The Pronk Pops Show 1399, February 14, 2020, Story 1: Department of Justice Will Not Prosecute Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — When are U.S. Attorney John Durham Indictments Coming Down for Illegally Syping on Trump Campaign? — Summer or 12th of Never — Will Justice Be Done — Videos — Story 2: Department of Justice Unseals 16-Count Indictment Against Huawei To Steal Trade Secrets of Six U.S. Companies — Videos — Story 3: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

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Story 1: Department of Justice Will Not Prosecute Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — When are U.S. Attorney John Durham Indictments Coming Down for Illegally Syping on Trump Campaign? — Summer or 12th of Never — Will Justice Be Done — Videos

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FBI Director Confirms to Ratcliffe that FBI Illegally Surveilled Trump Campaign Associate

Feb 10, 2020

Gohmert in Judiciary Hearing on FBI Oversight: “This is Serious”

Hannity: Democrats’ unequal standard of justice exposed

Trish Regan: Andrew McCabe walking free is ‘a total injustice’

Gaetz: An old FBI business card isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’

Feb 14, 2020

Trump notably quiet on DOJ decision not to prosecute Andrew McCabe

Bannon: GOP has to subpoena John Brennan, Adam Schiff

Feb 8, 2020

DOJ Declines To Prosecute Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

‘General Flynn was set up’: KT McFarland

IG report hearing part 4: Lindsey Graham questions Michael Horowitz

Dec 11, 2019

Cruz on spying: This wasn’t Jason Bourne, this was ‘Beavis and Butt-head’

Dec 11, 2019

Tom Fitton: Why is the DOJ Editing “302” Interviews They Had With General Flynn?

Sebastian Gorka Radio: Trust Bill Barr and John Durham. Matt Whitaker with Sebastian Gorka

Hans von Spakovsky: CIA Director Haspel is Obligated to Comply with the Durham Investigation

Spygate Indictments Coming, Says Former Intelligence Operative Tony Shaffer

Aug 10, 2019

Fitton: Ohr 302s show ‘disturbing’ desperation to oust Trump

Aug 9, 2019

Tucker Carlson – Trump’s Claims of Spying

May 13, 2019

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

May 22, 2018

FBI Trump campaign spying allegations: How much did Obama know?

May 21, 2018

Roger Stone reacts to reports FBI spied on Trump campaign

May 17, 2018

DiGenova: Comey, Clapper and Brennan will have to pay the ‘Barr bill’

May 14, 2019

Watch Barr double down on Trump spying claims in heated exchange

FBI chief: No evidence of spying on Trump campaign

Barr: ‘I think spying did occur’ on Trump campaign

Apr 10, 2019

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Feb 7, 2018

Should Obama be investigated over Trump wiretapping claims?

Mar 31, 2017

Former FBI agent says his privacy was violated by Justice Dept.

AG Barr appoints outside prosecutor to review Michael Flynn case

Should officials who started the Russia probe be worrying?

Russia origins probe now a criminal investigation

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Johnny Mathis – 12th of Never

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The proof that he willfully deceived investigators appears strong, but the Justice Department likely felt there were too many obstacles to convicting him.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department inspector general (IG) report concluded that he repeatedly and blatantly lied — or, as the Bureau lexicon puts it, “lacked candor” — when questioned, including under oath.

I emphasize Flynn’s intent because purported lack of intent is McCabe’s principal defense, too. Even McCabe himself, to say nothing of his lawyers and his apologists in the anti-Trump network of bureaucrats-turned-pundits, cannot deny that he made false statements to FBI agents and the IG. Rather, they argue that the 21-year senior law-enforcement official did not mean to lie, that he was too distracted by his high-level responsibilities to focus on anything as mundane as a leak — even though he seemed pretty damned focused on the leak while he was orchestrating it.

It will be a while before we learn the whole story of why the Justice Department walked away from the McCabe case, if we ever do. I have some supposition to offer on that score. First, however, it is worth revisiting the case against McCabe as outlined by the meticulous and highly regarded IG, Michael Horowitz. If you want to know why people are so angry, and why they are increasingly convinced that, for all President Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric, a two-tiered justice system that rewards the well-connected is alive and well, consider the following.

In fact, the Bureau’s then-director, James Comey, had tried to keep the Clinton Foundation probe under wraps, refusing to confirm or deny its existence even to the House Judiciary Committee. Comey had been right to stay mum: Public revelation would have harmed the probe and thrust the FBI deeper into the politics of the then-imminent 2016 presidential election, in which Hillary Clinton was the Democratic candidate and her investigation by the Bureau was an explosive campaign issue.

Notwithstanding these concerns, according to Horowitz’s report, McCabe orchestrated the leak “to advance his personal interests” — to paint himself in a favorable light in comparison to Justice Department officials amid an internal dispute about the Clinton Foundation probe (specifically, about the Obama Justice Department’s pressure on the Bureau to drop it). As the IG put it: “McCabe’s disclosure was an attempt to make himself look good by making senior department leadership . . . look bad.”

McCabe’s account has been contradicted by Comey, a witness who is otherwise sympathetic to him and hostile to the Trump Justice Department, and whose actions — like his — are being examined in prosecutor John Durham’s probe of the Trump-Russia investigation. Comey’s testimony is directly at odds with McCabe’s version of events, and the IG painstakingly explained why the former director’s version was credible while his deputy’s was not. (Comey was, nevertheless, exceedingly complimentary of McCabe after the IG report was published.)

Page is regarded by McCabe backers as key to his defense. She reportedly told the grand jury that, because McCabe had authority to approve media disclosures, he had no motive to lie about the leak. That’s laughable. McCabe did serially mislead investigators, so plainly he had some reason for doing so. But even putting that aside, the IG’s conclusion was not that McCabe lacked authority to leak; it was that he lacked a public-interest justification for exercising that authority. He leaked for self-promotion purposes, and then he lied about it because it was humiliating to be caught putting his personal interests ahead of the Bureau’s investigative integrity. That said, Page’s account does illuminate a problem for prosecutors: It’s tough to win a case when your witnesses are spinning for the defendant. (Oh, and have you seen Page’s tweet toasting McCabe in the aftermath of the news that the DOJ had closed the investigation?)

McCabe’s Multiple False Statements

Barrett’s Journal article appeared on October 30, 2016. The very next day, McCabe deceived Comey about it, indicating that he had not authorized the leak and had no idea who its source was. In Comey’s telling, credited by the IG, McCabe “definitely” did not acknowledge that he had approved the leak.

Thereafter, the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) opened an investigation of the leak. On May 9, 2017, McCabe denied to two INSD investigators that he knew the source of the leak. This was not a fleeting conversation. McCabe was placed under oath, and the INSD agents provided him with a copy of Barrett’s article. He read it and initialed it to acknowledge that he had done so. He was questioned about it by the agents, who took contemporaneous notes. McCabe told the agents that he had “no idea where [the leaked information] came from” or “who the source was.”

On July 28, 2017, McCabe was interviewed by the IG’s office — under oath and recorded on tape. In that session, he preposterously claimed to be unaware that Page, his FBI counsel, was directed to speak to reporters around the time of the October 30 Journal report. McCabe added that he was out of town then, and thus unaware of what Page had been up to. In point of fact, McCabe had consulted closely with Page about the leak. A paper trail of their texts and phone contacts evinced his keen interest in Page’s communications with Barrett. Consequently, the IG concluded that McCabe’s denials were “demonstrably false.”

Clearly concerned about the hole he had dug for himself, McCabe called the IG’s office four days later, on August 1, 2017, to say that, shucks, come to think of it, he just might have kinda, sorta told Page to speak with Barrett after all. He might even have told her to coordinate with Mike Kortan, then the Bureau’s top media liaison, and follow-up with the Journal about some of its prior reporting.

As the IG observed, this “attempt to correct his prior false testimony” was the “appropriate” thing for McCabe to do. Alas, when he was given an opportunity to come in and explain himself, he compounded his misconduct by making more false statements while under oath: In an interview with investigators on November 29, 2017, McCabe purported to recall informing Comey that he, McCabe, had authorized the leak, and that Comey had responded that the leak was a good idea.

These were quite stunning recollections, given that the deputy director had previously disclaimed any knowledge about the source of the leak. But McCabe took care of that little hiccup by simply denying his prior denial. That is, he insisted that he had not feigned ignorance about the leak when INSD interviewed him on May 9. Indeed, McCabe even denied that the May 9 interview had been a real interview. To the contrary, he claimed that agents had casually pulled him aside at the conclusion of a meeting on an unrelated topic, and peppered him out of the blue with a question or two about the Journal leak. As General Flynn could tell you, that sort of thing can be tough on a busy top U.S. government official . . . although Flynn did not get much sympathy for it when McCabe was running the FBI.

Again, the IG concluded that McCabe’s version of events was “demonstrably false.”

McCabe Covers His Tracks

As an old trial lawyer, I’d be remiss if I failed to rehearse my favorite part of the IG’s report — the part that would tell a jury everything they needed to know about good ol’ Andy McCabe.

Again, the Journal story generated by McCabe’s leak was published on October 30, a Sunday. Late that afternoon, McCabe called the head of the FBI’s Manhattan office. Why? Well . . . to ream him out over media leaks, that’s why. McCabe railed that New York agents must be the culprits. He also made a similar call to the Bureau’s Washington field office, warning its chief to “get his house in order” and stop these terribly damaging leaks.

