Public Corruption

The Pronk Pops Show 1355, November 8, 2019, Story 1: President Trump On Offense on Boring Bogus B.S. Quid Pro Quo Partisan Impeachment Inquiry — Nowhere Man Schiff: I Am The Walrus — Nonsense — Videos –Story 2: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg May Run For President in 2020 — Waste of Money and Time — Going Nowhere in Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Party — “Little Michael Bloomberg Lacks Magic to Do Well” — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

Posted on November 17, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Climate Change, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Eating, Education, Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Exercise, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Fraud, Free Trade, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Islam, James Comey, Joe Biden, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Mexico, Middle East, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, Obesity, People, Pete Buttigieg, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: President Trump On Offense on Boring Bogus B.S. Quid Pro Quo Partisan Impeachment Inquiry — Nowhere Man Schiff: I Am The Walrus — Nonsense — Videos —

 

Nowhere Man

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, the world is at your command
He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all ’til somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You

The Beatles – Nowhere Man (live!)

 

Trump: Democrats are trying to find people that hate me

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

What The World Never Knew About The Beatles

I am the Walrus The Beatles

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
See how they fly
I’m crying
Sitting on a corn flake
Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you’ve been a naughty boy
You let your face grow long
I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’joob
Mr. City policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I’m crying
I’m crying, I’m crying, I’m crying
Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog’s eye
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess
Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl
You let your knickers down
I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’joob
Sitting in an English garden
Waiting for

 

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Oct. 4, 2019 at 2:00 a.m. CDT

“We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”

 Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sept. 17

We recently took Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to task for misleading reporters about the fact that he was a participant in the call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was the subject of a whistleblower complaint and now an impeachment inquiry in Congress. He earned Four Pinocchios for being disingenuous in his remarks to reporters to obscure his firsthand knowledge of what took place.

But politicians spin all across Washington, often to deflect uncomfortable facts. Now let’s look at comments by Schiff, who is heading the impeachment inquiry, as reporters probed about the whistleblower before the details of the allegation were revealed.

 Schiff’s answers are especially interesting in the wake of reports in the New York Times and The Washington Post that the whistleblower approached a House Intelligence Committee staff member for guidance before filing a complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general. The staff member learned the “very bare contours” of the allegation that Trump has abused the powers of his office, The Post said.

When the Fact Checker asked what “bare contours” meant, a committee spokesman pointed to an exchange of letters. In a Sept. 13 letter to the committee, the general counsel of the director of national intelligence said that “complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.” In his own letter that day, Schiff wrote that because of that language, and because the DNI refused to affirm or deny that White House officials were involved in the decision not to forward the complaint, the committee can conclude only that “the serious misconduct involves the president of the United States and/or other senior White House or administration officials.”

Our suspicion is that the unidentified staff member learned the potential complaint involved “privileged” communication, which is code for something having to do with the president.

So, with this new information, let’s look back at how Schiff handled questions about his knowledge of the whistleblower complaint.

The Facts

Sept. 16, interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN

Cooper: “Just to be clear, you don’t know who this alleged whistleblower is or what they are alleging?”
Schiff: “I don’t know the identity of the whistleblower.”
Cooper: “And they haven’t contacted you or their legal representation hasn’t contacted you?”
Schiff: “I don’t want to get into any particulars. I want to make sure that there’s nothing that I do that jeopardizes the whistleblower in any way.”

This is a classic dodge — “don’t want to get into any particulars” — and Cooper failed to follow up. Notice how Schiff quickly answered whether he knew the identity of the whistleblower — “I don’t know” — but then sidestepped the questions about whether the committee had been contacted. But in doing so, he managed not to mislead; he just simply did not answer the question.

Sept. 17, interview on “Morning Joe”

Sam Stein: “Have you heard from the whistleblower? Do you want to hear from the whistleblower? What protections could you provide to the whistleblower?” …
Schiff: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to. But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation.”

This is flat-out false. Unlike the quick two-step dance he performed with Anderson Cooper, Schiff simply says the committee had not spoken to the whistleblower. Now we know that’s not true.

“Regarding Chairman Schiff’s comments on ‘Morning Joe,’ in the context, he intended to answer the question of whether the Committee had heard testimony from the whistleblower, which they had not,” a committee spokesman told The Fact Checker. “As he said in his answer, the whistleblower was then awaiting instructions from the Acting DNI as to how the whistleblower could contact the Committee. Nonetheless he acknowledges that his statement should have been more carefully phrased to make that distinction clear.”
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The spokesman pointed to an interview with Schiff by the Daily Beast, in which he said that he “did not know definitively at the time if the complaint had been authored by the same whistleblower who had approached his staff.” But he added that he “should have been much more clear.”

Sept. 19, meeting with reporters at the Capitol

Schiff: “In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern.”

Here’s some more dissembling. Schiff says that if not for the IG, the committee might never have known about the complaint. But his committee knew that something explosive was going to be filed with the IG. As the New York Times put it, the initial inquiry received by the committee “also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.”

Schiff, however, does qualify that this was a complaint alleging “an urgent concern,” and it’s not clear whether the initial inquiry had tipped off the committee staff that it would rise to that level. Still, Schiff’s phrasing was misleading because he gives no hint that the committee was aware a potentially significant (“privileged”) complaint might have been filed.

“As Chairman Schiff has made clear, he does not know the identity of the whistleblower, has had no communication with them or their attorney, and did not view the whistleblower’s complaint until the day prior to the hearing with the DNI when the ODNI finally provided it to the Committee,” the spokesman said. “Whistleblowers frequently come to the committee. Some whistleblowers approach the IG without notice to the Committee, and some who do go to the IG do not necessarily file a complaint. However, this was the first whistleblower complaint provided to the Committee this year that the IC IG determined to be of ‘urgent concern’ and ‘credible,’ and Chairman Schiff would have raised the alarm regardless when it was illegally withheld.”

The spokesman added: “The focus should not be on the whistleblower, but rather the complaint which the IC IG determined was credible and urgent and which has been thus far confirmed by the call record released by the White House and statements by the President and his personal attorney.”

The Pinocchio Test

There are right ways and wrong ways to answer reporters’ questions if a politician wants to maintain his or her credibility. There’s nothing wrong with dodging a question, as long as you don’t try to mislead (as Pompeo did).

But Schiff on “Morning Joe” clearly made a statement that was false. He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record. He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the IG’s office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication.

The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity.

Schiff earns Four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios

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Story 2: Billionaire”The Nanny” Michael Bloomberg May Run For President in 2020 — Waste of Money and Time — Going Nowhere in Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Party — Little Michael Bloomberg Lacks Magic to Do Well” — Videos —

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Trump on Bloomberg: ‘He’s got some personal problems’

What impact could Michael Bloomberg have on the presidential race?

Bloomberg opens door to 2020 presidential bid

RAW VIDEO] Trump to Bloomberg: ‘Little Michael will fail’

Varney: Bloomberg is a huge problem for Biden

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Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

PHONY SCAM: President Trump Says Democrat “Witch Hunt” MUST END

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

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The Pronk Pops Show 1354, November 7, 2019, Story 1: More State Department Career Diplomat Testimony Released – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent Resented President’s Use of His Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s  Whose  Smear Campaign To Discredit Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Forced Her Recall To Washington Based Upon False Claims — Kent Critical of Hunter Biden Activities in Ukraine and Warned Vice-President in 2015!– Clinton Obama Democratic Political Scandal About To Rock America — Videos — Story 2: Hell on Earth and Paradise Lost In Hours 85 Dead and One Year Later California Is Still Burning As Fires Spreading By Humans Moving To Harm’s Way As Death Toll Mounts: Camp Fire in Northern California & Hill Fire and Woolsey Fires in Southern California — Update — Fire Approaching Hollywood — Videos — 

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Story 1: More State Department Career Diplomat Testimony Released – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent Resented President’s Use of His Personal Lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s  Whose  Smear Campaign To Discredit Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Forced Her Recall To Washington Based Upon False Claims — Kent Critical of Hunter Biden Activities in Ukraine and Warned Vice-President in 2015!– Major Obama Scandal About To Hit — Videos —

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The politics of declassifying Russian probe intelligence

Tom Fitton: Spygate “The Worst Corruption Scandal in American History”

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Ranking Member Nunes discusses Mueller Report findings and Mifsud

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Senior Obama Officials Targeted in Spygate Investigation | Gina Shakespeare | Declassified

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Why the Mifsud Story Matters | Gina Shakespeare | Declassified

Professor Joseph Mifsud, alleged link between Trump & Russia – BBC Newsnight

 

Bongino: Papadopoulos part of ‘set up’ to hurt Trump

Mifsud’s role in Mueller probe under investigation

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Schiff blasts Trump’s order to declassify 2016 surveillance docs

Shocking Use of FISA by Obama’s FBI to Spy on Trump Campaign – Exclusive with Tony Shaffer

BREAKING NEWS! Testimony Of Deputy Assistant Secretary Of State George Kent

House releases George Kent testimony transcript

Anderson Cooper: Rudy Giuliani’s name mentioned at least 78 times in transcripts

Key insights from transcripts of depositions with Amb. Yovanovitch, Michael McKinley

House releases transcript of testimony by top State Department official George Kent

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Giuliani says Pompeo told him he was “aware” of outreach to Ukrainians

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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
November 8, 2019 at 9:15 a.m. CST

The Post reports on the release of the transcript of a senior State Department official’s testimony: “Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent, who oversaw Ukraine policy, told lawmakers that to get an Oval Office meeting, [President] Trump was demanding that the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, promise to open investigations into the 2016 U.S. election, Trump’s former rival Hillary Clinton and former vice president Joe Biden, a possible 2020 challenger.” (It is not clear whether “Hillary Clinton” meant simply the hacking and release of emails during the 2016 election, or whether there was some other fishing expedition on Trump’s list of demands.)

Kent becomes a critical witness, and a good opening witness, because he can cover a lot of ground. There are a number of critical topics about which he can testify in public next week.

First, he can attest to the parallel foreign policy run by Rudolph Giuliani that was not a foreign policy at all, but rather a personal mission for Trump. As the New York Times reports, “The detail suggests that Mr. Trump was thinking of his political fortunes — not a broad interest in Ukraine’s anti-corruption agenda, as many of his defenders have claimed — as he pressed Mr. Zelensky to take action.” This is critical because the central issue here is whether Trump was demanding something of personal benefit to him (an announced investigation) in return for a public act (a meeting, release of aid). Kent confirms that what was going on was corrupt, a bribe for Trump’s personal benefit, not a bargain in the context of foreign policy.

Second, Kent can attest that Giuliani was out to smear a distinguished diplomat, someone Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to publicly support. Kent testified behind closed doors at the impeachment hearing: “Mr. Giuliani, at that point, had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador [Marie] Yovanovitch, so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies.”

Why is this important? The Post explains, “Giuliani had aligned himself with corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors, including one official who was ‘essentially colluding’ with other corrupt officials to undermine a Ukrainian probe into a fake passport ring that threatened U.S. security, Kent told impeachment investigators.” Again, Giuliani has been empowered by Trump to conduct activities that promote corruption, not investigate corruption, as Trump’s defenders implausibly argue. (When was Trump ever concerned about corruption?) This also paints Pompeo is a bad light, showing him to be unwilling to defend his employee or push back against Giuliani, who was helping to hijack U.S. policy. Was Pompeo weak or ruthlessly ambitious (in never crossing Trump)? Both, perhaps.

Third, Kent suggests an effort in the State Department to be less than forthcoming in response to congressional investigators. Kent described a confrontation in a 20-person meeting with a State Department lawyer who objected strenuously to Kent’s insistence that the House request for documents extend to Carl Risch, the assistant secretary for consular affairs. The lawyer pulled Kent out of the meeting. The Post recounts what occurred, with Kent speaking first.

“I said, ‘That was unprofessional.’ And he then said, ‘You were unprofessional.’ He got very angry. He started pointing at me with a clenched jaw,” arguing that Congress could interpret Kent’s comments as trying to influence the collection of document.
“I said, ‘That’s called projection,’ ” he continued. “What I hear you saying is that you think that I am doing that. What I was trying to do was make sure that the department was being fully responsive.”

The State Department, you might recall, issued a statement accusing House investigators of “bullying” employees to testify. Kent seems to have taken issue with that as well.

In other words, Kent is describing a campaign to be as unresponsive as possible. Whether this rises to the level of a cover-up remains to be seen. Once again, Pompeo comes off as less than attentive to his constitutional obligations.

Fourth, Kent implicates acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Kent testified, “It was clear to me that Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland had a direct connection with Chief of Staff Mulvaney. . . . It was not, to the best of my knowledge, done through the national security staff and Ambassador [John] Bolton. It was done [through] Ambassador Sondland directly to Chief of Staff Mulvaney.” Trump’s refusal to allow Mulvaney to testify is one of many examples of Trump’s obstruction of the investigation.

Fifth, Kent echoes many other witnesses who point to the impropriety if not the illegality of what Trump was doing:
On Aug. 15, Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s new assistant, Catherine Croft, went to Kent’s office and asked, “Have we ever asked the Ukrainians to investigate anybody?”
Kent suspected that she was really asking whether U.S. officials had ever gone to the Ukrainians “and asked them to investigate or prosecute individuals for political reasons,” he testified. “And if that was the question, the answer is, ‘I hope we haven’t’,’ ” he said he told her. “And we shouldn’t because that goes against everything that we are trying to promote in the post-Soviet states for the last 28 years, which is the rule of law.”
The following day, he said, he spoke with the acting ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., who “amplified” the theme. Taylor told him that Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak made a remark referring to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a formal process by which one government requests legal help from another.
“And I told Bill Taylor, that’s wrong, and we shouldn’t be doing that as a matter of U.S. policy,” Kent said. He said Taylor agreed.

Finally, we get a glimpse of how Trump is manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and where he came up with this cock-and-bull story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in our election. Kent testified that it was Putin and Hungary’s strongman Viktor Orban “along with former Mayor Giuliani, [whose] communications with President Trump shaped the President’s view of Ukraine and Zelensky, and would account for the change from a very positive first call on April 21 to his negative assessment of Ukraine when he had the meeting in the Oval Office on May 23.” Once more, whatever Trump does in foreign policy always seems to inure to Putin’s advantage. Strange.

Kent is a compelling witness who can cover a lot of ground. No wonder he is on the schedule for the critical first week of testimony.

Read more:

The latest commentary on the Trump impeachment inquiry

Updated October 29, 2019

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/08/heres-why-george-kent-is-star-witness/

George P. Kent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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George Kent
George Kent.jpg
Education Harvard University (AB)
Johns Hopkins University (MA)
National Defense University (MS)

George P. Kent is an American diplomat serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs since September 4, 2018.[1]

 

Education

Kent graduated in 1989 with an AB in Russian history and literature from Harvard University. He then earned an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1992.[1] Kent later graduated with an MS in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University in 2012.[2]

Career

Kent has been in the State Department‘s foreign service since 1992.[3][4] He speaks UkrainianRussian, and Thai, as well as some PolishGerman, and Italian.[1] His work as a US Foreign Service Officer has included service in Ukraine, Poland, Thailand and Uzbekistan.[2]

From 1995 to 1997, he was posted in Warsaw, Poland, as an economics officer dealing with trade, environmental, and counter-narcotics issues.[2] Kent was later assigned to serve as deputy political counselor in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 2004 to 2007, which include the time period of the Orange Revolution.[2] From 2012 to 2014, Kent served as director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[1] He served as a senior anti-corruption coordinator in the European bureau in 2014–2015,[1] and as deputy chief of mission in Kyiv, from 2015 to 2018.[4] On September 4, 2018, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.[2][4]

On October 15, 2019 Kent testified in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, serving as a key witness on whether Rudy Giuliani used a campaign of disinformation to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.[5] Kent’s warnings regarding the disinformation campaign are documented in State Department emails submitted to Congress by the organization’s inspector general. Kent protested a “fake news smear” directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch by media commentators supportive with President Trump. He also criticized the Ukrainian prosecutor undermining Yovanovitch, calling the disinformation “complete poppycock.”[6]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e “George P. Kent”United States Department of StateArchived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e “USUBC Members welcomed George Kent, new Deputy Assistant Secretary, Europe, U.S. State Department, in Washington, D.C”U.S.–Ukraine Business Council. September 10, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Hansler, Jennifer (October 15, 2019). “Another career diplomat caught in the Ukraine scandal speaking to impeachment probe Tuesday”CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  4. Jump up to:a b c Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “State Department official to face questions about Ukraine and Giuliani”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Kane, Paul; Demirjian, Karoun; Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Shear, Michael D. (October 15, 2019). “Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says White House Sidelined Him”The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2019.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_P._Kent

Marie Yovanovitch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Marie Yovanovitch
Marie L. Yovanovitch.jpg
9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine
In office
August 29, 2016 – May 20, 2019
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded by Geoffrey Pyatt
Succeeded by Kristina Kvien (Acting)
United States Ambassador to Armenia
In office
September 22, 2008 – June 9, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by John Evans
Succeeded by John Heffern
United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
In office
February 4, 2005 – February 4, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Stephen Young
Succeeded by Tatiana Gfoeller
Personal details
Born 1958 (age 60–61)
MontrealQuebecCanada
Education Princeton University (BA)
National Defense University (MS)

Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958),[1] also known as Masha Yovanovitch,[2] is an American diplomat and member of the senior ranks of the United States Foreign Service. She served in a variety of State Department posts, including Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2004–2005); U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan (2005–2008); U.S. Ambassador to Armenia (2008–2011); Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2012–2013); and Ambassador to Ukraine (2016–2019). Yovanovitch is a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.[3][4]

While ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch was subjected to a conspiracy-driven smear campaign, amplified by President Donald Trump and his allies. In May 2019, Trump abruptly recalled Yovanovitch from her post following claims by Trump surrogates that she was undermining Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden. Yovanovitch’s removal preceded a July 2019 phone call by Trump in which he attempted to pressure Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden. Following revelation of a whistleblower complaint about the phone call and attempts to cover it up, an impeachment inquiry against Trump was initiated by the House of Representatives. In October, Yovanovitch testified in three House committee depositions in the inquiry.

