Author Topic: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment  (Read 27260 times)

DougMacG

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Impeachment score
« Reply #100 on: November 15, 2019, 05:45:58 PM »
The Republicans have landed many punches on Dems and their star witnesses and Democrats have landed none on Trump.

Like nuclear missile defense, the game is a little unfair.  They only have to land one punch to win the game, evidence of one impeachable act.  Doesn't seem like the would have started this way if they had one.

They thought the dripping news of the call would be the punch but Trump took all the wind from the sails when he released the transcript with no crime or mis-deed.

So they indecisively decided to proceed anyway ...

Impeach the Democratic House.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 05:49:42 PM by DougMacG »

G M

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Re: Impeachment score
« Reply #101 on: November 15, 2019, 10:35:13 PM »
The Republicans have landed many punches on Dems and their star witnesses and Democrats have landed none on Trump.

Like nuclear missile defense, the game is a little unfair.  They only have to land one punch to win the game, evidence of one impeachable act.  Doesn't seem like the would have started this way if they had one.

They thought the dripping news of the call would be the punch but Trump took all the wind from the sails when he released the transcript with no crime or mis-deed.

So they indecisively decided to proceed anyway ...

Impeach the Democratic House.

He will be impeached on grounds of ORANGE MAN BAD. He will not be removed.





DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment Wash Post
« Reply #106 on: November 19, 2019, 07:16:35 AM »
Would someone paste this article please?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/how-a-cia-analyst-alarmed-by-trumps-shadow-foreign-policy-triggered-an-impeachment-inquiry/2019/11/15/042684a8-03c3-11ea-8292-c46ee8cb3dce_story.html

[Tip: I was blocked also blocked by my browser (Brave), then opened it with a different browser less often used, Explorer in this case.  They must store the cookies separately]

How a CIA analyst, alarmed by Trump’s shadow foreign policy, triggered an impeachment inquiry

President Trump walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Oct. 23. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
By Greg Miller,Greg Jaffe and Paul Sonne
November 16, 2019

The lights are often on late into the evening at CIA headquarters, where a team of elite analysts works on classified reports that influence how the country responds to global crises.
In early August, one of those analysts was staying after hours on a project with even higher stakes. For two weeks, he pored over notes of alarming conversations with White House officials, reviewed details from interagency memos on the U.S. relationship with Ukraine and scanned public statements by President Trump.

He wove this material into a nine-page memo outlining evidence that Trump had abused the powers of his office to try to coerce Ukraine into helping him get reelected. Then, on Aug. 12, the analyst hit “send.”

His decision to report what he had learned to the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general has transformed the political landscape of the United States, triggering a rapidly moving impeachment inquiry that now imperils Trump’s presidency.

Over the past three months, the allegations made in that document have been overwhelmingly substantiated — by the sworn testimony of administration officials, the inadvertent admissions of Trump’s acting chief of staff and, most important, the president’s own words, as captured on a record of his July 25 call with the leader of Ukraine.

As the impeachment inquiry entered a new phase of public hearings on Wednesday, the outlines of the case have been thoroughly established: the president, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and two diplomats are alleged to have collaborated to pressure Ukraine to pursue investigations to bolster Trump’s conspiracy theories about the 2016 election and damage the prospects of a potential opponent in next year’s election, former vice president Joe Biden.

Trump cites corruption in Kyiv and European stinginess to justify actions on Ukraine. Neither rationale withstands close scrutiny.
To advance this hidden agenda, Trump and his allies orchestrated the ouster of a U.S. ambassador, the withholding of an Oval Office meeting from Ukraine’s new president and the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid.

But beyond that familiar fact pattern, the revelations reflect a country in political crisis.
The United States has embarked on an impeachment proceeding against a president for only the fourth time in its history. The voluminous testimony so far has revealed a government at war with itself over how to respond to Trump’s frequent conflation of the country’s interests with his own. After casting itself as a force against corruption, condemning politically driven prosecutions in other countries, the United States now appears to have sought to coerce such actions from a partner nation.

It is not clear whether any of this would have come to light were it not for the actions of a relatively junior CIA employee, who is now the target of almost daily attacks by Trump and right-wing efforts to make his identity widely public.

Dozens of senior officials — including the national security adviser, the secretary of state and the acting White House chief of staff — were either aware of or involved in the Ukraine scheme and failed to expose or stop it. More than a half-dozen lower-ranking officials made futile attempts to intervene.

Impeachment this week: The hearings go public

In the first week of open impeachment hearings, three career diplomats gave dramatic testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. (The Washington Post)
Ultimately, it came down to a lone analyst, in a cubicle miles from the White House, drafting an unprecedented document in the detached manner he had learned in his CIA training.

“In the course of my official duties,” he wrote, “I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

This article is based on interviews with dozens of U.S. and Ukrainian officials, the whistleblower report, the White House call record and thousands of pages of impeachment hearing transcripts. Many officials and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue and fear of retaliation.

The CIA declined to comment on all matters related to the whistleblower, including whether he is employed at the agency. The whistleblower’s lawyers also declined to comment.

Attempts to discredit the whistleblower have depicted him as driven by ideology or political grievance, secretly determined to unseat the president. The inspector general did note “an arguable political bias” on the part of the whistleblower but found his complaint “credible.”
Current and former officials familiar with the analyst’s actions said that he was daunted by the implications of his decision, both for the country and his career, and that he never contemplated becoming a whistleblower until learning about the nature of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The rough transcript of that call, which was released by the White House after the analyst’s concerns became public, shows Trump opening with congratulations on Ukraine’s recent parliamentary elections and then transitioning swiftly into applying pressure.

“I would like you to do us a favor though,” Trump says, urging Zelensky to order investigations into a baseless claim that Kyiv is hiding computer equipment that would supposedly prove it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that hacked the Democratic National Committee’s network in 2016; and into a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, that had employed Biden’s son Hunter to serve on its board of directors for up to $100,000 a month.

Inside Joe Biden’s brawling efforts to reform Ukraine — which won him successes and enemies
In their 30-minute conversation, there was no mention of the two nations’ shared goals of repelling Russian aggression, no expression of broader concern about corruption, no reference to Ukraine’s desire for a closer relationship with the West.

The call is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives, rising above all other allegations or evidence in significance, according to senior officials involved in the probe.
“The call itself shows what we believe to be a misuse of power of the office of the presidency for personal gain,” said a senior Democratic official. “It quickly became the center of our investigation.”
Still, the official said, “We wanted to expand outward before and after the call. What was the impetus? Why was Trump asking about these investigations? Who was involved and who knew about it?”

The timing of Trump’s attempt to pressure Zelensky made it all the more extraordinary. One day earlier, former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had, in halting testimony before Congress, essentially ended any prospect that Trump would face impeachment for his campaign’s ties to Russia in 2016 or alleged efforts to obstruct the investigation into election interference that followed.

The Russia “cloud” that Trump has so frequently railed against had finally been lifted. And yet, within hours, he was exposing himself to new allegations of collusion, this time not with Russia, but with neighboring Ukraine.