It is worth remembering McCabe’s October 30 scolding of subordinates when you think about how he later claimed that, on the very next day, he’d freely admitted to his superior, Comey, that he himself was the source of the leak. Quite the piece of work, this guy: To throw the scent off himself after carefully arranging the leak, McCabe dressed down the FBI’s two premier field offices, knowing they were completely innocent, and then pretended for months that he knew nothing about the leak.

This is the second-highest-ranking officer of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency we’re talking about, here.

The Non-Prosecution Decision

We may never get a satisfying explanation for the Justice Department’s decision to drop the McCabe probe. That’s the way it is when such complicated reasons and motives are at play.

The aforementioned challenge of hostile witnesses is not to be underestimated. In addition, there are growing indications that the Justice Department had lost confidence in the U.S. attorney who was overseeing the probe, Jesse Liu. As I noted this week, while Liu was once seen as a rising Trump administration star, she was quietly edged out of her post last month, and the White House just pulled her nomination to fill an important Treasury Department post.

There have been rumblings that the McCabe investigation was botched. Kamil Shields, a prosecutor who reportedly grew frustrated by her supervisors’ inordinate delays in making decisions about the McCabe probe, ultimately left the Justice Department to take a private-practice job. Another prosecutor, David Kent, quit last summer as DOJ dithered over the decision on whether to prosecute. Things became so drawn out that the investigating grand jury’s term lapsed. Meanwhile, the Justice Department endorsed Liu’s aggressive decision to bring a thin, politically fraught false-statements case against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, in connection with lobbying for a foreign country — the sort of crime that is rarely prosecuted. Craig was swiftly acquitted. Reportedly, Liu advocated charging McCabe, but the DOJ may have harbored doubts about her judgment.

No matter the outcome, the Justice Department stood to take some hits if McCabe had been charged. Focus on McCabe’s leak would have drawn attention to pressure DOJ officials had put on the Bureau over the Clinton Foundation investigation (which, reportedly, is likely to be closed without charges). It would also renew interest in the question of whether the FBI improperly allowed McCabe to play a role in Clinton-related investigations when his wife, as a political candidate, got major funding from Clinton-tied sources.

Moreover, new Freedom of Information Act disclosures — made to meet a deadline set by District Judge Reggie Walton, which may explain the timing of the non-prosecution announcement — indicate that the Justice Department and FBI did not comply with regulations in what appears to be the rushed termination of McCabe, adding heft to the former deputy director’s claim that he was being singled out for abusive treatment, potentially including prosecution, because of vengeful politics.

On that score, Judge Walton took pains to decry the fusillade of tweets directed at McCabe by President Trump. I must note here that if a district U.S. attorney publicly labeled as a liar a suspect the Justice Department had indicted for false statements, that U.S. attorney would be sanctioned by the court. The U.S. attorneys, like the rest of the Justice Department, work for Trump. The president is correct when he insists, as he did this week, that he has the constitutional power to intervene in Justice Department matters. But that means he is subject to the same legal obligations that inhibit his Justice Department subordinates. Those obligations include protecting McCabe’s right to a fair trial — a duty the president may chafe at, but which is part of the deal when you take an oath to preserve the Constitution and execute the laws faithfully.

If you envision Judge Walton as part of the Obama-appointed robed resistance, check your premises. He is a no-nonsense jurist originally named to the D.C. Superior Court by President Reagan, and then to the federal district court by President George W. Bush. As Politico reports, he had this to say about President Trump’s commentary on the McCabe investigation:

The public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. . . . I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road. . . . I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undo inappropriate pressure being brought to bear. . . . It’s just, it’s very disturbing that we’re in the mess that we’re in in that regard. . . . I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government. . . . I think it’s very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.

If you want to know why Attorney General Barr was warning this week that the president’s tweets are undermining the Justice Department’s pursuit of its law-enforcement mission, Judge Walton’s words are worth heeding. I have been making this point since the start of the Trump presidency. If you want people held accountable for their crimes, you have to ensure their fundamental right to due process. When the government poisons the well, the bad guys reap the benefits.

Finally, we must note that when the District of Columbia is the venue for any prosecution with political overtones, Justice Department charging decisions must factor in the jury pool, which is solidly anti-Trump.

The proof that McCabe willfully deceived investigators appears strong — it is noteworthy that IG Horowitz, who has strained to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt in many dubious contexts, was unequivocal in slamming McCabe. Nevertheless, a D.C. jury would be weighing that evidence, as discounted by whatever pro-McCabe slant reluctant prosecution witnesses put on it. And the jury would be weighing against that evidence (a) whatever problems caused prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office to beg off, and more significantly, (b) defense arguments that McCabe would not have been fired or prosecuted if not for the fact that he had gotten crosswise with a president of the United States whom at least some of the jurors are apt to dislike.

McCabe is not out of the woods yet, of course: The Durham investigation is a separate matter, and it is continuing. But it is unclear whether he will face any criminal charges arising from that inquiry, whereas the now-dead-and-buried false-statements case against him looked cut-and-dried.

The FBI’s former deputy director, though he undeniably misled investigators, remains a commentator at CNN. In the meantime, Papadopoulos is a felon convicted and briefly imprisoned for misleading investigators, while Flynn and Stone are awaiting sentencing on their false-statements charges. That covers both tiers of our justice system.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/why-wasnt-andrew-mccabe-charged/

 

US won’t charge ex-FBI official McCabe, a Trump target

an hour ago
 In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have declined to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, closing an investigation into whether the longtime target of President Donald Trump’s ire lied to federal officials about his involvement in a news media disclosure, McCabe’s legal team said Friday.

The decision, coming at the end of a tumultuous week between the Justice Department and the White House, is likely to further agitate a president who has loudly complained that federal prosecutors have pursued cases against his allies but not against his perceived political enemies.

The case was handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, which was at the center of a public rift with Justice Department leadership this week over the recommended sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone. Senior Justice Department officials overruled a decision on a recommended prison sentence that they felt was too harsh, prompting the trial team to quit the case. Attorney General William Barr also took a rare public swipe at Trump by saying in a television interview that the president’s tweets about the Stone case and other matters were making his job “impossible.”

Separately, the Justice Department has begun reviewing the handling of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

On Friday, prosecutors notified McCabe’s attorneys in a phone call and a letter that they were closing the case. The letter, signed by the chief of the office’s public corruption unit, did not give a precise reason but said the decision was reached after “careful consideration” and “based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time.”

McCabe’s lawyers, Michael Bromwich and David Schertler, said they were gratified by the decision.

“At long last, justice has been done in this matter,” the lawyers said in a statement. “We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, almost two years ago, that if the facts and the law determined the result, no charges would be brought.”

Speaking Friday on CNN, where he works as a contributor, McCabe said it was an “absolute disgrace” that the investigation had taken so long and that he was relieved to be done with a process that he described as “so unbelievably tense.”

Though federal prosecutors wrote that they consider the matter closed, Justice Department actions in the last few months have proven unpredictable, with a willingness to scrutinize or revisit decisions that had appeared resolved.

McCabe, a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, has denied that he intentionally misled anyone. He has said his 2018 firing — for what the Justice Department called “lack of candor” — was politically motivated. He sued the Justice Department in August, saying officials had used the inspector general’s conclusions as a pretext to rid the FBI of leaders Trump perceived as biased against him.

The decision is likely to further exacerbate tensions between Trump and Barr, who before speaking out in the television interview had privately complained to aides and the president himself that Trump’s comments about the Justice Department were undercutting his political agenda and raising questions about the department’s credibility. The White House was not given a heads-up about the decision beforehand, a person familiar with the matter said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The moment came against a backdrop of growing anger from Trump at the Justice Department. The president has seethed that more of his political enemies have not been charged, included former FBI Director James Comey and his associates.

The president was particularly incensed no charges were filed over Comey’s handling of memos about his interactions with Trump, a matter that was referred to the Justice Department for potential prosecution, according to a White House official and Republican close to the White House who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private discussions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president angrily denounced the decision and berated Barr over it, according to the officials. Aides expected that the decision not to charge McCabe could produce a similar eruption of rage. Trump did not address the matter during a media appearance Friday.

Trump has also repeatedly complained about FBI Director Christopher Wray in recent months, saying he has not done enough to rid the bureau of people who are disloyal to Trump.

It was not immediately clear what had prompted a review of the Flynn case, though the person familiar with the matter said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen of St. Louis was working on it. The New York Times first reported Jensen’s involvement.

The decision to spare McCabe criminal charges eliminates the prospect of a sensational trial that would have refocused public attention on the chaotic months of 2016, when the FBI was entangled in presidential politics through investigations touching both main contenders — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump, her Republican opponent.

The criminal investigation arose from an October 2016 story in The Wall Street Journal that described internal debates roiling the FBI and the Justice Department weeks before the presidential election about how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The article recounted a particularly tense phone call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official.

The inspector general’s report said McCabe told internal investigators that he had not authorized anyone at the FBI to speak with the reporter and that he did not know who did. The report said McCabe ultimately corrected that account and confirmed that he had encouraged the conversation with the reporter to counter a narrative that he thought was false.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and has said he was distracted by the tumult surrounding the FBI and the White House during the times he was questioned. One of the interviews took place the same day that Comey was fired.

“During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me,” McCabe has said in a statement. “And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.”

