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Trump Administration Whistleblower Cover-Up

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  • Mountain Man
    replied
    Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
    To be sure it isn't lost in the mix, there's this:

    Any legitimate Ukrainian probe of Burisma would have been focused on the oligarch and founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who fled the country during the probe.

    • Not the board of directors, and
    • Not the non-Ukrainian board members brought in to provide a semblance of oversight, including Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland; Joseph Cofer Black, former director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center under Dubya; and the far more obscure Hunter Biden, former director of the nada institute.

    But considering the widespread corruption within the prosecutor's office resulting in international calls for his ouster, it's far more likely the probe amounted to little more than a shake-down effort.
    I suppose that's why the Ukrainian government was so troubled by Joe Biden extorting them to fire a prosecutor who was about to drop the hammer on his son that they've been trying for nearly two-years to get the US to investigate the very real possibility that US laws were broken.

    Remember, this whole thing was initiated by the Ukrainian government contacting the State Department after they were stonewalled by the US embassy in Kiev, and federal prosectors in New York.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-ho...erture-to-rudy

    We also know for a fact that it was an active investigation when Biden extorted them, contrary to the liberal narrative that the case had been dismissed. This information comes firsthand from official Ukraine government documents and the prosecutor himself.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-ho...obe-is-revived

    Furthermore, Ukraine's foreign minister is on record saying that they initiated contact with the US government, and that President Trump did not pressure them to investigate.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com...dent-zelensky/

    So basically, the truth is almost the exact opposite of everything we're hearing from the liberal media and their "sources say" reports.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sam
    replied
    Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
    Nope, nope, I didn't read your source, Sam. But any road, the eggs on me for not checking.
    There’s a dispute going on between Bloomberg and the Times over some aspects of this complex story. (Here’s Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple on their back-and-forth.) One area of dispute is whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster. “There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky,” Vitaliy Kasko, a former official in the prosecutor general’s office, told Bloomberg News in an article published May 7. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.”

    Note especially:
    One area of dispute is whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster.

    So the refs are still consulting on whether the ball was out. The game's not over.

    Good to hear from you, as always. I don't think the various reporting on this subject is contradictory but rather complementary: Shokin apparently had a history of beginning/announcing investigations into corruption then backing off/shelving those investigations after using them to extort the targets. This doesn't mean that the investigation is technically closed and "off the books", just that it is not being pursued. Or as Ken Vogel at NYT put it:

    Source: Trump, Biden and Ukraine: Sorting Out the Accusations. Kenneth P. Vogel. NYT. 2019.09.22

    Mr. Shokin was not aggressively pursuing investigations into Mr. Zlochevsky or Burisma. But the oligarch’s allies say Mr. Shokin was using the threat of prosecution to try to solicit bribes from Mr. Zlochevsky and his team, and that left the oligarch’s team leery of dealing with the prosecutor.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Shokin's replacement would apparently go on to mimic the pattern of his predecessor's behavior but I don't think there's actually much daylight between NYT, Bloomberg, and other reporting: whether or not Burisma Group was technically under investigation at the time, Shokin was not pursuing it, allegedly choosing instead to use the investigation as leverage for extortion. So the underlying logic remains: better for Biden, if he were trying to shield his son from any corruption charges, to stay with the guy who opens and shutters investigations for extortion than to attack him as corrupt and push for reform.

    --Sam

    Leave a comment:


  • Juvenal
    replied
    To be sure it isn't lost in the mix, there's this:

    Any legitimate Ukrainian probe of Burisma would have been focused on the oligarch and founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who fled the country during the probe.

    • Not the board of directors, and
    • Not the non-Ukrainian board members brought in to provide a semblance of oversight, including Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland; Joseph Cofer Black, former director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center under Dubya; and the far more obscure Hunter Biden, former director of the nada institute.

    But considering the widespread corruption within the prosecutor's office resulting in international calls for his ouster, it's far more likely the probe amounted to little more than a shake-down effort.