On the call, however, Trump makes clear that he sees the two threats to his presidency as inextricably linked, and his attempt to pressure Ukraine appears driven by his refusal to accept the reality of Moscow’s interference and the stain he believes that left on his surprising win.
Midway through the call, Trump appears to gloat about the collapse of the Russia investigation. “That whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance,” Trump said. “But they say a lot of it started with Ukraine.”

Several witnesses in the impeachment inquiry have said that Trump bears significant hostility toward Ukraine, stemming in part from the country’s role in exposing the financial corruption of his 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Trump began airing conspiratorial claims about Ukraine as early as April 2017. That month, he made a baseless allegation he has since repeated frequently: that Democratic Party officials had refused to let computers hacked by Russia be examined by the FBI and instead “brought in another company that I hear is Ukraine-based.”

The president, who derided Russia allegations against him as a “hoax,” was advancing one of his own.

The “blame Ukraine” idea gained additional traction after Trump hired Giuliani as his lawyer. The former New York mayor began scavenging the factionalized and often conspiratorial world of Kyiv politics for material that might be used to construct an alternate scenario of what happened in 2016 and help blunt the Mueller probe.

Early this year, as the Russia investigation neared its conclusion, Giuliani began meeting with Ukrainian officials, including the country’s top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, who were eager to gain an ally in the White House.

In the ensuing months, Giuliani appears to have functioned as a conduit for specious claims that made their way to Trump and right-wing media outlets. Among them were allegations that the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv was actively undermining Trump’s agenda and that Biden had used his power as vice president to derail a Ukraine corruption investigation into the company that had hired his son.
The allegations had important qualities in common: They were distortions, if not outright fabrications, and they were easier to spread than to disprove.

Kurt Volker, right, the special envoy to Ukraine, and Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, meet with members of Ukraine’s parliament on Jan. 25, 2018. (U.S. Embassy in Ukraine)
Giuliani’s activities became a source of concern to wary officials at the White House and the State Department in the early months of 2019, worries that intensified in May when U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was forced out of her position in Kyiv over baseless allegations against her and Giuliani seized on her ouster to declare that he would be pushing a new agenda in the U.S. relationship with Ukraine.

In a May interview with the New York Times, Giuliani declared that he would be traveling to Ukraine for meetings aimed at advancing investigations that “will be very, very helpful to my client.” He added: “We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation.” Giuliani later scrapped the trip, telling Fox News that he wasn’t going because Zelensky was surrounded by enemies of the U.S. president — a statement that unnerved Zelensky’s team in Kyiv and sent them scrambling for advice about what to do.

Giuliani’s brazenness also caused confusion and alarm in the White House. Fiona Hill, who until July served as Trump’s top adviser on Russia and Ukraine, found herself tuning in to television coverage in a search for answers about Giuliani’s activities that she couldn’t get at work.
“I would have to go home in the evening and try to look on the news to see what Giuliani was doing,” Hill testified, “because people were constantly saying to me: ‘My God, have you seen what Giuliani is saying now?’ ”

National security adviser John Bolton also took to turning up the volume on the television set in his office whenever Giuliani appeared on-screen, an effort to get a sense of what the president’s personal lawyer was planting in Trump’s ear in their off-the-books conversations on Trump’s personal cellphone.

The ouster of Yovanovitch and the private calls between Trump and Giuliani marked the activation of a rogue front in the relationship with Ukraine that was at odds with established policy.
By month’s end, the division would crack open further as Giuliani acquired reinforcements.
In May, Trump blocked a plan to send Vice President Pence to Zelensky’s inauguration and instead dispatched a delegation that included Energy Secretary Rick Perry, U.S. special envoy Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland, a Trump megadonor with no diplomatic experience who had been named ambassador to the European Union.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with Gordon Sondland, right, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, on his inauguration day on May 20. (U.S. Embassy in Ukraine)

On May 23, the trio, who dubbed themselves “the three amigos,” met with Trump in the Oval Office, eager to share their favorable impression of Zelensky as an anti-corruption reformer. “He didn’t want to hear about it,” Sondland said of Trump.

Instead, Trump railed that the Ukrainians were “horrible, corrupt people” and ordered the three men to “talk to Rudy.”

Trump’s grievances were so ingrained and irrational that the three officials decided, according to the testimony of Sondland and Volker, that they had no choice but to do as the president directed and hope that Giuliani could help them broker a meeting between Trump and Zelensky that might reset the American president’s views.

The three convinced themselves that they were serving the interests of Ukraine and the United States, even as they were drawn into a furtive scheme that Democrats say appeared to have elements of bribery: There would be no Oval Office meeting for Zelensky until he committed to Trump-specified, politically motivated investigations.

With a White House visit a distant goal, Sondland and Volker set their sights on an intermediate objective — a Trump-Zelensky phone call. As they pursued that, Hill and others at the White House chafed at the emergence of a new, seemingly unauthorized diplomatic channel.
On June 18, Hill had what she described as a “blow up” with Sondland after she challenged him to explain why the E.U. ambassador was meddling in the affairs of a country that is not part of his portfolio.

“Who has put you in charge of it?” Hill asked, according to her testimony. Sondland shot back: “The president.”

At the same time, a new obstacle for the three amigos emerged in Kyiv: William B. Taylor Jr., a veteran diplomat, had arrived as acting ambassador, armed with what he thought were rock-solid assurances that there would be no diminution in U.S. support for Ukraine.

Fiona Hill, a former top Russia adviser on the National Security Council, leaves the Capitol following closed-door testimony on Nov. 2. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)


But within weeks of his arrival, Taylor also began to sense the presence of what he would later call an “irregular” U.S.-Ukraine channel. On June 27, Sondland told Taylor by phone that hopes for a Trump-Zelensky meeting hinged on the Ukrainian leader making it clear that he did not stand in the way of “investigations.”

A day later, as Taylor, Sondland, Volker and Perry spoke by phone to prepare for a conference call with Zelensky, Sondland ordered State Department support staff off the line, saying he “wanted to make sure no one was transcribing” what they were about to say.

Volker then said he planned to meet with Zelensky in Toronto on July 2 to secure his commitment to “get to the bottom of things,” a cryptic reference that Taylor sensed was tied to the hidden agendas of Giuliani and Trump. Sondland told Volker to ask that Zelensky use the words “no stone unturned.”
Two weeks later, the irregular and regular channels collided in spectacular fashion in the White House. On July 10, two of Zelensky’s top advisers, Oleksandr Danylyuk and Andriy Yermak, were escorted into the West Wing for a meeting with Bolton.

Danylyuk, Ukraine’s national security adviser, had been coached by Sondland to press Bolton for a date for Zelensky and Trump to meet. But that advice proved misguided. Bolton was at that point against a meeting, in part because of concerns about Giuliani’s influence and Trump’s motives.
As Bolton resisted being pinned down, Sondland tried to intercede, telling the Ukrainians that an agreement was already in place and that Ukraine needed to commit to unspecified “investigations,” according to Hill, who witnessed the event.