McCabe has been a target of Trump’s attacks since even before he was elected, after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with ex-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there.

https://apnews.com/ec85aa4a4fdc5a36b7b85c7a34f1b8f9

DOJ drops leak case vs. McCabe, judge said White House involvement like a ‘banana republic’

The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, said “the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted” was like a “banana republic.”
Image: Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on May 11, 2017.

Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on May 11, 2017.Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

By Tom Winter and Dareh Gregorian

The Department of Justice has told lawyers for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that he will not face criminal charges for allegedly lying to investigators about a leak to the media, the ex-official’s attorneys said Friday.

The decision was released on the same day it was revealed that a federal judge had expressed concerns months ago that McCabe’s case was looking like a “banana republic” prosecution.

“We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client,” J.P. Cooney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., told McCabe’s attorneys in a letter Friday. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”

McCabe’s lawyers Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler responded in a statement, saying, “At long last, justice has been done in this matter.”

President Donald Trump had publicly urged that action be taken against McCabe, the former deputy FBI director who briefly became acting head of the agency after Trump fired James Comey in 2017.

“He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote in one 2018 tweet about McCabe after the Justice Department’s inspector general found McCabe “lacked candor” when being interviewed about whether he was a source for two news articles pertaining to the FBI in 2016.

The Justice Department’s announcement came one day after Attorney General William Barr pushed back against criticism he’s using the department to do Trump’s bidding, and said Trump’s tweeting about his agency’s work was undercutting his authority.

“Public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Barr, who was sworn in a year ago Friday, told ABC News.

McCabe told CNN on Friday that “the timing is curious” but he was relieved that the Justice Department “did the right thing today.”

“To have this horrific black cloud that’s been hanging over me and my family for almost the last two years, to have that finally lifted is just unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a relief that I’m not sure I can really explain to you adequately. It’s just a very emotional moment for my whole family.”

McCabe has denied intentionally misleading investigators. He told CNN that he has maintained from the day the inspector general’s report came out that if investigators “followed the law and they followed the facts, that I would have nothing to worry about. But as the president’s interest in pursuing his perceived political enemies continued over the last two years, we were getting more and more concerned about where this would end up.”

Those worries had increased in recent days, he told the network.

“I’ve been greatly concerned by what I’ve seen take place in the White House and in the Department of Justice, quite frankly, in the last week,” McCabe said. “And certainly the president’s kind of revenge tirade following his acquittal in the impeachment proceeding has only kind of amplified my concerns about what would happen in my own case.”

The Justice Department’s decision came the same day it was required by a judge to make details about the McCabe investigation public in a case stemming from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The court transcripts, released after the Justice Department’s letter to McCabe’s lawyers, show prosecutors struggling with how to proceed in his case, and the judge in the matter expressing concerns about political pressure

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/justice-department-drops-leak-case-against-former-fbi-acting-head-n1137066

Story 2: Department of Justice Unseals 16-Count Indictment Against Huawei To Steal Trade Secrets of Six U.S. Companies — Videos 

New U.S. charges against Huawei

The US DOJ and the FBI have announced a 16 count indictment against Huawei

Huawei faces new charges in US

US charges Huawei with racketeering

Is America right to fear Huawei? | The Economist

DOJ announces criminal charges against Huawei

Jan 28, 2019

DOJ announces indictments against China’s Huawei

Prosecutors Hit Huawei With New Charges For Allegedly Working With Iran | NBC News NOW

U.S. unveils new charges against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

Riley Walters: Trump Can Be Tough on Huawei and Keep Negotiating on Trade With China

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[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UtzbA0qQgM]

DOJ hits Huawei with NEW charges for ‘plotting to steal trade secrets’ from SIX US companies including Cisco and T-Mobile by ‘offering employees cash bounties and sending spy with farcical ‘Weihua’ badge to trade shows’

  • DoJ brought new charges against Huawei in indictment unsealed on Thursday 
  • Accuses Chinese tech giant of a deliberate ‘campaign’ to steal US trade secrets
  • Details bounties Huawei allegedly offered to staff to steal proprietary data
  • Describes brazen spy with ‘Weihua’ badge breaking into trade show booth
  • Though not named in indictment, Cisco and T-Mobile are among alleged victims
  • Feds also claim Huawei covered up secret subsidiary operating in Iran
  • CFO Meng Wanzhoua is still fighting extradition from Canada on Iran charges 

The Department of Justice has announced new criminal charges against Huawei, accusing the Chinese tech giant of being engaged in a ‘decades-long’ effort to steal trade secrets from a slew of US companies.

The 16-count superseding indictment unsealed on Thursday adds RICO charges to the criminal case against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhoua, who is currently fighting extradition in Canada.

The charges come in addition to previous criminal charges accusing Huawei and Wanzhoua of operating a secret subsidiary in Iran and lying to U.S. financial institutions about the violation of sanctions on that country.

The new charges detail a brazen decades-long scheme to steal trade secrets from at least six U.S. companies. Cisco and T-Mobile are among the alleged victims in the case, though the companies are not actually named in the new indictment.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is seen with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. US officials accuse the company of building a secret back door into its mobile network hardware

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is seen with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. US officials accuse the company of building a secret back door into its mobile network hardware

Prosecutors say that in 2013, Huawei instituted a cash bounty program ‘to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors’ and that the more valuable the secrets were, the more the company paid out.

The indictment details a shocking incident from 2004, at a trade show in Chicago, where prosecutors say a Huawei employee was busted in the middle of the night while breaking into a competitor’s booth.

The employee was wearing a bogus badge identifying him as an employee of ‘Weihua’, which is the syllables of Huawei reversed, and was caught taking pictures of the interior circuit boards of a competitor’s product, according to the indictment.

A Huawei spokesman denied the allegations, saying that the indictment was ‘part of an attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement.’

The company called the racketeering accusation ‘nothing more than a contrived repackaging of a handful of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old.’

Huawei pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment unsealed against the company in January 2019, which charged it with bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran, and obstructing justice.

Wanzhoua, the CFO, was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the prior indictment, but she has protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US. She is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and CEO, 75-year-old Ren Zengfei.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoua was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the initial Department of Justice indictment against the Chinese tech company. She is protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US.  She is pictured wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor last month

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoua was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the initial Department of Justice indictment against the Chinese tech company. She is protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US.  She is pictured wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor last month

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrives at extradition hearing

The new indictment also includes ‘new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in business and technology projects in countries subject to sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea’.

The DoJ asserts that the Chinese company even tired to cover up the fact they were doing business with such countries, by using code names. ‘A2’ reportedly referred to Iran, and ‘A9’ is alleged to have referred to North Korea.

The new indictment is the latest effort in a global campaign by the United States against the company, which Washington has warned could spy on customers for Beijing. The United States also placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last year, citing national security concerns.

‘The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate organization that lacks any regard for the law,’ U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman Mark Warner said in a joint statement.

The Republican and Democratic Senators called it ‘an important step in combating Huawei’s state-directed and criminal enterprise.’

In a statement on Tuesday, the DoJ alleges that Huawei’s ‘campaign’ to steal trade secrets from US competitors formed part of their global growth strategy.

The DoJ statement alleges that Huawei even launched a policy ‘instituting a bonus program to reward employees who misappropriated intellectual property from competitors.’

Prosecutors allege some Huawei employees entered into confidential agreements with the six US companies, before violating such agreements by then handing over the information to the Chinese tech giant.

Thus, the DoJ statements alleges that ‘Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated US technology were successful.’

Trump administration officials, increasingly intent on preventing China from global technological domination, have urged allies not to use Huawei hardware

Trump administration officials, increasingly intent on preventing China from global technological domination, have urged allies not to use Huawei hardware

‘As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage,’ the statement goes on to say.

The case was unsealed as the Trump administration is raising national security and surveillance concerns about Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

Huawei, one of the largest tech firms and a major telecom equipment maker, has been blacklisted by Washington amid concerns of its ties to the Chinese government and intelligence services.

New charges have been filed in the US against Huawei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

New charges have been filed in the US against Huawei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Earlier this week, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien alleged that Huawei builds secret back doors into its hardware that allow it to covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world.

‘We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,’ O’Brien told the Wall Street Journal.

US officials say that Huawei’s back door allows the company to access network data without the carrier’s knowledge, potentially giving the Chinese government a potent spy tool.

Huawei denied the allegations, telling the Journal that it ‘has never and will never do anything that would compromise or endanger the security of networks and data of its clients.’

The U.S. has long tried to convince its allies, such as the U.K. and Germany, to ban the use of Huawei telecom equipment in the building of 5G networks.

 Germany’s legislature is set to vote in the coming weeks on a bill that would allow Huawei full access to its 5G market if the company provides security guarantees.

WHO IS MENG WANZHOU?

Meng Wanzhou, 46, is widely assumed to be the heiress of her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei who founded Huawei in 1987

 

Meng Wanzhou, 46, is widely assumed to be the heiress of her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei who founded Huawei in 1987

Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, is the daughter and eldest child of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, 74, by his first wife Meng Jun.

Billed as a ‘Red Princess’, the 47-year-old is widely assumed to be the heiress of her former Communist soldier father, who founded the world’s current second largest smartphone seller at the age of 43 with just 21,000 yuan (£2,388).

Ms Meng, who is also the Vice-Chairman of Huawei, was ranked No. 12 by Frobes on the list of China’s most outstanding businesswomen in 2018.

She graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in central China’s Wuhan city.

