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The Pronk Pops Show 1333, October 3, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Calls On China and Ukraine To Investigate The Corruption of Democrat Candidate for President Joe Biden and Son Hunter Biden — Video — Story 2: Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker Said Nothing Supporting The Unbelievable Alan Schiff — Videos Story 3: Trump Administration vs. Bullying Elites of Congress — Washington Impeachment Inquiry Soap Opera — Videos

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See the source imageSee the source imageImpeach in search of a Crime

 

Story 1: President Trump Calls On China and Ukraine To Investigate The Corruption of Democrat Candidate for President Joe Biden and Son Hunter Biden — Video —

Trump says Ukraine and China should investigate the Bidens

PBS NewsHour full episode October 3, 2019

Mike Pompeo pushing back against House Democrats

 

youtube=https://apnews.com/d98be4ffbaa4462b9454cca0a8a7e88a]

 

Pompeo, Democrats trade intimidation charges in Trump probe

By LISA MASCARO, MARY CLARE JALONICK and JONATHAN LEMIRE33 minutes ago

Shown is a letter from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Wayne Partlow)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Setting a defiant tone, the Trump administration resisted Congress’ access to impeachment witnesses Tuesday, even as House Democrats warned such efforts themselves could amount to an impeachable offense.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to delay five current and former officials from providing documents and testimony in the impeachment inquiry that could lead to charges against President Donald Trump. But Democrats were able to set closed-door depositions for Thursday for former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and next week for ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

The escalating exchange of accusations and warnings signaled yet another stiffening in the confrontation between the executive and legislative branches amid the Democrats’ launching of the impeachment inquiry late last week. That followed a national security whistleblower’s disclosure of Trump’s July phone call seeking help from the new Ukrainian president in investigating Democratic political rival Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter.

In a Tuesday evening tweet, Trump cast the impeachment inquiry as a coup “intended to take away the Power of the People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” In fact, a coup is usually defined as a sudden, violent and illegal seizure of government power. The impeachment process is laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

Youtube video thumbnail

Pompeo said the Democrats were trying to “intimidate” and “bully” the career officials into appearing and claimed it would be “not feasible” as demanded. House investigators countered that it would be illegal for the secretary to try to protect Trump by preventing the officials from talking to Congress.

Some Trump supporters cheered Pompeo’s muscular response to the Democrats. But it also complicated the secretary’s own situation, coming the day after it was disclosed that he had listened in during Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy that helped trigger the impeachment inquiry.

“Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” said three House chairmen, Adam Schiff of the intelligence committee, Eliot Engel of Foreign Affairs, and Elijah Cummings of Oversight.

They said that if he was on Trump’s call, “Secretary Pompeo is now a fact witness in the House impeachment inquiry.” And they warned, “He should immediately cease intimidating Department witnesses in order to protect himself and the President.”

On Wednesday, the State Department’s inspector general is expected to brief congressional staff from several House and Senate appropriations, oversight, foreign affairs and intelligence committees on their requests for information and documents on Ukraine, according to an aide familiar with the planning. The inspector general acts independently from Pompeo.

The committees are seeking voluntary testimony from the current and former officials as the House digs into State Department actions and Trump’s other calls with foreign leaders that have been shielded from scrutiny.

In halting any appearances by State officials, and demanding that executive branch lawyers accompany them, Pompeo is underscoring Attorney General William Barr’s expansive view of White House authority and setting a tone for conflicts to come.

“I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals,” Pompeo wrote.

When issuing a separate subpoena last week as part of the inquiry, the chairmen of the three House committees made it clear that stonewalling their investigation would be fought.

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the three chairmen wrote.

Democrats often note that obstruction was one of the impeachment articles against Richard Nixon, who resigned the presidency in 1974 in the face of almost certain impeachment.

Volker played a direct role in arranging meetings between Rudy Giuliani, who is Trump’s personal lawyer, and Zelenskiy, the chairmen said.

The State Department said that Volker has confirmed that he put a Zelenskiy adviser in contact with Giuliani, at the Ukraine adviser’s request.

The former envoy, who has since resigned his position and so is not necessarily bound by Pompeo’s directions, is eager to appear as scheduled on Thursday, said one person familiar with the situation, but unauthorized to discuss it and granted anonymity. The career professional believes he acted appropriately and wants to tell his side of the situation, the person said.

Yovanovitch, the career diplomat whose abrupt recall from Ukraine earlier this year raised questions, is set to appear next week. The Democrats also want to hear from T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a counselor at the State Department, who also listened in on the Trump-Zelenskiy call, they said.

It’s unclear whether Pompeo will comply with the committees’ request for documents by Friday. He had declined to comply with their previous requests for information.

Pompeo, traveling in Italy to meet with the country’s president and prime minister, ignored shouted question about the impeachment inquiry on Tuesday.

The House investigators are prepared for battle as they probe more deeply into the State Department to try to understand why the administration sought to restrict access to Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders.

The whistleblower alleged in an Aug. 12 letter to Congress that the White House tried to “lock down” Trump’s July 25 phone call with the new Ukrainian president because it was worried about the contents being leaked to the public.

In recent days, it has been disclosed that the administration similarly tried to restrict information about Trump’s calls with other foreign leaders, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, by moving memos onto a highly classified computer system.

“It’s going to be one heck of a fight to get that information,” Schiff told House Democrats during a conference call over the weekend, according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private session.

As Trump continued to rage against the impeachment inquiry, there was little evidence of a broader White House response. And few outside allies were rushing to defend the president.

Trump has long measured allies’ loyalty by their willingness to fight for him on TV, and he complained bitterly this week that few had done so. And those who did, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” he believed had flubbed their appearance, according to a person not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.

Though there has been growing discontent with Giuliani in the West Wing and State Department, where some officials blame him for leading Trump into the Ukraine mess, the president continued to stand by his personal lawyer.

Giuliani, who hired former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Jon Sale a day after being hit with his own subpoena, continued to push false Biden corruption accusations and promised to fight against Democratic investigators.

The Ukraine matter remains the central focus as Democrats investigate whether Trump’s suggestion that the east European country’s new president be in touch with Giuliani and Barr to “look into” Biden amounts to a solicitation of foreign interference in the upcoming 2020 election.

The call unfolded against the backdrop of a $250 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine that was being readied by Congress but stalled by the White House.

Ukraine’s president told reporters Tuesday he has never met or spoken with Giuliani.

Zelenskiy insisted that “it is impossible to put pressure on me.” He said he stressed the importance of the military aid repeatedly in discussions with Trump, but “it wasn’t explained to me” why the money didn’t come through until September.

Not all business was halted between the White House and Congress. Even as the impeachment confrontation boiled, House Democrats briefed White House staffers on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s prescription drug legislation. Lowering drug costs is a top policy priority for both the speaker and the president. Joe Grogan, a top Trump domestic policy adviser, called it a “very productive start.”

https://www.vox.com/2019/10/1/20893754/trump-impeachment-pompeo-letter-house-democrats-deposition

Story 2: Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker Said Nothing Supporting The Unbelievable Alan Schiff — Videos

See the source image

Disagreement follows Ukraine envoy interview

WATCH: Volker said ‘nothing’ to support Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, Rep. Jordan says

The House deposes 1st witness in impeachment inquiry l ABC News

 

Collins: ‘I’ve had it’ with Democrats trying to impeach Trump

 

The Volker Deposition

Kurt Volker, President Trump’s former envoy to Ukraine, arrives at the U.S. Capitol, October 3, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The big story of the last 48 hours wasn’t President Trump’s outlandish call for China to investigate the Bidens (another instance of presidential trolling at its worst), but the release of the texts documenting some of the internal back-and-forth over Ukraine policy. They are bad news because they are a sign that this controversy won’t be limited to the four corners of the transcript of the July 25 call. The best case was that Trump was shooting from the hip on the call and nothing much came of it, a scenario that got at least a little more credence from reports that the Ukrainians didn’t know until a month later that their aid was being withheld. Now, we know that the matter was more involved than that, and also went beyond Rudy Giuliani.

But we are also dealing with text exchanges without the full context, and so, once again, we should want to know more before making big pronouncements one way or the other.

Volker’s opening statement is another piece of the puzzle, and hopefully we will get his entire deposition soon.

Here he is on the meeting between Giuliani and President Zelensky’s aide, Andrey Yermak:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-volker-deposition/

Ex-Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker tells lawmakers he DID warn Ukraine to stay out of U.S. elections while also cautioning Rudy Giuliani about his sources and insisting he didn’t know about plan to push Biden investigation

  • Kurt Volker was special envoy to Ukraine until last Friday when he abruptly resigned after being named in the whistleblower complaint
  • The one-time career diplomat becomes the first person to be deposed by committees carrying out impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump
  • Said nothing as he walked to the committee room where he was being questioned behind closed doors by attorneys and congressional staff members
  • Is being asked about his role in Ukraine and his dealings with Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Pompeo 
  • Volker’s friend: ‘He’s not going to take a fall needlessly for people if it’s not warranted’

The special envoy to Ukraine mentioned in the notorious whistle-blower complaint told lawmakers conducting an impeachment inquiry Thursday he warned Ukrainian officials to stay out of U.S. politics.

Kurt Volker, who resigned as U.S. special envoy to Ukraine on Friday, gave a deposition to House Intelligence Committee members, in a closed-door session at times chaired by President Trump’s nemesis, California Rep. Adam Schiff.  

Volker’s statement about his warnings to Ukraine appears to coincide with an allegation by the anonymous whistle-blower. The whistle-blower, identified as a CIA officer, wrote that on July 26 – the day after Trump’s infamous call with the president of Ukraine – he went to the capital to provide advice on how to handle Trump’s requests of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

‘Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker and [U.S. ambassador to the EU Gordon] Sondland reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to “navigate” the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy,’ the whistle-blower wrote.

Volker also told lawmakers he wasn’t involved at all in the effort, spearheaded by Trump lawyer Giuliani, to have Ukraine investigate the conduct of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Volker in his deposition also said he warned Giuliani to waive off bad information being provided to him by Ukrainian officials, the Washington Post reported.  He told Giuliani that his sources were unreliable and that he should be careful about believing information from a former Ukrainian prosecutor, according to the report.

That report came shortly after Giuliani once again took to Twitter to establish that he did not work alone in his efforts to prod Ukraine on the Bidens and his claim of 2016 election interference that might include the country – in part by posting his text messages with Volker.

Kurt Volker, 54, provided documents and printed materials for his deposition.

Volker said nothing as he walked to the committee room to be questioned by congressional staff members about his role in Ukraine and his dealings with Trump, Giuliani and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Schiff took over the questioning at one point.

Republicans from the ranks of three committees conducting the impeachment inquiry blasted the information as nothing new.

“Not one thing he has said comports with any of the Democrats´ impeachment narrative, not one thing,” said Trump ally Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. 

Volker got questioned specifically on what he knows about the president pressing the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden and his son. Volker said he was unaware of the specific request. 

Volker told the House investigators it was unusual for the U.S. to withhold aid to Ukraine, but said he was given no explanation for it, according to a person familiar with the deposition.

‘He’s not going to take a fall needlessly for people if it’s not warranted,’ Evelyn Farkas, Volker’s friend who worked as deputy assistant secretary of defense for three years under Barack Obama, told the Washington Examiner before the meeting.

Giuliani, who said he only got involved in U.S.-Ukraine relations on request of the State Department, insists that Volker was the one who orchestrated his outreach to Zelensky’s team.

‘He should step forward and explain what he did,’ Giuliani said last week. ‘I got a call from Volker. Volker said, ‘Would you meet with him? It would be helpful to us. We really want you to do it.”  

Arriving: Kurt Volker, who quit as special envoy to Ukraine last Friday, became the first person to testify to the impeachment inquiry with behind closed doors questioning by Congress staff

Arriving: Kurt Volker, who quit as special envoy to Ukraine last Friday, became the first person to testify to the impeachment inquiry with behind closed doors questioning by Congress staff

Key questions: Kurt Volker is being questioned on what he knew about Donald Trump's call to Volodymyr Zelensky pressing for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden

Key questions: Kurt Volker is being questioned on what he knew about Donald Trump's call to Volodymyr Zelensky pressing for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden

Key questions: Kurt Volker is being questioned on what he knew about Donald Trump’s call to Volodymyr Zelensky pressing for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last week that the string of congressional investigations into Trump are now part of an impeachment inquiry, and Volker is the first person to testify since then.

Volker quit suddenly Friday, two days after the White House published a transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky, and after Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, released text exchanges between him and the diplomat.

Ahead of the hearing, Republicans protested that their side was not getting the same time to ask questions of Volker. Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Michael McCaul demanded Republicans be given an ‘equal playing field’ in the impeachment inquiry.

Volker was little known outside of foreign policy circles, but the whistleblower complaint against Trump recast the once obscure diplomat as a central figure in the unfolding impeachment inquiry.

His resignation Friday came after he was asked to testify to Congress about the complaint. A trustee at the McCain Institute, where Volker works as executive director, attempted to explain why Volker quit immediately after the request.

‘It’s fair to say [Volker] resigned his position as envoy so he could assure that he could defend himself and cooperate with the committee,’ Frances Fragos Townsend said.

The whistle-blower complaint describes how in a July 25 phone call Trump repeatedly prodded Zelensky for an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter.

At the same time his administration delayed the release of millions in military aid to help Ukraine fight Russia-backed separatists.

The complaint, made by an anonymous CIA agent, says Volker met in Kyiv with Zelensky and other Ukrainian political figures a day after the call and he provided advice about how to ‘navigate’ Trump´s demands.

‘I think he was doing the best he could,’ said retired senior U.S. diplomat Daniel Fried, who described the actions of his former colleague as trying to guide Ukrainians on ‘how to deal with President Trump under difficult circumstances.’

Text message release: Donald Trump's personal attorney showed Fox News some of his exchanges with Kurt Volker, then published them on twitter

Text message release: Donald Trump’s personal attorney showed Fox News some of his exchanges with Kurt Volker, then published them on twitter

 Volker’s role, along with Pompeo´s confirmation that he was also on Trump’s July 25 call, deeply entangles the State Department in the impeachment inquiry now shadowing the White House.

The State Department said Volker has confirmed that he put a Zelensky adviser in contact with Giuliani at the Ukraine adviser’s request, and the president’s personal attorney has said he was in frequent contact with Volker.

Separately, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Volker met last year with a top official from the same Ukrainian energy firm that paid Biden´s son Hunter to serve on its board. The meeting occurred even as Giuliani pressed Ukraine´s government to investigate the company and the Bidens´ involvement with it.

While serving as the U.S. envoy for Ukraine, Volker met with Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, in New York last year even as Giuliani was pressing Ukraine’s government to investigate the company and the Bidens’ involvement with it.

Hunter Biden accepted a board position with Burisma, a Ukrainian natural energy company, in 2014 – while his father was still serving as vice president. He stepped down from his position with the firm earlier this year.

The move raised eyebrows in Washington with claims of potential conflict of interests. The Obama administration dismissed these concerns, citing Hunter is a ‘private citizen.’ 

Pompeo has accused congressional investigators of trying to ‘bully’ and ‘intimidate’ State Department officials with subpoenas for documents and testimony, suggesting he would seek to prevent them from providing information.

But the committee managed to schedule the deposition with Volker as well as one next week with former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch

Yovanovitch was prematurely called back to the U.S. from her three-year assignment in Ukraine, which began during Obama’s administration. Her removal was likely a result of Giuliani’s efforts to shake up U.S.-Ukraine relations – and reports indicated then-National Security Advisor John Bolton was not happy with the decision.

The spotlight is an unlikely place for Volker, who was brought into the current administration by Trump´s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to serve as envoy for Ukraine. He worked in a volunteer capacity and while retaining his job as head of the John McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.

Though his name may not have been known before last week to most Americans, Volker had a long diplomatic career, often working behind the scenes. He was a principal deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs before becoming the U.S. ambassador to NATO in 2008.

In his most recent role as envoy to Ukraine, he spoke openly of U.S. support for Ukrainian sovereignty. Last year, he criticized the expansion of Russian naval operations and Russia’s resistance to full deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine to monitor the fight against the Russia-backed separatists.

Pompeo himself mentioned Volker during an appearance in Rome on Wednesday when he confirmed his participation in the call, saying he had been focused on ‘taking down the threat that Russia poses’ in Ukraine and to help the country build its economy.

Retired senior U.S. diplomat Daniel Fried described Volker as a ‘dedicated public servant and professional, a problem solver.’

‘In all of the years I’ve worked with him, we never had a partisan conversation,’ Fried said. ‘He’s an utter professional.’

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? THE VERY COMPLICATED STEPS INVOLVED IN IMPEACHING DONALD TRUMP

Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment investigation is only the start of what will be an epic legal and constitutional clash.

Here is how impeachment goes from here.

1) Investigations step up

Six committees are now tasked by Pelosi with investigating Donald Trump with the intention of deciding whether he should be impeached. They are the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees. All of them are now likely to issue a flurry of subpoenas which is certain to lead to a new: 

2) Court battle over subpoenas – which could go to the Supreme Court

The Trump administration has so far resisted subpoenas by claiming executive privilege and is certain to continue to do so. Federal judges are already dealing with litigation over subpoenas for Trump’s tax and financial records and many more cases are likely to follow. But the courts have never settled the limits of executive privilege and whether an impeachment inquiry effectively gives Congress more power to overcome it. If Trump fights as hard as he can, it is likely to make its way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, expect: 

3) More hearings

Democrats know they need to convince the public that Trump needs to be put on trial and the best way to do that is hearings like those which electrified the nation during Watergate. They botched the Mueller hearing but if they produce question and answer sessions with people from Trump-world which cause public outrage, they are on their way to:

4) Drawing up formal articles of impeachment in committee 

The charge sheet for impeachment – the ‘articles’ – set out what Trump is formally accused of. It has no set format – it can be as long or as short as Congress decides. Three such set of articles have been drawn up – for Andrew Johnson on 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974, and Bill Clinton in 1998. Johnson’s were the most extensive at 11, Nixon faced three, and Bill Clinton four but with a series of numbered charges in each article. Once drawn up, the judicial committee votes on them and if approved, sends them to the House for:

5) Full floor vote on impeachment

The constitution says the House needs a simple majority to proceed, but has to vote on each article. Nixon quit before such a vote so Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only precedent. The House passed two out of the three articles against Clinton and all 11 against Johnson. Passing even one article leads to:

6) Senate impeachment trial

Even if the Senate is clearly not in favor of removing the president, it has to stage a trial if the House votes for impeachment. The hearing is in not in front of the full Senate, but ‘evidentiary committees’ – in theory at least similar to the existing Senate committees. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over it, but the procedures are set by senators. Members of the House prosecute Trump as ‘managers,’ bringing witnesses and presenting evidence to set out their case against the president. The president can defend himself, or, as Clinton did, use attorneys to cross-examine the witnesses. The committee or committees report to the full Senate. Then it can debate in public or deliberate in private on the guilt or innocence of the president. It holds a single open floor vote which will deliver:

7) The verdict

Impeachment must be by two-thirds of the Senate. Voting for impeachment on any one article is good enough to remove the president from office. There is no appeal. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7533459/Once-obscure-diplomat-Volker-center-Trump-inquiry.html

Kurt Volker

Kurt Douglas Volker (born December 27, 1964)[3] is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to NATO and presently serves as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership. He worked in a volunteer capacity as the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine until his resignation on September 27, 2019.[4][5]

Background

Kurt Volker was born in 1964 in Pennsylvania, to Benjamin and Thelma (Rowdon) Volker.[6] He graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in International Affairs in 1984. He also holds an M.A. in International Relations from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.[7]

Career

Public service

Volker began his career in foreign affairs as an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency in 1986.[3] In 1988, he joined the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in the United States Foreign Service.[3]While in the Foreign Service, he served in various assignments overseas including London and Brussels, and the US Embassy in Budapest (1994–1997). Volker was special assistant to the United States special envoy for Bosnia negotiations, Richard Holbrooke.[8]

Volker served as a legislative fellow on the staff of Senator John McCain from 1997 to 1998. In 1998, he became first secretary of the US mission to NATO, and in 1999 he was sent to Deputy Director of NATO Secretary-General George Robertson’s private office, serving in that position until 2001.[9]

He then became acting director for European and Eurasian Affairs for the National Security Council. In that capacity he was in charge of US preparations for 2004 Istanbul summit of NATO members and the 2002 Prague summit. In July 2005, Volker became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, serving in that position until he was appointed United States Permanent Representative to NATO in July 2008 by President George W. Bush.[9] Volker served in that position from July 2, 2008 to May 15, 2009.[9]

Private sector

Volker went into the private sector in 2009, becoming an independent director at The Wall Street Fund Inc,[10] where he worked until 2012. He was a member of the board of directors at Capital Guardian Funds Trust[11]beginning in 2013.[12] Volker was also an independent director at Evercore Wealth Management Macro Opportunity Fund until 2012.[13]

Volker served as a senior advisor at McLarty Associates, a global consulting firm from 2010–2011.

In 2011, he joined BGR Group, a Washington-based lobbying firm and investment bank, where he currently serves as a managing director in the firm’s international group.[14]

He then became executive director of Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership[15] when it was launched[16] in 2012.

He has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies since September 2009, and a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council since October 2009. Volker is currently listed as a trustee at the CG Funds Trust,[17] and a member of the board of trustees at IAU College in Aix-en-Provence. He is also a member of the board of directors at The Hungary Initiatives Foundation.[18] In addition, Volker is a member of the Atlantic Partnership[19] with such luminaries as Senator Sam Nunn, Dr Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and Lord Powell of Bayswater among others.

Special Representative for Ukraine

2017 interview of Ambassador Volker by Voice of America

On July 7, 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Ambassador Kurt Volker as the US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.[20][21] Volker accompanied Tillerson on his trip to Ukraine two days later. On September 27, 2019, Volker resigned from this official, yet volunteer, position.[5][22]

Trump–Ukraine controversy

President Volodymyr Zelensky at his 2019 inauguration; he is shaking hands with Ambassador Volker as US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry looks on.

In mid-September 2019, reports began to surface suggesting that a whistleblower complaint had been submitted to Michael K. Atkinson, the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, which he found to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern”.[23] Subsequently, claims were advanced by various chairmen of U.S. House committees that Kurt Volker, while acting in his official capacity as US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, had been told by the White House “to intercede with President Zelensky” about investigations regarding Joe Biden and Paul Manafort.[24] Volker met with Zelensky the day after President Trump spoke by phone with the Ukrainian president,[25] a call which would later reportedly result in a whistleblower complaint.[26] Two days after Volker’s meeting, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats resigned, resulting in a stand-off regarding whether the new acting DNI would share the complaint with Congress.

