The Pronk Pops Show 1339, October 11, 2019, Story 1: Subpoenaed Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch  Testifies Behind Close Doors of House Intelligence Committee — Videos — Story 2: American People Not Interested In Single Party Impeachment Behind Closed Doors of Star Chamber Inquiry — Those Who Voted For Trump in 2016 Will Again Vote For Trump Again in 2020 — Elections and Ideas Have Consequences — Big Fail of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Videos

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Story 1: Subpoenaed Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch  Testifies Behind Close Doors of House Intelligence Committee — Videos

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UKRAINE OFFICIALS CAN’T GET VISAS: Ambassador Yovanovitch blocks entry for Trump investigation

UKRAINE SCANDAL EXPLAINED: Chalkboard on DNC Collusion, Joe Biden, Soros, Trump & More

The Intercept’s Ryan Grim gives most detailed timeline of Hunter Biden’s ‘soft corruption’

MEDIA SMEARS REPORTER JOHN SOLOMON After Research on Ukraine, Biden, Democrats, Trump

Glenn Beck Reveals Bombshell Audio from Ukraine that Repudiates Impeachment Narrative

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PBS NewsHour full episode October 11, 2019

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Jim Jordan slams House probe as an “unfair and partisan” process

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A Look Back at the Senate Watergate Hearings

Alexander P. Butterfield Testifies During the Watergate Hearings

Watergate revisited: The reforms and the reality, 40 years later

Marie Yovanovitch says Trump ousted her over ‘unfounded and false claims’

The ex-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine’s appearance is a breakthrough for Democrats seeking details in their ongoing impeachment inquiry of Trump.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

In her opening statement, obtained by POLITICO, Yovanovitch said Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan told her that there was “a concerted campaign” against her — one based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.” Yovanovitch attended her deposition in defiance of the State Department’s orders.

“He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause,” Yovanovitch said of her conversation with Sullivan. Trump announced earlier Friday his intention to nominate Sullivan to be his new ambassador to Russia.

Yovanovich’s statement represented a top-to-bottom rebuke of the president, his associates, and his foreign policy — a rare takedown from a career diplomat who has sought to avoid the spotlight ever since her ouster. Yovanovitch expressed her “deep disappointment and dismay” at efforts to undermine trust in American institutions, and warned that “this nation’s most loyal and talented public servants” are running for the exits. She also said other countries would likely exploit the same dynamic that led to her ouster to undermine U.S. foreign policy.

Yovanovitch, who remains a State Department employee, was the latest firsthand witness to testify about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, as he ramped up efforts to pressure the country’s new president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 contender.

The chairs of the three House committees leading the investigation said the State Department and the White House had ordered Yovanovitch not to attend, prompting them to issue a subpoena. Yovanovitch, they said, agreed to comply with the subpoena over her agency’s objections, sitting for more than nine hours behind closed doors on Friday.

“Any efforts by Trump administration officials to prevent witness cooperation with the committees will be deemed obstruction of a co-equal branch of government and an adverse inference may be drawn against the president on the underlying allegations of corruption and cover-up,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

Unlike the most recent witness in the Ukraine matter to testify — Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations — Yovanovitch is still employed by the State Department, which raises questions about whether she will face punishment for defying orders. Legal experts and State Department officials have been trying to resolve the question of whether a congressional subpoena trumps a State Department direction to a Foreign Service officer.

“Her willingness when served with compulsory process to follow the law and testify — I think she is a courageous example for others,” Schiff told reporters.

According to her statement, Yovanovitch was told “abruptly” in late April to return to Washington “on the next plane.” Her removal came amid a campaign by Trump’s allies to accuse her of disloyalty, a charge she said was “fictitious.” Trump himself attacked Yovanovitch during a phone call with Ukraine’s newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, which is at the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Trump referred to her as “bad news,” according to a summary of the conversation released by the White House. He also said, without elaboration, that she was “going to go through some things.”

Yovanovitch’s appearance on Capitol Hill Friday was a breakthrough for House Democrats seeking firsthand details about Trump’s efforts — both directly and through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani — to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to investigate Biden.

Yovanovitch said she had “minimal contacts” with Giuliani, adding: “I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me.” She speculated that Giuliani’s associates “believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”

She also said U.S. interests are “harmed” when “private interests circumvent professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good.” It appeared to be a reference to Giuliani’s efforts to leverage government officials to dig up dirt on Biden.

“The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system,” she said in her opening statement. “In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create and which we have benefited from for the last 75 years.”

According to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), an Intelligence Committee member, Yovanovitch at times “became overcome with emotion and had to stop and leave the room before recounting how she was thrown to the wolves.” He said Yovanovitch’s testimony “detailed a shocking abuse of presidential power.”

“It is clear to me that she was fired because she was a thorn in the side of those who sought to use the Ukrainian government for their own political and financial gain — and that includes President Trump,” Maloney added.

Some of the president’s closest Republican allies who sit on the committees spearheading the inquiry attended Yovanovitch’s deposition, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows. After the deposition concluded, they defended Trump from Yovanovitch’s charges and harangued Democrats for crafting a process whereby lawmakers are prohibited from discussing the substance of the testimony in public.

“The president of the United States is entitled to have the ambassador … he wants in that position,” Jordan said.

The State Department’s inspector general last Wednesday briefed congressional aides about an apparent attempt to smear the veteran civil servant. Two foreign-born associates of Giuliani — both indicted Thursday on campaign finance charges — have also been accused of seeking her removal at the behest of an unnamed Ukrainian government official.

Yovanovitch is a highly regarded diplomat within the U.S. foreign policy establishment. At the State Department, her treatment has unnerved many staffers, especially in the division that handles Europe. It also has damaged the standing of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been unwilling to publicly defend Yovanovitch.

Morale in the department was rattled even further this week after it was announced that Mike McKinley, a veteran career diplomat who serves as a top adviser to Pompeo, was resigning. The reasons for his departure, confirmed to POLITICO by a senior Trump administration official, were not clear, but the timing is not helping the morale, people in the department say.

Just as Yovanovitch agreed to testify, Trump’s representative to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, announced Friday morning that he would sit for a deposition next week, after similarly receiving a congressional subpoena.

“Notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees’ subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday,” his attorneys said in a statement.

But Sondland’s lawyers also said he would not be able to comply with House Democrats’ subpoena for documents, saying that “federal law and State Department regulations prohibit him from producing documents concerning his official responsibilities.” Some Republicans have been eager to let Sondland, a firm Trump ally, testify in a bid to buttress Trump’s position.

Harold Koh, a former State Department legal adviser, said his interpretation is that a congressional subpoena would outweigh a State Department directive. He noted that it’s also possible that, facing such a situation, State could order a staffer to limit his or her testimony, for example, by not discussing classified information.

It’s not clear if State will or even would be allowed to punish Yovanovitch. But sometimes such punishments are veiled. Yovanovitch could find herself given low-ranking assignments in the future, with no official reason as to why. There already are at least two ongoing federal investigations into whether, under Trump, State Department career employees have been victims of political retaliation, including being given low-level roles.

The State Department did not respond to a query Friday as to whether Yovanovitch or Sondland would face punishments.

Sondland’s name emerged in a series of text messages provided to House investigators by Volker, the former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations who resigned days before testifying last week. In the text chain, Sondland, Volker and Bill Taylor — currently the top U.S. envoy in Ukraine — discussed apparent efforts by Trump and Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, perhaps by withholding a planned White House visit or military aid.

Yovanovitch said she was not involved in discussions about Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, or about the military aid, which was temporarily withheld earlier this year. House Democrats are examining whether the critical funds were frozen as a way to convince Zelensky to target Trump’s political rovals.

Volker, Sondland and Yovanovitch were among several senior State Department officials listed in a schedule of depositions that accompanied a subpoena for documents delivered late last month to Pompeo by the three House Democratic chairmen leading the impeachment probe.

Pompeo rebuffed the committee leaders in a letter last Tuesday, signaling that he would not comply with their requests and writing that he would “use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State.”

Quint Forgey contributed to this story.

Fired diplomat unloads on Trump and Giuliani: Former ambassador to Ukraine defies bid to gag her and tells Congress she was ordered home after ‘concerted campaign based on false claims by people with clearly questionable motives’

  • U.S. envoy to the EU Gordon Sondland says he will testify to Congress about President Trump’s Ukraine scandal next week 
  • The State Department had ordered him not to participate in hearings
  • Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave closed-door testimony to Democrat-run House Intelligence Committee today
  • President has said he had ‘heard’ that Yovanovitch was ‘bad news’
  • Democrats want to know if she was recalled to Washington because she refused to push a corruption investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the ambassador appeared under subpoena 

The deputy secretary of state, Marie Yovanovitch said in written testimony, told her that the State Department ‘had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018 

And in the latest development in the fierce back-and-worth between the White House and Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch appeared under subpoena after the State Department directed her not to appear. 

‘This is the latest example of the Administration’s efforts to conceal the facts from the American people and obstruct our lawful and constitutionally-authorized impeachment inquiry,’ three House committee chairs said in a statement. They issued a subpoena to compel the testimony, prompting Yovanovitch to cooperate.

Yovanovitch defended herself against what she called ‘unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,’ including a rumor that she had handed Ukraine’s top prosecutor a list of people who were not to be charged with crimes. 

She also dismissed public allegations that she had ‘supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached”.’ 

She rejected the contention that she was running interference for Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has claimed in what he has cast as an effort to protect the Bidens and Hillary Clinton while undermining Trump.

‘Contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,’ the career diplomat who served presidents from both parties said.

Yovanovich said she was ‘incredulous’ that the administration chose remove her from her post in May.

President Donald Trump recalled Marie Yovanovitch (center), the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; she talked to lawmakers behind closed doors on Friday

President Donald Trump recalled Marie Yovanovitch (center), the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; she talked to lawmakers behind closed doors on Friday

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, arrived Friday for Yovanovitch's deposition

Trump’s lawyers had promised to stonewall a congressional impeachment inquiry. Yovanovitch’s appearance behind closed doors was an early test of that defiance.

Yovanovich categorically denied the connection, put forth my a group of allies who pushed for her ouster, that she had stood in the way of the former prosecutor Viktor Lutsenko’s way when it came to investigations.

‘As for events during my tenure in Ukraine, I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption,’ she said.

‘As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a “do not prosecute” list is completely false—a story that Mr.Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.’

She also disputed having ever run down President Trump. Trump in a transcript of his July call with the president of Ukraine called the ambassador ‘bad news.’

‘Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached.” That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else,’ she writes.

After daily revelations about efforts by President Trump and his allies to use U.S. government officials to push Ukraine to conduct politically sensitive probes, Yovanovich wrote: ‘Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within.’

She expressed her shock at her own sudden removal.

‘Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,’ she writes.

‘To make matters worse, all of this occurred during an especially challenging time in bilateral relations with a newly elected Ukrainian president. This was precisely the time when continuity in the Embassy in Ukraine was most needed.’

According to Yovanovich’s account, she was instructed to return to Washington ‘on the next plane’ in April of this year – just a month after being asked to stay on until 2020.

She said she tried to find out why she was forced out, and contacted the deputy secretary of state – John Sullivan.

‘He said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador,’ according to Yovanovich.

‘He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.’  

The Trump administration announced Friday the president had nominated Sullivan to serve as the next ambassador to Russia. As such, he will face a confirmation hearing where senators will get the chance to ask him about State’s Ukraine dealings.

‘Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within. State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees,’ Yovanovich wrote. ‘We need to rebuild diplomacy as the first resort to advance America’s interests and the front line of America’s defense,’ she wrote.