Contents

Early life and education

Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of Mikhail Yovanovitch and Nadia (Theokritoff) Yovanovitch,[5] who fled the Soviet Union and later the Nazis.[3] She was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut at age three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age eighteen. She grew up speaking Russian.[3]

Yovanovitch graduated from the Kent School in Connecticut in 1976; her parents were longtime foreign language teachers at the school.[6] Yovanovitch earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies from Princeton University in 1980.[7] She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University‘s National War College in 2001.[7]

Career

Early diplomatic career

Yovanovitch joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1986. Her first foreign assignment, in Ottawa, was followed by overseas assignments including MoscowLondon, and Mogadishu. From May 1998 to May 2000 she served as the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State.[7]

From August 2001 to June 2004, as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine.[8] From August 2004 to May 2005 she was the senior advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.[9] Yovanovitch also served as International Advisor and Deputy Commandant at the National Defense University‘s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy and as dean of the School of Language Studies within the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.[9]

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia and subsequent service

Yovanovitch is “well known in diplomatic circles for her measured demeanor and diligence in representing both Republican and Democratic administrations.”[10] Yovanovitch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan on November 20, 2004; she presented her credentials on February 4, 2005, and remained in this post until February 4, 2008.[1][11] Her nomination as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.[12]

Yovanovitch was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Armenia on August 4, 2008; she presented her credentials on September 22, 2008, and remained in this post until June 9, 2011.[11] Her nomination as ambassador to Armenia was again confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote.[13] During confirmation hearings, Yovanovitch acknowledged that Turks had committed mass killings, rapes, and expulsions of Armenians between 1915 and 1923, calling this “one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century,” but, in line with U.S. policy, declined to use the phrase Armenian Genocide, saying that the use of this politically sensitive phrase was a policy decision that could be made only by the highest-ranking U.S. officials, namely President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[14]

While in Armenia, Yovanovitch pushed Armenian authorities to give fair treatment to Armenians arrested in post-election protests in 2008.[10] Yovanovitch received the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award,[9] a department award honoring ambassadors who demonstrate “extraordinary commitment to defending human rights.”[10]

After returning to Washington in 2012 and 2013, Yovanovitch served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.[4] In that position, Yovanovitch was a key State Department headquarters contact for U.S. diplomats in Europe, working with, among others, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein, regarding issues such as U.S. missile defense in Poland.[10] Yovanovitch received the department’s Senior Foreign Service Performance Award six times and the Superior Honor Award five times.[9] She was promoted to the rank of Career Minister in 2016.[15]

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Yovanovitch was announced as the nominee for U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt;[16] the nomination was sent to the Senate the next day, and confirmed by voice vote of the Senate on July 14, 2016.[17] Yovanovitch was sworn in on August 12, 2016, and presented her credentials on August 29, 2016.[1]

Anti-corruption work and other activities

Yovanovitch was respected within the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption,[18] and during her tenure had sought to strengthen the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau, which had been created to bolster efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine; these efforts earned Yovanovitch some enemies within the country.[19] In a March 2019 speech to the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, Yovanovitch said that the Ukrainian government was not making sufficient progress to combat corruption, saying: “It is increasingly clear that Ukraine’s once-in-a-generation opportunity for change has not yet resulted in the anti-corruption or rule of law reforms that Ukrainians expect or deserve.”[20]

Smear campaign against Yovanovitch and ouster

As U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch was the target of a conspiracy-driven smear campaign.[21] Unfounded allegations against her were then made by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as well as conservative commentator John Solomon of The Hill and Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, who accused her of being part of a conspiracy involving anti-corruption probes in Ukraine and efforts by the Trump administration to investigate ties between Ukrainian officials and the Hillary Clinton campaign.[3][22][23] Lutsenko, who has been accused by Ukrainian civil society organizations of corruption,[20] claimed that Yovanovitch, an Obama administration appointee, had interfered in Ukraine politics, had given him a “do-not-prosecute” list and was interfering in his ability to combat corruption in Ukraine.[22][19] The U.S. State Department said that Lutsenko’s allegations against Yovanovitch were “an outright fabrication”[22] and indicated that they were a “classic disinformation campaign.”[21] Lutsenko subsequently recanted his claims of a “do-not-prosecute” list.[22] Lutsenko’s unfounded allegation was nonetheless amplified by President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., Giuliani, Solomon, and conservative media outlets.[22][24] Ukrainians who opposed Yovanovitch were also sources for Giuliani, who “was on a months-long search for political dirt in Ukraine to help President Trump.”[20]

In May 2019, after complaints from Giuliani and other Trump allies that Yovanovitch was undermining and obstructing Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden, Trump ordered Yovanovitch’s recall.[25][26] In a July 25, 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (the contents of which became public in September 2019), Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and disparaged Yovanovitch to his foreign counterpart.[24][18]

Yovanovitch’s abrupt ouster shocked and outraged career State Department diplomats.[19][27] Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, the chief diplomat for U.S. policy for Europe, testified that he had urged top State Department officials David Hale and T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, to issue a statement expressing strong support for Yovanovitch, but that top State Department leadership rejected this proposal.[21] Former senior U.S. diplomats Philip Gordon and Daniel Fried, who served as assistant secretaries of state for European and Eurasian Affairs and as National Security Council staffers under presidents of both parties, praised Yovanovitch and condemned Trump’s “egregious mistreatment of one of the country’s most distinguished ambassadors,” writing that this had demoralized the U.S. diplomatic corps and undermined U.S. foreign policy.[28] The American Foreign Service Association and American Academy of Diplomacy, representing members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, expressed alarm at Trump’s disparagement of Yovanovitch in his call with Zelensky.[29] Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer who served as ambassador to four countries and had been chief adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, resigned in October 2019 in protest of Trump’s attacks against Yovanovitch and “the State Department’s unwillingness to protect career diplomats from politically motivated pressure.”[30][31] Yovanovitch’s ouster became one of the issues explored in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against Trump;[25] her recall was termed “a political hit job” by Democratic members of Congress.[18][22]

Congressional testimony

On October 11, 2019, Yovanovitch gave closed-door deposition testimony before the House Oversight and ReformForeign Affairs and Intelligence committees.[32][19][33] A transcript of Yovanovitch’s full testimony was released to the public on November 5, 2019.[33]

The State Department sought to stop Yovanovitch from testifying before Congress, in line with Trump’s policy of refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.[19] The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena, stating that “the illegitimate order from the Trump Administration not to cooperate has no force”—and Yovanovitch proceeded to give testimony.[19]

In her testimony, Yovanovitch testified that Trump had pressured the State Department to remove her, and that she was “incredulous” to be removed based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”[19] Yovanovitch stated that after her removal, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan had told her that she had done nothing wrong but that the State Department had been under political pressure from Trump to remove her since summer 2018.[19] Sullivan, in his own testimony to Congress, corroborated Yovanovitch’s testimony, confirmed that Yovanovitch was the target of a smear campaign, and publicly affirmed that Yovanovitch had served “admirably and capably” as ambassador.[34]

Yovanovitch testified that her removal was the result of “significant tension between those who seek to transform the country and those who wish to continue profiting from the old ways,” and that false narratives were pushed from an “unfortunate alliance between Ukrainians who continue to operate within a corrupt system, and Americans who either did not understand that corrupt system, or who may have chosen, for their own purposes, to ignore it.”[35] Yovanovitch described the State Department under Trump as “attacked and hollowed out from within,” and warned that the Russia and other U.S. rivals would benefit “when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system.”[19] Yovanovitch testified that when she sought advice from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on how to respond to the smear campaign, Sondland recommended that she tweet praise for Trump.[36][37]

Yovanovitch also detailed attempts by Giuliani to interfere in the State Department’s consular decisions, by attempting to override a U.S. visa denial for former Ukrainian official Viktor Shokin, who had been declared ineligible for travel in the United States based on his “known corrupt activities.”[38][36] Yovanovitch also said that she was “shocked” and felt threatened by Trump’s statement, in a phone call with Zelensky, that “she’s going to go through some things,” testifying that she was very concerned “that the President would speak about me or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart.”[36]

Subsequent posting

After being ousted as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch became a Senior State Department Fellow at Georgetown University‘s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.[4]

See also

References…

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Yovanovitch

In Testimony, American Envoy to Ukraine Outlines Trump’s Quid Pro Quo

Not pulling any punches. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

In dramatic testimony Tuesday morning, William Taylor, the American envoy to Ukraine, provided the most complete picture yet of how centrally the Trump administration’s Ukraine policy revolved around a quid pro quo: military aid and a White House visit in exchange for an investigation into Joe Biden’s son and another involving the origins of the FBI’s investigation into President Trump.

In a long opening statement that prompted sighs and gasps among lawmakers, Taylor made it clear that those who were steering the White House’s Ukraine policy, including U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland, were preoccupied with the investigations. Sondland, Taylor said, had cited them as a reason the White House held up Ukraine military aid for months. Taylor also said Sondland had heard about the Biden investigation from the president himself, contradicting Sondland’s testimony last week. Taylor drew on extensive notes he had taken at the time of the events he described.

Democrats framed his statements as deeply damaging to the president, while Republicans attempted to shrug them off. “What he said was incredibly damning to the president of the United States,” Representative Ted Lieu said, echoing others’ assessments of the testimony.

Taylor was involved in a now-notorious text-message exchange with Sondland and former special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker involving the administration’s unusual posture toward the country. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor texted at one point. Sondland assured him there was no quid pro quo, in a text he has said he wrote after speaking with the president.

Multiple Democrats suggested that Sondland, who testified last week, needed to return to clear up statements that conflicted with Taylor’s.

Taylor took over as envoy after Marie Yovanovitch, the previous ambassador, was fired under suspicious circumstances in May.

As with other witnesses involved in the proto-impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration attempted to block Taylor from talking to lawmakers. But after Democrats issued a subpoena compelling him to appear, Taylor, like previous witnesses, complied.

The White House has vociferously denied the existence of a quid pro quo, though the White House chief of staff admitted the existence of one in a bungled press conference last week.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Taylor was acting ambassador to Ukraine.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/10/william-taylor-ukraine-trump.html

Two summits with Italian spy chiefs and a tape of the vanished professor who kicked off claims of Russian ‘collusion’: How Bill Barr launched criminal inquiry into his OWN department and Washington’s spies after ‘breakthrough’ in Rome

  • Professor Joseph Mifsud met Trump campaign adviser George Popodopolus in April 2016 and allegedly offered him ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails 
  • Popodopolus is thought to have relayed that information to an Australia diplomat, who in turn informed Washington, sparking the Russia investigation 
  • After the probe opened Mifsud asked for protection in Italy, fearing for his safety
  • As part of the application he gave taped testimony to the security services, which was listened to be Attorney General Barr and prosecutor John Durham 
  • After listening to the tape, Barr decided to launch a full criminal probe 

Attorney General William Barr decided to launch a criminal investigation into his own department after hearing taped testimony from a professor at the centre of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

The ‘breakthrough’ came on Barr’s second trip to Rome this summer, in which he and prosecutor John Durham are understood to have sat down and listened to a tape containing a deposition from academic Josef Mifsud.

Mifsud is alleged to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails in April 2016. When word of the meeting reached Washington, it provided the basis for what became the Mueller investigation.

Barr is now investigating Mifsud as part of a counter-investigation into how the Mueller probe – which found no clear evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russian government – got started.

Durham and Barr reportedly heard a recording of Joseph Mifsud in Italy - the professor widely credited with sparking the counterintelligence probe into Trump campaign officials

Probe: Bill Barr, the attorney general, flew to Rome twice to meet spy chiefs there - to ask what the U.S. government's own agents were up to

Probe: John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, flew to Rome twice to meet spy chiefs there - to ask what the U.S. government's own agents were up to

While it is not clear what Barr (left) and Durham (right) heard on the tape, sources said their investigation into the Russia probe ‘expanded significantly’ afterwards, before being upgraded to a criminal inquiry

Mifsud went into hiding in 2017 and Italian justice ministry records show he applied for police protection around the same time, giving a taped deposition about why people might want to harm him.

It is thought that is the tape that Barr and Durham listened to when they visited Rome in September – their second journey to Italy after another visit in August.

While it is not clear what they heard on the tape, Fox News reported earlier this week that Durham’s investigation ‘expanded significantly’ after the second Rome visit.

Two sources told the news site on Thursday that the administrative review has now become a full criminal investigation.

Papadopoulos – who was jailed in 2018 for lying to FBI investigators – has previously accused Mifsud of being planted by the intelligence services to cook up a pretext to investigate Trump. 

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has acknowledged the existence of both meetings with Barr, saying that he was seeking information about the activities of FBI agents assigned to Italy.

Conte insisted on the complete legitimacy of both the meetings and his own role, after local media accused him of violating protocols in permitting the meetings.

Barr visited and called world leaders from around the world over the summer, collecting evidence into how the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's connections to Russia got started

Mifsud is believed to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London. When word of the meeting got back to Washington, it is understood to have formed the basis of the Mueller probe

Mifsud is believed to have offered Trump adviser George Papadopoulos ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London. When word of the meeting got back to Washington, it is understood to have formed the basis of the Mueller probe

Conte said Barr’s request arrived via normal diplomatic channels for ‘a preliminary exchange of information with our intelligence aimed at verifying activities of American agents. This must be clear.’

Conte argued that Italian law gives the country’s premier sole responsibility for responding to intelligence requests, and that he could not seek, for example, preliminary clearance from the parliamentary intelligence committee or legally discuss the request with any minister or political leader.

Conte also emphasized that the Americans showed no interest in the activities of Italian intelligence, and that the Italian intelligence services were ‘completely extraneous to these events.’

Conte said that Barr first held a ‘preliminary technical’ meeting with intelligence officials in offices at Rome’s Piazza Dante on Aug. 15. That was followed up with another meeting in the same offices on Sept. 27.

‘I hate to disappoint you but there were no meetings in bars or hotels,’ Conte said, referring to media speculation. ‘They were all held in institutional settings.’

Referring to domestic criticism that the meetings came at a moment when the previous Conte-led government was in crisis, Conte emphasized that the American request for the meetings was made in June – before Interior Minister Matteo Salvini sought to push Conte out of power – and that the request arrived by normal diplomatic channels.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7613295/How-Bill-Barr-launched-criminal-inquiry-breakthrough-meeting-Rome.html

Joseph Mifsud

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Joseph Mifsud
Born 1960

Disappeared 6 November 2017 (aged 56–57)
RomeItaly
Nationality Maltese
Education University of Malta (BA)
University of Padua (MA)
Queen’s University Belfast(PhD)

Joseph Mifsud (born 1960)[1] is a Maltese academic. In 2016, he became involved with George Papadopoulos, an advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and was later accused of being a link between that campaign and Russia. In 2018, he was described as missing, and an Italian court listed his location as “residence unknown”.[2] According to media reports he was in Rome as of April 2019.[3]

Education

Mifsud holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Malta (1982) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Padua (1989).[1] He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from Queen’s University Belfast; his thesis was titled “Managing educational reform: a comparative approach from Malta (and Northern Ireland); a headteachers’ perspective”.[4]

Career

From 2006 to 2008, Mifsud served as the chef de cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta.[1] He later became a principal in the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP). In 2008, he was named President of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia (EMUNI).[1][5] At least as early as 2010, he began making numerous trips to Russia.[6] He was a professorial teaching fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland,[7] as well as director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, where he served as director from 2012 until it closed in 2016. The academy was partnered with the University of Stirling.[8][9][10] He has also served as president of the University Consortium of the Province of Agrigento in Sicily; in September 2018, an Italian court ordered him to repay the Consortium 49,000 euros ($56,700) in overpayments.[2]

In a 2017 interview, he claimed to be a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR),[11] although the ECFR website in 2018 did not list him as a member.[12] He regularly attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Russia, backed by the Kremlin and attended by Vladimir Putin.[13] According to a BBC report, Mifsud was in Moscow in April 2016 to speak on a panel run by the Valdai Club alongside Stephan Roh, the German multimillionaire lawyer and investor described as a “wheeler-dealer” by the BBC Newsnight program.[14] Roh is Mifsud’s former employer,[15] he could not be reached for comment by the BBC. Another speaker at the Valdai Club was Ivan Timofeev, who works for a think tank close to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whom Mifsud subsequently introduced to Papadopoulos via email.[14] Mifsud reportedly claimed to his former girlfriend that he was friends with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.[16]

Mifsud denied having any contact with the Russian government, saying “I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian.”[7] The Mueller Report, released in 2019, said that Mifsud “maintained various Russian contacts while living in London”, including an unnamed person (name redacted), who was a former staff member of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm based in Saint Petersburg.[17]

Connection to George Papadopoulos

In March 2016, shortly after Papadopoulos was named as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, Mifsud met Papadopoulos in Rome. They later met again in London, where Mifsud allegedly introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian woman that he falsely claimed was Putin’s niece; Mifsud has denied this.[7][13] At a meeting in April, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had learned that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos allegedly repeated the information to the Australian High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, who later reported to American authorities that Papadopoulos had apparently known about Russia’s theft of emails from Democratic sources before it was publicly reported. Papadopoulos has since publicly declared that he did tell Downer about the fact that he was offered “dirt” on Clinton but he has denied any recollection of communicating this theft of emails with Downer. The FBI then launched an investigation into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.[18]

Volume 1 of the Mueller Report stated that Mifsud travelled to Moscow in April 2016, and upon his return told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.[19][17] It also mentions that Papadopoulos “suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton”. This would appear to corroborate the contact with Downer.