She worked in a bank for a year upon graduation before taking up a position at Huawei’s front desk in 1993 to answer phone calls.

Over the years, Ms Meng worked as the director of the international accounting department, CFO of Huawei’s Hong Kong branch office, president of the accounts management department and brought Huawei to its current success.

Ms Meng has a brother and a 20-year-old half-sister Annabel Yao who is a ballerina and debutante.

Annabel is said to be extremely international and have lived in Britain, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

She was one of the 19 young women to be presented at the 25th annual Bal des Débutantes held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris in 2018.

 

Story 3: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

See the source image

Walk Away Renee – The left Banke

Walk Away Renee
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Calilli / Mike Brown / Tony Sansone
Walk Away Renee lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc
See the source image

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Walk Away Renée + The Left Banke + Lyrics

George Carlin Politicians

See the source image

Image result for the public sucksSee the source image

The Left Banke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

The Left Banke
The Left Banke 1966.jpg

The Left Banke in 1966
Background information
Origin New YorkNew York, U.S.
Genres Baroque pop[1]
Years active
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971
  • 1978
  • 2011–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Christopher & The Chaps
  • The Magic Plants
  • Montage
  • Stories
  • The Beckies
  • Sam Kogon
Members

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965.[1] They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina“.[2] The band often used what the music press referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as “Bach-rock” or “baroque rock“.[3] The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from contemporaries such as The BeatlesThe Zombies, and other British Invasion groups.[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at #220 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[4]

Contents

History

1965–69: early years and disbandment

The Left Banke was formed in 1965 and consisted of keyboard player/songwriter Michael Browndrummer/singer George Cameron, bass guitarist/singer Tom Finnsinger Steve Martin (who also used the name Steve Martin Caro), and drummer Warren David-Schierhorst. Brown’s father, Harry Lookofsky, a well-known session violinist, ran a studio in New York and took an interest in the band’s music, acting as producermanager and publisher.[5]After some initial recording sessions, David-Schierhorst was ousted, with Cameron switching to drums and Jeff Winfield on guitar. Brown’s song, “Walk Away Renee”, was sold to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and became a huge hit in late 1966. The band’s second single, “Pretty Ballerina”, also written by Brown, charted in early 1967, and The Left Banke released an album entitled Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, by which time, Rick Brand had replaced Winfield on guitar.

Tension between Brown and the rest of the band soon began to surface. When “Walk Away Renee” belatedly became a hit, the original band had become inactive. Brown decided to capitalize on the single’s success by assembling a new version of The Left Banke for touring purposes, with Bert Sommer on lead vocals, original drummer Warren David, and (future member of Spinal TapMichael McKean on guitar. Brown also recorded a single, “Ivy, Ivy” b/w “And Suddenly” as The Left Banke, with Sommer and a group of session musicians.[6][7] The remaining members of the band hired attorneys to issue a cease and desist order and urged their fan club to boycott the record,[8] which led to confusion among radio stations over which “Left Banke” to support. Radio and Smash Records ultimately removed their support from the single, which subsequently failed to make the Billboard Hot 100. The “New” Left Banke never performed live. “And Suddenly” was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.[9] McKean would later find fame as an actor (Laverne & ShirleyThis Is Spinal TapBetter Call Saul).

In late 1967, the original group reunited and recorded more material, including the single “Desiree.” Brown left the group permanently shortly thereafter and was replaced for touring purposes by Emmett Lake. Cameron, Finn and Martin continued to record and tour, with Tom Feher replacing Lake on keyboards and writing half of the band’s new material. The songs recorded by various incarnations of the group in 1967 and 1968 were assembled into a second LPThe Left Banke Too, which was released in November 1968. This album featured backing vocals by a young Steven Tyler (who later became the lead singer of Aerosmith) on “Nice To See You”, “My Friend Today” and “Dark Is The Bark”. The band continued playing live in 1969, without Martin, but soon disbanded due to lack of success and financial problems. Later that same year, Brown and Martin reunited in the studio to record another single as The Left Banke, “Myrah” b/w “Pedestal”, which was their final single for Smash Records.

1971–present: various reunions

In 1971, Brown, Cameron, Finn and Martin reunited briefly to record two songs for the movie Hot Parts. The songs, “Love Songs in the Night” and “Two by Two”, were released as a Steve Martin solo single on Buddah Records, despite featuring contributions from four founding members of The Left Banke. In 1972, producer Les Fradkin offered to produce the group for a project on Bell Records. Although these sessions were not released at the time, one of the songs, “I Could Make It Last Forever”, composed by Fradkin and Diane Ellis, was released on Fradkin’s Goin’ Back solo CD in 2006. It was a rare recording since it featured Caro, Finn, Cameron and Brown, along with Brown’s father, violinist Harry Lookofsky. Fradkin sang and played 12-string guitar on the sessions. In 1978, Martin, Cameron and Finn reunited as The Left Banke to record an album’s worth of material which unfortunately was not released at the time. However, a single from these 1978 sessions, “Queen of Paradise” (b/w “And One Day”), was released in late 1978 with modest success. The album was eventually issued by Relix Records in 1986 under the title Strangers on a Train (Voices Calling in Europe). However, the album did little to restore the popularity of the group.

After leaving The Left Banke in 1967, Michael Brown helped form the band, Montage. Although Brown was never an official member of Montage, his presence is unmistakable in its music.[10] The band released one self-titled album in 1969, which included a re-recording of The Left Banke song “Desiree”, before Brown left. Brown’s next project was the band Stories, featuring singer Ian Lloyd. The band had a hit in 1973 with “Brother Louie“, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[5] However, Brown had left the group after their 2nd album “About Us”, but before the success of “Brother Louie”. Brown’s next project was with The Beckies, although the band achieved only modest success and Brown soon left.

In 1992, Mercury Records released a Left Banke compilation titled There’s Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. It was intended to bring together the band’s entire recorded output from the years 1966 to 1969, although a 1969 outtake titled “Foggy Waterfall”, which had previously appeared on two earlier compilations, was not included.

In 1994, Michael Brown and his wife Yvonne Vitale produced and released an album titled On This Moment. Between 2001 and 2006, Brown hosted a series of recording sessions at his home studio with Ian Lloyd (vocals), Tom Finn (bass guitar/vocals), Jim McAllister (guitar), and Jon Ihle (drums).[11]

In 2005, Alice Cooper included a cover version of “Pretty Ballerina” on his album Dirty Diamonds. In 2006, ex-member of The Bangles Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, as Sid ‘n’ Susie, covered “She May Call You Up Tonight” for their first album Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In addition, Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian has cited The Left Banke as one of the early influences on the sound of the band.[12]

Former guitarist Jeff Winfield died of complications from pneumonia on June 13, 2009, at age 60.[3]

2011–12

The previous touring version of The Left Banke featured one original member, George Cameron. Initially, Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed The Left Banke in March 2011, tapping New York City’s Mike Fornatale (already a veteran of numerous other 60s band reunions, including The Monks and Moby Grape) to sing lead vocals in Steve Martin Caro’s stead. The reunited group also featured new players: Paul Alves (lead guitar, backing vocals), Charly Cazalet (bass), Mickey Finn (keyboards), Rick Reil (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and second keyboardist/synth player Joe McGinty (replaced by John Spurney in 2012). They appeared live at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 5, 2011, and March 6, 2011, to sold-out audiences. In April 2011, Tom Finn revealed in a Facebook posting that he had reformed the group,[13] with two shows planned for July in New York City.[14][15] Tom Finn only performed with the re-formed group in 2011, after which he left due to disagreements with Cameron and due to back trouble.

In early 2011, Sundazed released reissues of the two Smash vinyl albums on CD and LP, utilizing the original running order and artwork.

In February 2012, Tom Finn notified the YouTube community that the Left Banke was in the process of creating a new record featuring contributions from co-founder Michael Brown.

George Cameron (3rd from left) and Tom Finn (Center, 4th from left) with band during their 2012 reunion tour.

On April 29, 2012, Brown joined the reunited Left Banke on stage at B.B. King’s in New York City for a version of his “Pretty Ballerina.” His performance was greeted with a standing ovation. Rick Brand, guitarist with the band in 1966-67 was also in attendance. Tom Finn sang a newly written song called “City Life” which showed a heavier rock version of the Left Banke with baroque string section intact. No new recordings begun in 2012 were ever released, and Brown died in 2015.

At the beginning of their reunion dates, the group was joined onstage by a two or three-piece string section and even a guest oboe player for one or two shows. Both Michael Brown and George Cameron were in touch with Steve Martin Caro, who wanted to rejoin the group, but was unable to tour in 2012 due to previous commitments.

Unrealized reunions

On March 18, 2015, the day before Mike Brown’s death, it was announced that original vocalist Steve Martin Caro officially rejoined the current touring version of The Left Banke. Photos on The Left Banke official Facebook and Twitter pages displayed Steve signing a contract. Two 2015 shows featured co-headliner Ian Lloyd of Stories and Sam Kogon as vocalist. The re-formed Cameron band played for the last time twice in 2015; once in Sellersville, PA and once in Natick, MA. No shows under any Left Banke configuration have been performed since 2015, and by 2020 the major players of 1966 were all deceased except for the disabled Tom Finn.