Former national security adviser John Bolton. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
Bolton, who had previously told subordinates that he worried Giuliani was a “hand grenade,” suddenly “stiffened and ended the meeting,” Hill testified.
Sondland, seemingly unperturbed, instructed the Ukrainians to follow him into a meeting room in the West Wing basement.

Bolton dispatched Hill to follow the group. When she reported back that Sondland had gone even further in the follow-up session by specifically mentioning Burisma, Bolton ordered her to report what she had heard to John Eisenberg, the National Security Council’s senior lawyer.
“Tell Eisenberg that I am not part of this drug deal that Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” he told her, referring to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, whom Sondland had depicted as an ally of his efforts on Ukraine.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a senior Ukraine specialist on Bolton’s staff, witnessed both meetings and also sought out Eisenberg. Vindman testified that it was in those sessions that he realized that Trump was using a White House meeting as leverage on investigations with Zelensky.
Alexander Vindman: Soviet emigre and decorated U.S. Army officer wanted to be as American as can be. Now the president questions his motives.

If Zelensky were to do as Trump asked and launch such probes, Vindman testified, it would damage Ukraine’s standing, weaken its ability to fight off Russian aggression and “this would all undermine U.S. national security.”

At the same time as the volatile meetings in the West Wing, Zelensky’s team was learning that even a phone call with Trump might have a price. Zelensky’s chief of staff was warned through backchannel communications that Giuliani, who was growing frustrated with a perceived lack of access and cooperation from Kyiv, would oppose even a call with Trump, according to Taylor and a person familiar with the message.

Eight days after the White House meeting, Taylor learned about a troubling new aspect of the effort to pressure Ukraine. In a July 18 video conference call with National Security Council officials, the acting ambassador “sat in astonishment” as an aide representing the Office of Management and Budget informed the others that $391 million in security aid to Ukraine was being put on hold. She offered no explanation, except to say that the order had “come from the president.”
“In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened,” Taylor testified. “The irregular policy channel was running contrary to the goals of long-standing U.S. policy.”
It was seven days before the Trump-Zelensky call.

When Trump was elected, there was wishful thinking in Washington that his unconventional behavior as a candidate would be curbed by the responsibilities of the office — that he would gradually absorb the wisdom of foreign policy experts and welcome the advice of Cabinet officials.

The Ukraine story shows the extent to which the opposite has happened: Trump has outlasted virtually all of those who fought to check his impulses, including former defense secretary Jim Mattis and former chief of staff John F. Kelly. Their absence has bolstered his ability to bend institutions to his will.

When the White House operator patched Trump through to Zelensky on the morning of July 25, it was despite attempts by Bolton to head off a call he worried would be a “disaster.” Bolton had sought to coach Trump earlier that morning, only to learn later that Sondland had secretly arranged a follow-up conversation and gotten the final word.

The amigos had also coached Zelensky before the conversation, with Volker telling a top adviser to the Ukrainian president hours earlier that Zelensky should specifically pledge that he will “get to the bottom of what happened” in 2016.

Trump, who rarely arrives at his office before 11 a.m., was still in the residence when he got on the line. Several floors below, a handful of national security officials were following protocol and monitoring the conversation from the Situation Room.

The key impeachment question: What did Trump want from Ukraine — and what exactly did he do?
Notably missing were Bolton, Pence and Hill, who had left her White House job days earlier. The only high-ranking official on the line was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — a fact he concealed for a week after the record of the call was disclosed.

Almost immediately, Vindman noticed an edge in the president’s voice, his misplaced grievances about Ukraine coming through. He brought up U.S. aid and said the country’s generosity was not reciprocated. He disparaged Yovanovitch, saying: “She’s going to go through some things.”
He leaned on Zelensky to hunt for the supposedly missing Democratic computer equipment, even though his top advisers had been warning him for years that the claim was baseless. Trump zeroed in on the former vice president and urged Zelensky to coordinate with Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr.

“Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution,” Trump said, mischaracterizing Biden’s statements and intentions. “So if you can look into it. . . . It sounds horrible to me.”
The call ended at 9:33 a.m. Over the next 24 hours, a climate of fear and suspicion descended on the White House, as Vindman and others who had either listened to the call or learned about it indirectly raised alarms with lawyers and senior officials, including Bolton, as well as with peers from the State Department and the CIA.

Though neither side grasped it at the time, the regular and irregular channels were now on a collision course — each taking steps that ensured the inevitability of an impeachment inquiry. Neither side appears to have had any clue that the trigger would be a CIA analyst, who kept his plans secret to all but a trusted few.

The warnings from Vindman and others failed to prompt any kind of mobilization in the senior ranks of the White House, such as an emergency meeting of National Security Council officials or a direct intervention with the president. Instead, officials sought to contain the fallout from the call, even as Trump’s allies escalated their pressure campaign in Ukraine.

Eisenberg, the top National Security Council lawyer, responded by moving to restrict access to the transcript of the call, which was placed on a computer system normally reserved for highly classified intelligence programs. It took weeks for the administration to enlist Justice Department officials to review the call record, an exercise that narrowly concluded that there were no campaign finance crimes in a call that included references to Barr.

In Kyiv, the reaction to the call was mixed. Zelensky seemed pleased that the conversation had occurred as scheduled and that his relationship with Trump might finally move forward, according to an official in the room with Ukraine’s leader. But others were either confused or concerned about the content and the failure to agree upon a date for a face-to-face meeting.

Some on Zelensky’s team worried that Trump would send a tweet claiming a commitment from Ukraine to investigate Biden and the 2016 election, dragging the country into American politics.
AUGUST 2019
A nightmare scenario

Zelensky and Vice President Pence, right, attend a World War II commemoration in Warsaw on Sept. 1. (Alexey Vitvitsky/Sputnik/AP)
In the ensuing days, the pressure campaign only intensified.
On July 26, Trump spoke by phone with Sondland, who was in Kyiv, and asked whether Zelensky would “do the investigation” he had raised in their conversation the previous day, according to the testimony of a U.S. Embassy staffer in Kyiv, David Holmes, who witnessed the Trump-Sondland call.
Sondland had met with Zelensky earlier in the day and had called Trump to provide an update.
Sondland replied: “He’s gonna do it,” adding that Zelensky will “do anything you ask him to,” Holmes testified. Holmes said that he asked Sondland about Trump’s views toward Ukraine and that the ambassador told him that Trump did not “give a s--- about Ukraine.”

The disclosure provides new evidence of Trump’s direct hand in the Ukraine matter. The conversation was overheard by U.S. Embassy officials accompanying Sondland. It may also have been monitored by Russian intelligence. Sondland had called Trump by cellphone from a restaurant. Russian spy services have substantial surveillance capabilities in Kyiv.

On Aug. 2, Giuliani traveled to Madrid to meet with Yermak. Giuliani wanted Zelensky to issue a public statement confirming that the Ukrainian government would undertake the investigations. Sondland and Volker spent much of that month trading text messages with Yermak over the preferred language, making it clear that the statement was now a prerequisite to an Oval Office meeting.

