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

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Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness

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

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

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

Hannity: I have never talked to anyone from Ukraine

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

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

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

Dems set to release new transcripts from two key impeachment figures

PBS News Hour full episode November 5, 2019

First excerpts of Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker transcripts released

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

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

Glenn Beck Lays Out the Case Against The Media

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

Big Lie Media Propaganda Exposed

Glenn Beck Presents: Democracy Does Die In Darkness

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

A look at Hunter Biden’s time in Ukraine

Everything You Need to Know About Hunter Biden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Solomon@jsolomonReports

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

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

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

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukrainian Prosecutor Fired

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

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

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

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

 

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

7 CommentsNovember 5, 2019 Updated: November 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevksy, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.

But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.

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

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

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

“Now you look at the Hunter Biden situation, and on the one hand you can credit the father for sending the anticorruption message,” Mr. Chow said. “But I think unfortunately it sends the message that a lot of foreign countries want to believe about America, that we are hypocritical about these issues.”

Speaking during a visit to Ukraine, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged the country to weed corruption out of its system.CreditCredit…Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Burisma Holdings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

 
Private
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 2002
Founder Mykola Zlochevsky
Headquarters

,

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

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

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

 

History

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

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

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

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

Operations

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

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

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

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

Corporate matters

Ownership

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

Management

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

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

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

Financial results

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

Investigations

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

See also

References

External links

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

Mykola Zlochevsky

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

June 14, 1966 (age 53)
KievUkrainian SSR

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

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

Biography

Business

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

Governmental posts

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

Investigations

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

External links

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

Gordon Sondland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

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

Career

Provenance Hotels

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

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

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

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

United States ambassador to the European Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump–Ukraine scandal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political involvement

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

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

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

Philanthropy

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

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

Personal life

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

See also

References…

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

Memorandum of conversation

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

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

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

 

Method

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

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

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

History

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

See also

References

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

External links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s not the case, experts said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1341, October 15, 2019, Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell on Unfair Behind Closed Doors Single Party Impeachment Inquiry and Syria — Videos — Story 2: The Search of Leakers in Trump Administration — Videos — Story 3: Democrats Goal of Replacing Your Employer Provided Health Care Cover With Higher Taxes for Medicare For All — Socialized Medicine — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Congratulates The St.Louis Blues For Winning The Stanley Cup — Videos

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Story 1: Senator Mitch McConnell on Unfair Behind Closed Doors Single Party Impeachment Inquiry and Syria — Videos —

Senator Mitch McConnell: Democrats Are ‘Throwing Fairness And Precedent To The Wind’ | NBC News

Senate Needs to Make a Strong, Strategic Statement on Syria

Trump was ‘absolutely right’ to take troops out of Syria: Rand Paul

Democrats, Republicans unite on Trump’s decision on Syria

Senate Needs to Make a Strong, Strategic Statement on Syria

McConnell splits with Trump on Syria pullout

 

Mitch McConnell rebukes Donald Trump over Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held Syria, saying troop pullout gives Iran a chance to reach Israel’s doorstep and contending worthwhile intervention does NOT make the U.S. world’s policeman

  • McConnell once again expressed his ‘grave concern’ about the situation in Syria  
  • Said the door is ‘wide open’ for resurgence of ISIS
  • Said policy could put Iran on Israel’s ‘door-step’
  • Said standing up for U.S. interests does not make nation the ‘evil empire’
  • Trump has repeatedly complained the nation should not be world’s policeman 
  • At the same time, he blasted House Democrats on impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell directly confronted President Trump‘s complaint that U.S. troop deployment’s make it the ‘world’s policeman’ and expressed his ‘grave concern’ about Trump’s policy moves in Syria.

McConnell issued the rebuke without directly blaming President Trump for the latest calamity in the region – although he said Trump’s policy threatens to put Iran on Israel’s door-step and fuel a ‘humanitarian catastrophe.’

Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria in territory that had been controlled by U.S.-allied members of the Kurdish minority, McConnell warned that the ‘door is wide open for resurgence of the Islamic State.’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took on President Trump's contention that having forces remain in Syria was akin to being the 'world's policeman'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took on President Trump’s contention that having forces remain in Syria was akin to being the ‘world’s policeman’

In a Senate floor speech, McConnell said the situation created a power vacuum that could fuel the meddling influence of Russia, and ‘leaving northeastern Syria wide open Iran to extend reach unimpeded all the way from tehran to the door step of our friends in Israel.

He also confronted the view, espoused directly by President Trump, that the U.S. should pull out of the region rather serving as the ‘world’s policeman.’

I want to make something clear, the United States has taken the fight to Syria and Afghanistan because that is where our enemies are, that’s why we’re there. Fighting terrorists, exercising leadership and troubled regions and advancing U.S. interests around the world does not make us an evil empire or the world’s policeman,’ McConnell said.

This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a missile fired by Turkish forces towards the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa on the first week of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces

This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows a missile fired by Turkish forces towards the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa on the first week of Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish forces

McConnell shared his 'grave concern' about the situation in Syria

McConnell shared his ‘grave concern’ about the situation in Syria

‘When it looked like President Trump would withdraw from Syria at beginning of the year, 70 senators joined in warning of the risk of precipitously withdrawing from Syria or Afghanistan,’ McConnell noted in his floor speech

McConnell had also warned of his ‘grave concern’ in a written statement Monday that did not mention Trump by name. But in his floor speech Tuesday, he included such a reference.

‘When it looked like President Trump would withdraw from Syria at beginning of the year, 70 senators joined in warning of the risk of precipitously withdrawing from Syria or Afghanistan,’ McConnell noted.

But even as he challenged the president on a policy that has resulted in the release of ISIS prisoners, led to attacks against key regional allies, and even led to shelling by Turkish forces toward a U.S. troop-held position, he defended the president on impeachment by attacking Democrats.

‘House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead,’ McConnell warned. ‘I don’t think many of us were expecting to witness a clinic in terms of fairness or due process. But even by their own partisan standards, House Democrats have already found new ways to lower the bar,’ he complained.

McConnell has said he was required by Senate rules to hold a trial should the House impeach Trump.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7577029/Mitch-McConnell-rebukes-Donald-Trump-Turkish-invasion-Kurdish-held-Syria.html

Trump’s Syria Mess

He resorts to sanctions as the harm from withdrawal builds.

Syrians fleeing Turskih advance arrive to the town of Tal Tamr in north Syria, Oct. 14. PHOTO: BADERKHAN AHMAD/ASSOCIATED PRESS

What a fiasco. Foreign-policy blunders often take months or years to reveal their damaging consequences, but the harm from President Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria is playing out almost in real time.

Critics said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would invade northern Syria despite Mr. Trump’s public warnings, and the Turkish strongman did. Critics said our Kurdish allies would strike a deal with Syria’s Bashar Assad to defend themselves, and the Kurds have. Critics said Islamic State prisoners held by the Kurds would be released and scatter to wage jihad again, and they are.

The mess compounded Monday when Mr. Trump authorized sanctions against several Turkish officials and agencies who are “contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” The sanctions include financial measures and barring entry to the U.S. Mr. Trump also said he’s ending trade talks with Turkey and raising steel tariffs to 50%.

Mr. Trump now finds himself back in an economic and diplomatic brawl with Turkey that he said he wanted to avoid. Wouldn’t it have been easier simply to tell Mr. Erdogan, on that famous phone call two Sundays ago, that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate a Turkish invasion against the Kurds and would use air power to stop it? Mr. Erdogan would have had to back down and continue negotiating a Syrian safe zone with the Kurds and the U.S.

Mr. Trump is also making matters worse with his unserious justifications. “After defeating 100% of the ISIS Caliphate, I largely moved our troops out of Syria. Let Syria and Assad protect the Kurds and fight Turkey for their own land,” he tweeted Monday. “Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me, whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”

We suppose the Napoleon line was a joke, but the world is laughing at an American President. Mr. Trump was able to project an image of strength in his early days as he prosecuted the war against ISIS and used force to impose a cost on Mr. Assad for using chemical weapons. But that image has faded as he has indulged his inner Rand Paul and claims at every opportunity that the main goal of his foreign policy is to put an end to “endless wars.”

This is simple-minded isolationism, and it’s a message to the world’s rogues that a U.S. President has little interest in engaging on behalf of American allies or interests. Friends like Israel and Saudi Arabia are quietly dismayed, while Iran, Russia and Hezbollah can’t believe Mr. Trump has so glibly abandoned U.S. commitments and military partners.

By now it’s not unreasonable to conclude that Mr. Trump’s foreign policy can be distilled into two tactics—sanctions and tariffs. Mr. Trump wields them willy-nilly against friend and foe alike as substitutes for diplomacy and the credible threat of military force.

Mr. Trump won’t like to hear it, but the Syrian mess is hurting him at home too. Republicans who have stood by him through the Russia fight and more are questioning his judgment as Commander in Chief in an increasingly dangerous world. With impeachment looming, he can’t afford to alienate more friends.

Opinion: Trump's Foreign Policy Needs to Change Course

Opinion: Trump’s Foreign Policy Needs to Change Course
As Turkey advances into Syria, foreign powers will increasingly act on the belief that the American executive is both politically weak and intellectually unfocused. Image: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Imageshttps://www.wsj.com/articles/trumps-syria-mess-11571095091

TRUMP’S CHAOTIC SYRIA EXIT PUTS ANTI-WAR 2020 DEMOCRATS IN A DELICATE SPOT

THE PENTAGON announced on Monday that the U.S. was pulling all of its troops out of northeastern Syria at President Donald Trump’s direction, completing a withdrawal he had started by Twitter declaration a week earlier. The move further clears the way for a full-on invasion by Turkey, whose soldiers have already been accused of executing noncombatants. In the chaos, hundreds of Islamic State detainees have reportedly escaped.

Trump defended his decision in a series of early-morning tweets on Monday. “The same people who got us into the Middle East mess are the people who most want to stay there!” he wrote. “Never ending wars will end!”

