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***Official Donald J. Trump Impeachment (Whistleblower) Thread***

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24 minutes ago, Yankee23Fan said:

It means that the next great cultural shift in our nation is going to have to be an education platform where we teach discernment instead of simply where to find information.  For generations, we've focused on teaching kids where to look for information - dictionaries, encyclopedias, library media, etc.  All of that ability to "research" is no longer necessary.  I can ask Google any question and get "an answer" in less than a second.  We don't need that particular skill anymore.

Now we need to learn how to filter.

That's harder.  

And Google has become a great source of advertisement and a crappy source for real information.  It is almost useless as a source of information unless you are looking to buy something from a paid advertiser.  It use to be a great source for searching and digging deeper into topics, but it is a shell of what it used to be.  

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8 minutes ago, Don't Noonan said:

Others could be lying

I guess it just seems preposterous that the Assistant Deputy Secretary of State and the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, both appointed by Trump, would be lying. It's just absurd.

If you want to go with 'heard wrong' then fine.

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1 minute ago, Skoo said:

Absolutely true statement.

If that was the reason we were going in from the get-go, they wouldn't have had to make up stuff about yellow-cake uranium, WMDs, and the supposed link to 9/11 to get Congress to go for it. They lied to get us into that war.

Let's review what you said and show this has no bearing on your original statement.  You said, "That "trying to bring Democracy" was just a line to use after it was obvious neither of those things were true."

No matter what else Bush talked about, he also talked about freedom and independence of the Iraqi people in speeches both prior to and the night of the Iraq invasion.  So saying it was "just a line to use after" is false (so definitely not absolutely true).  And as far as yellow-cake uranium..........

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24 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I guess it just seems preposterous that the Assistant Deputy Secretary of State and the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, both appointed by Trump, would be lying. It's just absurd.

If you want to go with 'heard wrong' then fine.

As opposed to Sondlund lying?  Okay dokey.

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Just now, Don't Noonan said:

As opposed to Sondlund lying?  Okay dokey.

That's a fair point, he's Ambassador to the EU. He also gave Trump a million plus $$$ to get that job.

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Quote

 

Throughout the impeachment inquiry, Pompeo and Trump have maintained their weekly lunches at the White House, according to the president’s public schedule.

But the president was angry when he arrived in his private dining room on Oct. 29, two officials said. Pompeo defended himself, officials said, by telling Trump he doesn’t know who half of these State Department officials are, officials said. He also noted that there are thousands of employees at the agency, explaining that he can’t control them, those familiar with the matter said.

One official said Trump and Pompeo patched things up during the lunch. Another person familiar with the meeting said Pompeo continues to be “iced out” by the president, a shift that often entails still being included in his meetings but listened to less.

“Pompeo feels under siege,” this person said.

NBC

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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If I knew this - it certainly was misplaced in the back of my mind:

 

It’s hard to turn on cable news or scroll through Twitter these days without catching the name “Giuliani.” Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is a central character in the House’s impeachment inquiry. Meanwhile, Rudy’s third wife, Judith Giuliani, has commanded her own headlines as she’s aired details of the couple’s contentious, ongoing divorce proceedings. Scarcely mentioned, however, is Andrew Giuliani—the former New York mayor’s 31-year-old son—who works in the White House.

Rudy Giuliani told me his son’s hire “wasn’t the usual ‘hire my kid’ situation.” “He’s known the president since he was a baby,” Rudy said. “Now, did he know him in the first place because he was the mayor’s son? Sure, but they also had a relationship independent of me.”

The younger Giuliani has served in the Office of Public Liaison, beginning as an associate director, since March 2017, making him one of the longest-serving members of the Trump administration. According to White House personnel records from 2018, he earns a salary of $90,700. 

 

ETA - interesting story - including young Giuliani losing his West Wing access under Kelly, only to get it back under Mulvaney...