On September 26, 2019, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the unclassified text of this whistleblower complaint regarding the interactions between US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.[27] In this document, Ambassador Volker, along with US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, were described as having “provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the request that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy”.[28]

That same day Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani posted on Twitter a screenshot that purported to be a text message from Volker to Giuliani, stating, “Mr. Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning. As discussed, connecting you here with Andrey Yermak [uk],[29] who is very close to President Zelensky. I suggest we schedule a call together on Monday — maybe 10am or 11am Washington time? Kurt”.[30][31]

NBC News has reported, in regard to the Volker text that Giuliani allegedly received, “Whether Volker was acting on orders from Trump is unclear, and the State Department hasn’t said why Volker made the introduction, other than that the Ukrainian aide requested it. But the introduction ultimately led to a meeting between Yermak and Giuliani in Spain that the whistleblower wrote was a ‘direct follow-up’ to Trump’s call.”[21]

In the White House transcript of the July 25 telephone call between the two presidents, President Zelensky is quoted as saying, “I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine.”[32] Notably, the date on the screenshot of the purported text message from Volker to Giuliani is July 19, six days earlier.[31]

On September 27, 2019, Volker resigned hours after congressional Democrats announced he would be called to provide a deposition.[5][33]

Volker was interviewed in a closed session of the House committees leading the Trump impeachment inquiry on October 3, 2019, and his prepared statement was made public on October 4, 2019.[34] The Washington Post reported that he asserted he had warned Giuliani that he was receiving untrustworthy information about the Bidens from Ukrainian political figures.[35][36][37][38]

Personal life

In June 2019, Volker married Georgian journalist for Voice of America Ia Meurmishvili. He was previously married to Karen Volker, with whom he had two sons.[citation needed] He speaks English, Hungarian, Swedish, and French.[39]

References…

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

 

Double Standards on Ukraine

Former Vice President Joe Biden makes a statement during an event in Wilmington, Del., September 24, 2019. (Bastiaan Slabbers/Reuters)

Democrats in Congress and the media pretend to swoon over conduct they accepted when Obama did it.House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff’s opening statement at today’s hearing, a grilling of National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire, was remarkable. To begin with, he recited a parody of the conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that was so absurd, it would not have made it into a Grade-C mob movie. A telling decision by Schiff, a capable former prosecutor: If you have an extortionate conversation, you quote it. If you need to imagine it into something it isn’t, that means it is not an extortionate conversation.

But more to the point, the relationship of dependency intensified in 2015 due to the flight to Moscow of Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych. At that point, a new Ukrainian government more to the Obama administration’s liking, under President Petro Poroshenko, came to power. It was desperate for American help, financially and security-wise, which is why Vice President Biden was in a position to pressure it into firing the prosecutor who was conducting a corruption investigation of Burisma, the energy company that had appointed Hunter Biden to its board and was lavishly compensating him.

In Ball of Collusion, I outline some of the extensive evidence that in 2016, the Obama administration’s law-enforcement agencies pressured their Ukrainian counterparts to revive a dormant corruption investigation of Paul Manafort. I summarized the matter in an excerpt for Fox News a few days back:

During the . . . early 2016 weeks when [Alexandra] Chalupa [a Ukrainian-American and DNC operative] was tapping her Ukrainian sources and giving Democrats a heads-up about a potential Manafort-Trump alliance, NABU [Ukraine’s anti-corruption] investigators and Ukrainian prosecutors journeyed to Washington. There, the Obama administration arranged for them to huddle with the FBI, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the White House’s National Security Council (agencies that coordinated frequently throughout the collusion caper).

Andrii Telizhenko, a political officer at Ukraine’s embassy in Washington, later told The Hill’s John Solomon that the U.S. officials uniformly stressed “how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united.” The officials also indicated to their Ukrainian counterparts that they were keen to revive the investigation of payments by Yanukovych’s ousted Party of Regions government to an American political consultant — i.e., the FBI’s Paul Manafort probe [that was reportedly closed without a recommendation of charges in 2014] . . .

Nazar Kholodnitskiy, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told Solomon that soon after the January 2016 Washington meetings, he found that Ukrainian officials were effectively meddling in the American presidential election. Another top Ukrainian lawman, Kostiantyn Kulyk, recalled that after the Kiev contingent’s return home from the United States, there was lots of buzz about helping the Americans with the Party of Regions investigation.

If it is of importance today that Ukraine is beholden to the president and the American administration for help, was it not at least equally important in 2016? I have no problem with the principle that the president should not exploit his power over foreign relations for partisan political purposes. I have a problem with the double standard.

See the way the game is played: When the Obama administration leans on Ukraine for help in an investigation of political opponents, the Democrats and the media say, “But look how corrupt Paul Manafort was!” When the Trump administration leans on Ukraine for help in an investigation of political opponents, the Democrats and the media say, “Abuse of power — impeach him!”

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/double-standards-on-ukraine/

Breaking Down the Whistleblower Frenzy

(Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Congress should investigate the whistleblower claim that Trump made a dangerous ‘promise’ to a foreign leader . . . but not because of a statute.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE

The Democrats’ media narrative of impeachment portrays President Trump and his administration as serial law-breakers who, true to form, obstruct all congressional investigations of wrongdoing. This then becomes the analytical framework for every new controversy. There are at least two fundamental problems with this.First, our constitutional system is based on friction between competing branches vested with separate but closely related powers. The Framers understood that the two political branches would periodically try to usurp each other’s authorities. Congress often does this by enactments that seek to subject executive power to congressional (or judicial) supervision. Presidential pushback on such laws is not criminal obstruction; it is the Constitution in action.

Second, we’ve become so law-obsessed that we miss the forest for the trees. Often, the least important aspect of a controversy — viz., whether a law has been violated — becomes the dominant consideration. Short shrift is given to the more consequential aspects, such as whether we are being competently governed or whether power is being abused.

These problems are now playing out in the Trump controversy du jour (or should I say de l’heure?): the intelligence community whistleblower.

As this column is written on Friday afternoon, the story is still evolving, with the president tweetingas ever, and the New York Times producing a report by no fewer than eight of its top journalists, joining the seven (and counting) who are working it for the Washington Post, which broke the story.

It stems from — what else? — anonymous leaks attributed to former intelligence officials. Whether they are among the stable of such retirees now on the payroll at anti-Trump cable outlets is not known. While the media purport to be deeply concerned about Trump-administration law-breaking in classified matters, there is negligible interest in whether the intelligence officials leaking to them are flouting the law.

A Promise to Ukraine?
In any event, we learn that an unidentified “whistleblower” has filed a complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general (IGIC), relating that President Trump had recent interaction with an unidentified foreign leader during which the president made a “promise” which is not further described to us, other than that the whistleblower found it very “troubling.” The inference that President Trump is the subject of the complaint (or at least subject) derives from the fact that intelligence officials say it involves someone who is “outside the intelligence community,” and that there are issues of “privilege” that justify non-disclosure to Congress. (The president is “outside” the intelligence community in the sense of being over it as chief executive; and, as I discussed in a column earlier this week, presidents have executive privilege, which shields communications with advisers.)

The latest news to break suggests that the communications (there is more than one) relate, at least in part, to Ukraine. The whistleblower complaint is believed to have been filed on August 12. President Trump is known to have spoken by phone with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25. Rudy Giuliani, who is Trump’s private lawyer (and who hired me as a prosecutor many years ago), has been open about urging Ukraine to pursue an investigation implicating Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Specifically, when he was Obama-administration vice president, Biden is rumored to have pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was conducting a corruption investigation of a natural-gas company. Biden’s son, Hunter, sat on the company’s board, and his law firm was lavishly compensated.

Thus, the theorizing in anti-Trump circles is that an intelligence official privy to details of the July 25 call must have learned that the president made a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine, promising some kind of assistance in exchange for movement on an investigation that could politically wound Trump’s potential 2020 opponent. (A CNN interview that became a spirited argument between Giuliani and Chris Cuomo got lots of play on Friday. Meanwhile, to my knowledge, there has not been much congressional interest in examining Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign dealings with Ukraine in 2016, when our government encouraged Kiev to investigate Paul Manafort, and a leak about a claim of lavish cash payments to Manafort resulted in his removal as Trump’s campaign chairman.)

President Trump is pooh-poohing the whistleblower complaint as a fabrication by “Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Partners, headed up again by Little Adam Schiff.” That last derogatory reference is to the California Democrat and Trump antagonist who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Conveniently omitted by the president are the facts that (a) the whistleblower has tried to comply with federal law and go through government channels rather than leaking information to the Trump-hostile media; (b) the IGIC to whom the whistleblower made his report is a Trump appointee, namely Michael Atkinson, a career Justice Department prosecutor who got the IGIC gig in 2018; and (c) Atkinson concluded that the whistleblower’s complaint was credible and sufficiently serious to be deemed a matter of “urgent concern.”

‘Urgent Concern’ — Another Confusing Dual-Use Term
This brings us to a common situation that we rarely notice but that often skews public debate. I’ll call it the dual-use term: A word or phrase that has both a common meaning because it is invoked in everyday parlance and a specialized meaning in statutory law — either because Congress has taken the trouble to define it or the courts have authoritatively construed it.

“Urgent concern” is a dual-use term. Such terms confuse things because politicians seamlessly shift from the common to the specialized meaning. Frequently, legal consequences limited to the narrower legal sense of the term are triggered by anything that fits the term’s broad general understanding. To take a notorious example, “collusion” — the subject, ahem, of a certain new book— has both a broad general connotation (concerted activity that can be benign or sinister, or anything in between) and a narrow specialized meaning when invoked in law-enforcement investigations (criminal conspiracy). For years, Chairman Schiff and other Trump critics have intimated that episodes of unremarkable collusion in the broad sense (e.g., negotiating policy or real-estate deals with Russians) are evidence of illegal collusion in the narrow, specialized sense (conspiracy to commit cyberespionage with Russians).

The common meaning of urgent concern is obvious: It could describe anything that raises the specter of imminent harm. But urgent concern is also a specialized term in federal law. Under Section 3033(k)(5)(G) (of Title 50, U.S. Code), an “urgent concern” relates to specified problems involving intelligence activities and classified information that are within the responsibility of the Director of National Intelligence. The DNI is the cabinet official who oversees the so-called community of intelligence agencies. The urgent concerns Section 3033 outlines include, for example, violations or abuses of laws or executive orders, or deficiencies in the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity. Section 3033 urgent concerns also include misleading of Congress regarding intelligence activities, and reprisals against whistleblowers who report an urgent concern.

Notice the difference between the common and statutory meaning.

Any executive action that imperils national security, particularly in connection with classified information falling into the hands of a foreign power, could accurately be described as a matter of urgent concern, as that term is commonly understood. Even if there were no Section 3033, and there were no specialized statutory definition of “urgent concern,” it would be entirely appropriate for Congress to inquire into such matters.

On the other hand, if a situation qualifies as one of the narrower sets of “urgent concerns” defined by Section 3033, it triggers the mandatory reporting procedures prescribed in the statute. To wit, if an intelligence official believes a Section 3033 urgent concern has arisen, that official (a whistleblower) may report the matter to the IGIC with an eye toward its transmission to Congress. The IGIC then has two weeks to decide whether a complaint is credible. If the IGIC so finds, the matter must be referred to the DNI, who must notify the congressional intelligence committees within one week.

Section 3033 Does Not Apply to the President
Here, the whistleblower (who is reportedly represented by a lawyer well versed in Section 3033) believed President Trump’s undescribed promise to the unidentified foreign leader qualified as an “urgent concern” under the statute. On August 12, the whistleblower reported the matter to IGIC Atkinson. In what I believe was an error, Atkinson concluded that the complaint did indeed spell out a Section 3033 urgent concern because it was credible and raised a serious issue. (As we’ll see, my quarrel is with the application of the statute to the president; I assume the Trump-appointed IGIC is correct that the complaint is credible and serious.)

Atkinson thus notified Joseph Maguire, the acting DNI. Maguire, however, did not believe the matter met the Section 3033 definition of an urgent concern, because it related to an activity by someone not under the authority of the DNI (inferentially, the president). Consequently, Maguire declined to pass the complaint along to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

As noted above, current and former intelligence officials continue to leak like sieves in their years-long campaign against the sitting president. Thus, the existence of the complaint, the report of it to the IGIC, and the acting DNI’s refusal to alert Congress became known to the media and to Chairman Schiff. The chairman is claiming that the Trump administration is violating the law by failing to notify Congress of an urgent concern, as mandated by Section 3033.

In my view, Chairman Schiff’s claim, based on IGIC Atkinson’s interpretation of the statute, is wrong. Section 3033 does not apply to a president’s negotiations with or commitments to foreign powers, or to a president’s sharing of classified information with foreign powers. To repeat, the statute applies to intelligence activities by government officials acting under the authority of the DNI. If I am right, the Trump administration should not be accused of law-breaking for declining to follow Section 3033, even if the whistleblower had an “urgent concern” in the ordinary understanding of that term.

In our system, the conduct of foreign policy is a nigh plenary authority of the chief executive. The only exceptions are explicitly stated in the Constitution (Congress regulates foreign commerce, the Senate must approve treaties, etc.). Congress may not enact statutes that limit the president’s constitutional power to conduct foreign policy; the Constitution may not be amended by statute.

Consistent with this principle, the Justice Department has long adhered to the so-called “clear statement” rule: If the express terms of a statute do not apply its provisions to the president, then the statute is deemed not to apply to the president if its application would conflict with the president’s constitutional powers. Section 3033 does not refer to the president. By its terms, it applies to intelligence-community officials. And, in any event, it may not properly be applied to the president if doing so would hinder the president’s capacious authority to conduct foreign policy.

At least when a Republican is in the White House, progressives are enthralled by laws that, in effect, empower bureaucrats — here, “intelligence professionals”– to second-guess and otherwise check the president’s power to direct the executive branch. That is not our system.

Congress’s Selective Interest in Presidential Abuses of Power
In conducting foreign affairs, the president may make commitments to other foreign leaders (subject to the Constitution’s treaty clause). The president, unlike his subordinates, also has the power to disclose any classified information he chooses to disclose. Like all presidential powers, these may be abused or exercised rashly. When there is a credible allegation that they have been, that should cause all of us urgent concern.

To take one example, President Obama misled Congress and the nation regarding the concessions he made to Iran in connection with the nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The Obama administration, moreover, structured the arrangement so that commitments to Iran were withheld from Congress — as if what were at stake were understandings strictly between Tehran and the U.N.’s monitor (the International Atomic Energy Agency), somehow of no concern to the United States. Representative Schiff’s skepticism about Iran became muted when a Democratic president cut the deal. Yet these cloak-and-dagger arrangements with a jihadist regime that proclaims itself America’s mortal enemy, in which a U.S. president willfully end-ran the Constitution’s treaty provisions and congressional oversight, were and remain urgent concerns for millions of Americans and most members of Congress.

So how should we evaluate the current controversy?

For starters, we should recognize what is important and what is not. Section 3033 should be the least of our considerations. As argued above, it very likely does not apply, despite the IGIC’s conclusion to the contrary. Its lack of application would not stop the whistleblower from getting the information to Congress (though it may affect whether the whistleblower is protected from reprisals). More to the point, it is irrelevant whether Congress should have been notified within one week of X date as prescribed by statute. Regardless of whether I am right about the statute’s inapplicability, the intelligence committees are now on notice and positioned to examine the matter.

The issue is not Section 3033 and whether the DNI should have alerted Schiff. The issue is whether President Trump has abused his foreign-affairs powers.

On that score, we should withhold judgment until more facts are in. Democrats would have us leap to the conclusion that impeachable offenses have been committed; the president would have us dismiss the matter out of hand as a political contrivance. There are reasons to doubt both of them.

For one thing, there has been a three-year campaign by current and former government officials to undermine the Trump presidency by lawless leaks of politicized intelligence. On the other side of the coin, though, IGIC Michael Atkinson is a Trump appointee. It is he who found the whistleblower’s complaint serious and credible. And the acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, does not appear to be refuting that conclusion; his quibble (which I share) appears to be that Section 3033 urgent concerns are inapposite where presidential foreign-affairs powers are involved. Many of President Trump’s foreign policy moves have been impulsive; it is hardly inconceivable that he could have offered a commitment that was poorly thought through. Giuliani, a key outside adviser to the president, has been pressing the Ukrainians to look into Biden, and, when asked on Friday about whether he discussed Biden in the July call with Ukraine’s president, Trump declined to answer directly, replying, “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”

And maybe someone should. The fact that Biden may end up being Trump’s rival in the 2020 election does not immunize him from investigation. If he used his political influence to squeeze a foreign power for his son’s benefit, that should be explored. Of course, Trump should not use the powers of his office solely for the purpose of obtaining campaign ammunition to deploy against a potential foe. But all presidents who seek reelection wield their power in ways designed to improve their chances. If Trump went too far in that regard, we could look with disfavor on that while realizing that he would not be the first president to have done so. And if, alternatively, the president had a good reason for making a reciprocal commitment to Ukraine, that commitment would not become improper just because, collaterally, it happened to help Trump or harm Biden politically.

The president has the power to conduct foreign policy as he sees fit. The Congress has the power to subject that exercise to thorough examination. The clash of these powers is a constant in our form of government. It is politics. For once, let’s find out what happened before we leap to DEFCON 1.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/09/trump-whistleblower-claim-congress-should-investigate/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1328, September 26, 2019, Story 1: Partisan CIA “Whistle-blower” Betrays President Trump with Allegations Based on Secondhand Hearsay — This Is Not Covered Under Intelligence Whistle-blower Law — Democrat Organized Smear Campaign and Coup Against Trump Falling Apart! — Videos — Story 2:  Unbelievable Adam Schiff: Pathological Prevaricator Pervert Parody of Whistle-blower Blow Job Does Not Come Out As Expected — Videos –

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Story 1: Partisan CIA “Whistle-blower” Betrays President Trump with Allegations Based on Secondhand Hearsay — This Is Not Covered Under Intelligence Whistle-blower Law — Democrat Organized Smear Campaign and Coup Against Trump Falling Apart! — Videos —

Acting DNI Joseph Maguire delivers his opening statement

WATCH: Rep. Devin Nunes’ full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing

WATCH: Rep. Devin Nunes’ full questioning of acting intel chief Joseph Maguire | DNI hearing

WATCH: Rep. Schiff’s full 2nd round of questioning of acting intel chief Maguire | DNI hearing

Sekulow: Whistleblower complaint form used to require firsthand information

Cuomo to Trump attorney: Quid pro quo isn’t necessary for impeachment

Meadows: The foundation of the whistleblower complaint is falling apart

Conway rips Ukraine report: ‘More blowhard than whistleblower’

Gowdy believes House Dems want to punt impeachment to the Senate

Former CIA leader on the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

Former intelligence counsel discusses Maguire hearing, whistleblower complaint

Whistleblower driven by political motives: former CIA analyst

EXCLUSIVE: Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower in Private Meeting

Trump slams whistleblower as ‘almost a spy’

Gingrich: Pelosi’s impeachment push ‘makes no sense at all’

Nunes: Ukrainian whistleblower is no different than Russia hoax

Donald Trump warned not to retaliate against whistleblower amid impeachment probe| ITV News

Dems threaten to sue White House over access to whistleblower complaint

Tucker: Impeachment seemed like a fleeting prospect

Peter Schweizer: Joe Biden is the most corrupt vice president of our lifetime

Swamp Watch: The Biden family

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

Ted Koppel calls out liberal media bias against Trump

UNCLASSIFIED

August 12, 2019

The Honorable Richard Burr
Chairman
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
The Honorable Adam Schiff
Chairman
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States House of Representatives

Dear Chairman Burr and Chairman Schiff:

I am reporting an “urgent concern” in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(A). This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment.

In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. 1This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.

  • Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort. The information provided herein was relayed to me in the course of official interagency business. It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.
  • I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.

I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters,” consistent with the definition of an “urgent concern” in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(G). I am therefore fulfilling my duty to report this information, through proper legal channels, to the relevant authorities.

  • I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.

1
UNCLASSIFIED

The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Page 1

  • 1 In the complaint, the whistle-blower said he had heard from other officials that Mr. Trump, in his July 25 call, urged the Ukrainian president to work with Attorney General William P. Barr in investigating the Bidens.

UNCLASSIFIED

To the best of my knowledge, the entirety of this statement is unclassified when separated from the classified enclosure. I have endeavored to apply the classification standards outlined in Executive Order (EO) 13526 and to separate out information that I know or have reason to believe is classified for national security purposes.1

  • If a classification marking is applied retroactively, I believe it is incumbent upon the classifying authority to explain why such a marking was applied, and to which specific information it pertains.

I. The 25 July Presidential phone call

Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I do not know which side initiated the call. This was the first publicly acknowledged call between the two leaders since a brief congratulatory call after Mr. Zelenskyy won the presidency on 21 April.

Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:

  • initiate or continue an investigation2 into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;
  • assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike,3 which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016; and
  • meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.

1 Apart from the information in the Enclosure, it is my belief that none of the information contained herein meets the definition of “classified information” outlined in EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.1. There is ample open-source information about the efforts I describe below, including statements by the President and Mr. Giuliani. In addition, based on my personal observations, there is discretion with respect to the classification of private comments by or instructions from the President, including his communications with foreign leaders; information that is not related to U.S. foreign policy or national security—such as the information contained in this document, when separated from the Enclosure—is generally treated as unclassified. I also believe that applying a classification marking to this information would violate EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.7, which states: “In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; [or] (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.”

2 It is unclear whether such a Ukrainian investigation exists. See Footnote #7 for additional information.

3 I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine. (See, for example, his comments to Fox News on 20 July: “And Ukraine. Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn’t take this server? Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So, how come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC?”)

2
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED

The President also praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, and suggested that Mr. Zelenskyy might want to keep him in his position. (Note: Starting in March 2019, Mr. Lutsenko made a series of public allegations—many of which he later walked back—about the Biden family’s activities in Ukraine, Ukrainian officials’ purported involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, and the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. See Part IV for additional context.)

The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call.2 They told me that there was already a “discussion ongoing” with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.

The Ukrainian side was the first to publicly acknowledge the phone call. On the evening of 25 July, a readout was posted on the website of the Ukrainian President that contained the following line (translation from original Russian-language readout):

  • “Donald Trump expressed his conviction that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve Ukraine’s image and complete the investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”

Aside from the above-mentioned “cases” purportedly dealing with the Biden family and the 2016 U.S. election, I was told by White House officials that no other “cases” were discussed.

Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call — a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House Situation Room, as is customary. The officials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a “routine” call with a foreign leader. I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.

  • In addition to White House personnel, I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.
  • I was not the only non-White House official to receive a readout of the call. Based on my understanding, multiple State Department and Intelligence Community officials were also briefed on the contents of the call as outlined above.

II. Efforts to restrict access to records related to the call

In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary—by the White House Situation Room.3 This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.

  • White House officials told me that they were “directed” by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.

3
UNCLASSIFIED

Page 3

  • 2 In a July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, Mr. Trump brought up American aid to that country — without explicitly mentioning that he had just frozen a military aid package of hundreds of millions of dollars — and then pressed the Ukrainian leader to investigate Mr. Biden. White House officials believed they had witnessed Trump abuse his power for personal political gain.
  • 3 The whistle-blower writes that White House lawyers “directed” White House officials to remove records of the July 25 call from the system where such documents are normally stored and place it instead in a system for storing highly classified information, like files related to covert actions, even though it did not meet the criteria, in order to limit the number of officials who could see it.

UNCLASSIFIED

  • Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.

I do not know whether similar measures were taken to restrict access to other records of the call, such as contemporaneous handwritten notes taken by those who listened in.

III. Ongoing concerns

On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy and a variety of Ukrainian political figures. Ambassador Volker was accompanied in his meetings by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker and Sondland reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to “navigate” the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy.

I also learned from multiple U.S. officials that, on or about 2 August, Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Madrid to meet with one of President Zelenskyy’s advisers, Andriy Yermak. The U.S. officials characterized this meeting, which was not reported publicly at the time, as a “direct follow-up” to the President’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy about the “cases” they had discussed.

  • Separately, multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelenskyy advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.4
  • I do not know whether those officials met or spoke with Mr. Giuliani, but I was told separately by multiple U.S. officials that Mr. Yermak and Mr. Bakanov intended to travel to Washington in mid-August.