Trump’s abandonment of eastern Syria and the U.S. military’s Kurdish allies has put progressive Democrats — many of whom also favor withdrawing from overseas military operations — in a delicate spot. Over the past week, they have been trying to thread the needle between condemning Trump for recklessly abandoning an ally and emphasizing that withdrawing U.S. troops should be an eventual policy goal.

Trump’s decision has showcased what a worst-case scenario for expedited military withdrawal could look like, making it harder for progressive Democratic presidential candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to press their cases against “endless wars” on the campaign trail. The question of how progressives can go about drawing down U.S. military commitments without repeating Trump’s calamitous actions would be an obvious pick for Tuesday night’s Democratic debate.

So far, the Democratic candidates have been critical of Trump but light on specifics about what they would do differently. Last week, Sanders condemned Trump’s withdrawal from Syria, telling reporters that “as somebody who does not want to see American troops bogged down in countries all over the world — you don’t turn your back on allies who have fought and died alongside American troops. You just don’t do that.” But when George Stephanopoulos asked Sunday morning on ABC for Sanders to explain the difference between his and Trump’s approaches, Sanders responded simply that Trump “lies. I don’t.”

Warren’s response was similarly vague. She tweeted that “Trump recklessly betrayed our Kurdish partners” and that “we should bring our troops home, but we need to do so in a way that respects our security.”

Ro Khanna, a Democratic representative from California and co-chair of Sanders’s 2020 campaign, told The Intercept that progressives urgently need to make the case for a “doctrine of responsible withdrawal.”

“I don’t believe that withdrawal from a progressive perspective means a moral indifference to the lives of the places that we leave,” Khanna said in a phone interview. “It’s not an ‘America First’ approach that says our interests and our American lives are the only things that have moral worth. Rather, our withdrawal is based on an understanding of the limitations of American power to shape and restructure societies. It emphasizes the need for effective diplomacy and understands our moral obligations in these places.”

The U.S. should not have withdrawn troops without negotiating a deal that would have kept Turkey from invading Syria, backed by a threat to withhold future arms sales and economic assistance, Khanna told The Intercept. “We could have used all those points of leverage to get their commitment that they wouldn’t slaughter the Kurds.”

Another key difference between Trump’s approach and that of progressives is their level of trust for civil service expertise, Khanna said. “What this shows is that it’s not enough to have a president with certain instincts. Foreign policy requires great expertise. You need a progressive president who understands the importance of military restraint, but who also has the ability to put together an extraordinary foreign policy team to implement the goals that they may have.”

Far from admiring Trump’s approach to Syria, many anti-interventionists and foreign policy experts in D.C. view it as a blueprint for how not to withdraw from a conflict, according to Adam Wunische, a researcher with the Quincy Institute, a new pro-diplomacy, noninterventionist, and nonpartisan think tank.

“What we should have been doing from the very beginning is once we achieved the limited objective of destroying ISIS territory, they should have immediately begun contemplating what kind of peace or settlement could come afterwards,” Wunische told The Intercept. “To my knowledge, the U.S. is one of the only actors that can effectively talk to both the Turks and the Kurds. So they should have been trying to find an acceptable political arrangement for all the parties involved that doesn’t involve an endless, ill-defined military presence for the U.S.”

The Quincy Institute is working on a report outlining a possible plan for U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan that would avoid the type of disorder on display in northeastern Syria, Wunische said, though the timing of the report remains unclear.

Throughout the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, a number of candidates have railed against “endless wars.” But in a conversation that has been defined by intricate domestic policy proposals and detailed outlines of how to structure a wealth tax, candidates have said little about the rest of the world and even less about how they would wind down overseas conflicts.

Sanders, for example, has called for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan “as expeditiously as possible.” Warren has said “it’s long past time to bring our troops home, and I would begin to do so immediately.” Joe Biden has said he would bring “American combat troops in Afghanistan home during my first term,” but left the door open for a “residual U.S. military presence” that would be “focused on counterterrorism operations.” When asked during a July debate whether he would withdraw from Afghanistan during the first year of his presidency, Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend mayor and Navy Reserve veteran who spent seven months in Afghanistan, answered emphatically in the affirmative.

But aside from seeking a diplomatic solution, candidates have said very little about their policies for ending the war. And as in Syria, stakes for U.S. allies in Afghanistan are high.

A January study by the Rand Corporation found that a “precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan” would have far-reaching consequences. The legitimacy for the U.S.-backed Kabul government would plummet, the report argued, and the Taliban would extend its control and influence. People all across the country would turn to regional militias and rival warlords for basic security.

“I don’t think that anyone, whether they promise it or not, is going to get out of Afghanistan in a week,” said Wuinsche. “What we need to focus on is, what is the political solution that we think is possible, and how do we get there? That requires marshaling all of these different tools of foreign policy, not just the military.”

Kate Kizer, policy director for the D.C.-based advocacy group Win Without War, stressed that one of the most revealing differences between progressives and Trump is how they would treat a conflict’s refugees. Under Trump, the U.S. has accepted historically low numbers of refugees and closed the door on future Syrian immigrants applying for Temporary Protected Status.

“One of the cruelest parts of Trump’s policy is the fact that, in addition to fueling more bloodshed with this decision, he’s also banning any types of civilians who would be fleeing from the conflict,” Kizer said. “In a situation like Syria and even Afghanistan, there’s a way to responsibly withdraw and then there’s a way to cut and run, which is what Trump has shown he has a predilection for. But I’m not sitting here saying that any type of military withdraw will necessarily be bloodless.”

https://theintercept.com/2019/10/15/syria-troop-withdrawal-trump-democrats/

Story 2: The Search of Leakers in Trump Administration — Videos

RUST NO ONE

Trump Suspects a Spiteful John Bolton Is Behind Some of the Ukraine Leaks

Trump fears the leaks are now coming from the people he chose to serve him—and that only increases the paranoia currently infecting the West Wing.

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Getty

At a critical juncture in his presidency, facing a rapidly unfolding impeachment inquiry by House Democrats, Donald Trump is feeling besieged by snitches.

In recent weeks, numerous leaks have appeared in the pages of The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and other major papers and news outlets detailing the president’s attempts to enlist foreign leaders to help dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and also aid Trump’s quest to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s concluded investigation. And as is his MO, the media-obsessed president has been fixated on not just the identity of the whistleblower behind the internal complaint that brought this scandal to the fore, but also on who, exactly, has been namelessly feeding intel to the press.

In the course of casual conversations with advisers and friends, President Trump has privately raised suspicions that a spiteful John Bolton, his notoriously hawkish former national security adviser, could be one of the sources behind the flood of leaks against him, three people familiar with the comments said. At one point, one of those sources recalled, Trump guessed that Bolton was behind one of the anonymous accounts that listed the former national security adviser as one of the top officials most disturbed by the Ukraine-related efforts of Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney who remains at the center of activities that spurred the impeachment inquiry.

“[Trump] was clearly implying [it, saying] something to the effect of, ‘Oh, gee, I wonder who the source on that could be,’” this source said, referring to the president’s speculation. Bolton, for his part, told The Daily Beast last month that allegations that he was a leaker in Trump’s midst are “flatly incorrect.”

The former national security adviser—who departed the administration last month on awfulmutually bitter terms—is working on a book about his time serving Trump, and has “a lot to dish,” one knowledgeable source noted.

Neither Bolton nor White House spokespeople provided comment for this story. Matt Schlapp, an influential conservative activist with close ties to the White House, said his assumption was that the leaks were coming from “career folks inside who hate Trump” and that the president and his campaign had “14 months of this” to come. As for Bolton, Schlapp said, “He’s smarter than that, although he does aggressively defend himself.”

Indeed, Bolton’s name surfaced Monday before House impeachment inquiry committees, when Hill reportedly testified that he told her to alert the chief lawyer for the National Security Council that Giuliani was working with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on an operation with legal implications, the Times reported late Monday. “I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton told Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to sources familiar with the testimony.

“I have not spoken to John about [his comments, as conveyed by Hill],” Giuliani told The Daily Beast on Tuesday morning. “John is a longtime friend. I have no idea why John is doing this. My best guess is that he’s confused and bought into a false media narrative without bothering to call me about it.”

Regarding Bolton’s reported comment about Mulvaney being involved in this figurative Ukraine “drug deal,” the former New York City mayor insisted that “Mick wasn’t involved in this. I don’t recall having any lengthy conversation with him about this subject… I don’t recall ever having a lengthy conversation [about Ukraine] with John, either.”

Trump has felt under siege from within before, including at various flashpoints of his presidency. For instance, near the end of the Mueller probe, the president became so distrustful and resentful toward Don McGahn, his own White House counsel at the time, he started asking those close to him, “Is [Don] wearing a wire?”

But the current sense that he has been undermined by people whom he brought into his orbit has come at a critical juncture and colored some of the decisions he has made since the whistleblower complaint became public.  The president has openly declared that the whistleblower committed an act of treason. He has attempted to stop prominent advisers—including Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a man who donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration—from testifying to Congress, only to apparently fail. On Monday, Fiona Hill, Trump’s former top adviser on Russia and Europe, was on Capitol Hill, where she reportedly told lawmakers that Sondland and Giuliani circumventedthe standard national-security process on high-profile Ukraine matters. The president has struggled to add to his current legal team, and appeared to begin putting some distance between himself and Giuliani last week.

And when outside allies began to talk about constructing a war room to help with impeachment, Trump shot down the concept, in part out of a sense that he couldn’t rely on them to get the message out right. One top White House aide subsequently labeled the idea an exercise by “outside peeps trying to self-aggrandize.”

The impression left on Republicans is one of a president increasingly driven by paranoia and a desire for insularity—and not, necessarily, to his own benefit.

“There is a certain level of frustration that all the sudden the president says something, then Rudy does, and it is not always consistent. There is a frustration that not everybody knows what they should be doing. It is not that they can’t defend the president it is a frustration that they don’t know exactly how they are supposed to defend the president,” said John Brabender, a longtime GOP consultant. “From the president’s perspective, this whole thing is a witch hunt and is outrageous and, therefore, it shouldn’t even need explanation…But with that said, you can’t just be angry. You need a unified communications team.”