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/11/andrew-giuliani-white-house/602110/

 

Kelly revoked Andrew’s West Wing access, disrupting the staffer’s otherwise freewheeling setup. Giuliani “flipped out” about the downgrade, the third former official said. Four of the former officials said Giuliani’s father immediately spoke about it with Trump, who then ordered Kelly to restore Giuliani’s pass and promote him to special assistant to the president. “Kelly just wouldn’t,” the third former official said. “Trump would think it was done. Then it wasn’t … It was classic Kelly. Just ignore and assume Trump will forget.” Kelly, the source added, “said the staff reported to him, not Trump, so it was for him to decide.”

***

With Kelly long gone, the professional life of Andrew Giuliani has been, in some ways, on the mend: Three of the former officials, as well as another person close to Andrew, told me that even in this radioactive moment for Rudy, Kelly’s successor, Mick Mulvaney, has restored his son’s West Wing access (it’s unclear whether he did so at Trump’s behest), has promoted him to special assistant to the president, and takes no issues with his golf outings with Trump. 

Edited by Sinn Fein
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I don't know where these things go anymore - but the Supreme Court has issued one stay with respect to Trump's financial records from Mazars:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/111819zr_6537.pdf

 

This will stay the action by the House, while the SC decides whether to take the case.

 

Still outstanding is a decision by the SC to stay the New York action - the SC has not issued a temporary stay in that case, but may well do so in the next day or so.  Though that case is much less favorable to Trump.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

Kelly’s successor, Mick Mulvaney, has restored his son’s West Wing access (it’s unclear whether he did so at Trump’s behest), has promoted him to special assistant to the president, and takes no issues with his golf outings with Trump. 

Special Assistant to the President.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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42 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

That's a fair point, he's Ambassador to the EU. He also gave Trump a million plus $$$ to get that job.

Worst million dollars spent ever.

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Why is Sondland even involved in this Ukraine situation when he is the Ambassador to the EU?  I don't think I've heard an explanation to this.

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26 minutes ago, Choke said:

For what gain? For what gain for all these people?  There is no motive to lose your career and be attacked by the right-wing extremists.

Everyone else is lying ...that continues to be what Trump wants people to believe 

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1 hour ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I guess it just seems preposterous that the Assistant Deputy Secretary of State and the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, both appointed by Trump, would be lying. It's just absurd.

If you want to go with 'heard wrong' then fine.

Trump hiring only the best people makes this highly unlikely.

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1 hour ago, Don't Noonan said:
1 hour ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I guess it just seems preposterous that the Assistant Deputy Secretary of State and the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, both appointed by Trump, would be lying. It's just absurd.

If you want to go with 'heard wrong' then fine.

As opposed to Sondlund lying?  Okay dokey.

Motive.

What does Sondland have to gain (or not lose) if he lies about this?

What does Kent/Taylor have to game from lying?

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17 minutes ago, Dickies said:

Why is Sondland even involved in this Ukraine situation when he is the Ambassador to the EU?  I don't think I've heard an explanation to this.

The simplest explanation I can come up with is "Because Trump."

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23 minutes ago, Dickies said:

Why is Sondland even involved in this Ukraine situation when he is the Ambassador to the EU?  I don't think I've heard an explanation to this.

I think I know this one!

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24 minutes ago, Dickies said:

Why is Sondland even involved in this Ukraine situation when he is the Ambassador to the EU?  I don't think I've heard an explanation to this.

There's a pretty obvious reason, but not one that you'll hear the GOP trot out.

Sondland was involved because Trump knew he could be counted on to honor his requests at getting a public announcement of an investigation into the Bidens.  Sondland was involved because he was a State Dept. official that had no experience in the field and no allegiance to the State Dept. apparatus, policy, or procedures.  Honestly, I don't think he really put it together that this wasn't an acceptable use of Presidential power until it was too late.  I bet he had no idea on how deep this thing went, nor how interested the career diplomats were in discovering what was going on.

Edited by The Z Machine
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The funny thing is Sondland probably thought he was getting a plum job in Europe - Brussels, all the capitals - and who wants to be stuck in Kiev year round, leave that to the nerds like Yovanovitch.