According to Mifsud, he was interviewed by the FBI in February 2017 while visiting the United States to speak at a conference.[20][21] The FBI has not confirmed that they interviewed him, but he is listed as a featured speaker at the February 2017 national meeting of Global Ties, an event sponsored by the US Department of State.[22] Mifsud left the United States on 11 February 2017. Prosecutors with the investigation into Russian interference in the election suggested, in a 17 August 2018 sentencing memorandum for Papadopoulos, that they might have wanted to challenge, detain, or arrest Mifsud if Papadopoulos had told the truth about their interactions.[23]

Papadopoulos and some critics of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign have asserted that Mifsud was actually a Western intelligence operative who was instructed to entrap Papadopoulos in order to justify the investigation.[24][25] During Robert Mueller‘s testimony to two congressional committees on 24 July 2019, Republicans Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes portrayed Misfud as a central figure in what they asserted was an investigation based on false and politically motivated premises, while Democrats tried to frame their assertion as a diversion and conspiracy theory.[26] Jim Jordan asked Robert Mueller why he never charged Mifsud with lying to the FBI while George Papadopoulos was charged for lying about Mifsud.[27]

Connection to Stephan Roh

Stephan Roh, the Russian-speaking[28] German lawyer and multimillionaire with close ties to Russia,[29] has worked alongside Mifsud for years. Papadopoulos’s wife, who briefly worked for Mifsud, has described Roh as Mifsud’s lawyer, best friend, and funder.[citation needed] Roh owns multiple businesses, many headquartered in Moscow or Cyprus. Roh also is an investor in Link Campus University, holding a 5% stake.[30][unreliable source?] The university is known for its diplomatic, intelligence and analytical studies, such as the School of Analysis–Security and Intelligence section, and a place where Mifsud taught.[31]

Link Campus University was founded 1999 by Vincenzo Scotti as a subsidiary of the University of Malta, with help from Mifsud, who was then the head of the university’s education department. Scotti was Italian interior minister from 1990 to 1992, when he oversaw the country’s domestic intelligence apparatus. Scotti has been the ″director″ at Link Campus University, while Mifsud was its “director of international relations” and recruited foreign students for Link Campus University.[32][unreliable source?] After Robert Mueller in May 2017 took over the Trump Russia collusion investigation Mifsud could not start classes at that academic year.[33] Mifsud lived in university housing until summer 2018.[34]

The Mueller Report made no mention of Mifsud’s longtime association with Italian Ex-Minister Vincenzo Scotti or with the institution that Scotti headed in Rome, Link Campus University.[32][unreliable source?]

In his book, Roh claimed that he was detained and questioned by investigators on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team in October 2017.[29]

Missing report

According to a filing in a U.S. federal court in the case Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation in September 2018, Mifsud was “missing and may be deceased”. Mifsud’s whereabouts were unknown and he could not be served with the complaint.[35] He spoke to his girlfriend on 31 October 2017. The next day an Italian newspaper revealed that the “professor” referred to in news reports about Papadopoulos was Mifsud, and she has not heard from him since then.[36] According to CNN, he has “gone to ground” and was last seen on 6 November 2017 at Link University, a private university in Rome where he was teaching at the time.[20] In September 2018, an Italian court described his location as “residence unknown”.[2]

According to media reports Mifsud was in Rome as of April 2019.[3] On October 1, 2019, the Italian newspaper il Foglio published a photo of Mifsud in Switzerland with a copy of the Swiss newspaper Zürichsee-Zeitung dated May 21, 2018, as proof that he was still alive.[34]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Mifsud

 

Story 2: Hell on Earth and Paradise Lost In Hours 85 Dead and One Year Later California Is Still Burning As Fires Spreading By Humans Moving To Harm’s Way As Death Toll Mounts: Camp Fire in Northern California & Hill Fire and Woolsey Fires in Southern California — Update — Fire Approaching Hollywood — Videos — 

Update November 11, 2019

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Paradise Lost: Inside California’s Camp Fire, 60 Minutes’ 2018 report

Fire in Paradise (full film) | FRONTLINE

Brush Fire Burns Near School in Santa Clarita Area

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Strong winds fuel raging wildfires across California

As wildfires burn, California residents express fear, anger toward PG&E

Hill Fire Erupts Near 60 Freeway in Jurupa Valley | NBCLA

Assessment of Woolsey fire reveals limits of government’s ability to protect residents

The Woolsey Fire, One Year Later | NBCLA

Massive wildfires rage across Southern California

Multiple raging California fires force thousands to evacuate

California is in a statewide emergency as 2 new fires ignite near San Francisco l ABC News

Pacific Palisades brush fire threatens homes I ABC7

Why these California wildfire victims wish their houses had burned down

2017

Wildfire devastation in California spreads

4 major fires continue to burn and endanger residents in California

Fighting California’s Wildfires: Stunning Footage from the Front Lines

Wildfires continues to ravage through Southern California as conditions worsen

After the fire, heroes become homeless

Refusing to evacuate, one man fought the fire alone to save his house

2015

California Fires Leave Behind Apocalyptic-Like Destruction

 

Five people are burned alive in their cars in California wildfires as 240,000 are forced to evacuate and millions more are warned their homes are under imminent threat

  • The fires fueled by the notorious Santa Ana winds and low humidity are expected rage on into the weekend
  • In Northern California, the Camp Fire has spread across 70,000 acres in Butte County north of Sacramento 
  • Camp Fire killed five people trapped in their cars, burned 2,000 structures and destroyed town of Paradise
  • In Southern California, the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire have already scorched more than 40,000 acres
  • Nearly 150,000 residents near Ventura and Los Angeles counties have been ordered to evacuate 
  • Winds of up to 70mph are blowing the westward toward the Pacific Ocean, forcing total evacuation of Malibu
  • Caitlyn Jenner’s Malibu home was destroyed, and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s home is under threat
  • Lady Gaga’s home and Will Smith’s are also at risk of being consumed by the wildfire
  • The fires are flanking Thousand Oaks, threatening the community still reeling from Wednesday’s shooting 
  • Actor James Woods has retweeted nearly 20 posts from families pleading for information about loved ones

 

Five people have been burned alive in their cars by a wildfire in Northern California while officials warn that two other blazes ravaging the southern part of the state are zero percent contained, threatening to destroy thousands of homes.

The notorious Santa Ana winds are expected to continue fueling the three fast-moving wildfires as they tear across large swaths of the coastal state. Over 240,000 have been evacuated across the state.

In Southern California, nearly 150,000 people are under evacuation orders as a pair of life-threatening fires have overtaken more than 40,000 acres, with dry winds of up to 70mph push them westward toward the Pacific Ocean.

The larger of the two southern blazes, the Woolsey Fire, has scorched as least 35,000 acres north of Los Angeles since igniting near Rocketdyne at around 2pm local time Thursday, quickly spreading southwest toward Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks, the community still reeling from a mass shooting on Wednesday night.

The massive Woolsey Fire was a zero containment on Friday night, and dozens of communities on the border of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as the beachside city of Malibu have been ordered to evacuate as the flames approach.

To the west of the Woolsey Fire a second, smaller blaze dubbed the Hill Fire has torched almost 6,000 acres in Ventura County after igniting at around the same time in Hill Canyon Thursday afternoon.

Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu

Three wildfires are seen burning in California on Friday. The larger Camp Fire in the north has killed five and destroyed the town of Paradise. In the south, near Los Angeles the twin Hill and Woolsey Fires have forced an evacuation of Malibu

 

In Southern California, the fire has spread toward the Pacific, forcing the total evacuation of Malibu. Caitlyn Jenner’s home was destroyed by the flames, and other celebrity homes under fire threat are seen on the map above

The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas

The smoke from the fire is seen from the Pacific Coast Highway as residents flee Malibu and nearby areas

A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles

A home burns on Friday as seen from a helicopter in the Calabasas section of Los Angeles

A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday

A house along Pacific Coast Highway burns as the Woolsey Fire reached the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California on Friday

In Northern California, the Camp Fire has raced across 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning, destroying 2,000 structures and killing at least five people who had no time to escape.

That fire has devastated the town of Paradise, where officials say nearly every structure has been razed by out-of-control flames and five people were found dead in burned out vehicles early Friday afternoon. The Camp Fire is 5 per cent contained.

When Paradise was evacuated, the order set off a desperate exodus in which many motorists got stuck in gridlocked traffic and abandoned their vehicles to flee on foot.

People reported seeing much of the community go up in flames, including homes, supermarkets, businesses, restaurants, schools and a retirement center.

‘There was really no firefight involved,’ said Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, explaining that crews gave up attacking the flames and instead helped people evacuate. ‘These firefighters were in the rescue mode all day yesterday.’

The causes of all three fires are under investigation. The Camp Fire began at 6.29am on Friday, while in the south the Hill and Woolsey Fires began on Friday afternoon.

Over 2,500 fire personnel are fighting the three blazes on the ground as challenging fire conditions are expected to continue through the weekend.

The map above shows the approximate location of all three fires in California as of Friday

The map above shows the approximate location of all three fires in California as of Friday

Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise+56

Five people were found burned alive in their cars midday Friday after the relentless Camp Fire ravaged the town of Paradise

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California

Firefighter Jose Corona sprays water as flames from the Camp Fire consume a home in Magalia in Northern California

Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control

Even after sunrise, smoke still filtered the sun over the burned out areas Paradise, as the Camp Fire burns out of control

Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area+56

Abandoned vehicles sit at a car lot in Paradise, north of Sacramento, California on Friday after the Camp Fire ravaged the area

In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday+56

In Paradise, a line of burned out abandoned cars sit on the road after the Camp Fire moved through the area on Thursday

Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

Abandoned cars from fleeing residents of the Magalia and Paradise Pine area, line Skyway road the day after the start of the Camp Fire that continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape

The Camp Fire (above) completely engulfed the town of Paradise in Northern California, growing to 70,000 acres since starting on Thursday morning and killing at least five people who became trapped in their cars while trying to escape

In Southern California, wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued, warning wind gusts could reach 70mph and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.

No injuries have been reported in either southern fire as of Friday morning, but officials have warned that they will remain life-threatening through the weekend.

At around 7am local time Friday, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu as the Woolsey Fire raged toward the Pacific Ocean.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department punctuated the evacuation message with the declaration: ‘Imminent threat!’

‘We’re in a situation where this fire is moving quickly – conditions are changing rapidly,’ Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Buschow said at a press conference.

The Woolsey fire jumped US Highway 101 in the Calabasas area overnight and is now continuing it’s path into the Santa Monica Mountains.

The approximate area touched by the Woolsey and Hill Fires as of midday Friday is shown on the map above. Thousands of residents living in the areas marked in yellow, including Calabasas and Malibu, have been ordered to evacuate as the fires move west toward the Pacific with help from fierce dry winds

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company's headquarters in Burbank, California

Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted this view of the Woolsey Fire from the company’s headquarters in Burbank, California

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire behind a home during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, California on Friday

Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California

Clouds of smoke appear from the Woosley Fire to the north in Malibu as people ride their bicycles in Venice Beach, California

People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California

People watch the heavy smoke rises over the the Santa Monica Mountains during the Woolsy fire in Malibu, California

A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu+56

A firefighter keeps watch as the charred remains of a burned out home are seen during the Woolsey Fire in Malibu

The Southern California fires are flanking the city of Thousand Oaks, threatening the beleaguered community as it tries to mend itself after a gunman stormed a bar holding ‘College Night’ on Wednesday, killing 12 people and himself.

‘Just 48 hours ago our city experience tragedy that had national implications,’ Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox said at a press conference on Friday night.

He pointed out that many of those affected by the shooting had probably been forced to evacuate their homes, and noted that the loss of property was never comparable to the loss of life.

‘Those lives will never be recovered. Tonight we are talking about a serious fire situation, but thankfully we have not lost a single life,’ the mayor said.

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill less than 24 hours earlier.

The Thousand Oaks Teen Center that was used as meeting point after the massacre has now been transformed into a shelter from the fire.

Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire+56

 

Paramount Ranch, where a number of Hollywood westerns have been filmed, is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire

The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire

The HBO series Westworld shoots at Paramount Ranch, which is seen above on Friday decimated by the Woolsey Fire

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday

Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills in Southern California is seen after it was decimated by a wildfire on Friday

Kanye West's office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached

Kanye West’s office (above) in Calabasas was evacuated on Friday as the intense flames of the Woolsey Fire approached

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Rainn Wilson, and Alyssa Milano have been forced to evacuate as the flames surrounded their homes.

West’s offices in Calabasas also had to be evacuated after the raging wildfire encroached on the area.

Around the same time reports emerged that Caitlyn Jenner’s 3,500 square foot, 4-bedroom pad overlooking the Malibu beach was destroyed by fierce flames from the same blaze.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga’s mansion nearby in Malibu was seen surrounded by a blanket of thick smoke as the wildfire overtook the beachside city before moving toward Oxnard.

Will Smith posted a video to his Instagram story expressing worry that his own home would be hit by the flames as the path of destruction continues.

In Agoura Hills, the Woolsey Fire destroyed Paramount Ranch, the set of HBO’s Westworld and many other western films and shows.

HBO said that no cast or crew were at the Paramount Ranch location when it burned down.

Among the films that have been shot at the ranch are Caught in the Draft with Bob Hope, The Lake House with Sandra Bullock, and TV shows including The Mentalist, Weeds and Quickdraw.

Dr Quinn Medicine Woman was also shot there from 1992 to 1997.

Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties

Nearly 20,000 acres have been scorched by the twin wildfires tearing across Ventura and Los Angeles counties

The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres

The Woolsey fire burns a home near Malibu Lake in Malibu, California on Friday. The fire has reached 14,000 acres

A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials

A firefighter wipes soot from his eyes while fighting flames engulfing a home near Malibu Lake in Southern California on Friday. As of midday the Woolsey and Hill Fires ravaging the area are zero percent contained, according to state officials

A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night's shooting

A firefighter battles flames at a home in Thousand Oaks, where the community still reeling from Wednesday night’s shooting

The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific

The Hill and Woolsey Fires have approached Thousand Oaks from both sides as they scorch a path toward the Pacific

A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches+56

A helicopter dispenses water over flames burning a portion of Griffith Park in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon. Staff at the Los Angeles Zoo, which is located in the park, are preparing animals to be evacuated as the Woolsey Fire approaches

A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes 

A large plum of smoke from a brush fire rises over a congested Interstate 5 in Los Angeles as thousands evacuate their homes

An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate+56

An aerial view of the Hill Fire in Southern California shows smoke rising out of Camarillo after the blaze jumped over Highway 101, threatening thousands of homes and forcing a number of communities to evacuate

Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA

Large plumes of smoke from a fast moving wildfire are seen in the background as volunteers care for evacuated horses at The Pierce College Equine Center where evacuees are bringing their large and small animals in the Woodland Hills section of LA

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it 

The Ventura County Fire Department tweeted a picture of a truck in front of a blazing hillside as smoke billows behind it

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday's shooting

Smoke from the Hill Fire could be seen over the area where a vigil was held last night for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting

The fire has been spread by powerful winds that pushed it through canyons and to the edge of Camarillo Springs and Cal State Channel Islands, both of which were evacuated.

More than 165 firefighters were rushed to the area and eight aerial air tankers have been ordered to tackle the fierce blaze from above.

A ‘red flag’ warning came into effect at 10am today in the San Diego County mountains and valleys and will last until 10pm Friday.

In nearby Newbury Park where ex-marine Ian Michael Long lived, residents stood and watched two scenes unfolding – one of reporters standing outside of home of the suspected shooter, the other a brush fire raging behind their homes.

Connor Chaney, 21, told the LA Times: ‘You feel hopeless. There’s nothing you can do over there or there.’

This morning the flames were said to be only three miles from the Borderline Bar and Grill.

The Hill Fire is burning in the same area as the Springs Fire from 2013, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

‘The wind is definitely pushing this thing toward the ocean just like the Springs Fire a few years ago,’ Ventura County Fire Capt Brian McGrath told the Los Angeles Times. ‘It’s very fast.’

Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated

Flames from the Woolsey Fire scorch a hill on Friday in Calabasas, where more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean

Strong, dry winds are expected to continue into Friday night, pushing the wildfires westward toward the Pacific Ocean

Kim Kardashian and three children given just one hour to evacuate wildfire-threatened Calabasas mansion

Kim Kardashian and her three children were given just one hour to evacuate her home as wildfires swept through California.

The reality TV star flew back from San Quentin jail, where a death row inmate she is campaigning to have released is being held, when she was told to quickly flee the devastating blazes.

As the 38-year-old came into land in her private plane she took aerial videos and pictures of the flames spreading around the around Los Angeles and Ventura County.

The star has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires.

She took to Instagram to share aerial photos of the Woosley fire in California and praise the efforts of firefighters.

However once she landed, Kim revealed her and kids North, Chicago and Saint only ‘had 1 hour to pack up & evacuate our home’.

The socialite was returning from a business trip when she spotted the fires from the air.

 

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

 

Kim Kardashian (left) hides her makeup free face behind her friend Larsa Pippen while leaving Epione Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills as her home in Calabasas is threatened by the raging Woolsey Fire on Friday

Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas

Kim had just one hour to evacuate the $20million home she shares with Kanye West in the Hidden Hills neighborhood of Calabasas

And once on the ground, Kim made sure to document the action, sharing pictures and videos of first responders to the tragedy.

She captioned as video with: ‘Fire fighters are arriving. Thank you for all that you do for us!!!’ wrote the mother-of-three.’

Kim and rapper Kanye West’s 15,000 sqft estate in Hidden Hills is thought to be worth around $20million.

The fire first erupted on Thursday afternoon east of neighboring city Chatsworth and has since grown to 4,000 acres in Ventura County.

It rapidly burned down several houses as mandatory evacuations were ordered in areas like the Kardashian neighborhood of Hidden Hills.

Kim and her sister Kourtney, 39, both live in exclusive Calabasas, near their mother Kris Jenner and brother Rob.

Kourtney left her Calabasas home and posted an Instagram picture of suitcases in her car as she went to stay with sister Kendall Jenner’s house in Beverly Hills and joked she was raiding her pantry for food.

Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to 'pray for Calabasas' after the reality TV star was 'evacuated' from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night

Kim Kardashian has asked her fans to ‘pray for Calabasas’ after the reality TV star was ‘evacuated’ from her home due to wildfires. She shared the photo above with her three kids [L-R] North, Chicago and Saint last night

She wrote alongside the picture: ‘I pray that everyone is kept safe and protected from these fires. No Calabasas tonight.’

Kris Jenner’s upmarket Hidden Hills neighborhood was evacuated, but she was also not at her $9.9m home as the drama unfolded as she was watching daughter, Kendall, take to the catwalk and star in the Victoria Secrets fashion show in New York.

Kylie was not in California at the time as she was supporting boyfriend, Travis Scott, at his Astroworld tour in Baltimore, Maryland.

Khloe Kardashian revealed that she and daughter True were staying with Rob Kardashian and his daughter, Dream, who live near Kris, but were not forced out of their home.

She tweeted last night: ‘I am with Rob, Dream and True and I am up keeping watch! Saying prayers and thanking all of the brave firefighters who risk their lives for us.’

Reporting by Chris Dyer for MailOnline 

On Friday officials confirmed that five people had been found dead in their vehicles after having been burnt alive by ferocious flames in Northern California’s Camp Fire.

In the northern part of the state, the town of Paradise has been ‘pretty much destroyed’ by a raging wildfire that forced some 27,000 terrified residents to flee their homes.

All of the city’s 27,000 residents were ordered to evacuate on Thursday as the wildfire quickly turned into an inferno. Many residents said traffic jams developed as they left as panicked people fled, some abandoning their cars to try to escape on foot.

Evacuees were seen clutching babies and pets as they abandoned vehicles and struck out on foot ahead of the blaze that engulfed the town, destroying hundreds of buildings and causing highway pylons to collapse into roads.

One witness Gina Oviedo described a devastating scene as she fled the town as the flames took over, saying: ‘Things started exploding. People started getting out of their vehicles and running.’

 

Towering “firenado” seen swirling amid the that has scorched at least 20,000 acres in Northern California.

The Butte County Sheriff has received reports of multiple fatalities, but officials are trying to confirm those reports, authorities say. https://abcn.ws/2DtY1QD 

Embedded video

An ABC News crews caught the 'firenado' in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California 

An ABC News crews caught the ‘firenado’ in action as wildfires swept through Butte County in nouthern California

A red flag warning was in effect from Friday morning, meaning firefighters face a battle against the high dry winds and low humidity that help spread the wildfire.

On Thursday night fire officials said the blaze was ‘growing uncontrollably’ as it swept across Butte County at a rate of about 80 football fields per minute, and more than 2,200 firefighters fought against the flames.

Cal Fire Capt Scott McLean late last night: ‘Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation. The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.’

McLean says a wind-whipped wildfire destroyed thousands of structures but he said they won’t have an exact count, nor have an idea over the extent of any injuries until they can get into the dangerous area.

Little remains of the the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past it taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes

 

Officials say nearly every structure in Paradise has been razed by out-of-control flames and multiple people have likely died. Pictured are the remains of the Blackbear Diner as fire roared past, taking with it a hospital, a gas station and dozens of homes

Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento

Some 2,000 firefighters are working to bring the Camp Fire under control as it ravages Butte County north of Sacramento

 The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people

 The Camp Fire has spread across 15 square miles in Butte County north of Sacramento. Pictured: A home in Paradise is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire tears through the town of 27,000 people

Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday+56

Embers blow in the wind as the flames from the Camp Fire tear through a KFC restaurant in Paradise on Thursday

A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles 

A home burns to the ground in Paradise as the Camp Fire quadrupled in size over Thursday night, scorching 110 square miles

A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night

A Jack in the Box fast food restaurant is engulfed in flames as the Camp Fire overtook the town of Paradise Thursday night

The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California+56

The restaurant was one of the many commercial building destroyed in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region, fueled by high winds in Butte County, California

California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region

California Highway Patrol officers attempt to transfer a potbelly pig they rescued to Butte County Animal control officers in Paradise, as the Camp Fire continues to burn out of control through the region

Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. 'I'll be darned if I'm going to let those horses burn in the fire' said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, 'It has to be true love.' The horses all survived

Paradise resident Cathy Fallonstands near the charred remains of her home. ‘I’ll be darned if I’m going to let those horses burn in the fire’ said Fallon, who stayed on her property to protect her 14 horses, ‘It has to be true love.’ The horses all survived

An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through

An American flag stands above the smoldering ground outside a home in Paradise after the Camp Fire passed through

‘Ominous’ piece of burnt paper descends from sky amid fast-moving California blaze

As a vicious wildfire rages through Northern California, the warning to flee came to one woman in the form of a small ‘ominous’ piece of charred paper that descended from the sky.

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, said she stepped outside her home on Thursday around 9am to assess the menacing cloud of black smoke taking over the sky about 10 miles away from her home.

As she stood outside the single piece of burnt parchment floated down from above.

‘I thought, “If this is a piece of the Bible, this is going to be crazy,”‘ she said to the San Francisco Gate. ‘It looked very ominous. It was kind of a like a leaf…how they fall down.’

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze

Nicole Kowalczyke, of Chico, shared this photo of a charred piece of paper that descended from the blackened sky on Thursday, near the Camp Fire blaze

But upon a closer look she said the singed piece of paper appeared to be from a fire manual and included information about fire hose pressure.

She shared it to social media where writing: ‘I was standing outside looking at the smoke in the sky with the #campfire near my office and this fell out of the sky.’

The  picture racked up more than 500 likes with some Twitter users saying the paper looked like a ‘holy message’.

‘Wow. At least it’s not a piece of a page from the #Bible. Then, I would be getting in my vehicle and heading for the ocean…’ twitter user David Nyro wrote.

‘Dang…don’t scare me….there for a minute, I thought it was the Constitution,’ one Twitter user wrote.

‘That’s a poignant photo. Hope you aren’t too close,’ another added.

‘This is disconcerting to see. Burned debris falling from sky from #CampFire is a page from a fire truck manual,’ yet another Twitter fan said.

Some online users said they had eerily similar incidents happen to them.

‘I’ll never forget that happening years ago during the huge Oakland fires. Just heartbreaking,’ Twitter user Kim O’Connor said.

‘I had a VERY similar thing happen to me during the Carr Fire a few months ago in Redding. The page was from a Self Help/Inspirational book, but nearly the whole page fell at my feet during the fire tornado.’

While officials say there have likely been a number of fatalities from the rapidly expanding Camp Fire, no official number has been reported.

Meanwhile, families in search of missing loved ones have received aid from an unlikely source: actor James Woods.

The award-winning actor has filled his Twitter page -@RealJamesWoods – with retweets of nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about their missing loved ones.

Woods tweeted: ‘To all my wonderful followers: I want to thank you for your extraordinary efforts tonight connecting people with lost loved ones in the terrible #CampFire. Your thousands of retweets of invaluable information literally saved lives. God bless you all.’

At the top of the profile Woods pinned a link to a running list of missing persons, which stood at a total of 40 as of 10am PST Friday morning.

The award-winning actor has retweeted nearly 20 posts from relatives pleading for information about loved ones

Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account - @RealJamesWoods - into a missing persons database

Actor James Woods has been helping families in search of loved ones caught up in the Camp Fire by turning his Twitter account – @RealJamesWoods – into a missing persons database

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6371393/Southern-California-fires-force-evacuation-1-000-homes.html

 

 

 

2019 California wildfires

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2019 California wildfires
Statistics[1]
Total fires 6,402
Total area 250,349 acres (101,313 ha)
Cost $163 million in suppression[2]
Fatalities 3
Non-fatal injuries 22
Season
← 2018
2020 →

The 2019 wildfire season is the current-running fire season in California. So far, over 6,402 fires have been recorded according to Cal Fire and the US Forest Service, totaling an estimated of 250,349 acres (101,313 ha) of burned land as of November 3.[1] Although the 2019 fire season had been relatively quiet in California through mid-September as compared to past years,[3] October through December is still expected to have the greatest fire potential as the Diablo winds and the Santa Ana winds pick up.[4]

In late October, the Kincade Fire became the largest fire of the year, burning 77,758 acres (31,468 ha) in Sonoma County by November 6.

Massive preemptive public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events have been controversial. PG&E and other power utilities have preemptively shut off power to over one million residents due to perceived risk of wildfires starting in high winds due to high-voltage power lines. While large areas have been without power for days, people in fire danger areas had trouble getting updates and critical life support equipment would not work without backup power.[5]

 

Early projections

Smoke from the Kincade Fire on October 24 as viewed from GOES-17

Fire behavioral experts and climatologists have warned that heavy rains from months early in the year have produced an excess of vegetation that would become an abundance of dry fuel later in the year as the fire season gets underway.[6] According to the US Forest Service and Interior Department officials, early projections indicated that the fire season would possibly be worse than the year prior, stating that “if we’re lucky, this year will simply be a challenging one.” This assessment was written on the basis of noting that the state has recently been seeing consistently destructive fires more often than ever before.[7]

Wildfires

The following is a list of fires that burned more than 1,000 acres (400 ha), or produced significant structural damage or casualties.

Name County Acres Start date Containment date Notes hideRef
Refuge Kern 2,500 May 7 May 9 1 structure destroyed [8]
Boulder San Luis Obispo 1,127 June 5 June 11 [9]
Sand Yolo 2,512 June 8 June 17 7 structures destroyed, 2 injuries [10][11]
West Butte Sutter 1,300 June 8 June 10 [12][13]
McMillan San Luis Obispo 1,764 June 12 June 14 [12][14]
Lonoak Monterey 2,546 June 25 June 26 Downed PG&E power line was the cause[15] [16]
Rock Stanislaus 2,422 June 25 June 27 [17]
Cow InyoTulare 1,975 July 25 October 11 Caused by lightning strike [18]
Springs Mono 4,840 July 26 October 7 Caused by lightning strike [19]
Tucker Modoc 14,150 July 28 August 15 Unintentionally caused by vehicular traffic along California State Route 139[20][21] [22][23]
W-1 McDonald Lassen 1,020 August 8 August 11 Caused by lightning strike [24][25]
Gaines Mariposa 1,300 August 16 August 20 [26]
Mountain Shasta 600 August 22 August 26 14 buildings destroyed, 7 damaged and 3 people injured [27]
Long Valley Lassen 2,438 August 24 August 27 [28]
R-1 Ranch Lassen 3,380 August 28 September 5 Caused by lightning strike [29]
Tenaja Riverside 1,926 September 4 September 14 [30]
Walker Plumas 54,608 September 4 September 25 9 structures destroyed [31]
Taboose Inyo 10,296 September 4 Active (85% contained) Caused by lightning strike [32]
Lime Siskiyou 1,872 September 4 September 19 Caused by lightning strike [33][34]
Middle Trinity 1,339 September 5 October 5 Caused by lightning strike [35]
Red Bank Tehama 8,838 September 5 September 13 Caused by lightning strike; 2 buildings destroyed [36]
South Tehama 5,332 September 5 October 11 Caused by lightning strike [37][38]
Lone Modoc 5,737 September 5 September 13 Caused by lightning strike [39][40]
Springs Mono 4,840 September 6 September 23 Caused by lightning strike [41][42]
Briceburg Mariposa 5,563 October 6 October 24 1 structure destroyed [43][44]
Sandalwood Riverside 1,011 October 10 October 14 Trash in a garbage truck caught fire and spread to nearby brush
74 structures destroyed, 16 structures damaged, 2 civilian fatalities
[45][46]
Caples El Dorado 3,435 October 10 November 1 Caused by a controlled burn that went out of control [47]
Saddleridge Los Angeles 8,799 October 10 October 31 Unconfirmed cause, but reported that high-voltage SCE transmission line malfunctioned near point of origin
19 structures destroyed, 88 structures damaged, 1 civilian fatality, 8 firefighter injuries
[48][49]
Kincade Sonoma 77,758 October 23 November 6 Unconfirmed cause, but reported that high-voltage PG&E transmission line malfunctioned near point of origin
374 structures destroyed, 40 structures damaged, 0 reported deaths, 2 firefighters injured
[50][51][52][53]
Tick Los Angeles 4,615 October 24 October 31 22 structures destroyed, 27 structures damaged [54]
Getty Los Angeles 745 October 28 November 6 Caused by a tree branch that fell on a power line during high winds
12 homes destroyed, 5 homes damaged
[55][56][57]
Easy Ventura 1,806 October 30 November 2 Threatened the area near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley[58] [59][60][61]
Hillside San Bernardino 200 October 31 Active (95% contained) 6 homes destroyed, 18 homes damaged [62]
Maria Ventura 9,999 October 31 November 5 Brush fire broke out at around 6:15 p.m. October 31 on South Mountain in Santa Paula[63] [64]
Ranch Tehama 2,534 November 3 Active (55% contained) 3 injuries, acreage reduced from 3,768 due to better mapping [65][66] [67]

Other fires

Three people were injured during the Moose Fire (August 12–17).[68] Two people were injured and four structures were destroyed during the Country Fire (September 3–6).[69] Four people were injured during the Lopez Fire (September 21–27),[70] and one during the Electra Fire (September 25).[71] A small brush fire ignited in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles County on October 21. The fire burned 42 acres (17 hectares) within a few hours,[72] forcing the evacuation of 200 homes. Three firefighters suffered injuries while one civilian was treated for respiratory illness.[72][73]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_California_wildfires

 

List: The 20 largest wildfires in California history

Since modern record keeping began in the 1930s, California has had dozens of major fires

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

The Kincade Fire, threatening towns in Sonoma County and causing major evacuations, expanded to 66,231 acres as of Monday morning. That’s more than twice the size of the city of San Francisco. So far, however, the fire isn’t yet among the 20 largest in modern California history. The list, ranked by acres burned:

1) Mendocino Complex – July 2018 – Colusa County, Lake County,
Mendocino County & Glenn County – 459,123 acres, 280 structures destroyed, 1 death

A Cal Fire firefighter monitors a back fire while battling the Medocino Complex fire on August 7, 2018 near Lodoga, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

2) Thomas – December 2017 – Ventura & Santa Barbara counties – 281,893 acres, 1,063 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

Flames come close to a house as the Thomas Fire advances toward Santa Barbara County seaside communities on December 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) 

3) Cedar – October 2003 – San Diego County – 273,246 acres, 2,820 structures destroyed, 15 deaths

A San Jose firefighter battles a portion of the Cedar Fire using a water spout from atop a firetruck October 27, 2003 near Lakeside in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) 

4) Rush – August 2012 – Lassen County – 271,911 acres in California, 43,666 acres in Nevada, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

5) Rim –  August 2013 – Tuolumne County – 257,314 acres, 112 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Inmate firefighters walk along Highway 120 after a burnout operation as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) 

6) Zaca – July 2007 – Santa Barbara County – 240,207 acres burned, 1 structure destroyed, 0 deaths