On 9 August, the President told reporters: “I think [President Zelenskyy] is going to make a deal with President Putin, and he will be invited to the White House. And we look forward to seeing him. He’s already been invited to the White House, and he wants to come. And I think he will. He’s a very reasonable guy. He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

IV. Circumstances leading up to the 25 July Presidential phone call

Beginning in late March 2019, a series of articles appeared in an online publication called The Hill. In these articles, several Ukrainian officials — most notably, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko — made a series of allegations against other Ukrainian officials and current and former U.S. officials. Mr. Lutsenko and his colleagues alleged, inter alia:

4 In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019, and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelenskyy adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

4
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED

  • that they possessed evidence that Ukrainian officials — namely, Head of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk and Member of Parliament Serhiy Leshchenko — had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, allegedly in collaboration with the DNC and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv5;
  • that the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv — specifically, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who had criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s organization for its poor record on fighting corruption — had allegedly obstructed Ukrainian law enforcement agencies’ pursuit of corruption cases, including by providing a “do not prosecute” list, and had blocked Ukrainian prosecutors from traveling to the United States expressly to prevent them from delivering their “evidence” about the 2016 U.S. election;6 and
  • that former Vice President Biden had pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to fire then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to quash a purported criminal probe into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board the former Vice President’s son, Hunter, sat.7

In several public comments,8 Mr. Lutsenko also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.9

The allegations by Mr. Lutsenko came on the eve of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on 31 March. By that time, Mr. Lutsenko’s political patron, President Poroshenko, was trailing Mr. Zelenskyy in the polls and appeared likely to be defeated. Mr. Zelenskyy had made known his desire to replace Mr. Lutsenko as Prosecutor General.4 On 21 April, Mr. Poroshenko lost the runoff to Mr. Zelenskyy by a landslide. See Enclosure for additional information.

5 Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko are two of Mr. Lutsenko’s main domestic rivals. Mr. Lutsenko has no legal training and has been widely criticized in Ukraine for politicizing criminal probes and using his tenure as Prosecutor General to protect corrupt Ukrainian officials. He has publicly feuded with Mr. Sytnyk, who heads Ukraine’s only competent anticorruption body, and with Mr. Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist who has repeatedly criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s record. In December 2018, a Ukrainian court upheld a complaint by a Member of Parliament, Mr. Boryslav Rozenblat, who alleged that Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. election by publicizing a document detailing corrupt payments made by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych before his ouster in 2014. Mr. Rozenblat had originally filed the motion in late 2017 after attempting to flee Ukraine amid an investigation into his taking of a large bribe. On 16 July 2019, Mr. Leshchenko publicly stated that a Ukrainian court had overturned the lower court’s decision.

6 Mr. Lutsenko later told Ukrainian news outlet The Babel on 17 April that Ambassador Yovanovitch had never provided such a list, and that he was, in fact, the one who requested such a list.

7 Mr. Lutsenko later told Bloomberg on 16 May that former Vice President Biden and his son were not subject to any current Ukrainian investigations, and that he had no evidence against them. Other senior Ukrainian officials also contested his original allegations; one former senior Ukrainian prosecutor told Bloomberg on 7 May that Mr. Shokin in fact was not investigating Burisma at the time of his removal in 2016.

8 See, for example, Mr. Lutsenko’s comments to The Hill on 1 and 7 April and his interview with The Babel on 17 April, in which he stated that he had spoken with Mr. Giuliani about arranging contact with Attorney General Barr.

9 In May, Attorney General Barr announced that he was initiating a probe into the “origins” of the Russia investigation. According to the above-referenced OCCRP report (22 July), two associates of Mr. Giuliani claimed to be working with Ukrainian officials to uncover information that would become part of this inquiry. In an interview with Fox News on 8 August, Mr. Giuliani claimed that Mr. John Durham, whom Attorney General Barr designated to lead this probe, was “spending a lot of time in Europe” because he was “investigating Ukraine.” I do not know the extent to which, if at all, Mr. Giuliani is directly coordinating his efforts on Ukraine with Attorney General Barr or Mr. Durham.

5
UNCLASSIFIED

Page 5

  • 4 A widely criticized Ukrainian prosecutor piqued Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Giuliani’s interest by floating allegations to The Hill — but then backtracked. In the July 25 phone call, Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Mr. Lutsenko when he told the Ukrainian president that, “I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.”

UNCLASSIFIED

  • It was also publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had met on at least two occasions with Mr. Lutsenko: once in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid-February. In addition, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.10
  • On 25 April in an interview with Fox News, the President called Mr. Lutsenko’s claims “big” and “incredible” and stated that the Attorney General “would want to see this.”

On or about 29 April, I learned from U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation that Ambassador Yovanovitch had been suddenly recalled to Washington by senior State Department officials for “consultations” and would most likely be removed from her position.

  • Around the same time, I also learned from a U.S. official that “associates” of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.11
  • On 6 May, the State Department announced that Ambassador Yovanovitch would be ending her assignment in Kyiv “as planned.”
  • However, several U.S. officials told me that, in fact, her tour was curtailed because of pressure stemming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations. Mr. Giuliani subsequently stated in an interview with a Ukrainian journalist published on 14 May that Ambassador Yovanovitch was “removed…because she was part of the efforts against the President.”

On 9 May, The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to press the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations that would help the President in his 2020 reelection bid.

  • In his multitude of public statements leading up to and in the wake of the publication of this article, Mr. Giuliani confirmed that he was focused on encouraging Ukrainian authorities to pursue investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged wrongdoing by the Biden family.12
  • On the afternoon of 10 May, the President stated in an interview with Politico that he planned to speak with Mr. Giuliani about the trip.
  • A few hours later, Mr. Giuliani publicly canceled his trip, claiming that Mr. Zelenskyy was “surrounded by enemies of the [U.S.] President…and of the United States.”

On 11 May, Mr. Lutsenko met for two hours with President-elect Zelenskyy, according to a public account given several days later by Mr. Lutsenko. Mr. Lutsenko publicly stated that he had told Mr. Zelenskyy that he wished to remain as Prosecutor General.

10 See, for example, the above-referenced articles in Bloomberg (16 May) and OCCRP (22 July).

11 I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.

12 See, for example, Mr. Giuliani’s appearance on Fox News on 6 April and his tweets on 23 April and 10 May. In his interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani stated that the President “basically knows what I’m doing, sure, as his lawyer.” Mr. Giuliani also stated: “We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do… There’s nothing illegal about it… Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy – I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

6
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED

Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President.5 These officials also told me:

  • that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to “contain the damage” to U.S. national security; and
  • that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland during this time period met with members of the new Ukrainian administration and, in addition to discussing policy matters, sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.

During this same timeframe, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani. (Note: This was the general understanding of the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into early July. I do not know who delivered this message to the Ukrainian leadership, or when.) See Enclosure for additional information.

Shortly after President Zelenskyy’s inauguration, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani met with two other Ukrainian officials: Ukraine’s Special Anticorruption Prosecutor, Mr. Nazar Kholodnytskyy, and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko. Both Mr. Kholodnytskyy and Mr. Telizhenko are allies of Mr. Lutsenko and made similar allegations in the above-mentioned series of articles in The Hill.

On 13 June, the President told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign government.

On 21 June, Mr. Giuliani tweeted: “New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 and alleged Biden bribery of Poroshenko. Time for leadership and investigate both if you want to purge how Ukraine was abused by Hillary and Clinton people.”

In mid-July, I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to U.S. assistance for Ukraine. See Enclosure for additional information.

ENCLOSURE: Classified appendix

7
UNCLASSIFIED

Page 7

  • 5 The State Department saw Mr. Giuliani’s rogue outreach to Ukraine for Trump as a threat to national security. The whistle-blower recounts the struggles by the senior United States diplomats to deal with the confusion created by the president dispatching his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to pressure Ukrainian officials to develop dirt against the Bidens, both in the run-up to the July 25 call and its aftermath.

TOP SECRET/■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

August 12, 2019

(U) CLASSIFIED APPENDIX

(U) Supplementary classified information is provided as follows:

(U) Additional information related to Section II

(TS/■■■■■■■■■) According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President’s call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information, such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was “not the first time” under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive—rather than national security sensitive—information.

(U) Additional information related to Section IV

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(S/■■■■■■■■■) I would like to expand upon two issues mentioned in Section IV that might have a connection with the overall effort to pressure the Ukrainian leadership. As I do not know definitively whether the below-mentioned decisions are connected to the broader efforts I describe, I have chosen to include them in the classified annex. If they indeed represent genuine policy deliberations and decisions formulated to advance U.S. foreign policy and national security, one might be able to make a reasonable case that the facts are classified.

  • (S/■■■■■■■■■) I learned from U.S. officials that, on or around 14 May, the President instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President

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  • Zelenskyy’s inauguration on 20 May; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the delegation instead. According to these officials, it was also “made clear” to them that the President did not want to meet with Mr. Zelenskyy until he saw how Zelenskyy “chose to act” in office. I do not know how this guidance was communicated, or by whom. I also do not know whether this action was connected with the broader understanding, described in the unclassified letter, that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.
  • ( S/■■■■■■■■■) On 18 July, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official informed Departments and Agencies that the President “earlier that month” had issued instructions to suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. Neither OMB nor the NSC staff knew why this instruction had been issued. During interagency meetings on 23 July and 26 July, OMB officials again stated explicitly that the instruction to suspend this assistance had come directly from the President, but they still were unaware of a policy rationale. As of early August, I heard from U.S. officials that some Ukrainian officials were aware that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy, but I do not know how or when they learned of it.

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Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act

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The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998,[1] amending the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 and the Inspector General Act of 1978, sets forth a procedure for employees and contractors of specified federal intelligence agencies to report complaints or information to Congress about serious problems involving intelligence activities.

Under the ICWPA, an intelligence employee or contractor who intends to report to Congress a complaint or information of “urgent concern” involving an intelligence activity may report the complaint or information to their agency’s inspector general or the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG). Within a 14-day period, the IG must determine “whether the complaint or information appears credible,” and upon finding the information to be credible, thereafter transfer the information to the head of the agency. The law then requires the DNI (or the relevant agency head) to forward the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees, along with any comments he wishes to make about the complaint, within seven days. If the IG does not deem the complaint or information to be credible or does not transmit the information to the head of the agency, the employee may provide the information directly to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. However, the employee must first inform the IG of his or her intention to contact the intelligence committees directly and must follow the procedures specified in the Act.

The Act defines a matter of “urgent concern” as:[2]

  1. a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters;
  2. A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity; or
  3. An action constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern.

ICWPA doesn’t prohibit employment-related retaliation and it provides no mechanism, such as access to a court or administrative body, for challenging retaliation that may occur as a result of having made a disclosure.[3] In 2006 Thomas Gimble, Acting Inspector General, Department of Defense, stated before the House Committee on Government Reform that the ICWPA is a ‘misnomer‘ and that more properly the Act protects the communication of classified information to Congress.[4] According to Michael German with the Brennan Center for Justice, the ICWPA, “provides a right to report internally but no remedy when that right is infringed, which means that there is no right at all.”[3]

According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, from 1999-2009, 10 complaints/disclosures were filed under this law, four of which were found to be credible by the relevant Inspector General. In three of these ten cases the whistleblower claimed that s/he was retaliated against: two CIA cases and one DOJ case. Subsequent investigations by the CIA and DOJ failed to find evidence of retaliation in any of these cases.[3][5]

Additional protections for national security whistleblowers are provided through Presidential Policy Directive 19 and the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.[3] For more information about whistleblowers protections that apply to the intelligence community see the “national security protections” subheading under Whistleblower protection in the United States.

References

  1. ^ Title VII of Public Law No: 105-272
  2. ^ Goss, Porter J. (1998-10-20). “Text – H.R.3694 – 105th Congress (1997-1998): Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999”http://www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-09-20.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d “Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security and Free Expression” (PDF). PEN America. November 10, 2015. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  4. ^ “Statement on National Security Whistleblower Protection” (PDF)Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  5. ^ “Letter from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence” (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. March 8, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2015.

 

Story 2:  Unbelievable Adam Schiff: Pathological Prevaricator Pervert Parody of Whistle-blower Blow Job Does Not Come Out As Expected — Videos —

Schiff slammed for ‘parody’ of Trump call transcript

Jeanine Pirro: Dems don’t have a case for impeachment

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing

Fmr. Intel Official: Trump Aides Could Face Criminal Exposure | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Gowdy goes after Schiff for ‘making stuff up’ at DNI hearing

Adam Schiff Makes Up His Own Version of the Trump Transcript I White House Brief

Donald Trump rages against Adam Schiff reading a parody version of his Ukraine phone call demanding he resign for ‘fraud’ – and accuses CNN of dropping the ‘hyphen’ from insulting Schiff as ‘Liddle’ Adam’

  • Donald Trump erupted on House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff for reading a ‘parody’ of the president’s call with Ukraine at a Capitol Hill hearing
  • Schiff did not characterize it as such at the time of the reading
  • Trump said that Schiff should resign from the House of Representatives  
  • Still raging against Schiff some two hours later, he said Schiff ‘totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions’
  • ‘He must resign and be investigated,’ Trump tweeted. ‘He is a sick man!’
  • The president was on the warpath against Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the ‘hyphen’ in his attack on ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff
  • ‘I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff,’ he argued in a tweet in which he misspelled ‘describing’
  • His assault immediately trended on Twitter as users pointed out that he meant to claim the network had dropped his apostrophe in the nickname not a hyphen
  • Schiff told Trump in a response tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught – caught engaging in a ‘shakedown’ and a ‘cover up’ of the call
  • ‘But you’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves,’ the Democratic lawmaker charged

Donald Trump erupted on House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday for reading what the congressman later described as a ‘parody’ of the president’s call with Ukraine at a Capitol Hill hearing without characterizing it as such at the time.

Trump said that Schiff should resign from his California seat in the House of Representatives.

He wrote: ‘HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public. He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!’

Still raging against Schiff some two hours later, the president claimed the Democratic congressman is deranged.

‘Rep. Adam Schiff totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions. He must resign and be investigated. He has been doing this for two years. He is a sick man!’ he said.

The president was on the warpath against Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the ‘hyphen’ in his attack on ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff.

‘I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff,’ he argued.

The president is on the warpath against House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the 'hyphen' in his attack on 'Liddle' Adam Schiff.

The president is on the warpath against House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the ‘hyphen’ in his attack on ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff.

Trump said that Schiff should resign from his California seat in the House of Representatives

Trump said that Schiff should resign from his California seat in the House of Representatives

Schiff also told Trump in a response tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught – caught engaging in a ‘shakedown’ and a ‘cover up’ of what happened in his call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.

‘You engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country. And then you tried to cover it up. But you’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves. But most importantly here, they endanger our country,’ he stated.

Schiff angered Trump during a Thursday hearing where lawmakers pressed the acting Director of National Intelligence to explain why the administration attempted to ‘lock down’ the transcript of a call between Trump and the Ukranian president, according to a whistleblower complaint.

‘I have a favor I want from you,’ Schiff read aloud without disclosing that he was about to read from a parody of the call. ‘And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it, on this and on that.’

Trump did ask for a favor but he did not use the phrasing in a rough transcript the White House released that Schiff went on to use as he mocked him while reading from a piece of paper that led some to believe he was sharing verified information.

‘Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist. He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty,’ the president on Friday morning charged.

He said at another point his assault on Schiff that he intentionally calls him ‘Liddle’ instead of ‘Little’ as he responded to commentary he’d apparently been watching on CNN.

‘To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!’ he stated.

Schiff told Trump in a tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught - caught engaging in a 'shakedown' and a 'cover up'

Schiff told Trump in a tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught – caught engaging in a ‘shakedown’ and a ‘cover up’

Trump zeroed in on Schiff on Thursday after the president's acting Director of National Intelligence testified at an open hearing on Capitol Hill. He's seen making a statement at a photo op where he delcined to take questions on the White House's South Lawn

Trump zeroed in on Schiff on Thursday after the president’s acting Director of National Intelligence testified at an open hearing on Capitol Hill. He’s seen making a statement at a photo op where he delcined to take questions on the White House’s South Lawn

In that tweet, he did spell a word wrong – ‘describing’ – leaving out the e and replacing it with an errant i.

He sent out corrected versions of his Schiff tweets as Twitter users ribbed him for mistakes while complaining about his coverage.

Trump zeroed in on Schiff on Thursday after the president’s acting Director of National Intelligence testified at an open hearing on Capitol Hill. The president told traveling press that he caught some of the hearing before he left his New York City penthouse.

‘We’ve done so many things that are so incredible with tax cuts and regulations. And I have to put up with Adam Schiff on a per- — on an absolutely perfect phone call to the new President of Ukraine. That was a perfect call,’ the president said on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews after landing near Washington.

The president declined to take reporters questions – he only wanted to rail against his Capitol Hill nemesis.

Trump said that Schiff should be investigating payments that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son received from a Ukrainian company while it was under investigation.

‘But Adam Schiff doesn’t talk about Joe Biden and his son walking away with millions of dollars from Ukraine, and then millions of dollars from China. Walking away — in a quick meeting, walking away with millions of dollars,’ he fumed.

‘He doesn’t talk about Joe Biden firing a prosecutor, and if that prosecutor is not fired, he’s not going to give him money from the United States of America. They don’t talk about that.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7512109/Donald-Trump-demands-Adam-Schiff-resign-fraud-revives-Liddle-attack.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1327, September 25, 2019, Story 1: President Trump News Conference — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Call To Ukraine President — Perfectly Legal Call as Unclassified MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION Clearly Shows — President Trump is Under Article Two of The Constitution The Chief Law Enforcement Officer of The United States — TREATY WITH UKRAINE ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS — Videos –Story 3: The Attempted Coupe and Political Suicide of Democrat Party — The REDS (Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist) Candidates: Going Down in 2020 For Betraying The American People and Constitution — Videos — Story 4: CIA Officer Assigned To White House Was The Whistle-blower That Was Aiding and Abetting A Leaker of Classified Information — Second Hand Hearsay — Who Was The Leaker? Who Was The Whistle-blower? — President Trump Wants To Know — Videos

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SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN

UNCLASSIFIED

[PkgNumberShort]

Declassified by order of the President
September 24, 2019

EYES-ONLY
DO NOT COPY

MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION

SUBJECT: (C) Telephone Conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
PARTICIPANTS: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine

Notetakers: The White House Situation Room

DATE TIME
AND PLACE
July 25, 2019, 9:03 – 9:33 a.m. EDT
Residence

(S/NF) The President: Congratulations on a great victory. We all watched from the United States and you did a terrific job. The way you came from behind, somebody who wasn’t given much of a chance, and you ended up winning easily. It’s a fantastic achievement. Congratulations.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right Mr. President. We did win big and we worked hard for this. We worked a lot but I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections and yes it is true that these were unique elections. We were in a unique situation that we were able to

CAUTION: A Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty officers and NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place. A number of factors can affect the accuracy of the record, including poor telecommunications connections and variations in accent and/or interpretation, The word “inaudible” is used to indicate portions of a conversation that the notetaker was unable to hear.

Classified By: 2354726

Derived From: NSC SCG

Declassify On: 20441231

SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN

UNCLASSIFIED

2

achieve a unique success. I’m able to tell you the following; the first time, you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you are now calling me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.

(S/NF) The President: [laughter] That’s a very good idea. I think your country is very happy about that.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.

(S/NF) The President: Well it’s very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time.1 Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.2

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only. 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her. I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I’m very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

  • 1 Mr. Trump alludes to American aid, while not explicitly linking his request to unfreezing it. At the time of this call, Mr. Trump was holding back hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine that Congress had appropriated to help that country fend off Russian aggression.
  • 2 Mr. Trump brings up the idea of reciprocity, suggesting that the United States has been good to Ukraine even though something Ukraine has done is not good. The next thing Mr. Trump said — after Mr. Zelensky responded to this statement — was to ask for investigations.

SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN

UNCLASSIFIED

3

(S/NF) The PresidentI would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it3. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that. purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have, friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.

(S/NF) The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to

  • 3 Mr. Trump said Attorney General William P. Barr would call the Ukrainian president about another investigation. Mr. Trump appears to be referencing an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory pushed by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, that Ukraine had some involvement in the emails stolen from Democratic National Committee.

SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN

UNCLASSIFIED

4

call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.4 The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me. 5

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation6 to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one, who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President: well enough.

(S/NF) The President: Well, she’s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It’s a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States. Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump

  • 4 Mr. Trump is pushing Mr. Zelensky to deal directly with Mr. Giuliani, his personal lawyer and close ally. Mr. Giuliani has repeatedly pushed conspiracy theories about the Bidens and encouraged the Ukrainian government to ramp up investigations into them.
  • 5 Here, Mr. Trump pushes the Ukrainian president to get his country’s prosecutor to open an investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter.
  • 6 Mr. Zelensky promises to do what Mr. Trump is asking — launch an investigation into the Bidens — but also asks Mr. Trump if he can provide any information for Ukrainian investigators to look at.

SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN

UNCLASSIFIED

5

Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, I also want to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. As to the economy, there is much potential for our two countries and one of the issues that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe we can be very successful and cooperating on energy independence with United States. We are already working on cooperation. We are buying American oil but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We will have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I would like to thank you very much for your support.

(S/NF) The President: Good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we’ll work that out. I look forward to seeing you.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and get to know you better. I am looking forward to our meeting and I also would like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kyiv which is a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country which would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that on September 1 we will be in Poland and we can meet in Poland hopefully. After that, it might be a very good idea for you to travel to Ukraine. We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine.

(S/NF) The President: Okay, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland because I think we are going to be there at that time.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much Mr. President.

(S/NF) The President: Congratulations on a fantastic job you’ve done. The whole world was watching. I’m not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations.

(S/NF) President Zelenskyy: Thank you Mr. President bye-bye.

— End of Conversation —

 

 

‘I would like you to do us a favor.’ Read the whole declassified transcript of Donald Trump’s call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky

This is the full text of the classified White House memo released amid the outcry over Donald Trump‘s dealing with Ukraine, showing what happened in his call with Volodymyr Zelensky. Spelling in this transcript is per the White House 

Declassified by order of the President’ September 24, 2019 

MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION 

SUBJECT: Telephone Conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine

PARTICIPANTS: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine 

Notetakers: The White House Situation Room 

DATE, TIME AND PLACE: July 25, 2019, 9:03 – 9:33 a.m. EDT Residence

The President: Congratulations on a great victory. We all watched from the United States and you did a terrific job. The way you came from behind,  somebody who wasn’t given much of a chance, and you ended up winning easily. It’s a fantastic achievement. Congratulations. 

President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right Mr. President. We did win big and we worked hard for this. We worked a lot but I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. 

Call: Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on July 25

Call: Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on July 25

We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections – and yes it is true that these were unique elections. We were in a unique situation that we were able to achieve a unique success. I’m able to tell you the following; the first time, you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you are now calling me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.

The President: [laughter] That’s a very good idea. I think your country is very happy about that. 

President Zelenskyy: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.

Mutually unhappy: Both Trump and Zelensky expressed unhappiness with Angela Merkel

Mutually unhappy: Both Trump and Zelensky expressed unhappiness with Angela Merkel

The President: Well it is very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s.something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. 

President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet.with her. I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I’m very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes. 

'Incompetent performance': Trump made the call the day after watching Robert Mueller's disastrous appearance in front of Congress

‘Incompetent performance’: Trump made the call the day after watching Robert Mueller’s disastrous appearance in front of Congress

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There- are a lot. of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible. 