In January, 2018, it was announced on the official Facebook page operated by Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron that they were planning a tour. Several photos of Steve Martin Caro rehearsing with George Cameron and guitarist Sam Kogon were posted with a message which stated “it was Steve’s first time behind the microphone in over 15 years. We went through and workshopped much of the Left Banke catalog.” However, Cameron passed away five months later, before any performances could take place under this collaboration.

Deaths

Michael Brown died from heart disease on March 19, 2015, at age 65. Brown had been writing new material and planned to participate in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke with Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron. Brown’s funeral and memorial service was held on March 25, 2015 at Fort Lee Gospel Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[16]

Justo George Cameron (born October 16, 1947 in New York City) died of cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on June 24, 2018, at age 70.[17] Thomas Leo Feher died from heart failure on August 5, 2018.[18] Steve Martin Caro died from heart disease on January 14, 2020. He was 71.[19] This left Tom Finn (later a renowned disc jockey) as the only surviving member from the original “Walk Away Renée” lineup.

Band members

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

Story 3: $19 Billion of 30-Year Bonds Sold At Record Low Yield of 2.06% — Inverted Yield Curve Flashes Recession Warning — Videos

Dow Flatlines While Fed’s Recession Alarm Screams

Treasury Sells 30-Year Bonds at Record Low Yield

Fear that the coronavirus will slow global growth has helped push down Treasury yields in recent weeks

The Treasury sold $19 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday afternoon.

PHOTO: CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

The Treasury sold $19 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday afternoon at a 2.061% yield. That beat the previous record of 2.170% set last October, according to data from BMO Capital Markets.

The auction came as Treasury yields generally moved lower after Chinese officials changed the way they counted coronavirus infections, leading to a big jump in the number of confirmed cases in the country’s Hubei province. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at 1.616%, compared with 1.629% Wednesday.

Yields fall when bond prices rise.

Fear that the coronavirus will slow global growth has helped push down Treasury yields in recent weeks. Other factors include persistently soft inflation, which has limited one of the main threats to the value of longer-term Treasurys, analysts said.

Investors have also grown more comfortable buying 30-year bonds because they view them as insurance against losses in riskier assets, said Jon Hill, a U.S. interest-rates strategist at BMO. Prices of 30-year bonds increase more for every one-percentage point decline in yields than those of shorter-term bonds. That means on days like Thursday, when investors are selling stocks and buying bonds, the holders of 30-year bonds are well-hedged, Mr. Hill said.

Thursday’s level doesn’t represent the lowest point that the 30-year bond yield has ever reached. Last August, it settled as low as 1.941%, but yields rose again before the next 30-year auction in September.

In recent years, low Treasury yields have, at times, caused U.S. officials to flirt with issuing bonds with maturities beyond 30 years to lock in low interest rates for a longer period.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last September that the Treasury Department was “very seriously considering” issuing a 50-year bond. The department, however, dropped that idea due to a lack of interest from bond dealers. Instead, it recently announced plans to issue 20-year bonds, which haven’t been issued regularly since the 1980s.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/treasury-to-sell-30-year-bonds-at-record-low-yield-11581614475

Story 4: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

See the source image

Walk Away Renee – The left Banke

Walk Away Renee
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Calilli / Mike Brown / Tony Sansone
Walk Away Renee lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc
See the source image

Tucker: Our ruling class is authoritarian, not Trump

Federal budget deficit to hit $1 trillion in 2020: CBO forecast

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

Walk Away Renée + The Left Banke + Lyrics

The Left Banke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

The Left Banke
The Left Banke 1966.jpg

The Left Banke in 1966
Background information
Origin New YorkNew York, U.S.
Genres Baroque pop[1]
Years active
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971
  • 1978
  • 2011–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Christopher & The Chaps
  • The Magic Plants
  • Montage
  • Stories
  • The Beckies
  • Sam Kogon
Members

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965.[1] They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina“.[2] The band often used what the music press referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as “Bach-rock” or “baroque rock“.[3] The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from contemporaries such as The BeatlesThe Zombies, and other British Invasion groups.[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at #220 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[4]

Contents

History

1965–69: early years and disbandment

The Left Banke was formed in 1965 and consisted of keyboard player/songwriter Michael Browndrummer/singer George Cameron, bass guitarist/singer Tom Finnsinger Steve Martin (who also used the name Steve Martin Caro), and drummer Warren David-Schierhorst. Brown’s father, Harry Lookofsky, a well-known session violinist, ran a studio in New York and took an interest in the band’s music, acting as producermanager and publisher.[5]After some initial recording sessions, David-Schierhorst was ousted, with Cameron switching to drums and Jeff Winfield on guitar. Brown’s song, “Walk Away Renee”, was sold to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and became a huge hit in late 1966. The band’s second single, “Pretty Ballerina”, also written by Brown, charted in early 1967, and The Left Banke released an album entitled Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, by which time, Rick Brand had replaced Winfield on guitar.

Tension between Brown and the rest of the band soon began to surface. When “Walk Away Renee” belatedly became a hit, the original band had become inactive. Brown decided to capitalize on the single’s success by assembling a new version of The Left Banke for touring purposes, with Bert Sommer on lead vocals, original drummer Warren David, and (future member of Spinal TapMichael McKean on guitar. Brown also recorded a single, “Ivy, Ivy” b/w “And Suddenly” as The Left Banke, with Sommer and a group of session musicians.[6][7] The remaining members of the band hired attorneys to issue a cease and desist order and urged their fan club to boycott the record,[8] which led to confusion among radio stations over which “Left Banke” to support. Radio and Smash Records ultimately removed their support from the single, which subsequently failed to make the Billboard Hot 100. The “New” Left Banke never performed live. “And Suddenly” was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.[9] McKean would later find fame as an actor (Laverne & ShirleyThis Is Spinal TapBetter Call Saul).

In late 1967, the original group reunited and recorded more material, including the single “Desiree.” Brown left the group permanently shortly thereafter and was replaced for touring purposes by Emmett Lake. Cameron, Finn and Martin continued to record and tour, with Tom Feher replacing Lake on keyboards and writing half of the band’s new material. The songs recorded by various incarnations of the group in 1967 and 1968 were assembled into a second LPThe Left Banke Too, which was released in November 1968. This album featured backing vocals by a young Steven Tyler (who later became the lead singer of Aerosmith) on “Nice To See You”, “My Friend Today” and “Dark Is The Bark”. The band continued playing live in 1969, without Martin, but soon disbanded due to lack of success and financial problems. Later that same year, Brown and Martin reunited in the studio to record another single as The Left Banke, “Myrah” b/w “Pedestal”, which was their final single for Smash Records.

1971–present: various reunions

In 1971, Brown, Cameron, Finn and Martin reunited briefly to record two songs for the movie Hot Parts. The songs, “Love Songs in the Night” and “Two by Two”, were released as a Steve Martin solo single on Buddah Records, despite featuring contributions from four founding members of The Left Banke. In 1972, producer Les Fradkin offered to produce the group for a project on Bell Records. Although these sessions were not released at the time, one of the songs, “I Could Make It Last Forever”, composed by Fradkin and Diane Ellis, was released on Fradkin’s Goin’ Back solo CD in 2006. It was a rare recording since it featured Caro, Finn, Cameron and Brown, along with Brown’s father, violinist Harry Lookofsky. Fradkin sang and played 12-string guitar on the sessions. In 1978, Martin, Cameron and Finn reunited as The Left Banke to record an album’s worth of material which unfortunately was not released at the time. However, a single from these 1978 sessions, “Queen of Paradise” (b/w “And One Day”), was released in late 1978 with modest success. The album was eventually issued by Relix Records in 1986 under the title Strangers on a Train (Voices Calling in Europe). However, the album did little to restore the popularity of the group.

After leaving The Left Banke in 1967, Michael Brown helped form the band, Montage. Although Brown was never an official member of Montage, his presence is unmistakable in its music.[10] The band released one self-titled album in 1969, which included a re-recording of The Left Banke song “Desiree”, before Brown left. Brown’s next project was the band Stories, featuring singer Ian Lloyd. The band had a hit in 1973 with “Brother Louie“, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[5] However, Brown had left the group after their 2nd album “About Us”, but before the success of “Brother Louie”. Brown’s next project was with The Beckies, although the band achieved only modest success and Brown soon left.

In 1992, Mercury Records released a Left Banke compilation titled There’s Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. It was intended to bring together the band’s entire recorded output from the years 1966 to 1969, although a 1969 outtake titled “Foggy Waterfall”, which had previously appeared on two earlier compilations, was not included.

In 1994, Michael Brown and his wife Yvonne Vitale produced and released an album titled On This Moment. Between 2001 and 2006, Brown hosted a series of recording sessions at his home studio with Ian Lloyd (vocals), Tom Finn (bass guitar/vocals), Jim McAllister (guitar), and Jon Ihle (drums).[11]

In 2005, Alice Cooper included a cover version of “Pretty Ballerina” on his album Dirty Diamonds. In 2006, ex-member of The Bangles Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, as Sid ‘n’ Susie, covered “She May Call You Up Tonight” for their first album Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In addition, Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian has cited The Left Banke as one of the early influences on the sound of the band.[12]

Former guitarist Jeff Winfield died of complications from pneumonia on June 13, 2009, at age 60.[3]

2011–12

The previous touring version of The Left Banke featured one original member, George Cameron. Initially, Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed The Left Banke in March 2011, tapping New York City’s Mike Fornatale (already a veteran of numerous other 60s band reunions, including The Monks and Moby Grape) to sing lead vocals in Steve Martin Caro’s stead. The reunited group also featured new players: Paul Alves (lead guitar, backing vocals), Charly Cazalet (bass), Mickey Finn (keyboards), Rick Reil (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and second keyboardist/synth player Joe McGinty (replaced by John Spurney in 2012). They appeared live at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 5, 2011, and March 6, 2011, to sold-out audiences. In April 2011, Tom Finn revealed in a Facebook posting that he had reformed the group,[13] with two shows planned for July in New York City.[14][15] Tom Finn only performed with the re-formed group in 2011, after which he left due to disagreements with Cameron and due to back trouble.