The Zaca Fire, burning in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, Calif., illuminates the smoke covering the mountain top while smaller fire descend toward rural homes, ranches and campgrounds along Paradise Road, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, as seen in this time-lapse exposure. (AP Photo/ Michael A. Mariant) 

7) Carr – July 2018 – Shasta and Trinity counties – 229,651 acres, 1,614 structures destroyed, 8 deaths

The Carr Fire burn activity surges along Highway 299 near the Trinithy-Shasta county line, near Lewiston, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group Archives) 

8) Matilija – September 1932 – Ventura County – 220,000 acres burned, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

9)  Witch – October 2007 – San Diego County – 197,990 acres, 1,650 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

A helicopter prepares to drop water on the Witch Fire on October 23, 2007 in the Del Dios area of Escondido, California. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) 

10) Klamath Complex –  June 2008 – Siskiyou County – 192,038 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

11) Marble Cone – July 1977 – Monterey County – 177,866 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Firefighters at the Marble Cone Fire in Big Sur on August 15, 1977. (Monterey County Herald Archives) 

12) Laguna – September 1970 – San Diego – 175,425 acres, 382 structures destroyed, 5 deaths

13) Basin Complex – June 2008 – Monterey County, 162,818 acres, 58 structures, 0 deaths

The Basin Complex Fire on the east side of Highway One near the Esselen Institute in Monterey County on Monday, July 7, 2008. (Vern Fisher/Monterey County Herald) 

14) Day – September 2006 – Ventura County – 162,702 acres, 11 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

A crew member from the California Department of Forestry lights a backfire to try and stop the Day Fire from reaching Interstate 5 Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, near Castaic, Calif. (AP Photo/The Ventura Star, Juan Carlo) 

15) Station – August 2009 – Los Angeles County – 160,557 acres, 209 structures destroyed, 2 deaths

Los Angeles County fire fighters mop up hot spots as they fight the Station Fire August 30, 2009 in Acton, California.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) 

16) Camp – November 2018 – Butte County – 153,336 acres, 18,804 structures destroyed, 86 deaths

The massive plume from the Camp Fire, burning in the Feather River Canyon and near Paradise, wafts over the Sacramento Valley as seen from Chico on Thursday November 8, 2018. (David Little/Bay Area News Group) 

17) Rough – July 2015 – Fresno County – 151,623 acres, 4 structures destroyed, 0
deaths

18 McNally -July 2002 – Tulare County -150,696 acres, 17 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Flames of the McNally Fire are reflected in the North Fork of the Kern River July 23, 2002 in the Sequoia National Forest north of Kernville, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images) 

19) Stanislaus Complex – August 1987 – Tuolumne County – 145,980 acres, 28 structures destroyed, 1 death

20) Big Bar Complex – August 1999 – Trinity County – 140,948 acres, 0 structures destroyed, 0 deaths

Looking to the southwest from the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation about 50 miles east of Eureka, Calif., a thick blanket of fog-like smoke drifts far to the southwest as the Big Bar Complex wildfires continue to burn Oct. 7, 1999. (AP Photo/Times-Standard, Shaun Walker) 

Source: CalFire, US Forest Service

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/28/list-the-20-largest-wildfires-in-california-history/?shared=email&msg=fail

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1353, November 6, 2019, Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos — Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Opinions/Here Say on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos — Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes — Videos

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Story 1: House Intelligence Committee Will Begin Public Hearings on Trump  Impeachment Inquiry or Democrat 2016 Cover-up, Coup Attempt, and 2020 Campaign Event — Chaired By Unbelievable Pathological Liar Adam Schiff — Call The Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella as First Republican Witness — Videos —

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Mark Levin Goes Off On “Political Hack” Whistleblower, His Lawyers, Dems & Impeachment Inquiry

Schiff slammed for ‘parody’ of Trump call transcript

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Washington Post calls out Schiff over false whistleblower comments

 

Whistleblower Protection Act

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Whistleblower Protection Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to amend title 5, United States Code, to strengthen the protections available to Federal employees against prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.
Nicknames Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
Enacted by the 101st United States Congress
Effective April 10, 1989
Citations
Public law 101-12
Statutes at Large 103 Stat. 16
Codification
Titles amended 5 U.S.C.: Government Organization and Employees
U.S.C. sections amended 5 U.S.C. ch. 12 § 1201 et seq.
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 20 by Carl Levin (DMIon January 25, 1989
  • Passed the Senate on March 16, 1989 (97-0, Roll call vote 24, via Senate.gov)
  • Passed the House on March 21, 1989 (Agreed voice vote)
  • Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush onApril 10, 1989

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the possible existence of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant.[1]

 

Authorized Federal Agencies

  • The Office of Special Counsel investigates federal whistleblower complaints. In October 2008, then-special counsel Scott Bloch resigned amid an FBI investigation into whether he obstructed justice by illegally deleting computer files following complaints that he had retaliated against employees who disagreed with his policies. Then-Senator Barack Obama made a campaign vow to appoint a special counsel committed to whistleblower rights. It was not until April 2011 that President Obama’s appointee Carolyn Lerner was confirmed by the Senate. Today, the primary mission of OSC is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board, a quasi-judicial agency that adjudicates whistleblower complaints, uses appointed administrative law judges who often back the government. Since 2000, the board has ruled for whistleblowers just three times in 56 cases decided on their merits, according to a Government Accountability Project analysis. Obama appointed a new chairperson and vice chairperson with backgrounds as federal worker advocates, but Tom Devine of GAP says, “It’s likely to take years for them to turn things around.” Currently, this office works to protect the Merit System Principles and promote an effective Federal workforce free of Prohibited Personnel Practices.
  • The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was established under Article III of the Constitution on October 1, 1982. It is the only court empowered to hear appeals of whistleblower cases decided by the merit board, has been criticized by Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) and others in Congress for misinterpreting whistleblower laws and setting a precedent that is hostile to claimants. Between 1994 and 2010, the court had ruled for whistleblowers in only three of 203 cases decided on their merits, GAP’s analysis found.[2]

Legal Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 04-473, ruled in 2006 that government employees do not have protection from retaliation by their employers under the First Amendment of the Constitution when they speak pursuant to their official job duties.[3] The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) uses agency lawyers in the place of administrative law judges to decide federal employees’ whistleblower appeals. These lawyers, dubbed “attorney examiners,” deny 98% of whistleblower appeals; the Board and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals give great deference to their initial decisions, resulting in affirmance rates of 97% and 98%, respectively.[4] The most common characteristics for a court claim that are encompassed within the protection of the Act include: that the plaintiff is an employee or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for action, that the defendant is an employer or person covered under the specific statutory or common law relied upon for the action, that the plaintiff engaged in protected whistleblower activity, that the defendant knew or had knowledge that the plaintiff engaged in such activity, that there was retaliatory action taken against the one doing the whistleblowing and that the unfair treatment would not have occurred if the plaintiff hadn’t brought to attention the activities.[5] Robert MacLean blew the whistle on the fact that the TSA had cut its funding for more air marshals. In 2009 MacLean, represented by the Government Accountability Project, challenged his dismissal at the Merit Systems Protection Board, on the grounds that “his disclosure of the text message was protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, because he ‘reasonably believe[d]’ that the leaked information disclosed ‘a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety’.” MacLean won the case in a ruling of 7–2 in the Supreme Court in January 2015.[6]

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and Presidential Policy Directive 19

President Barack Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers with Access to Classified Information”. According to the directive signed by Obama on October 10, 2012, it is written that “this Presidential Policy Directive ensures that employees (1) serving in the Intelligence Community or (2) who are eligible for access to classified information can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse while protecting classified national security information. It prohibits retaliation against employees for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse.[7]

However, according to a report that the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs submitted to accompany S. 743, “the federal whistleblowers have seen their protections diminish in recent years, largely as a result of a series of decisions by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive jurisdiction over many cases brought under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). Specifically, the Federal Circuit has accorded a narrow definition to the type of disclosure that qualifies for whistleblower protection. Additionally, the lack of remedies under current law for most whistleblowers in the intelligence community and for whistleblowers who face retaliation in the form of withdrawal of the employee’s security clearance leaves unprotected those who are in a position to disclose wrongdoing that directly affects our national security.”[8] S. 743 would address these problems by restoring the original congressional intent of the WPA to adequately protect whistleblowers, by strengthening the WPA, and by creating new whistleblower protections for intelligence employees and new protections for employees whose security clearance is withdrawn in retaliation for having made legitimate whistleblower disclosures.[9] S. 743 ultimately became Pub.L. 112-199 (S.Rep. 112-155).

Related legislation

On July 14, 2014, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the All Circuit Review Extension Act (H.R. 4197; 113th Congress), a bill that gives authority to federal employees who want to appeal their judgment to any federal court, and which allows whistleblowers to appeal to any U.S. Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction. The bill would extend from three years after the effective date of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (i.e., December 27, 2012), the period allowed for: (1) filing a petition for judicial review of Merit Systems Protection Board decisions in whistleblower cases, and (2) any review of such a decision by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).[10][11]

See also

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower_Protection_Act

Story 2: Front Channel Deep State Bureaucrats Policy Differences, Opinions/Heresay (Acting Ambassador Bill Taylor and Others) on Trump Phone Call vs. Trump’s Back Channel Rudy Giuliani — Big Lie Media and Democrat Cover-up of Biden and Clinton Corruption in Ukraine — Videos

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What Is And What Is Not A Diplomatic Backchannel | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

‘I would quit’: Takeaways from diplomat Taylor’s testimony

 

William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Wednesday.

Taylor last month methodically recounted his conversations with other diplomats and expressed his concerns about the influence of the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine policy. Referring to his own detailed notes – he has a notebook in his pocket at all times, he said – he told lawmakers about his efforts to restore the military aid.

House Democrats released a 324-page transcript of Taylor’s interview as part of a rolling release of documents in the new, public phase of the impeachment inquiry. Taylor’s transcript was the fifth released this week, and more are expected. Taylor is also scheduled to testify publicly next week.

Takeaways from the Taylor transcript:

AN ‘IRREGULAR’ DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

Taylor told investigators he began to realize, after taking the top job in Ukraine in May, that were two diplomatic channels on Ukraine: one regular and an “irregular” one that was “guided by Mr. Giuliani.” The military aid, and a meeting between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was blocked by the second channel, Taylor said.

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats' impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country's president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo, Ambassador William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington. Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, told lawmakers last month that President Donald Trump was withholding military aid for Ukraine unless the country’s president agreed publicly to investigate Democrats, according to a transcript of his closed-door testimony released by impeachment investigators on Nov. 6. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The irregular channel included Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Giuliani. Taylor says the two channels eventually began to diverge in their goals as Trump pushed for investigations of political rival Joe Biden’s family and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s calls for those probes, and the delay in military assistance to Ukraine, are the center of the Democrats’ investigation.

___

“A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING”

Taylor told the investigators he understood that the military aid – not just the White House meeting – was conditioned on Ukraine opening the investigations. Sondland had told him that “everything” was dependent on Zelenskiy making such an announcement.

“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President committed to pursue the investigation,” Taylor told the lawmakers, even though Sondland insisted, after talking to Trump, that there was no “quid pro quo.”

Taylor said he understood the reason for investigating Burisma, a gas company linked to Joe Biden’s son, was “to cast Vice President Biden in a bad light” and that it could help Trump’s reelection.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked Taylor in the questioning: “So if they don’t do this, they are not going to get that was your understanding?”

“Yes, sir,” Taylor said.

“Are you aware that quid pro quo literally means this for that?” Schiff asked.

“I am,” Taylor said.

___

WARY OF THE JOB

Taylor recounts his own struggles with the decision to take the job in Ukraine after Trump had ordered the ouster of the previous ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. He said he was worried about “snake pits” in Washington and Kyiv and raised his concerns with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as he was offered the job.

Later in the summer, after a few months in Ukraine, he told Volker and Sondland that he would quit if Zelenskiy gave an interview promising the investigations Trump had sought and then the military aid was never released. In a text, he described that scenario as his “nightmare.”

When asked to explain that text, Taylor told lawmakers: “The Russians want to know how much support the Ukrainians are going to get in general, but also what kind of support from the Americans. So the Russians are loving, would love, the humiliation of Zelenskiy at the hand of the Americans, and would give the Russians a freer hand, and I would quit.”

___

WORRIES ABOUT MILITARY AID

Taylor said he decided, at the encouragement of then-national security adviser John Bolton, to write a cable to Pompeo outlining his concerns about the holdup in military aid. He did not get a reply, but he was told that Pompeo had brought the cable with him to at least one White House meeting at which the secretary argued in favor of releasing the aid to Ukraine.

“I know that Secretary Pompeo was working on this issue, that he wanted it resolved,” Taylor said. “I was getting more and more concerned that it wasn’t getting resolved. And so I wanted to add my concern and my arguments, from the perspective of Kyiv and the Ukrainians, about how important this assistance was.”

Taylor told the lawmakers that he wrote the cable in the first person, which he thought would get Pompeo’s attention. He also hinted in the cable that he might resign.

In the deposition, Taylor described the importance of the military aid that Ukraine was receiving from the U.S. to fight the insurgency backed by Russia in the east. “What we can say is that that radar and weapons and sniper rifles, communication, that saves lives. It makes the Ukrainians more effective. It might even shorten the war.”

___

FOCUS ON UKRAINE … OR GREENLAND?

Taylor testified that as he was pushing for the aid to Ukraine to be released, he was hearing from colleagues in Washington that it was difficult to arrange a meeting with Trump on the issue.

He said that may have had to do with travel schedules, but also the president’s keen interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, which the National Security Council was looking into.

“I think this was also about the time of the Greenland question, about purchasing Greenland, which took up a lot of energy in the NSC,” Taylor told the lawmakers.

Schiff responded: “Okay. That’s disturbing for a whole different reason.”

Trump sparked a diplomatic dispute with U.S. ally Denmark in August after he proposed that the U.S. buy Greenland and the Danish government rejected the idea.

___

GOP PUSHBACK

In a preview of the public hearing, Republicans criticized Taylor by arguing that he received none of the information firsthand. Taylor says in the interview that he hadn’t spoken directly to Trump or Giuliani.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., grilled Taylor on whether he had primary knowledge that Trump was demanding that Ukraine investigate the Bidens. Republicans also suggested in the interview that Ukrainians wanted to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump in 2016.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-7658395/I-quit-Takeaways-diplomat-Taylors-testimony.html

 

William Joseph Burns

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William Joseph Burns
AmbassadorBurns.jpg
17th United States Deputy Secretary of State
In office
July 28, 2011 – November 3, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James Steinberg
Succeeded by Tony Blinken
United States Secretary of State
Acting
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 21, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Condoleezza Rice
Succeeded by Hillary Clinton
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
May 13, 2008 – July 28, 2011
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by R. Nicholas Burns
Succeeded by Tom Shannon (Acting)
5th United States Ambassador to Russia
In office
November 8, 2005 – May 13, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Alexander Vershbow
Succeeded by John Beyrle
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
In office
June 4, 2001 – March 2, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Edward S. Walker Jr.
Succeeded by David Welch
United States Ambassador to Jordan
In office
August 9, 1998 – June 4, 2001
President Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded by Wesley Egan
Succeeded by Edward Gnehm
Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State
In office
January 16, 1996 – February 27, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Kenneth C. Brill
Succeeded by Kristie Kenney
Personal details
Born April 4, 1956 (age 63)
Fort BraggNorth Carolina, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lisa Carty
Children 2
Education La Salle University (BA)
St John’s College, Oxford(MPhilDPhil)

William Joseph Burns (born April 11, 1956) is a former career Foreign Service Officer,[1] and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace since February 2015.[2] Previously, he was Ambassador of the United States to the Russian Federation from 2005 until 2008, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, and United States Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014.

 

Early life and education

Burns was born at Fort BraggNorth Carolina. He earned a B.A. in History from La Salle University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and M.Phil and D.Phil degrees in International Relations from Oxford University, United Kingdom, where he studied as a Marshall Scholar. His dissertation was expanded and published in 1985 as Economic Aid and American Policy Toward Egypt, 1955–1981.

Career

U.S. Foreign Service

Ambassador Burns entered the Foreign Service in 1982, and served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 until 2014. Previously, he served as Under Secretary for Political Affairs from 2008 until 2011. He was U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 until 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 until 2005, and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 until 2001. Before these, he was also Executive Secretary of the State Department and Special Assistant to Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright; Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff; and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.

Burns, together with George Tenet was instrumental in forcing through the short-lived Israeli-Palestinian cease fire agreement of June 2001.[3][4] He played a leading role in the elimination of Libya’s illicit weapons program, and the secret bilateral channel with the Iranians that led to a historic interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1.[5] He also played a major role in efforts to re-set relations with Russia early in the Obama Administration and in the strengthening of the strategic partnership with India. Secretary of State John Kerry lauded his “quiet, head-down, get-it-done diplomacy”, stating that it had earned him the trust of both Republican and Democratic administrations; The Atlantic called him a “secret diplomatic weapon” deployed against some of the United States’ thorniest foreign policy challenges.[6]

A cable Burns signed as ambassador and released by WikiLeaks[7] describing “a high society wedding in the Caucasus — complete with massive quantities of alcohol, lumps of gold and revolver-wielding drunkards” attended by President Ramzan Kadyrov,[8] received widespread international coverage, with historian Timothy Garton Ash writing that “Burns’s analyses of Russian politics are astute,” with the “highly entertaining account” of the wedding “almost worthy of Evelyn Waugh.”[9]

Retirement from the Foreign Service

On April 11, the State Department announced Burns would step down as Deputy Secretary of State in October 2014, after he twice delayed his retirement first at the request of Secretary John Kerry and then at the request of President Obama.