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once  he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you. 

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. 

Questions over conduct: Donald Trump asked Ukraine to probe why a prosecutor was fired and claimed that he was prosecuting Hunter Biden at the time

Questions over conduct: Donald Trump asked Ukraine to probe why a prosecutor was fired and claimed that he was prosecuting Hunter Biden at the time

Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine .were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me. 

President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one. who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

Trump's verdict: Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy.

Trump’s verdict: Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy.

The president: Well, she’s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It’s a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.

President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States. Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On ,the other hand, I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. As to the economy, there is much potential for our two countries and one of the issues. that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe we can be very successful and cooperating on energy independence with United States. We are already working on cooperation. We are buying American oil but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We will have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I would like to thank you very much for your support .

Call me: Bill Barr is named repeatedly by Trump in the course of his call

The President: Good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we’ll work that. out. I look forward to seeing you. 

President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and I get to know you better. I am looking forward to our meeting and I also would like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kyiv which is a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country which would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that on September 1 we will be in Poland and we can meet in Poland hopefully. After that,it might be a very good idea for you to travel to Ukraine. We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine. 

The President: Okay, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland because I think we are going to be there at that time.

President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much Mr. President. 

The President: Congratulations on a fantastic job you’ve done. The whole world was watching. I’m not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations. 

President Zelenskyy: Thank you Mr. President bye-bye.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7504679/The-declassified-transcript-Donald-Trumps-call-Ukraines-Volodymyr-Zelensky.html

 

Transcript of Donald Trump’s call to Ukraine’s president is published and reveals he DID ask leader to investigate Joe Biden and work with Rudy Giuliani but did NOT tie it to aid – and Bill Barr’s Justice Department has ALREADY cleared him

  • The White House on Wednesday released the bombshell transcript of President Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine
  • Trump urged Volodymyr Zelensky to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani after the new Ukrainian leader said his aide had met the former New York mayor
  • Trump brought up former VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter, saying there was ‘a lot of talk about Biden’s son’ 
  • He tried to connect Zelensky directly with Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr
  • Zelensky said he wanted to ‘drain the swamp’ and called Trump a ‘great teacher’  
  • Trump appeared to reference the the hacked DNC  server, asking Zelensky to ‘find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine’ 
  • Zelensky told Trump he had stayed at Trump Tower in the past and said: ‘You have nobody but friends around us.’
  • The call is part of a whistle-blower complaint to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community
  • Both he and the acting Director of National Intelligence passed it to the DOJ for possible criminal investigation – but it declined to order one 
  • A defiant Trump called the furor over the call ‘a political war’ and a ‘witch hunt’ and said it had been ‘built up as the call from hell’ 
  • Hillary Clinton called for his impeachment 
  • SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FULL DOCUMENT 

The White House on Wednesday released the bombshell transcript of President Donald Trump‘s phone call with the president of Ukraine where Trump urges his counterpart to investigate Joe Biden and work directly with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani – and even brings up the DNC’s hacked email server.

But the transcript does not show Trump tying the investigation to aid for Ukraine as he spoke to Volodymyr Zelensky, the quid pro quo which some reports had suggested it contained.

The call forms part of the whistle-blower complaint from an unknown intelligence official which alleges a pattern of wrongdoing by the president in his dealings with Ukraine, but which has been blocked from being given to Congress.

The unprecedented publication of a transcript of a president’s call to a foreign leader is unprecedented was accompanied by two bombshell revelations from the Department of Justice, where officials said:

  • The acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, and the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, referred the whistle-blower complaint to the Department of Justice for possible criminal investigation into Trump’s actions;
  • The Justice Department, led by Attorney General Bill Barr, has already declined to criminally investigate the call – effectively clearing the president.

At the United Nations Donald Trump called Democratic plans to impeach him ‘a political war,’ and trashed critics who had suggested the phonecall was evidence of wrongdoing.

Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he had directed the release of a ‘complete’ transcript of the July 25 phone call

Ftriends: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted a photo of himself and his wife Olena with President Trump and Melania Trump at a diplomatic reception Tuesday night

 

Ftriends: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted a photo of himself and his wife Olena with President Trump and Melania Trump at a diplomatic reception Tuesday night

‘There was no pressure, the way you had that built up, that call, it was going to be the call from hell,’ he said.

‘It turned out to be a nothing call other than a lot of people said, I never knew you could be so nice.’ 

But Adam Schiff, Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, compared the call to a ‘classic mob shakedown.’ 

In the Senate, Republican Mitt Romney said it was ‘deeply troubling,’ but Trump ally Lindsey Graham aggressively defended it and said: ‘To impeach any president over a phone call like this would be insane.’

Clinton weighs in on impeachment 

But Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in 2016, tweeted her endorsement of America’s harshest political penalty.

‘The president of the United States has betrayed our country. That’s not a political statement—it’s a harsh reality, and we must act,’ she said. ‘He is a clear and present danger to the things that keep us strong and free. I support impeachment.’ 

In the call, the president mentions political rival Biden by name, seeks an inquiry into a company tied to Biden’s surviving son, Hunter, and predicts Ukraine’s economy will do ‘better and better’ – but does not explicitly tie the United States’ aid to the country to the investigation he demands.

Ukraine links: Joe Biden made multiple trips there and demanded action on corruption; Hunter was on the board of a natural gas firm which faced money-laundering accusations

Ukraine links: Joe Biden made multiple trips there and demanded action on corruption; Hunter was on the board of a natural gas firm which faced money-laundering accusations

How Trump reacted: As well as speaking at the United Nations, he tweeted a link to a story by ultra-conservative news website Breitbart which accuses the Democrats of tying Ukraine aid to investigating him

How Trump reacted: As well as speaking at the United Nations, he tweeted a link to a story by ultra-conservative news website Breitbart which accuses the Democrats of tying Ukraine aid to investigating him

2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said Trump has 'betrayed our country' and called for his impeachment

2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said Trump has ‘betrayed our country’ and called for his impeachment

He urges the president to contact Giuliani, who this summer called off a planned mission to Ukraine after bringing up a Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden served on the board.

‘There is a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,’ Trump says, according to the transcript.

‘Biden went about bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… it sounds horrible to me,’ the president told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president assured Trump: ‘The next prosecutor general will be 100 per cent my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start. As a new prosecutor in September.

THE FIVE KEY QUOTES FROM THE TRUMP-ZELENSKY PHONE CALL

Trump: ‘I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are ‘doing and they should be helping you more than they are.’

Trump: ‘I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.’

Trump: ‘There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.’

Trump: ‘I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.’

Zelensky: ‘I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation.’

‘He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation.’

Flattering phone call 

Ukraine’s president Zelensky said he wanted to ‘drain the swamp’ and called Trump a ‘great teacher for all of us,’ according to the transcript.

Trump told his counterpart: ‘I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.’

‘Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great,’ Trump said.

Democrats were already planning to scour the transcript for any suggestion of a quid-pro-quo – which Trump has explicitly denied offering.

The transcript shows no such direct linkage – although Trump does appear to mention a variety of ways in which Ukraine might benefit from acceding to his requests.

He tells Zelensky ‘I would like you do us a favor though’ when he asks him to find out what happened with the Democratic National Committee’s server – immediately after Zelensky thanked him for U.S. defense support and said he was about to buy American weaponry.

He appears to reference an unnamed oligarch when he says ‘I guess you have one of your wealthy people …’ without apparently finishing the thought.

U.S. security assistance mentioned 

Trump does not appear to mention $250 million in security aid to Ukraine that the president later said he held up before making the call.

He does, however, say the U.S. does ‘a lot’ for Ukraine, and trashes Germany’s and the Europeans’ efforts.

‘I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about,’ Trump said.

He adds that German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘doesn’t do anything.’ He said the U.S. ‘has been very, very good to Ukraine.’

He also trashes the Obama-nominated ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich, who stayed over into his own administration. She is a career diplomat and remains a State Department employee.

‘The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news,’ Trump said, and the people she was dealing with in Ukraine ‘were bad news.’

In response, Zelenksy tells Trump that the new prosecutor will be ‘100 per cent my person, my candidate’ and promises: ‘He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned’ – meaning the one affiliated with Hunter Biden.

Zelensky also bashes Yovanovich, prompting Trump to answer: ‘Well, she’s going to go through some things.’

He also appeared to reference the the DNC server which was hacked before the 2016 election, asking Zelensky to ‘find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine.’

He asked Zelensky ‘to do us a favor’ by investigating whether Ukraine is in possession of computer data linked to hacking of a Democratic National Committee server in 2016.

In the hot seat: Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday as his call to Donald Trump was unveiled

In the hot seat: Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday as his call to Donald Trump was unveiled

Cleared: Bill Barr's Justice Department declined to order a full criminal investigation into the president after both the Director of National Intelligence and the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community referred the whistle-blower complaint to the attorney-general's department

He mentioned Crowdstrike, a company that helped the Democratic National Committee manage its computer network when Russian agents penetrated it.

Trump has vented at his political rallies that the FBI in 2016 never made an effort to seize the server and analyze its contents.

‘I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it,’ Trump said in the July call with Zelensky.

WHAT THE CALL TRANSCRIPT REVEALS TRUMP SAID ON…

Robert Mueller in front of Congress:

 – “An incompetent performance”

His own attorney Rudy Giuliani:

 – “Very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy”

Joe Biden’s boast about firing previous Ukraine prosecutor:

 – “It sounds horrible to me”

Fired U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich:

 – “The woman, was bad news”

Prosecutor fired after Biden intervened:

 – “I heard… he was a very fair prosecutor” 

‘I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.’

The only person to directly bring up U.S. security aid for Ukraine at a time it was being held up is Zelensky – who says Ukraine is ‘ready to continue to cooperate for next steps.’

Ukraine desperately wants the aid as it continues to clash with Russia following its 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea.

‘The United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation,’ Zelensky said, mentioning U.S. imposed sanctions that Trump resisted when Congress tightened them after his election.

‘I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense,’ Zelensky continues. ‘We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. Specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes,’ he said, mentioning Javelin missiles, a portable anti-tank munition.

Zelensky flattered Trump and told him on his last trip to New York he stayed at Trump Tower.

He assured Trump: ‘We will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation.’

The two men talked about meeting on Trump’s then-planned trip to Poland. Zelensky suggested a joint trip to Ukraine. ‘We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine,’ Zelensky said.  

Zelensky appears with Trump and says the call was ‘normal’

During a joint availability with Trump at the UN, Zelensky characterized their conversation as ‘normal.’

‘I think you read everything. I think you read text. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to Democratic … elections, elections of USA. No, sure, we had – I think good phone call,’ he said, while seated beside Trump. ‘It was normal. We spoke about many things, and I – so I think and you read it that nobody pushed me. Yes.’

Trump jumped in: ‘In other words, no pressure.’ Trump then teed off on Hunter Biden and said Ukraine may somehow be in possession of 33,000 emails Hillary Clinton deleted from her home server.

He referenced a business contract Hunter Biden obtained. ‘When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China, and he’s there for one quick meeting and he flies in on Air Force Two, I think that’s a horrible thing,’ Trump said.

Trump said Zelensky was doing the ‘whole world a big favor’ by investigating corruption.

‘Stop corruption in Ukraine because that will really make you great. That will make you great personally and it will also be so tremendous for your nation in terms of what you want to do and where you want to take it,’ Trump said.

Zelenksy tried to stay out of the fray. ‘Remember, we are the biggest country in Europe, but we want to be the richest one,’ he said.

Trump defended personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who is under fire for his personal contracts with Ukraine to try to get at the start of the Russia probe and glean information about the Bidens.

‘I will tell you this, that Rudy’s looking to also find out where the phony witch-hunt started, how it started. You had a Russian witch hunt turned out to be two and a half years of phony nonsense. And Rudy Giuliani is a great lawyer,’ Trump said.

‘I’ve watched the passion that he’s had on television over the last few days. I think it’s incredible the way he’s done,’ Trump continued.

‘He wants to find out where did this Russian witch-hunt you people really helped perpetrate, where did it start? How come it started? It was all nonsense. It was a hoax – total hoax … And Rudy’s got every right to go and find out where that started and other people are looking at that, too.

Asked if a server containing Clinton’s emails might be in Ukraine, as he suggested in the call transcript, Trump replied: ‘Could very well.’

Then he said he liked the question, ‘because frankly i think that one of the great crimes committed is Hillary Clinton deleting 33,000 emails after congress sent her a subpoena.’

He told Zelensky: ‘we have corruption also, Mr. president. We have a lot of corruption in our government, and when you see what happened with Hillary Clinton, when you see what happened with [former FBI Director James] Comey and [former FBI official Andrew] McCabe and all of these people, we have a lot of things going on here, too. Hopefully it’s going to be found out very soon, but I think that a lot of progress has been made. A lot of progress has been made,’ he said.

Trump’s campaign hits back

Trump’s presidential campaign immediately teed off on the release of the transcript, accusing Democrats of acting out of ‘pure hatred.’

‘Because of their pure hatred for President Trump, desperate Democrats and the salivating media already had determined their mission: take out the President,’ said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.

‘The fact is that the President wants to fight the corruption in Washington, where the Bidens, the Clintons, and other career politicians have abused their power for personal gain for decades. The facts prove the President did nothing wrong,’ he said. ‘This is just another hoax from Democrats and the media, contributing to the landslide re-election of President Trump in 2020.’

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, however, saw no reason to back off his statement that the information is ‘troubling.’

‘This remains deeply troubling and we’ll see where it leads but the first reaction is, troubling,’ he said at a forum hosted by the Atlantic magazine. But he declined to say whether it was an ‘impeachable offense.’

Asked about the quid pro quo issue, Romney said: ‘I don’t know that I’ve focused so much on the quid pro quo element … There’s just the question of… if the president of the United States asks or presses the leader for a foreign country to carry out an investigation of a political nature, that’s troubling. And I feel that. If there were a quid pro quo, that would take it to an entirely more extreme level,’ Romney said.

The transcript became a political hot potato this week as Democrats clamored for its release with predictions that it would show Trump committing impeachable offenses.

They argue that Trump’s request for a new investigation into the Bidens was motivated by a desire to politically cripple the former vice president, who was then thought of as his main rival in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump released the call transcript the morning after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House was conducting a formal impeachment inquiry of the president.

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT

 

 

How Trump’s Ukraine call could violate campaign finance laws

President Donald Trump’s repeated prodding of the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden and his son could amount to an illegal request for a campaign contribution from a foreign citizen.

Federal law states it is illegal to “knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation.” Trump’s request to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was not for campaign cash, but what’s referred to as an “in kind” contribution that would arguably be of more value – damaging information that could be weaponized against Biden, a potential 2020 rival.

That’s likely to be among the issues House Democrats focus on as they pursue an impeachment inquiry into efforts by Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor spearheaded Trump’s effort to obtain information on Biden and his son Hunter, who did work for a Ukrainian gas company while his father was vice president.

“It turns on a basic question,” said Larry Noble, a former general counsel to the Federal Election Commission who is a Trump critic. “Is it legal for the president of the United States to ask a foreign country to intervene in our election to help him and investigate his potential opponent? And I think it is clearly illegal.”

Trump has said he did nothing wrong. Justice Department prosecutors have determined Trump did not violate campaign finance law, including a prohibition on accepting campaign contributions or a “thing of value” from foreign governments. A department official said prosecutors made the determination based on the elements of the crime and did not consider the department’s policy prohibiting the indictment of a sitting president.

That makes impeachment the only likely avenue to pursue.

President Donald Trump walks off following a news conference at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are left. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Giuliani, however, doesn’t enjoy the same immunity and could be charged for his role, legal experts say. Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.

The drama unfolding in Congress revisits a central issue from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: Did Trump campaign officials break the law by “knowingly” requesting, accepting or receiving a donation from a foreign national?

Mueller said “no” because it was difficult to tell whether they were aware of the law when Trump’s son and several advisers held a meeting with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. This time that would be a far more difficult argument to make after Trump has faced repeated questions in recent months over his willingness to accept foreign help.

One day after Mueller told Congress it was hard to prove his awareness of the law, Trump was on the phone with Zelenskiy seeking assistance digging into allegations against the Bidens, which have not been substantiated.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son,” Trump said.

At one point in the conversation, he said, “I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General (William) Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.”

So just how valuable is the information Trump was seeking?

In the days before the call, Trump ordered advisers to freeze $400 million in military aid for Ukraine – prompting speculation that he was holding out the money as leverage for the information. Trump has denied that charge, but acknowledged he blocked the funds, later released.

Trump has sought to implicate Biden and his son in the kind of corruption that has long plagued Ukraine. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. Though the timing raised concerns among anticorruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either the former vice president or his son.

“Given the context of the call, President Trump created an implicit understanding that U.S. support for Ukraine and taxpayer-funded security aid to Ukraine was hanging in the balance,” said Trevor Potter, a Republican former FEC commissioner who is now president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Trump has angrily denounced the impeachment inquiry as “presidential harassment” and insisted he did nothing wrong because there was no “quid pro quo.”

“This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!” he tweeted.

But “you don’t need a quid pro quo” for it to be illegal, said Noble.

Aside from Trump’s request to Zelenskiy, there are other campaign finance issues that could carry civil or criminal penalties for others involved in the effort – like whether someone footed the bill for work done by Giuliani, who has said he is not compensated.

Giuliani’s actions on Trump’s behalf could be construed as political activity, but there are no records in FEC filings of him getting paid. If he were compensated or incurred expenses that were paid from outside the campaign, that would likely need to be reported as a contribution, Noble said.

Depending on the amount of money involved, a violation could include civil penalties and, in some cases, jail time.

Still, establishing that the effort violated campaign finance law will not be an easy task, said Dan Petalas, a former FEC attorney who once gave a $250 donation to a Democrat and is now in private practice.

“It certainly raises a question,” he said. “It really will turn on a better picture of the facts and connecting the dots. It is just so outside the norm.”

https://www.apnews.com/560b20b139d943969e17c82eda77ca8d

 

CrowdStrike

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CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc.
Public
Traded as NASDAQCRWD (Class A)
Industry Information security
Founded 2011
Founders George KurtzDmitri Alperovitch
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, U.S.
Key people
George Kurtz, CEO
Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO
Products
Number of employees
1,683 (April 30, 2019)
Website www.crowdstrike.com Edit this at Wikidata

CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. is a cybersecurity technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. It provides endpoint securitythreat intelligence, and cyberattack response services.[1] The company has been involved in investigations of several high profile cyber-attacks, including the Sony Pictures hack,[2] the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak, and the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks.[3]

History

CrowdStrike was co-founded by George Kurtz (CEO),[4][5] Dmitri Alperovitch (CTO),[6] and Gregg Marston (CFO, retired) in 2011.[7][8] In 2012, Shawn Henry, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official who led both the FBI’s criminal and cyber divisions, was hired to lead sister company CrowdStrike Services, Inc., which focused on proactive and incident response services.[9] In June 2013, the company launched its first product, CrowdStrike Falcon.[10] The company became known for providing threat intelligence and attribution to nation state actors[11] that are conducting economic espionage and IP theft.[12]

In May 2014, supported by CrowdStrike’s reports, the United States Department of Justice charged five Chinese military hackers for economic cyber espionage against United States corporations. CrowdStrike also uncovered the activities of Energetic Bear, a group connected to the Russian Federation that conducted intelligence operations against global targets, primarily in the energy sector.

After the Sony Pictures hack, CrowdStrike produced evidence implicating the government of North Korea within 48 hours, and demonstrated how the attack was carried out.[13] In 2014, CrowdStrike played a major role in identifying members of Putter Panda, the state-sponsored Chinese group also known as PLA Unit 61486, perpetrators of a cyberattacks on U.S. infrastructure and defense, as well as on European satellite and aerospace industries.[14][15]

In May 2015, the company released researcher Jason Geffner’s discovery of VENOM, a critical flaw in an open-source hypervisor called Quick Emulator (QEMU),[16] which is used in a number of common virtualization products. This vulnerability could allow attackers to access sensitive personal information.[17] In October 2015, CrowdStrike announced that it had identified Chinese hackers attacking technology and pharmaceutical companies immediately before and after President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping publicly agreed not to use cyber-spies to conduct economic espionage against the other. The alleged hacking would have been in violation of that agreement.[18]

CrowdStrike released research in 2017 showing that 66 percent of the attacks to which the company responded that year were fileless or malware-free. The company also compiled data on the average time needed to detect an attack and the percentage of attacks detected by organizations themselves.[19]

In February 2018, CrowdStrike reported that in November and December 2017 it had observed a credential harvesting operation in the international sporting sector, with possible links to the cyber attack on the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.[20] That same month, Crowdstrike released research showing that 39 percent of all attacks observed by the company were malware-free intrusions. The company also named which industries attackers most frequently targeted.[21] That March, the company released a version of its Falcon product for mobile devices and launched the CrowdStrike store, which opens the Falcon platform to third-party applications.[22]

In January 2019, CrowdStrike published research reporting that Ryuk ransomware, used by cyber actor Grim Spider to target businesses, had accumulated more than $3.7 million in cryptocurrency payments since it first appeared in August.[23]

Also in 2019, CrowdStrike released its 2018 Global Threat Report, which ranked cybercriminals in order of fastest actors to operate within a network, with Russia coming in first.[24][25] The company also revealed that it tracked 81 named state-sponsored actors in 2018, and at least 28 were conducting active operations throughout the year. The research showed that of the sophisticated attacks that the company attributed to nation-states, China was responsible for the plurality: more than 25 percent.[26]

Funding

In July 2015, Google invested in the company’s Series C funding round which was followed by Series D [27] and Series E[28] raising a total of $480 million as of May 2019.[29] In June 2018, the company said it was valued at more than $3 billion.[30] Investors include Telstra, March Capital Partners, RackspaceAccel Partners and Warburg Pincus.[31][32]

Estimated annual revenue in 2017 was $100 million, and the company had a valuation of more than $1 billion.[33] Investors included Telstra, March Capital Partners, RackspaceAccel Partners and Warburg Pincus.[34][35]

In June 2019, the company made its IPO on the NASDAQ.[36][37]

Russian hacking investigations

CrowdStrike helped investigate the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks and connected those attacks to Russian intelligence services. On March 20, 2017, during testimony before congress, James Comey stated “CrowdStrike, Mandiant, and ThreatConnect review[ed] the evidence of the hack and conclude[d] with high certainty that it was the work of APT 28 and APT 29 who are known to be Russian intelligence services.”[38]

In December 2016, CrowdStrike released a report stating that Russian government-affiliated group Fancy Bear had hacked a Ukrainian artillery app.[39] They concluded that Russia had used the hack to cause large losses to Ukrainian artillery units. The app (called ArtOS) is installed on tablet PCs and used for fire-control.[40] The earliest version of the app (supported until 2015) was called POPR-D30 and installed on Android phones and tablets. CrowdStrike found a hacked variation of POPR-D30 being distributed on Ukrainian military forums that utilized an X-Agent implant.[41]

The International Institute for Strategic Studies rejected CrowdStrike’s assessment of hacking causing losses to Ukrainian artillery units, saying that their data on Ukrainian D30 howitzer losses was misused by CrowdStrike in their report. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also rejected the CrowdStrike report, stating that actual artillery losses were much smaller than what was reported by [CrowdStrike] and were not associated with [Russian hacking].[42]

Cybersecurity firm SecureWorks discovered a list of email addresses targeted by Fancy Bear in phishing attacks.[43] The list included the email address of Yaroslav Sherstyuk, the developer of ArtOS.[44] Additional Associated Press research supports CrowdStrike’s conclusions about Fancy Bear.[45]Radio Free Europe notes that the AP report “lends some credence to the original CrowdStrike report, showing that the app had, in fact, been targeted.”[46]

Following CrowdStrike’s investigation of the 2016 Democratic National Committee hacks, journalist Yasha Levine questioned CrowdStrike’s methodology, citing it as “forensics in reverse.”[47]

In the Trump–Ukraine controversy, a transcript of a conversation between Donald Trump, the president of the United States, and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, Trump asked Zelensky to look into CrowdStrike’s activities in Ukraine.[48]

Accolades

In 2014 and 2015, CRN Magazine named the company to its Top Emerging Vendors List.[49]

In 2016, the company was ranked #40 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, North America list,[50] and Inc. named CrowdStrike as one of America’s 500 fastest-growing companies.[51]

In 2017 and 2018, CrowdStrike was listed on LinkedIn’s Top Companies: Start Ups,[52][53] on the Forbes Cloud 100,[54][55] and as one of the CNBC Disruptor 50.[56][57]

Fortune has given CrowdStrike three of its “Great Place to Work” awards,[58][59] and Inc. has praised the company’s remote work program.[60]

See also

References…

External links

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

 

Article II – U.S. Constitution

Article IIArticle Text | Annotations

Section 1.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representatives from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Section 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information on the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section 4.