Although Rudy Giuliani has publicly connected her to Ukrainian ‘collusion’ in 2016, Yovanovich said she has never spoken to him about the subjects at hand.

‘With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him—a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. ‘I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,’ she said.

Campaign for Yovanovich’s ouster 

Yovanovich was the subject of a high-powered pressure campaign pushing for her removal.

In one key development, Lutsenko put forward the claim in an article by The Hill’s John Solomon that Yovanovich ‘gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute. Lutsenko later walked back the claim, but it gained currency with a group of Trump loyalists.

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted March 24: ‘”We need more ⁦@RichardGrenell’s and less of these jokers as ambassadors,’ referencing the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Trump ally Joseph DiGenova said on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s program that same month: ‘The current United States ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has bad- mouthed the President of the United States to Ukrainian officials and has told them not to listen or worry about Trump policy because he’s going to be impeached’ – the claim she explicitly denied Friday.

By July 25, Trump would tell Ukrainian president Zelenksy in an infamous call: ‘The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.’

Zelensky agreed with Trump ‘100 per cent.’

Then the president added cryptically of Yovanovich: ‘She’s going to go through some things.’

Also knocking Yovanovich was Texas Rep. Pete Sessions – who has a connection to two Rudy Giuiliani associates who were indicted Thursday on campaign finance charges.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman aided Giuliani’s unproven theory about Ukrainian electoral collusion. They also gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC (the feds allege it wasn’t actually their money) that spent $3 million to benefit Sessions.

Soon after Parnas and indicted co-conspirator David Correia met with Sessions at the Capitol in 2018, Parnas wrote a letter to Sec. State Mike Pompeo pushing the removal of Yovanovich.

Administration talking points obtained by CNN said House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff was putting Yovanovich in a ‘precarious position’ by questioning her in private without an administration lawyer who would advise her on what information may be classified.

Congressional lawmakers weren’t sure Yovanovich would show up Friday, after the White House said earlier this week it would refuse to cooperate with what Trump has termed ‘a kangaroo court.’

The inquiry was launched after a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic contender for the right to face Trump in the November 2020 election.

Donald Trump recalled Yovanovitch to Washington, and Democrats want to know if he made the move because she was suspicious of his desire to see Joe Biden investigated for corruption

Donald Trump recalled Yovanovitch to Washington, and Democrats want to know if he made the move because she was suspicious of his desire to see Joe Biden investigated for corruption

Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring a vulnerable foreign ally to dig up dirt on a domestic political opponent for his own political benefit. Trump has denied he did anything wrong on the call.

On Thursday, Parnas a Fruman, two foreign-born Florida businessmen who had helped Giuliani investigate the Bidens were arrested in what prosecutors said was a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates.

The pair, Ukraine-born Parnas and Belarus-born Fruman, were arrested at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Vienna. Prosecutors said they conspired to contribute foreign money, including at least $1 million from an unidentified Russian businessman, to candidates for federal and state offices to buy influence.

The two had donated $325,000 to a pro-Trump political action committee called America First Action in May 2018, and the money was falsely reported as coming from a purported natural gas company set up to conceal its true source, according to the indictment.

Trump remains defiant in face of impeachment during Minneapolis rally

The testimony from Yovanovitch is the first of several depositions of key figures planned by the House committees spearheading the probe, and whether she makes her appearance will offer an early gauge of White House cooperation.

Yovanovitch, described by colleagues as a consummate professional, became the target in March of allegations – vehemently denied by the State Department – that she gave a Ukrainian prosecutor a list of people not to prosecute.

According to a White House summary, Trump described her as ‘bad news’ to Zelensky in the July call in which he sought Zelinsky’s help to investigate Biden and his son. ‘She’s going to go through some things,’ Trump added.

One of the foreign-born businessman arrested on Thursday, Parnas, sought the help of a U.S. congressman – identified by a person familiar with the matter as Republican Pete Sessions – to get Trump to remove Yovanovitch, according to the indictment.

Giuliani told Reuters last week he had provided information to both Trump and the State Department about Yovanovitch, who he suggested was biased against Trump.

Sessions lost his House seat from Texas last year to a Democrat. In a statement quoted by Politico, he said his motivation in urging the removal of Yovanovitch was his belief that ‘political appointees should not be disparaging the president, especially while serving overseas.’


Former ambassador testifies that Trump pushed for her ouster

For only the fourth time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives has started a presidential impeachment inquiry. House committees are trying to determine if President Donald Trump violated his oath of office by asking a foreign country to investigate a political opponent.

Here’s a quick summary of the latest news:


– Testifying in defiance of Trump’s ban, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told House impeachment investigators Friday that Trump himself had pressured the State Department to oust her from her post and get her out of the country.

– A simple yes-or-no question keeps tripping up Senate Republicans: Should the president ask foreign countries to investigate political rivals?

– As the threat of impeachment looms, Trump is digging in and taking solace in the base that helped him get elected: conservative evangelical Christians who laud his commitment to enacting their agenda.

President Donald Trump adjusts his jacket as he walks toward reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, before departing for a campaign rally in Lake Charles, La. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Nearly all House Democrats – 229 out of 235 – say they support the inquiry that could lead to an impeachment vote against Trump, according to an AP survey of members. Add Republican-turned-independent Justin Amash of Michigan, who also backs the inquiry, and the total rises to 230. Democrats need 218 votes to pass articles of impeachment.

Only four Democrats have said they oppose the probe: Reps. Anthony Brindisi of New York, Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jefferson Van Drew of New Jersey.

Rep. Jared Golden of Maine is undecided about the probe and Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia has not stated her position to the AP.

All these Democrats have one thing in common: Donald Trump won their districts in 2016.


Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified to congressional investigators behind closed doors Friday, but her prepared opening remarks were obtained by the AP. In them, she expresses dismay at being recalled from Kyiv after learning that Trump had “lost confidence” in her and had pressed the State Department to remove her.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, left, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers on Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, left, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington, as she is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers on Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

A controversial right-leaning reporter at the center of the Trump-Ukraine scandal emailed a copy of one of his stories—before it was published—to a top ally of Rudy Giuliani, as well as two pro-Trump investigators attempting to dig up negative information on the Biden family.

In March, The Hill’s investigative reporter John Solomon published a story claiming that the U.S. government had pressured Ukrainian prosecutors to drop a probe of a group funded by the Obama administration and liberal billionaire George Soros. The story was published at 6 p.m., according to a timestamp on the paper’s website. Solomon himself didn’t share it on his Twitter account until 6:56 p.m. that night. The earliest cache of the story in the Internet Archive is from 7:42 p.m. Eastern time.

But hours before that, at 12:52 p.m. Eastern time, Solomon appears to have sent a version of the article to Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and the Trumpworld lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing. The email was titled “Outline of Soros reporting, including embedded documents” and included the headline and the text of his piece.

Natasha Bertrand


Here’s the page from the packet that @ErinBanco shared yesterday (with emails blacked out by me) 

View image on Twitter

Lachlan Markay


So @ErinBanco and @maxwelltani got a page from the State Department oppo dossier that Rudy fed to Pompeo. It appears to show John Solomon sending an advance copy of one of his Ukraine stories to Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, and Lev Parnas 

274 people are talking about this

Two congressional sources confirmed to The Daily Beast that Solomon’s email was part of a roughly 50-page package of material that was turned over to lawmakers on Wednesday by the State Department’s Inspector General’s office. Reuters was the first to report the email’s inclusion in the packet.

That material, according to congressional sources, appeared to be a “misinformation” effort meant to smear the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and the Bidens. CNN reported on Wednesday that Giuliani had conceded that the information in the package originated, at least in part, with him.

“They told me they were going to investigate it,” Giuliani said to CNN, referring to a call he got from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Neither Solomon nor The Hill responded to request for comment from The Daily Beast. But in a series of tweets Wednesday night, Solomon said he sent the email “as a reporter fact-checking my work”—although the email contained the text of a fully drafted story, not isolated items that needed vetting.

“The email released to the public appears to omit the opening line of my originally sent email,” Solomon claimed in the tweets. “Here is the passage that preceded the summary of my reporting. ‘Appreciate eyeballing for accuracy. Want to be fair and accurate.’ That’s not scandalous. It’s good journalism.”

John Solomon@jsolomonReports

Today I understand the State Department IG released a private email I sent as a reporter fact-checking my work before I published a story back in March. I typically spend a long period of time before any column or news story fact-checking information with numerous people.

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Emails sent to the addresses Solomon used for Parnas, diGenova and Toensing did not bounce back but were not returned.

Solomon’s email to Parnas, diGenova, and Toensing suggests even stronger ties between the Hill columnist and the Trump team tasked with digging up dirt on Biden abroad. And it raises questions about the degree to which pro-Trump figures were working directly with sympathetic journalists to try and dig up and spread dirt on Biden and like-minded Democrats.

Solomon’s March 29 story about the U.S. embassy in Ukraine makes no direct mention of Parnas, diGenova, or Toensing—instead, the piece cites a letter about the probe from U.S. embassy official George Kent, and claims by former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko that the U.S. pressured him to halt an investigation into the Soros- and U.S.-backed group. But the three individuals have emerged as key players in the lead-up to Trump’s request for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to investigate the Bidens.

Parnas, a Giuliani friend and golf buddy, was a key player in connecting the former New York City mayor to former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, whom Biden and other top Western government entities and officials had hoped to push out because of his perceived inaction tackling corruption.

DiGenova and Toensing have been some of the president’s most trusted outside allies for years. During  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation last year, the duo was briefly mentioned as possibilities to join the president’s legal defense team. On Sunday, Fox News reported that diGenova and Toensing had been working alongside Giuliani to dig up dirt on Biden—a revelation that the New York Times had noted months prior.

Solomon’s work has come under intense scrutiny following the revelation that a series of his stories about Ukraine may have helped spark events leading to Trump’s request that President Zelensky team up with Giuliani to investigate the Bidens.

On March 20, Solomon published an interview with Lutsenko in which the ex-prosecutor accused the former vice president of having pressured the then-Ukrainian president in 2016 to fire Lutsenko’s predecessor, Shokin. The insinuation, according to Lutsenko, was that Biden hoped to quash an investigation into a Ukrainian gas company connected to his son Hunter Biden. Despite Lutsenko’s retraction of some of the claims, and conclusion that Hunter Biden “did not violate any Ukrainian laws,” the incident was cited in a U.S. government whistleblower’s complaint as one of the circumstances that eventually led to Trump’s call with Zelensky.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported new details Wednesday night about Giuliani’s dirt-digging on another front: He’s been consulting via a lawyer with Trump’s imprisoned former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort to inquire about the so-called black ledger that reportedly revealed a Ukrainian political party had funneled millions to Manafort. Giuliani believes the ledger was part of a conspiracy by Ukrainians to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton

Devin Nunes: Lawmakers investigating rumors of ‘strange requests’ to monitor journalists

Rep. Devin Nunes said lawmakers have been told about “strange requests” to use government resources to monitor journalists.

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee stressed Wednesday evening that he has not confirmed the allegations but is seeking answers from the State Department.

During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Nunes talked about a letter by former GOP congressman Pete Sessions to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he said raised concerns that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was “not serving the Trump administration well” and was removed from her post earlier this year.

“We also have concerns that possibly they were monitoring press from different journalists and others,” Nunes said. “That we don’t know, but we have people who are giving us this information and we’re going to ask these questions to the State Department and hopefully they’re going to get the answers before she comes in on Friday.”