According to those who’ve known the president, the sense that a good chunk of the government has never fully accepted his presidency and has actively worked to undermine it has animated much of his activity over the past few weeks. And though they believe he has a point, they also wonder if it is making him functionally incapable of taking the advice of some advisers: to simply ignore impeachment and apply his attention to other facets of governance.

Trump, they add, is preternaturally incapable of ignoring press about him and lingers particularly on leaks that depict atmospherics of his inner sanctum, the West Wing, and his internal well-being.

“In my experience, what he despises is somebody writing that Donald Trump feels under siege and his emotions are this and his thinking is this,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide. “He hates people saying what he is thinking… And one of his most frequent tricks in terms of talking about himself on background [as an anonymous source] is him having the reporter say [he is] someone ‘familiar with the president’s thinking.’”

Nunberg said he had yet to see a blind quote in any recent report that would lead him to believe that Trump is cold-calling reporters. But the president is certainly working the fourth estate. Democratic aides were left shaking their heads last week when they received an email from the White House with the subject line, “Article from President Trump” and a PDF attachment of a Kimberly Strassel Wall Street Journal column.

“He’s apparently so anxious about GOP support in the Senate, he’s taken to sending WSJ columns against the House inquiry,” said a Senate source.

Still, for all of Trump’s grousing and preoccupation with who is and isn’t stabbing him in the back, loyalty has always been a one-way street for this president. Last week, after the news broke that Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born businessmen tied to Giuliani, were arrested on charges of violating campaign-finance law, a reporter at the White House asked Trump if the former New York mayor was still his personal attorney. The president responded that he didn’t know.

Though the president would later tweet out his support for Giuliani over the weekend, Trump has a long track record for being loyal to and supportive of a longtime associate, friend, or staffer—up until the moment he’s not. Perhaps the quintessential example of this is that of one of the president’s former attorneys, Michael Cohen, who famously turned on Trump after becoming convinced that the president had abandoned him while he was in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors.

Asked by The Daily Beast last week if the president told him that he still had his lawyer’s back—an attorney who further earned the president’s trust by defending Trump during the Mueller investigation—Giuliani let out a big belly-laugh and responded, “There’s nothing, [no knife], in my back.”

“My back feels very comfortable right now,” he added.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-suspects-a-spiteful-john-bolton-is-behind-ukraine-leaks

Story 3: Democrats Goal of Replacing Your Employer Provided Health Care Cover With Higher Taxes for Medicare For All — Socialized Medicine — Videos —

 

See the source image

See the source image

Medicare For All: What Does it Actually Mean?

DEBUNKED: Medicare for All MYTHS! | Louder With Crowder

Story 4: President Trump Congratulates The St.Louis Blues For Winning The Stanley Cup — Videos —

Trump welcomes the Stanley Cup Champions to WH

President Trump Welcomes the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Champions

Trump welcomes 2019 Stanley Cup champions to White House

Trump welcomes the St. Louis Blues to the White House

WATCH: Trump hosts NHL champions St. Louis Blues at the White House

 

St. Louis Blues visit the White House after Stanley Cup win

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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 1330, September 30, 2019, Story 1: The Big Fail: Democrat Coup 2.0 Against Trump and American People Blown — Fear and Trembling Over Justice Department Inspector General Report on FISA Abuse in Obama Administration — Indictment and Prosecurtions Coming — Biden Fading Fast —  Videos — Story 2: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Listened In on President Trump’s Call With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — Videos

Posted on October 4, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Applications, Australia, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, European History, European Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Impeachment, Independence, Italy, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Mental Illness, Mike Pompeo, National Security Agency, Networking, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Prime Minister, Progressives, Psychology, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Servers, Social Networking, Social Science, Social Sciences, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Ukraine, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: The Big Fail: Democrat Coup 2.0 Against Trump and American People Blown — Fear and Trembling Over Justice Department Inspector General’s Report on FISA Abuse in Obama Administration — Spygate Indictments and Prosecutions Coming —  Videos —

See the source image

President Trump on whistleblower

Joe Biden Admits to Getting Ukrainian Prosecutor who Investigated Son Fired

Hannity: Dems are guilty of everything they accuse Trump of

Hunter Biden Situation Could Be ‘Albatross Around Joe Biden’s Neck’ | THE CIRCUS | SHOWTIME

CBN NewsWatch PM: September 30, 2019

Top U.S. & World Headlines — September 30, 2019

President Trump And Allies Focus Attacks On Whistleblower

Pompeo was on Trump’s call with Ukrainian President, source says

Trump focuses anger at whistleblower as impeachment inquiry deepens

A look at Hunter Biden’s time in Ukraine

“BIDEN IS A DISGRACE” President Trump RIPS Joe Biden Over Ukraine Controversy

Tucker: Democrats don’t seem happy about impeachment

Stephen Miller calls whistleblower a ‘partisan hit job’ in fiery interview

I wouldn’t cooperate with Adam Schiff’: Giuliani | ABC News

House Intelligence Committee expects to hear from whistleblower ‘very soon’: Schiff | ABC News

Trump Calls Impeachment Inquiry a ‘Coup’

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

LIVE NOW | Ukraine: The Democrats’ Russia

Glenn reveals the facts that the media refuse to share and breaks down the entire Ukraine timeline on the chalkboard. Tune in to watch as Glenn makes yet another complex issue simple. BlazeTV Presents a Glenn Beck Special – Ukraine: The Democrats’ Russia.

 

 

 

‘COUP’: Trump blasts Democrats’ impeachment efforts in tweet

The Trump tweet came about 12 hours after Trump adviser Peter Navarro called the impeachment inquiry an “attempted coup d’etat’
Image: President Elect Trump Continues His "Thank You Tour" In Grand Rapids, Michigan

President-elect Donald Trump looks on during a rally at the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Dec. 9, 2016.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

DOJ watchdog submits draft report on alleged FISA abuses to Barr

Story 2: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Listened In on President Trump’s Call With Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — Videos

Mike Pompeo was on July 25 phone call at the center of the impeachment inquiry in which Trump asked Ukraine president to probe Joe Biden

  • Officials told Associated Press that Secretary of State Pompeo was listening 
  • It would be the first confirmation that a Cabinet official was on the cal
  • President Trump pressed Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Joe Biden
  • He asked Volodymyr Zelensky to probe Hunter Biden’s role in gas company 

Two U.S. officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine‘s president that is at the center of a whistleblower complaint.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal matter.

It was the first confirmation that a Cabinet official was on the call in which Trump pressed President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Hunter Biden’s membership on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

It also increases the number of people known to have first-hand knowledge of a call that has sparked an impeachment inquiry by Congress.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen at United Nations in New York last week

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen at United Nations in New York last week

Pompeo overheard the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (seen far left next to Trump), according to two U.S. officials

Pompeo overheard the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (seen far left next to Trump), according to two U.S. officials

Pompeo leaves for Italy amid reports he took part in Ukraine call

Pompeo boarded a plane to fly to Italy on Monday.

Joining him aboard the official State Department flight was Sebastian Gorka, a former White House aide and Trump supporter.

‘It’s not quite Air Force One, but it’s very close,’ Gorka, who is now a media personality, tweeted.

News of Pompeo’s involvement broke after it was learned that another associate of the president is more deeply ensnared in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Democrats on Monday subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer who was at the heart of Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden’s family.

With Congress out of session for observance of the Jewish holidays, Democrats moved aggressively against Giuliani, requesting by Oct. 15 ‘text messages, phone records and other communications’ that they referred to as possible evidence.

Sebastian Gorka DrG

@SebGorka

It’s not quite Air Force One.

But it’s very close!

Boarding @SecPompeo’s Air Force Boeing at @Andrews_JBA.

Destination Rome.

Stay Tuned!

http://SebGorka.com 

View image on Twitter

They also requested documents and depositions from three of his business associates.

McConnell, a steadfast Trump defender, nonetheless swatted down talk that that the GOP-controlled Senate could dodge the matter of impeachment if the House approved charges against Trump.

‘It’s a Senate rule related to impeachment, it would take 67 votes to change, so I would have no choice but to take it up,’ McConnell said on CNBC.

FILE - In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington. Giuliani says he'd only cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry if his client agreed. Central to the investigation is the effort by Giuliani to have Ukraine conduct a corruption probe into Joe Biden and his son's dealings with a Ukrainian energy company. Trump echoed that request in a July 2019 call with Ukraine's president. The House Intelligence Committee is leading the inquiry, and Chairman Adam Schiff hasn't decided if he wants to hear from Giuliani. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

FILE – In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington. Giuliani says he’d only cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry if his client agreed. Central to the investigation is the effort by Giuliani to have Ukraine conduct a corruption probe into Joe Biden and his son’s dealings with a Ukrainian energy company. Trump echoed that request in a July 2019 call with Ukraine’s president. The House Intelligence Committee is leading the inquiry, and Chairman Adam Schiff hasn’t decided if he wants to hear from Giuliani. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The lawmakers cited claims by Giuliani in a series of TV interviews over the past week

The lawmakers cited claims by Giuliani in a series of TV interviews over the past week

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, U.S. September 20, 2019. Committees are seeking documents related to his mission to seek information from Ukraine

President Trump again Monday called his phone call with the President of Ukraine where he urged him to get in touch with Giuliani 'perfect'

Giuliani has repeatedly pushed unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to keep it from probing a company tied to his son

Giuliani has repeatedly pushed unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to keep it from probing a company tied to his son

UP TO HERE: 'If (Trump) decides that he wants me to testify of course I'll testify – even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman,' Giuliani said.

UP TO HERE: ‘If (Trump) decides that he wants me to testify of course I’ll testify – even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman,’ Giuliani said.

‘How long you’re on it is a whole different matter.’

Trump took to Twitter to defend anew his phone call with Zelenskiy as ‘perfect’ and to unleash a series of attacks, most strikingly against House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff. 

The Democrat, he suggested, ought to be tried for a capital offense for launching into a paraphrase of Trump during a congressional hearing last week.

‘Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,’ the president wrote.

‘It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?’

Trump tweeted repeatedly through the day but was, for the most part, a lonely voice as the White House lacked an organization or process to defend him.

Senior staffers, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, were to present Trump this week with options on setting up the West Wing’s response to impeachment, officials said.