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article II Annotations

Article II – Executive Department

Text – Treaty Document: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 106-16All Information (Except Treaty Text)

A Senate treaty document provides the text of the treaty as transmitted to the Senate, as well as the transmittal letter from the President, the submittal letter from the Secretary of State, and accompanying papers.

Text of Treaty Document available as:

For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Senate Treaty Document 106-16]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



106th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                                 SENATE                                
 1st Session                                                  106-16
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     



 
  TREATY WITH UKRAINE ON MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

TREATY BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND UKRAINE ON MUTUAL LEGAL 
 ASSISTANCE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS WITH ANNEX, SIGNED AT KIEV ON JULY 22, 
1998, AND WITH AN EXCHANGE OF NOTES SIGNED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 1999, WHICH 
                PROVIDES FOR ITS PROVISIONAL APPLICATION




 November 10, 1999.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate.

                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
79-118                     WASHINGTON : 1999


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                The White House, November 10, 1999.
To the Senate of the United States:
    With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Treaty Between 
the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal 
Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex, signed at Kiev on 
July 22, 1998. I transmit also, for the information of the 
Senate, an exchange of notes which was signed on September 30, 
1999, which provides for its provisional application, as well 
as the report of the Department of State with respect to the 
Treaty.
    The Treaty is one of a series of modern mutual legal 
assistance treaties being negotiated by the United States in 
order to counter criminal activities more effectively. The 
Treaty should be an effective tool to assist in the prosecution 
of a wide variety of crimes, including drug trafficking 
offenses. The Treaty is self-executing. It provides for a broad 
range of cooperation in criminal matters. Mutual assistance 
available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or 
statements of persons; providing documents, records, and 
articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or 
identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for 
testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches 
and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, 
confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection 
of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by 
the laws of the requested state.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to the Treaty and give its advice and consent to 
ratification.

                                                William J. Clinton.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                                
        

                                       Department of State,
                                      Washington, October 19, 1999.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty 
Between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual 
Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex (``the 
Treaty''), signed at Kiev on July 22, 1998. I recommend that 
the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and 
consent to ratification.
    Also enclosed, for the information of the Senate, is an 
exchange of notes under which the Treaty is being provisionally 
applied to the extent possible under our respective domestic 
laws, in order to provide a basis for immediate mutual 
assistance in criminal matters. Provisional application would 
cease upon entry into force of the Treaty.
    The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal 
matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have 
entered into force with a number of other countries. The Treaty 
with Ukraine contains all essential provisions sought by the 
United States. It will enhance our ability to investigate and 
prosecute a range of offenses. The Treaty is designed to be 
self-executing and will not require new legislation.
    Article 1 sets forth a non-exclusive list of the major 
types of assistance to be provided under the Treaty, including 
taking the testimony or statements of persons; providing 
documents, records and other items of evidence; locating or 
identifying persons or items; serving documents; transferring 
persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing 
requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings 
related to immobilization and forfeiture of assets, 
restitution, and collection of fines; and, rendering any other 
form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the Requested 
State. The scope of the Treaty includes not only criminal 
offenses, but also proceedings related to criminal matters, 
which may be civil or administrative in nature.
    Article 1(3) states that assistance shall be provided 
without regard to whether the conduct involved would constitute 
an offense under the laws of the Requested State.
    Article 1(4) states explicitly that the Treaty is not 
intended to create rights in private parties to obtain, 
suppress, or exclude any evidence, or to impede the execution 
of a request.
    Article 2 provides for the establishment of Central 
Authorities and defines Central Authorities for purposes of the 
Treaty. For the United States, the Central Authority shall be 
the Attorney General or a person designated by the Attorney 
General. For Ukraine, the Central Authority shall be the 
Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Prosecutor General. 
The article provides that the Central Authorities shall 
communicate directly with one another for the purposes of the 
Treaty.
    Article 3 sets forth the circumstances under which a 
Requested State's Central Authority may deny assistance under 
the Treaty. A request may be denied if it relates to a military 
offense that would not be an offense under ordinary criminal 
law. A further ground for denial is that the request relates to 
a political offense (a term expected to be defined on the basis 
of that term's usage in extradition treaties). In addition, a 
request may be denied if its execution would prejudice the 
security or similar essential interests of the Requested State, 
or if it is not made in conformity with the Treaty.
    Before denying assistance under Article 3, the Central 
Authority of the Requested State is required to consult with 
its counterpart in the Requesting State to consider whether 
assistance can be given subject to such conditions as the 
Central Authority of the RequestedState deems necessary. If the 
Requesting State accepts assistance subject to these conditions, it is 
required to comply with the conditions. If the Central Authority of the 
Requested State denies assistance, it is required to inform the Central 
Authority of the Requesting State of the reasons for the denial.
    Article 4 prescribes the form and content of written 
requests under the Treaty, specifying in detail the information 
required in each request. The article permits other forms of 
requests in emergency situations but requires written 
confirmation within ten days thereafter unless the Central 
Authority of the Requested State agrees otherwise.
    Article 5 requires the Central Authority of the Requested 
State to execute the request promptly or to transmit it to the 
authority having jurisdiction to do so. It provides that the 
competent authorities of the Requested State shall do 
everything in their power to execute a request, and that the 
courts or other competent authorities of the Requested State 
shall have authority to issue subpoenas, search and arrest 
warrants, or other orders necessary to execute the request. The 
Central Authority of the Requested State must make all 
arrangements for representation of the Requesting State in any 
proceedings arising out of an assistance request.
    Under Article 5(3), requests are to be executed in 
accordance with the laws of the Requested State except to the 
extent that the Treaty provides otherwise. However, the method 
of execution specified in the request is to be followed except 
insofar as it is prohibited by the laws of the Requested State.
    Article 5(4) provides that if the Central Authority of the 
Requested State determines that execution of the request would 
interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation, prosecution, 
or proceeding in that State, it may postpone execution or, 
after consulting with the Central Authority of the Requesting 
State, impose conditions on execution. If the Requesting State 
accepts assistance subject to the conditions, it shall comply 
with such conditions.
    Article 5(5) further requires the Requested State, if so 
requested, to use its best efforts to keep confidential a 
request and its contents, and to inform the Requesting State's 
Central Authority if the request cannot be executed without 
breaching confidentiality. This provides the Requesting State 
an opportunity to decide whether to pursue the request or to 
withdraw it in order to maintain confidentiality.
    This article additionally requires the Requested State's 
Central Authority to respond to reasonable inquiries by the 
Requesting State's Central Authority regarding the status of 
the execution of a particular request; to report promptly to 
the Requesting State's Central Authority the outcome of its 
execution; and, if the request is denied, to inform the 
Requesting State's Central Authority of the reasons for the 
denial.
    Article 6 apportions between the two States the costs 
incurred in executing a request. It provides that the Request 
State shall pay all costs, except for the following items to be 
paid by the Requesting State: fees of expert witnesses, costs 
of interpretation, translation and transcription, and 
allowances and expenses related to travel of persons pursuant 
to Articles 10 and 11. If during the execution of the request, 
it becomes apparent that extraordinary expenses will be 
entailed, the Central Authorities shall consult to determine 
the terms and conditions under which execution may continue.
    Article 7 requires the Requesting State to comply with any 
request by the Central Authority of the Requested State that 
information or evidence obtained under the Treaty not be used 
for proceedings other than those described in the request 
without its priorconsent. Further, if the Requested State's 
Central Authority asks that information or evidence furnished under 
this Treaty be kept confidential or be used in accordance with 
specified conditions, the Requesting State must use its best efforts to 
comply with the conditions. Once information is made public in the 
Requesting State in accordance with either or these provisions, no 
further limitations on use apply. Nothing in the article prevents the 
use or disclosure of information to the extent that there is an 
obligation to do so under the Constitution of the Requesting State in a 
criminal prosecution. The Requesting State is obliged to notify the 
Requesting State in advance of any such proposed use or disclosure.
    Article 8 provides that a person in the Requesting State 
from whom testimony or evidence is requested pursuant to the 
Treaty shall be compelled, if necessary, to appear and testify 
or produce items, documents and records. The article requires 
the Central Authority of the Requested State, upon request, to 
furnish information in advance about the date and place of the 
taking of testimony or evidence pursuant to this Article.
    Article 8(3) further requires the Requested State to permit 
the presence of persons specified in the request and to permit 
them to question the person giving the testimony or evidence. 
In the event that a person whose testimony or evidence is being 
taken asserts a claim of immunity, incapacity, or privilege 
under the laws of the Requesting State, Article 8(4) provides 
that the testimony or evidence shall be taken and the claim 
made known by written notification to the Central Authority of 
the Requesting State for resolution by its competent 
authorities. Finally, in order to ensure admissibility of 
evidence in the Requesting State, Article 8(5) provides a 
mechanism for authenticating evidence that is produced pursuant 
to or that is the subject of testimony taken in the Requested 
State.
    Article 9 requires that the Requested State provide the 
Requesting State with copies of publicly available records in 
the possession of government departments and agencies in the 
Requesting State. The Requested State may further provide 
copies of any documents, records or information in the 
possession of a government department or agency, but not 
publicly available, to the same extent and under the same 
conditions as it would provide them to its own law enforcement 
or judicial authorities. The Requested State has the discretion 
to refuse to execute, entirely or in part, such requests for 
records not publicly available. Article 9(3) provides that 
records produced pursuant to this Article shall, upon request, 
be certified by the appropriate form attached to the request. 
Article 9(3) also provides that no further authentication shall 
be necessary for admissibility into evidence in the Requesting 
State of official records pursuant to this Article.
    Article 10 provides a mechanism for the Requesting State to 
invite the voluntary appearance in its territory of a person 
located in the Requested State shall indicate the extent to 
which the expenses will be paid. It also states that the 
Central Authority of the Requesting State has discretion to 
determine that a person appearing in the Requesting State 
pursuant to this Article shall not be subject to service of 
process or be detained or subjected to any restriction of 
personal liberty by reason of any acts or convictions that 
preceded his departure from the Requested State. Any safe 
conduct provided for by this article ceases seven days after 
the Central Authority of the Requesting State has notified the 
Central Authority of the Requested State that the person's 
presence is no longer required, or if the person has left the 
Requesting State and voluntarily returns to it.
    Article 11 provides for temporary transfer of a person in 
custody in the Requested State or in a third State to the 
Requesting State for purposes of assistance under the Treaty 
(for example, a witness incarcerated in the Requested State may 
be transferred to have his deposition taken in the presence of 
the defendant), provided that the person in question and the 
Central Authorities of both States agree. The article also 
provides for voluntary transfer of a person in the custody of 
the Requesting State to the Requested State for purposes of 
assistance under the Treaty (for example, a defendant in the 
Requesting State may be transferred for purposes of attending a 
witness deposition in the Requesting State), if the person 
consents and if the Central Authorities of both States agree.
    Article 11(3) further establishes both the express 
authority and the obligation of the receiving State to maintain 
the person transferred in custody unless otherwise agreed by 
both Central Authorities. The return of the person transferred 
is subject to terms and conditions agreed to by the Central 
Authorities, and the sending State is not required to initiate 
extradition proceedings for return of the person transferred. 
The person transferred receives credit for time served in the 
custody of the receiving State.
    Article 12 establishes the authority of the Requested State 
to authorize transit through its territory of a person held in 
custody by a third State whose appearance has been requested by 
the Requesting State. The Requested State further has the 
authority and the obligation to keep the person in custody 
during transit. The Parties retain discretion to refuse to 
grant transit of their own nationals, however.
    Article 13 requires the Requested State to use its best 
efforts to ascertain the location or identity of persons or 
items specified in a request.
    Article 14 obligates the Requested State to use its best 
efforts to effect service of any document relating, in whole or 
in part, to any request for assistance under the Treaty. A 
request for the service of a document requiring a person to 
appear in the Requesting State must be transmitted a reasonable 
time before the scheduled appearance. Proof of service is to be 
provided in the manner specified in the request.
    Article 15 obligates the Requested State to execute 
requests for search, seizure, and delivery of any item to the 
Requesting State if the request includes the information 
justifying such action under the laws of theappropriate. The 
Central Authority of the State receiving such information is required 
to inform the Central Authority that provided the information of any 
action taken.
    Article 17 also obligates the Contracting States to assist 
each other to the extent permitted by their respective laws in 
proceedings relating to forfeiture of the proceeds and 
instrumentalities of offenses, restitution to victims of crime, 
and collection of fines imposed as sentences in criminal 
prosecutions. This may include action to temporarily immobilize 
the proceeds or instrumentalities pending further proceedings. 
The Contracting State having custody over proceeds or 
instrumentalities of offenses is required to dispose of them in 
accordance with its laws. Either Contracting State may transfer 
all or part of such assets, or the proceeds of their sale, to 
the extent permitted by the transferring State's laws and upon 
such terms as it deems appropriate.
    Article 18 states that assistance and procedures provided 
in the Treaty shall not prevent either Contracting State from 
granting assistance to the other Contracting State through the 
provisions of other applicable international agreements or 
through the provisions of its national law. The Contracting 
States may also provide assistance pursuant to any bilateral 
arrangement, agreement, or practice which may be applicable.
    Article 19 provides that the Central Authorities of the 
Contracting States shall consult, at times mutually agreed, to 
promote the most effective use of the Treaty, and may agree 
upon such practical measures as may be necessary to facilitate 
the Treaty's implementation.
    Article 20 provides that the Treaty is subject to 
ratification and the instruments shall be exchanged at 
Washington as soon as possible. The Treaty enters into force 
upon the exchange of instruments of ratification. Article 20 
further provides that either Contracting State may terminate 
the Treaty by written notice to the other Contracting State, 
with termination to be effective six months following the date 
of notification.
    A Technical Analysis explaining in detail the provisions of 
the Treaty is being prepared by the United States negotiating 
delegation, consisting of representatives from the Departments 
of Justice and State, and will be transmitted separately to the 
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
    The Department of Justice joins the Department of State in 
favoring approval of this Treaty by the Senate as soon as 
possible.
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                    Strobe Talbott.
https://www.google.com/search?q=hearsay&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS774US774&oq=hearsay&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.1799j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

 

Fox & Friends 9/25/19 7AM | Fox & Friends Fox News September 25, 2019

Story 3: The Attempted Coupe and Political Suicide of Democrat Party — Democrat Candidate Going Down For Betraying The American People and Constitution — Videos

House Democrat shares why he’s against impeaching Trump

 

Story 4: CIA Officer Assigned To White House Was The Whistle-blower That Was Aiding and Abetting A Leaker of Classified Information — Second Hand Hearsay — Who Was The Leaker? Who Was The Whistle-blower? — President Trump Wants To Know — Videos

 

Angry Dems demand full whistleblower complaint

Trump impeachment inquiry: “The whistleblower is a CIA officer who worked at the White House”

Former CIA leader on the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

 

Whistleblower complaint is declassified and could be released TODAY ahead of House testimony as Congress sees the ‘very disturbing’ memo accusing Donald Trump of trying to coerce Ukraine into probing Joe Biden

  • The whistleblower complaint accusing President Trump of trying to coerce the Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden on a July call could be released Thursday
  • Select members of Congress saw the complaint for the first time Wednesday  
  • Without disclosing details about its contents, several Democrats said the report heightened their concerns over the allegations 
  • Republicans also expressed concerns and said further investigation is necessary
  • But Republican Chris Stewart said complaint contains nothing that was not in the transcript of Trump’s phonecall, and he is ‘much less worried’ after reading it 
  • An intelligence officer filed the complaint in August, raising concerns about the contents of the conversation and how the White House handled records of it 
  • The White House has worked to discredit the whistleblower by emphasizing the inspector general’s finding that the informant may be biased against Trump 

The whistleblower complaint accusing President Donald Trump of trying to coerce the Ukraine into investigating rival Joe Biden during a July phone call has been declassified and could be released as early as Thursday.  

An anonymous intelligence officer filed the complaint with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG) last month, claiming that Trump threatened to withhold US military aid unless Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to dig up damaging material about the Biden family’s ties to the country.
The White House has worked to discredit the whistleblower by emphasizing the inspector general’s finding that the informant may be politically biased against the president and had heard about the call indirectly.

Select members of Congress reviewed the complaint for the first time on Wednesday, hours after the Democrat-controlled House announced the launch of an official impeachment inquiry.

Without disclosing details about its contents, several Democrats said the report heightened their concerns over the allegations while Republicans said further investigation is necessary.

Select members of Congress reviewed the whistleblower complaint about President Trump's dealings with the Ukraine for the first time on Wednesday. Several Democrats said the report heightened their concerns over the allegation. 'Having read the documents in there, I'm even more worried about what happened than when I read the memorandum of the conversation,' Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (above) said

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (above) said: 'I found the allegations deeply disturbing. I also found them very credible'

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (above) said: ‘I found the allegations deeply disturbing. I also found them very credible’

The whistleblower alleged that Trump threatened to withhold $400million in military aid to the Ukraine unless its president, Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate Biden and his son Hunter's business dealings in the country. Joe and Hunter Biden are pictured above

The whistleblower alleged that Trump threatened to withhold $400million in military aid to the Ukraine unless its president, Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to investigate Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings in the country. Joe and Hunter Biden are pictured above

The complaint hinged on a July call between Trump and Zelensky (above together Wednesday)

The complaint hinged on a July call between Trump and Zelensky (above together Wednesday)

‘Having read the documents in there, I’m even more worried about what happened than when I read the memorandum of the conversation,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said, calling for the report to be made public.

‘There are so many facts that have to be examined. It’s very troubling.’

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-California) said: ‘I found the allegations deeply disturbing. I also found them very credible.’

However, Chris Stewart, a Republican member of the same committee, said the complaint contained no information that was not already in the transcript of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky released earlier in the day.

He told Fox News’s ‘The Ingram Angle’ that he was initially anxious before viewing the complaint, but was ‘much more confident than I was this morning that this is going to go nowhere … there are just no surprises there.’

‘The entirety of it is focused on this one thing, and that’s the transcript of one phone call, the transcript that was released this morning,’ he added.

He said the document itself is six or seven pages long, but is entirely based on second-hand knowledge drawn from the transcript.

Stewart added that he doubts whoever made the complaint had actually seen the transcript, but had heard about it from elsewhere.

Separately, Schiff condemned the Trump administration’s earlier efforts to prevent lawmakers from seeing the report.

‘It is an urgent matter and there was simply no basis to keep this from committee,’ he said. ‘The idea that DOJ would have intervened to prevent it from getting to Congress throws the leadership of the department into ill repute.’

Rep Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) also branded the complaint ‘disturbing’ and said it was ‘extraordinarily detailed’ and ‘very, very well done’.

‘It reinforces the concerns that what we previously learned and I think it is a blueprint for what we still need to know,’ Quigley said. ‘It lays out exactly what Congress needs to investigate.’

Chris Stewart, a Republican member of the intelligence committee, viewed a copy of the whistleblower complaint Wednesday and said it contains nothing that is not already in the transcript of Donald Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Chris Stewart, a Republican member of the intelligence committee, viewed a copy of the whistleblower complaint Wednesday and said it contains nothing that is not already in the transcript of Donald Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Stewart said the complaint has been declassified, should be made available to the public as soon as possible, and encouraged everyone to read it for themselves

Stewart said the complaint has been declassified, should be made available to the public as soon as possible, and encouraged everyone to read it for themselves

Republican lawmakers were more reserved in their response to the report but echoed Democrats’ calls for further investigation.

‘Republicans ought not to be rushing to circle the wagons to say there’s no there there when there’s obviously lots that’s very troubling there,’ Sen Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) said.

‘Democrats ought not be using words like “impeach” before they knew anything about the actual substance.’

‘The administration ought not be attacking the whistleblower as some talking points suggest they plan to do.’

Sen Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) told reporters he looked forward to receiving more information from acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire and intelligence inspector general Michael Atkinson, who are both expected to testify before Congress on Thursday.

‘I think, first of all, in this particular case, there’s not going to be that much information to have to put together, I think that argues for some patience to do that,’ Blunt said.

‘I think being able to ask them questions, look at two different points of view of this, and I think also at some point very quickly, we need to talk to the Justice Department.’

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle also said they hope to hear from the anonymous whistleblower, whose lawyers have said their client intends to continue cooperating with Congress but hopes to remain anonymous.

Republican lawmakers were more reserved in their response to the report but echoed Democrats' calls for further investigation. Missouri Sen Roy Blunt (pictured) told reporters he looked forward to hearing from acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire and intelligence inspector general Michael Atkinson, who are both expected to testify Thursday

THE FIVE KEY QUOTES FROM THE TRUMP-ZELENSKY PHONE CALL

Trump: ‘I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are ‘doing and they should be helping you more than they are.’

Trump: ‘I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.’

Trump: ‘There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.’

Trump: ‘I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.’

Zelensky: ‘I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation.’

The House and Senate intelligence panels fought hard for the complaint to be released after Maguire withheld it from Congress, sparking a firestorm over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Trump, whose administration had earlier balked at turning over the report, said Wednesday afternoon that ‘I fully support transparency on the so-called whistleblower information’ and that he had communicated that position to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

The complaint is at least in part related to the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky.

The White House released a rough transcript of that call Wednesday, showing that Trump prodded Zelensky to work with the US attorney general and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Democratic political rival Biden.

During the call, Trump suggested that Ukraine could be doing more to help the US without mentioning that he was blocking a large military assistance package that Congress had approved to help the country fend off Russian aggression.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fully endorsed an impeachment inquiry on Tuesday as Trump acknowledged his conversations with Zelensky, saying that if Trump abused his presidential powers, then it would mark a ‘betrayal of his oath of office’.

‘Impeachment for THAT?’ Trump mocks impeachment inquiry decision

Trump, whose administration had earlier balked at turning over the report, said Wednesday afternoon that 'I fully support transparency on the so-called whistleblower information'

The DOJ released a memo explaining the Trump administration’s legal rationale for initially withholding the whistleblower’s complaint, which was submitted to Atkinson in August.

Two people briefed on the documents told the New York Times that the complainant identified multiple White House officials as corroborating witnesses to Trump’s potential misconduct. The sources said Atkinson interviewed witnesses when reviewing the complaint.