In early 2011, Sundazed released reissues of the two Smash vinyl albums on CD and LP, utilizing the original running order and artwork.

In February 2012, Tom Finn notified the YouTube community that the Left Banke was in the process of creating a new record featuring contributions from co-founder Michael Brown.

George Cameron (3rd from left) and Tom Finn (Center, 4th from left) with band during their 2012 reunion tour.

On April 29, 2012, Brown joined the reunited Left Banke on stage at B.B. King’s in New York City for a version of his “Pretty Ballerina.” His performance was greeted with a standing ovation. Rick Brand, guitarist with the band in 1966-67 was also in attendance. Tom Finn sang a newly written song called “City Life” which showed a heavier rock version of the Left Banke with baroque string section intact. No new recordings begun in 2012 were ever released, and Brown died in 2015.

At the beginning of their reunion dates, the group was joined onstage by a two or three-piece string section and even a guest oboe player for one or two shows. Both Michael Brown and George Cameron were in touch with Steve Martin Caro, who wanted to rejoin the group, but was unable to tour in 2012 due to previous commitments.

Unrealized reunions

On March 18, 2015, the day before Mike Brown’s death, it was announced that original vocalist Steve Martin Caro officially rejoined the current touring version of The Left Banke. Photos on The Left Banke official Facebook and Twitter pages displayed Steve signing a contract. Two 2015 shows featured co-headliner Ian Lloyd of Stories and Sam Kogon as vocalist. The re-formed Cameron band played for the last time twice in 2015; once in Sellersville, PA and once in Natick, MA. No shows under any Left Banke configuration have been performed since 2015, and by 2020 the major players of 1966 were all deceased except for the disabled Tom Finn.

In January, 2018, it was announced on the official Facebook page operated by Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron that they were planning a tour. Several photos of Steve Martin Caro rehearsing with George Cameron and guitarist Sam Kogon were posted with a message which stated “it was Steve’s first time behind the microphone in over 15 years. We went through and workshopped much of the Left Banke catalog.” However, Cameron passed away five months later, before any performances could take place under this collaboration.

Deaths

Michael Brown died from heart disease on March 19, 2015, at age 65. Brown had been writing new material and planned to participate in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke with Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron. Brown’s funeral and memorial service was held on March 25, 2015 at Fort Lee Gospel Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[16]

Justo George Cameron (born October 16, 1947 in New York City) died of cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on June 24, 2018, at age 70.[17] Thomas Leo Feher died from heart failure on August 5, 2018.[18] Steve Martin Caro died from heart disease on January 14, 2020. He was 71.[19] This left Tom Finn (later a renowned disc jockey) as the only surviving member from the original “Walk Away Renée” lineup.

Band members

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1358, November 13, 2019, Story 1: Democrat Socialist Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy or Spygate Goes Public With Second Coup Attempt and Smear Campaign To Delegitimize President Trump and Start 2020 Campaign — Democrat Impeachment Collapsing — Videos

Posted on November 22, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computer, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Joe Biden, Killing, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mike Pompeo, MIssiles, National Interest, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Ukraine, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: Democrat Socialist Cover-up of Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy or Spy-gate Goes Public With Second Coup Attempt To Legitimatize President Trump and 2020 Campaign Event — Democrat Impeachment Obsession Deflating — Videos —

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Donald Trump on Ukraine

UK: ‘An Obama disaster’ – Trump says Obama failed with Crimea

Tucker: Democrats have no actual plan for impeachment

Collins: Dems are hiding the fact that they have nothing on the president

youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMwXG00fSco]

U.S. Considering Lethal Defensive Arms to Ukraine

Aug 10, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering arming Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons that Kyiv could use against Russia-backed separatists. Opponents argue arming Ukraine risks escalating the conflict while supporters say better weapons would act as a deterrence to Russian aggression and give a psychological and political boost to Kyiv. The debate comes as Trump’s new envoy on Ukraine, Kurt Volker, is to visit Russia soon. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Washington.

President Obama announces U.S. non-lethal aid to Ukraine

U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. will send medical supplies, helmets and other nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian military in response to Russia’s ‘destabilizing activities.’ (April 17)

Ukraine’s Poroshenko on charm offensive, US agrees to non-lethal aid

Obama: Military Option Not on Table in Ukraine

WHY RUSSIA SHOULD FEAR AMERICA’S JAVELIN ANTI TANK MISSILE?

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: Adam Schiff Opening Statement

TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: Devin Nunes Opening Statement

WHERE’S HUNTER? Early CHAOS In Impeachment Hearing

George Kent: Giuliani’s efforts were “infecting” Ukraine policy

Trump impeachment: Bill Taylor opening statement in Full – BBC News

Top diplomat Bill Taylor says: “I am not here to take one side or the other or to advocate for any particular outcome of these proceedings.”

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full questioning of George Kent and Bill Taylor

Devin Nunes begins Republican questioning of Taylor and Kent

Republican counsel Steve Castor’s full questioning of George Kent and Bill Taylor

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff questions Kent, Taylor again| Trump impeachment hearings

Devin Nunes begins Republican questioning of Taylor and Kent

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, and counsel Steve Castor spent 45 minutes questioning the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, and State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent in the first day of public impeachment hearings. Watch this full portion of the hearing.

Jim Jordan grills Dems’ ‘star witness’ Taylor in impeachment hearing

WATCH: Rep. Elise Stefanik’s full questioning of George Kent and Bill Taylor

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., questioned George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, in the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Stefanik focused on both officials’ statements on the corruption in Ukraine and Burisma. The probe centers around a July phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Both Kent and Taylor testified to lawmakers in October behind closed doors.

WATCH: George Kent’s full opening statement on first day of Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff questions Kent, Taylor again| Trump impeachment hearings

House Impeachment Inquiry – Taylor & Kent Testimony

Watch Day 1 of Trump’s impeachment hearings again as Ambassador Taylor and George Kent give evidence

Watch: Trump Impeachment Hearings (Day 1) | NBC News

What William Taylor and George Kent shared during public impeachment hearings

What Is the Javelin Missile at the Center of Trump’s Impeachment Scandal?

Tied up in Trump’s impeachment inquiry, we take a look at the weapon Ukraine’s so eager to buy.

AUSTRALIA-DEFENCE

WILLIAM WESTGETTY IMAGES
  • This week Washington D.C. was rocked by allegations that the President of the United States tried to tie the sale of Javelin missiles to Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals.
  • The simple, easy to use anti-tank missile is Ukraine’s weapon of choice in its undeclared war against Russia.
  • In May 2018 Ukraine purchased 210 Javelin missiles and 37 launchers from the United States for an estimated $47 million.

The Javelin missile is an unlikely weapon to be thrust into the political spotlight.

In a call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, 2019, President Donald Trump tied together the Ukraine’s purchase of Javelin missiles with an investigation into his political rivals. While the true nature of this phone call has yet to be determined, the effectiveness of the weapon is an absolute certainty. The Javelin’s features—and Russia’s tank armies—made it a very desirable weapon for Ukraine, a country that is suffering an undeclared war with Russia from 2014 to the present day.

In the 1980s, the U.S. Army’s main threat was Soviet Union. U.S. forces in Europe trained to operate outnumbered, holding their ground against waves of Soviet T-72 and T-80 main battle tanks, as well as BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. The main anti-tank weapon, issued to every U.S. infantry squad, was the M-47 Dragon anti-tank guided missile.

UKRAINE-INDEPENDENCE-DEFENCE-CELEBRATION
Ukrainian soldiers armed with Javelin anti-tank missiles, August 2018.

The Dragon was bulky and unreliable but it could penetrate the frontal armor of both the T-72 and T-80. The optically guided missile required the shooter to hold an enemy tank steady in his crosshairs but had a maximum range of just 1,000 meters. This meant the shooter had to launch and guide the missile within range of a Soviet tank’s machine guns, and incoming fire could throw the missile off target.

The introduction of Soviet reactive armor—explosive tiles bolted onto the outside of a tank to blunt anti-tank missiles—made Dragon obsolete. The Army issued a requirement for a replacement known as AAWS-M, or Advanced Anti-Tank Weapon System—Medium. Texas Instruments and Martin Marietta (now known as Lockheed Martin) won the contract, and the first missile test took place in 1991. Initial tests were positive and the FGM-148 Javelin missile went into full production in 1994.

Australian Army Host Fire Power Demonstration

An Australian Army Javelin missile explodes on target, Townsville, Australia, 2009.

IAN HITCHCOCKGETTY IMAGES

Javelin is a much better missile system that Dragon in almost every way. A shoulder launched weapon, Javelin uses an imaging infrared system to detect and lock onto tanks at distances of up to 4,750 meters–much, much farther than Dragon. Once the operator locks onto a tank and initiates the launch sequence, a small rocket motor kicks the missile out of the launch tube and into the air, whereupon the main motor ignites and sends the missile downrange.