With Yovanovitch set to testify before the House this week as Democrats ramp up their impeachment inquiry spurred by Trump’s communications with Ukraine, Nunes said Republicans “will give her an opportunity to answer these questions.”

Hannity said he has heard from multiple sources who “believe there is evidence that government resources were used to monitor communications” of American journalists, including new Fox News contributor John Solomon, related to Ukraine and posited that Yovanovitch may have been involved.

But Nunes would not get into specifics and noted that if there was some sort of surveillance, it may have been done properly.

“What I’ve heard — and I want to be clear — there’s a difference. What I’ve heard is that there were strange requests, irregular requests to monitor not just one journalist, but multiple journalists. Now perhaps that was OK. Perhaps there was some reason for that — that it can be explained away. But that’s what we know and that’s what we’re going to be looking into,” the California Republican said.

Solomon appeared on the show after Nunes and also preached caution. He said he “received multiple contacts from the intelligence community suggesting that there may have been inappropriate monitoring of my communications” but added that it’s not yet clear what exactly transpired and that what may have happened was just monitoring of his social media.

“I think we need to dig in more. Ambassador Yovanovitch should be given an opportunity and Secretary of State Pompeo should tell us what happened,” Solomon said.

Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived

Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.

But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

He added: “I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine” and that he couldn’t describe the evidence further.

The timing of Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s appointment to Burisma’s board has been highlighted in the past, by The New York Times in December 2015 and in a 2016 book by conservative author Peter Schweizer.

Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor’s probe of Burisma and his son’s role. They noted that:

  • Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board was widely reported in American media;
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden’s work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor’s case against Burisma;
  • Great Britain took very public action against Burisma while Joe Biden was working with that government on Ukraine issues;
  • Biden’s office was quoted, on the record, acknowledging Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma in a New York Times article about the general prosecutor’s Burisma case that appeared four months before Biden forced the firing of Shokin. The vice president’s office suggested in that article that Hunter Biden was a lawyer free to pursue his own private business deals.

President Obama named Biden the administration’s point man on Ukraine in February 2014, after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine’s Crimea territory.

According to Schweizer’s book, Vice President Biden met with Archer in April 2014 right as Archer was named to the board at Burisma. A month later, Hunter Biden was named to the board, to oversee Burisma’s legal team.

But the Ukrainian investigation and Joe Biden’s effort to fire the prosecutor overseeing it has escaped without much public debate.

Most of the general prosecutor’s investigative work on Burisma focused on three separate cases, and most stopped abruptly once Shokin was fired. The most prominent of the Burisma cases was transferred to a different Ukrainian agency, closely aligned with the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), according to the case file and current General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.

NABU closed that case, and a second case involving alleged improper money transfers in London was dropped when Ukrainian officials failed to file the necessary documents by the required deadline. The general prosecutor’s office successfully secured a multimillion-dollar judgment in a tax evasion case, Lutsenko said. He did not say who was the actual defendant in that case.

As a result, the Biden family appeared to have escaped the potential for an embarrassing inquiry overseas in the final days of the Obama administration and during an election in which Democrat Hillary Clintonwas running for president in 2016.

But then, as Biden’s 2020 campaign ramped up over the past year, Lutsenko — the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden once hailed as a “solid” replacement for Shokin — began looking into what happened with the Burisma case that had been shut down.

Lutsenko told me that, while reviewing the Burisma investigative files, he discovered “members of the Board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting services.”

Lutsenko said some of the evidence he knows about in the Burisma case may interest U.S. authorities and he’d like to present that information to new U.S. Attorney General William Barr, particularly the vice president’s intervention.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR (personnel) issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office,” Lutsenko said.

Nazar Kholodnytskyi, the lead anti-corruption prosecutor in Lutsenko’s office, confirmed to me in an interview that part of the Burisma investigation was reopened in 2018, after Joe Biden made his remarks. “We were able to start this case again,” Kholodnytskyi said.

But he said the separate Ukrainian police agency that investigates corruption has dragged its feet in gathering evidence. “We don’t see any result from this case one year after the reopening because of some external influence,” he said, declining to be more specific.

Ukraine is in the middle of a hard-fought presidential election, is a frequent target of intelligence operations by neighboring Russia and suffers from rampant political corruption nationwide. Thus, many Americans might take the restart of the Burisma case with a grain of salt, and rightfully so.

But what makes Lutsenko’s account compelling is that federal authorities in America, in an entirely different case, uncovered financial records showing just how much Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s company received from Burisma while Joe Biden acted as Obama’s point man on Ukraine.

Between April 2014 and October 2015, more than $3 million was paid out of Burisma accounts to an account linked to Biden’s and Archer’s Rosemont Seneca firm, according to the financial records placed in a federal court file in Manhattan in an unrelated case against Archer.

The bank records show that, on most months when Burisma money flowed, two wire transfers of $83,333.33 each were sent to the Rosemont Seneca–connected account on the same day. The same Rosemont Seneca–linked account typically then would pay Hunter Biden one or more payments ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Prosecutors reviewed internal company documents and wanted to interview Hunter Biden and Archer about why they had received such payments, according to interviews.

Lutsenko said Ukrainian company board members legally can pay themselves for work they do if it benefits the company’s bottom line, but prosecutors never got to determine the merits of the payments to Rosemont because of the way the investigation was shut down.

As for Joe Biden’s intervention in getting Lutsenko’s predecessor fired in the midst of the Burisma investigation, Lutsenko suggested that was a matter to discuss with Attorney General Barr: “Of course, I would be happy to have a conversation with him about this issue.”

As the now-completed Russia collusion investigation showed us, every American deserves the right to be presumed innocent until evidence is made public or a conviction is secured, especially when some matters of a case involve foreigners. The same presumption should be afforded to Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and Burisma in the Ukraine case.

Nonetheless, some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

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

Marie Yovanovitch

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

Marie Louise Yovanovitch (born 1958)[1] is a member of the senior ranks of the United States Foreign Service who served as the 9th United States Ambassador to Ukraine. She was nominated to the post on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt,[2][3] was sworn in on August 18, 2016,[4] and was recalled as of May 20, 2019.[5] She is a diplomat in residence at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.[6][7]

Yovanovitch was the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from November 20, 2004, to February 4, 2008, and the United States Ambassador to Armenia from August 1, 2008, to June 3, 2011.[1]


Early life

Marie Yovanovitch is the daughter of Mikhail Yovanovitch and Nadia (Theokritoff) Yovanovitch.[8] Her paternal grandparents were of Russian Serbian origin. She was born in Canada, moved to Connecticut when she was three, and became a naturalized American citizen at age eighteen. She grew up speaking Russian.[6]

Yovanovitch is a graduate of Kent School, a private boarding school in Connecticut, and Princeton University, where she earned a B.A. in History and Russian Studies in 1980. She studied at the Pushkin Institute (1980) and was awarded an M.S. from the National Defense University‘s National War College in 2001.[9]


Yovanovitch joined the U.S. foreign service in 1986. Her first foreign assignment, in Ottawa, was followed by overseas assignments including MoscowLondon, and Mogadishu.[9] From May 1998 to May 2000 she served as the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk in the U.S. Department of State.

From August 2001 to June 2004, as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in KievUkraine.[10] From August 2004 to May 2005 she was the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Yovanovitch was nominated on June 3, 2005 to serve as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kyrgyz Republic, and confirmed by the United States Senate on June 30, 2005. She was the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from November 20, 2004, to February 4, 2008, and the United States Ambassador to Armenia from August 1, 2008, to June 3, 2011.

Yovanovitch was nominated to be the ambassador to Ukraine on May 18, 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt, and was sworn in on August 18, 2016.[2][3][4]

Trump–Ukraine controversy

In May 2019, the Trump administration recalled Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine.[11] Although Yovanovitch was respected within the national security community for her efforts to encourage Ukraine to tackle corruption, she had been accused, without firm evidence, by some conservative media outlets and by President Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as well as Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, of being part of a conspiracy involving anti-corruption probes in Ukraine and efforts by the Trump administration to investigate ties between Ukrainian officials and the Hillary Clinton campaign.[6][12] [13] However, the U.S. State Department declared some of the allegations by Yuriy Lutsenko to be “an outright fabrication.”[12]

Relying upon unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reported that Yovanovitch was recalled for undermining and obstructing Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 U.S. presidential election candidate Joe Biden.[14]

On October 11, 2019, Yovanovitch gave a closed-door testimony before the House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence. She released a ten-page opening statement in which she wrote:

Understanding Ukraine’s recent history, including the significant tension between those who seek to transform the country and those who wish to continue profiting from the old ways, is of critical importance to understanding the events you asked me here today to describe. Many of those events—and the false narratives that emerged from them—resulted from an unfortunate alliance between Ukrainians who continue to operate within a corrupt system, and Americans who either did not understand that corrupt system, or who may have chosen, for their own purposes, to ignore it.[15]

See also

References …


External links

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Stephen Young
United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan
Succeeded by
Tatiana Gfoeller
Preceded by
John Evans
United States Ambassador to Armenia
Succeeded by
John Heffern
Preceded by
Geoffrey Pyatt
United States Ambassador to Ukraine
Succeeded by
Kristina Kvien

Hunter Biden

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Hunter Biden
R. Hunter Biden at Center for Strategic & International Studies.jpg

Vice Chairman of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation
In office
July 26, 2006 – January 29, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Succeeded by Jeffrey Moreland
Personal details
Robert Hunter Biden

February 4, 1970 (age 49)
WilmingtonDelaware, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Kathleen Buhle
(m. 1993; div. 2017)
Melissa Cohen (m. 2019)
Domestic partner Hallie Olivere (2016–2019)
Children 3
Relatives Joe Biden (father)
See Biden family
Education Georgetown University (BA)
Yale University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service 2013–2014
Rank US Navy O1 infobox.svg Ensign
Unit United States Navy Reserve

Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is an American lawyer and lobbyist who is the second son of former U.S. Vice PresidentJoe Biden. He co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners, an international consulting firm.

In 2019, Biden resigned from the Board of Directors of a Chinese company.[1][2]

Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian natural gas producer, from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that Joe Biden had sought the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect Hunter Biden from investigation.[3][4][5] However, Hunter Biden was not under investigation,[6] and there is no evidence of wrongdoing done by him in Ukraine.[7] Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens by withholding foreign aid[8][9][10] triggered an impeachment inquiry in September 2019.