A formal war room was unlikely, though some sort of rapid response team was planned to supplement the efforts of Trump and Giuliani.

But Trump was angry over the weekend at both Mulvaney and press secretary Stephanie Grisham for not being able to change the narrative dominating the story, according to two Republicans close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Democrats have orders from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep momentum going despite a two-week recess that started Friday. 

Staff for three committees are scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday to depose Marie ‘Masha’ Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was removed by the Trump administration earlier this year, and Kurt Volker, who resigned last week as America’s Ukrainian envoy.

Members of intelligence committee on Friday will interview Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community who first received the whistleblower’s complaint.

Democrats are driving the proceedings toward what some hope is a vote to impeach, or indict, Trump by year’s end.

They have launched a coordinated messaging and polling strategy aimed at keeping any political backlash in closely divided districts from toppling their House majority.

Meanwhile, an outside group that supports GOP House candidates was starting anti-impeachment digital ads on Monday against three House Democrats from districts Trump won in 2016.

The ads by the Congressional Leadership Fund accuse Reps. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Elaine Luria of Virginia and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan of ‘tearing us apart,’ and are among the first in which Republicans are trying to use the impeachment issue against Democratic candidates.

However, support across America for impeachment has grown significantly from its level before the House launched its formal inquiry last week.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows 47 per cent of registered voters say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 47 per cent say he should not.

Just a week before, it was 37 per cent for impeachment and 57 per cent against.

That was before the White House released its rough version of the call between Trump and Ukraine’s president and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry.

SMOKING TABLET: Rudy Giuliani claims he has 15 texts which will show his Ukraine activities were fully coordinated with the State Department

SMOKING TABLET: Rudy Giuliani claims he has 15 texts which will show his Ukraine activities were fully coordinated with the State Department

Rudy Giuliani reiterated previous claims that the State Department asked him to reach out to Ukraine to inquire about Ukrainian investigations, including into Joe and Hunter Biden, in an appearance on Laura Ingraham's show on Fox

Rudy Giuliani reiterated previous claims that the State Department asked him to reach out to Ukraine to inquire about Ukrainian investigations, including into Joe and Hunter Biden, in an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox

LET'S TALK AGAIN: Giuliani shared his texts with U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker

TALK AGAIN: Giuliani shared his texts with U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker

In the CNN poll, 47 per cent said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, up from 41 per cent in May.

Both polls showed dramatic partisan polarization remains on impeachment: most Democrats expressing support, the vast majority of Republicans opposed.

The polls disagreed over whose opinions are changing – Quinnipiac showing increased impeachment support coming more from Democrats, CNN from Republicans.

Schiff said on Sunday that his intelligence panel would hear from the still-secret whistleblower ‘very soon’ but that no date had been set and other details remained to be worked out.

A day after Trump demanded to meet the whistleblower, whom he has repeatedly assailed, he said when asked about the person: ‘Well, we’re trying to find out about a whistleblower,’ who made his perfect call ‘sound terrible.’

The whistleblower’s attorney, Andrew Bakaj, said Monday that the person ‘is entitled to anonymity. Law and policy support this, and the individual is not to be retaliated against. Doing so is a violation of federal law.’

Separately, the Justice Department disclosed that Trump recently asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other foreign leaders to help Attorney General William Barr with an investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation that has shadowed his administration for more than two years.

Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Trump made the calls at Barr’s request.

Trump was requesting help for U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The investigation outraged Trump, who cast it as a politically motivated ‘witch hunt.’

The Russia probe remains Trump’s motivating factor, according to Tom Bossert, the president’s former homeland security adviser.

‘I honestly believe this president has not gotten his pound of flesh yet from past grievances on the 2016 investigation,’ Bossert said Sunday on ABC.

‘If he continues to focus on that white whale, it’s going to bring him down.’

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1310, August 21, 2019, Story 1: Trump Administration Plan To Detain Illegal Alien Children Indefinitely With Parents — Ending Catch and Release — The Family That Stays Together Gets Deported Together — Videos — Story 2: President Trump on Jewish People Who Vote Democrat Are Disloyal To Israel — Videos — Story 3: Reigning In Big Tech — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google — Videos — Story 4: Epstein Last Minute Estate Planning Puts Assets in Trust — Videos

Posted on August 24, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Applications, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Israel, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Networking, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Social Security, Software, Subversion, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, United States of America, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

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The Trump administration is set to issue new rules that would allow families crossing illegally with children to be detained indefinitely

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Story 1: Trump Administration Plan To Detain Illegal Alien Children Indefinitely With Parents — Ending Catch and Release — The Family That Stays Together Gets Deported Together — Videos

DHS’s new immigration rule will end catch-and-release loophole

Trump defends longer detention of migrant families

[youotube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbBTxK4mxE8]

Flores Settlement

Immigration Brief: Flores Settlement Agreement

The Flores Settlement is the Backbone of Detained Migrant Children’s Rights

DHS announced new immigration policy on migrant children

DHS’s new immigration rule will end catch-and-release loophole

Trump administration ends “loophole” immigration rule that could keep kids in detention for longer

Tucker: The Democratic Party wants to run the US

Ingraham: Dems’ open borders agenda exposed

AG Barr making major changes to immigration courts

Trump administration ends “catch and release” as it reforms immigration policies

Trump, Obama and Bush: How Presidents Approached Immigration Policy | NYT News

Doctors, nurses protesting Trump’s immigration policies

What Trump’s new immigration rules mean for the detention of migrant children

BREAKING: President Trump MAJOR Immigration Policy Proposal

Fitton: Leftists in Trump State Dept. sabotaged Guatemala deal

Reports detail Stephen Miller’s role in Trump’s tough immigration policies

Trump calls catch-and-release program ‘ridiculous’

Illegal immigrant families in the USA | DW Documentary

DHS secretary denies reintroduction of “catch and release” at border

How to solve the illegal immigration problem

Obama’s DHS Secretary: “We Cannot Have A System Of Catch And Release”

Trump administration rolls out plan to detain migrant children INDEFINITELY and president hails end of ‘catch and release’ – but federal judge needs to approve the move, setting stage for court battle

  • New regulations will allow the government to hold migrant children in border detention centers indefinitely 
  • The Department of Homeland Security rules would end protections given to minor migrants under the Flores Settlement Agreement
  • Under Flores, after 20 days children border crossers had to be released to a family member, guardian or at the very least a non-prison-like jail facility
  • Some claim illegal immigrants have crossed with children with the expectation they will be swiftly released from detention
  • ‘No child should be a pawn in a scheme to manipulate our immigration system,’ Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in announcing the new regulations 
  • Donald Trump insists these rules will put an end to ‘catch and release’ immigration practices 

The Department of Homeland Security is issuing a new rule this week which it claims will allow it to indefinitely detain migrant children and their parents who cross the border illegally, its acting boss announced Wednesday. 

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the rule would finally replace the Flores Settlement Agreement, which stops children – and by extension their parents – from being detained for more than 20 days.  

But it faces an instant legal battle because a federal judge must agree to tearing up the Flores settlement, with immigrant groups already preparing for a fight which is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

Donald Trump hailed the rule, which will not be published until Friday, as the end to ‘catch and release’ immigration practices, and McAleenan claimed it would be a significant deterrent to illegal immigration.

During a press conference Wednesday, McAleenan said the so-called ‘Flores Final Rule’ would keep families together during immigration proceedings, and prevent children from becoming a ‘pawn’ to those who just wish to game the system.

‘No child should be a pawn in a scheme to manipulate our immigration system, which is why the new rules eliminate the incentive to exploit children as a free ticket or… a passport for migration to the United States,’ McAleenan said.

The Trump administration is set to issue new rules that would allow families crossing illegally with children to be detained indefinitely

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the new rules would prevent human smugglers and illegal border crossers from using children as 'pawns' or 'passports' to gain entry and release into the U.S.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the new rules would prevent human smugglers and illegal border crossers from using children as ‘pawns’ or ‘passports’ to gain entry and release into the U.S.

By quoting the National Border Patrol president, Trump insisted the rules would stop 'catch and release' immigration practices

By quoting the National Border Patrol president, Trump insisted the rules would stop ‘catch and release’ immigration practices

THE RULES ON DETAINING ILLEGAL MIGRANT KIDS TRUMP WANTS TO CHANGE

Since 1997, what happens to children who cross the border illegally has been determined by a court settlement made by the Clinton administration to end a long-running case brought on behalf of a group of children detained  at the border in 1985. 

It got its name from one of them – Jenny Lisette Flores – and when the Clinton administration ended the federal litigation by negotiation,  became known as the Flores Settlement.

It set a 20 day limit on detaining children, and said that they had to be released to their parents or suitable guardians.

The federal government has to offer ‘food and drinking water as appropriate,’ ‘medical assistance if minor is in need of emergency services,’ ‘toilets and sinks,’ ‘adequate temperature control and ventilation,’ ‘adequate supervision to protect minors from others,’ ‘contact with family members who were arrested with the minor and separation from unrelated adults whenever possible.’ 

If a relative or guardian could not be found, they had to be sent to homes, not other detention centers – ‘the least restrictive environment possible,’ the agreement specified.

The settlement was temporary,  

And it contained a poison pill: the only way to end the settlement was to come up with formal immigration rules which met the minimum conditions in the settlement and to which the federal court overseeing the settlement agreed.

Since then it has been back in court repeatedly, with the Bush and Obama administration accused of breaching it. 

This month a judge ruled that it guarantees that detained children have a right to toothpaste, after the Trump administration suggested it was optional.

THE CHANGE

The Homeland Security department did not publish the details of its new rule Wednesday but claimed it would be a full-scale replacement of Flores which would allow indefinite detention.

That would mean it has to embrace the other aspects of Flores – meaning the conditions under which children are kept will have to be as described in the deal and subsequent rulings.

How the Department of Homeland Security thinks it will get indefinite detention passed is unclear.

The new rules, he claims, should appeal to those who have decried the immigration enforcement system for breaking up parents and children.

