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  1. #4126

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Top Democrat threatens legal action if intelligence chief doesn’t share whistleblower complaint

    By John Wagner and Karoun Demirjian
    September 19 at 5:02 PM

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) warned of possible legal action Thursday if intelligence officials did not share a potentially explosive whistleblower complaint prompted by President Trump’s interactions with a foreign leader.

    Schiff called acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire’s refusal to share the complaint with Congress “unprecedented” and said he understood the Justice Department was involved in that decision.

    “We cannot get an answer to the question about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress,” Schiff said, adding: “We’re determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is to make sure that the national security is protected.”

    Someone, Schiff said, “is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress. ... There certainly are a lot of indications that it was someone at a higher pay grade than the director of national intelligence.”

    As The Washington Post first reported Wednesday, Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an unidentified U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community.

    Trump has denied doing anything improper. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Schiff spoke following a closed-door appearance before committee members by the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who reviewed the complaint and determined it was credible and troubling enough to be considered a matter of “urgent concern,” a legal threshold that requires notification of congressional oversight committees.

    During the meeting, Atkinson declined to provide any substantive detail about the whistleblower complaint, Schiff indicated. The congressman said he does not know if reports by The Post and other media outlets about its contents are accurate or not.

    Maguire’s refusal to share the complaint has touched off a legal and political dispute that has spilled into public view and prompted speculation that the spy chief may be improperly protecting the president.

    “We are exploring with the House general counsel what our options are,” Schiff said. “I would imagine if it comes down that we have to go to court to get this that we will have a very good case to seek a temporary restraining order or a mandamus or some urgent form of relief because the inspector general has said this cannot wait. … There’s an urgency here that I think the courts will recognize.”

    Schiff said that Maguire is scheduled to appear before his committee in a public session next week “where he can explain why this urgent concern should not be shared with the Congress.”

    Schiff spoke to reporters about two hours after Trump disputed the report that his interaction with a foreign leader had prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a whistleblower complaint, saying it was inconceivable that he would say anything inappropriate on a heavily monitored phone call.

    “Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially ‘heavily populated’ call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!”

    Trump dismissed the report as “Fake News” and said in another tweet that he was subject to “Presidential Harassment!”

    If Schiff opts to go to court, Democrats feel their case will be buoyed by Atkinson’s determination that the whistleblower’s complaint was “urgent” and the lengths to which he went to alert the Intelligence Committee of its existence — writing letters in which he questioned Maguire’s determination to withhold the complaint from lawmakers.

    “I understand that I am bound by the determination reached as a result of the Acting DNI’s consultations with DOJ, and the ICIG will continue to abide by that determination,” Atkinson wrote in a Sept. 17 letter to panel leaders. ICIG stands for intelligence community inspector general.

    “I, nevertheless, respectfully disagree with that determination,” he continued. “The subject matter involved in the Complainant’s disclosure not only falls within the DNI’s jurisdiction, but relates to one of the most significant and important of the DNI’s responsibilities to the American people.

    Atkinson faulted the Justice Department’s conclusion “particularly … and the Acting DNI’s apparent agreement with the conclusion, that the disclosure in this case does not concern an intelligence activity within the DNI’s authority.” He wrote, too, that he had requested permission from Maguire to inform the congressional intelligence committees about the general subject matter of the complaint, but was denied.

    Atkinson concluded that Maguire’s wholesale opposition to disclosing the details of the complaint to Congress not only marked a sharp departure from past practice, but “may itself constitute a significant problem and deficiency concerning the DNI’s responsibility and authority relating to intelligence programs or activities.”

    Shane Harris, Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...476_story.html
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  2. #4127
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  3. #4128

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Natasha Bertrand
    @NatashaBertrand

    NEW: The whistleblower is being represented by Andrew P. Bakaj, a former CIA officer.
    Others familiar with the whistleblower’s complaint have confirmed to
    @politico
    that it involves the president’s communications.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  4. #4129

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Greg Miller
    @gregpmiller
    NEW: the Trump call at the center of the IC firestorm centers on Ukraine. Trump spoke with leader of Ukraine weeks before the complaint was filed.
    @shaneharris
    @nakashimae
    @CarolLeonnig

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...476_story.html

    What did Trump "promise" the leader of Ukraine? TBD, but important context: US has been holding back millions in military/intel aid for Ukraine. At same time, Giuliani has made clear Trump team wants Ukraine to pursue probe that might implicate son of Joe Biden.

    Renato Mariotti
    @renato_mariotti

    1/ If Trump promised foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating Biden's son, that is obviously corrupt and should meet any definition of a "high crime" for impeachment.

    It's also "bribery" as commonly understood, but I'm not sure it fits the federal bribery statute.

