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  1. #196

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Trump contradicts testimony -- and himself -- by claiming he never directed Giuliani on Ukraine
    By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

    Updated 2:03 PM ET, Wed November 27, 2019

    (CNN)President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that he directed his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to go to Ukraine and seek out investigations on his behalf, contradicting his own words to the Ukrainian President in the White House released transcript of the July 25 call.

    Trump also contradicted sworn testimony from members of his administration and claims from his own White House acting chief of staff.

    Ahead of a Tuesday night rally in Florida, Trump was asked by conservative radio host Bill O'Reilly if the President directed Giuliani's involvement in Ukraine.

    "No," the President said, before launching into a tangent of flattering Giuliani's credentials, calling him "a great corruption fighter" and "the greatest mayor" of New York City.

    O'Reilly asked once again: "Giuliani's your personal lawyer. So you didn't direct him to go to Ukraine to do anything or put any heat on them?"

    "No, I didn't direct him, but he's a warrior, Rudy's a warrior. Rudy went, he possibly saw something. But you have to understand, Rudy (has) other people that he represents," Trump said, adding that Giuliani has "done work in Ukraine for years."

    But according to the rough transcript of a phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump repeatedly pressed for Giuliani's involvement.

    Trump told Zelensky: "Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great."
    Trump later said: "I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out."

    A third time, Trump referenced Giuliani: "I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call."

    The denial that he directed Giuliani's diplomatic foray comes as House Democrats conduct an impeachment inquiry scrutinizing just what the President knew and did surrounding the withholding of aid to Ukraine.

    Democrats claim he withheld the aid in order to pressure Ukraine to investigate the son of his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden in Ukraine.

    And top diplomats have testified that Giuliani's role loomed large over their own official operations regarding Ukraine.

    Trump's claim that he didn't direct his personal lawyer to handle issues in Ukraine also contradicts what has been told to Congress in impeachment hearings and what Trump's own acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, has told the press.

    In October, Mulvaney defended Giuliani's involvement in US-Ukraine affairs by saying "the President gets to use who he wants to use."

    "You may not like the fact that Giuliani was involved. That's great. That's fine. It's not illegal. It's not impeachable. The President gets to use who he wants to use," Mulvaney said during a press briefing.
    And US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told members of Congress last week that the President had directed him to reach out to Giuliani on US-Ukrainian relations.

    "We ... were disappointed but the President's direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani," Sondland said, indicating that their goal of setting up a meeting with the two presidents would be abandoned if they didn't "do as President Trump directed and talk to Mr. Giuliani to address the President's concerns."

    "My understanding was that the President directed Mr. Giuliani's participation, and that Mr. Giuliani was expressing the concerns of the President," Sondland added.

    There is a key distinction between Trump's denials and Sondland's testimony: If Sondland was lying, he could be prosecuted, because it's a crime to give false testimony to Congress. Trump can say whatever he wants to the press, and has amassed a long record of spreading blatant lies and falsehoods throughout his presidency.
    Former US special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker also testified that Giuliani's name came up in that Oval Office meeting, though Volker didn't say Trump gave an explicit direction to coordinate with Giuliani.

    But Trump's claim he didn't direct Giuliani's Ukraine efforts does parallel a similar strategy the President used with his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is currently in prison for a handful of financial crimes, including campaign finance violations that Trump directed him to commit, according to the Justice Department.

    Trump initially denied he ever directed Cohen to make hush money payments to women accusing him of having affairs (which he also denied occurred). Eventually, Trump did not dispute directing Cohen, but said he did not ask Cohen to break the law while making those payments. Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws by facilitating the payments.

    CNN's Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  2. #197

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    At the same time that he was working on the shadow campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Trump’s rivals.

    NOVEMBER 27, 2019

    A person familiar with the negotiations described contracts drafted earlier this year in which Giuliani would have worked for Lutsenko or, separately, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. For Lutsenko, the agreement would have provided a pipeline to Trump’s lawyer and, through him, potentially to other top U.S. officials. For Giuliani, the agreements would have been a way to accrue financial benefit from a person who was also providing him politically damaging information that could help another client, the president of the United States.