‘Our goal remains, as in the previous administration, to provide an expeditious immigration results, while holding families together, which particularly benefits legitimate asylum seekers with meritorious claims,’ McAleenan said, claiming all migrants were left in a state of limbo for years under the current rules.

Democrats are already pushing back against the rules rollout, claiming the president is trying to justify ‘child abuse.’

‘The Administration is seeking to codify child abuse, plain and simple,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday. ‘Its appalling, inhumane family incarceration plan would rip away basic protections for children’s human rights, reversing decades-long and court-imposed rules and violating every standard of morality and civilized behavior.’

Instead of improving the situation with families and minor migrants, Pelosi insists that indefinite detention would ‘compound the cruelty’ already exhibited in holding facilities at the border.

She also mentioned the ‘worsening conditions for children already forced to sleep on concrete floors, eat inedible food and be denied basic sanitation and standards of care,’ which immigration officials claim is due to the influx in family apprehensions.

McAleenan blamed the more than 450 per cent increase in family unit apprehension this year on the 2015 reinterpretation of the Flores agreement, which led to the rules that required children and their parents be released in 20 days.

The Flores agreement established that when families with children were captured and detained, they had to be released in less than two dozen days to a family member or guardian in the U.S. – and if that was not possible they had to be transferred to a care facility that does not operate like a jail.

The Trump administration insists the limits set by Flores has encouraged illegal immigrants to arrive at the border with children with the expectation of being swiftly released.

‘Brandon Judd, President, National Border Patrol Council. ‘This will effectively end Catch and Release and curb illegal entries,” Trump posted to his Twitter Wednesday, quoting the Border Patrol Council president.

In 2018, the administration proposed a similar plan to this one, but the rules were never enacted as there was an influx of migrants arriving at the border and a shortage of bed space.

Although there was a massive dip in illegal border crossing during Trump’s first year in the White House, the frequency spiked in late 2018, and border agents and officials lamented they were not prepared for the influx, leading to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions at many detention facilities.

As of May 2019, there were at least seven documented instances where children died from illness complications after being held in some of these centers.

The rationale for the rules proposed in September 2018 was that the government should be permitted to detain children for longer so they could be treated with ‘dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors,’ as required by the Flores agreement.

It seems the 2018 plan is being reupped now that there has been a drop in border crossings in recent weeks and border facilities are less overwhelmed.

The dip comes after Trump made an agreement with the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for the government to deploy Mexican security forces to help crack down on asylum seekers on their side of the border.

It’s likely the rules, which again seeks to ‘terminate’ some of the restrictions in Flores, will be challenged in court.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7379593/Trump-administration-rolls-plan-detain-migrant-children-INDEFINITELY.html

 

Trump admin aims to finally END catch-and-release in game-changing regulation

· August 21, 2019
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Trump and Border Patrol

Al Drago/Bloomberg | Getty Images

The entire mass migration to our border and all its cascading ill effects can be traced to one thing: the Flores settlement’s expansion from children to family units by a single district judge. Flores is not a constitutional provision, a statute, or even a court ruling. It is a court settlement, designed as a temporary arrangement, that actually runs contrary to statute and has been used as a catalyst to undermine every bedrock law of sovereignty. After a full year of dithering, the Trump administration is finally using its unquestionable power to modify the settlement to finally end catch-and-release.

The Flores settlement, originally agreed upon in 1997 and modified in 2001, provided that government would only house alien children in “non-secure, state licensed” facilities or release them expeditiously until and unless the federal government writes a regulation to build its own licensing scheme ensuring the safe and sanitary conditions of the facilities. Given that there are no such state-licensed facilities, and the feds, until now, have not created their own scheme, it forced them to release unaccompanied minors expeditiously. In 2015, a California judge applied Flores to children accompanied by a parent as well, an order that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit the following year.

Flores is the source of all our border problems

It’s truly difficult to overstate the evil that expanded Flores has done to our security, our fiscal solvency, and Latin American children. By creating a huge market incentive to exploit children for mass migration by adults, it has:

Indeed, even if the wave were to end today, we will likely be seeing the effects of the crime wave and fiscal cost for years to come.

Under Flores, Trump has the power to terminate the settlement with a new regulation

This is where today’s announcement of a Flores modification comes into play. The law actually requires that these people be detained under most circumstances and does not place a time constraint on the detention, nor does it make exceptions for children. The constraint on holding children in certain facilities emanated from a court settlement that began in the 1980s and crystalized in 1997 as a temporary arrangement until 45 days after government promulgates a permanent regulation defining the parameters of the holding facilities for children along safe and sanitary guidelines laid out in the settlement.

Until now, courts have lawlessly “legislated” a 20-day deadline for holding children without such certified facilities or else they have to be released. Moreover, Judge Dana Sabraw created a new edict last year contrary to law that children can’t be released alone once they come with an adult and that the adult must be released with them. Thus, the expansion of Flores and Sabraw’s ruling spawned the worst period of migration in our history, where primarily one adult would come with one child, the perfect scam.

With today’s change, the Trump administration is fulfilling one of the options laid out in the Flores settlement by publishing regulations governing the treatment of detained minors. Officials have created a process for certifying the conditions of various facilities they now believe fulfill the conditions of Flores and can be designed to hold children with their parents. Thus, no family separation – and no catch-and-release.

The reality is that very few people will wind up in these holding facilities in the long run, because the minute they hear the scam is over, they simply will not come.

Therefore, it’s simply indefensible for anyone to oppose this move unless they downright want illegal immigration, the empowerment of human and sex smuggling, and all its other odious and cascading social, fiscal, and national security problems.



Trump administration needs to make the legalities stick for enduring change

The expansion of Flores to family units and the 20-day deadline were done by a single California judge, Dolly Gee. As a judge in the Central District of California, she is not even on the border. California is the entry point of only two percent of the family units who come here. The Trump administration needs to make it clear that there is no reason why California should control something that has not just national but catastrophic international effects. A Texas judge has already opined in passing that under these circumstances, catch-and-release of minors is not only not required, but is tantamount to the completion of a criminal conspiracy for the cartels that would get private citizens in trouble if they engaged in what the DHS is doing.

As such, any inevitable lawless injunction from Dolly Gee should be set aside by this administration, at least outside California.

Related to this point is the fact that this new regulation will not close the catch-and-release loophole of Central American children coming here alone without adults. However, as was made clear by Judge Andrew Hanen in 2013, given that many are self-trafficked and most of them are being delivered to their parents or relatives in the country, they do not meet the definition of an unaccompanied alien child described in 8 U.S. Code §1232(b). The law mandates they be turned over to HHS and be treated like refugees only if “no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.” (6 U.S. Code §279(g).) What is happening today, as Judge Hanen noted in 2013, is that the “parent initiated the conspiracy to smuggle the minors into the country illegally” and “also funded the conspiracy.” “In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors into the custody of the parent living illegally in the United States.”

Trump should demand that DHS lawyers stop hiding behind the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) as justification for this, and instead write a regulation requiring the deportation of any parents paying to traffic “unaccompanied” children rather than rewarding them with the results of their crime.

Furthermore, the administration needs to fully follow through with its promise to implement expedited removal for everyone at the border, including minors. Even the Ninth Circuit noted last week that part of why it is able to force expanded Flores upon the government is because “the government’s own regulations contemplate that minors in expedited removal proceedings may be considered for release,” mimicking the Flores arrangement. That needs to change along with this new regulation. Once the administration fully implements what Congress envisioned in 1996, Flores becomes unlawful, and all judicial proceedings against detention become moot.

Finally, Trump should push legislation empowering citizens to sue when illegal aliens are becoming a public charge. The reason we are in this position is because every illegal alien gets to sue our laws. Why not have an American “Flores” settlement” where government is forced to settle with the taxpayer by actually enforcing the law?

Overall, the Trump administration is slowly heading in the right direction. In addition to vitiating Flores, it has finally ended the practice of granting bogus asylees work permits pending their delayed adjudications. The key to enduring victories on the border, however, is to more aggressively push back against the judicial amnesty that created this problem in the first place. Trump must remind this very California court of its own adage on presidential powers related to this very issue: “The right to do so stems not alone from legislative power but is inherent in the executive power to control the foreign affairs of the nation.” (Encuentro del Canto Popular v. Christopher, N.D. Cal. 1996.)

Trump admin aims to finally END catch-and-release in game-changing regulation

DHS and HHS Announce New Rule to Implement the Flores Settlement Agreement; Final Rule Published to Fulfill Obligations under Flores Settlement Agreement

Release Date:
August 21, 2019

Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced a final rule that finalizes regulations implementing the relevant and substantive terms of the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA). Importantly, the rule will allow for termination of the FSA, and allow DHS and HHS to respond to significant statutory and operational changes that have occurred since the FSA has been in place, including dramatic increases in the numbers of unaccompanied children and family units crossing into the United States.

Large numbers of alien families are entering illegally across the southern border, hoping that they will be released into the interior rather than detained during their removal proceedings. Promulgating this rule and seeking termination of the FSA are important steps towards an immigration system that is humane and operates consistently with the intent of Congress.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are issuing final regulations that implement:

  • The relevant and substantive terms of the FSA (resulting in the termination of the FSA).
  • The way HHS accepts and cares for unaccompanied alien children.
  • The requirements that help ensure that all alien children (both accompanied minors and unaccompanied alien children) in the Government’s custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.
  • The ability of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maintain family unity by holding families with children in licensed facilities or facilities that meet ICE’s family residential standards, as evaluated by a third-party entity engaged by ICE (in the event that licensing is not available through the State).
  • A pathway to ensure the humane detention of families while satisfying the goals of the FSA.
  • The related provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA), including the transfer of unaccompanied alien children to HHS within 72 hours of the UAC determination, absent exceptional circumstances.

“Today, the government has issued a critical rule that will permit the Department of Homeland Security to appropriately hold families together and improve the integrity of the immigration system,” said Acting Secretary McAleenan. “This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress and ensures that all children in U.S. government custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability.”

“The Department of Health and Human Services, through our Office of Refugee Resettlement, provides quality and compassionate care for unaccompanied alien children who are referred to our custody,” said Secretary Azar. “In this rule, we are implementing the relevant and substantive portions of the Flores Settlement Agreement pertaining to standards for the temporary care, placement, and release of those minors. As before, HHS will continue to protect the safety and dignity of unaccompanied alien children in our custody as we seek to place them with a parent, relative, or other suitable sponsor.”