In a press statement announcing Ambassador Burns’ decision to retire, Secretary Kerry said that “Bill is a statesman cut from the same cloth, caliber, and contribution as George F. Kennan and Chip Bohlen, and he has more than earned his place on a very short list of American diplomatic legends”.[10] President Obama, in his own statement, said Ambassador Burns “has been a skilled advisor, consummate diplomat, and inspiration to generations of public servants…the country is stronger for Bill’s service”.[11]

On October 29, 2014, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced that Ambassador Burns would begin his tenure as its ninth President on February 4, 2015.

Burns was widely assumed to be on presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s shortlist of Secretary of State nominees, had she won.[12]

His memoir of his diplomatic career The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal was published in 2019.

Awards

Burns with CMU President Subra Suresh (middle) and ITU-T Director Malcolm Johnson (left), 2016

Burns is the recipient of three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and a number of Department of State awards, including three Secretary’s Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award, the 2006 Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Ambassadorial Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development, the 2005 Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award, and the James Clement Dunn Award. He also received the Department of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service and the U.S. Intelligence Community Medallion. In 1994, he was named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the “50 Most Promising American Leaders Under Age 40”, and its list of “100 Young Global Leaders”. Burns holds four honorary doctoral degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[13] He was also awarded Foreign Policy‘s “Diplomat of the Year” award in 2013;[14] and the Anti-Defamation League‘s “Distinguished Statesman Award” (2014).[15] He is also an Honorary Fellow, St. John’s College, Oxford (from 2012).[16]

Personal life

Burns and his wife Lisa Carty have two daughters.

References

  1. ^ “NNDB Article”. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  2. ^ “Ambassador William J. Burns Named Next Carnegie President”. National Endowment for Democracy (NEFD). 28 October 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  3. ^ Ephron, Dan (13 June 2001). “US rokers a cease-fire in Mid-East 11th hour Deal Spells Out Steps; Disputes Remain”. Boston Globe. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ “The Tenet Plan : Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire and Security Plan, Proposed by CIA Director George Tenet; June 13, 2001”Avalon Project. Yale Law School. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  5. ^ Gordon, Michael (April 11, 2014). “Diplomat Who Led Secret Talks with Iran Plans to Retire”New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  6. ^ Kralev, Nicholas (April 4, 2013). “The White House’s Secret Diplomatic Weapon”The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  7. ^ “US embassy cables: A wedding feast, the Caucasus way”, 1 Dec 2010, The Guardian
  8. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/wedding-in-the-caucasus-the-us-ambassador-learns-that-cognac-is-like-wine-a-732370.html
  9. ^ Garton Ash, Timothy (November 28, 2010). “US Embassy Cables: A Banquet of Secrets”. The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  10. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns’ Decision to Retire in October 2014”http://www.state.gov. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  11. ^ “Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns”. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  12. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/hillary-clinton-john-kerry-secretary-state-226740
  13. ^ http://carnegieendowment.org/experts/1014
  14. ^ “Bill Burns Honored as Diplomat of the Year”foreignpolicy.com. Foreign Policy. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  15. ^ “Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns Presented with ADL Award”http://www.adl.org. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  16. ^ “RAI in America”http://www.rai.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 30 June 2014.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Burns

 

Story 3: Kentucky goes Republican Except For Governor By Electing Democrat Andy Beshea By A Margin of 5,189 votes Out of 1.4 million Votes  — Videos

 

Kentucky’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andy Beshear, shown with running mate Jacqueline Coleman, held a lead of more than 5,000 votes. PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Democrat Andy Beshear declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race and pressed ahead with transition plans, despite Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s refusal to concede and his request for a formal review of vote totals.

With 100% of counties reporting results, Mr. Beshear led Mr. Bevin by 5,189 votes out of more than 1.4 million cast, according to unofficial results from the state Board of Elections. The race was too close to call, according to the Associated Press.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, with his wife, Glenna, in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday. PHOTO: TIMOTHY D. EASLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“I feel confident in declaring Andy Beshear Gov.-elect Beshear,” said Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, in an interview. But she said she would follow established procedures in response to any petitions from Mr. Bevin.

On Wednesday, Mr. Bevin’s campaign formally requested a recanvass, or review of the vote totals in each county, citing an “election too close to call and multiple reports of voting irregularities.” At a news conference Wednesday, Mr. Bevin said the campaign was seeking to corroborate alleged incidents such as voting machines that didn’t work properly, and he criticized Ms. Grimes for calling the race.

“We want the people of Kentucky to have absolute confidence that their votes were counted,” Mr. Bevin said.

Ms. Grimes said her office hadn’t received substantiated reports of irregularities. She scheduled the recanvass for Nov. 14.

Eric Hyers, Mr. Beshear’s campaign manager, said he hoped Mr. Bevin would honor the results of the recanvass.

Mr. Beshear, Kentucky’s attorney general and son of the state’s most recent Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, said at a news conference Wednesday that he hadn’t spoken with Mr. Bevin and was moving ahead with transition plans.

“We’re confident in the outcome of the election,” he said. “Today is about moving forward. The election is over.”

Mr. Beshear detailed some early priorities: rescind a Medicaid work requirement pursued by Mr. Bevin, appoint a new state Board of Education and restore voting rights for about 140,000 felons who were disenfranchised under state law.

Apart from the recanvass, Mr. Bevin can pursue another option under the state’s election laws: contest the results. He would need to do so within 30 days of their certification by the Board of Elections, and the process would be guided by a committee formed by the state House and Senate.

Contests of elections are rare in the state, and the last time one occurred in a governor’s race was in 1899, said Joshua Douglas, a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Recanvasses are more common, but “the likelihood this would change the numbers materially is extremely low,” he said.

Andy Beshear stands with his wife, Britainy, as he delivers a speech at the Kentucky Democratic Party election night watch party on Tuesday.PHOTO: BRYAN WOOLSTON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mr. Bevin, a 52-year-old former businessman who never held elected office before winning in 2015, ran as a staunch ally of President Trump, often invoking national issues like abortion, immigration and the impeachment inquiry into the president.

President Trump, who won Kentucky by 30 points in 2016 and heavily backed Mr. Bevin, pushed for his victory with a rally in the state ahead of the election and a barrage of tweets voicing his support. But, as he acknowledged in a tweet late Tuesday, his efforts didn’t appear to be enough to secure a victory for the Republican.

Mr. Beshear carried a number of counties in eastern Kentucky’s coal country that are bastions of support for Mr. Trump and some that Mr. Bevin won in 2015, including Kenton and Campbell in northern Kentucky, a conservative part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

The Democrat also won by wide margins in the counties that include Louisville and Lexington, far exceeding the totals for the 2015 Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

“In urban and suburban counties, Beshear’s victory was unprecedented,” said Matt Erwin, a Democratic political consultant.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Republicans largely beat their Democratic challengers in other state elections Tuesday—including capturing the attorney general’s seat for the first time in decades. Republican Daniel Cameron will become the first African-American to hold that office in the state. Former elections board member Michael Adams, a Republican, was elected as Kentucky’s next secretary of state.

Mr. Beshear, 41, focused on what he said are the issues Kentuckians care most about: education, jobs, the state’s troubled pension system and health care.

Mr. Beshear had campaigned heavily on rolling back the Medicaid work requirement, and Democrats viewed their gains Tuesday as evidence that they hold an advantage on health care heading into the 2020 elections. A state estimate projected 95,000 people would lose Medicaid coverage under the work rules, which were stalled by a lawsuit. Rescinding the work mandate could end the lawsuit.

While Mr. Bevin held an advantage as a GOP incumbent in a state that Republicans have come to dominate, his tenure at times has been rocky.

Last year, he called teachers who opposed plans to overhaul the pension system “selfish” and “ignorant,” and tangled with state lawmakers over the issue. He was rated the most unpopular governor in the U.S. earlier this year in a survey by polling firm Morning Consult. Mr. Bevin dismissed the poll, saying it wasn’t credible.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Beshear specifically thanked the state’s teachers for their support.

“To our educators: Your courage to stand up and fight against all the bullying and name-calling helped galvanize our state,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/election-results-2019-tight-kentucky-governor-race-sparks-fight-11573051470

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1352, November 5. 2019, Story 1: Ukraine Was Interfering in United States 2016 Election For DNC and Clinton and President Trump Wants This Interference Investigated by New Ukraine Government — Videos — Story 2: Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma Lobbied State Department To Stop Being Investigated By Invoking Hunter Biden’s Name — Videos — Story 3: United States Withdrawing From Paris Climate Accord Agreement — Videos– Story 4: Trump’s New Stump Speech — Why Trump is President? — One of Life’s Mysteries, Sir — Videos —

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Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness

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Story 1: Ukraine Government Officials Were Interfering in United States 2016 Election For Clinton and Democrat National Committee (DNC) And President Trump Wants This Interference Investigated by Current Ukraine General Prosecutor — Many Countries Including United States Provide Other Countries Aid (Quid) Provided They Meet Certain Conditions (Que) Such As Publicly Acknowledging There Will Be An Investigation of 2016 Election Interference and Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma — Videos

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

What Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker said about U.S. aid to Ukraine

Hannity: I have never talked to anyone from Ukraine

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government: New book

Testimony suggests “quid pro quo” relationship between Trump and Ukraine

Dems set to release new transcripts from two key impeachment figures

PBS News Hour full episode November 5, 2019

First excerpts of Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker transcripts released

Story 2: Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma Lobbied State Department To Stop Being Investigated By Invoking Hunter Biden’s Name — Videos —

NEW MEMO ON UKRAINE: Hunter Biden & associates used State Department to kill Burisma investigation

Glenn Beck Lays Out the Case Against The Media

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

Big Lie Media Propaganda Exposed

Glenn Beck Presents: Democracy Does Die In Darkness

Glenn heads back to the chalkboard to explain how the media is intentionally misleading and, in some cases, blatantly lying to absolve the Democrats from what they’ve been doing in Ukraine. Glenn breaks down their case against President Trump and Rudy Giuliani, and he shows why that isn’t the real story. Glenn devastatingly dismantles the medias disinformation campaign brick by brick.

A look at Hunter Biden’s time in Ukraine

Everything You Need to Know About Hunter Biden

Biden’s son booted from Navy after a positive cocaine…

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Gas Firm Urged Obama Admin To End Corruption Allegations, Report Says

DailyWire.com
JANUARY 30: President of the United States Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden (son of Joe Biden) talk during a college basketball game between Georgetown Hoyas and the Duke Blue Devils on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

In February 2016, a representative from Burisma sought to meet with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss the allegations of corruption that the U.S. government was making toward the company, according to memos obtained by award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon.

“Just three weeks before Burisma’s overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election,” Solomon wrote. “Hunter Biden’s name, in fact, was specifically invoked by the Burisma representative as a reason the State Department should help, according to a series of email exchanges among U.S. officials trying to arrange the meeting.”

A February 24, 2016, email between State Department officials stated:

Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption. She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member). Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt. According to Tramontano there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered. Would appreciate any background you may be able to provide on this issue and suggested TPs for U/S Novelli’s meeting.

“Tramontano was a lawyer working for Blue Star Strategies, a Washington firm that was hired by Burisma to help end a long-running corruption investigation against the gas firm in Ukraine,” Solomon added. “Tramontano and another Blue Star official, Sally Painter, both alumni of Bill Clinton’s administration, worked with New York-based criminal defense attorney John Buretta to settle the Ukraine cases in late 2016 and 2017.”

Solomon notes that a meeting was scheduled for March 1, 2016, between Tramontano and Novelli, although it was not known whether or not the meeting actually occurred.

However, a meeting was reportedly secured between Hunter Biden’s business partner and fellow Burisma board member, Devon Archer, and Secretary of State John Kerry.

John Solomon@jsolomonReports

Breaking: Memos detailing Hunter Biden’s contacts with Obama State Department released. VP son’s Ukrainian gas firm pressed US officials to end corruption allegations … just a month before Joe Biden forced firing of prosecutor overseeing case.https://johnsolomonreports.com/hunter-bidens-ukraine-gas-firm-pressed-obama-administration-to-end-corruption-allegations-memos-show/ 

This entire ordeal surrounding the actions of former Vice President Biden and his son have cast a cloud over the Biden campaign that has undoubtedly at least partially contributed to his fall in the polls against his Democratic rivals.

Last year, Biden bragged to an audience about how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that if he did not fire the prosecutor that was investigating Burisma that he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid from the country.

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukrainian Prosecutor Fired

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the audience. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

President Donald Trump and his campaign have hammered Biden over his remarks, which were recorded on video, in advertisements on social media and in targeted markets.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

This is the real corruption that the Fake News Media refuses to even acknowledge!

 

Ukraine Gas Firm Tied to Biden Lobbied State Department to End Corruption Allegations, Emails Show

7 CommentsNovember 5, 2019 Updated: November 5, 2019

The Ukrainian gas firm that hired Hunter Biden lobbied the Department of State in early 2016, just one month before then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden forced the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the same company, according to documents obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

On Feb. 24, 2016, a State Department official sent an email discussing an overture from a representative for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas firm, to Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli. The Burisma representative argued that the allegations against the company were baseless, according to an email chain released as part of a lawsuit filed by investigative journalist John Solomon. The Burisma representative specifically cited Hunter Biden’s name as the reason for why the allegations should stop.

Earlier that month in 2016, Ukrainian authorities seized the property of Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma, according to Interfax Ukraine. The seizure included several of Zlochevsky’s homes and a Rolls-Royce Phantom car.

“Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption,” the email between State Department officials, whose names are blacked out, stated. “She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).

“Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt. According to Tramontano, there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered.”

At the time the email was sent, Novelli was the third-highest-ranking official at the State Department. Karen Tramontano was the CEO of Bluestar Strategies, a consulting firm retained by Burisma to address the corruption charges against it in Ukraine.

The email chain shows that Tramontano was scheduled to meet Novelli on March 1, 2016. While it’s unclear if that meeting took place, on the following day, March 2, 2016, Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, met with Secretary of State John Kerry, another email obtained by Solomon shows.

“Devon Archer coming to see S today at 3pm—need someone to meet/greet him at C Street,” an email from Kerry’s office manager states.

Archer’s meeting with Kerry is notable because Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, recently told The Washington Post that he advised Archer and Biden “that working with Burisma was unacceptable.”

“The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden,” Heinz spokesman Chris Bastardi told the newspaper.

Hunter Biden and Archer joined the board of Burisma in 2014. Bank records released as part of an unrelated lawsuit show that Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a firm operated by Archer, received more than $160,000 per month from Burisma starting in May 2016. Rosemont Seneca Bohai regularly sent funds to Hunter Biden, the records show.

The seizure of Zlochevsky’s assets took place on Feb. 2, 2014. At the time, top Ukrainian corruption prosecutor Viktor Shokin led the probe.

Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a businessman and former member of the Ukrainian Parliament, told Reuters that Zlochevsky came up with the idea to appoint Hunter Biden to the board “to protect [the company].”

Weeks after Burisma lobbied the State Department and Archer met with Kerry, Joe Biden forced the firing of Shokin by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees; Biden bragged about the move during a videotaped speech on a panel last year.

In a sworn statement, Shokin said that he was fired under pressure from Biden because he, Shokin, refused to drop the Burisma investigation.

The allegations about Joe and Hunter Biden are in the public spotlight because of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. An anonymous whistleblower’s complaint that triggered the inquiry alleged that Trump may have pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

According to a transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump referenced Shokin’s firing when asking the Ukrainian leader to investigate the younger Biden.

The whistleblower alleged that Trump’s request to Zelensky may have amounted to a campaign finance violation. The Department of Justice reviewed the complaint and determined that no further action was necessary.

In an interview with ABC News, Hunter Biden admitted that joining Burisma was a political error, but defended his work. Biden stepped down from the board of Burisma in April, according to a statement from his lawyer.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/hunter-bidens-ukraine-gas-firm-lobbied-state-department-to-end-corruption-allegations-emails-show_3137480.html

US Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 election

A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Wednesday. “While the Attorney General has yet to contact Ukraine in connection with this investigation, certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information to Mr. Durham, which he is evaluating.”

Durham has been Barr’s right hand as the two look into the complicated and classified issues surrounding how an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia — dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — got its start, though the U.S. attorney from Connecticut has been virtually silent since his selection.

The DOJ’s statement comes as the White House released a transcript of the controversial July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump suggests that Ukraine should investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a company owned by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky was being investigated by top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, though it is in dispute how serious that investigation was. Trump also suggested that Ukraine should look into issues surrounding the alleged involvement of some Ukrainians in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Biden boasted in 2018 that, as vice president, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire Shokin, which Trump’s allies have said was because of the investigation, but Democrats have said was part of a U.S. and European effort to oust Shokin as ineffective and a hindrance to Ukraine’s anti-corruption investigations. Ukraine removed Shokin in 2016.