    2/ The bribery statute is all about bribing public officials *in the United States*, and defines public officials in that fashion. (You can check out the definition yourself, below.) So I disagree with legal analysts who cite that statute. https://law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/201

    3/ The more likely charge here would be one of two things.

    First, a campaign finance charge, if the purpose of the bribery is to influence a federal election. (Given that Biden is leading in the polls, this has some appeal on its face.)

    4/ Second, a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charge for bribing a foreign official.

    The issue with that charge would be that, as president, Trump has control of our foreign policy apparatus and can make foreign policy decisions on behalf of the United States.

    5/ This is not a garden variety bribe. Our criminal law system is not set up to deal with a president using his constitutional authority to engage in corrupt behavior. The remedy for that conduct is impeachment and removal from office. /end
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  5. #4130

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Don't worry. Lindsey and Mitch et al will see this as business as usual.
    Missing winter...

  6. #4131

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Guiliani is claiming he is the one that made the call and asked Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden:

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/...ot-cpt-vpx.cnn

    "President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani joined CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday for one of the wildest cable news interviews of the year. Hours before Giuliani's appearance, The Washington Post broke the news that President Trump's whistleblower complaint involved Ukraine.

    Cuomo opened the interview by suggesting a link between the whistleblower story and Giuliani's past attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents, which put the former New York City Mayor on the attack. "What you just said is totally erroneous. Every single thing you just said is completely spun in the same direction you've been doing for two years," Giuliani responded.

    Attempting to explain the situation, Giuliani pivoted to a completely separate Ukranianin allegation against the former vice president and the Democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden. Giuliani alleged that the Biden bribed the president of Ukraine to fire a prosecutor that was investigating his son, Hunter Biden, and accused Cuomo and CNN of covering that up for the past five months.

    After some heated back and forth on Giuliani's meandering claims, Cuomo once again asked Giuliani if he urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Giuliani denied the allegation at first, then proudly changed his position. "You want to cover some ridiculous charge that I urged the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption. Well, I did, and I'm proud of it." proclaimed Giuliani.

    Despite Giuliani's repeated claims of media bias, Cuomo gave the former New York City mayor plenty of airtime to discuss the Biden allegation, but when Cuomo tried to steer the conversation back to Trump, Giuliani started to get personal. "It is sad to watch what has happened to you," said Giuliani. Then he called Cuomo a "sellout" and said he was embarrassed for him.

    And while Giuliani talked a lot during the interview, it was Cuomo who got the last word. "I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed for you"

    Twitter definitely took notice of the Giuliani's bonkers 28-minute interview."
    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/...081358046.html

    And Ponchi, yes, yes Mitch will.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  7. #4132
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    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    "Top Democrat threatens legal action..."

    This just makes me laugh and laugh.
    Oh Grigor. You silly man.

  8. #4133

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in TX View Post
    Guiliani is claiming he is the one that made the call and asked Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden:

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/...ot-cpt-vpx.cnn

    "President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani joined CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday for one of the wildest cable news interviews of the year. Hours before Giuliani's appearance, The Washington Post broke the news that President Trump's whistleblower complaint involved Ukraine.

    Cuomo opened the interview by suggesting a link between the whistleblower story and Giuliani's past attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents, which put the former New York City Mayor on the attack. "What you just said is totally erroneous. Every single thing you just said is completely spun in the same direction you've been doing for two years," Giuliani responded.

    Attempting to explain the situation, Giuliani pivoted to a completely separate Ukranianin allegation against the former vice president and the Democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden. Giuliani alleged that the Biden bribed the president of Ukraine to fire a prosecutor that was investigating his son, Hunter Biden, and accused Cuomo and CNN of covering that up for the past five months.

    After some heated back and forth on Giuliani's meandering claims, Cuomo once again asked Giuliani if he urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. Giuliani denied the allegation at first, then proudly changed his position. "You want to cover some ridiculous charge that I urged the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption. Well, I did, and I'm proud of it." proclaimed Giuliani.

    Despite Giuliani's repeated claims of media bias, Cuomo gave the former New York City mayor plenty of airtime to discuss the Biden allegation, but when Cuomo tried to steer the conversation back to Trump, Giuliani started to get personal. "It is sad to watch what has happened to you," said Giuliani. Then he called Cuomo a "sellout" and said he was embarrassed for him.

    And while Giuliani talked a lot during the interview, it was Cuomo who got the last word. "I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed for you"

    Twitter definitely took notice of the Giuliani's bonkers 28-minute interview."
    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/...081358046.html

    And Ponchi, yes, yes Mitch will.
    So knowing how the GOP and especially Tiny project this is what I got from that "bonkers" interview:

    1. Tiny bribed someone to look the other way on one of his spawn

    2. Ghouliani, by saying he did it, confirmed that Tiny did offer a bribe to the newly elected president of Ukraine

    I guess their thinking goes that in 2016 it was emails. This cycle it's going to be Biden's son. There was a lot of mention of the jail under the Capital on Ari's show last night. Makes you wonder.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  9. #4134

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Kurt Eichenwald
    @kurteichenwald

    Whatever happens to Trump, we won't be cleansed of official lawbreaking & corruption until apparatchiks like
    @ODNIgov
    Maguire are locked up for knowingly violating law to protect a president. And Maguire does not have a "get out of jail free" card.