The FSA always contained provisions for its implementation in regulations and its termination – originally, it was to remain in effect no more than five years; and then, in 2001, the parties agreed it would terminate after a final rulemaking.  Beginning in 2005, prior administrations repeatedly announced plans for a rule.  No prior administration, however, issued a final rule.  With this achievement now complete, the FSA will terminate by its own terms, and the Trump Administration will continue to work for a better immigration system.

The rule takes effect in 60 days.

Note: For family residence center B-roll, go to https://www.dvidshub.net/video/618328/south-texas-family-residential-center.

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2019/08/21/dhs-and-hhs-announce-new-rule-implement-flores-settlement-agreement

Story 2: President Trump on Jewish People Who Vote Democrat Are Disloyal To Israel — Videos

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Trump: Jews who vote for Dems uninformed, disloyal

Trump Says American Jews Who Vote for Democrats Are Disloyal to Israel

American Jews Condemn Trump Over Loyalty Comment

‘The Five’ react to freshman Dems blasting Trump, Netanyahu

Trump says that Jewish people who vote for Democrats are ‘very disloyal to Israel,’ denies his remarks are anti-Semitic

August 21

President Trump said Wednesday that Jewish Americans who vote for Democratic candidates are “very disloyal to Israel,” expanding on his remarks from the previous day and dismissing criticism that his remarks were anti-Semitic.

“I think if you vote for a Democrat, you are very, very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people,” Trump said in an exchange with reporters outside the White House before departing for an event in Kentucky.

On Tuesday, Trump had criticized Democrats over the views of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Both women have long been fierce critics of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians. They support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a global protest of Israel.

He had accused Jewish people of “great disloyalty” if they vote for Democrats, although he did not say at the time disloyalty to whom.

“Where has the Democratic Party gone?” Trump asked reporters Tuesday at the White House. “Where have they gone, where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Asked by a reporter Wednesday to clarify his remarks, Trump pointed to his own record, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

“I will tell you this: In my opinion, the Democrats have gone very far away from Israel,” he said. “I cannot understand how they can do that … In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that.”

After Trump’s initial remarks Tuesday, critics on both sides of the aisle as well as Jewish organizations immediately pointed out that Trump’s use of the word “disloyalty” echoed anti-Semitic tropes accusing Jews of dual allegiance.

“American Jews — like all Americans — have a range of political views and policy priorities,” David Harris, chief executive of the nonpartisan American Jewish Committee, said in a statement. “His assessment of their knowledge or ‘loyalty,’ based on their party preference, is inappropriate, unwelcome, and downright dangerous.”

Some of Trump’s defenders, meanwhile, argued that he was speaking about Jewish people being disloyal to themselves rather than to Israel.

Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said in an interview Tuesday that the president was talking about “being true to yourself.”

“I don’t think it invokes those [anti-Semitic] tropes,” Brooks said, describing Trump’s message to Jewish people as, “You’re being disloyal to yourself to say, ‘Hey, I support somebody who is known to espouse anti-Semitic comments.’ ”

Brooks declined to comment Wednesday. The RJC, which tweeted Tuesday that Trump was “right” that it “shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion,” continued to defend Trump on Wednesday even after he clarified that he meant that Jewish Democrats are disloyal to Israel.

“We take the President seriously, not literally,” the group said in a tweet. “President Trump is pointing out the obvious: for those who care about Israel, the position of many elected Democrats has become anti-Israel.”

While Omar and Tlaib are “questioning American Jews’ loyalty to the United States,” the RJC claimed, Trump is “talking about caring about the survival of the Jewish state.”

Trump’s 2020 campaign also rallied to his defense. Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of Trump’s presidential campaign, said in a statement that “there is no bigger ally to the Jewish community at home and around the world than President Trump.”

“As a Jew myself, I strongly believe that President Trump is right to highlight that there is only one party — the Democrats — excusing and permitting such anti-Jewish venom to be spewed so freely,” he said.

Tuesday was not the first time that Trump’s remarks about Jewish people have prompted criticism that he is invoking dual-loyalty tropes. During an April speech to the RJC, the president told the crowd that he “stood with your prime minister at the White House.” At another point, Trump warned that Democrats’ “radical agenda” in Congress “very well could leave Israel out there all by yourselves.”

And while Trump has condemned Omar for evoking offensive stereotypes about Jews and money, the president had expressed similar sentiments to the RJC in 2015, when he was running for the GOP presidential nomination.

“You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” Trump said then. “But that’s okay. You want to control your own politician.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-that-jewish-people-who-vote-for-democrats-are-very-disloyal-to-israel-denies-his-remarks-are-anti-semitic/2019/08/21/055e53bc-c42d-11e9-b5e4-54aa56d5b7ce_story.html?noredirect=on

 

Stroy 3: Reigning In Big Tech — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google — Videos

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How Should Big Tech Be Reined In? Here Are 4 Prominent Ideas

Tim Wu, a Columbia Law School professor, believes Facebook should have to shed some of the companies it has bought. “The remedy is straightforward,” he said.
CreditCreditValerie Chiang for The New York Times

The Justice Department is investigating them, as is the Federal Trade Commission. Congress and state attorneys general have their sights on the companies, too.

There is no shortage of people arguing that America’s large technology companies — namely Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — have gotten too big and too powerful. That has helped spur the scrutiny by the government officials.

But what to do about the issue? On that, the industry’s critics are split.

Some would like to see the businesses broken up. Others want more robust regulation. And there are shades of gray on both sides. Here are four of the most prominent prescriptions being debated.

This is the most drastic surgery, splitting off large portions of the big tech companies.

The guiding principle is simple. If you own a dominant online marketplace or platform, you cannot also offer the goods, services and software applications sold on that marketplace.

So Amazon could not own the leading e-commerce marketplace and sell Amazon-label goods there. Or Google could not have both the dominant search engine and its Google Shopping service, which shows up in search results. Apple could own an app store that offers music services, but not also its own music service sold there. And so on.

Bundling businesses on top of a dominant platform invites conflicts of interest and discrimination against rivals, thwarting competition, proponents of this countermeasure say.

“The world is going to be better off after we break up these companies,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Open Markets Institute, a research and advocacy group.
A billboard in San Francisco for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign offers a blunt take on what to do about technology companies.
CreditJustin Kaneps for The New York Times

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, has embraced the idea of bright-line breakups in her presidential campaign.

But such a sweeping overhaul of the tech industry could bring unknown risks for the companies and shareholders. Many economists are leery of broadly prohibiting companies from entering new businesses, fearing potential losses of efficiency and consumer welfare.

The last big government-mandated breakup targeted AT&T in the early 1980s, and that was the dissolution of a government-granted monopoly.

Still, the idea is not unthinkable. The remedy initially proposed in the government’s antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s, endorsed by three leading economists, was to split the Windows operating system business from Microsoft’s Office productivity software business. After George W. Bush was elected president, his administration settled the case without a breakup.

This is a case-by-case approach to breakups rather than a broad rule applied to all the tech giants. A current example is a plan that would require Facebook to shed Instagram and WhatsApp. A detailed proposal on this, laying out the alleged anticompetitive conduct, was developed by two leading antitrust scholars, Tim Wu of Columbia Law School and Scott Hemphill of New York

 

Chris Hughes, a founder of Facebook, is pushing to break up the company, working with Professor Wu and Scott Hemphill, a New York University law professor.
CreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times

The three have made their presentation to federal and state antitrust regulators and to congressional investigators. They explain that starting about 2010, when mobile computing and photo-sharing services were taking off and Facebook was lagging in those areas, the social network embarked on a years long campaign to buy nascent competitors.

The biggest purchases were of the photo-sharing service Instagram in 2012 and the messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

Typically, regulators challenge mergers when they give a company a big share of an established market. That was not the case when Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram, a start-up with 13 employees in an emerging field.

Instead, the three argue, the strategy was to buy out budding threats. “We think that’s the better perspective of what was going on — maintenance of monopoly in the social network market,” Mr. Hemphill said.

In Facebook’s case, Mr. Wu said, “the remedy is straightforward: Unwind the acquisitions.”

But an issue in spinning off a unit like Instagram is whether doing so enhances competition. Would a stand-alone Instagram be a real rival to Facebook, or would consumers simply stay with the dominant social network, Facebook, and Instagram suffer?

Getting breakups approved by the nation’s courts, which are generally conservative on economic matters, would be a stretch. Besides, some experts argue, a more comprehensive way to police the big tech companies would be with a beefed-up force of regulators.

Image

Executives from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple testified last month before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the companies’ power and practices.
CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

One idea is the creation of a new regulator, a Digital Authority. It would be an expert group to supplement traditional antitrust regulators in the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. It would be able to move faster and have the expertise to constantly track the tech markets and trends.

“Its mandate would be to protect competition,” said Fiona Scott Morton, an economics professor at the Yale University School of Management.

 

In online markets, the flywheel of network effects — the more people who use a service, the more users, developers and advertisers it attracts — is especially powerful, creating dominant companies. Yet even in digital markets, the door to new entrants must remain open, said Ms. Scott Morton, a former senior official in the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

In traditional antitrust, regulators and courts move at a measured pace, slowly and often after the fact. The goal of a new digital regulator, she said, “would be to save the rival before it is killed.”

The authority, Ms. Scott Morton said, could receive a complaint from a competitor and schedule a hearing two weeks later, when both sides would present testimony.

A new regulator? It would be a tough sell in today’s political environment. But we do have specialist federal regulators in many other industries, including banking, aviation, transportation, drugs and agriculture.

Reining in the big tech companies, Ms. Scott Morton said, is increasingly becoming a bipartisan concern. “At some point, society will say this is too much power without real oversight,” she said.

There are also narrower, targeted regulatory proposals. Some of these involve rules that would loosen a dominant company’s control of user data, by either forcing that company to share the data with a smaller competitor or giving users more ability to take their data from one service and move it to a competitor. The Stigler Center study cited those data moves in a list of potential regulations and enforcement actions.