    That same person also told the Post that a separate retainer agreement drafted in March would have had Giuliani Partners, the former mayor’s firm, receive $300,000 from the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice for work helping to recover the supposedly stolen assets. All of this, of course, was going on as Giuliani was allegedly working to extort Ukraine on the president’s behalf, despite protestations to the contrary this week.

    An attorney for Giuliani declined to comment on the negotiations. Lutsenko, who served as Ukraine’s top prosecutor until August, could not be immediately reached for comment. But in an interview with the publication Ukrainian Truth earlier this month, Lutsenko described how he was eager for Giuliani to help him get a meeting with the U.S. attorney general to discuss evidence he had uncovered that Ukrainian assets had been routed through U.S. bank accounts.

    Giuliani is currently being investigated on multiple fronts, and federal prosectors in New York have been probing his dealings with associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman for possible crimes that include wire fraud and failure to register as a foreign agent. (All three men have denied wrongdoing.) While the contracts with Lutsenko and the ministry never went into effect and no money was ever exchanged, the negotiations themselves just might be of interest to investigators, or perhaps the House Democrats.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  3. #198

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Nadler calls Trump’s bluff

    Jennifer Rubin
    Opinion writer
    Dec. 2, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. EST

    When the House Intelligence Committee held depositions of key witnesses, President Trump’s lawyers cried: “Unfair! Secret hearings!” In fact, a slew of Republicans had the right to ask questions, though some chose not to attend. When the hearings moved to a public phase, the White House hollered: “Unfair! Trump’s lawyer isn’t present!” When the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), invited Trump’s lawyers to attend, the response was: “Unfair! We’re not coming!”

    What is unfair is that Trump and his lawyers have given up any semblance of fidelity to facts, have smeared distinguished witnesses, attempted to intimidate the whistleblower (and put his or her safety in jeopardy), hurled baseless accusations at House Democrats investigating presidential wrongdoing and, worst of all, obstructed Congress by refusing to produce documents and blocking critical witnesses from testifying.

    On Sunday, Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, sent Nadler a letter declining to show up for the Wednesday hearing but reserving the right to participate later on. The New York Times wrote: “The refusal to send lawyers Wednesday continues a pattern of stonewalling by Mr. Trump, who has sought to block witnesses and documents, as he and his allies call the proceedings ‘deranged’ and a ‘witch hunt.’”

    There is no mystery as to what is going on here. Trump has no facts to put forth and no valid constitutional argument that bribery (specifically mentioned in the Constitution) and obstruction fail to meet the standard for impeachment. (As the Lawfare blog puts it, “There is every reason to believe that the drafters of the Constitution had in mind a scope that easily encompasses Trump’s conduct. ... The transcript [of the July 25 call] makes clear that Trump tied together the request for a personal favor with the delivery of military aid. But even if he had not made such a direct connection, this sort of corrupt use of public office to obtain a private benefit fits squarely within the definition of bribery when the Constitution was written.”)

    Instead, Trump (like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) plays the same card that every corrupt authoritarian does in these situations: He attacks the investigators as corrupt and unfair. “Republicans battling the potential impeachment of President Trump have flitted among a multitude of shifting — and, at times, contradictory — defenses and deflections as they seek to cast doubt on a narrative supported by mounting evidence: that Trump subverted U.S. foreign policy to further his personal aims by pressuring Ukraine to launch politically motivated investigations, using hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid as leverage,” The Post reported last month. “While those attacks — at least 22, according to a Washington Post tally — have done little to undermine the core allegations under investigation in the House, they have been remarkably successful in one respect: keeping congressional Republicans united against impeachment as the GOP casts the probe as partisan.”

    Republicans remain united not because truth, the Constitution or fairness are on Trump’s side. They are on his side because they have chosen to put blind tribalism above their constitutional obligations. Republicans think they have a captive base insulated by Fox News (the equivalent of Pravda) and by the allegedly more sophisticated conservative pundits who cannot stand up to the mob, for fear of losing readership, speaking fees, access and political relevance in the Trump era. Whatever procedural requests Democrats grant will be dismissed as insufficient. There is no process that will meet Trump’s definition of “fairness,” because any limitation on his conduct and any criticism are by definition unfair in his narcissistic, self-deluded view.