Early life

Biden was born on February 4, 1970,[11] in Wilmington, Delaware. He is the second son of Neilia Biden (née Hunter) and Joe Biden, the latter of whom represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009 and served as Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017.[4] Hunter Biden’s mother and younger sister, Naomi, were killed in an automobile crash on December 18, 1972.[12][13] Biden and his older brother, Beau, were also seriously injured in that crash.[4] Hunter and Beau Biden later encouraged their father to marry again,[14] and Jill Jacobs became Hunter and Beau’s stepmother in 1977.[4] Biden’s half-sister, Ashley, was born in 1981.[15]

Like his father and brother, Biden attended Archmere Academy, a Catholic high school in Claymont, Delaware. In 1992, he graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in history. During the year after he graduated from college, he served as a Jesuit volunteer at a church in Portland, Oregon, where he met and eventually married Kathleen Buhle. After attending Georgetown University Law Center for one year, he transferred to Yale Law School, graduating in 1996.[4]


Early positions, 1996–2009

After graduating from law school, Biden took a position at MBNA America, a major bank holding company which was also a major contributor to his father’s political campaigns. By 1998, he had risen to the rank of executive vice president.[4] From 1998 to 2001, he served in the United States Department of Commerce, focusing on ecommerce policy.[16] Biden became a lobbyist in 2001, co-founding the firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair.[17] According to Adam Entous of The New Yorker, Biden and his father established a relationship in which “Biden wouldn’t ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn’t tell his father about them.”[4] In 2006, Biden and his uncle, James Biden, attempted to buy Paradigm, a hedge-fund group, but the deal fell apart before completion.[4] That same year, Biden was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of Amtrak; he was on the board of Amtrak from 2006 to 2009.[16]

Later career, 2009–present

After his father was elected as vice president in 2008, Biden resigned from his position on the Amtrak board of directors and left his career as a lobbyist.[4] Along with Christopher Heinz, stepson of John Kerry, and Devon Archer, Biden founded the investment firm Rosemont Seneca.[17]

He also became an attorney with the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP,[4] and founded Eudora Global, a venture capital firm.[15]

U.S. Navy Reserve

In May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, receiving an age-related waiver and a second waiver due to a past drug-related incident.[18] Joe Biden administered the commissioning oath to Hunter Biden in a White House ceremony.[4]

The following month, Biden tested positive for cocaine during a urinalysis test and was subsequently discharged.[19] According to Biden, he had unwittingly consumed the cocaine after being given cigarettes he believed were surreptitiously laced with the drug.[4] He chose not to appeal the matter as it was unlikely that the panel would believe his explanation given his history with drugs, and also due to the likelihood of news leaking to the press, though it was ultimately revealed to The Wall Street Journal by a Navy official who provided information to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.[4][18]

BHR Partners

In 2013, Biden, Devon Archer, and Chinese businessman Jonathan Li founded BHR Partners, a business focused on investing Chinese capital in companies based outside of China.[4] In September 2019, President Trump falsely claimed that Biden “walk[ed] out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund” and earned “millions” of dollars from the BHR deal, while Trump was also accusing Biden of malfeasance in Ukraine.[20][21] Trump publicly called on China to investigate Hunter Biden’s business activities there while his father was vice president.[22][23] On October 13, 2019, citing “the barrage of false charges” by the President, Hunter Biden announced his resignation from the Board of Directors for BHR Partners effective at the end of the month.[24][25] According to his lawyer, Biden had “not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors,” nor had he received any return on his equity share in BHR.[26] Biden’s lawyer, George Mesires, told The Washington Post that BHR Partners had been “capitalized from various sources with a total of 30 million RMB [Chinese Renminbi], or about $4.2 million, not $1.5 billion.”[20]

Burisma Holdings

In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolutionMykola Zlochevsky faced a money laundering investigation,[27][28] and his company Burisma Holdings, the largest natural gas producer in Ukraine,[4] assembled a “high-profile international board” in response.[29][28] Chris Heinz, John Kerry‘s stepson, opposed his partners Devon Archer and Hunter Biden joining the board in 2014 due to the reputational risk.[28] Among those who joined the board of directors in April 2014 were Biden, Archer and former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski.[30] Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019,[31] receiving compensation of up to $50,000 per month in some months.[17][32][33] Because Vice President Biden played a major role in U.S. policy towards Ukraine, some Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates[5][34] and Obama administration officials expressed concern that Hunter Biden’s having joined the board could create the appearance of a conflict of interest and undermine Vice President Biden’s anti-corruption work in Ukraine.[4][28] While serving as vice president, Joe Biden joined other Western leaders in encouraging the government of Ukraine to fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin,[3][35] who was widely criticized for blocking corruption investigations.[36][37] The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016.[38][39]

In 2019, President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Vice President Biden had actually sought the dismissal of Shokin in order to protect his son and Burisma Holdings,[40][5] however, there is no evidence that this was what happened.[3]There has also been no evidence produced of wrongdoing done by Hunter Biden in Ukraine.[7] The Ukrainian anti-corruption investigation agency stated in September 2019 that the investigation of Burisma was restricted solely to investigating the period of 2010 to 2012, before Hunter Biden joined Burisma in 2014.[6] Shokin in May 2019 claimed that he was fired because he was actively investigating Burisma,[41] but U.S. and Ukrainian officials have stated that the investigation into Burisma was dormant at the time of Shokin’s dismissal.[28][41][42] Ukrainian sources have maintained that Shokin was fired for failing to address corruption, including within his office.[34][43]

In July 2019, Trump ordered the freezing of $391 million in military aid[44] shortly before a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to initiate an investigation of the Bidens.[45][46] Trump falsely told Zelensky that “[Joe] Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution” of his son; Joe Biden did not stop any prosecution, did not brag about doing so, and there is no evidence his son was ever under investigation.[47] On September 24, 2019, the United States House of Representatives initiated a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump on the grounds that he may have sought to use U.S. foreign aid and the Ukrainian government to damage Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.[48][49]

Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko said in May 2019 that Hunter Biden had not violated Ukrainian law. After Lutsenko was replaced by Ruslan Ryaboshapka as prosecutor general, Lutsenko and Ryaboshapka said in September and October 2019 respectively that they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.[3][50][51]

CEFC China Energy

Biden helped Chinese businessman Ye Jianming negotiate a deal for Ye’s company CEFC China Energy to make a $40 million investment in a liquefied natural gas project at Monkey Island, Louisiana. Ye gifted Biden a 2.8 carat diamond, which Biden said he gave away. Biden agreed to legally represent Ye’s deputy, Patrick Ho, for investigations in the United States. Ho was eventually arrested and jailed in the U.S. for bribery. In 2018, the CEFC deal collapsed after Ye was detained in China, reportedly for corruption.[4][17]

Personal life

Biden married Kathleen Buhle in 1993,[4] and they have three children, Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy.[15] Biden and Kathleen separated in 2015 and divorced in 2017.[52] In 2016, he began dating Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother, Beau;[53] they ended their relationship by early 2019.[54] In May 2019, Biden married Melissa Cohen, a South-African filmmaker.[55][56]

Biden spent decades struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. He has described his experiences as so: “There’s addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it.”[57][58]

See also

References …

External links

Alexandra Chalupa

Alexandra Chalupa, Melanne Verveer, and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s Ukraine linkages. Chalupa held multiple intelligence briefing and debriefing sessions regarding president Trump with Okana Shulyar and other Ukrainian embassy staff.[1]

Alexandra Chalupa it a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington DC in an effort to expose ties between Paul Manafort and Russia. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records.

In 1998, Alexandra Chalupa gained employment at the Office of Public Liaison as an intern in the Clinton White House. Chalupa worked as executive director for Democrats Abroad in the 2000s. In 2004, Alexandra was hired as a staffer / consultant at the Democratic National Committee. She also became headed the Democratic Heritage Council much later.

In 2014, the U.S. United With Ukraine Coalition was founded by Alexandra Chalupa.

In 2016 led the DNC’s opposition research into any Trump ties to Russia.[2] Chalupa organized social media campaigns against Trump. One of those efforts encouraged activists to share the Twitter hashtag, #TreasonousTrump.

Ukrainian collusion

See also: Biden-Ukraine collusion scandal

According to the Kyiv Post,

“Chalupa said she first came across Manafort after she organized a meeting with then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s National Security Council and leaders of Ukrainian-American organizations in January 2014, to brief the White House about the Euromaidan Revolution that drove President Viktor Yanukovych from power on Feb. 22, 2014.”

In late 2015, Alexandra Chalupa expanded her research into Paul Manafort to include the Trump campaign and possible ties to Russia.

In January 2016, Chalupa informed an unknown senior DNC official that she believed there was a Russian connection with the Trump campaign. Notably, this theme would be picked up by the Clinton campaign in the summer of 2016. Chalupa also told the official to expect Manafort’s involvement in the Trump campaign.

Chalupa’s forecast proved prescient, as Manafort reached out to the Trump campaign shortly after, on Feb. 29, 2016, through a mutual acquaintance, Thomas J. Barrack Jr. According to Manafort, he and Trump hadn’t been in communication for years until the Trump campaign responded to Manafort’s offer. On March 28, 2016, Manafort was hired by the Trump campaign. He was reportedly initially hired to lead the Trump campaign’s delegate effort, but was soon promoted, and on May 19, 2016, Manafort became Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist.

Just days prior to Manafort’s hiring, on March 24, 2016, Chalupa spoke with the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Valeriy Chaly, and told him of concerns she had regarding Manafort. Reportedly, her concerns were initially rebuffed as Chaly didn’t think Trump had a real chance of winning the presidency.

According to Politico, the day after Manafort’s hiring, Chalupa provided a briefing on “Manafort, Trump and their ties to Russia” to the DNC’s communications staff. Notably, “with the DNC’s encouragement,” Chalupa asked the Ukrainian Embassy staff to attempt to arrange an interview with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and have him discuss Manafort’s ties to former Ukrainian President Yanukovych. The Ukrainian Embassy reportedly declined the request but, according to Chalupa, did begin working with reporters who were researching Trump.

Andrii Telizhenko, who worked in the Ukrainian Embassy under one of Chaly’s top aides, Oksana Shulyar, has repeatedly stated that Chalupa was working closely with the Ukrainian Embassy to obtain information on Trump. In an interview with the Gateway Pundit, Telizhenko said he met Chalupa in the spring of 2016 at the Ukrainian Embassy, where Chalupa told him she was “a DNC operative working for the DNC” and the “Clinton campaign.” Telizhenko continued, noting that Chalupa said she was “collecting any dirt or background information on Manafort, presidential candidate Trump or any other campaign official from the Trump campaign” and was looking for “connections to Russia or the FSB or Russian mob, or Ukrainian mob, etc.” According to Telizhenko, Chalupa said the information would “be used for committee hearings in Congress under a congresswoman.”[3] Telizhenko didn’t disclose the identity of the congresswoman, noting, “I don’t want to mention her name on record.”

In January 2017, Telizhenko told Politico that Chalupa said, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”

In a recent tweet, Telizhenko summed the situation succinctly, noting

“The Clinton campaign had a Democratic operative working with Ukraine’s embassy in Washington to research Trump’s Russia ties, as well as a Ukrainian lawmaker feeding information to Fusion GPS.”

The “Democratic operative” refers to Chalupa, while the “Ukrainian lawmaker” refers to Leshchenko.

Andrea Chalupa

According to journalist and DNC activist Andrea Chalupa on her Facebook page “After Chalupa sent the email to Miranda (which mentions that she had invited this reporter to a meeting with Ukrainian journalists in Washington), it triggered high-level concerns within the DNC, given the sensitive nature of her work. “That’s when we knew it was the Russians,” said a Democratic Party source who has been directly involved in the internal probe into the hacked emails. In order to stem the damage, the source said, “we told her to stop her research.”” July 25, 2016

If she was that close to the investigation Crowdstrike did how credible is she? Her sister Alexandra was named one of 16 people that shaped the election by Yahoo news. The DNC hacking investigation done by Crowdstrike concluded hacking was done by Russian actors based on the work done by Alexandra Chalupa? That is the conclusion of her sister Andrea Chalupa and obviously enough for Crowdstrike to make the Russian government connection.

Alexandra Chalupa- According to the Ukrainian Weekly,[4]

… “The effort, known as Digital Miadan, gained momentum following the initial Twitter storms. Leading the effort were: Lara Chelak, Andrea Chalupa, Alexandra Chalupa, Constatin Kostenko and others.” The Digital Maidan was also how they raised money for the coup. This was how the Ukrainian emigres bought the bullets that were used on Euromaidan. Ukraine’s chubby nazi, Dima Yarosh stated openly he was taking money from the Ukrainian emigres during Euromaidan and Pravy Sektor still fundraises openly in North America. The “Sniper Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine by Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, University of Ottowa shows clearly detailed evidence how the massacre happened. It has Pravy Sektor confessions that show who created the “heavenly hundred. Their admitted involvement as leaders of Digital Maidan by both Chalupas is a clear violation of the Neutrality Act and has up to a 25 year prison sentence attached to it because it ended in a coup.