The idea, broadly, is that data can be a barrier to competition, and that freeing up the personal information collected by the tech giants could lower that barrier.

The big online platforms are data monetization machines, collecting, analyzing and exploiting information from consumers, merchants, advertisers and others. And the network effect of data is formidable. The more data the companies have, the more fuel to feed the machine-learning algorithms that power their businesses.

“Data is the real trump card these platforms have,” said A. Douglas Melamed, a professor at Stanford Law School and a member of the Stigler Center study team.

Mr. Melamed, a former senior antitrust official at the Justice Department, favors a rule that would require dominant digital platforms to give other companies access to their user data for a fee. That would help level the playing field for new entrants and other rivals, he said, but wouldn’t be free for them, either.

“You let the competitors have access to their back rooms for a reasonable fee,” Mr. Melamed said. Such a solution would require regulatory oversight to set guidelines for fair licensing terms. Data sharing would also entail some privacy risk, since no privacy-protection technique is foolproof.

A related idea is to mandate that tech companies make user data portable. That means consumers could move their information from one service to another, forcing digital businesses to compete with superior offerings rather than data lock-in.

The regulator would need the technical skills to ensure that the consumer data was handed over in a way that would let a competitor use it easily.

“The details are crucial, if you’re really going to give consumers more choice and control,” said Jamie Morgenstern, a computer scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology who worked on the study.

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Epstein may have gamed the system from beyond the grave

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1297, July 29, 2019, Story 1: Mass Shooting in California at Gilroy Garlic Festival with 4 Dead including 19-Year Old Shooter and 15 Injured — Videos — Story 2: Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) Still Alive and Well in Both Democrat and Republican Parties — Send Them All Home — Tax –Spend –Borrow Binges — Inflation and Rising Interest Will Return With A Vengeance — Federal Reserve Will Cut Federal Funds Rate — Videos — Story 3: Top Three Lies of Big Lie Media: Trump Colluded With The Russians, Trump is A Racist, Trump Will Lose The Election — The Invincible Ignorance of Lying Leftist Lunatic Losers — Whites Moved to The Suburbs from Cities with Crime, Drug, Gang and Rat Infestations Controlled and Run by Corrupt Democrats — Albuquerque, Baltimore, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Newark, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. — Videos —

Posted on July 30, 2019. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Killing, Language, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicine, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Second Amendment, Senate, Success, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Worst US Cities for gun murders

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Story 1: Mass Shooting in California at Gilroy Garlic Festival with 4 Dead including 19-Year Old Shooter and 15 Injured — Videos

3 fatally shot at garlic festival identified by authorities

Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting leaves at least 4 dead

6-year-old boy among those killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

How and Where the Shooter Got Into the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: Police Chief Scot Smithee takes questions on the investigation

People Flee Following Shooting at California Garlic Festival

The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies – John Lott

 

Gilroy Garlic festival shooting: Gunman is identified as teenager, 19, who opened fire on crowds with an assault rifle because he was ‘really angry’, killing three including a six-year-old boy, before being shot dead as police hunt for his ‘accomplice’

  • The gunman was named on Monday as Santino William Legan, a 19-year-old 
  • He was shot dead at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California at 5.41pm Sunday 
  • Witnesses say he was dressed in army fatigues, had a handkerchief around his neck and had an assault rifle 
  • When asked why he was firing into the crowd, witnesses say he replied: ‘Because I’m really angry’ 
  • Police say he got into the festival by using bolt cutters to get through the metal fences surrounding it
  • The event, which attracts 100,000 every year to Gilroy (the garlic capital of the world), had metal detectors
  • Authorities believe the gunman had help and they are searching for his ‘accomplice’ 
  • One of the three people killed was six-year-old Steven Romero of San Jose, California  
  • Fifteen people were also injured and many remain in various hospitals in the area 

The gunman from a shooting at a garlic festival in California on Sunday where three people, including a six-year-old boy, were killed has been identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan.

He was named on Monday as police in Gilroy, where the shooting happened, continued to hunt for his accomplice.

An Instagram account that was registered under his name had been deleted by the time he was named on Monday.

Officers from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau were seen searching a home in Gilroy overnight but they have not confirmed if it is Legan’s.

Legan was shot dead by police after firing his semi-automatic assault rifle into crowds at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual event which attracts 100,000 people to the small town.

President Trump called him a ‘wicked murderer’ on Monday during a bill signing ceremony at the White House.

Among those killed was six-year-old Stephen Romero. Two others died who are yet to be named  publicly.

Survivors said Legan told them he was ‘really angry’ when they asked him why he wanted to kill them.

Authorities believe he gained access to the festival, which was protected with metal detectors, by using bolt cutters to get through a fence.

They believe he had an accomplice and police are still looking for that person.

Other survivors have told how he was silent as he marched through the crowds.

‘He didn’t say anything, nothing. He did not even look from side to side. He just kept looking forward,’ Cheryl Low, who was working at the festival, told ABC.

Fifteen people, including a 12-year-old girl, were injured.

The two suspects are believed to have entered the festival via a creek on the north side, where they used a tool to cut through a fence in order to avoid strict security at official entrances.

Legan then fired his semi-automatic, stopping to reload at one point, and did not flinch as his bullets his children. Some witnesses say he moved ‘like a police officer’ because he was so efficient.

‘He shot one child and then he put the clip in and he just started moving back and forth walking toward the tents because that’s where most of the people were in that area and he started shooting,’ Cheryl Low, who was working at the festival, said.

A gunman who opened fire on the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California Sunday evening was shot dead by police. Witness video appears to show officers surrounding the suspect after they took him town within seconds of when he started shooting

Police are seen standing over a person believed to be the suspect shot dead in the confrontation

Police are seen standing over a person believed to be the suspect shot dead in the confrontation

Police searched this home on Monday which is thought to be where some of Legan's relatives live. It is near the festival

Police searched this home on Monday which is thought to be where some of Legan’s relatives live. It is near the festival

The shooting happened at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday at around 6pm local time. The house searched nearby is less than two miles away

The shooting happened at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday at around 6pm local time. The house searched nearby is less than two miles away

‘He was reloading his gun, he was putting another magazine in and he just opened fire.

‘He just started walking towards our booth.

‘We just ran. It was so fast,’ she said.

Several witnesses reported hearing popping noises and then seeing a white male in his 30s wearing military fatigues ‘indiscriminately’ spraying the crowd with bullets from a semi-automatic weapon for several minutes.

Candice Marquez, 51, a honey vendor at the festival, said she was just 10 feet from the shooter when he opened fire, and saw him reload a clip of ammunition.

 He was walking like a police officer. Like he wanted to get stuff done
Festival worker who witnessed the shooting

She told Fox News that he was a white man, aged between 20 and 35, and that he seemed very calm and didn’t say anything during his attack.

Candice said he was wearing a green vest and khaki pants, was ‘very quiet’ and didn’t call attention to himself before he started spraying the crowd with bullets.

She described the shooter’s actions as ‘very deliberate’ but said he didn’t seem to be targeting anyone.

Two of her colleagues were shot in the attack, she added.

Another festival worker told NBC Bay Area: ‘He was walking like a police officer. Like he wanted to get stuff done.’

The shooting is the 246th mass shooting in the US this year.

‘HE HAD HIS WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF HIM’

Alberto Romero, the boy's father, speaking on Sunday

Alberto Romero, the boy’s father, speaking on Sunday

The grieving family of the six-year-old boy shot dead at the Gilroy Garlic festival on Sunday have told how he was a ‘happy’ child with his ‘whole life’ ahead of him.

Stephen Romero attended the festival with his mother and grandmother when he was shot dead. His father, Alberto, told on Sunday of the moment his wife phoned him to tell him what had happened.

‘I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, that maybe I was dreaming,’ he told Mercury News.

The boy was taken to the hospital where his father met him.

He hoped he would recover but doctors quickly revealed how grave the boy’s condition was.

‘They said they were working on him and five minutes later they told me he was dead,’ his father said.

He said his son was a happy child.

‘He was joyful, always wanted to play, always positive,’ he added.

Multiple videos posted on social media show panicked attendees fleeing the park as gunshots ring out in the background.

‘What’s going on?’ a woman can be heard asking in a clip. ‘Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?’

One video shows two bloodied victims lying on the ground, while another showed victims being treated inside a trailer.

On Sunday, Stephen’s grieving father Alberto shared photographs of him on social media on Sunday night and also gave interviews where he said he had his ‘whole life ahead of him’.

‘I want to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is. My son had his whole life to live, he was only six, that’s all I can say,’ he said.

Stephen’s other grandmother, who was not at the festival, told KRON: ‘This is really hard. There are no words to describe [it].

‘Because he was such a happy kid, you know. I don’t think it’s fair.’

One witness told NBC Bay Area he was headed out of the event when he felt a bullet wiz by his head and saw everyone running behind him.

A woman told the outlet she heard popping noises and then turned around to see a man who appeared to be reloading a semi-automatic weapon.

Another witness said the shooting took place between food tents and from a child’s play area.

‘We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot,’ Evenny Reyes, 13, told the San Jose Mercury News.

‘There was a little kid hurt on the ground.

‘People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.’

A spokeswoman for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center said at least five gunshot victims have been taken to the hospital. Their conditions were unknown.

A spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center said two patients were being treated there as well. At the press conference, Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco said ‘the situation is still fluid, active’.