    So let us not play along with the Republican pretense that Trump is being treated unfairly. He is afforded every opportunity to participate in the process. Congress has begged him to release documents and let witnesses testify. Are none of these exculpatory? Do they all confirm what we already know, namely that Trump invited foreign interference in our election, used his public position (i.e. a White House meeting, release of aid) to get political help (in the form of a spurious investigation with no basis in fact) against a political rival?

    What is unfair is that Trump and his Republican cohorts are doing everything in their power to obstruct and delegitimize the only real constitutional check on a lawless executive. It is the American people who should be hollering at them.

    I long for the days when I could disagree with people like Rubin and Kristol on intellectual and policy grounds. Hopefully those days of sanity will return. You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  4. #199

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Brandi Buchman

    @RepJerryNadlerresponds to WH refusal to participate in upcoming HJC Hearing: If POTUS "thinks the call was perfect and there is nothing to hide" then POTUS would turn over the "thousands of pages of documents" requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify...

    Instead of blocking them with "baseless privilege claims" and he would "provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power," Nadler wrote.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  5. #200

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Brandi Buchman

    The House Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, issued a letter to Nadler this afternoon too. Collins says the majority is conducting the impeachment inquiry "without evidence" and dubs it, as he often does, a "sham" process.

    Collins Letter to Nadler
    Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Brandi Buchman (Courthouse News).

    Collins main point of contention in this letter is that Nadler has not yet announced the witnesses for the hearing slated Wednesday and that Republicans have not yet reviewed the House Intel Committee's report.

    NEW - The witness list for Wednesday's hearing on constitutional grounds for impeachment: Noah Feldman of Harvard Law; Pamela Karlan of Stanford Law; Michael Gerhardt of Univ. of North Carolina School of Law and Jonathan Turley of GWU Law School.

    In October, Noah Feldman penned an op-ed for NYT, stating his position unequivocally: the U.S. is in the throes of a "constitutional crisis."

    Pamela Karlan, with the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Clinic, just appeared at SCOTUS in October, arguing before the high court that federal civil rights laws should protect employees from sexual discrimination. Background on that via
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  6. #201

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Giuliani Associate Lev Parnas Cleared to Comply With Impeachment Subpoena
    December 2, 2019 ADAM KLASFELD

    MANHATTAN (CN) – A federal judge paved the way on Monday for Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas to comply with a House subpoena for information relevant to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

    “I certainly expect to grant that request,” U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken told Parnas’ attorney Joseph Brody, adding that he hoped prosecutors would turn over the evidence as soon as possible.

    “We will,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Zolkind replied, explaining that the paper trail seized by the government can be turned over quickly.

    Prosecutors would not be turning over the files to Congress directly but rather to Parnas’ legal team, which intends to comply with House subpoenas.

    Because Parnas has not provided his passwords, however, Zolkind said the file-transfer process could take some time.

    Parnas, a Belarus-born U.S. citizen, has been charged alongside the Ukrainian-born Igor Fruman with using straw donors to funnel Russian money into U.S. elections through limited liability companies. Authorities arrested the pair at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, bound for Vienna with one-way tickets.

    Prosecutor Zolkind signaled that a grand jury would probably level more charges.

    “We think a superseding indictment is likely, but no decision has been made, certainly,” Zolkind said.

    Repeatedly emphasizing that the government’s investigation is ongoing, the prosecutor referred obliquely to possible other targets by explaining that redactions on search warrants do not relate to the charged case. Zolkind also explained that disclosing witness statements prematurely could risk compromising the probe.

    That revelation could worry Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, reported by multiple news outlets to be the subject of criminal investigations for fraud, undisclosed foreign lobbying, campaign-finance violations and other charges.

    Giuliani’s criminal exposure may widen further as prosecutors amass evidence.

    Zolkind estimated that the government has well over 9 gigabytes of data from 29 electronic devices, including a satellite phone seized from Fruman’s residence. Extracting data from the devices could take roughly two months if the defendants do not provide their passwords, he explained.

    Before becoming New York City mayor, Giuliani served as a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, the jurisdiction now investigating him.

    For nearly a month, Parnas has expressed an openness to comply with the congressional investigation. He already provided audio, video and photographic evidence to Congress a little more than a week ago, ABC News reported.

    “Mr. Parnas has vociferously and publicly asserted his wish to comply with his previously issued subpoena and to provide the House Intelligence Committee with truthful and important information that is in furtherance of justice, not to obstruct it,” Bondy, his attorney, told the network at the time.