The gesture had outsize importance to Zelensky, who regarded a White House meeting as the clearest way to send a signal of U.S.-Ukraine solidarity to Moscow, which is still waging a proxy war in Ukraine’s eastern territory that has claimed 13,000 lives.
Members of Zelensky’s inner circle say they didn’t learn until the end of August about the suspension of U.S. aid meant to help Ukrainian ­forces, when it was revealed in a Politico story. One Ukrainian official said it appeared earlier in internal Ukrainian government reports that may not have reached Zelensky.

The disclosure created a new rupture in the relationship on the eve of what was supposed to be the first encounter between Trump and Zelensky at a gathering of world leaders on Sept. 1 in Warsaw. The prospect of that meeting evaporated when a hurricane bearing down on Florida prompted Trump to send Pence to the event, a World War II commemoration, in his stead.

Pence was either woefully unprepared or unwilling to provide straight answers to anxious Ukrainian officials. At a large, formal meeting, Zelensky immediately pressed the vice president about the frozen aid. Pence professed not to know the cause of the holdup, speaking vaguely about corruption concerns and promising to raise the issue with Trump.

The Ukrainians were flummoxed by Pence’s evasion. “You’re the only country providing us military assistance,” one of Zelensky’s aides told him. “You’re punishing us.”

Sondland arrives on Capitol Hill for his deposition on Oct. 17. (Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
Sondland, who had also traveled to Poland, used a side conversation in a hotel with one of Zelensky’s advisers to fill in the blanks. He laid out the transaction in the starkest terms to date: To get the funding and a White House meeting, Zelensky had to commit publicly to investigating Burisma in an interview with CNN that would be seen in the United States.

When word of this encounter made its way back to Taylor, the acting ambassador was outraged. That same day, Sept. 1, Taylor confronted Sondland via text: “Are we now saying that security assistance and Wh meeting are conditioned on investigations?”

Sondland refused to answer in writing, saying: “Call me.”

The development led to skirmishes between Taylor and Sondland. A week later, Taylor threatened to resign over what he warned would be a “nightmare” scenario. “The nightmare is they give the interview and don’t get the assistance,” Taylor said by text, voicing concern that Trump would betray Zelensky even if he announced Burisma investigations. “The Russians love it. (And I quit.)”
The next day, Sept. 9, Taylor texted Sondland after another tense call. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Sondland didn’t reply until the following day. That evening, he called the White House and was patched through to Trump. The next morning, he delivered a scripted reply to the wary ambassador.
“Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions,” Sondland wrote. “The president has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”
BLOWING THE WHISTLE
Crazy and frightening

The news media prepares to interview House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) in September. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
Two days later, on Sept. 11, the White House removed the ban on aid to Ukraine, capitulating to rising pressure from Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department after the existence of the whistleblower report was known. The restoration of the flow of money was seen by Sondland, Taylor and others as a sign that the crisis had abated.

They were oblivious to events unfolding in Washington that would expose the Ukraine scheme. The “regular” channel, as Taylor called it, was about to reassert itself.
The day after Trump’s conversation with Zelensky, the CIA analyst spoke by phone with a highly agitated official at the White House. The official was “shaken by what had transpired and seemed keen to inform a trusted colleague,” the analyst noted in a memo he wrote to record the conversation.

The White House official described the Trump call as “crazy,” “frightening” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security.” The official said he had already raised the matter with White House lawyers, convinced that Trump had “clearly committed a criminal act.”
The analyst does not identify the official in his July 26 memo, which was obtained by congressional investigators in the impeachment inquiry. But Vindman, in his testimony, disclosed that he had spoken to officials outside the White House within days of the Trump-Zelensky call.
Graphic: Who’s involved in the Trump impeachment inquiry
The analyst appears to have concluded almost immediately that he was obligated to act but seemed unsure about how.

His first step was to approach an official in the office of the CIA general counsel to raise concerns about the Trump call, according to people familiar with the whistleblower’s actions.
Days later, the analyst learned that the CIA’s top lawyer, Courtney Simmons Elwood, had notified the White House and became concerned that the matter would be stifled. He then sought out an official on the House Intelligence Committee, conveying his concern only in the broadest terms before the official urged him to say no more and consult a lawyer.

The analyst next turned to a friend who is an attorney and an expert on national security law. The two chatted briefly at a coffee shop before the lawyer, recognizing the magnitude of the matter, also stopped the analyst before any details were broached.

The friend referred the analyst to another attorney, Andrew Bakaj, who had more expertise on whistleblower procedure and law. After parting ways, the friend pulled out his iPhone and deleted a calendar item he had created for their meeting that included the whistleblower’s name.
The analyst had served on the National Security Council during the Trump administration and had been in the presence of the president. After returning to the CIA, his job required him to continue to participate in National Security Council meetings.

His White House contacts became conduits of concern about Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine, though the analyst appears not to have told any of those officials — on the advice of Bakaj — about his plan to submit an official whistleblower complaint to the U.S. intelligence community inspector general.

The report he submitted reveals aspects of how he went about assembling this file. Though triggered by the July 25 call, he made clear that it drew on information that had been shared with him “over the past four months” from “more than half a dozen U.S. officials.”

The file was heavily focused on what Trump had said to Zelensky in their half-hour conversation, but it also contained details about what had happened in the aftermath, including the move to “lock down” the call record and follow-up efforts by Sondland and Volker to help Zelensky “navigate” Trump’s demands.

It described Giuliani’s meetings with Ukrainian prosecutors seen by the U.S. government as corrupt and seeking to settle scores with their perceived adversaries. It outlined the smear campaign to oust Yovanovitch and his own discovery in mid-July — long before officials in Kyiv knew — that U.S. aid to Ukraine had been suspended.

When the report was submitted on Aug. 12, it triggered a constitutional clash. White House officials fought for weeks to block the acting director of national intelligence from turning the complaint over to relevant committees in Congress, as required by law.

But the administration relented under mounting pressure, including demands by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and press reports including a Sept. 18 story in The Washington Post revealing that the focus of the complaint was a call that Trump had with a foreign leader.

On Sept. 25, the administration released the rough transcript of the call in a futile attempt to head off the formation of a House impeachment inquiry. Then, on Sept. 26, the administration declassified the whistleblower complaint itself.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schiff hold a news conference on Capitol Hill on Oct. 2. (Sarah Silbiger/For The Washington Post)
None of its core contentions has been substantially discredited in the seven weeks since, though Trump has continued to insist that his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect” and that the public should “read the transcript.”

His former advisers have characterized the call more harshly and voiced concern that Trump’s political machinations represent an assault on American values that has eroded the country’s standing and played into Russia’s hands. In her testimony last month, Hill delivered an impassioned warning that the United States’ faltering resistance to conspiracy theories and corruption represents a self-inflicted crisis and renders the country vulnerable to its enemies.
“The Russians, you know, can’t basically exploit cleavages if there are not cleavages,” she said. “The Russians can’t exploit corruption if there’s not corruption. They can’t exploit alternative narratives if those alternative narratives are not out there and getting credence. What the Russians do is they exploit things that already exist.”