Andrea Chalupa-2014, in a Huff Post article Sept. 1 2016, Andrea Chalupa described Sviatoslav Yurash as one of Ukraine’s important “dreamers.” He is a young activist that founded Euromaidan Press. Beyond the gushing glow what she doesn’t say is who he actually is. Sviatoslav Yurash was Dmitri Yarosh’s spokesman just after Maidan. He is a hardcore Ukrainian nationalist and was rewarded with the Deputy Director position for the UWC (Ukrainian World Congress) in Kiev . In January, 2014 when he showed up at the Maidan protests he was 17 years old. He became the foreign language media representative for Vitali Klitschko, Arseni Yatsenyuk, and Oleh Tyahnybok. All press enquiries went through Yurash. To meet Dimitri Yurash you had to go through Sviatoslav Yurash as a Macleans reporter found out.

At 18 years old, Sviatoslav Yurash became the spokesman for Ministry of Defense of Ukraine under Andrei Paruby. He was Dimitri Yarosh’s spokesman and can be seen either behind Yarosh on videos at press conferences or speaking ahead of him to reporters. From January 2014 onward, to speak to Dimitri Yarosh, you set up an appointment with Yurash.

Andrea Chalupa has worked with Yurash’s Euromaidan Press which is associated with and supplies the state level hackers for Ukraine.

Alperovitch’s relationship with Andrea Chalupa’s efforts and Ukrainian intelligence groups is where things really heat up. Noted above she works with and which is the outlet for Ukrainian state-sponsored hackers.

Alperovitch and Fancy Bear tweet each other.

When you look at Dimitri Alperovitch’s twitter relationships, you have to ask why the CEO of a $150 million company like Crowdstrike follows Ukrainian InformNapalm and its hackers individually. There is a mutual relationship. When you add up his work for the OUNb, Ukraine, support for Ukraine’s Intelligence, and to the hackers it needs to be investigated to see if Ukraine is conspiring against the US government. Crowdstrike is also following their hack of a Russian government official after the DNC hack. It closely resembles the same method used with the DNC because it was an email hack.

Crowdstrike’s product line includes Falcon Host, Falcon Intelligence, Falcon Overwatch and Falcon DNS. Is it possible the hackers in Falcons Flame are another service Crowdstrike offers?

In an interview with Euromaidanpress these hackers say they have no need for the CIA.[5] They consider the CIA amateurish. They also say they are not part of the Ukrainian military Cyberalliance is a quasi-organization with the participation of several groups – RUH8, Trinity, Falcon Flames, Cyberhunta. There are structures affiliated to the hackers – the Myrotvorets site, Informnapalm analytical agency.”

Although this profile says Virginia, tweets are from the Sofia, Bulgaria time zone and he writes in Russian. Another curiosity considering the Fancy Bear source code is in Russian. This image shows Crowdstrike in their network. Crowdstrike is part of Ukrainian nationalist hacker network. In the image it shows a network diagram of Crowdstrike following the Surkov leaks. The network communication goes through a secondary source.

Although OSINT Academy sounds fairly innocuous, it’s the official twitter account for Ukraine’s Ministry of Information head Dimitri Zolotukin. It is also Ukrainian Intelligence. The Ministry of Information started the Peacekeeper or Myrotvorets website that geolocates journalists and other people for assassination. If you disagree with OUNb politics, you could be on the list.

Should someone tell Dimitri Alperovitch that Gerashchenko, who is now in charge of Peacekeeper recently threatened president-elect Donald Trump that he would put him on his “Peacemaker” site as a target? The same has been done with Silvio Berscaloni in the past.

Trying not to be obvious, the Head of Ukraine’s Information Ministry (UA Intelligence) tweeted something interesting that ties Alperovitch and Crowdstrike to the Ukrainian Intelligence hackers and the Information Ministry even tighter. This single tweet on a network chart shows that out of all the Ukrainian Ministry of Information Minister’s following, he only wanted the 3 hacking groups associated with both him and Alperovitch to get the tweet. Alperovitch’s story was received and not retweeted or shared. If this was just Alperovitch’s victory, it was a victory for Ukraine. It would be shared heavily. If it was a victory for the hacking squad, it would be smart to keep it to themselves and not draw unwanted attention.

These same hackers are associated with Alexandra, Andrea, and Irene Chalupa through the portals and organizations they work with through their OUNb. The hackers are funded and directed by or through the same OUNb channels that Alperovitch is working for and with to promote the story of Russian hacking.

When you look at the image for the hacking group in the euromaidanpress article, one of the hackers identifies themselves as one of Dimitri Yarosh’s Pravy Sektor members by the Pravy Sektor sweatshirt they have on. Noted above, Pravy Sektor admitted to killing the people at the Maidan protest and sparked the coup.

Going further with the linked Euromaidanpress article the hackers say “Let’s understand that Ukrainian hackers and Russian hackers once constituted a single very powerful group. Ukrainian hackers have a rather high level of work. So the help of the USA… I don’t know, why would we need it? We have all the talent and special means for this. And I don’t think that the USA or any NATO country would make such sharp movements in international politics.”

From the,

“Andrea Chalupa—the sister of DNC research staffer Alexandra Chalupa—claimed on social media, without any evidence, that despite Clinton conceding the election to Trump, the voting results need to be audited to because Clinton couldn’t have lost—it must have been Russia. Chalupa hysterically tweeted to every politician on Twitter to audit the vote because of Russia and claimed the TV show The Americans, about two KGB spies living in America, is real.”

Irene Chalupa

Irene Chalupa- Another involved Chalupa we need to cover to do the story justice is Irene Chalupa. From her bio– Irena Chalupa is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. She is also a senior correspondent at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), where she has worked for more than twenty years. Irene Chalupa previously served as an editor for the Atlantic Council, where she covered Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Irena Chalupa is also the news anchor for Ukraine’s propaganda channel org. She is also a Ukrainian emigre leader.

Alexandra Chalupa timeline

Special Counsel Robert Mueller colluding with Manafort’s boss, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych is considered a Putin stooge. The Podesta Brothers and Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig worked for Yanukovych as well. Manafort was investigated by Mueller for work he did while managing Sen. John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign.

See also: Ukrainian collusion timeline and Obamagate timeline


  • 25 March. Ukrainian-American employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Alexandra Chalupa meets with top Ukrainian officials at Ukrainian Embassy in Washington D.C. to “expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia,” according to Politico. Chalupa previously worked for the Clinton administration. Ukrainian embassy proceeds to work “directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions,” according to an embassy official (though other officials later deny meddling in election-related activities.)
  • 28 March. Manafort joins Trump Campaign as campaign convention manager.
  • 31 March. Alexandra Chalupa briefs DNC staff on alleged Russia ties to Paul Manafort and Trump. With “DNC’s encouragement,” Chalupa asks Ukrainian embassy to arrange meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort’s lobbying for Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych. The embassy declines to arrange meeting but becomes “helpful” in trading info and leads. Ukrainian embassy officials and Democratic operative Chalupa “coordinat[e] an investigation with the Hillary team” into Paul Manafort, according to a source in Politico. This effort reportedly includes working with U.S. media.
  • Spring. Christopher Steele was already on the FBI payroll. Michael Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort’s business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, Manafort, and Russia.
  • 6-10 April. Alexandra Chalupa and office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, discuss possible congressional investigation or hearing on Paul Manafort-Russia “by September.” Chalupa begins working with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, according to WikiLeaks and her later account.[8]
  • 28 April. Alexandra Chalupa is invited to discuss her research about Paul Manafort with 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine at Library of Congress for Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. congressional agency. Chalupa invites investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to “connect(s) him to the Ukrainians.” After the event, reporter Isikoff accompanies Chalupa to Ukrainian embassy reception.
  • 3 May. Alexandra Chalupa informed DNC communications director Luis Miranda that she had “been working with” Michael Isikoff on stories involving Paul Manafort. Chalupa hinted of “a big Trump component…that will hit in next few weeks.”[11]
  • Late June. Justice Dept. seeks FISA warrant to eavesdrop on Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos (earlier reports listed Donald Trump, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Boris Epshteyn). FISA court denies request.[12] Ordinary procedures call for the Justice Department to ask a FISA Court for a warrant. It is improbable that Attorney General Loretta Lynch acted on her own against a presidential nominee of another party without consulting President Obama.[13]
  • FBI agent Peter Strzok has direct contact with Christopher Steele and receives preliminary draft of the Steele dossier.[14] According to Robby Mook, the partial dossier information was also given to the DNC and Clinton campaign.
  • DCLeaks website begins publishing Democratic National Committee emails.
  • The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI and will later publicly release the Black Ledger File implicating Paul Manafort in allegedly improper payments.
  • July. Ukraine minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov attacks Trump and Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort on Twitter and Facebook, calling Trump “an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism.” Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk writes on Facebook that Trump has “challenged the very values of the free world.”
  • 4 July. Franklin Foer writes in Slate, an article enitled Putin’s Puppet, which appears to come from Christopher Steele and the Steele dossier. Foer’s piece argues the Trump campaign was overly Russia-friendly. Foer discusses Trump’s team, including campaign convention manager Paul Manafort, who worked with former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich, and Carter Page.[15]
  • Late July. Alexandra Chalupa leaves the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full-time on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia; and provides off-the-record guidance to “a lot of journalists.”
  • 18 July. RNC Convention platform completed. It reads,

Repressive at home and reckless abroad, their policies imperil the nations which regained their self-determination upon the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will meet the return of Russian belligerence with the same resolve that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will not accept any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine or elsewhere, and will use all appropriate measures to bring to justice the practitioners of aggression and assassination.
We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine and greater coordination with NATO defense planning.

  • Mainstream media reports fake news, based on Clinton’s Steele dossier, that Donald Trump “gutted” the RNC platform on support for an independent Ukraine.
  • Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News interviews Mike Flynn live:

Isikoff: You flew over to Moscow to participate in the 10th anniversary—a celebration of RT—Russian television, a propaganda arm of the Russian government. And you sat next to Vladimir Putin at a celebratory dinner. Why did you attend that event?
Flynn: Because I wanted to tell Russia to get Iran the hell out of the four proxy wars that they’re involved in in the Middle East in order for us to settle the situation down … my intent for speaking at that event—and they allowed me to do it—was to talk about Russia’s influence over Iran and to essentially tell Russia that they have got to get Iran out of the situations they are involved in in the region … Iran has got to back out of many of the things they’re doing.[16]

Isikoff ignored Flynn’s entire response and continued his line of questioning:

Isikoff: Were you paid for that event?