    Fruman has not cooperated with the committee, and his attorney Todd Blanche made no such announcement in court.

    The hearing brought complaints about the length of the discovery process from all of the defense attorneys. Without a clearer picture of the government’s evidence, they called it premature to set a schedule for pretrial motions or a trial date.

    “I don’t want to keep kicking the can down the road until we get a trial date,” Blanche said, asking the judge to put pressure on the FBI and the government to speed up the process.

    Attorneys for the other two accused co-conspirators, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, alleged a holding pattern.

    “They indicted the case prepared to go to trial based on the evidence they had, presumably,” Correia’s attorney William Harrington told Judge Oetken.

    Kukushkin’s attorney Gerald Lefcourt wanted the government to provide a clearer roadmap for the evidence, which he said includes tens of thousands of bank records.

    Prosecutors deny there has been unreasonable delay, noting that the men were arrested in October.

    “That is not a significant passage of time,” Zolkind emphasized.

    A follow-up hearing has been set after the new year, on Feb. 3, 2020.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  7. #202

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Manu Raju

    House GOP offers a full-throated defense of Trump in a 123-page impeachment inquiry report, contending Trump did nothing wrong. “President Trump has a deep-seated, genuine, and reasonable skepticism of Ukraine due to its history of pervasive corruption.”

    Report also defends Trump’s claims that Ukraine meddled in 2016, despite witness testimony saying otherwise. There’s “indisputable evidence that senior Ukrainian government officials opposed President Trump in the 2016 election and did so publicly.”

    GOP contends that Biden was only mentioned “in passing” during July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky. “The call summary, however, shows that President Trump referenced the Bidens only in passing and that the presidents did not discuss the topic substantively.”

    Despite US officials raising alarms about Rudy’s efforts, GOP says: “There is nothing inherently improper with Mayor Giuliani’s involvement as well because the Ukrainians knew that he was a conduit to convince President Trump that President Zelensky was serious about reform.”

    Here’s the full GOP report.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  8. #203

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Natasha Bertrand

    NEW: The GOP-controlled Senate Intel Committee investigated & cleared Ukraine of an election interference campaign in 2016. Testimony from Ali Chalupa was useless, sources said, & Republicans didn’t follow up/request more witnesses related to the issue.

    Senate panel look into Ukraine interference comes up short
    Some Republican senators recently questioned whether Kyiv tried to sabotage Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. But the GOP-led Intelligence Committee looked into the theory, and found scant evidence to support it.

    12/02/2019 04:36 PM EST interview that fall with the Democratic consultant at the heart of the accusation that Kyiv meddled, Alexandra Chalupa, was fruitless, a committee source said, and Republicans didn’t follow up or request any more witnesses related to the issue.

    The Senate interview largely focused on a POLITICO article published in January 2017, according to a person with direct knowledge of the closed-door hearing, in which Chalupa was quoted as saying officials at the Ukrainian Embassy were "helpful" to her effort to raise the alarm about Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort in 2016.

    “If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with," she said at the time. She cautioned, however, that the embassy was “very careful” not to get involved politically because of the bipartisan support Ukraine has traditionally enjoyed from U.S. lawmakers. As the POLITICO article noted, there was “little evidence” of a “top-down effort” by the Ukraianian government to sabotage Trump’s campaign. And the article did not allege that Poroshenko “actively worked” for Clinton, as Kennedy claimed.

    In her Senate testimony, Chalupa denied serving as an intermediary between the Ukrainian embassy and the DNC and said she had been targeted by a Russian active measures campaign. Intelligence officials have since briefed senators on Russia’s attempts to pin blame for the 2016 interference on Kyiv as part of a disinformation operation, according to a source familiar with the briefings, which were first reported by the New York Times.

    Chalupa confirmed to POLITICO that she was questioned by the panel. A spokesperson for Burr declined to comment. A spokesperson for the ranking member, Mark Warner, pointed to Warner’s recent comments to PBS.

    “I take very seriously the responsibility of, what I hear in classified settings needs to stay classified,” Warner told the outlet. “But I think it is very clear to me, and this has been testified to by every leader of law enforcement, [and the] intelligence community, that there’s been absolutely no validity to this crazy conspiracy theory that Ukraine was behind the 2016 intervention.”


    Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American activist who served as co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Ethnic Council, has never been to Ukraine, and the DNC has said she conducted the Manafort research and outreach to the embassy on her own.

    But she has been at the heart of efforts by Trump’s allies to draw parallels between Russia's large-scale hacking and propaganda operation with the scattershot actions of a small cadre of Ukrainian bureaucrats who tried to expose Manafort’s ties to Russia during the election.

    Republicans have also pointed to an op-ed written by Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Valeriy Chaly, in August 2016 that criticized Trump’s remark days earlier that he would be “looking into” recognizing Crimea as Russian territory.

    In her testimony, Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill acknowledged Chaly’s comments, but said she knew of “an awful lot of senior officials in many governments, including our allied governments” who had criticized Trump in 2016. And she called it “a fiction that the Ukrainian government was launching an effort to upend our election, upend our election to mess with our Democratic systems.”

    Asked whether a Ukrainian-American might have been interested in “injecting” negative information about Manafort into the press, Hill retorted that the same could be said of the Ukrainian-American operatives Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani “who were also trying to subvert our democracy and who managed to get one of our ambassadors sacked.” (Parnas and Fruman helped launch a smear campaign that culminated last spring in the early recall of Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

    “I’ve learned in the last few days that there were some individual people in Ukraine who preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump,” King said in the interview, adding that that was “not surprising” given Trump’s comments about Crimea. “But as near as I can tell, it was simply individuals expressing a preference,” King said. “Not in any way, shape or form the kind of influence operation we saw from Russia in 2016.”

    GOP lawmakers have invoked Chalupa’s name repeatedly throughout the impeachment inquiry—the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, Devin Nunes, alone has mentioned her nearly a dozen times in his opening statements and questioning—to show that it was not unreasonable for Trump to demand that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announce an investigation into the unsubstantiated allegations of Ukraine’s interference in 2016. Trump also asked Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    Those requests, which Hill described as “a political errand” at odds with official U.S. policy, are at the center of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

    Republicans have also pointed to the publication of the so-called black ledger outlining off-the-books payments Manafort received from Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions as evidence of a Ukrainian interference plot. The revelation led Manafort to resign from the Trump campaign, which was already under scrutiny for its Russia ties.

    But the ledger was released by an independent Ukrainian government agency, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, and publicized by Sergii Leshchenko—a Ukrainian member of Parliament who, despite Senator Kennedy’s claims that Poroshenko “worked” with Clinton in 2016, grew to oppose Poroshenko and accused him of launching a politically motivated investigation into the ledger’s release to curry favor with Trump. That investigation was spearheaded by ousted Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.

    Leshchenko recently described his motivations in publicizing the black ledger in an article for the Kyiv Post, an English-language newspaper in Ukraine. “On May 31, 2016, I gave a press conference and released the 22 pages [of the ledger] that I had,” Leshchenko wrote. “Manafort was not mentioned there. His role became known only three months later, in August 2016, when the New York Times reported about it.”

    “In Ukraine, it was no secret to anyone that Manafort worked for Yanukovych and was generously paid,” he continued. “And since Manafort at that time became the head of Trump’s campaign, it was predictable enough that American journalists would dig for Manafort’s name in Yanukovych’s black ledger.”

    Ukraine’s Sixth Administrative Court of Appeals canceled a court ruling in July that said Leshchenko and the head of NABU, Artem Sytnyk, had unlawfully interfered in the 2016 election by publicizing the fact that Manafort’s name and signature appeared on the ledger, according to the Kyiv Post.

    The Ukrainian lawmaker who initiated the court case alleging interference in the U.S., Boryslav Rozenblat, was himself under investigation on corruption charges when he filed the suit, raising questions about its legitimacy.

    Trump’s request to Zelensky to investigate Ukraine’s election interference, however, invoked a debunked conspiracy theory that few Republicans have entertained—that the Democratic National Committee gave its server to a “Ukrainian company” to examine after it had been hacked, ostensibly in an effort to frame Russia for the attack.

    In reality, the DNC hired CrowdStrike—a cybersecurity firm used by Democrats and Republicans that was co-founded by a Russian—to investigate, and the company shared the forensic evidence, which demonstrated Russia’s involvement, with the FBI.