Trump has waged a campaign to impugn the motives of the whistleblower, attacking him more than 50 times on Twitter and demanding that his identity be exposed.

Congressional allies and right-wing media sites have attempted to follow suit. Only minutes after the first public impeachment hearing got underway Wednesday — with Taylor and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department overseeing European and Eurasian affairs, as witnesses — Republican lawmakers sought to halt the proceedings and force the whistleblower to appear.
But the events he set in motion, and the evidence now driving them, have moved beyond the complaint he submitted three months ago. The CIA has taken security measures to protect the analyst, who has continued to work at agency headquarters on Russia and Ukraine issues.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 07:46:13 AM by DougMacG »

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Vindman blew his own bombshell, "request" not "demand", Ukrainian quid pro quo
« Reply #107 on: November 19, 2019, 07:38:12 AM »
BIG slip up early in the testimony, Vindman referred to Pres Trump's "request" of the Ukainians and immediately corrected himself to call the "request" a "demand".  That seemed odd until the next question came from Chair Adam Schiff who followed up on his notes for questioning by saying, 'I noticed you used the term demand" to describe what Pres trump wanted'.

It couldn't have looked more rehearsed and scripted. 

Everyone who has read the transcript knew it was a request, not a demand.  He said, "I want to ask you a favor..."

Anything other than that is someone else's interpretation, not factual testimony.

I hate to say it but Vindman is a phony, a plant, a co-conspirator of  the coup.  This was supposed to be his bombshell and he blew it:
https://hillreporter.com/vindman-testimony-bombshell-it-was-a-demand-from-trump-for-zelensky-to-investigate-biden-50617

The "request for a favor' from the President of the United States carries a heavy weight, like a demand only because of the Ukrainian quid pro quo; they want something of very large value from the United States in exchange for their cooperation.
-------------------
I couldn't tell for certain, but 'witness' Williams seemed to be there to implicate Pence.  If so, then the whole impeachment coup idea makes much more sense.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 08:45:33 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #108 on: November 19, 2019, 06:27:50 PM »
OMG!!! Vindman admits to being offered Ukraine's Minister of Defense post three times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jim Jordan on a rampage!
« Reply #109 on: November 20, 2019, 10:02:13 AM »

rickn

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #110 on: November 20, 2019, 12:47:41 PM »
Interesting column on American Thinker claiming that none of the military assistance funds were being blocked by Trump, but the second tranche was under a prolonged review for apportionment of the funds from the US to Ukraine.  This review is required 4 times per year by the statute that Congress had been enacted into law.  Complete with links to original source material.  The column contends that the first tranche of $125 million of military aid had been sent to Ukraine before Zelensky had been elected.  There is also another $141.5 million of non-military assistance through the State Department that was under a similar review.  But that Trump had not blocked the aid; the aid was under a statutorily mandated review.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/11/president_trump_never_impounded_even_one_dollar_from_ukraine_aid.html

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #111 on: November 20, 2019, 12:51:42 PM »
VERY interesting-- but how does it play in light of Sondman's testimony today?  Why hasn't this point been made before?



rickn

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #113 on: November 20, 2019, 01:45:58 PM »
craftydog - all I note is that the media keeps reporting that the funding had been placed under review.  They don't go into detail.  It does not fit Schiff's narrative to bring out this information.  If this is accurate, it could be brought forward by the Republicans if they are permitted to call witnesses.  The point here is that the law itself requires these reviews during each fiscal year.  And Sondman asserted today that the quid pro quo was the meeting - not the aid under review. 

Sondman's testimony then doesn't make sense if you compare it to the memo of the July 25th phone call.

In the phone call, Trump agreed to a face-to-face meeting with Zelensky after hearing Zelensky's statements about conducting full and fair investigations with his people.  The only issue was a scheduling one concerning whether they would meet in early September at Warsaw or on some other date at the White House. 

Trump stayed in the US when Hurricane Dorian was threatening to hit the east coast and VP Pence went to Warsaw in hiss place.  VP Pence's Chief of Staff today issued a written statement denying Sondman's claim that Sondman and Pence met in person and alone with Zelensky at Warsaw. 

The review of the military aid tranche was completed and the funds were released on Sept 11, 2019.  I wonder if it is mere coincidence that this release date occurred one day after Bolton's resignation. 

Trump met Zelensky in New York in late September. 


rickn

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #114 on: November 20, 2019, 01:48:16 PM »
Here's a timeline of events going back to 2014 put together by John Solomon.  You will see that he has sourced everything with a link to supporting material.  It should help place things in a more proper perspective.

https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-ukraine-scandal-timeline-democrats-and-their-media-allies-dont-want-america-to-see/

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #115 on: November 20, 2019, 03:04:58 PM »
Crafty:
VERY interesting-- but how does it play in light of Sondland's testimony today?  Why hasn't this point been made before?
----------

[as Rick said] Sondland put all his emphasis on 'the meeting', seemed to know nothing about the aid. 

Interesting point Rick about the timeline.  Note that Democrats are NOT using a timeline.

We don't know what coordination the House Republican counsel has, if any, with the White House.  Maybe the WH holds back a few cards to let their opponents go out on a limb they can cut off.  I like that the Republican counsel insists on the word "pause" with the aid; won't allow the word delay.  I would imagine large checks of that sort require a lot of sign-offs.

Strange day of testimony (so far?).  Both sides got what they wanted - partly - and were frustrated by Sondland at times.  Not one mind was changed either way.

Most of the time I can't tell what the 'prosecution' is trying to get at. Today they were badgering their own star witness.   Schiff keeps mixing 2016 investigation with Barisma (sp) with Bidens but the first two are of legitimate interest [and so is the third].

Not one mind has changed either way through the whole process.  Democrats in the swing districts will follow either the polls or their leaders and Republicans will mostly do whatever is the right thing as they see it.  So far no impeachable act I can see, just the presumption by opponents that Trump only cares Ukraine because of potential dirt on the Bidens. [Oops, he also cared about holding up aid to get allies to pay more first.]  Republicans have really made the point well that looking into corruption in Ukraine is a very legitimate act, no matter who it involves.

Pretty obvious projection on the part of Dems because Obama, Hillary, Kerry really did use Ukraine for political purposes and left them out in the cold in terms of needed military assistance.

Crafty_Dog

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Uke govt goes after Burisma
« Reply #116 on: November 20, 2019, 05:17:11 PM »
Just starting to catch up on today's testimony.

Jordon and Ratliffe seemed to do really well.