DOJ also made it clear that Trump never told Barr to contact Ukraine about any investigation of Biden, nor did Barr ever discuss these issues with Ukraine or with Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Trump gave Barr “ full and complete authority to declassify information” related to the origins of the Trump-Russia probe in May after Barr had infuriated Democrats when he said “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign and refused to backtrack. Republicans have alleged that foreign intelligence agencies, like those in Western Europe, may have played a role in eavesdropping on or otherwise monitoring Trump campaign associates in 2016.

Durham’s investigation is separate from the one that was just finished by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The DOJ watchdog investigated allegations of abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI, and Horowitz has spoken with Durham, who is handling any criminal referrals from Horowitz’s investigation.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/u-s-attorney-john-durham-looking-into-ukrainian-involvement-in-2016-election

Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch

Hunter Biden at a campaign event in 2008. He sits on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies.
Credit…Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

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.

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.”

Speaking during a visit to Ukraine, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged the country to weed corruption out of its system.CreditCredit…Mikhail 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.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html

 

 

Burisma Holdings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

 
Private
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 2002
Founder Mykola Zlochevsky
Headquarters

,

Key people
Mykola Zlochevsky (President)
Taras Burdeinyi (CEO)[1]
Alan Apter (Chairman)[2]
Products Natural gas
Services Drilling
Owner Brociti Investments Limited
Subsidiaries Burisma Services
Aldea
Esko-Pivnich
Persha Ukrainska Naftogazova Kompaniya
GasOilInvest
KUB-Gas
Naftogaz Garant
Naftogazopromyslova geologiya
Pari
Nadragas
Nadragasvydobuvannya
SystemOilEngineering
Tehnokomservis
Website burisma-group.com/eng/

Burisma Holdings Limited (UkrainianБурісма ХолдингсGreekΜπουρίσμα Χόλντιγκς) is a holding company for a group of energy exploration and production companies. It is based in KyivUkraine, though registered in LimassolCyprus. Burisma Holdings has operated in the Ukrainian natural gas market since 2002. It is one of the largest private natural gas producers in Ukraine.[3][4] It is owned by Mykola Zlochevsky through his company Brociti Investments Limited (UkrainianБросіті Інвестментс Лімітед).

Burisma’s subsidiaries include Esko-Pivnich, Pari, Persha Ukrainska Naftogazova Kompaniya, Naftogaz Garant, KUB-Gas and Astroinvest-Ukraine.[5][6][7]

 

History

Burisma was founded in 2002.[8][9] Consolidation of the Burisma Group took place mainly in 2006 and 2007.[1] It became a major shareholder of Sunrise Energy Resources, a Delaware Corporation, which in 2004 acquired Ukrainian companies Esko-Pivnich (UkrainianЕско-Північ) and Pari (UkrainianПарі), which owned natural gas exploration licences.[10] In 2009, shares in these companies were transferred to Millington Solutions Limited.[10] However, shortly thereafter Millington ceased to exist, and Burisma claimed ownership of those two companies. In 2012, Persha Ukrainska Naftogazova Kompaniya (First Ukrainian Oil and Gas Company, UkrainianПерша Українська нафтогазова компанія), Naftogaz Garant (Oil and Gas Guarantee, UkrainianНафтогаз гарант), and KrymTopEnergoServis (CrimeaTopEnergoService, UkrainianКримтопенергосервіс) became a part of the Burisma Group.[11][12][13]

In 2014, Burisma signed a cooperation agreement with KazMunayGas, the national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan.[14] In 2016, Burisma bought two hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fleets.[15] In 2017, it bought a 3,000-horsepower Service King Manufacturing SK 3000 drilling rig for $40 million (USD); it was the most powerful drilling rig in Eastern Europe at the time.[16]

In February 2016, Burisma acquired a 70% stake in KUB-Gas (КУБ-Газ).[5] In 2017, it bought a majority stake in Diloretio Holdings Limited, a company which owned Ukrainian gas companies SystemOilEngineering (UkrainianСистемойлинжиниринг), Naftogazopromyslova geologiya, (Oil and Gas Industrial Geology, UkrainianНафтогазпромислова геологія), and Tehnokomservis (TechnoComService, UkrainianТехнокомсервіс).[17] Also in 2017, Burisma bought Nadragasvydobuvannya (Subsoil Gas Extraction, UkrainianНадрагазвидобування)[18] and GasOilInvest (Гасоілінвест).[19] In April 2019, Burisma acquired Astroinvest Ukraine (Астроінвест-Україна), a natural gas trader.[6]

In 2015, Burisma was one of the founders of the International Forum on Energy Security for the Future and partnered the Electric Marathon.[20] In 2017, it signed a partnership agreement with the Atlantic Council to promote anti-corruption measures.[21][22]

Operations

Burisma’s primary operations are in Ukraine, supplemented by activities in Germany, Mexico, Italy, and Kazakhstan.[15] It holds 35 gas production licences in Ukraine in the Dnieper-DonetsCarpathian, and AzovKuban Basins.[5][8] Exploration and production activities are carried out at eight sites in five regions.[23] Burisma also provides natural gas well services, including hydraulic fracturing.[15] Burisma plans to build a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant in Kharkiv with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year.[7]

In 2016, Burisma was the second largest privately owned natural gas producer in Ukraine after DTEK,[4] accounting for 26% of all natural gas produced by privately owned companies and more than 5% of total gas production in Ukraine.[4][24] According to the company, it produced 1.3 billion cubic metres (4.6×1010 cubic feet) of natural gas in Ukraine in 2018.[8]

In Kazakhstan, the company has provided drilling services to KazMunayGas and its subsidiaries, including at the Urikhtau gas field.[25] In Italy, Burisma develops three geothermal power projects in partnership with Gesto Investimento e Gestão.[25]

Burisma’s subsidiary Esko-Pivnich operates in the Kharkiv Oblast, and Pari operates in Western Ukraine (LvivIvano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi oblasts).[26] KUB-Gas operates in Luhansk Oblast,[5] GasOilInvest in Poltava Oblast,[19] and Nadragasvydobuvannya in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[27] Burisma also owned KrymTopEnergoServis, a company which leased three gas deposits in Crimea.[13][26][28] However, after annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, KrymTopEnergoServis ceased operation as Burisma subsidiary.[28]

Corporate matters

Ownership

Burisma Holdings is owned by Brociti Investments Limited, a Cyprus-based company owned by Ukrainian former politician and businessman Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky was minister of natural resources under Viktor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine.[29] Brociti Investments acquired Burisma Holdings in 2011.[30] Before that acquisition, Mykola Zlochevsky and Mykola Lisin each owned a 50% interest in Burisma Holdings.[10][30][31] Lisin, a Ukrainian politician, died in a traffic accident in 2011.[31]

Management

Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, was appointed to the board in January 2014.[32][33]

Taras Burdeinyi is the chief executive officer of Burisma Holdings,[1] and Alan Apter is chairman of the board of directors.[2] As of 14 October 2019, the members of the board of directors, in order of seniority, are Alan Apter, Aleksander KwaśniewskiJoseph Cofer Black , Karina Zlochevska, Christina Sofocleous, Riginos Charalampous, and Marina Pericleous.[2][34] Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former president of Poland, joined the board in January 2014.[32][33] In February 2016, Joseph Cofer Black, former director of the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency (1999–2002) in the George W. Bush administration and former Ambassador-at-Large for counter-terrorism (2002–2004), was appointed to the board.[35] Karina Zlochevska, daughter of Mykola Zlochevskiy, was also appointed in February 2016.[2]

In April 2014, Devon Archer, a former senior adviser to the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign, and Hunter Biden, an attorney and the son of then-US vice president Joe Biden, joined the board.[32][36] Archer left the company in 2018[37] and Biden left in April 2019, when his term as a director expired.[8]

Financial results

Burisma Holdings does not disclose its financial results.[8][15] It has been calculated, based on a minimal natural gas price, that the company’s revenue in 2018 may have totaled at least US$400 million.[8]

Investigations

Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) have conducted in total 15 investigations on Burisma’s owner Zlochevsky.[38] In 2016, former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko accused Burisma subsidiaries of conspiracy and tax evasion about one billion hryvnias (US$70 million) in 2014–2015, but later during investigation subsidiaries of Burisma were not mentioned.[39] Tax audit of Esko-Pivnich by the State Fiscal Service found some violations in 2016. As a result, 50 million hryvnias (US$1.9 million) of additional taxes was paid to eliminate criminal charges.[39] In total, Burisma paid additional 180 million hryvnias (US$7.44 million) of taxes to avoid further criminal proceedings.[8][23] A criminal investigation was conducted if natural resources extraction licenses were issued to Burisma subsidiaries legally during the period Zlochevsky held government office. Although violations of the procedure were established by NABU, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office missed procedural deadlines for a lawsuit and the case for nullifying licesenses was dismissed by the court.[39] In October 2019, Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka announced that all 15 investigation cases will be reviewed.[38]

See also

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burisma_Holdings

Mykola Zlochevsky

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Mykola Zlochevsky
Микола Злочевський
ZlochevskiyN.jpg
12th Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources
In office
July 2, 2010 – April 20, 2012
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov
Preceded by Viktor Boiko
Succeeded by Eduard Stavytsky
deputy secretary for Economic and Social Security on the National Security and Defense Council
In office
April 20, 2012 – February 26, 2014
President Viktor Yanukovych
Secretary Andriy Klyuev
Personal details
Born
Микола Владиславович Злочевський

June 14, 1966 (age 53)
KievUkrainian SSR

Residence Monaco
Education International University of Business and Law in Kherson [uk] – Accounting and Auditing
Odessa Law Academy – Law Faculty
Known for Burisma Holdings
Zlochevski photo.jpg

Mykola Vladislavovich Zlochevsky (UkrainianМикола Владиславович Злочевський; born June 14, 1966 in Kiev) is a Ukrainian oligarch[1] businessman and politician who was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources from July 2010 till April 2012 and was the deputy secretary for Economic and Social Security on the National Security and Defense Council from April 2012 until February 2014 when Euromaidan occurred.[2][3][4]

Biography

Business

In 2002, he co-founded the largest independent oil and natural gas company Burisma Holdings with Ukrainian businessman Mykola Lisin [uk].[5][6] Through his sole ownership of Cyprus-registered Burisma Holdings, he owns the Ukrainian gas and oil producers Aldea, Pari, Esko-Pivnich, and the First Ukrainian Petroleum Company and the investment group Brociti Investments.[7][8][9][10][11][12][excessive citations]

Governmental posts

Zlochevsky served as Ecology and Natural Resources Minister during the most of the first cabinet of Mykola Azarov,[3] and during both the later part of Azarov’s first government and all of Azarov’s second government, he served as deputy secretary on National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.[2]

Investigations

At the end of 2014, Zlochevsky fled Ukraine amid allegations of unlawful self enrichment and legalization of funds (Article 368-2, Criminal Code of Ukraine) during his tenure in public office.[13] At the end of 2016 the Central Criminal Court in London released $23 million that were blocked on accounts of Zlochevsky.[13][14] The Serious Fraud Office stated that the funds were released due to inadequate evidence.[13]

Zlochevsky returned to Ukraine in February 2018 after investigations into his Burisma Holdings had been completed in December 2017 with no charges filed against him.[10][15]

On April 18, 2018, recordings of conversations between President of UkrainePetro Poroshenko and Zlochevsky were released which implicated him in graft.[4][16][17]

On June 15, 2018, after the Solomyansky District Court in Kyiv had annulled the ruling of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) to close a criminal proceeding against him in 2017, Zlochevsky was accused of having illegally issued, while he was Ecology Minister in 2010–2012, oil and gas licenses to the companies that belonged to him.[18]

As of 2019, Zlochevsky is reported to live in Monaco.[14]

References

  1. ^ James Risen, James. “Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch”. New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  2. Jump up to:ab “Search for gas and oil is key task of Ecology Ministry, says PM”Interfax-Ukraine. April 23, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  3. Jump up to:ab “Azarov orders new minister to develop environmental protection strategy”Interfax-Ukraine. May 3, 2012. Retrieved September 18,2018.
  4. Jump up to:ab “VIP-клієнти Миколи Злочевського (розслідування)”Radio Svoboda (in Ukrainian). February 2, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Kupfer, Mark (April 13, 2018). “11 people control much of Ukraine’s oil and gas sector”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  6. ^ Bullough, Oliver (April 12, 2017). “The money machine: how a high-profile corruption investigation fell apart”The Guardian. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Timtchenko, Ilya (January 8, 2015). “Prosecutors put Zlochevsky, multimillionaire ex-ecology minister, on wanted list”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Gorchinskaya, Katya; Andrushko, Serhiy (July 31, 2015). “Former Ukrainian Official On The Lam In Alligator Shoes?”VOA. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  9. ^ “11 politically exposed persons own a quarter of all permits for extraction of oil and gas in Ukraine –Report: Who Owns the Oil and Gas Fields of Ukraine?”Anticorruption Action Centre. April 13, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  10. Jump up to:ab “Burisma: all cases against group and group’s president Zlochevsky in Ukraine closed”Interfax-Ukraine. December 1, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. ^ “Zlochevsky’s Brociti Investments formalizing control over two oil and gas companies”Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  12. ^ “Burisma Holdings”PEP.ua.org. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  13. Jump up to:abc Liliya Hryshko. Lifehack from Zlochevsky, how to return to Ukraine (Лайфхак від Злочевського – як повернутись в Україну). Deutsche Welle. 7 February 2017
  14. Jump up to:ab Roman Olearchyk; Max Seddon (29 September 2019). “Ukraine gas company feels heat of US impeachment probe”Financial Times. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  15. ^ “Media: Ex-Minister of Ecology from the Yanukovych administration returned to Ukraine”. UA Wire. February 3, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Sukhov, Oleg (April 20, 2018). “Onyshchenko releases alleged recording implicating Poroshenko, Zlochevsky in graft”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  17. ^ “Ukraine’s presidential administration calls Onyshchenko recordings about Zlochevsky fake”Interfax-Ukraine. April 19, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  18. ^ Romanyshyn, Yuliana (June 16, 2018). “Court reinstates case against Mykola Zlochevsky”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykola_Zlochevsky

Gordon Sondland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Gordon Sondland
Gordon Sondland official photo.jpg
United States Ambassador to the European Union
Assumed office
July 9, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Anthony L. Gardner
Personal details
Born
Gordon David Sondland

1957 (age 61–62)
SeattleWashington, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine Durant
Education University of Washington (BA)

Gordon D. Sondland (born 1957)[1] is the United States Ambassador to the European Union.[2] He is also the founder and chairman of Provenance Hotels and co-founder of the merchant bank Aspen Capital. He was a major donor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and testified to Congress in the Trump–Ukraine scandal.

Career

Provenance Hotels

Sondland’s company, Provenance Hotels, owns and manages hotels throughout the United States, including the Hotel Max and Hotel Theodore in Seattle, Washington; Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington; Hotel deLuxe, Hotel Lucia, Sentinel, Dossier, and Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon; The Hotel Preston in Nashville, Tennessee; and Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in New Orleans, Louisiana.[3]

In 1998, Sondland purchased and redeveloped four hotels in Seattle, Portland, and Denver including Seattle’s Alexis Hotel in partnership with Bill Kimpton. Sondland also is a principal in Seattle’s Paramount Hotel.[4][5]Through Provenance Hotels, Sondland is developing hotel projects throughout the US, including in SeattleHermosa Beach, CA and Los Angeles, CA. Provenance Hotels specializes in adaptations of old buildings such as with the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA, which used to be a conference Sheraton, but now includes glass art by 46 artists including Seattle’s Dale Chihuly.[6] Provenance is also known for designing or remodeling each hotel around themes that contain elements that relate to a location’s history, art, culture, and local businesses.[7]

In 2013, Sondland and Provenance completed a renovation of Portland’s historic Governor Hotel, renaming it Sentinel.[8] In December 2015, Sondland and Provenance announced the establishment of the company’s first real estate investment fund, Provenance Hotel Partners Fund I. The $525 million fund was created specifically for hotel real estate investment and, at the time of its announcement, was the fourth largest fund ever launched in the state of Oregon.[9]

In 2017, Provenance Hotels expanded its practice of revitalizing and rebranding hotels with locally-inspired art and design as a service to other hoteliers.[10]

United States ambassador to the European Union

Sondland at the United States–EU Energy Council meeting in Brussels on July 12, 2018

Sondland donated $1 million to the inaugural committee of Donald Trump.[11] On March 12, 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump selected Sondland to be the next United States ambassador to the European Union.[12] On May 10, 2018, the White House announced that Sondland’s nomination had been sent to the U.S. Senate.[13] He was confirmed by the Senate on June 28, 2018.[2] On July 9, 2018, Sondland presented his credentials at the European Commission and to President of the European Council Donald Tusk.[14]

Sondland’s nomination received bipartisan support during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 21, 2018.[15] Both Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) testified in support of Sondland.[16] Sen. Wyden suggested that Sondland’s “family history is both fascinating and instructive as to why he has the experience and understanding to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U.,” noting how his Jewish parents fled Nazi Germany before coming to the United States.[15][17]

As ambassador, Sondland has made strengthening US-EU trade relations a top priority.[18] He has supported using a strong US-EU economic partnership to counter what Sondland has called “economic aggression and unfair trade practices” from China.[19][20] In pursuit of this end, Sondland has promoted the idea of giving European governments access to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to allow them to better screen investors.[18]

Sondland has also pledged to work with the EU to address global security threats.[21] He has been the Trump Administration’s lead in talks with EU member countries on the U.S.’s decertification and withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal.[22][23] Sondland has repeatedly criticized EU member countries’ creation of a “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) to bypass reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran, calling the SPV a “paper tiger.”[22][24][25]

Sondland has also been a vocal opponent of the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would transport gas across the Baltic Sea to the EU.[26] He has argued that the pipeline would leave the EU dependent upon Russia for its energy needs and increase Russia’s leverage on key U.S. allies in NATO.[27] Sondland argued that “Putin uses energy as a political weapon. The EU should not rely on a bare-chested version of the Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort as a supplier, even if his gas is a bit cheaper.”[28]

Sondland has also worked on data protection rules regarding U.S. compliance with the EU-US privacy shield.[29]

Trump–Ukraine scandal

Gordon Sondland as part of the U.S. delegation at the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky.