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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

The funny thing is Sondland probably thought he was getting a plum job in Europe - Brussels, all the capitals - and who wants to be stuck in Kiev year round, leave that to the nerds like Yovanovitch.

Half million for the Bahamas

While Europe would be pretty great I think this guy had the right idea.

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25 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:

There's a pretty obvious reason, but not one that you'll hear the GOP trot out.

Sondland was involved because Trump knew he could be counted on to honor his requests at getting a public announcement of an investigation into the Bidens.  Sondland was involved because he was a State Dept. official that had no experience in the field and no allegiance to the State Dept. apparatus, policy, or procedures.  Honestly, I don't think he really put it together that this wasn't an acceptable use of Presidential power until it was too late.  I bet he had no idea on how deep this thing went, nor how interested the career diplomats were in discovering what was going on.

I guess I should have phrased my question better. What is the explanation from the Trump camp that makes his involvement acceptable

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24 minutes ago, The General said:

Half million for the Bahamas

While Europe would be pretty great I think this guy had the right idea.

Corruption is just gonna keep oozing out of this adminstration. Will make for some nice montage videos at the Democratic Natonal Convention. 

I keep envisioning a Billy Joel "we didn't start the fire" type video of all the scandals. 

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1 hour ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Special Assistant to the President.

Acting Special Assistant?

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54 minutes ago, Jackstraw said:

Corruption is just gonna keep oozing out of this adminstration. Will make for some nice montage videos at the Democratic Natonal Convention. 

I keep envisioning a Billy Joel "we didn't start the fire" type video of all the scandals. 

The problem the final Dem presidential campaign will face is working all the best material in. They need to find a way to play enough clips of Trump corruption to suggest that it was constant and ongoing without rendering the electorate catatonic by the immensity of it all.

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4 hours ago, timschochet said:

Don’t know but here is what I DO know: the Nixon hearings lasted nearly a year. These hearings are moving at light speed. I have no idea whether this is good or bad, but it’s obviously quite different. 

Nixon’s impeachment started out at under 20%. He was a popular president, he did have one of the biggest landslides in history, and he had genuine policy initiatives. And he was shrewd with a near 30 year history in politics. He had all these assets in spades over Trump and his downfall was even more unforeseeable than Trump’s.

it is true that Trump is starting out at a point that it took Nixon months to reach, but it’s also fair to bake in the months of scandal that have chased Trump as well. 
IIRC Bluto’s link has support for impeachment somewhere around 47-48 and Nixon left when it reached 58%.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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1 minute ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Nixon’s impeachment started out at under 20%. He was a pol Pilar president, he did have one of the biggest landslides in history, and he had genuine policy initiatives. And he was shrewd with a near 30 year history in politics. He had all these assets in spades over Trump and his downfall was even more unforeseeable than Trump’s.

it is true that Trump is starting out at a point that it took Nixon months to reach, but it’s also fair to bake in the months of scandal that have chased Trump as well. 
IIRC Bluto’s link has support for impeachment somewhere around 47-48 and Nixon left when it reached 58%.

There's an additional asset that you didn't mention: in the year that the Watergate hearings took place, Richard Nixon had one of the greatest foreign policy stretches in American history. He successfully negotiated the Start treaty and detente with Russia, he cemented our new relationship with China, he ended our involvement in Southeast Asia, he prevented the Yom Kippur War from becoming a nuclear struggle and negotiated a peace between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria which has essentially lasted ever since. And he did all this while under enormous pressure with the House public hearings going on. Whatever you think of Richard Nixon, it was a truly amazing set of achievements.

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Updated witness list for Thursday:

NEWS: David Holmes will join Fiona Hill at the witness table during Thursday's impeachment hearing.

 

Holmes was the State Department staffer who overheard the phone call with Sondland and Trump.

Notable for going on Thursday - given that right now, I think that is the last day of public testimony scheduled.  Unless someone like Bolton changes his mind about testifying.