Wonder where Hunter, hired for transparency and corporate governance, fits in with all of this.  Was it his responsibility to spot this?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-burisma-idUSKBN1XU2N7?utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A%20Trending%20Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR34dDQjUSg0s948tFyaMTwocHEmiUDzQV3An61gmGsJtI6xFKmZ62hFnyU

rickn

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #117 on: November 21, 2019, 03:41:30 AM »
I did some more digging into the American Thinker column I posted above.  I'm not sure the author is accurate as to every claim; but I am certain about several things.  I suggest reading the following article.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/how-the-omb-used-its-powers-to-delay-ukraine-aid

1.  We are talking about the process called "obligating the funds."  This means that the contracts necessary to spend the funds are signed and approved before the money is spent.  This is not a case where the appropriated funds are wire transferred in bulk to Ukraine.  The actual spending of the funds might not occur until next year, but those dollars would come from the federal government's fiscal year 2019 budget - not the current FY 2020 budget. 

2.  The OMB order was an apportionment order that was issued on the same day as the phone call, July 25th.  An apportionment order is issued to review whether the appropriated funds should be spent exactly as proposed or whether the funds should be spent in different amounts on different things.  The Ukraine law mandates 4 reviews per year on apportionment of appropriated funds.  An apportionment review cannot block the spending of the appropriated funds.

3.  If the President wants to block the spending of the money, he must seek a rescission of the appropriation from Congress.  And Congress must approve such a rescission.  While some people claim that rescission was discussed as to Ukraine, it was never requested.

4.  On September 11th, the State Department certified to OMB that its portion, $141.5 million, of the Ukraine funds under apportionment review, were ready for obligation.

5.  On September 12th, OMB released its verbal hold on the $250 million of security assistance and the $141.5 million of aid through the State Department.

6.  By September 30, 2019, most all of these appropriations were obligated.

7.  Trump requested another $250 million of security assistance for Ukraine in his FY 2020 budget request.

Thus, what we are talking about is an OMB freeze on releasing funds for obligation; but, at the same time, OMB was telling the DoD and State Department to continue preparing for obligating these funds before the end of the fiscal year.  And, we are talking about a situation in which these funds most likely would not have been obligated for spending until near the end of the prior fiscal year anyway. 

A number of Congressmen of both parties didn't like the slowness of the apportionment process and started complaining to OMB and to the media. 

Senator Ron Johnson's letter to HPSCI states clearly that by late August, the Trump administration had decided to release the Ukraine funds for obligation.  When Johnson asked Trump about it, Trump said that we were close to a decision and that he (Johnson) would like the result. 

Thus, it appears that we are talking about an authorized and legal apportionment process for the aid that took longer than some wanted it to take.  And that sparked a mini political spat.  However, even if the funds had been released from the OMB hold for apportionment review in mid-August, they most likely would not have been obligated for spending until mid to late September anyway.  Finally, obligation of the funds did not mean that the funds were actually sent to Ukraine.  It just meant that these funds were allocated for use in various spending tranches for specific things and for disbursement at some later time.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #118 on: November 21, 2019, 08:08:53 AM »
This is outstanding work you are doing here Rick!

DougMacG

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment, end game
« Reply #119 on: November 21, 2019, 12:44:35 PM »
We are a couple of months behind where we were on the calendar during the year of the Clinton impeachment.  The impeachment in that case started in September.
 Was passed in the House in mid-December and the Senate trial ended with acquittal in February.  This being an election year, the House might speed it up by a couple of months and the process would still go through to Super Tuesday. 

This is a nightmare for Democrats.  https://pjmedia.com/trending/trump-now-beating-democrats-in-wisconsin-as-support-for-impeachment-plummets/

They've generated a couple of meaningless headlines that did not hold up to scrutiny.  Meanwhile the polls for impeachment tumble.  Even the haters of Trump at some point in year four are going to want to throw him out the other way, in the upcoming election.

Where is the Democrat impeachment off-ramp?  They could quit anytime including today; no further hearings are scheduled.  They could just say we have other business to attend.  If they do quit , when they do, President Trump will declare himself vindicated.  If Democrats never stop, Trump will be acquitted by the Senate - and Trump will declare himself vindicated.  So the question remains, who do further hearings benefit?

I agree with what Crafty said earlier, the (Democratic) purpose of this exercise is to weaken Trump for the election.  At this point, it seems they are strengthening him.  VDH generously describes the hearings as monotony.  People can watch the obnoxious chair gavel down his opponents with the clock in mid-sentence with a deplorable lack of curiosity in terms of getting at the other side of it or getting at the truth.  It's a show trial.  It's a circus.  No Republican witnesses are called.  No Trump witnesses are called.  Hearsay is allowed. People are testifying presumptions. The "whistleblower" controversy has been swept under the table.  No one is allowed to know the dubious origins of this.

The Democrats can continue hearings in the 'Intel' committee.  They can issue report and take this up in the Judiciary committee.  They can draft and vote articles of impeachment out of the Judiciary committee and debate and vote on those articles in the full House.  The more they rush it, the worse they look.  The longer they take the more they interfere with an election year.

If this is a losing cause for them, they should stop as soon as possible and hand this over to the voters.  If they run the full process with the limited days available in the House and pass impeachment over to a full trial in the Senate, they lose control over the clock, the calendar, the content and the witnesses called.  For one thing, Rep. Schiff, who seems to be lying on a material fact, most certainly will be called to testify under oath making a perjury trap likely.

My best guess at this point is they keep running this diversion past the FBI FISA-gate release in mid-December, but then at some point drop it without a full House vote, trying to play it both ways.  Protect their most vulnerable members yet damage Trump as much as possible.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 02:31:26 PM by DougMacG »

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Impeachment Inquiry Canceled After 5 Episodes Due To Low Ratings
« Reply #120 on: November 21, 2019, 02:39:24 PM »
Babylon Bee (satire) makes my point so much more succinctly:

Impeachment Inquiry Canceled After 5 Episodes Due To Low Ratings
https://babylonbee.com/news/impeachment-inquiry-canceled-after-5-episodes-due-to-low-ratings

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #121 on: November 21, 2019, 05:27:06 PM »
RickN:

What you have posted here seems worthy of considerable discussion in the public space, yet what you have brought to us I am seeing only here.

Why do you think that is?


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Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment moves from Schiff to Nadler?
« Reply #122 on: November 22, 2019, 07:14:59 AM »
The moving-target accusations against Trump end in the next phase where Articles of Impeachment will become written in stone, unchangeable, if they are written at all.

Is it bribery?  Is it quid pro quo?  Is it treason?  Is it collusion?  [Is it Orange man bad?] Are they betting the whole farm on the phone call?  Will they 'Trump' up trivial charges that open the door for the Republican Senate to use take them look unserious?  Is their best witness a staffer who was not on the call?  Will they keep it simple or will they include the whole derangement, ad hominem mess?

The answer to all of this right now is that the Democrats themselves have no idea.

The direction of the nation will depend on the decision of people like my congressman Rep Dean Phillips D-MN3 who won a suburban swing district from an entrenched Republican, promised to be moderate and centrist but has voted up until has voted in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi, AOC, Ilhan Omar and Adam Schiff and mouthed the party line words like "bribery" in order to support the impeachment "inquiry".  What bribery?