Following the Isikoff interview, the matter was pursued further by Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, who published a combined an-person and telephone interview with Flynn in an August 15, 2016.
  • 21 July. Anne Applebaum of The Washington Post writes a “Trump presidency could destabilize Europe.” The issue, she explained, was Trump’s positive attitude toward Putin. “The extent of the Trump-Russia business connection has already been laid out, by Franklin Foer at Slate,” wrote Applebaum. She named Carter Page and his “long-standing connections to Russian companies.” Applebaum repeats the kenard that the “Trump’s campaign team helped alter the Republican party platform to remove support for Ukraine” from the Republican National Committee’s platform. Maybe, she hints, that was because of Trump aide Manafort’s ties to Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich. The Manafort-Yanukovich relationship is an important part of the Steele dossier. So is the claim that in exchange for Russia releasing the DNC emails, “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.” For Applebaum, it was hard to understand why Trump would express skepticism about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, except to appease Putin. She referred to a recent interview in which Trump “cast doubt on the fundamental basis of transatlantic stability, NATO’s Article 5 guarantee: If Russia invades, he said, he’d have to think first before defending U.S. allies.”[17] The talking points come directly from Hillary Clinton opposition research, FusionGPS and the Steele dossier.
  • Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic publishes an article entitled, It’s Official: Hillary Clinton is Running Against Vladimir Putin using the same opposition research material from the Steele dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton: “The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Trump’s admiration for Putin and other “equivocating, mercenary statements are unprecedented in the history of Republican foreign policymaking.” However, insofar as Trump’s fundamental aim was to find some common ground with Putin, it’s a goal that has been a 25-year U.S. policy constant across party lines. Starting with George W.H. Bush, every American commander-in-chief since the end of the Cold War sought to “reset” relations with Russia. But Trump, according to Goldberg, was different. “Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests.” Goldberg alleged “watered down” the RNC’s platform on Ukraine and “questioned whether the U.S., under his leadership, would keep its [NATO] commitments,” including Article 5. Thus, Goldberg concluded: “Donald Trump, should he be elected president, would bring an end to the postwar international order.”[18]
  • 30 July. Bruce OhrNellie Ohr, Christopher Steele have breakfast at the Washington Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was a fourth individual, described by Ohr as “an associate of Mr. Steele’s, another gentleman, younger fellow. I didn’t catch his name.”
  • Steele relayed information from his dossier and claimed that “a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated to someone … that they had Donald Trump over barrel.”[19]
  • Steele also referenced Oleg Deripaska’s business dealings with Paul Manafort, and foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s meetings in Moscow.
  • “Paul Hauser, who was an attorney working for Oleg Deripaska, had information about Paul Manafort, that Paul Manafort had entered into some kind of business deal with Oleg Deripaska, had stolen a large amount of money from Oleg Deripaska, and that Paul Hauser was trying to gather information that would show that, you know, or give more detail about what Paul Manafort had done with respect to Deripaska.” The money relates to a failed Ukrainian cable TV project Deripaska invested money with Manafort in.
  • 31 July. Peter Strzok formally begins Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into Trump.
  • First week of August. The Crossfire Hurricane investigation team, in conjunction with a number of agents at the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) under US Attorney Dana Boente, reported to Brennan’s Working Group,[20] including the CIA. During this time, they investigated the four main targets of Crossfire Hurricane, Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and they also investigated Roger Stone as part of their expanded WikiLeaks investigation.
  • As part of the secrecy surrounding the Working Group and Crossfire Hurricane, the Crossfire Hurricane team was provided their own source of funding, and they worked in a secure area, titled the “war room”, within FBI Headquarters, which required special clearance to enter.[21]
  • The same week, Susan Rice, Avril Haines and Lisa Monaco convened meetings in the White House Situation Room, which would later be referred to as “Deputies Meetings”. These meetings were initially attended by Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Lynch. As time passed Vice President Joe Biden joined the Deputies Meetings.[22]
  • As an aspect, or an offshoot, of one of these meetings, Susan Rice informed both Michael Daniel and Celeste Wallander (who would later gain access to the Steele dossier) to cease their planning of retaliation against Russia for their cyber attacks on companies and political campaigns and to stand down.
  • Comey also met with Obama in the Oval Office for a one-on-one meeting.[23]
  • 14 August. Deripaska’s revenge: New York Times publishes Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief” two weeks after Bruce Ohr’s meeting with Steele. The article states: “Mr. Deripaska would later say he invested $18.9 million in Pericles [Manafort’s company] in 2008 to complete the acquisition of Black Sea Cable. But the planned purchase—including the question of who ended up with the Black Sea assets—has since become the subject of a dispute between Mr. Deripaska and Mr. Manafort.”[24]
  • 15 August. John Brennan briefs Harry Reid on Christopher Steele and Spygate material. Reid asked Brennan if he could include the information they discussed on Russia in a letter to Comey to ask for investigation of Trump.[25]
  • Bruce Ohr talks directly with Strzok. Within a month of Bruce Ohr passing along Steele’s dirt, the FBI scheduled a follow-up meeting with Steele. The path was laid for the Steele dossier to support a FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
  • Peter Strzok texts Lisa Page:

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy [McCabe]’s office that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…”[26]

  • Dana Priest of WaPo publishes follow up on Isikoff’s July 18 interview with Flynn:

Priest: Tell me about the RT [state-run Russian Television] relationship?
Flynn: I was asked by my speaker’s bureau, LAI [Leading Authorities, Inc.]. I do public speaking. It was in Russia. It was a paid speaking opportunity. I get paid so much, the speaker’s bureau got paid so much, based on our contract. The gig was to do an interview with [RT correspondent] Sophie Shevardnadze. It was an interview in front of the forum, probably 200 people in the audience. My purpose there was I was asked to talk about radical Islam in the Middle East. They asked me to talk about what was going on in the situation unfolding in the Middle East.
Priest: Have you appeared on RT regularly?
Flynn: I appear on Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia, RT. I don’t get paid a dime. I have no media contracts. … [I am interviewed] on CNN, Fox …
Priest: Why would you go on RT, they’re state-run?
Flynn: Well, what’s CNN?

  • 19 August. Ukrainian parliament member Sergii Leshchenko holds news conference to draw attention to Paul Manafort and Trump’s “pro-Russia” ties.
  • Manafort resigns.
  • 22 August. Christopher Steele finishes another installment of the dossier. The memo details payments to Manafort from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
  • Bruce Ohr meets with Glenn Simpson. “I don’t know exactly what Chris Steele was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn’t have or was not authorized to present, give me, or whatever.”
  • Ohr also testified that Simpson mentioned Sergei MillianMichael Cohen, Carter Page, and Paul Manafort during their meeting. Carter Page and Manafort had been previously mentioned by Steele during the July 30, 2016, breakfast meeting.
  • Bruce Ohr admits he knew Simpson and his wife were working for Hillary Clinton and the DNC at this point.[27]
  • Simpson later lied under oath to Congress claiming he did not collude with the DOJ until after the election.[28]
  • 28 August. Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, tells the Financial Times of London that “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy.” Leshchenko gave the Black Ledger file of the Ukrainian Party of Regions to Alexandra Chalupa and Glenn Simpson; Chalupa gave it to Mike Isiskoff and Simpson gave it to Nellie Ohr. When Isikoff published allegations about Paul Manafort from the files, Manafort resigned the next day. Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele used some of the Black Ledger file in the Steele dossier.[29]
  • Late August. White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice orders U.S. cyber-security team warning of Russian election meddling to stand down and “knock it off.”[30][31]
  • September. The Obama DOJ’s illegal FISA warrant on Carter Page was built on an echo chamber of Hillary Clinton’s opposition research among journalists, law enforcement and the intelligence community – all reinforcing each other with the manufactured allegations of the Steele dossier. Michael Isikoff’s September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article, provided by Christopher Steele, was used to corroborate the Obama DOJ’s evidence to the FISA court, which likewise was provided by Christopher Steele.
  • Isikoff met with Steele and Simpson at a DC hotel in a meeting arranged by Simpson.

Vladimir Putin with Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska helped frame Manafort over a personal grievance; Andrew McCabe was Deripaska’s longtime FBI handler.

  • According to Adam Waldman‘s account, Oleg Deripaska was approached by three FBI agents in New York; at least one agent (McCabe) had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Robert Levinson. According to David Ignatius of WaPo:

“We think Russia is colluding with the Trump campaign, and we think Manafort is the key guy,” one of the agents told Deripaska, according to the knowledgeable source. The oligarch responded, “I hate Manafort, and I’m suing him.”[32]

John Solomon of The Hill reported

“Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” said his agent Adam Waldman. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.”[33]

  • 2 September. Lisa Page wrote about preparing talking points for Dir. James Comey:

    Lisa Page – “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.[34]

    The text raises questions about Obama’s involvement in an ongoing FBI investigation.[35]

  • 23 September. Yahoo News and Michael Isikoff.[36] Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News publishes an article based on the information Steele personally leaked to Isikoff and several other media outlets at the direction of FusionGPS. The information focuses on Carter Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. Perkins Coie hosted the journalists’ meeting with Steele where the matter was discussed.
  • Isikoff’s article would later be used by the FBI in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant application to spy on Carter Page, as if it were corroborating information despite the FBI knowing Steele was the source.
  • Steele is later fired from the FBI as an unreliable for leaking to media and violating agency rules.
  • According to the Isikoff article, Congress was briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier by the FBI.[37]
  • Following the publication of Isikoff’s article, Hillary for America released a statement on the same day touting Isikoff’s “bombshell report” with the full article attached.
  • Steele testified that he “briefed” The New York TimesThe Washington PostYahoo NewsThe New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016.
  • Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York TimesWashington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were “conducted verbally in person.”[38]
  • Politico publishes a lengthy article, “Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump’s Man in Moscow,” by Julia Ioffe. This article appears to highlight FusionGPS’s media campaign:

    Yahoo News was used by the Obama DOJ to hoax the FISA court with supposedly independent corroboration; the same paid FBI source was the Yahoo News source. Additionally, the source was paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign. The information was false and invented. The FISA warrant granted authority to spy on the entire Trump campaign in 50 states, the Trump Transition, and the first 10 months of the Trump Administration, violating the civil rights and intruding into the lives all Trump appointees.

“As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate ‘corporate investigators’ digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won’t say who turned him on to Page’s scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin’s chief of staff—both of whom are on the sanctions list—when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech.”[39]

Ioffe noted that “seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page’s connections.” Her article also mentioned rumors regarding Alfa Bank:

“In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia’s Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

  • 26 September. Carter Page resigns from Trump campaign.
  • End of September. Simpson and Steele meet with reporters, including New York TimesWashington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker and CNN or ABC. One meeting is at Perkins Coie office of Democratic National Committee general counsel Marc Elias.[40] Elias is secretly the front man paying FusionGPS on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
  • Mid October. Steele again briefs reporters about Trump political opposition research. The reporters are from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele also visits the State Department.[41]
  • 21 October. Carter Page FISA warrant. DOJ and FBI sought and receive a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance of Carter Page from the FISA court. The warrant application was signed by Sally Yates and James Comey. The FISA order was ultimately used by Brennan’s Working Group, as the information gathered gave them multiple investigative leads into the Trump campaign.[42]
  • The bulk of the application consists of allegations against Carter Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Christopher Steele and outlined in the Steele dossier. The application contains no additional corroboration other than a Sept 23, 2016 Yahoo News article the Obama DOJ/FBI represents to the court as supposed “independent corroboration” which was peddled to Yahoo News by Christopher Steele’s himself.
  • 30 October. Steele fired by the FBI for unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI to David Corn of a Mother Jones magazine.[43][44] The FBI was well aware of Steele’s previous contacts with media – the FBI used Steele’s leaks to Isikoff’s Yahoo News article to hoax the FISA court nine days earlier.
  • Steele could have been terminated earlier for his previous undisclosed contacts with Isikoff of Yahoo News and other media outlets in September 2016 – before the Carter Page application was submitted to the FISA court in October 2016 – but Steele improperly concealed and lied to the FBI about earlier contacts. DOJ official Bruce Ohr continued to pass along allegations from Steele to the FBI after the FBI suspended its formal relationship with Steele, and demonstrates that Bruce Ohr funneled allegations from FusionGPS and Steele to the FBI.
  • 8 Election Day.
  • 9 November. Alexandra Chalupa posted a message to Facebook about work done in conjunction between the United States Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security and an Anonymous-based organisation known as “The Protectors” based in Washington, DC.