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

There's an additional asset that you didn't mention: in the year that the Watergate hearings took place, Richard Nixon had one of the greatest foreign policy stretches in American history. He successfully negotiated the Start treaty and detente with Russia, he cemented our new relationship with China, he ended our involvement in Southeast Asia, he prevented the Yom Kippur War from becoming a nuclear struggle and negotiated a peace between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria which has essentially lasted ever since. And he did all this while under enormous pressure with the House public hearings going on. Whatever you think of Richard Nixon, it was a truly amazing set of achievements.

At some point in time since this period, when GOP voters -- or at least Nixon supporters -- were perhaps confident enough in their general majority that they still felt that they could safely value fair play from the president, they have since segued into excusing things far worse from the current president than Nixon ever did. It appears that stopping the spread of domestic leftism is way more important to them than playing fair and I wonder when that started. Reagan? Newt? When their majority numbers began slipping? :shrug:

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Tomorrow will be interesting because Vindman in his uniform, who was on the call, will make a big impression, but Volker is pro-Trump, right? And I think Morrison didn't think the call was inappropriate. So Republicans may have some things to happy about tomorrow night.

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3 minutes ago, roadkill1292 said:

At some point in time since this period, when GOP voters -- or at least Nixon supporters -- were perhaps confident enough in their general majority that they still felt that they could safely value fair play from the president, they have since segued into excusing things far worse from the current president than Nixon ever did. It appears that stopping the spread of domestic leftism is way more important to them than playing fair and I wonder when that started. Reagan? Newt? When their majority numbers began slipping? :shrug:

I don't see things this way. IMO, Donald Trump is not part of a linear path for the Republican Party- he is a populist. Joe McCarthy was a populist. Nixon was not.

Populists emerge in our political system rarely, but when they do it's like an volcano that keeps spewing lava until it's done. Once they're done the movement they represented becomes dormant and disappears, maybe for decades, until the next populist comes along. Populists generate great, intense loyalty among their followers that can't be compared to a politician's normal support. It has nothing to do with the political party, it has to do with the person.

So what I'm saying is that if Donald Trump had been President in 1973, and had committed Watergate, he would not have been convicted. And if Richard Nixon were President today, and had committed the Ukraine scandal, he would have been forced to resign. It's not the players in the House and Senate who have changed; nor is it the voters. It's the personalities and charisma and style of the two men in question.

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27 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Tomorrow will be interesting because Vindman in his uniform, who was on the call, will make a big impression, but Volker is pro-Trump, right? And I think Morrison didn't think the call was inappropriate. So Republicans may have some things to happy about tomorrow night.

Not everything they testified to was helpful to the GOP, they just gave them a few talking points. Chances are that they will try and focus on those things but most of the testimony won’t be helpful to them.

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So we've moved on to focusing on the "alleged whistleblower"?  "Dude might or might not be the guy so lets pretend he is and post about him as if there is any meaning whatsoever....yah!!!!"  Good stuff :thumbup:

 

Edited by The Commish

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3 hours ago, the moops said:

Motive.

What does Sondland have to gain (or not lose) if he lies about this?

What does Kent/Taylor have to game from lying?

 

3 hours ago, sho nuff said:

Everyone else is lying ...that continues to be what Trump wants people to believe 

 

4 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I guess it just seems preposterous that the Assistant Deputy Secretary of State and the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, both appointed by Trump, would be lying. It's just absurd.

If you want to go with 'heard wrong' then fine.

What's really amazing is that people believe the guy closing in on14,000 lies over the last three years.

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39 minutes ago, Don't Noonan said:

What is the relevance of who this person is now?   Other than throwing chum in the water, what purpose does his/her identity serve.  The allegations and testimonies on record now are far in excess of and more detailed than the WB report.  

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Just now, cobalt_27 said:

What is the relevance of who this person is now?   Other than throwing chum in the water, what purpose does his/her identity serve.  The allegations and testimonies on record now are far in excess of and more detailed than the WB report.  