    ...and unlike everyone else in this sordid affair, the only one we know for certain is breaking the law - and did so from the moment he consulted
    @TheJusticeDept on whistleblower complaint - is @ODNIgov Maguire.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  10. #4135

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Trump Repeatedly Pressed Ukraine President to Investigate Biden’s Son
    Interactions under focus amid whistleblower complaint on U.S. president’s dealings with a world leader
    By Alan Cullison, Rebecca Ballhaus and Dustin Volz
    Updated Sept. 20, 2019 4:03 pm ET

    President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.

    “He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on any investigation.

    Mr. Giuliani in June and August met with top Ukrainian officials about the prospect of an investigation, he said in an interview. The Trump lawyer has suggested Mr. Biden as vice president worked to shield from investigation a Ukrainian gas company with ties to his son, Hunter Biden. A Ukrainian official earlier this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son.

    After the July call between the two presidents, the Ukrainian government said Mr. Trump had congratulated the new president on his election and expressed hope that his government would push ahead with investigations and corruption probes that had stymied relations between the two countries.

    The White House declined to comment. The Biden campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. Last week, a Biden campaign spokesman said of Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine: “This is beneath us as Americans.”

    Mr. Trump on Friday defended his July call with Mr. Zelensky as “totally appropriate” but declined to say whether he had asked the Ukrainian leader to investigate Mr. Biden, a former U.S. vice president. “It doesn’t matter what I discussed,” he said.

    At the same time, he reiterated his call for an investigation into Mr. Biden’s effort as vice president to oust Ukraine’s prosecutor general. “Somebody ought to look into that," he told reporters.

    In recent months, Mr. Giuliani has mounted an extensive effort to pressure Ukraine to do so. He told The Wall Street Journal he met with an official from the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office in June in Paris, and met with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Mr. Zelensky in Madrid in August. Mr. Giuliani told the Journal earlier this month that Mr. Yermak assured him the Ukrainian government would “get to the bottom” of the Biden matter.

    The August meeting came weeks before the Trump administration began reviewing the status of $250 million in foreign aid to Ukraine, which the administration released earlier this month. Mr. Giuliani said he wasn’t aware of the issue with the funds to Ukraine at the time of the meeting.

    He said his meeting with Mr. Yermak was set up by the State Department, and said he briefed the department on their conversation later. The State Department had no immediate comment.

    The interactions between the president, Mr. Giuliani and Ukraine have come under scrutiny in recent days in the wake of a whistleblower complaint that a person familiar with the matter said involves the president’s communications with a foreign leader. The complaint, which the Washington Post reported centers on Ukraine, has prompted a new standoff between Congress and the executive branch.

    Separately, lawmakers have been investigating whether the president or his lawyer sought to pressure the Ukrainian government to pursue probes in an effort to benefit Mr. Trump’s re-election bid.


    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-d...er-11568993176
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  11. #4136

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    So knowing how the GOP and especially Tiny project this is what I got from that "bonkers" interview:

    1. Tiny bribed someone to look the other way on one of his spawn

    2. Ghouliani, by saying he did it, confirmed that Tiny did offer a bribe to the newly elected president of Ukraine

    I guess their thinking goes that in 2016 it was emails. This cycle it's going to be Biden's son. There was a lot of mention of the jail under the Capital on Ari's show last night. Makes you wonder.
    I think that you are right in this thinking. They need a new distractor, and Hilary's emails will be a bit old and tired by then (even though some people never grow old of "the classics"). This way, he also has cover for the behavior of Jared, Ivanka and Don Jr. (probably doesn't care too much about Eric) with the 'every one does it' type of mantra that his supporters will drink up like the last water in the Sahara for the next 150 miles on a camel caravan.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  12. #4137

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





  13. #4138

    Re: A Chronicle of our Descent to Hades

    Joshua Holland ��
    @JoshuaHol
    The co-author of the much-criticized NYT piece that mainstreamed this bullshit about Biden's son went on to take a job as Volodymyr Zelenskyy's spokesperson.

    It's so f**king twisted.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/03/media...son/index.html

    ralphsmotorbike
    @ralphsmotorbike
    Replying to
    @JoshuaHol
    “It wasn’t until the 19th paragraph that The Times notes there was no evidence Biden intentionally tried to aide his son...”
    Ken Vogel has been all over cable pushing the story. Whether or not Biden is your candidate, it’s emails and Benghazi all over again.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.

    ― Frank Zappa





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