“Homeland Security/DOJ teamed up with a group that is part of Anonymous based in Washington, D.C. called ‘The Protectors’. This group saw a lot of activity during Election Day from the Russians and believe that the voting results projected don’t match the internal and public polls because the voting results were manufactured in favor of Trump in heavily Republican counties in key states, and voting results may have been described for Clinton in key Democratic countries via malware that was placed by the Russians when they hacked the election systems of more than half our states.” [45]

  • 10 November. Andrea Chalupa, sister of Alexandra Chalupa, then tweeted: “All election day Anonymous hackers working w/DOJ updated my sister: they were at war w/RU hackers in our systems”.[46]
  • 21 November. Bruce Ohr recruited as conduit from Steele to Strzok – in violation of FBI rules. Bruce Ohr notes state that Ohr met with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The notes read, “no prosecution yet, pushing ahead on M case,” in reference to Paul Manafort.” Ohr’s notes indicate that the FBI “may go back to Chris [Steele]” just 20 days after firing Steele for violating bureau rules.[47] Ohr is introduced to Joe Pientka, who became Ohr’s FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of then national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
  • December. Alexandera Chalupa met with convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin and Israeli Yoni Ariel in Washington in December 2016. Kimberlin earned the nickname “Speedway Bomber” by setting a string of bombs in Speedway, Indiana in 1978. Kimberlin served 17 years in prison for the bombing spree. He gained more notoriety in prison after he concocted a story about having once sold marijuana to then-Vice President Dan Quayle. The story was propagated by Cody Shearer, a Clinton operative. Kimberlin now works on various voters’ rights initiatives, including in Ukraine.[48]


  • 3 January. George Eliason, Washingtonsblog: Why Crowdstrike’s Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear.[49]
  • How close is Dimitri Alperovitch to DNC officials? Close enough professionally he should have stepped down from an investigation that had the chance of throwing a presidential election in a new direction. According to, Alperovitch has vetted speeches for Hillary Clinton about cyber security issues in the past. Because of his work on the Sony hack, President Barrack Obama personally called and said the measures taken were directly because of his work.
  • Alperovitch’s relationships with the Chalupas, radical groups, think tanks, Ukrainian propagandists, and Ukrainian state supported hackers [show a conflict of interest]. When it all adds up and you see it together, we have found a Russian that tried hard to influence the outcome of the US presidential election in 2016.
  • The Chalupas are not Democrat or Republican. They are OUNb. The OUNb worked hard to start a war between the USA and Russia for the last 50 years. According to the Ukrainian Weekly in a rare open statement of their existence in 2011, “Other statements were issued in the Ukrainian language by the leadership of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (B) and the International Conference in Support of Ukraine. The OUN (Bandera wing) called for”… What is OUNb Bandera? They follow the same political policy and platform that was developed in the 1930’s by Stepan Bandera. When these people go to a Holocaust memorial they are celebrating both the dead and the OUNb SS that killed.[50] There is no getting around this fact. The OUNb have no concept of democratic values and want an authoritarian fascism.
  • According to Robert Parry’s article[51] At the forefront of people that would have taken senior positions in a Clinton administration and especially in foreign policy are the Atlantic Council. Their main goal is still a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.
  • The Atlantic Council is the think tank associated and supported by the CEEC (Central and Eastern European Coalition). The CEEC has only one goal which is war with Russia. Their question to candidates looking for their support in the election was “Are you willing to go to war with Russia?” Hillary Clinton has received their unqualified support throughout the campaign.
  • What does any of this have to do with Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike? Since the Atlantic Council would have taken senior cabinet and policy positions, his own fellowship status at the Atlantic Council and relationship with Irene Chalupa creates a definite conflict of interest for Crowdstrike’s investigation. Trump’s campaign was gaining ground and Clinton needed a boost. Had she won, would he have been in charge of the CIA, NSA, or Homeland Security?
  • When you put someone that has so much to gain in charge of an investigation that could change an election, that is a conflict of interest. If the think tank is linked heavily to groups that want war with Russia like the Atlantic Council and the CEEC, it opens up criminal conspiracy.
  • If the person in charge of the investigation is a fellow at the think tank that wants a major conflict with Russia it is a definite conflict of interest. Both the Atlantic Council and clients stood to gain Cabinet and Policy positions based on how the result of his work affects the election. It clouds the results of the investigation. In Dmitri Alperovitch’s case, he found the perpetrator before he was positive there was a crime.
  • What sharp movements in international politics have been made lately? Let me spell it out for the 17 US Intelligence Agencies so there is no confusion. These state sponsored, Russian language hackers in Eastern European time zones have shown with the Surkov hack they have the tools and experience to hack states that are looking out for it. They are also laughing at US intel efforts.
  • The hackers also made it clear that they will do anything to serve Ukraine. Starting a war between Russia and the USA is the one way they could serve Ukraine best, and hurt Russia worst. Given those facts, if the DNC hack was according to the criteria given by Alperovitch, both he and these hackers need to be investigated.
  • According to the Esquire interview “Alperovitch was deeply frustrated: He thought the government should tell the world what it knew. There is, of course, an element of the personal in his battle cry. “A lot of people who are born here don’t appreciate the freedoms we have, the opportunities we have, because they’ve never had it any other way,” he told me. “I have.”
  • While I agree patriotism is a great thing, confusing it with this kind of nationalism is not. Alperovitch seems to think by serving OUNb Ukraine’s interests and delivering a conflict with Russia that is against American interests, he’s a patriot. He isn’t serving US interests. He’s definitely a Ukrainian patriot. Maybe he should move to Ukraine.
  • The evidence presented deserves investigation because it looks like the case for conflict of interest is the least Dimitri Alperovitch should look forward to. If these hackers are the real Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, they really did make sharp movements in international politics. By pawning it off on Russia, they made a worldwide embarrassment of an outgoing President of the United States and made the President Elect the suspect of rumor.
  • Quite possibly now the former UK Ambassador Craig Murry’s admission of being the involved party to “leaks” should be looked at.

“Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling.”

Further reading


Story 2: American People Not Interested In Single Party Impeachment Behind Closed Doors of Star Chamber Inquiry — Those Who Voted For Trump in 2016 Will Again Vote For Trump Again in 2020 — Elections and Ideas Have Consequences — Big Fail of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Videos

See the source image

Nunes compares Trump impeachment inquiry to ‘chaotic circus’

Volker interview on whistleblower weakens impeachment push

Over 100 House Republicans back bill to censure Adam Schiff


Dems Rely on Phony Impeachment Polling

A Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Despite the embarrassing spectacle of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony where he finally learned about the report he supposedly created and wrote, Democrats are doubling down on stupid.

They are ignoring the first law of holes, that when you are deep in one, the smart play is to stop digging. The hole they continue to dig is the one denying the reality of the 2016 presidential election, that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton fair and square.

It was not the result Democrats and their media comrades wanted or expected and now they seek to overturn the will of the American people in selecting a president. So what if Hillary Clinton won the popular vote? Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 with only 43 percent of the popular vote, far from a majority, but no one considered him an illegitimate president for that reason.

Democrats have been trying for close to three years to overturn the 2016 election. From Stormy and Avenatti, to Rapinoe and Omarosa, all have tried and failed. Mueller was supposed to deliver the smoking gun to congressional Democrats but instead brought only Mueller’s bewilderment and confusion, with seemingly everything relevant to the Trump Russia collusion hoax being “out of his purview”.

All the Dems have left is the I-word. No, not idiocy or incompetence, but impeachment. Mueller couldn’t find any real crimes, such as conspiracy or obstruction, despite two years of one of the most exhaustive investigations in history, conducted by partisan Democrats who wanted nothing better than to see Trump frog-marched out of the White House.

Democrats are left only with the political remedy for “high crimes and misdemeanors” which they so far have been unable to articulate. As impeachment is a political remedy, Democrats had better hope that politics is on their side.

Nothing says minority status better than governing against the will of the people, which the Democrats are doing. Do Americans want impeachment? If the polls say yes, that’s all the Democrats and media need to plow ahead. Congress will happily ignore its real job, including fixing immigration, healthcare, infrastructure, a crushing national debt and so on, if it means more political grandstanding, fundraising and the possibility of a Democrat president in 2020.

Democrats are spurred on by a new Fox News poll with this Breitbart headline, “47 percent of Americans back Trump impeachment.” Not quite a majority, but enough for the media to begin breathlessly panting in anticipation. Beyond the misleading headline, one can read the first sentence in the Breitbart article for a reality check, “Support for impeaching President Donald Trump has fallen slightly.”

Ironically Politico provides a more sobering view with their headline, “No impeachment bump after Mueller’s testimony.” They note, “A plurality of voters are still opposed to beginning proceedings that could result in Trump’s removal from office.”

So where is the truth? With any poll, one needs to dig far beyond the headline. The Fox News poll wasn’t conducted by Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson. Instead Fox commissioned the poll to two polling companies, in this case Beacon Research and Shaw and Company.

Polls are as good as their samples. Take a survey about Trump impeachment in Boulder or Berkeley, and the result will be nearly unanimous that Trump belongs at Supermax prison next door to its newest guest, El Chapo.

This Fox News poll surveyed registered, not likely, voters, already skewing the sample. Given a 58 percent turnout in the last presidential election, almost half of those surveyed in this poll may be watching Netflix on Election Day rather than voting.

A more reliable sample is likely voters, a group that Rasmussen Reports samples in its polls. This explains why Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster in the 2016 presidential election.

Political affiliation of those polled also skews the results. In the Fox News poll, those surveyed were 46 percent Democrat and only 40 percent Republican, a six-point Democrat oversampling.

Looking specifically at impeachment and removal from office, 42% said yes, while 50% said no, an eight-point difference in favor of no. Add in the sampling bias of six percent, and this difference regarding impeachment and removal may be 14 points against, far different than the Breitbart headline implied.

Interestingly, when asked if Trump should be impeached but not removed from office, only nine percent favor this approach, while 77% believe he should not be impeached at all. This is quite a disconnect suggesting that those surveyed may not understand the constitutional process for impeachment and conviction.

How many low information voters believe that if Trump is impeached, Hillary Clinton automatically becomes president?

Other tidbits from the survey are that Democrat primary voters favor Joe Biden at 33%, compared to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren at 15 and 12 percent respectively.

Those polled were against decriminalizing persons entering the United States illegally by a 57-34 margin and were against providing health insurance to illegals by a 60-32 margin. Don’t tell the Democrat/Marxist primary candidates that they are on the wrong side of these issues in a big way.

Let House Judiciary Committee Chairman Gerald Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff run with impeachment. They believe they have the wind at their backs. After all, The Atlantic has declared, “Impeach Donald Trump.”

Lunatics on Twitter like Bette Midler and Meathead Rob Reiner are all in for impeachment. But saner voices speak of caution. NBC writes, “Support for impeachment falls as 2020 heats up.” Even in the House, when push came to shove and there was an actual vote for impeachment, as recently proposed by perpetually angry Texas Rep. Al Green, the proposal failed miserably 332 to 95.