    Trump’s own former homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, has described his fruitless attempts to convince the president that the Crowdstrike theory was bogus. "It’s not only a conspiracy, it is completely debunked," Bossert told ABC in September. “And at this point I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again and for clarity here ... let me just again repeat that it has no validity.”

    Asked about CrowdStrike’s work with the DNC and coordination with the FBI, Adam Hickey, the deputy assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s National Security Division, told the House Judiciary Committee in October that “it’s pretty common for us to work with a security vendor in connection with an investigation of a computer intrusion.”

    Asked by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) “what other countries had shown an interest or tried to interfere in the 2016 election,” Hickey replied, “based on what I’ve read, both from what the IC has put out and also investigations by Congress, what I’ve seen only refers to Russia, that I’m aware of.”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  9. #204

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Glenn Kirschner

    Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson just denied DOJ’s motion for a stay of her order that McGahn must testify before Congress, as “further delay . . . causes grave harm . . . to the interests of the public.”(see full quote, below). The state of our judiciary remains STRONG!

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  10. #205

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    I. The President Conditioned a White House Meeting and Military Aid to Ukraine on a Public Announcement of Investigations Beneficial to his Reelection Campaign

    The President’s Request for a Political Favor

    The President Removed Anti-Corruption Champion Ambassador Yovanovitch

    The President’s Hand-picked Agents Begin the Scheme

    President Trump Froze Vital Military Assistance

    The President Conditioned a White House Meeting on Investigations

    The President’s Agents Pursued a “Drug Deal”

    The President Pressed Zelensky to Do a Political Favor

    The President’s Representatives Ratcheted up Pressure on the Ukrainian President

    Ukrainians Inquired about the President’s Hold on Security Assistance

    The President’s Security Assistance Hold Became Public

    The President’s Scheme Unraveled

    The President’s Chief of Staff Confirmed Aid was Conditioned on Investigations

    NOTE: These are the headings. Details are at the LINK
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  11. #206

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    II. The President Obstructed the Impeachment Inquiry by Instructing Witnesses and Agencies to Ignore Subpoenas for Documents and Testimony

    An Unprecedented Effort to Obstruct an Impeachment Inquiry

    Constitutional Authority for Congressional Oversight and Impeachment

    The President’s Categorical Refusal to Comply

    The President’s Refusal to Produce Any and All Subpoenaed Documents

    The President’s Refusal to Allow Top Aides to Testify

    At President Trump’s direction, twelve current or former Administration officials refused to testify as part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, ten of whom did so in defiance of duly authorized subpoenas:

    Mick Mulvaney, Acting White House Chief of Staff
    Robert B. Blair, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff
    Ambassador John Bolton, Former National Security Advisor
    John A. Eisenberg, Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs and Legal Advisor, National Security Council
    Michael Ellis, Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Deputy Legal Advisor, National Security Council
    Preston Wells Griffith, Senior Director for International Energy and Environment, National Security Council
    Dr. Charles M. Kupperman, Former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, National Security Council
    Russell T. Vought, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget
    Michael Duffey, Associate Director for National Security Programs, Office of Management and Budget
    Brian McCormack, Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science, Office of Management and Budget
    T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, Counselor, Department of State
    Secretary Rick Perry, Department of Energy

    These witnesses were warned that their refusal to testify “shall constitute evidence that may be used against you in a contempt proceeding” and “may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President.”

    The President’s Unsuccessful Attempts to Block Other Key Witnesses

    The President’s Intimidation of Witnesses

    President Trump publicly attacked and intimidated witnesses who came forward to comply with duly authorized subpoenas and testify about his misconduct, raising grave concerns about potential violations of criminal laws intended to protect witnesses appearing before Congressional proceedings. For example, the President attacked:

    Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who served the United States honorably for decades as a U.S. diplomat and anti-corruption advocate in posts around the world under six different Presidents;
    Ambassador Bill Taylor, who graduated at the top of his class at West Point, served as an infantry commander in Vietnam, and earned a Bronze Star and an Air Medal with a V device for valor;
    Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, an active-duty Army officer for more than 20 years who earned a Purple Heart for wounds he sustained in an improvised explosive device attack in Iraq, as well as the Combat Infantryman Badge; and
    Jennifer Williams, who is Vice President Mike Pence’s top advisor on Europe and Russia and has a distinguished record of public service under the Bush, Obama, and Trump Administrations.