Overplay your lousy hand Rep Phillips and Speaker Pelosi and away goes your majority.

This thing dies a quiet death in committee or else the Democrats will not be able to stop their own runaway freight train until it crashes into the electoral wall. 

I am expecting a period of relative public silence now while Democrats sort this out in their usual democratic way, in smoke filled back rooms with private arm twisting arguments amongst themselves out of the public view.

Soon they will emerge we will have their montage words of why they aren't moving forward to impeach hated-Trump with no evidence and no crime:  "We trust the voters more than we trust the Republican Senate to convict and remove this bad bad man."

ccp

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let scream yell break dance and have all their court jesters have their day
« Reply #123 on: November 22, 2019, 08:43:18 AM »
"Is it bribery?  Is it quid pro quo?  Is it treason?  Is it collusion?"

I would be shocked if the Dems do NOT impeach .

One can twist the arguments around a hundred times into different shapes of pretzels.

Noonan is correct by saying  Trump clearly tried to press the Ukrainians  into investigating Biden.

I don't prefer denying this .

I prefers simply that the Senate  respond that NO crime was committed.
no grounds for impeachment  and be done with it.

Then after the Dems finish their impeachment Trump Barr and crew hog wild exposing them and drive home it goes all the way up to BIG one - > Obama   (and of course the girl who belongs on this list :  http://www.themurky.com/wow/the-10-most-evil-women-rulers-in-history/)

We must also prevent Trump from doing any more dumb shit.
I am guessing it was not his idea to use the military aid to pressure the Ukranians but he certainly liked the idea and ran with it.
Not illegal but stupid and arrogant to do when he knows the Dems have him under a microscope with their spies all over the bureaucracy.


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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #124 on: November 22, 2019, 09:07:57 AM »
I saw the Noonan column, 'Trump defense has no defense'.  She also specified no crime committed. 

OMG! A politician had a partly political motive for a perfectly legitimate official action!  Has this ever happened before?!!

The Senate trial will necessarily examine in great depth the question of whether the Bidens deserved investigation (and they did), keeping the Biden crime family in the headlines and 6 Senators running for President, Warren, Sanders, Booker, Harris, Bennett, Klobuchar in the jury room all winter, instead of fuiund raising and lying on the stump,  even though they have all already made up their mind.  Let's see, 7 Democrats running for President are injured by impeachment, it puts the Dem House in jeopardy, Trump is clearly benefiting,  - and they don't know what to do!

What a tangled web we weave.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #125 on: November 22, 2019, 09:09:06 AM »
Love Peggy, but at heart she is a Bush weenie Republican.

Here is my post today on my FB page:

As Soft Coup 3.0 plays its way in the House of Representatives, the simple question that occurs to me is this:

Why the fk wouldn't America's President want to know what the fk was up with our previous Vice President receiving approximately $3 MILLION (i.e. the total monies received by his son and bag man Hunter) from Ukraine?

Even more so given the modus operandi of Biden & Son; off the top of my head:

a) the deal with Sec. State Kerry's stepson in China (approved by Sec State Kerry?) involving an American company with dual use technology. Given the bandwidth used up by other matters this has received far less attention than it deserves, but I encourage all here to look into it.

b) the $1.5 BILLION Chinese investment with Hunter. I trust the salient details on this are already known (Hunter flew w dad on AF-2, dad accomplished nothing on the trip that was the purpose of the trip, Hunter scored the $1.5B)

It is very much worth noting that Obama-Hillary gave the reason for leaving Iraq was to free up bandwidth so we could "pivot to Asia". This was widely understood to mean responding to the Chinese militarizing and claiming the South China Sea-- where literally 1/3 of the world's trade sails (!!!!) Yet somehow there was utter flacidity. Witness witless Biden's comments about how the Chinese were no threat at all, really nice people, etc.

Helluva curious coincidence , , ,

c) and thanks to the President's special envoy, Rudy G, we now know about this:

https://www.americanthinker.com/…/so_hunter_biden_followed_…

d) Given the role Ukraine appeared to have played on behalf of the Dems in 2016 (the Manafort dirt, DNC's Chalupa and the Uke embassy, etc etc) and the DOJ's investigation into all this

WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T OUR PRESIDENT WANT TO KNOW "WHAT THE FK? WOULD YOU LOOK INTO THIS PLEASE?"

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #126 on: November 22, 2019, 09:11:36 AM »
second post

Concerning the presumed Contempt of Congress/Obstruction charge:  If the Dems were unwilling to go to court about it, (see Bugsy Pelosi's "We're not going to limit ourselves to what the courts say" statement) what basis for it?

ccp

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Yes but ?
« Reply #127 on: November 22, 2019, 10:21:22 AM »
"WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T OUR PRESIDENT WANT TO KNOW "WHAT THE FK? WOULD YOU LOOK INTO THIS PLEASE?"

No doubt , but withholding approved funds at the tune of 400 Mill
as  leverage for this?

do you really  want to go down that road?   :|

It IS all political BS.
The impeachment is not going to sway anyone.
Trump won't be removed (Mitt Rodless can do what he wants).

Then (hopefully ) Barr et al will get us some offensive fireworks to send back to the Dems .
I don't expect a lot from the IG though. Since when can anyone think of an IG Horowitz report that has led to anything other then page 35 on the NYT ?

Although maybe it will give grounds for more investigation from Barr .


Hopefully Mr Durham can get more to the truth.





Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #128 on: November 22, 2019, 11:24:06 AM »
"WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T OUR PRESIDENT WANT TO KNOW "WHAT THE FK? WOULD YOU LOOK INTO THIS PLEASE?"

"No doubt , but withholding approved funds at the tune of 400 Mill as  leverage for this? do you really  want to go down that road?"

Absolutely!  Tis a mystery to me that no seems willing to state the obvious.  Ukraine bribed our Vice President via $3M to his son, part of the ongoing shakedown operations of Biden & Son.  Ukraine is being bandied about as the third most corrupt country on the planet.  The new president was a fg comedian for god's sake-- why on earth shouldn't there be some probing and testing to see if he was going to be more of the same/a puppet of other corrupt interests or whether he was actually going to do something about corruption as he promised in his campaign?

To my way of thinking, this should have been done if Biden weren't running, (indeed it began before Biden announced, yes?) and Biden does not get off the hook because he elects to run.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #129 on: November 22, 2019, 01:26:28 PM »
second

https://pjmedia.com/trending/trump-wants-to-have-senate-impeachment-trial-expects-joe-and-hunter-biden-to-show-up/


An attorney friend writes:

"We’ll see whether it actually goes like this.  If it does, it’s “Welcome to the Big Top, bitches!”