Atkinson found that the complainant may not support the president’s re-election and that they did not directly listen to the call or see the records that reconstructed it.

The officer apparently heard about the call secondhand when unidentified White House officials expressed concern that Trump had ‘abused his authority or acted unlawfully in connection with foreign diplomacy,’ the memo stated.

Despite the whistleblower’s potential bias and proximity to the call, Atkinson found reason to believe Trump’s alleged actions created a national security risk and that he may have illegally solicited a foreign campaign contribution.

He determined the complaint was ‘credible’ and forwarded it to Maguire, a Trump appointee.

Maguire then blocked release of the complaint to Congress, citing issues of presidential privilege and saying it was not an ‘urgent concern’.

Maguire is testifying publicly before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday and privately before the Senate panel.

Atkinson, who met privately with House lawmakers last week, will also talk privately to the Senate committee Thursday.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7504787/Lawmakers-staff-view-whistleblower-complaint.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1322, September 18, 2019, Story 1: Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) Lowers The Federal Funds Target Rate by .25% with New Range of 1.75% to 2.00% Reflecting Slowing Moderate Rate of Growth of Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.5% Below The Historical Average of Between 3.0% to 3.5% GDP Growth Rate — Trump Panics Wants Return To Irresponsible Near Zero Interest Rate Policy and Financial Repression of The Great Recession — Trump Just Another Big Government Bubble Blower Inflating Stock Market Prices — Videos — Story 2: Federal Reserve Injects Billions Into The Economy in Overnight Repo Operations — Videos — Story 3: The Ranting Former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton — Neoconservative Interventionist War Monger — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Visits the Double Wall with Road In Between — The U.S. Border Agents Wanted — A Game Changer — Need To Build 1500 Miles of New Wall To Stop The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over Last 33 Years — Videos

Posted on September 21, 2019. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Economics, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Israel, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Psychology, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Running, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Servers, Social Sciences, Social Security, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Transportation, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) Lowers The Federal Funds Target Rate by .25% with New Range of 1.75% to 2.00% Reflecting Slowing Moderate Rate of Growth of Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2.5% Below The Historical Average of Between 3.0% to 3.5% GDP Growth Rate — Trump Panics Wants Return To Irresponsible Near Zero Interest Rate Policy and Financial Repression of The Great Recession — Trump Just Another Big Government Bubble Blower Inflating Stock Market Prices  — Videos —

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Fed Chairman Powell faces dilemma as Trump continues his public criticism

Powell Says Fed Rate Cut Is Insurance Against Ongoing Risks

WATCH LIVE: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks after interest rate cut decision – 09/18/2019

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Fed cuts rates, policy expert says

Published on Aug 21, 2019

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The discount rate | Money, banking and central banks | Finance & Capital Markets | Khan Academy

A crack just emerged in the financial markets: The NY Fed spends $53 billion to rescue the overnight lending market

 

Current Federal Reserve Interest Rates and Why They Change

Why the Fed Lowered Its Benchmark Rate in September 2019

The interest rate targeted by the Federal Reserve, the federal funds rate, is currently 1.75% to 2%. That’s after the Fed cut it a quarter of a percentage point on Sept. 18, 2019.1 The federal funds rate is the benchmark interest rate banks charge each other for overnight loans. It generally reflects the health of the economy and has a big impact on other interest rates. The Sept. 18 cut was the second rate drop in 2019, after years of steady increases following the Great Recession.2

The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States and it is mandated by Congress to promote economic stability, mainly by raising or lowering the cost of borrowing.3 The Fed said it lowered interest rates because, although the U.S. economy is strong and unemployment is low, business investments and exports have “weakened” since the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.4 The FOMC is the Fed’s rate-setting body, and it votes on interest rate changes every six weeks or so.

The FOMC looks at where it thinks the economy is headed and sets interest rates to help the economy reach or maintain full employment, moderate long-term interest rates, and an inflation rate of 2%.5

The fed funds rate is critical in determining the U.S. economic outlook. It is used to set short-term interest rates, including banks’ prime rate (the rate banks charge customers for loans), most adjustable-rate mortgages, and credit card rates.

 

Why the Fed Raises or Lowers Interest Rates 

The Fed uses interest rates as a lever to grow the economy or put the brakes on it. If the economy is slowing, the Fed can lower interest rates to make it cheaper for businesses to borrow money, invest, and create jobs. Lower interest rates also tend to make consumers more eager to borrow and spend, which helps spur the economy.

On the other hand, if the economy is growing too fast and inflation is heating up, the Fed may raise interest rates to curtail spending and borrowing.

In December 2008, the Fed cut the fed funds rate to 0.25%. That’s effectively nothing. It did so amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, in an effort to light a spark under the economy. The rate stayed unchanged until 2015, and rose steadily through 2018 as the economy picked up steam.6 The 2019 cuts are a sign that growth is beginning to slow.

 

How the Fed Funds Rate Works

The FOMC targets a specific level for the fed funds rate, which determines the interest rates banks actually charge one another for overnight loans. Banks use these loans to help them meet cash reserve requirements: Banks that are short borrow from banks that have excess.

reserve requirement is the amount of cash a bank must keep overnight. It’s set by the Fed and is a percentage of the bank’s deposits. The current top reserve requirement is 10% for banks with more than $124.2 million on deposit.

Prior to the financial crisis, the Fed controlled the fed funds rate by buying and selling U.S. government securities on the open market. When the Fed buys a security, that increases the reserves of the bank associated with the sale, which makes the bank more likely to lend. To attract borrowers, the bank lowers interest rates, including the rate it charges other banks.

When the Fed sells a security, the opposite happens. Bank reserves fall, making the bank more likely to borrow, causing the fed funds rate to rise.7 These shifts in the fed funds rate ripple through the rest of the credit markets, influencing other short-term interest rates such as savings, bank loans, credit card interest rates, and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Actions the Fed took during the financial crisis and throughout the recession that followed had the effect of ballooning banks’ reserve balances, and as a result, banks didn’t need to borrow from one another to meet reserve requirements.8 The Federal Reserve could no longer rely on reserve balance manipulation to control interest rates. Because of that, the Fed has developed other tools to affect the rate.

 

How the Fed Now Sets the Fed Funds Rate

Today, the Fed sets a target range for the fed funds rate. It started back in October 2008, when the Fed began paying interest on reserves (IOR), but to a limited number of institutions. This was intended as the floor on the fed funds rate.9 After all, banks won’t lend to each other at a lower rate than what they’re getting from the Fed.

But eventually, the Fed realized the IOR wasn’t sufficient. It needed a sub-floor, so in 2013 it added another tool to help it control the target rate: the overnight reverse repurchase agreement facility (ON RRP, or “reverse repo”).10 This program is available to a broader range of financial institutions than IOR.11

With the ON RPP, the Fed agrees to sell a security and buy it back at a higher price, which is effectively the interest rate. This rate is set high enough to attract buyers, but below IOR. When banks need to borrow from one another, they do so within the range bounded by IOR and ON RPP. And when the Fed acts to raise or lower interest rates, it adjusts both IOR and ON RPP.

 

How Other Interest Rates Are Determined

The fed funds rate is one of the most significant leading economic indicators in the world. Its importance is psychological as well as financial, as many of the interest rates businesses and consumers pay are based on it, if only indirectly. For example, the prime lending rate is determined by individual banks themselves, who base their rates on the fed funds rate.12

Variable interest rates for credit cards and other consumer loans, for example, rely on the prime rate, which means they’re also affected by the fed funds rate.

However, not all loans rely on the prime lending rate. In fact, the interest rates for 30-year mortgages correlate with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. That’s because investors who are interested in safe long-term returns on their investments see lots in common between the two—but not because one rate is determined by the other.13 Ultimately, supply and demand determine the rates for both.

Another important benchmark interest rate that is not set by the Fed is the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). It is the average interest rate major global banks charge each other to borrow. LIBOR is calculated daily, and is the basis for a host of commercial and consumer interest rates, from corporate bonds to adjustable-rate mortgages.14

Fed Cuts Rates By Quarter Point But Faces Growing Split

Central bankers divided over Wednesday’s decision and the outlook for further reductions.

Federal Reserve rate targetSource: Federal Reserve
%2009’10’11’12’13’14’15’16’17’18’190.000.250.500.751.001.251.501.752.002.252.502.75

WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve voted to cut interest rates by a quarter-percentage point for the second time in as many months to cushion the economy against a global slowdown amplified by the U.S.-China trade conflict.

While the central bankers left the door open to additional cuts, they were split over Wednesday’s decision and the outlook for further reductions.

Seven of 10 officials voted in favor lowering the short-term benchmark to a range between 1.75% and 2%. As in July, two reserve bank presidents dissented from the decision in favor of holding rates steady. This time, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell faced a third dissent from a bank president who preferred a larger, half-point cut.

“We took this step to keep the economy strong,” said Mr. Powell in a news conference after the decision.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell explaining the central bank’s monetary-policy decision at news conference in Washington. PHOTO: PATRICK SEMANSKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

He also indicated rates could be cut further if the economy weakened further, even though he said officials still have a positive outlook for the U.S. economy.

[For up-to-the-minute of the Fed’s monetary policy meeting, please see Federal Reserve Interest-Rate Decision—Live Analysis]

U.S. stocks wobbled, then pared declines after the Fed’s decision. Treasury yields, which move inversely to prices, ticked higher though held their recent range.

The policy statement released after the meeting was little changed from July, when officials held the door open to future rate cuts. As the rate-setting committee “contemplates the future path” of its policy rate, “it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” the statement said, repeating language from July.

The statement noted household spending had been rising at a strong pace while business investment and exports had weakened.

Projections released after Wednesday’s two-day meeting showed the extent of the split over the policy outlook, complicating the challenge facing Mr. Powell.

Seven of 17 officials penciled in one more rate cut this year. The other 10 were split evenly between those who thought the new level of rates, after Wednesday’s cut, would be appropriate and those who thought rates shouldn’t have to go any lower.

Lowered Expectations

The Fed’s forecasts of the federal-funds rate for the end of 2019 have changed over time. Circles below are sized according to the number of officials who set their projections to the corresponding rate for each release.

Projected midpoint for rate at end of 2019

Target range following

this quarter’s release

10 officials

5

Seven of 17 officials projected one more quarter-point cut this year

4.0%

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0

Sept. ’17

Dec.

March ’18

June

Sept.

Dec.

March ’19

June

Sept.

PROJECTION RELEASE DATE

Source: Federal Reserve

Those divides are even sharper in projections for next year. Roughly half of officials projected rates by December 2020 would sit one-quarter point below the new level, while another half thought it would be appropriate to reverse at least one of the two recent cuts.

Officials cited three reasons—weakening global growth, rising trade-policy uncertainty and muted inflation—for cutting rates at their July 30-31 meeting. The U.S.-China trade conflict worsened immediately after the July meeting, and the global industrial downturn shows no sign of bottoming out.

The Fed faces an unusual challenge setting policy given the volatile outlook for the global trading environment, that has chilled business investment. “There is a piece of this that we really can’t address,” said Mr. Powell. “It’s an unusual situation… It’s a challenging time, I admit it.”

Officials expected the U.S. economy to slow this year, but increased uncertainty means officials aren’t sure if the economy is going to cool a little bit or a lot.

U.S. economic data paint a mixed picture. Consumer spending has been solid, but manufacturing has weakened. Recent revisions to employment and profit growth show that the economy over the past year wasn’t as strong as previously thought.

 

Some Fed officials have warned that waiting for signs of consumer spending and hiring to slow more sharply could require the Fed to deliver more aggressive stimulus at a time when its policy rate is already historically low.

Hiring has slowed this year. The private sector added 129,000 jobs on average over the three months ended August, down from 236,000 for the three-month period ended December.

One challenge for the Fed in reading these numbers is that for years, officials have expected hiring to slow as the economic expansion matures. At the same time, wage growth hasn’t accelerated substantially this year, as would occur when the demand for workers outstrips supply.

Powell Signals Rate Cut at Senate Hearing

Powell Signals Rate Cut at Senate Hearing
Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell again signaled that the central bank is ready to cut interest rates later this month. Photo: AP

Meantime, the Fed has come under growing pressure from President Trump to aggressively cut interest rates—to boost stock markets and weaken the U.S. dollar—after the White House’s trade talks with China hit an impasse this spring. Mr. Trump had called for the Fed to cut rates by a half-point in April, but he has since said the Fed should lower rates more aggressively.

Soon after the Fed announced its rate cut, Mr. Trump lashed out at Mr. Powell on Twitter. “Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again,” he wrote, one of 30 such statements about Fed policy since the July meeting. “No ‘guts,’ no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator!”

Mr. Powell has said the Fed doesn’t make policy decisions based on demands from political leaders and instead focuses on its congressional mandate to boost employment while keeping inflation stable. The unemployment rate, at 3.7%, is near a half-century low, while inflation, excluding volatile food and energy categories, has been running around 1.6%, according to the Fed’s preferred gauge, below its 2% target.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No “guts,” no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator!

17.9K people are talking about this

Separately, the Fed announced steps designed to boost liquidity in short-term funding markets after the central bank was twice forced this week to inject cash into money markets to pull down interest rates.

The Fed’s benchmark rate rose to 2.3% on Tuesday, trading outside of its range of 2% to 2.25%, after technical factors and monetary and regulatory changes created shortages of funds for banks.

Earlier Wednesday, the New York Fed injected $75 billion in cash into money markets, following a $53 billion infusion on Tuesday.

At the two-day meeting, the Fed’s rate-setting committee lowered a separate interest rate paid to banks on deposits, known as reserves, held at the Fed, which could reduce banks’ demand for that cash and increase their lending in other money markets. The committee cut that rate and another borrowing rate by 0.3 percentage point, larger than the 0.25 percentage-point reduction in the fed-funds target.

Trump Says Fed Should Cut Rates to ‘Zero, or Less,’ Attacks Jerome Powell Again

Some economists warn president’s push might send up long-term Treasury yields, making it harder to achieve goal of locking in low rates

WASHINGTON—President Trump renewed his call for lower interest rates and his criticism of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, by pressing for the central bank to cut short-term rates to “ZERO, or less,” negative rates that the U.S. avoided even after the 2008 financial crisis.

For weeks, Mr. Trump has pushed for lower rates to help cushion the economy against fears of a broader global slowdown. On Wednesday, he introduced a different argument for rate cuts by saying it would allow the U.S. to lock in lower interest rates for a longer period of time.

“We should then start to refinance our debt,” he wrote on Twitter, arguing it would reduce interest costs “while at the same time substantially lengthening the term.”

But some economists, including one of Mr. Trump’s former advisers, warned that his push for lower short-term interest rates might make it harder to achieve the stated goal of locking in lower rates, because it could send up long-term Treasury yields.

The tweets marked the latest escalation of Mr. Trump’s pressure on the Fed and attacks on Chairman Jerome Powell, whom the president picked for the post in 2017. Mr. Trump said the U.S. should always be paying the lowest rate and complained that the “naivete” of Mr. Powell and the Fed means that this was a “once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of ‘Boneheads.’ ”

A Fed spokeswoman declined to comment on the tweets. Mr. Powell has previously defended the Fed’s tradition of independence from political pressure.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term. We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet…..

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….The USA should always be paying the the lowest rate. No Inflation! It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of “Boneheads.”

After cutting their benchmark interest rate in July by a quarter percentage point, Fed officials are gearing up to cut rates again, likely by another quarter point, at their Sept. 17-18 policy meeting.

Mr. Powell framed the July decision to lower the Fed’s benchmark short-term rate to a range between 2% and 2.25% as a “mid-cycle adjustment.” The global growth and trade outlook has deteriorated since then amid an escalation in Mr. Trump’s trade war with China.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How do you think another rate reduction might affect the U.S. economy? Join the conversation below.

Economists warn that pushing short-term interest rates to near zero could signal that Fed officials expect a much deeper economic downturn.

“That could have the unintended consequence of triggering a major drop in confidence in the economy that could precipitate a recession, which would have the opposite effect,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.

Lowering rates all the way to zero now, when the economy is still on solid footing, could also leave the Fed without any ammunition if an actual recession hits, Ms. Swonk said.

Some economists were also skeptical that pushing interest rates to zero would actually lead to lower interest costs on government debt.

Mr. Trump has previously floated the idea of refinancing the U.S.’s nearly $17 trillion in publicly held debt, which has jumped in the wake of Republican tax cuts and bipartisan budget deals that boosted federal deficits.

“I would like to see the rates be low and pay amortization, pay off debt,” Mr. Trump said in an October 2018 interview with The Wall Street Journal, complaining that the Fed had made this difficult by raising rates several times in recent years.

Debt-servicing costs are one of the fastest growing drivers of federal spending: Interest payments have increased nearly 10% so far this fiscal year, totaling $497.2 billion through July, roughly $1.6 billion a day, according to the Treasury Department.

It isn’t exactly clear what Mr. Trump envisions. Sovereign debt is different from mortgage debt, and can’t be renegotiated to reduce monthly payments or pay debt off early. But the Treasury can replace maturing government securities with new, long-term debt at lower interest rates, which could bring down costs.

“The Treasury should start issuing debt in much longer terms,” said Stephen Moore, an economic adviser to Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign who at one point was under consideration for a slot on the Fed board, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month. “This would lock in today’s low interest rates on the national debt for 10, 20, 30 years or perhaps even longer.”

Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at Evercore ISI, said such an idea makes sense, but it is something that the Treasury is already doing. The average length to maturity of publicly held federal debt has risen to 66 months, from 46 months at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

The Treasury has also asked an advisory group to reconsider the potential benefits of issuing ultra-long bonds, as other countries have done.

Lowering the Fed’s benchmark federal-funds rate to zero wouldn’t automatically translate to lower interest rates on government debt, which is determined by bond markets, Mr. Tedeschi said. While short-term interest costs would likely fall, “it could be that the 10-year [Treasury note] goes up because markets are more confident in the Fed management of the economy,” he said, a shift that would lead to higher interest costs.

Paul Winfree, the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and a former budget adviser to Mr. Trump, said the president’s argument is “economically inaccurate.”

“Treasury has to offer interest rates that will attract buyers,” he said. “If all of a sudden we decide to roll over all of our debt, well, that will surely influence the interest rate on the debt. Like if all of a sudden every household in America decided to refinance.”

Mr. Trump said last month that the Fed should cut its benchmark interest rate by at least a full percentage point and resume its crisis-era program of buying bonds to lower long-term borrowing costs. Such moves would typically be considered only when the economy faces a substantial downturn.

Wednesday’s comments are the first time Mr. Trump has called for rates below zero. In response to a reporter’s question several weeks ago, Mr. Trump said he didn’t want negative rates.

Yields in some countries, including Germany, France and the Netherlands, have fallen below zero already. On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon said the bank has begun discussing what fees and charges it could introduce if interest rates go to zero or lower. Even during the last recession, the Fed didn’t employ negative rates.

Mr. Trump and White House officials have said they don’t believe the U.S. is headed toward a slowdown, but also have floated other ideas, such as tax cuts, to boost the economy.

A rate cut of the magnitude Mr. Trump is calling for hasn’t happened since the global financial crisis in late 2008.

In comments last week, Mr. Powell said the U.S. economy faced a favorable outlook despite significant risks from weaker global growth and trade uncertainty.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-fed-should-reduce-rates-to-zero-or-less-11568201306

Story 2: Federal Reserve Injects Billion Into The Economy in Overnight Repo Operation — Videos

Fed accepts $75 billion of $80 billion in bids in repo operation

NY Fed concludes first repo in 11 years amid liquidity concerns

The Fed has cut rates, so what’s next for the markets?

Top strategist: ‘Biggest bubble ever’ just burst. Here’s what happens next

BITCOIN. And Here We Go! FED Prints $128 Billion To “Calm The Financial Markets”

 

A crack just emerged in the financial markets: The NY Fed spends $53 billion to rescue the overnight lending market

“It’s unprecedented, at least in the post-crisis era,” said Mark Cabana, rates strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
On Tuesday morning, the NY Fed launched what’s called an “overnight repo operation,” during which the central bank attempts to ease pressure in markets by purchasing Treasuries and other securities. The goal is to pump money into the system to keep borrowing costs from creeping above the Fed’s target range.
The first attempt by the NY Fed was canceled because of “technical difficulties.” Minutes later, the NY Fed successfully injected $53 billion into the system.
The episode demonstrates evidence of emerging strains in financial markets and raises concern that the Federal Reserve could be losing its grip on short-term rates.
“The funding markets are clearly stressed,” said Guy LeBas, managing director of fixed income strategy at Janney Capital Markets. “It’s going to require Fed action.”
The NY Fed announced plans late Tuesday to hold another repurchase agreement operation on Wednesday that would aim to repurchase up to an additional $75 billion.

Rates spike

The rate on overnight repurchase agreements hit 5% on Monday, according to Refinitiv data. That’s up from 2.29% late last week and well above the target range set in July by the Federal Reserve, which is 2% to 2.25%. The surge continued Tuesday, with the overnight rate hitting a high of 10% before the NY Fed stepped in.
Although it doesn’t get as much attention as the Dow or the 10-year Treasury rate, this overnight market plays a central role in modern finance. It allows banks to quickly and cheaply borrow money, for short periods of time, often to buy bonds like Treasuries. This market broke down during the 2008 financial crisis.
However, analysts drew a distinction between the current period of stress and what happened during the crisis. Back then, investors were deeply worried about the financial health of banks. Today, banks are hauling in record profits and balance sheets look sturdy.
It’s unclear what exactly is causing the stress in the overnight market, or how long it will last.
“No one knows why this is happening,” Jim Bianco CEO of Bianco Research, said on Twitter. “If it persists more than another day or two, it will be a problem.”

$1 trillion deficits and paying Uncle Sam

There are some theories.
Cabana, the Bank of America analyst, blamed the spike in overnight lending rates on the Fed badly underestimating the amount of cash needed to keep the financial system operating smoothly.
“The Fed just made a policy mistake,” Cabana said. “There is not enough cash in the banking system for the banks to meet all of their liquidity and regulatory needs. I’m not that worried, because the Fed will fix it.”
The catalyst for the stress, according to Cabana, was the fact that US companies withdrew vast sums of money from banks to make quarterly tax payments to the US Treasury Department. That forced banks to draw down their reserves at the Fed.
The rate spike may also be a symptom of the sharp increase in Treasury bonds being issued to fund the federal government. The federal deficit has spiked to $1 trillion this fiscal year because of the tax cuts and surge in government spending.
Banks typically buy Treasuries by borrowing in the overnight market. The jump in Treasury issuance caused a large increase in demand for short-term financing.
“The fundamental issue is there are just too many darn Treasuries out there,” Cabana said. “Both parties are to blame. The $1 trillion deficit will keep this an issue.”

The return of QE?

No matter the cause, more Fed action may be needed, including additional temporary NY Fed operations.
“They may have to do the same thing tomorrow morning,” said LeBas.
The Fed may also need to lower the interest it pays on excess bank reserves, or IOER. Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted the Fed will cut this rate slightly on Wednesday.
“That’s like a Band-Aid,” Cabana said.
As a longer-term solution, Barclays and Bank of America expect the Fed to begin expanding its balance sheet again by purchasing Treasuries. The Fed’s bond buying program, known as quantitative easing, or QE, was launched during the financial crisis to keep borrowing costs extremely low. As the economy healed, the Fed reversed course and started to shrink its balance sheet.
Cabana doesn’t think the Fed will call this QE, though he said it will work the same way. The central bank will grow its balance sheet by purchasing Treasuries.
“The Fed won’t admit this,” Cabana said, “but it looks and smells an awful lot like the monetary authority is financing the fiscal authority.”