    All details are at the same link listed above.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  12. #207

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  13. #208

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Natasha Bertrand
    More calls between Devin Nunes and Lev Parnas, including one that lasted 8 minutes on April 12.

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  14. #209

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Natasha Bertrand

    Giuliani says he passed on representing Lutsenko, but Toensing and diGenova didn't—A retainer agreement obtained by HPSCI stipulated that Toensing and diGenova would help Lutsenko “discuss with U.S. government officials the evidence of...interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.”

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  15. #210

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    The Washington Post is again doing "live updates"

    3:00 p.m.
    Trump’s failure to cooperate in inquiry is unprecedented in U.S. history

    The House Intelligence Committee report describes Trump as “the first and only President in American history to openly and indiscriminately defy all aspects of the Constitutional impeachment process, ordering all federal agencies and officials categorically not to comply with voluntary requests or compulsory demands for documents or testimony.”

    The report quotes the president saying earlier this year in response to congressional investigations: “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.” Similarly, during a speech on July 23, he stated: “I have an Article II, where I have to the right to do whatever I want as president.” The report also quotes a letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone that said, “President Trump cannot permit his Administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances.”

    That defiant argument, if allowed to stand, represents “an existential threat to the nation’s Constitutional system of checks and balances, separation of powers, and rule of law,” the report says.

    By Tom Hamburger

    3:10 p.m.
    The quid pro quo ‘came from the very top’

    The report asserts unequivocally that a meeting Zelensky wanted with Trump was “conditioned on an announcement of investigations,” and traces how Trump’s “hand-picked” representatives worked with Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to communicate that demand.

    “President Trump, through his agents, made clear that his demand needed to be met before a coveted White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would be scheduled,” the report alleges. “A face-to-face meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office would have conferred on the new Ukrainian leader much-sought prestige and would have signaled to Russia that Ukraine could continue to count on the support of the President of the United States, which was particularly important as Russia continued to wage war in eastern Ukraine.”

    The report also alleges that — rather than being an operation run by Giuliani or lower-level officials — the effort was directed by Trump himself.

    “Multiple witnesses testified that the conditioning of an Oval Office meeting on President Zelensky’s announcement of investigations to benefit the President’s reelection campaign came from the very top: President Trump,” the report alleges.

    That is important because Republicans have contemplated placing blame on those beneath the president, particularly Giuliani.

    By Matt Zapotosky

    3:30 p.m.
    Schiff says phone records show ‘considerable coordination’ with White House

    At a news conference, Schiff declined to specify how his panel obtained the cellphone records that are included in its report.

    “But certainly, the phone records show that there was considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House,” he said.

    Schiff also was asked about the fact that Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, appears multiple times in the cellphone records.

    Schiff replied that it was “deeply concerning” that there may be evidence that a lawmaker was complicit with Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine, although he stopped short of definitively saying that such evidence exists and declined to say whether Nunes should recuse himself from Tuesday night’s committee vote.

    “It may be up to others to evaluate the conduct of members of Congress,” Schiff said.

    By Felicia Sonmez

    3:40 p.m.
    Schiff says there’s a ‘grave risk to the country’ if lawmakers wait to get ‘every last fact’

    Schiff argued Tuesday that there would be a “grave risk to the country” if lawmakers wait until they have “every last fact” before proceeding with their efforts on impeachment.

    What his panel has produced so far is overwhelming enough that it ought to be presented to the Judiciary Committee “without delay,” Schiff told reporters, adding that lawmakers will file supplemental reports if more is discovered as they continue their investigation.

    Schiff also declined to say whether he supports impeaching Trump, but noted: “As you can tell, I am gravely concerned that if we merely accept this, that we invite not only further corruption of our elections by this president, but we also invite it of the next president.”

    By Felicia Sonmez

    3:45 p.m.
    Intelligence panel counsel will deliver report to Judiciary Committee

    Daniel S. Goldman, counsel to the House Intelligence Committee, will present the panel’s report to the Judiciary Committee, Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said. The Intelligence Committee is set to vote on the report at its meeting Tuesday, which is expected to begin at 6 p.m.

    By Felicia Sonmez
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

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