Unlike Dragon, Javelin has two attack modes. The first mode is direct attack, where the missile flies straight toward the enemy tank. The missile has not one but two warheads–the first to trigger the reactive armor tiles, neutralizing them, and the second to penetrate the tank’s main armor belt. A second mode sends Javelin racing upward to an altitude of 500 feet, whereupon it dives down onto the top of the tank where armor protection is thinnest.

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CRISIS

A T-72 tank of the Donetsk People’s Republic, a militia operating in the Donetsk region with Russian backing, 2014.

MAX VETROVGETTY IMAGES
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One major drawback of Dragon required the gunner to hold very still, keeping the tracker’s crosshairs centered on an enemy tank until impact. This was never really all that realistic as the noise and stress of combat, as well as enemy fire, could easily cause the gunner to break his visual lock. Javelin on the other hand is a “fire and forget” missile: once launched the missile’s brain takes over guiding it to target. A Javelin gunners can shoot his or her missile and then make a run for it, retreating or relocating to an alternate firing position.

Russian Army regular units and local militias operate tanks and armored vehicles, including the new T-90 main battle tank, T-72 tank, and the latest version of the T-72, the T-72B3. Other vehicles include BMP-2 and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, MTLB armored personnel carriers, and BMD airborne infantry fighting vehicles. Russia’s large number of tanks and armored vehicles threatens Ukraine not only in the limited fighting around the Donbas and Crimea regions but also if Russia were to stage a general invasion of Ukraine itself.

In May 2018 Ukraine purchased 210 Javelin missiles and 37 launchers from the United States for an estimated $47 million. Properly used—and Javelin is very easy to use—that could mean the destruction of scores of armored vehicles should Russian forces roll west again. It could lead to a string of humiliating, demoralizing defeats for Russian forces and their proxies.

The question is: Will Ukraine get more any time soon?

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a29251877/javelin-missile-trump/

 

George P. Kent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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George Kent
George Kent US State Dept.jpg
United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Assumed office
September 4, 2018
President Donald Trump
United States Deputy Chief of Mission to Ukraine
In office
2015–2018
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Succeeded by Pamela Tremont
Personal details
Education Harvard University (A.B.)
Johns Hopkins University (M.A.)
National Defense University (M.S.)

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

 

Education

Kent finished high school in 1985 at Porter-Gaud School in CharlestonSouth Carolina.[2] He then graduated in 1989 with an A.B. in Russian History & Literature from Harvard University. He then earned an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1992.[1] Kent later graduated with an M.S. in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University in 2012.[3]

Career

Kent has been in the State Department‘s foreign service since 1992.[4][5] He speaks UkrainianRussian, and Thai, as well as some PolishGerman, and Italian.[1] His work as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer has included service in Ukraine, Poland, Thailand and Uzbekistan.[3]

From 1995 to 1997, he was posted in Warsaw, Poland, as an economics officer dealing with trade, environmental, and counter-narcotics issues.[3] Kent was later assigned to serve as deputy political counselor in Kyiv, Ukraine, from 2004 to 2007, which include the time period of the Orange Revolution.[3] From 2012 to 2014, Kent served as director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.[1] He served as a senior anti-corruption coordinator in the European bureau in 2014–2015,[1] and as deputy chief of mission in Kyiv, from 2015 to 2018.[5] On September 4, 2018, he was appointed to his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.[3][5]

External video
 Testimony of Kent and Ambassador William Taylor before the House Intelligence Committee, November 13, 2019C-SPAN

On October 15, 2019, Kent testified in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump, serving as a key witness on whether Rudy Giuliani used a campaign of disinformation to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.[6] Kent’s warnings regarding the disinformation campaign are documented in State Department emails submitted to Congress by the organization’s inspector general. Kent protested a “fake news smear” directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch by media commentators supportive of President Trump. He also criticized the Ukrainian prosecutor undermining Yovanovitch, calling the disinformation “complete poppycock.”[7] On November 13, 2019, along with Ambassador Bill Taylor, Kent gave public testimony to the House Intelligence Committee during the first public hearing.[8]

References

  1. Jump up to:abcde “George P. Kent”United States Department of StateArchived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Kropf, Schuyler (November 14, 2019). “Key Trump Ukraine impeachment witness George Kent has Charleston roots”The Post and Courier. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  3. Jump up to:abcde “USUBC Members welcomed George Kent, new Deputy Assistant Secretary, Europe, U.S. State Department, in Washington, D.C”U.S.–Ukraine Business Council. September 10, 2018. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  4. ^ Hansler, Jennifer (October 15, 2019). “Another career diplomat caught in the Ukraine scandal speaking to impeachment probe Tuesday”CNN. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  5. Jump up to:abc Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “State Department official to face questions about Ukraine and Giuliani”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  6. ^ Kane, Paul; Demirjian, Karoun; Bade, Rachael (October 15, 2019). “White House directed ‘three amigos’ to run Ukraine policy, senior State department official tells House investigators”The Washington Post. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Fandos, Nicholas; Vogel, Kenneth P.; Shear, Michael D. (October 15, 2019). “Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says White House Sidelined Him”The New York TimesISSN0362-4331. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Herb, Jeremy; Cohen, Marshall (November 13, 2019). “State Department official describes Giuliani’s ‘campaign of lies’ in Ukraine”. CNN. Retrieved November 13, 2019.

External links

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

William B. Taylor Jr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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William B. Taylor Jr.
William B. Taylor, Jr., Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine.jpg
6th United States Ambassador to Ukraine
Assumed office
June 18, 2019
Acting
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Kristina Kvien (acting)
Marie Yovanovitch (confirmed)
In office
June 21, 2006 – May 23, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by John E. Herbst
Succeeded by John F. Tefft
Personal details
Born
William Brockenbrough Taylor Jr.

September 14, 1947 (age 72)
New Mexico, U.S.

Spouse(s) Deborah Furlan Taylor
Children 2
Education United States Military Academy (BS)
Harvard University (MPA)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1969–1975
Rank US Army O3 shoulderboard rotated.svg Captain
Unit  101st Airborne Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards

William Brockenbrough Taylor Jr., (born September 14, 1947) is an American diplomat, government official, former soldier, and, as of November 2019, the acting United States ambassador to Ukraine.

Taylor is a former captain and company commander in the United States Army; he served in the Vietnam War and earned a Bronze Star and an Air Medal with a V device for valor. He proceeded to work in the United States Department of Energy and then the Department of Defense. From 1992 to 2002, Taylor carried out diplomatic work for the United States with firstly Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, secondly Afghanistan, thirdly Iraq, and fourthly the Quartet on the Middle East. From 2006 to 2009, Taylor served as the United States ambassador to Ukraine under the George W. Bush administration and the Barack Obama administration. He continued diplomatic work in the Middle East from 2011 to 2013.

Following the recall of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Taylor was appointed chargé d’affaires for Ukraine under the Trump administration.

Contents

Early life

Born in New Mexico on September 14, 1947,[1] Taylor is the son of Nancy Dare (Aitcheson) and William Brockenbrough Newton Taylor,[2] who had been a director of research and development for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).[3]

In 1965, Taylor graduated from Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Virginia after serving as president of his junior and senior class.[4] Like his father, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, attaining the rank of cadet battalion commander and graduating in the top 1% of his class in 1969. The 1969 Howitzer yearbook notes his modesty about his many academic and athletic accomplishments, describing him as “a man who is held in the highest esteem and admiration by all of us.”[5][6] In 1977, he completed graduate studies at Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government, receiving a Master of Public Policy degree.

Career

After Taylor graduated from West Point, he served in the infantry for six years, including tours of duty in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, and 18 months with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War. Taylor was a rifle company commander serving in the Quang Tri and Thua Tien provinces in the 506th Infantry Regiment (United States) of the 101st Airborne, widely heralded from the World War II book and TV miniseries Band of Brothers, with their motto “Currahee,” meaning “We stand alone.”[7] He was eligible to return home after serving for one year, but he opted to stay another six months.[8] He earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, a Bronze Star Medal, and Air Medal with ‘V’ for VALOR for heroism.[9]

Later, he was an aero-rifle commander in the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (United States) in Germany.[10][11]

Taylor left the military in 1975.[8] In 1980, he was serving in the relatively new Department of Energy as Director of Emergency Preparedness Policy. While the DOE had received creditable marks for its response to the coal strike during 1977–78, the crisis in Iran pointed to the need, going forward, for better federal level contingency planning and preparedness. In taking on this new assignment, Taylor had a long term, rather than short term, focus on potential crises (e.g. price controls and gasoline rationing), efforts that often required coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of the Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Department of Health and Human Services.[12]

Thereafter, Taylor served for five years as Legislative Assistant on the staff of U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (D-N.J.). He then directed a Defense Department think tank at Fort Lesley J. McNair.