 

Story 3: The Ranting Former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton — Neoconservative Interventionist War Monger — Videos

John Bolton and Donald Trump
President Donald Trump and and his former national security adviser, John Bolton. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

EXCLUSIVE

Bolton unloads on Trump’s foreign policy behind closed doors

The recently fired national security adviser made little secret of his disagreements with the president.

John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s fired national security adviser, harshly criticized Trump’s foreign policy on Wednesday at a private lunch, saying inviting the Taliban to Camp David sent a “terrible signal” and that it was “disrespectful” to the victims of 9/11 because the Taliban had harbored al Qaeda.

Bolton also said that any negotiations with North Korea and Iran were “doomed to failure,” according to two attendees.

All the North Koreans and Iranians want to do is negotiate for relief from sanctions to support their economies, said Bolton, who was speaking before guests invited by the Gatestone Institute, a conservative think tank.

“He ripped Trump, without using his name, several times,” said one attendee. Bolton didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolton also said more than once that Trump’s failure to respond to the Iranian attack on an American drone earlier this summer set the stage for the Islamic Republic’s aggression in recent months.

At one point, Bolton, a previous chairman of Gatestone, suggested that had the U.S. retaliated for the drone shootdown, Iran might not have damaged the Saudi oil fields.

Bolton called the alleged attack on Saudi Arabia, which U.S. and Saudi officials have blamed on Iran, “an act of war” by anyone’s definition.

The former national security adviser’s comments come on the same day Trump named his successor, hostage negotiator Robert C. O’Brien.

Speaking on an airport tarmac in Los Angeles, Trump introduced his new top foreign policy aide as “highly respected” and hailed their “good chemistry.” The remarks indicated that in O’Brien, Trump sees a more compatible adviser than Bolton, whose disagreements with the president and clashes with other senior officials often spilled into public view.

After the attack in June, Trump was poised to launch a military response against the Iranians — strongly urged by Bolton — but pulled back after Fox News host Tucker Carlson and others warned him that it was a bad idea.

During Wednesday’s luncheon, Bolton said the planned response had gone through the full process and everybody in the White House had agreed on the retaliatory strike.

But “a high authority, at the very last minute,” without telling anyone, decided not to do it, Bolton complained.

Bolton spoke to around 60 Gatestone donors at the exclusive restaurant Le Bernardin in Manhattan. Attendees included noted lawyer Alan Dershowitz and his wife Carolyn, former attorney general Michael Mukasey, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, former Fox News host John Stossel, former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey and New York billionaire John Catsimadis.

Billionaire Rebekah Mercer introduced Bolton as “the best national security adviser our country could have hoped for,” garnering her very loud applause. Bolton had been scheduled to speak to the group before Trump fired him.

In his talk and the Q&A session that followed, Bolton took attendees through a number of global issues.

On Afghanistan, another frequent subject of disagreement with the president, Bolton said that the U.S. should not have pursued a peace deal with the Taliban.

Instead, he said, the U.S. should keep 8,600 troops in Afghanistan with intelligence support and other support elements. He called the proposed deal that was on the table similar to the agreement the Taliban offered the U.S. after 9/11, but said “it doesn’t make any sense.”

More than once, Bolton said, Israel would “sooner or later” see a new government, even though he personally liked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Venezuela, a focus of his short White House tenure, Bolton claimed there were 20,000 to 25,000 Cuban troops in the South American country. The day they left, he predicted, the Nicholas Maduro regime would fall by midnight.

He also said that if British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were to become prime minister, it would be “fatal to the special relationship” between the U.S. and Britain.

During the Q&A session, Dershowitz told the crowd that it was “a national disaster” that Bolton had been booted from the White House, to what the attendee described as “thunderous applause.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/18/bolton-trump-foreign-policy-1501932

Story 4: President Trump Visits the Double Wall with Road In Between The U.S. Border Agents Wanted — A Game Changer — Need To Build 1500 Miles of New Wall To Stop The 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over Last 33 Years — Videos

Live: Trump tours border wall site in San Diego, California

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The Pronk Pops Show 1316, September 10, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Fires National Security John Bolton — Videos — Story 2: United States Fiscal Year 2019 Budgetary Deficit Exceeds $1,000,000,000,000,000 — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) Burdening Future Generation of American Citizens — Tax, Spend, Borrow — Videos — Story 3: United States F-15s and F-35s Bombs ISIS Infested Island in Iraq — Videos — Story 4: Israeli Air Force Bombs Pro-Iranian Shiite Hezbollah Militia Base in Syria — Videos — Story 5: Remembering The Prescient and Wisdom of Ron Paul on Limited Government and the Neoconservatives — Videos

Posted on September 10, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Afghanistan, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, China, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Israel, Israel, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Mexico, Mike Pompeo, Military Spending, MIssiles, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), North Korea, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Russia, Scandals, Security, Senate, South Korea, Spying, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Syria, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: President Trump Fires National Security John Bolton —  Trump’s Non interventionist vs. Bolton’s Interventionist Foreign Policy — Videos

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‘I don’t think it will change a whole lot’ – Ron Paul on Bolton’s resignation

John Bolton fired as national security adviser

Pompeo on Bolton: The president is entitled to the staff he wants

Graham reveals Trump’s possible Bolton replacements

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Condoleezza Rice ‘relieved’ after cancellation of Taliban talks

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Ingraham: Boltin’ from the White House

President Trump fires John Bolton – analysis and reaction

Trump’s White House Denies Chaos In The Wake Of John Bolton’s Chaotic Exit | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Intel Chair Schiff: Bolton Should Have Never Been National Security Advisor | The Last Word | MSNBC

Trump: John Bolton Was Clashing With People In My Admin | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Hannity: Mob reports fake news, possibly put people’s lives in danger

John Bolton objection on Taliban peace talks @ Camp David last straw Trump tweets you’re Fired

John Bolton resigns as Trump’s national security adviser

Trump says he fired Bolton, Bolton says he resigned

Bolton and Trump Have Been Disagreeing for Quite Some Time, Ret. Gen. Kimmitt Says

Trump Fires National Security Adviser John Bolton | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

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President-elect Trump’s Emerging Foreign Policy

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John Bolton: The Hawk Returns

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Is Trump’s Foreign Policy Non-Interventionist? Not So Fast

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Ousted National Security advisor John Bolton calls Donald Trump a LIAR for claiming he was fired and insists he resigned, amid claims the pair clashed over president’s plan to host the Taliban at Camp David

  • Trump fired Bolton by tweet just before noon Tuesday in a dramatic and unexpected move
  • He said he ‘disagreed strongly’ with Bolton ‘as did others in the administration’ 
  • Bolton tweeted minutes later, apparently from somewhere on the White House computer network, that Trump blew him off when he tried to resign
  • Other names in the mix: Mick Mulvaney adviser Robert Blair, hostage affairs envoy Robert O’Brien and senior Pompeo adviser Brian Hook
  • President had clashed with Bolton about Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela, and most recently on peace talks with the Taliban
  • Bolton, 70, had been Trump’s top national security aide since April 2018 after the president dispensed with three-star Army general H.R. McMaster
  • He texted ‘I resigned’ to a Fox News Channel host, who read it aloud on the air
  • Shakeup comes just two weeks before the United National General Assembly, where Trump will speak
  • One leading candidate to replace Bolton is Ric Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany 

Donald Trump said Tuesday he had ordered his national security advisor, John Bolton, to resign. But the ousted aide quickly insisted he quit first, then called the president’s version of events untrue.

The drama unfolded after months of deteriorating relations between Trump and his hawkish senior aide.

Trump tweeted just before noon that he had asked Bolton for his resignation and thanked him for ‘his services,’ but Bolton quickly shoved back, texting a Fox News Channel host live on air that ‘I resigned,’ then later texting NBC News that the president had never asked him to quit.

‘I offered to resign last night,’ Bolton told NBC in the text message. ‘He never asked for it, directly or indirectly. I slept on it, and resigned this morning.’

Bolton was photographed outside the West Wing on Tuesday morning just before 9:00, standing on the spot where a U.S. Marine is stationed whenever the president is at work – suggesting that Trump was still in the White House residence and didn’t meet with him.

After Trump announced Bolton’s departure, federal agents were seen at his Washington, D.C. home, removing government property including computer equipment and a shredder.

His abrupt departure and its ugly public aftermath was reportedly set off by the two disagreeing over Trump’s plan to host Taliban representatives at Camp David for peace talks last weekend, days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Trump publicly announced the cancellation of the previously unreported peace talk plan on Saturday evening; Bolton’s had strongly opposed dealing with the Taliban face-to-face.

The two had already fallen out over Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela; Bolton previously refused to go on television to defend Trump’s Afghanistan and Russia policies during last month’s G7 summit in France.

 

Over and out: How John Bolton resigns to Donald Trump in a letter which he said was his own initiative but which the president tweeted that he had demanded

Donald Trump and John Bolton became locked in a Twitter war of words over the national security adviser's departure, with Bolton saying he tried to quit and Trump saying he told him to resign; Bolton is pictured Tuesday morning outside the West Wing of the White House at 8:45 a.m.

Donald Trump and John Bolton became locked in a Twitter war of words over the national security adviser’s departure, with Bolton saying he tried to quit and Trump saying he told him to resign; Bolton is pictured Tuesday morning outside the West Wing of the White House at 8:45 a.m.

Federal agents were seen Tuesday at Bolton's home in Washington, D.C., removing equipment and other government property a few hours after he was fired; the gear included a shredder, a multifunction printer and other computer equipment

Federal agents were seen Tuesday at Bolton’s home in Washington, D.C., removing equipment and other government property a few hours after he was fired; the gear included a shredder, a multifunction printer and other computer equipment

This woman was seen carrying a black satchel down Bolton's driveway as agents removed other government property from his home

This woman was seen carrying a black satchel down Bolton’s driveway as agents removed other government property from his home

'I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,' the president said in a tweet. He had been Trump's top national security aide since April 2018, when they were photographed together in the Cabinet Room of the White House

‘I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,’ the president said in a tweet. He had been Trump’s top national security aide since April 2018, when they were photographed together in the Cabinet Room of the White House

They spoke Monday before Trump left for a political rally in North Carolina, accoding to a White House official. Bolton claimed Tuesday that the conversation did not focus on a Taliban-related falling-out.

But he sent the White House a two sentence resignation letter Tuesday morning, and Trump tweeted his departure at 11:58 a.m., an hour and a half before Bolton was due to stand beside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin for a rare White House press briefing about a raft of new anti-terrorism sanctions.

A leading candidate to replace Bolton is Ric Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany; G.renell was an early Trump backer and is seen as 'one of the most reliably hard-charging diplomats' in the administration, according to a State Department source

A leading candidate to replace Bolton is Ric Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany; G.renell was an early Trump backer and is seen as ‘one of the most reliably hard-charging diplomats’ in the administration, according to a State Department source

The two Cabinet members smiled broadly when they were asked if they had been ‘blindsided’ by the sudden departure. ‘I’m never surprised,’ Pompeo grinned.

The president offered no public hint of who might get the job next.

Charles Kupperman, Bolton’s deputy, became acting national security adviser on Tuesday. Bolton said in January that Kupperman ‘has been an advisor to me for more than thirty years.’ That, a White House aide said Tuesday, suggests Trump will quickly sweep him out as part of a National Security Council housecleaning.

Kupperman was already scheduled to be out of the White House in two weeks for an unspecified surgery.

Two White House officials said Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell quickly emerged as a leading candidate to be Trump’s fourth national security adviser in less than three years. One source said the president brought his name up to members of his senior staff shortly after tweeting about Bolton’s dismissal.

Grenell was an early Trump backer and is the administration’s highest ranking openly gay official. A source close to Grenell said Tuesday that he knows ‘how to deliver in a tough post.’ A State Department official speculated that the president might choose him because ‘one of the most reliably hard-charging diplomats’ in the U.S. foreign service.

A different White House official cautioned that since Grenell was Bolton’s chief spokesman at the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, he could be seen as ‘fruit from the poisoned tree.’

Bolton was barely three hours away from getting the axe as he checked his phone in front of the West Wing's north doors; he stood where a U.S. Marine is normally positioned whenever the president is in the West Wing, suggesting Trump was still in the residence and didn't meet iwth Bolton before he fired him

Bolton was barely three hours away from getting the axe as he checked his phone in front of the West Wing’s north doors; he stood where a U.S. Marine is normally positioned whenever the president is in the West Wing, suggesting Trump was still in the residence and didn’t meet iwth Bolton before he fired him

Robert Blair, another potential Bolton successor, is a senior adviser to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Blair was in charge of national security programs for the White House Budget Office when Mulvaney was its director.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Blair was in the mix. He did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Bloomberg News reported that other possible replacements for Bolton ‘discussed by Trump associates’ include Robert O’Brien, the president’s envoy for hostage affairs, and senior Pompeo adviser Brian Hook.

A White House aide said Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has expressed a preference for Hook.

It’s unclear what Bolton’s next career move will be.

A Fox News Chanel producer on Tuesday called it ‘unlikely’ that the network will hire him as an on-air pundit.

A source at the Gatestone Institute, an Israel-friendly think tank where he was chairman before coming to the White House, said Tuesday that Bolton was still expected to deliver a previously scheduled luncheon speech to its members on September 18 in New York.

President Trump wasted no time discussing with senior West Wing staff who might be Bolton's replacement, according to White House officials

President Trump wasted no time discussing with senior West Wing staff who might be Bolton’s replacement, according to White House officials

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and Bolton had different in significant ways on foreign policy, but refused during a White House briefing to get into specifics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he and Bolton had different in significant ways on foreign policy, but refused during a White House briefing to get into specifics

Trump started the mad scramble with a pair of late morning tweets on Tuesday.

‘I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,’ the president said in a tweet two minutes before midday, and an hour and a half before Bolton was scheduled to participate in a briefing to reporters at the White House.

‘I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,’ Trump tweeted.

Pompeo told reporters during the afternoon briefing that ‘there were many times where Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed, that’s to be sure.’

He added that the administration’s policies were the president’s, not Bolton’s. ‘I don’t think any leader around the world should make any assumption that, because some one of us departs, that President Trump’s foreign policy would change in a material way,’ he said.

In his own tweet sent a few minutes after Trump’s, apparently from somewhere on the White House’s own computer network, Bolton said the president blew him off when he tried to resign Monday night. He tweeted: ‘I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow’.’

The squabbling versions of Bolton’s departure came after White House reporters were told that he,  Pompeo and Mnuchin would brief them at 1: 30 p.m.

Bolton was seen as a war hawk who favored military intervention around the globe – a view that was at odds with Trump’s insistence that America’s troops should stop being ‘the world’s policemen.’

He clashed repeatedly with Pompeo over foreign policy and was recently sidelined during internal White House discussions about how to handle conflicts with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Bolton opposed Trump’s proposals for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan, and was a leading detractor inside the White House of the Camp David peace summit Trump planned and later canceled.

The president called it off after a Taliban suicide bombing attack in Kabul killed 12 people, including an American soldier.

Battle of the tweets: John Bolton tweeted that he tried to quit before he was fired – and did so from the White House's own network

Battle of the tweets: John Bolton tweeted that he tried to quit before he was fired – and did so from the White House’s own network

Tensions between Bolton and Pompeo ramped up in recent weeks. The two men – the top foreign policy advisers to the president – rarely spoke outside of formal meetings, CNN has reported.

Bolton was also in periodic clashes with acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. 

Bolton, 70, entered the administration in April 2018 after Trump dispensed with his second national security adviser, three-star Army general H.R. McMaster.

He had been a prominent Fox News contributor with aggressive views on the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and on pressuring NATO members to increase their defense spending.

Trump sometimes joked about Bolton’s image as a warmonger, reportedly saying in one Oval Office meeting that ‘John has never seen a war he doesn’t like.’

But in recent months there had been whispers that Trump was losing patience with him.

When Trump went to South Korea at the end of June and crossed into the DMZ to meet Kim Jong-un, the first sitting president to meet a North Korean leader in the separation zone between the two countries, Bolton was in Mongolia.

TRUMP’S HIGH-PROFILE DEPARTURE LOUNGE

Here are just some of the top officials who have left Trump’s administration and when their departures were announced

2017

Inauguration Day was January 20

January 31: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates 

February 13: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

March 30: Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh 

April 9: Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland

May 9: FBI Director James Comey 

May 30: Communications Director Michael Dubke 

July 21: Press Secretary Sean Spicer 

July 28: Chief of Staff Reince Priebus 

July 31: Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci 

August 18: Chief Strategist Steve Bannon

August 25: National security aide Sebastian Gorka 

September 1: Director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller

September 29: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price 

December 8: Deputy National Security adviser Dina Powell 

December 13: Communications director for the White House Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault Newman

2018

February 7: Staff Secretary Rob Porter 

February 28: Communications Director Hope Hicks 

March 6: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn 

March 12: Special assistant and personal aide to the president John McEntee

March 13: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 

March 22: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster 

March 28: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin 

April 10: Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert 

April 11: Deputy National Security Adviser Nadia Schadlow 

April 12: Deputy National Security adviser Ricky Waddell 

May 2:  White House attorney Ty Cobb

June 5: Communications aide Kelly Sadler 

 July 5: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt

August 29: White House Counsel Don McGahn

October 9: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley

November 7: Attorney General Jeff Sessions 

December 9: Chief of Staff John Kelly

December 15: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

December 20: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

2019

March 8: Communications Director Bill Shine 

April 8: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

June 13: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders 

June 18: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan

June 25: Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner John Sanders 

July 12: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta 

July 28: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats 

August 6: Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman 

August 8: Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Sue Gordon

August 29: President’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout

September 5: Lead Middle East peace negotiator, Jason Greenblatt

September 10: National Security Advisor, John Bolton

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7448735/Donald-Trump-FIRES-National-Security-Advisor-John-Bolton.html

By Shannon Pettypiece, Carol E. Lee, Peter Alexander and Adam Edelman

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he had fired national security adviser John Bolton after a string of disagreements, removing one of the most hawkish voices in Trump’s inner circle on a number of issues, including Taliban negotiations and China trade talks.

Trump announced on Twitter that he had asked for Bolton’s resignation on Monday night, saying he had “disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions.”

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” Trump said on Twitter.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.

25.4K people are talking about this

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that Trump had asked for Bolton’s resignation on Monday night, and that it was delivered on Tuesday. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump and Bolton had not spoken on Tuesday.

Bolton himself said in a tweet that he had offered to resign Monday night, and that the president had said in response that they would “talk about it tomorrow.”

“I offered to resign last night,” Bolton told NBC News via text. “He never asked for it, directly or indirectly. I slept on it, and resigned this morning.” He denied reports that he and Trump had gotten into a heated argument Monday night over the president’s plan to host Taliban leaders at Camp David.

Some National Security Council officials were caught off guard by Bolton’s firing, learning about it only when it flashed on TV screens.

Reports over the weekend that Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence disagreed with Trump’s Camp David plan was the last straw for Bolton, according to two people familiar with the matter. On Monday, Pence tweeted that the stories were fake but Bolton did not — and that, according to the officials, upset Trump.

One person familiar with the breakdown between the two men said Trump didn’t want Bolton attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York with him later this month.

Asked if the disagreement over the Taliban talks led to Bolton’s dismissal, Grisham said “that there was no final straw.”

“There were several issues,” he said. “They had policy disagreements.”

But speaking on the condition of anonymity, one official said Afghanistan “broke open the bottom of the bag” in a relationship that had been eroding. Another official confirmed that sharp disagreement over the Afghanistan deal was the final issue that ruptured the relationship.

Bolton, known as a fierce infighter, had few loyal allies internally. He had clashed with many senior members of the administration at times, including Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

But he could also build alliances when needed. He worked closely with Pence on multiple issues, including efforts to replace Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, and aligned with Pompeo on encouraging a hard-line stance on China, said a former administration official.

He was one of the loudest hawks inside the West Wing, perpetually skeptical of the country’s adversaries and unafraid of the prospect of military conflict. Few others in the upper ranks of the administration were as deeply versed in the nuances of foreign policy, a void that Pompeo will now have an outsize role in filling — particularly when it comes to Iran, China and Venezuela, said the former official.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

Most recently, the two had sparred over Trump’s desire to have leaders of the Taliban visit Camp David in the days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to finalize peace talks. The idea was strongly opposed by Bolton, even as officials at the State Department argued it could move the parties closer to an agreement, officials said.

Bolton had been deeply skeptical of negotiations with the Taliban. U.S. negotiators have been working under the president’s demand that a drawdown occur before November 2020, when he’s up for re-election.

Asked if he had been startled by Bolton’s quick exit, Pompeo told reporters he had not. “I’m never surprised. And I don’t mean that on just this issue,” he said.

Bolton’s departure could pave the way for a more flexible approach by the Trump administration on North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Afghanistan, former U.S. officials and two current U.S. officials said.

Bolton had pushed Trump to take a harder line on other regimes he has deemed untrustworthy. Trump, on the other hand, campaigned on the promise to get the U.S. out of conflicts.

While Bolton had previously pushed for striking Iran in an effort at regime change, Trump has indicated he would like to sit down with Iranian officials, and that regime change is off the table; Pompeo confirmed Tuesday that the president is likely to speak with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when the U.N. General Assembly meets in New York. “The president has made it very clear, he’s prepared to meet with no preconditions,” said Pompeo.

Some officials in the administration had also grown frustrated with Bolton’s stance on Venezuela, in which he pushed for the imposition of harsh sanctions on the Maduro regime and opposed renewing a waiver to allow the energy company Chevron to keep operating in the country.

When asked earlier about his differences with Bolton, Trump indicated he didn’t have a problem with his national security adviser giving an opinion that diverged from his own.

“I have some hawks,” the president said in a “Meet the Press” interview this summer. “Yeah, John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he’d take on the whole world at one time, OK? But that doesn’t matter, because I want both sides.”

Bolton has had his fair share of detractors in Congress. Many of those critics praised his departure — with even some who held a favorable view of him said the change could be a positive one.

“I like John Bolton, I think he sees the world for what it is. I’ve always had a similar view of threats that we face,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “But the personal relationship between the president and national security adviser is important. I think the view that there’s some public discussions about Bolton being on the other side of meeting with the Taliban probably was a bridge too far.”

But Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Bolton’s departure was a “huge loss” for the country.

“His view was not always the same as everybody else in the room, that’s why you wanted him there,” Romney told reporters. “The fact that he was a contrarian from time to time is an asset, not a liability.”

This is the third national security adviser that Trump will have to replace. His first, Michael Flynn, was in court for a status hearing on Tuesday before his sentencing for lying to U.S. officials. Flynn’s successor, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, said he was retiring after repeated disagreements with Trump.

It is unclear what will now happen with the team of foreign policy experts Bolton had built over more than a year — a state of affairs adding yet more instability to the national security ranks under Trump’s presidency.

Trump named Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and undersecretary of state for international security, to the post in a tweet in March 2018. At the time of his appointment, Bolton said in a Fox News interview that he was taken off guard.

Trump said Tuesday that he would name a new national security adviser next week. Gidley said Tuesday afternoon that deputy national security adviser Charlie Kupperman would replace Bolton as the acting national security adviser.

Hours before Trump announced his departure, Bolton sent a final public warning on Iran.