On September 26, 2019, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the unclassified text of the whistleblower complaint regarding the interactions between US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.[30] In this document, Ambassador Sondland, along with the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Ambassador Kurt Volker, were described as having “provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy”.[31] After further investigation, The Washington Post concluded that Sondland had “seized control of the Ukraine portfolio to help Trump.”[32]

In the complaint released by the US Select committee on Intelligence, Sondland’s involvement in President Donald Trump’s alleged criminal activity was outlined in a text conversation with the interim US chargé d’affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor:

[9/9/2019, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

[9/9/2019, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.[33]

It took Sondland approximately 5 hours to reply to Taylor’s text message, and it was later revealed that Sondland had called Trump prior to writing a response, in which the president repeated the phrase “no quid pro quo” several times.[34]

On October 8, the Trump administration attempted to block Sondland from testifying in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.[35] Sondland testified October 17, 2019.[36][37][38][39][40][41]

On November 5, the New York Times reported that Sondland had provided updated testimony stating that he did in fact view delivery of the aid package as contingent upon the Ukrainian government publicly opening the anticorruption investigation desired by the Trump administration. According to the testimony, he relayed this position to Ukrainian government officials.[42]

Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council staff Fiona Hill viewed Sondland as a U.S. national security risk because he was so unprepared for his job, but did not accuse Sondland of acting maliciously or intentionally putting the country at risk, describing him during impeachment testimony as a Trump donor-turned-ambassador.[43]

Political involvement

Sondland was a member of the transition team for Oregon Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski‘s administration and was appointed by Kulongoski to serve on the board of the Governor’s Office of Film & Television.[44] He was appointed the commission’s chair in 2002 and has served in that capacity until 2015.[45] During his tenure on the film board, Sondland was instrumental in bringing the production of such television series as LeverageThe Librarians and Grimm to Oregon[46] and presided over the state securing the production of feature-length films such as Wild starring Reese Witherspoon, Thumbsucker starring Tilda Swinton and The Ring Two starring Naomi Watts. At the 2015 Oregon Film Annual Governor’s Awards, Sondland received the “Achievement in Film Service Award” for his role in growing Oregon’s film industry.[47]

Sondland also served as Oregon liaison to the White House. As an advisor to Kulongoski, Sondland suggested appointing Ted Wheeler as state treasurer, which Kulongoski did in 2010.[48] In 2007 President George W. Bush appointed Sondland as a member of the Commission on White House Fellows.[49] Sondland collaborated with President Bush and Jay Leno on an annual charitable auction of an autographed vehicle, with proceeds benefitting the Fisher House Foundation and the George W. Bush Foundation’s Military Service Initiative.[50] He was a bundler for Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign, and in 2012, Sondland was selected to serve as a member of Mitt Romney‘s presidential transition team.[1]

During the 2016 United States presidential election, Sondland initially supported Donald Trump, but cancelled a fundraiser and repudiated Trump for his attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan.[1] In April 2017, it was revealed that 4 companies registered to Sondland donated $1 million to the Donald Trump inaugural committee.[51][52][53]

Philanthropy

Sondland is a former member of the board of trustees at the Oregon Health & Science University foundation.[44]

Sondland founded the Gordon Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation in 1999, which was established to “help families and boost communities”; it has given money to various non-profits including $1,000,000 to the Portland Art Museum to endow permanent access for children under the age of eighteen.[54] The Foundation helped establish a Distinguished Chair in Spine for pediatric orthopedic spine research at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in 2012.[citation needed] In 2014, the Foundation gave a $1,000,000 endowment to Oregon Health & Science University to establish the Sondland-Durant Distinguished Research Conference, a cancer research summit to begin in 2016.[55] In 2017, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University was created with the support of the Foundation.[citation needed]

Personal life

Sondland was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Frieda (Piepsch) and Gunther Sondland.[56] He is married to Katherine Durant, who is the founder and managing partner of Atlas/RTG, a holding company with a portfolio of shopping centers throughout Oregon.[citation needed] Sondland is Jewish.[15][17] Until 2016, Durant was the Chairperson of the Oregon Investment Council, the body that oversees the over $85 billion Public Employees Retirement System Fund.[57] They have two children.

See also

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Sondland

Memorandum of conversation

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Example: Memorandum of conversation of meeting led by Brent Scowcroft (1976)

Memorandum of conversation (abbrev.: MEMCON) and also memorandum of a conversation and memo to the file refers to a method of contemporaneous documentation of a conversation in the form of a memorandum used by the United States federal government.[1][2]

The Weekly Standard characterized the use of the tactic in the U.S. government as among “the most basic ways of Washington”.[2]

 

Method

Typically an individual will document the events of the conversation as soon as possible after the occurrence.[1] All material statements and discussed items are quoted and described as accurately as possible soon after the discussion and filed for future reference.[1] Memcons function as documentation of historical events, such as conversations between heads of state and law enforcement officials.[3] Specific developments discussed, the time of the meeting, location, and individuals in attendance are all documented in-depth within the memo.[1][2]

United States Department of Justice attorneys and Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents commonly make use of memoranda of conversation.[1] A majority of intermediate-rank managerial staff and bureaucrats within the U.S. federal government consistently make use of the method. The creation of a memorandum of understanding allows federal employees to memorialize and keep a record of their conversations and transactions.[2]

Memoranda to file are used in investigations in the private sector. For example, the fraud unit of a large corporation may use memoranda to file, to report individual interviews and significant telephone conversations. Generally, “the memorandum will show the name of the author, date of preparation, the case name or number, and the specific subject covered. It will also contain the detailed narrative of the event, interview, or other investigative activity described and should be written as close in time as circumstances permit to those events.”[4]

History

Former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and subsequently Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Brent Scowcroft, who served as such in the U.S. presidential administration of Gerald R. Ford, kept copious documentation of his meetings in the form of memorandum of conversation.[3] He would take handwritten notes, and immediately have them transcribed in typewritten format with the assistance of his staff from the United States National Security Council.[3] The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum contains over 1,000 such memorandum of conversation documents relating to the Presidency of Richard Nixon and Presidency of Gerald Ford, mainly related to national security of the United States.[3]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e O’Donnell, Lawrence (May 16, 2017), “MEMCON”, The Last Word with Lawrence O’DonnellMSNBC
  2. Jump up to:a b c d Felten, Eric (May 17, 2017), “A Brief History of the ‘Memo to the FileThe Weekly Standard
  3. Jump up to:a b c d “Summary Description”National Security Adviser. Memoranda of Conversations, 1973-1977Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, retrieved May 17, 2017
  4. ^ Sennewald, Charles A.; Tsukayama, John K. (2015), The Process of Investigation: Concepts and Strategies for Investigators in the Private Sector (4th ed.), Butterworth-Heinemann, pp. 189–90, ISBN 978-0128001660

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorandum_of_conversation

Story 3: United States Withdrawing From Paris Climate Accord Agreement — Videos

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Mike Pompeo formally starts process of leaving the Paris climate change treaty – with U.S. due out the day AFTER the 2020 election

  • Mike Pompeo formally starts process of removing the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty
  • Donald Trump had announced that he would pull out of it  shortly after his election but this is first legal opportunity to start process of getting out
  • State Department wrote formal letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres
  • That started the clock on a process that would be completed one day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, on November 4, 2020

The United States has begun the process of pulling out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, it was announced Monday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he submitted a formal notice to the United Nations. That starts a withdrawal process that does not become official for a year. His statement touted America’s carbon pollution cuts and called the Paris deal an ‘unfair economic burden’ to the U.S. economy.

Nearly 200 nations signed the climate deal in which each country provides its own goals to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases that lead to climate change.

‘In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model – backed by a record of real world results – showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy,’ Pompeo said in a statement.

The U.S. started the process with a hand-delivered letter, becoming the only country to withdraw. The United Nations will soon set out procedural details for what happens next, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Agreement rules prevented any country from pulling out in the first three years after the Nov. 4, 2016, ratification. The U.S. withdrawal doesn’t become complete until the day after the 2020 election.

President Donald Trump has been promising withdrawal for two years, but Monday was the first time he could actually do it.

Out: Donald Trump's administration formally started the process of leaving the Paris Climate accord signed by Obama in 2015

Out: Donald Trump’s administration formally started the process of leaving the Paris Climate accord signed by Obama in 2015

Opposed: Mike Pompeo was on the receiving end of criticism for his decision to pull the U.S. out of Paris, with one environmentalist group saying the next president will have to rejoin it+4

Opposed: Mike Pompeo was on the receiving end of criticism for his decision to pull the U.S. out of Paris, with one environmentalist group saying the next president will have to rejoin it

Opposed: Mike Pompeo was on the receiving end of criticism for his decision to pull the U.S. out of Paris, with one environmentalist group saying the next president will have to rejoin it

Trump’s decision was condemned as a reckless failure of leadership by environmental experts, activists and critics such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

‘Donald Trump is the worst president in history for our climate and our clean air and water,’ said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. ‘Long after Trump is out of office his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement will be seen as a historic error.’

The agreement set goals of preventing another 0.9 degrees (0.5 degrees Celsius) to 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming from current levels. Even the pledges made in 2015 weren’t enough to prevent those levels of warming.

The deal calls for nations to come up with more ambitious pollution cuts every five years, starting in November 2020. Because of the expected withdrawal, the U.S. role in 2020 negotiations will be reduced, experts said.

Climate change, largely caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas, has already warmed the world by 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) since the late 1800s, caused massive melting of ice globally, triggered weather extremes and changed ocean chemistry. And scientists say, depending on how much carbon dioxide is emitted, it will only get worse by the end of the century, with temperatures jumping by several degrees and oceans rising by close to 3 feet (1 meter).

Trump has been promising to pull out of the Paris deal since 2017, often mischaracterizing the terms of the agreement, which are voluntary. In October, he called it a massive wealth transfer from America to other nations and said it was one-sided.

That’s not the case, experts said.

The European Union’s goal was to cut carbon pollution in 2030 by 40% compared with 1990 levels, which is greater than America’s pledge, said Rob Jackson, a Stanford University professor and chairman of the Global Carbon Project. The United Kingdom has already exceeded that goal, he said.

Many critics of the Paris agreement say America is the leader in cutting carbon emissions, but that’s not true.

Since 2005, the United States isn’t in the top 10 in percentage of greenhouse gas emission reductions. The United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, the Czech Republic and other nations have done better, said Jackson, who tracks emissions.

‘The U.S. agreement is not a tax on the American people. There is no massive wealth transfer,’ said Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis, who was a lead State Department climate negotiator in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. ‘In fact, the agreement obligates no country to make any financial payments.’

It will be inconvenient: Former Vice President Al Gore, who made climate change his signature issue, characterized the decision as a mistake but said there was still reason for hope. 'No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis,' he said

It will be inconvenient: Former Vice President Al Gore, who made climate change his signature issue, characterized the decision as a mistake but said there was still reason for hope. ‘No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis,’ he said

Pompeo said U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005 to 2017 ‘even as our economy grew over 19 percent.’

Then, in 2018, carbon dioxide emissions increased 2.7%, according to the Energy Information Administration, mostly due to extreme weather and the economy.

The reason for the long-term emissions drop is because the U.S. is using less coal and has tightened air quality standards, while Trump is pushing for more coal and loosening those standards, said Michael Gerrard, who heads Columbia Law School’s climate change legal center.

For the U.S. – the second biggest carbon polluter – to be in line with Paris goals greenhouse gas emissions have to drop 80%, not 13%, Gerrard said.

‘The Trump Administration’s abandonment of action on climate change gives other countries an excuse not to act either. They ask – if the richest country, the one that has contributed the most to the load of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, isn’t willing to act, why should we?’ Gerrard said. ‘If someone other than Donald Trump is elected, he or she will almost certainly rejoin Paris, and the rest of the world will welcome us back with open arms.’

Former Vice President Al Gore, who made climate change his signature issue, characterized the decision as a mistake but said there was still reason for hope.

‘No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis,’ Gore said. ‘But those who try will be remembered for their complacency, complicity, and mendacity in attempting to sacrifice the planet for their greed.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7649093/US-tells-UN-bidding-adieu-Paris-climate-deal.html

U.S. Formally Begins To Leave The Paris Climate Agreement

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1351, November 4, 2019, Story 1: Two Trump Administration National Security Council Lawyers and Two White House Staff Refuse To Testify and House Releases Chairman Schiff Selected Five Hundred Pages of Testimony From House Intelligence Committee — All U.S. Ambassador Serve At The Pleasure of The President — Can Be Fired At Any Time — Elections Have Consequences — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Answers Press Questions on Whistle-blowers, Lying Adam Schiff and Barr and Durham Investigation — The Name of Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella, Partisan Democrat and Advised Joe Biden on Ukraine — Videos

Posted on November 6, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Coal, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Fraud, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, James Comey, Joe Biden, Killing, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Mike Pompeo, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Spying, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Ukraine, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Two Trump Administration National Security Council Lawyers and Two White House Staff Refuse To Testify and House Releases Chairman Schiff Selected Five Hundred Pages of Testimony of From House Intelligence Committee — All U.S. Ambassador Serve At The Pleasure of The President — Can Be Fired At Any Time — Elections Have Consequences — Videos — 

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House Dems begin releasing transcripts of closed-door testimony

House Democrats release first transcripts of closed-door testimony

 

The House committees leading the impeachment probe released the first set of transcripts of testimony by witnesses who appeared behind closed doors last month. Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both told lawmakers about their experiences with U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

November 4, 2019 – PBS NewsHour full episode

Jim Jordan speaks out on his possible move to House Intel Committee

Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

Over 100 House Republicans back bill to censure Adam Schiff

Jim Jordan makes explosive accusation against Schiff

Giuliani claims he has Ukrainian docs showing ‘collusion’ with top Dems

Giuliani slams ‘swamp media’, says it’s time to fight back against Dems

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government: New book

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

Clip: Biden on the Obama Administration’s Response to Russia

Foreign Affairs Issue Launch With Joe Biden

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report
© Getty Images

Four White House officials will not show up for scheduled closed-door depositions on Monday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President TrumpCNN reports.

An unidentified source told the network that National Security Council lawyers John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis will not testify.

Two other officials, Robert Blair, assistant to the president and senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources energy and science at the Office of Management and Budget, had already declined to testify, outlets reported Saturday.

Blair’s attorney, Whit Ellerman, also told Politico his client would still not show up if subpoenaed, adding that “direction from the White House and advice from [the Department of Justice] cover subpoena.”

Two other Office of Management and Budget officials, Michael Duffey and Russell Vought, will not show up to testimonies later this week, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

Outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry refused to a request to testify Wednesday as part of the inquiry, a spokeswoman for his department, Shaylyn Haynes, told The Hill on Friday.

The White House did not immediately respond for comment in response to the officials not testifying.

The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas on Sunday for Ellis and Blair to appear before the panel, according to an official familiar with the inquiry.

House Democrats have called in witnesses to testify in closed-door depositions before three House committees leading the probe for weeks. The House voted last week largely along party lines in favor of an impeachment resolution, with just two Democrats joining all Republicans in voting against the measure.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat leading the inquiry, has said public testimonies will begin soon but has not given a specific timeline.

The inquiry is centered around Trump’s alleged solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 election, with a focus on the president’s communications with Ukraine. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/468797-white-house-officials-refuse-to-testify-in-impeachment-inquiry

‘Go big or go home’: Impeachment inquiry transcripts reveal how Ukraine ambassador was told to tweet her support for Donald Trump by his hotel millionaire EU ambassador – then was ousted when she didn’t

  • Democrat-led House committees released first two transcripts of interviews
  • Testimony was behind closed doors, offering Trump a chance to complain about fairness and transparency
  • First transcripts cover testimony from former ambassador to Ukraine and a former aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 
  • Former ambassador: Trump wanted me out and no one at State stood up for me 
  • Ambassador to the EU told her ‘Go big or go home’ and told her to praise the president publicly, which she didn’t

The Democrat-led House committees in charge of an impeachment inquiry targeting Donald Trump released two transcripts on Monday, the first records of