It’s better than trying to defend the actual substance? :shrug:

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1 hour ago, roadkill1292 said:

At some point in time since this period, when GOP voters -- or at least Nixon supporters -- were perhaps confident enough in their general majority that they still felt that they could safely value fair play from the president, they have since segued into excusing things far worse from the current president than Nixon ever did. It appears that stopping the spread of domestic leftism is way more important to them than playing fair and I wonder when that started. Reagan? Newt? When their majority numbers began slipping? :shrug:

Pretty sure this iteration of radical right nationalism began with Agnew and Pat Buchanan writing his speeches

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1 hour ago, Don't Noonan said:

I don't even think you know what this is referring to.

Quote

Daria Kaleniuk

This post even says that the State Department was providing funding for Kaleniuk's center. You really think our State and intel staff shouldn't be meeting with her or talking to her?

This guy writing this post obviously has no understanding of what was going on. Yes obviously the anti-corruption center was openly seeking Shokin's dismissal.

Allegedly this guy that the RW blogosphere is hounding works on Ukraine as a specialty. It makes total sense that he would be in communication with her if he does indeed work for the CIA, NSC or State.

Absolutely all of this is consistent with a US policy that opposes corruption in Ukraine.

Below is an example of some of Kaleniuk's work, the anti-corruption center helped put Manafort and other Yanukovych cronies away or in exile. Hence, these attacks.

************

Justice Ministry investigation nets unexpected $567,000 windfall for state budget

- 11/17/17 Kiev Post

 

In the long battle to recover the more than $40 billion stolen by the regime of runaway former President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine has notched a small victory.

The country received $567,000 in June as part of its investigation into former Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych, who allegedly rigged a state tender and embezzled $1.1 million to hire and pay U.S. law firm Skadden, Arps, Meagher, & Flom LLP and Associates.

The law firm appears to have refunded $567,000 to the Ukrainian government in June under pressure from Ukrainian and U.S. prosecutors, according to interviews with Ukrainian law enforcement officials.

The money transfer was first reported by the New York Times in September. A spokesman for the U.S. special counsel investigating Russian meddling into the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which includes the Skadden case, declined to comment.

Skadden did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

$567,000 question

On wiring the $567,000 to Ukraine, Skadden has claimed that the money had been held in escrow for future work that had never been done.

But the transfer only came after the Ukrainian government sent the U.S. Justice Department a letter requesting the repayment, and after Ukrainian prosecutors under Serhiy Gorbatyuk, head of the Special Investigations Department at Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office, filed several Mutual Legal Assistance Requests through the PGO's international legal assistance department.

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko himself thanked the U.S. Justice Department for its close cooperation in returning more than $500,000 from an American firm in a June Facebook post.

These are funds that were squandered by the former leadership of the Ministry of Justice under Yanukovych and removed from Ukraine by signing a fictitious agreement about services,†Lutsenko wrote, before referencing the criminal statute under which Lavrynovych is being prosecuted.

Investigation slowdown?

The investigation into whether the Yanukovych-era Ministry of Justice subverted procurement procedures to hire Skadden and then embezzled money to pay the firm was opened before Yanukovych fled the country, but heated up after the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution.

Skadden was hired to produce a report justifying to the U.S. government the jailing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by Yanukovych for her signing in 2009 of a controversial gas supply deal with Russia. The case against Tymoshenko was widely seen, both in Ukraine and internationally, as being politically motivated.

Gorbatyuk's office sent its first Mutual Legal Assistance Request to the United States in December 2014, and followed it up with two additional requests and four reminders.

Ukrainian representatives from the PGO's international legal assistance office visited Washington in December 2016.

March 2017 saw the probe speed up, as CNN published an article saying that Ukrainian prosecutors wanted to question Paul Manafort, a former advisor of President Yanukovych. In the same month, then-FBI Director James Comey was asked about the Ukrainian requests during a congressional hearing.