"My preference, of course, would be for a slow, methodical process that extends beyond the first Dem primary on February 3rd.  If it were me, I’d probably feature exhibits like the KGB archive demonstrating that Teddy Kennedy tried to do a deal with Russia, transcript after transcript of Obama’s calls with foreign leaders, the video of Obama talking about how much flexibility he’d have after the election, the letter from the Democrat senators leaning on Ukraine to help with the Mueller report, and so on. I might even subpoena folks like Christopher Steele, Nellie Ohr, and all of the fuckwads from Fusion GPS. "


ccp

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #131 on: November 22, 2019, 03:07:47 PM »
" .Ukraine bribed our Vice President via $3M to his son, part of the ongoing shakedown operations of Biden & Son.  "

funny every time I pass the CNN channel on the way to Turner Classic Movies

I see them claiming *this* conspiracy theory "HAS ALREADY BEEN DEBUNKED!!!!"

 :roll: :x


ccp

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IG report - sounds like bad news
« Reply #132 on: November 22, 2019, 03:13:08 PM »
already leaked

of course
white wash for Comey Stroz

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7716317/Inspector-generals-investigate-investigators-report-NOT-condemn-Comey-Strzok.html

no surprise sounds like
enough here to hit page 35 of NYTimes

as usual
no bite it sounds like already . we shall find out what Dec9?
probably by then we will know everything in it . especially if good for crats


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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #134 on: November 22, 2019, 09:14:07 PM »
"WHY THE HELL WOULDN'T OUR PRESIDENT WANT TO KNOW "WHAT THE FK? WOULD YOU LOOK INTO THIS PLEASE?"

"No doubt , but withholding approved funds at the tune of 400 Mill as  leverage for this? do you really  want to go down that road?"

Absolutely!  Tis a mystery to me that no seems willing to state the obvious.  Ukraine bribed our Vice President via $3M to his son, part of the ongoing shakedown operations of Biden & Son.  Ukraine is being bandied about as the third most corrupt country on the planet.  The new president was a fg comedian for god's sake-- why on earth shouldn't there be some probing and testing to see if he was going to be more of the same/a puppet of other corrupt interests or whether he was actually going to do something about corruption as he promised in his campaign?

To my way of thinking, this should have been done if Biden weren't running, (indeed it began before Biden announced, yes?) and Biden does not get off the hook because he elects to run.

Similar point made by the last caller today on Seb Gorka.  Pretty good radio to have Prof. Victor Davis Hanson and Crafty as guests in the same hour.  ) 

He didn't save enough time for you.  Post the rest here? 

It's time for your own show.  )

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #135 on: November 22, 2019, 11:23:30 PM »
 :-D :-D :-D

In the few seconds I had he really seemed to like my point, but in embracing it there will be some cognitive dissonance with previous defenses offered , , ,

I will try again on Monday.

TAC!

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #136 on: November 23, 2019, 07:11:37 AM »
:-D :-D :-D

In the few seconds I had he really seemed to like my point, but in embracing it there will be some cognitive dissonance with previous defenses offered , , ,

I will try again on Monday.

TAC!

With about 10 minutes left he said the lines are full and we're going to get to all of them.  I think he wanted to close the show and close the week with your point.
https://www.sebgorka.com/broadcast/11-22-19/   50:45

Some of that cognitive dissonance of the defense is definitional.  There was an Andy McCarthy column a short while back warning Trump supporters to stop denying quid pro quo as the defense.  Quid pro quo for the country IS the point of foreign aid. It helps us to help them; we have conditions attached to our generosity.  What a President cannot take is a quid pro quo for himself, i.e. a bribe. 

If the Bidens are tied up in Ukraine corruption, it IS in our national interest to investigate that, know that, to stop it and to prevent others from doing that in the future.  If the Bidens have the appearance of being tied up in Ukraine corruption and turn out to be innocent of wrongdoing, it is still in our national interest to push for investigation until we get to the bottom of it even if the outcome is to clear them.

The name Biden or the fact that he is entering another political race or the coincidence that he is running for the same office Trump seeks to keep does not give him a free pass.  He is 'targeted' because his apparent corruption is out in the open.  He was mentioned in conjunction with rooting out all known ties of corruption between the two countries, 2016 interference, DNC server, crowdstrike, etc.

Trump did not say, make up dirt.  He asked them to "look into what happened there". 

Sarah Palin didn't say, "I can see Russia from my living room".  It was Tina Fey who used words to that effect.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=JXL86v8NoGk&feature=emb_logo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HsyEvr5Pnw


It was Adam Schiff who said, "I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent", not President Trump.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw5QwkP05Ww
We thought he was way out of line doing that but he put it in the record and it stuck in the closed minds of the Trump deranged.

Those words are not in the transcript, but "make up dirt" is exactly what HRC and the DNC paid Fusion GPS to do with the Steele Dossier.  Foreign interference in our election.  Quid pro quo all for political gain against our national interest.  It's all there and they have no outrage.

What we have here is not dissonance, it's projection.

----------------------
SNL Biden v Palin debate:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iyIbbxVzrU


rickn

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #138 on: November 23, 2019, 10:34:10 AM »
Another good list by John Solomon responding to Vindman's testimony.

These lists are good for understanding the sequence of events as it relates to various issues.

https://johnsolomonreports.com/responding-to-lt-col-vindman-about-my-ukraine-columns-with-the-facts/

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #139 on: November 23, 2019, 10:48:02 AM »
Doug:  Perfect for the Political Humor thread as well.

Rick:  Great minds think alike-- see Entry 130  :-)


ccp

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Sondland not a Trump donor
« Reply #140 on: November 24, 2019, 06:53:31 AM »
I kept reading how Sondland donated to Trump

when in fact that is or never was true:

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/24/gordon-sondland-jeb-donor-never-trumper-key-impeachment-witness/

Did he lie to Trump people to get a job or was this all MSM fake news ?

or both ?

Is he banging Nicole Wallace?
Is he looking for job at CNN ?


ccp

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shifty schyster at it again going after Nunes
« Reply #141 on: November 24, 2019, 07:07:47 AM »
political revenge job:


https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/943055/1

yet he has no clue who the leaker is.  The only one in DC that has no idea.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Soft Coup 3.0: Impeachment
« Reply #142 on: November 24, 2019, 11:22:24 AM »
Worth noting too is the witness  intimidation  of Sondland by means  of  demos at his restaurants and noises about boycotts.  Don't have citation on this at the moment , , ,

G M

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Witness Intimidation of Sondland
« Reply #143 on: November 24, 2019, 05:53:38 PM »
Worth noting too is the witness  intimidation  of Sondland by means  of  demos at his restaurants and noises about boycotts.  Don't have citation on this at the moment , , ,

https://nypost.com/2019/11/21/gordon-sondland-says-hes-received-many-threats-since-impeachment-began/
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 07:14:52 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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guy Snodgrass
« Reply #146 on: November 25, 2019, 04:33:15 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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leftist legal "experts"s sequel
« Reply #149 on: November 26, 2019, 03:55:54 PM »
The Larry Tribes show I guess:

https://www.newsmax.com/politics/trump-impeachment/2019/11/26/id/943484/

I don't remember did we have this sort of thing with Clinton or is this now Nadler's getting his shot at Trump?

More yawns while  legal arguments are twisted around for political purposes.

More solitaire for me.