes of entire articles without some kind of relevant insight, opinion or criticism that you want others to think about.
Or, as LI suggests, just post the link (along with why you've posted it).

Cut and paste articles with no further commentary often mysteriously disappear.


Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2811 on: October 11, 2019, 01:32:53 pm »
Could be worse. We could have a 280 character limit on posts and get people, especially like me and Aristocrat, to start "Wictor Posting" on threads.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wictor Posting, it is a means of communication on twitter popularized by fringe-right author and scholar Thomas Wictor (now banned from twitter) who would post elaborate threads on twitter, not just some 1/12 thread, no these could go into the 40s and 50s range.


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5397

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2812 on: October 11, 2019, 02:22:06 pm »
Could be worse. We could have a 280 character limit on posts and get people, especially like me and Aristocrat, to start "Wictor Posting" on threads.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wictor Posting, it is a means of communication on twitter popularized by fringe-right author and scholar Thomas Wictor (now banned from twitter) who would post elaborate threads on twitter, not just some 1/12 thread, no these could go into the 40s and 50s range.
That's hilarious! It would take that poor guy more time to cut, paste, and organize all those snippets than to write them in the first place, I'm sure. :laugh:

    Anyway, the length isn't really the issue for me -- I don't mind reading long winded arguments every now and then, especially when they're entertainingly written!
   It's the copypasta clutter that gets me. Getting everybody to read giant articles without even bothering to comment on it yourself seems really lazy. If you want to do that, post a link! Let the people interested in it read it and those who aren't don't have to develop arthritis to scroll past it!  :smiley:



Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2813 on: October 11, 2019, 02:26:09 pm »
don't have to develop arthritis to scroll past it!  :smiley:

too l  a t e    f  or  t   hat .   .      .


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3791

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2814 on: October 11, 2019, 08:16:17 pm »
Zuckerberg says facebook will continue to run trump's ads even though they contain false information after meeting with dishonest don.  Quid pro quo--the punk meets the godfather.
Aren't most political ads by almost all politicians, regardless of party, bending the truth and overhyping things?

For effs sake, Ralph Northam tried to link his opponent to Jim Crow lynchings when in fact Northam had a history of blackface. That's dishonest. Should it still be allowed to be put on facebook? Absolutely.
That you, who has a long history of trafficking lies, would support their use is no surprise. For all I know, your statement about Northam is false.

And it;s funny for a guy who says the russkis Facebook campaign had no impact on the race to be all if favor of more such campaigning. Hmmm.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3791

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2815 on: October 11, 2019, 11:23:26 pm »
Quote
The Pentagon was confused. Hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine had been appropriated in late 2018 by Congress, intended to help fend off aggression by neighboring Russia. But well into 2019, as summer was edging toward autumn, the funds had still not moved.

Department of Defense officials began to worry that the funds would never make it to Ukraine, since the appropriations would expire with the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. They even began to prepare a legal challenge to the freezing of the funds, leading to an unprecedented fight within the Trump administration.

The Pentagon went so far as to conduct its own legal analysis of the holds, determining that they were illegal. A government official confirmed that such an analysis took place. So did several Capitol Hill staffers. They all described the conclusion of that analysis in similar terms.

“This is part of the basis for our investigation and overall impeachment inquiry,” acknowledged one congressional staffer who was unauthorized to speak to the press.
https://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-officials-deemed-withholding-of-aid-to-ukraine-was-illegal-090046566.html


trump helping his buddy putin in his war against ukraine while trying to put the squeeze on for dirt, that doesn't exist, against Biden.

Those people in Minn, shouting lock him up and buying into conspiracy theories:
Quote
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste (or intelligence) of the American public.


And so:
Quote
As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.



  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3791

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2816 on: October 12, 2019, 04:08:16 am »
So we pull out 1,000 or so troops out of Syria because we are not the world's policeman and because the Kurds did not fight in WWII and now we send 2,000 troops to SA because??? To protect big oil? They loan/give dishonest don millions of dollars?

Let's not forget the two trump towers in Turkey.

No wonder the people supporting him have kept the 700 Club on the air for 42 seasons. They'll believe anything.



  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 795

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3642

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2818 on: October 12, 2019, 06:42:53 pm »


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 795

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Mouseville
Re: When will Trump be impeached?
« Reply #2819 on: October 12, 2019, 06:44:28 pm »
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/canada-free-press/

You did not even read the article.

Oh well...I guess  marginalizing is the tactic. 

Though, I find it funny that your little bias checker would associate "left" with "liberal". ..wait..I don't.  I"m not surprised.

Anyway...read the bloody article.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 06:49:27 pm by NorthStar »