Police have yet to confirm the number of victims shot or otherwise injured in the mayhem

Police have yet to confirm the number of victims shot or otherwise injured in the mayhem

Heavily-armed officers are pictured at the scene as a suspect is believed to still be at large near Christmas Hill Park

Heavily-armed officers are pictured at the scene as a suspect is believed to still be at large near Christmas Hill Park

Multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, responded to the scene (pictured)+24

 

Multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, responded to the scene (pictured)

Armed officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park following the shooting. Police say the scene is still active because one suspect remains at large

Armed officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park following the shooting. Police say the scene is still active because one suspect remains at large

Officers have told people not to come to the festival site, describing it as an 'active scene' where there is still a heavy police presence which will continue overnight Sunday

Officers have told people not to come to the festival site, describing it as an ‘active scene’ where there is still a heavy police presence which will continue overnight Sunday

Attendees are escorted out of the festival under armed police guard after the shooting

Police officers arrive on the scene of the investigation following a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Police officers arrive on the scene of the investigation following a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

An emergency responder stands watch at Gilroy High School following a deadly shooting during the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Cheryl Low and Candice Marquez who run The Honey Ladies, a tent at the festival, said the gunman said nothing and shot indiscriminately into the crowds. They fled and survived

Cheryl Low and Candice Marquez who run The Honey Ladies, a tent at the festival, said the gunman said nothing and shot indiscriminately into the crowds. They fled and survived

President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting

President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting

‘I want to express my extreme shock and sadness over what has happened today. I would ask for the thoughts and prayers of the community. We plan on being out here all night,’ Velasco said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom also tweeted about the horror situation in his state

California Governor Gavin Newsom also tweeted about the horror situation in his state

Police Chief Smithee said: ‘It’s just incredibly sad and disheartening that at an event that does so much good the community had to suffer from a tragedy like this.’

‘The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival. The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B,’ the Gilroy Police Department wrote on Twitter.

President Donald Trump tweeted: ‘Law Enforcement is at the scene of shootings in Gilroy, California. Reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!’

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a headliner at the festival, also tweeted

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a headliner at the festival, also tweeted

California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted: ‘This is nothing short of horrific. Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community.

‘My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.’

Teresa Giudice, who was also an attendee at the festival yesterday, tweeted her support and thoughts to victims

Teresa Giudice, who was also an attendee at the festival yesterday, tweeted her support and thoughts to victims

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a headliner at the festival, also tweeted: ‘I was in Gilroy at the Garlic Festival yesterday. Really great community. Prayers go out to all’.

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice. who was also an attendee at the festival on Saturday, tweeted: ‘I am so sad hearing about the shooting tonight at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, I was there yesterday and just got back to New Jersey.

‘I am praying for everyone there.’

Emergency personnel stand outside Gilroy High School following the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Emergency personnel stand outside Gilroy High School following the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Armed officers are seen above responding to the scene. A woman told the outlet she heard popping noises and then turned around to see a man who appeared to be reloading a semi-automatic weapon

Armed officers are seen above responding to the scene. A woman told the outlet she heard popping noises and then turned around to see a man who appeared to be reloading a semi-automatic weapon

Gilroy Garlic festival volunteer Denise Buessing, left, embraces fellow volunteer Marsha Struzik at a reunification center

Gilroy Garlic festival volunteer Denise Buessing, left, embraces fellow volunteer Marsha Struzik at a reunification center

Gavilan College, located 3.2 miles from the park, was set up as a reunification site for festival attendees who were reportedly transported there by bus and in civilian vehicles.

The public was urged to stay away from the festival area and from Gavilan College if they were not immediately affected by the incident.

The three-day event is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest Garlic Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each summer.

The festival is considered a ‘gun free zone’, and attendees say they were searched thoroughly before entering the park. Money raised during the event is donated to charity.

This year’s 41st annual festival featured a giant outdoor kitchen and ‘Pyro Chefs’ creating flame shows while cooking garlic calamari and scampi alongside booths serving pasta, pepper steak sandwiches at ‘Gourmet Alley’, the main food area.

There were also three stages with live entertainment, a wine garden, a cocktail booth and a children’s play area.

Singer Colbie Caillat and her band Gone West headlined the festival on Saturday.

Another highlight was a Garli-Que BBQ Challenge and the Great Garlic Cook-Off hosted by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio.

Another witness said the shooting took place between food tents and from a child’s play area

People look on from near the scene of a mass shooting during the Gilroy Garlic Festival

People look on from near the scene of a mass shooting during the Gilroy Garlic Festival

The three-day event is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the World's Largest Garlic Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each summer+24

The three-day event is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest Garlic Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each summer

One witness told NBC Bay Area he was headed out of the event when he felt a bullet whiz by his head and saw everyone running behind him

One witness told NBC Bay Area he was headed out of the event when he felt a bullet whiz by his head and saw everyone running behind him

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7295959/Eleven-people-injured-shooting-Gilroy-Garlic-Festival-California-police-say.html

 

6-year-old who ‘always wanted to have fun’ among three killed at Gilroy Garlic Festival

“There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is,” said his father.
By Rachel Elbaum and Elizabeth Chuck

A six-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s were killed during a shooting rampage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California on Sunday, according to authorities.

The youngest victim, Stephen Romero, had just celebrated his sixth birthday last month at Legoland in California, his father, Alberto Romero, told NBC Bay Area on Sunday evening.

“My son had his whole life to live and he was only six. That’s all I can say,” Romero said.

The shooting happened at about 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday at the bustling food festival, one of the largest in the country. In total, three people were killed and 15 injured.

Authorities on Monday released the ages of the other two victims, but said they were withholding their names pending notification of their relatives. They said they did not yet know the motive of the shooting.

In a press conference, Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee held back tears describing how the shooting “could have gone so much worse, so fast” had it not been for police officers, who were stationed throughout the festival, quickly moving to fatally shoot the suspect when he opened fire.

Still, Smithee said later, choking up again, “any time a life is lost, it’s a tragedy, but when it’s young people, it’s even worse.”

“It’s very difficult,” Smithee said, adding that it appeared the shots were fired randomly.

Romero was at home with his 9-year-old daughter when he heard about the shooting. He said Stephen had gone to the festival with his mother and grandmother, who were also injured in the shooting.

“There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is,” Romero told NBC Bay Area.

Romero said that Stephen’s mother had been shot in the hand twice, and he believes his grandmother was shot in the leg.

Steven Romero was shot and killed on Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
Stephen Romero was shot and killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.Alberto Romero

Officials said the suspect was carrying an assault-type rifle and entered the packed festival by cutting through a fence, circumventing the tight security at the festival’s entrance. Initially, authorities believed a second suspect may have been involved, but on Monday, said they had not confirmed that.

Romero described his son as an energetic boy who had just graduated from kindergarten and was weeks away from entering first grade.

He was “always happy and always wanting to have fun,” Romero said, as he showed off photos of his son.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has taken place annually since 1979 to celebrate the local garlic industry. With food and live music, the festival in Gilroy, about 30 miles south of San Jose, attracts tens of thousands of fairgoers each year.

CORRECTION (July 29, 2019, 1:40 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled the first name of the 6-year-old victim. He was Stephen Romero, not Steven.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/six-year-old-who-always-wanted-have-fun-killed-garlic-n1035571

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Trump’s Debt Binge Puts Treasury Auctions on Path to New Highs

View photos

(Bloomberg) — The Treasury Department is expected to hold its quarterly note and bond sales at record levels for the third straight time as Washington’s latest budget deal shows that the U.S.’s debt binge will continue.

President Donald Trump once said he would eliminate the national debt, but now he’s set to approve a budget that will help usher in trillion-dollar annual deficits. In part because of that, Wall Street securities firms predict that a boost in Treasury issuance may be coming in a year’s time.

Bond dealers see the status quo prevailing at Wednesday’s quarterly refunding announcement. Forecasts are coalescing around the view that the Treasury will keep auction sizes of 3-, 10- and 30-year debt unchanged at a record total of $84 billion, in sales scheduled from Aug. 6-8. To put it in perspective, the tally was $62 billion at the time of the 2016 U.S. election.

But there’s general agreement among analysts that the plateau in issuance can last only so long. The bipartisan deal to suspend the debt limit for two years also paves the way for a $324 billion increase in government spending over the period above existing budget caps. That’s emboldening most dealers to pencil in increases in debt sales by fiscal 2021, which starts in October 2020.

“The deficit is rising and the impetus toward higher spending is very strong,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. “By the second half of next year Treasury will have to raise coupon sizes again.”

With the president shoving aside past Republican orthodoxy on fiscal restraint and the issue not prominent among Democrats campaigning to take his job, Washington is showing no signs of slowing spending.

The House passed the debt-ceiling expansion and budget bill on July 25 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects his chamber to clear it this week for Trump’s signature.

No Cuts

Ahead of Wednesday’s refunding announcement, the Treasury will unveil its quarterly borrowing projections at 3 p.m. New York time Monday.

Yet even with the expansion of supply over recent years, the benchmark 10-year yield is hovering close to record lows amid expectations for central bank easing and lackluster inflation. The benchmark dipped 2 basis points Monday to 2.05%.

Three months ago, some dealers saw the possibility that the Treasury could temporarily cut note and bond sales this year, amid the Federal Reserve’s plans to halt the run-off of debt from its portfolio and the Treasury’s push to boost bill issuance. The more the Fed reinvests its debt instead of letting it run off, the less the Treasury has to borrow from the public.

But the prospect of an imminent reprieve in long-term debt issuance dimmed in May after the Treasury and its borrowing committee of investors and dealers signaled that it wasn’t ideal to make temporary changes in coupon sizes. The committee indicated that shifting issuance too far toward bills could add “rollover risk.” That message upended prospects for coupon cuts, said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. rate strategy at Bank of America Corp.

More TIPS

Dealers do expect the government to keep boosting auctions of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.

Net Treasury issuance to the public will amount to $1.2 trillion in 2019, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. That follows a net $1.34 trillion sold last year, more than double the 2017 level.

Dealers predict bill sales will pick up in the coming weeks as the Treasury replenishes its cash balance, which it trimmed to stay under the debt limit. The Treasury will sell about $220 billion of bills through Sept. 15, according to Blake Gwinn at NatWest Markets.

“The coupon sizes Treasury currently has in place still make sense, as they have room to largely make needed changes with bills or through the already-announced increases to come in TIPS,” said Praveen Korapaty, chief global rates strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The debt-limit and spending bill, along with forecasts for economic growth and interest costs, put the deficit on course to surpass $1 trillion by fiscal 2021, so Treasury will need to boost note and bond sales, according to Bank of America.

Even amid healthy economic growth, the deficit for this fiscal year widened to $747 billion in the first nine months, 23% higher than the same period a year earlier.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-debt-binge-puts-treasury-210000543.html

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