Schiff and Nadler can yack all they want on CNN or MSNBC about impeachment, but that’s as far as it will likely go. If they push forward based on nonsensical polls, it will end in the same way as the 2016 presidential election where most of the polls were dead wrong. As they keep chasing and failing to catch Trump, in the style of the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, Trump’s popularity and support grows.

As Democrat dig ever deeper into the impeachment hole, they may soon be unable to climb out.

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedInTwitter, and QuodVerum

Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.

Star Chamber

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Engraving of the Star Chamber, published in “Old and new London” in 1873, taken from a drawing made in 1836

A document of 1504 showing King Henry VII sitting in the Star Chamber and receiving William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Foxe, Bishop of Winchester, and clerics associated with Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as the Mayor of London.

The Star Chamber (LatinCamera stellata) was an English court which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century (c. 1641), and was composed of Privy Counsellors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. The Star Chamber was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.

In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, “star chambers”. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings. “Star Chamber” can also, rarely, be used in its original meaning, for instance when a politician uses parliamentary privilege to examine and then exculpate or condemn a powerful organisation or person. Due to the constitutional separation of powers and the ceasing of the Star Chamber, the main powers of select committees are to enhance the public debate—politicians are deemed to no longer wield powers in the criminal law, which belongs to the courts.[a]

Origin of the name

Starry vault of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy, frescoed by Giotto

The first reference to the “star chamber”[b] is in 1398, as the Sterred chambre; the more common form of the name appears in 1422 as le Sterne-chamere. Both forms recur throughout the fifteenth century, with Sterred Chambre last attested as appearing in the Supremacy of the Crown Act 1534 (establishing the English monarch as head of the Church of England). The origin of the name has usually been explained as first recorded by John Stow, writing in his Survey of London (1598), who noted “this place is called the Star Chamber, at the first all the roofe thereof was decked with images of starres gilted“.[2][3] Gold stars on a blue background were a common medieval decoration for ceilings in richly decorated rooms: the Star Chamber ceiling itself is still to be seen at Leasowe CastleWirral, and a similar examples are in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua and elsewhere.

Alternatively, William Blackstone, a notable English jurist writing in 1769, speculated that the name may have derived from the legal word “starr” meaning the contract or obligation to a Jew (from the Hebrew שטר (shtar) meaning ‘document’). This term was in use until 1290, when Edward I had all Jews expelled from England. Blackstone thought the “Starr Chamber” might originally have been used for the deposition and storage of such contracts.[4] However, the Oxford English Dictionary gives this etymology “no claim to consideration”.[3]

Other etymological speculations mentioned by Blackstone on the use of star include the derivation from Old English steoran (steer) meaning “to govern”; as a court used to punish cozenage (in Latincrimen stellionatus); or that the chamber was full of windows.[4]


Under the Plantagenets and Tudors

The Court evolved from meetings of the King’s Council, with its roots going back to the medieval period. Contrary to popular belief, the so-called “Star Chamber Act” of King Henry VII‘s second Parliament (1487) did not actually empower the Star Chamber, but rather created a separate tribunal distinct from the King’s general Council.[5]

Initially well regarded because of its speed and flexibility, Star Chamber was regarded as one of the most just and efficient courts of the Tudor era. Sir Edward Coke once described Star Chamber as “The most honourable court (Our Parliament excepted) that is in the Christian world. Both in respect of the judges in the court and its honourable proceeding.”[6]

The Star Chamber was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges, and it supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. In a sense, the court was a court of appeal, a supervisory body, overseeing the operation of the lower courts, although it could hear cases by direct appeal as well. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against the English upper class, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes.

Another function of the Court of Star Chamber was to act like a court of equity, which could impose punishment for actions which were deemed to be morally reprehensible but were not in violation of the letter of the law. This gave the Star Chamber great flexibility, as it could punish defendants for any action which the court felt should be unlawful, even when in fact it was technically lawful.

However, this meant that the justice meted out by the Star Chamber could be very arbitrary and subjective, and it enabled the court to be used later on in its history as an instrument of oppression rather than for the purpose of justice for which it was intended. Many crimes which are now commonly prosecuted, such as attemptconspiracycriminal libel, and perjury, were originally developed by the Court of Star Chamber, along with its more common role of dealing with riots and sedition.

The cases decided in those sessions enabled both the very powerful and those without power to seek redress. Thus King Henry VII used the power of Star Chamber to break the power of the landed gentry which had been such a cause of problems in the Wars of the Roses. Yet, when local courts were often clogged or mismanaged, the Court of Star Chamber also became a site of remittance for the common people against the excesses of the nobility.

In the reign of King Henry VIII, the court was under the leadership of Cardinal Wolsey (the Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor) and Thomas Cranmer (the Archbishop of Canterbury) (1515–1529). From this time forward, the Court of Star Chamber became a political weapon for bringing actions against opponents to the policies of King Henry VIII, his Ministers and his Parliament.

Although it was initially a court of appeal, King Henry, Wolsey and Cranmer encouraged plaintiffs to bring their cases directly to the Star Chamber, bypassing the lower courts entirely.

The Court was used extensively to control Wales, after the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 (sometimes referred to as the “Acts of Union”). The Tudor-era gentry in Wales turned to the Chamber to evict Welsh landowners and protect themselves, and in general protect the English advantages of the Laws in Wales Acts.

One of the weapons of the Star Chamber was the ex officio oath where, because of their positions, individuals were forced to swear to answer truthfully all questions that might be asked. Faced by hostile questioning, this then gave them the “cruel trilemma” of having to incriminate themselves, face charges of perjury if they gave unsatisfactory answers to their accusers, or be held in contempt of court if they gave no answer.

Under the Stuarts

The power of the Court of Star Chamber grew considerably under the House of Stuart, and by the time of King Charles I, it had become synonymous with misuse and abuse of power by the King and his circle. King James I and his son Charles used the court to examine cases of sedition, which meant that the court could be used to suppress opposition to royal policies. It came to be used to try nobles too powerful to be brought to trial in the lower court.

King Charles I used the Court of Star Chamber as Parliamentary substitute during the eleven years of Personal Rule, when he ruled without a Parliament. King Charles made extensive use of the Court of Star Chamber to prosecute dissenters, including the Puritans who fled to New England. This was also one of the causes of the English Civil War.

On 17 October 1632, the Court of Star Chamber banned all “news books” because of complaints from Spanish and Austrian diplomats that coverage of the Thirty Years’ War in England was unfair.[7] As a result, newsbooks pertaining to this matter were often printed in Amsterdam and then smuggled into the country, until control of the press collapsed with the developing ideological conflict of 1640–41.[8]

The Star Chamber became notorious for judgments favourable to the king. Archbishop Laud had William Prynne branded on both cheeks through its agency in 1637 for seditious libel.[9]

In 1571 Elizabeth I had set up an equivalent Court in Ireland, the Court of Castle Chamber, to deal with cases of riot and offences against public order. Although it was initially popular with private litigants, under the Stuarts it developed the same reputation for harsh and arbitrary proceedings as its parent Court, and during the political confusion of the 1640s it simply disappeared.[10]

In the early 1900s, Edgar Lee Masters commented:

In the Star Chamber the council could inflict any punishment short of death, and frequently sentenced objects of its wrath to the pillory, to whipping and to the cutting off of ears. … With each embarrassment to arbitrary power the Star Chamber became emboldened to undertake further usurpation. … The Star Chamber finally summoned juries before it for verdicts disagreeable to the government, and fined and imprisoned them. It spread terrorism among those who were called to do constitutional acts. It imposed ruinous fines. It became the chief defence of Charles against assaults upon those usurpations which cost him his life.

Abolition and aftermath

In 1641, the Long Parliament, led by John Pym and inflamed by the severe treatment of John Lilburne, as well as that of other religious dissenters such as William PrynneAlexander LeightonJohn Bastwick and Henry Burton, abolished the Star Chamber with an Act of Parliament: the Habeas Corpus Act 1640.

The Chamber itself stood until demolished in 1806, when its materials were salvaged. The door now hangs in the nearby Westminster School and the historic Star Chamber ceiling, with its bright gold stars, was brought to Leasowe Castle on the Wirral Peninsula in Merseyside from the Court of Westminster, along with four tapestries depicting the four seasons.

Recent history

In the late 20th century, the expression was revived in reference to ways of resolving internal high-level questions within the government, usually relating to budget appropriations. The press and some civil servants under the premiership of Margaret Thatcher (1979–90) revived the term for private ministerial meetings at which disputes between the Treasury and high-spending departments were resolved.[11]

The term was again revived by the popular press to describe a panel set up by the Labour party’s National Executive Committee to review expenses claims by Labour MPs in May 2009.[12] In 2010, the press employed the term for a committee established by the Cameron ministry to plan spending cuts to reduce public debt.[13]

Influence on the U.S. Constitution

The historical abuses of the Star Chamber are considered a primary motivating force behind the protections against compelled self-incrimination embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[14] The meaning of “compelled testimony” under the Fifth Amendment – i.e., the conditions under which a defendant is allowed to “plead the Fifth” to avoid self-incrimination – is thus often interpreted via reference to the inquisitorial methods of the Star Chamber.[14]

As the U.S. Supreme Court described it, “the Star Chamber has, for centuries, symbolized disregard of basic individual rights. The Star Chamber not merely allowed, but required, defendants to have counsel. The defendant’s answer to an indictment was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the defendant was considered to have confessed.”[15]


  1. ^ “The Ceann Comhairle intervened and said the Dáil could not be used as a “star chamber” warning that people’s reputations were involved and if the deputy had information he should go to the gardaí.”[1]
  2. ^ Or, rather, the first reference in the OED. Blackstone mentions a reference in a document of 41 Edw. III – 1367 – but does not quote it


Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility

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When Donald Trump became president in 2017, a SCIF was set up at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which he refers to as his Winter White House. Trump (at the head of the table with various cabinet members, advisers, and staffers) is seen here monitoring the Syrian cruise missile attack from the Mar-a-Lago SCIF.

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF; pronounced “skiff”), in British and United States military, national security/national defense and intelligence parlance, is an enclosed area within a building that is used to process Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) types of classified information.

SCIFs can be either permanent or temporary and can be set up in official government buildings (such as the Situation Room in the White House), onboard ships, in private residences of officials, or in hotel rooms and other places of necessity for officials when traveling.[1] Portable SCIFs can also be quickly set up when needed during emergency situations.[2]


Access to SCIFs is normally limited to those individuals with appropriate security clearances.[3] Non-cleared personnel in SCIFs must be under the constant oversight of cleared personnel and all classified information and material removed from view in order to prevent unauthorized access.[4] As part of this process, non-cleared personnel are also typically required to surrender all recording, photographic and other electronic media devices. All of the activity and conversation inside is presumed restricted from public disclosure.[1][5]


Some entire buildings are SCIFs where all but the front foyer is secure. A SCIF can also be located in an air, ground or maritime vehicle, or can be established on a temporary basis at a specific site.[1] The physical construction, access control, and alarming of the facility has been defined by various directives, including Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs) 1/21 and 6/9, and most recently (2011) by Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 705, signed by the Director of National Intelligence. ICD 705 is a three-page capstone document that implements Intelligence Community Standard (ICS) 705-1, ICS 705-2 and the Technical Specifications for Construction and Management of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities or “Tech Specs.” The latest version of the Tech Specs was published in 2017 (Version 1.4).

Computers operating within such a facility must conform to rules established by ICD 503. Computers and telecommunication equipment within must conform to TEMPEST emanations specification as directed by a Certified TEMPEST Technical Authority (CTTA).

Officials documented to have had a SCIF set up in their private residences include:

See also


External links

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