“Now that we’re two weeks from #UNGA, you can be sure #Iran is working overtime on deception,” Bolton wrote in a tweet. “Let’s review the greatest hits, starting with the most recent. #Iran denied the Adrian Darya-1 was headed to #Syria, then confirmed today its oil was offloaded there. #IranWebOfLies”

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-fires-national-security-adviser-john-bolton-n1051986

Nonintervention: America’s Founding Foreign Policy

by 

On the Fourth of July, 1821, John Quincy Adams delivered one of the most remarkable speeches in U.S. history. Having gone down in history with the title “In Search of Monsters of Destroy,” Adams’s speech summarized the founding foreign policy of the United States.

Adams pointed out that there are lots of bad things that happen around the world. Brutal dictatorships. Tyranny. Civil wars. Revolutions. Wars between nations. Poverty. Famines.

Notwithstanding the death and destruction such “monsters” produced in foreign countries, however, the U.S. government would not go abroad to slay them. That was the founding foreign policy of the United States, a policy of nonintervention.

That’s not to say that the United States was unwilling to offer any assistance to people who were suffering in foreign lands. Private Americans were free to offer their support, either personally or with financial donations. Equally important, the United States had a founding immigration policy of open borders, which meant that anyone who was willing and able to escape the monstrous conditions in his homeland and emigrate to the United States was assured that he would never be forcibly repatriated to his country.

In his speech, Adams also issued a profound admonition. He said that if America were ever to abandon its founding foreign policy of nonintervention, she would inevitably acquire the characteristics of a “dictatress.”

What are the characteristics of a dictator or a dictatress? Dictatorships wield omnipotent powers, such as the powers to incarcerate, torture, and kill people with impunity or to arbitrarily seize and keep their money or property.

Nonintervention and open immigration were not the only policies that made the United States such an unusual country. There was also no income taxation or IRS. No Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or farm subsidies. No Federal Reserve System of paper (i.e., fiat) money. No drug laws. Hardly any economic regulations, including minimum-wage laws, price controls, or rent controls. No Pentagon or military-industrial complex. No CIA. No NSA. No FBI. No Homeland Security. No public (i.e., government) schooling systems. No sanctions or embargoes. No war on terrorism. No torture. No indefinite detention. No travel restrictions. The American people didn’t even use passports.

We know there was slavery and some lesser violations of the principles of liberty, such as tariffs. But if we set those exceptions aside and consider the overall founding principles of the United States, it is impossible to reach but one conclusion: It was the most unusual political and economic system that had ever existed in the history of mankind.

It was that unusual system that defined an American. It was that unusual system that caused Americans to believe that they were the freest people in history. It was that unusual system that the French were honoring when they gifted the Statue of Liberty to the American people.

The shift away from freedom

Things started to shift in the late 1890s. Government programs such as Social Security, government health care, public schooling, and progressive income taxation, which were originating among socialists in Germany, began percolating within American society.

At the same time, some Americans were advocating a turn towards empire. Looking to the examples set by the British Empire, the French Empire, the Spanish Empire, and others, such Americans were arguing that it was time for the United States to travel the imperialist road as well. The key to national greatness, they argued, was for the United States to acquire colonies, just like other empires in history.

The great turning point with respect to foreign policy came in 1898 in the Spanish-American War, which, insofar as the United States was concerned, involved a combination of interventionism and empire.

The war originated as a fight for independence by colonies of the Spanish Empire, including Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. That war did not involve the United States. Certainly Spain had not attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. It was purely a war between a foreign empire and its overseas colonies.

But the U.S. government decided to intervene in the conflict by coming to the assistance of the rebelling colonies. The intervention constituted an abandonment of the founding foreign policy of nonintervention that Adams had summarized a half-century before in his Fourth of July speech to Congress. The U.S. government had decided to intervene in the Spanish-American War to slay the monster of the Spanish Empire.

 While independence was the goal of the Spanish colonies, that was not the goal of the U.S. government. The goal of the U.S. government was to replace the Spanish Empire as the owner and controller of its colonies.

That’s why U.S. troops stayed in Cuba after the war was over — to ensure U.S. control over the island. In fact, that is how the United States ended up with its foreign military base at Guantanamo Bay — by forcing a compliant administration in Cuba to lease it at a nominal price to the United States in perpetuity.

 While the Cuban people deeply resented what had happened, they didn’t resort to a war for independence from the United States, as they had done against Spain. It was different with the Filipino people, however. Having prevailed against Spain in their war for independence, they weren’t about to settle for being a colony of the United States. Thus, they continued their war for independence, only this time against the United States, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives lost at the hands of U.S. forces. In the end, the U.S. government prevailed. The Philippines, along with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam, remained under the control of a foreign power, albeit the United States rather than Spain.

America had turned towards both empire and intervention, which made it easier for Woodrow Wilson to convince Americans to intervene in World War I twenty years later. Wilson argued that U.S. intervention into the European conflict would have two extremely positive effects: One, U.S. intervention would bring an end to war in Europe, something that had besieged that part of the world for centuries, and, two, it would make the entire world safe for democracy.

Securing a declaration of war from Congress, the U.S. government proceeded to intervene in World War I on the side of Great Britain and others and against Germany. The intervention was a clear abandonment of the founding foreign policy of the United States. The U.S. government under Wilson was going abroad in search of monsters to destroy — precisely the opposite of what Adams had described nearly 100 years before as America’s founding foreign policy of nonintervention.

Meanwhile, America was shifting in a different direction domestically as well. The progressive income tax, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve System came into existence in the 1910s. In the 1930s, gold coins, which under the U.S. Constitution had been the official money of the American people for more than a century, were nationalized and seized, with any American caught owning them being subject to federal felony prosecution. Irredeemable federal notes and bills were made the official money of the country.

The adoption of Social Security, an idea that had originated among German socialists, heralded the advent of the welfare state in America, a way of life in which the government forcibly takes money from one group of people and gives it to another group of people. At the same time, America was moving towards a regulated, controlled, and managed economy, as reflected by Franklin Roosevelt’s National Industrial Recovery Act; minimum-wage laws; maximum-hours laws; and economic, financial, and banking regulations.

World War II

 It did not take long for Americans to realize that U.S. intervention in World War I was a total dis-aster, one that had sacrificed tens of thousands of American troops, many of whom had been forced to fight through conscription. The U.S. intervention not only failed to end all war and make the world safe for democracy, it actually laid the political and economic conditions that gave rise to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime.

Thus, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to intervening in World War II. They had had enough of intervention in Europe’s unending conflicts.

But Franklin Roosevelt, like Wilson before him, had other ideas. He was bound and determined to embroil the United States in the European war, this time certain that intervention would prove to be a positive thing for the United States.

Americans, of course, are taught that World War II was a great victory for the United States because Nazi Germany was defeated. They are also taught, however, to ignore the other consequences of the war.

For example, the Poles never considered the defeat of the Nazis to be a victory. Recall that the Poles were the reason that Great Britain had entered the conflict in the first place. Having issued a guarantee to Poland, England declared war on Germany with the intent of freeing the Poles from Nazi tyranny. While victory in the war did, in fact, free the Poles from Nazi tyranny, it also left them under the control of the communist regime of the Soviet Union (which had been America’s World War II partner and ally), for the next 45 years. From the standpoint of the Poles, there was no difference between Nazi tyranny and communist tyranny, which is why they never celebrated World War II as a victory.

It was the same with the rest of Eastern Europe and, for that matter, East Germany. At the end of the war and for the next 45 years, they had to live under the iron fist of brutal communist rule.

But there is something important to understand about all this: In the midst of the war, Roosevelt actually agreed to deliver those nations into the clutches of Soviet communist leader Joseph Stalin, whom he affectionately referred to as “Uncle Joe,” notwithstanding the fact that Stalin had killed many more people than Hitler.

And then here is the irony: After the Soviets insisted on maintaining postwar control over the nations that Roosevelt had delivered into their clutches, Harry Truman and other U.S. officials used that control to convince Americans that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy, based in Moscow, to conquer the United States and the rest of the world.

The national-security state

The aftermath of America’s intervention into World War II produced a monumental change in America’s governmental structure, one that entailed the destruction of a limited-government republic and the adoption of what is known as a “national-security state.”

What is a national-security state? It is a type of governmental structure that is inherent to totalitarian regimes. It is characterized by a massive, permanent, generously funded military establishment; a highly secret intelligence agency with omnipotent powers, including assassination; and a massive surveillance operation to secretly monitor and keep track of both citizens and foreigners.

North Korea is a national-security state. So is Russia. And Cuba. And Egypt. And post–World War II United States. That’s what the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA are all about.

In his Farewell Address in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower referred to this new governmental apparatus as “the military-industrial complex.” At the same time, he issued one of the most dramatic warnings in U.S. history, one that rivaled that of John Quincy Adams in 1821. Ike told Americans that this governmental apparatus that was new to the United States posed a grave threat to the liberties and democratic processes of the American people.

President Truman and other U.S. officials told Americans that it was necessary to adopt this totalitarian-like governmental structure in order to prevent America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, from conquering the United States in what became known as the Cold War. It was never made clear how the Soviet Union was going to do that, especially since the entire nation had been devastated by the war and then had continued its socialist economic system, which inevitably makes a nation weaker, not stronger.

Nonetheless, the Soviet Union was converted into America’s post–World War II official enemy, and Americans were made to believe that the communists were coming to get them. Truman clearly understood that in order to get Americans to accept the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state, he had to “scare the hell” out of the American people.

There is something important to keep in mind here. Intervention, empire, and a national-security state are different concepts. It is possible for a nation to be a national-security state without having a foreign policy of intervention and empire. North Korea is an example.

But after World War II, the United States went in all three directions. It became a national-security state and almost immediately it began intervening in foreign countries, under the guise of fighting the communists. That’s how the U.S. intervention in the Korean War, which was always just a civil war, was justified — to prevent an eventual communist takeover of the United States. It was also how U.S, intervention in the Vietnam War, which also was just a civil war, was justified — to keep the dominoes from falling to the Reds, with the final domino being the United States.

But it wasn’t just intervention that characterized Cold War America. It was also empire, not by following the old British Empire model but rather by following the model of empire established by the Soviets in Eastern Europe, where the Soviets installed regimes ruled by locals who would follow orders from the Soviets.

That’s what the U.S. coups in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile in 1973, and others were all about — the destruction of independent regimes, even democratically elected ones, and the installation of local dictatorships that would follow orders from the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, budgets were soaring throughout the Cold War for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.

 New enemies 

In 1991 the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from East Germany and Eastern Europe, and the normalization of relations between Russia and the West. The justification for America’s national-security state way of life had come to an end.

The Pentagon and the CIA were not ready, however, to go quietly into the night and permit the restoration of a limited-government republic to our land. Almost immediately, they initiated a series of interventions in the Middle East that were virtually certain to produce “blowback” in the form of terrorist retaliation: The Persian Gulf intervention, followed by 11 years of brutal sanctions on Iraq, which killed tens of thousands of Iraqi children every year. UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright’s infamous declaration that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children from the sanctions was “worth it.” The stationing of UN troops near the holiest lands in the Muslim religion, knowing full well how that would be perceived by people of Muslim faith. They also continued America’s unconditional financial and military support to the Israeli government.

All that interventionism produced the inevitable terrorist retaliation, including the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center; the attack on the USS Cole, the U.S. warship that was passing near Yemen; the attacks on the U.S. embassies in East Africa; and then the 9/11 attacks.

Refusing to acknowledge that such attacks were the inevitable result of U.S. intervention in the Middle East and insisting instead that they were motivated by foreign hatred for America’s “freedom and values,” U.S. officials doubled down with post–9/11 regime-change invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those two interventions produced nothing but massive death, destruction, and suffering, not to mention the rise of ISIS, which was then used as a justification for intervening in Syria’s revolution, which U.S. officials had encouraged as part of their foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East. There was also the Libya regime-change operation, which, in combination with the Syrian and Iraqi interventions, produced a massive refugee crisis for Europe.

Meanwhile, what Adams predicted in 1821 has come to pass. The federal government has become a dictatress. How else to describe a regime that wields the omnipotent power to assassinate its own people or simply take them into military custody and hold them indefinitely as “enemy combatants” and torture them for as long as officials want? How else to describe a regime that wields the omnipotent power to seize people’s money and other assets under the so-called drug war without ever charging them with a crime?

The good news is that there is a solution to all this mayhem, death, destruction, and loss of liberty, if Americans can only gather the will to embrace it. That solution is two-fold: to restore America’s founding principles of a noninterventionist foreign policy and America’s founding principle of a limited-government republic. If American people were to do that, they could lead the world out of the statist morass in which it finds itself.

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of FFF’s monthly journal, Future of Freedom.

Nonintervention: America’s Founding Foreign Policy

About Ben Friedman

Ben Friedman is a research fellow in defense and homeland security studies at the Cato Institute. He co-edited two books, Terrorizing Ourselves: Why U.S. Counterterrorism Policy is Failing and How to Fix It (Cato 2010), and U.S. Military Innovation Since the Cold War: Creation Without Destruction (Routledge, 2012).

Mike German, Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, interviewed Friedman on August 4, 2014. Read an edited transcript of the full interview here.

Part 1: Fear, Risk, and Vulnerability

Ben Friedman discusses fear management in national security, arguing that overrating the threat of terrorism creates costs to society, both financial and to our civil liberties. Political entrepreneurs exploit this overwrought fear, Friedman argues, which cramps democratic debate. He asserts that public policy should be driven by risk rather than vulnerability

Part 2: Scoping the Intelligence/National Security Enterprise

Ben Friedman estimates that homeland and national security spending approaches a trillion dollars annually, including wars and veterans’ expenses. Citing research by Steve Pinker that shows that the world is less violent than previous eras, Friedman argues that the U.S. is actually quite safe, which makes such exorbitant spending unnecessary.

Part 3: Politization of Intelligence

Ben Friedman explains the difficulty of completely divorcing intelligence agencies from political influences. He disputes contemporary statements by intelligence officials that suggest the world today is more dangerous than previous generations.

Part 4: Threat Inflation

Ben Friedman points to the work of Sherman Kent, a former CIA analyst, who suggested that the CIA is driven primarily by the need to be right. Friedman suggests that the different voices in threat analysis could provide dissents that might temper the agencies; tendencies toward threat inflation.

Part 5: Secret Government is Stupid Government

Ben Friedman argues that excessive secrecy in government stifles debate, which leads to ill-considered policies. Friedman finds Congress less willing to conduct effective oversight of national security actions for a variety of reasons.

Part 6: Primacy vs. Restraint

Ben Friedman describes the debate over U.S. grand strategy, pitting realists who argue for a restrained foreign policy against a bi-partisan primacy consensus that advocates for interventionist policies. Friedman says the primacy view gets us in “avoidable fights,” and incurs unaccounted costs to society. Moreover, there is little social science evidence to support that U.S. power projection is making us safer.

Part 7: Tools of Democratic Control

Ben Friedman describes the robust tools Congress has to conduct oversight, but suggests its failure to assert its power in national security issues has led to malfunction of constitutional balances. Friedman also feels the press has generally performed poorly in checking abuse, though he cites exceptions such as Dana Priest’s coverage of secret CIA detention sites.

Part 8: No Cabinet of Doves

Ben Friedman discusses President Obama’s habit of selecting foreign policy hawks for leadership positions in the national security and intelligence community. Friedman laments that while many academic researchers support a restrained foreign policy, few such advocates find positions in government.

RECOMMENDED READING:

https://www.brennancenter.org/about-ben-friedman

Foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration

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The stated aims of the foreign policy of the Donald Trump administration include a focus on security, by fighting terrorists abroad and strengthening border defenses and immigration controls; an expansion of the U.S. military; an “America First” approach to trade; and diplomacy whereby “old enemies become friends”.[1] The foreign policy positions expressed by Trump during his presidential campaign changed frequently, making it “difficult to glean a political agenda, or even a set of clear, core policy values ahead of his presidency.”[2] During his presidential inauguration speech, Trump said that during his presidency the U.S. would “not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.” He also stated that his administration would “seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world,” and that he understands the “right of all nations to put their own interests first.”[3]

During the 2016 election campaign, Trump “repeatedly defined American global interests almost purely in economic terms,” with the nation’s “roles as a peacekeeper, as a provider of a nuclear deterrent against adversaries like North Korea, as an advocate of human rights and as a guarantor of allies’ borders” being “quickly reduced to questions of economic benefit to the United States.”[4] He also repeatedly called for allied countries, including Germany, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea, to compensate the United States for helping protect their nations,[5] and suggested that his willingness to defend a country might depend on how much that country was willing to “pay us to save them.”[6] Trump and his advisors continued this theme throughout the presidency, emphasizing their view that other countries need to increase their financial commitment to their own defense or compensate the United States for providing it.[7]

Trump also supported a robust national defense during the 2016 election[8][9][10] and in his first budget proposal as president in March 2017, Trump proposed a $54 billion (10%) increase in defense spending, to a total of $639 billion for fiscal year 2018. He said the increase would be needed to fight terrorism, improve troop readiness, and build new ships and planes and would be paid for by deep cuts to other agencies, including a 28% cut from the State Department budget. He also requested an additional $30 billion for the Defense Department for the remainder of fiscal year 2017.[11]

As a presidential candidate, Trump emphasized a “get-tough” approach toward suspected terrorists. He called for the resumption of waterboarding “and much worse”.[12][13] He repeatedly expressed support for the use of torture by the U.S. for the purpose of trying to get information from suspected terrorists, and said the law should be changed to allow waterboarding and other forms of torture.[12][14] However, after his election, Trump stated that he would defer to the views of then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who opposed waterboarding and torture.[15]

Upon taking office, Trump relied more on his White House advisors rather than the State Department to advise him on international relations. He initially chose former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Tillerson did not have previous government or diplomatic experience, but due to ExxonMobil’s international activities he had experience and contacts in many other countries, particularly Russia.[16] In many cases Trump has given important foreign policy assignments to advisors within the White House, particularly former chief political strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Jared Kushner.[17] Trump has made significant decisions, such as a proposed travel ban from certain countries and a counter-terrorism strike in Yemen, which was made without any input from the State Department.[18][19] Budget cuts and reliance on advisors led to media reports that the State Department has been noticeably “sidelined” during the administration.[17][18] The State Department normally has two deputy secretaries of state and six undersecretaries, regarded as senior posts;[20][21] by March 2017 no nominations had been submitted for any of those positions.[22]

An August 2017 Pew Research Poll found that 15 percent of all Americans, and 31 percent of Republicans, said they agreed with President Trump on “nearly all issues”.[23] By the closing months of 2017, a survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs think tank found that President Trump’s most passionate supporters solidly supported his core views on foreign policy, but Republicans with less favorable views of the president are far less enthusiastic and their attitudes more closely match with the overall population.[24]

Contents

Americas

On March 3, 2019, National Security Advisor John Bolton invoked the Monroe Doctrine in describing the Trump administration’s policy in the Americas, saying “In this administration, we’re not afraid to use the word Monroe Doctrine…It’s been the objective of American presidents going back to [President] Ronald Reagan to have a completely democratic hemisphere.”[25][26]

Argentina

President Trump and Argentine President Mauricio Macri, April 2017

President Trump hosted President Macri in Washington, D.C. in April 2017. They met at the White House on April 27 to talk about trade.[27] When the ARA San Juan submarine went missing on November 15, 2017 during a routine patrol in the South Atlantic off the coast of Argentina, President Trump offered the help of the United States to find the submarine.

Brazil

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, March 2019

The two countries re-approached with the victory of the right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. On the first official visit of the Brazilian president to the United States in March 2019, Trump announced Brazil as Major non-NATO ally. In May, the U.S. government, through Kimberly Breier, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, announced formal support for Brazil’s entry into the OECD.[28][29][30][31][32]

Canada

President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, February 2017

President Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2017 at the White House. Trudeau was the third world leader that Trump hosted since his election as president, after the United Kingdom’s Theresa May and Japan’s Shinzo Abe.[33] At the meeting Trump claimed that he viewed the United States’ relationship with Canada as being different from its relationship with Mexico, and said he only foresaw minor adjustments to the Canadian side of NAFTA.[34] At the meeting Trump and Trudeau also discussed increased cooperation at the Canada–United States border, combating opioid abuse, clean energy, and establishing a joint council to promote women in business.[35]

In April 2017 the Trump administration took action on the longstanding Canada–United States softwood lumber dispute, raising the possibility of a trade war. Following Trump’s comment that Canada’s lumber trade practices are unfair, the Commerce Department announced plans to impose a retroactive duty of 30-40% on Canadian wood shipments to the United States. Canada’s minister for trade said, “Canada will not be deterred and will vigorously defend our industry.”[36] The Canadian dollar fell to a 14-month low on the announcement.[37]

On June 20, 2019, Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met and held “positive” talks at the White House on topics regarding ratifying the USMCA, the detentions of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and Canadian nationals Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, confronting China, and tariff negotiations. Trump called Trudeau a “friend” and, following Trudeau’s trip, both Canadian and U.S. officials and media generally considered the talks constructive and helped thaw relations between the two allies, which had noticeably chilled in the early years of Trump’s presidency.[38]

Caribbean

During a summer 2017 meeting about immigration, Trump objected to receiving immigrants from Haiti, reportedly saying “they all have AIDS.” The White House denied the report.[39] During a meeting with congressional leaders on January 11, 2018, Trump complained about the number of immigrants from Haiti, saying “Why do we need more Haitians, take them out.”[40] He then referred to Haiti and El Salvador, as well as unspecified African nations, as “shithole countries”, although specific facts and details about these remarks were disputed.[40]

Cuba

During the campaign, Trump expressed his opposition to the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba achieved in July 2015.[41] Trump said that he would only restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba if the Cuban regime met his demands to restore political freedoms and free political prisoners.[41] This represented a shift from his position expressed in September 2015 when he said that the opening with Cuba was “fine. But we should have made a better deal.”[41] Trump also said that he opposed the Cuban Adjustment Act, which allows any Cuban who reaches U.S. soil to remain in the country legally and apply for residency.[42]

On June 16, 2017, President Trump announced that he was cancelling the Obama administration’s previous deals with Cuba, while also expressing hope that a new deal could be negotiated between Cuba and the United States.[43][44]

On November 1, 2018, National Security Advisor John R. Bolton gave a speech in Miami in which he named Cuba as one of three countries that make up a “troika of tyranny.”[45]

Greenland

In August 2019, Trump expressed interest in buying the territory of Greenland from the country Denmark. In reaction, Greenland’s foreign ministry declared that the territory was not for sale.[46] Citing Denmark’s reluctance to discuss the purchase, days later Trump canceled a scheduled September trip to Copenhagen.[47]

Mexico

During the campaign[

During the campaign Trump emphasized U.S. border security and illegal immigration as signature issues.[48] He stated, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. …. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. Their rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”[9] He also talked about drugs and infectious diseases “pouring across the border”.[49]

In campaign speeches Trump repeatedly pledged to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border, saying that Mexico would pay for its construction through increased border-crossing fees and NAFTA tariffs.[50][51][52] Trump said his proposed wall would be “a real wall. Not a toy wall like we have now.”[53] After a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on August 31, 2016, Trump said that they “didn’t discuss” who would pay for the border wall.[54] Nieto contradicted that later that day, saying that he at the start of the meeting “made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall”.[55] Later that day, Trump reiterated his position that Mexico will pay to build an “impenetrable” wall on the Southern border.[56]

Trump also vowed to impose tariffs — in the range of 15 to 35 percent — on companies that move their operations to Mexico.[57] He specifically criticized the Ford Motor Co.Carrier Corporation, and Mondelez International.[58][57][59] And he condemned the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that if elected president, “We will either renegotiate it, or we will break it.”[60][61]

The Trump administration