Following that assignment, he transferred to Brussels for a five year assignment as the Special Deputy Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATOWilliam Howard Taft IV. From 1992 until 2002, Taylor served with the rank of ambassador, coordinating assistance to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He then accepted an assignment as Special Representative for Donor Assistance in Kabul, coordinating U.S. and international assistance to Afghanistan. Engaging with the Afghan government and international donors, Taylor facilitated the flow of assistance to Afghanistan and promoted additional donations. The undertaking facilitated the repatriation of 2 million Afghan refugees and the restoration of critical services such education and health care. The aid helped restore agriculture, and provided support grants for over 80 infrastructure projects. In 2003, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell appointed Taylor as the Afghanistan Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State, overseeing all aspects of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, noting that it was a critical time in Afghanistan’s political development and economic reconstruction.[13]

Taylor met with the interim Fallujah city council, April 2005

In 2004, Taylor was transferred to Baghdad as Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office.[14]

Until 2006, he was the U.S. Government’s representative to the Quartet‘s effort to facilitate the Israeli disengagement from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, led by Special Envoy James Wolfensohn in Jerusalem. The Quartet Special Envoy was responsible for the economic aspects of this disengagement.

Taylor was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the United States ambassador to Ukraine while Taylor was serving as Senior Consultant to the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization at the Department of State.[15][16] He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, and was sworn in on June 5, 2006. At the time Taylor assumed responsibilities at the embassy, it was the fifth-largest bilateral mission in Europe, with over 650 employees from nine U.S. government departments and agencies. A report by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State from 2007 notes that the new ambassador had “taken charge of the embassy in a remarkably effective and positive way,” creating, together with Deputy Chief of Mission Sheila Gwaltney, a “formidable team at a mission that has a complex set of goals.” It further noted that “Embassy Kyiv has a keen understanding of the complicated and rapidly evolving political and economic situation in Ukraine and has good working relations across the political spectrum. The embassy’s commentary on such issues as the evolving state of Ukraine’s relations with the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Russia is extensive, timely, and well appreciated by Washington end-users.”[17] Taylor held the post until May 2009.[18]

On September 30, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated John Tefft as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.[19] Taylor was appointed Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions in September 2011.[20] From then through 2013, Taylor’s mission was to ensure effective U.S. support for the countries of the Arab revolutions, coordinating assistance to EgyptTunisiaLibya and Syria.[21]

In 2015, Taylor was appointed executive vice president of the United States Institute of Peace, after serving a year in the same role in an acting capacity.[22][23] In this role, he supported continuing or increasing U.S. sanctions against Russia for its aggressions toward Ukraine.[24]

Taylor became chargé d’affaires ad interim for Ukraine in June 2019, taking over the role from the deputy chief of mission, Kristina Kvien, after Marie Yovanovitch departed Ukraine.[25]

Trump–Ukraine scandal

Taylor–Sondland texts

Taylor arrived in Ukraine a month after the abrupt ousting of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the inauguration of the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky. But following President Donald Trump‘s phone call with the new Ukrainian president, Taylor questioned Trump’s motivation in a text to Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union: “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland told him to phone.[26]

On October 3, 2019, it was revealed that Taylor had expressed, in text messages, concern that President Trump may have withheld aid to Ukraine unless they, Ukraine, launched two investigations, one into alleged corruption in Ukraine involving former Vice President Joe Biden, and the other an attempt to deflect from the US intelligence communities’ consensus determination that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and interfered with the 2016 United States presidential election, by suggesting that the DNC is hiding the hacked server in Ukraine.[citation needed]

Explicit throughout Taylor’s testimony was that Trump’s goal in withholding the congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine was to extort Zelensky, the newly inaugurated president of Ukraine, into announcing an investigation into the theory related to Biden in a primetime American television interview. At the time, and through much of the preceding nascent Democratic Party Presidential Primary Election season, Biden was the leading candidate, and seemed likely to be the Democratic Party challenger to Trump in the 2020 United States Presidential Election. Additional incentive was provided for Ukraine to do as Trump, Sondland, and Guiliani suggested, by implying that Zelensky would get a state visit to the White House if he complied.[citation needed]

According to transcripts released by the House impeachment probe, Taylor on September 9, 2019, at 12:47:11 am texted, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” Over four hours later, at 5:19:35 am,[27] in his response to Taylor, Sondland responded that the charge is “incorrect.” “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”[27] He then suggested Taylor call the Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State about any concerns:[28] “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.”[29] In his testimony during the impeachment inquiry Sondland noted that it was only out of his deep respect for Taylor that he tried to address Taylor’s concerns.[30] On October 22, 2019, Taylor’s opening statement also explained that Sondland required that Zelensky make public statements announcing an investigation, forcing him to conduct one, before the US released the allocated military aid. Taylor said he feared that Trump would withhold the military aid anyway, handing Moscow everything it wanted from the betrayal, texting Sondland that his “nightmare is that they [the Ukrainians] give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)”[31]

Taylor gave a deposition before a closed-door session of the House Intelligence Committee on October 22, 2019.[32]

Testimony in House impeachment inquiry

External video
 Testimony of Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent before the House Intelligence Committee, November 13, 2019C-SPAN

Opening statement of Ambassador William B. Taylor

On October 22, 2019, Taylor testified before the US Congressional House regarding the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and the Trump–Ukraine scandal in a closed session. Taylor’s opening statement was made public and directly implicated President Trump in a proactive and coordinated effort to solicit a political quid pro quo whereby “everything” – from a one-on-one meeting with President Trump to hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine – would be held up unless Ukrainian President Zelensky agreed to announce publicly that “investigations” would be launched including into former VP Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and Ukraine’s alleged involvement in the 2016 election. Taylor’s opening statement and testimony was widely viewed as an inflection point in the impeachment inquiry.[33][34][35][36][37]

A few days before his second House testimony in mid-November, Taylor published an op-ed in Kyiv’s Novoye Vremya expressing the United States government’s commitment to Ukraine: “your success is our success.”[38][39]

Personal life

Taylor is married to Dr. Deborah Furlan Taylor,[40] a religion scholar.[41][42]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_B._Taylor_Jr.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

The latest commentary on the Trump impeachment inquiry

Updated October 29, 2019

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

George P. Kent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

 

Education

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

Career

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

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

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

References

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

External links

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

Marie Yovanovitch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

Contents

Early life and education

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

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

Career

Early diplomatic career

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

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

Anti-corruption work and other activities

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

Smear campaign against Yovanovitch and ouster

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

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

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

Congressional testimony

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

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

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

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

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

Subsequent posting

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

See also

References…

External links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Mifsud

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Joseph Mifsud
Born 1960

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

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

Education

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

Career

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

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

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

Connection to George Papadopoulos

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

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

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

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

Connection to Stephan Roh

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

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

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

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

Missing report

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

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

See also

References

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

 

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

Update November 11, 2019

State of emergency declared as fires devastate California

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Breaking News! Warner Brothers in Flames

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The Deadliest Wildfire In California History | VICE on HBO

THE CAMP FIRE DOCUMENTARY Golden Eagle Films

Camp Fire: One Year Later | Full documentary

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

Fire in Paradise (full film) | FRONTLINE

Brush Fire Burns Near School in Santa Clarita Area

Extreme red flag warning issued as fires rage in California

Fires continue to burn in California and Australia

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Strong winds help ignite two new fires in Southern California

Strong winds fuel raging wildfires across California

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

Hill Fire Erupts Near 60 Freeway in Jurupa Valley | NBCLA

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

The Woolsey Fire, One Year Later | NBCLA

Massive wildfires rage across Southern California

Multiple raging California fires force thousands to evacuate

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

Pacific Palisades brush fire threatens homes I ABC7

Why these California wildfire victims wish their houses had burned down

2017

Wildfire devastation in California spreads

4 major fires continue to burn and endanger residents in California

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

Wildfires continues to ravage through Southern California as conditions worsen

After the fire, heroes become homeless

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

2015

California Fires Leave Behind Apocalyptic-Like Destruction

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporting by Chris Dyer for MailOnline 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Embedded video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

2019 California wildfires

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

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

 

Early projections

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

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

Wildfires

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

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

Other fires

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

See also

References

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

 

List: The 20 largest wildfires in California history

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

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: CalFire, US Forest Service

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

 

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

Posted on November 8, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Climate, Climate Change, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Fraud, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Joe Biden, Killing, Language, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Nuclear Weapons, Obama, People, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Spying, Spying on American People, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Ukraine, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness

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

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

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

Hannity: I have never talked to anyone from Ukraine

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

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

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

Dems set to release new transcripts from two key impeachment figures

PBS News Hour full episode November 5, 2019

First excerpts of Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker transcripts released

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

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

Glenn Beck Lays Out the Case Against The Media

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

Big Lie Media Propaganda Exposed

Glenn Beck Presents: Democracy Does Die In Darkness

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

A look at Hunter Biden’s time in Ukraine

Everything You Need to Know About Hunter Biden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Solomon@jsolomonReports

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

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

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

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukrainian Prosecutor Fired

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

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

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

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

 

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

7 CommentsNovember 5, 2019 Updated: November 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Burisma Holdings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Private
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 2002
Founder Mykola Zlochevsky
Headquarters

,

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

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

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

 

History

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

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

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

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

Operations

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

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

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

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

Corporate matters

Ownership

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

Management

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

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

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

Financial results

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

Investigations

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

See also

References

External links

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

Mykola Zlochevsky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

June 14, 1966 (age 53)
KievUkrainian SSR

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

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

Biography

Business

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

Governmental posts

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

Investigations

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

External links

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

Gordon Sondland

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

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

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

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

Career

Provenance Hotels

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

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

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

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

United States ambassador to the European Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump–Ukraine scandal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political involvement

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

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

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

Philanthropy

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

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

Personal life

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

See also

References…

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

Memorandum of conversation

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

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

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

 

Method

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

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

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

History

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

See also

References

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

External links

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

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