Gorbatyuk's office got a response in April, with correspondence and documents showing how the events took place, before the agreement was signed, as it was being fulfilled, and after its fulfillment, the prosecutor said.

Our requests for depositions were not fulfilled, Gorbatyuk added.

Prosecutors on the case want to question members of the Skadden team who came to Ukraine to work on the report, including former Obama Administration officials Gregory Craig and Clifford Sloan, as well as the London-based associate Alex Van der Zwaan, the Russian-speaking son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, who prosecutors say acted as an intermediary for the team on much of the trip.

Court orders show that Gorbatyuk's team has received access to phone records from the team's time in Kyiv, showing their communications with Yanukovych government and Party of Regions officials.

Law firms and lawyers are often professional enablers, said Daria Kaleniuk, head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center. Lawyers are able to enable money laundering because they are protected by attorney-client privilege, meaning that they can say they are just representing their client's interests, and not helping them commit any wrongdoing.

But in fact lawyers have to also verify their clients and have to see who is behind the legal entities to whom they are providing services, she added.

 

 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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1 hour ago, roadkill1292 said:

At some point in time since this period, when GOP voters -- or at least Nixon supporters -- were perhaps confident enough in their general majority that they still felt that they could safely value fair play from the president, they have since segued into excusing things far worse from the current president than Nixon ever did. It appears that stopping the spread of domestic leftism is way more important to them than playing fair and I wonder when that started. Reagan? Newt? When their majority numbers began slipping? :shrug:

Truly sad what they have descended to just to hold a majority.

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Apparently people in the far right wing have discovered that people in the State Department and IC in charge of Ukraine affairs were working on Ukraine affairs. This is pretty shocking.

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1 minute ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Apparently people in the far right wing have discovered that people in the State Department and IC in charge of Ukraine affairs were working on Ukraine affairs. This is pretty shocking.

The bothersome part is when Trump is caught doing improper things...the right has bashed the proper diplomatic channels used. 

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3 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

The bothersome part is when Trump is caught doing improper things...the right has bashed the proper diplomatic channels used. 

The ends do not justify the means when laws and ethics are tossed aside to meet those ends.

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5 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

The bothersome part is when Trump is caught doing improper things...the right has bashed the proper diplomatic channels used. 

The sad thing is that we have a State Department with traditions and expertise going back 200+ years, and the President completely sidelined it. The most sickening thing is when Trump and his supporters say the president never spoke with the amazing array of talent on these matters around him.

Meanwhile typical Americans who want to learn anything about what the President was actually doing past his personal attorney requires they learn about an appalling rogue's gallery of Russian and Ukrainian autocrats, henchmen and organized crime figures

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45 minutes ago, cobalt_27 said:

What is the relevance of who this person is now?   Other than throwing chum in the water, what purpose does his/her identity serve.  The allegations and testimonies on record now are far in excess of and more detailed than the WB report.  

I keep coming back to "they can only play the cards in their hand" :shrug: 

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25 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:
1 hour ago, Don't Noonan said:

I don't even think you know what this is referring to.

Quote

Daria Kaleniuk

This post even says that the State Department was providing funding for Kaleniuk's center. You really think our State and intel staff shouldn't be meeting with her or talking to her?

This guy writing this post obviously has no understanding of what was going on. Yes obviously the anti-corruption center was openly seeking Shokin's dismissal.

Allegedly this guy that the RW blogosphere is hounding works on Ukraine as a specialty. It makes total sense that he would be in communication with her if he does indeed work for the CIA, NSC or State.

Absolutely all of this is consistent with a US policy that opposes corruption in Ukraine.

Below is an example of some of Kaleniuk's work, the anti-corruption center helped put Manafort and other Yanukovych cronies away or in exile. Hence, these attacks.

************

Justice Ministry investigation nets unexpected $567,000 windfall for state budget

- 11/17/17 Kiev Post

  Reveal hidden contents

In the long battle to recover the more than $40 billion stolen by the regime of runaway former President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine has notched a small victory.

The country received $567,000 in June as part of its investigation into former Justice Minister Oleksandr Lavrynovych, who allegedly rigged a state tender and embezzled $1.1 million to hire and pay U.S. law firm Skadden, Arps, Meagher, & Flom LLP and Associates.

The law firm appears to have refunded $567,000 to the Ukrainian government in June under pressure from Ukrainian and U.S. prosecutors, according to interviews with Ukrainian law enforcement officials.

The money transfer was first reported by the New York Times in September. A spokesman for the U.S. special counsel investigating Russian meddling into the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which includes the Skadden case, declined to comment.

Skadden did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

$567,000 question

On wiring the $567,000 to Ukraine, Skadden has claimed that the money had been held in escrow for future work that had never been done.

But the transfer only came after the Ukrainian government sent the U.S. Justice Department a letter requesting the repayment, and after Ukrainian prosecutors under Serhiy Gorbatyuk, head of the Special Investigations Department at Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office, filed several Mutual Legal Assistance Requests through the PGO's international legal assistance department.

Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko himself thanked the U.S. Justice Department for its close cooperation in returning more than $500,000 from an American firm in a June Facebook post.

These are funds that were squandered by the former leadership of the Ministry of Justice under Yanukovych and removed from Ukraine by signing a fictitious agreement about services,†Lutsenko wrote, before referencing the criminal statute under which Lavrynovych is being prosecuted.

Investigation slowdown?

The investigation into whether the Yanukovych-era Ministry of Justice subverted procurement procedures to hire Skadden and then embezzled money to pay the firm was opened before Yanukovych fled the country, but heated up after the 2014 EuroMaidan Revolution.

Skadden was hired to produce a report justifying to the U.S. government the jailing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by Yanukovych for her signing in 2009 of a controversial gas supply deal with Russia. The case against Tymoshenko was widely seen, both in Ukraine and internationally, as being politically motivated.

Gorbatyuk's office sent its first Mutual Legal Assistance Request to the United States in December 2014, and followed it up with two additional requests and four reminders.

Ukrainian representatives from the PGO's international legal assistance office visited Washington in December 2016.

March 2017 saw the probe speed up, as CNN published an article saying that Ukrainian prosecutors wanted to question Paul Manafort, a former advisor of President Yanukovych. In the same month, then-FBI Director James Comey was asked about the Ukrainian requests during a congressional hearing.

Gorbatyuk's office got a response in April, with correspondence and documents showing how the events took place, before the agreement was signed, as it was being fulfilled, and after its fulfillment, the prosecutor said.

Our requests for depositions were not fulfilled, Gorbatyuk added.

Prosecutors on the case want to question members of the Skadden team who came to Ukraine to work on the report, including former Obama Administration officials Gregory Craig and Clifford Sloan, as well as the London-based associate Alex Van der Zwaan, the Russian-speaking son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, who prosecutors say acted as an intermediary for the team on much of the trip.

Court orders show that Gorbatyuk's team has received access to phone records from the team's time in Kyiv, showing their communications with Yanukovych government and Party of Regions officials.

Law firms and lawyers are often professional enablers, said Daria Kaleniuk, head of the Anti-Corruption Action Center. Lawyers are able to enable money laundering because they are protected by attorney-client privilege, meaning that they can say they are just representing their client's interests, and not helping them commit any wrongdoing.

But in fact lawyers have to also verify their clients and have to see who is behind the legal entities to whom they are providing services, she added.

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Edited 13 minutes ago by SaintsInDome2006

I don't know how you keep on top of this stuff to keep the story straight...GB you GB SiD!!!!!!

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5 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I keep coming back to "they can only play the cards in their hand" :shrug: 

Kenny Rogers would tell them what to do with that hand, as bad as it is. 

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29 minutes ago, Kal El said:

Kenny Rogers would tell them what to do with that hand, as bad as it is. 

They could learn a lot from Kenny.  They would also know not to count their money while sitting at the table - or calling the POTUS on an unsecure line at the table, something like that...

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