    Leave a comment:


  • Juvenal
    replied
    Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
    Now that's whatcha call game, set, match.
    Nope, nope, I didn't read your source, Sam. But any road, the eggs on me for not checking.
    There’s a dispute going on between Bloomberg and the Times over some aspects of this complex story. (Here’s Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple on their back-and-forth.) One area of dispute is whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster. “There was no pressure from anyone from the U.S. to close cases against Zlochevsky,” Vitaliy Kasko, a former official in the prosecutor general’s office, told Bloomberg News in an article published May 7. “It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.”

    Note especially:
    One area of dispute is whether the Burisma probe was ongoing while Biden was pushing for Shokin’s ouster.

    So the refs are still consulting on whether the ball was out. The game's not over.
    Last edited by Juvenal; 09-23-2019, 06:19 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Juvenal
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam View Post
    The "prosecutor they didn't like" was notoriously corrupt and had quashed an investigation into the Burisma Group. How, exactly, does Biden help his son do corrupt things by getting a corrupt prosecutor who's already passed on investigating the company Hunter Biden worked with/for fired? Wouldn't the smart play be to push back on the international effort to get this prosecutor removed, to use the office of VP to protect him?
    Now that's whatcha call game, set, match.

    But, really, look. This week has been newsworthy for two things:

    1) The President (first allegedly then confirmed by the President himself) pushed the Ukrainian government to specifically investigate his likely 2020 political rival, sending his personal attorney to meet with Ukrainian officials and withholding $250m in Congressionally-appropriated funds without public explanation.

    2) The President or someone high up in WH/DOJ unlawfully directed that a whistleblower complaint that includes but may not be limited to the above be withheld from Congress.

    Both are impeachable acts. The second isn't even a matter of debate. And the first? Well, that's exactly the kind of "coordination" that Trump, Republicans, and several folks on here have said was the "real" illegal collusion of 2016. They've said that "Hillary" (really a DNC contractor working independently of the DNC or the Clinton campaign) tried to get Ukraine to dig up "dirt" on Paul Manafort to use against Trump. Whatever one wants to believe about that episode, it's explicitly happening here ... only Trump has used the office of the President in soliciting the thing of value; even apparently going so far as to put a price tag on its value ($250m + $140m that just ... showed up for some unexplained reason).
    Upthread I provided a link relevant to the more serious of these, a defense of withholding from Obama's general counsel to the ODNI.
    As I outlined here, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act provides that if the ICIG determines that a complaint about a matter of “urgent concern” is credible, he sends it to the DNI, who within seven days “shall ... forward” it to Congress together with any comments. But a matter of “urgent concern” is defined as “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity within the authority of the Director of National Intelligence involving classified information” (emphasis added). The alleged offer by the president, while perhaps criminal and possibly impeachable, does not obviously relate to any intelligence activity within the DNI’s authority.

    From all reports, the complaint does not relate to the "funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity within the authority of the DNI involving classified information."

    So on the one hand, there's an actual, nonpartisan argument to be made for claiming the complaint was not, by definition, an "urgent concern." On the other, it is, by natural reasoning, quite obviously an urgent concern, and judged so by yet another "deep state" actor, aka a Trump appointee serving at the pleasure of the president.

    Maybe Hunter Biden got real rich trading off his father's name and position. That's routine network-lobbyist grifting that goes on all the time through both Republican and Democratic administrations. If we want to make it illegal, great, let's do it. But it's not illegal and there's zero evidence that Hunter Biden committed corrupt acts or that Joe Biden facilitated anything illegal. And if folks here weren't raising red flags about Kusher getting a mega-bailout by Qatari investors after the Trump administration helped Saudi Arabia launch a major crackdown on Qatari commerce/travel routes or with Ivanka Trump suddenly winning some long-sought Chinese trademarks ... well, I'm not sure it's really the underlying conduct that is of concern.
    Maybe it's not illegal, but it's absurd to suggest Biden wasn't sufficiently aware of his son's relationship with what he also could not have been unaware was a corrupt administration. Burisma was looking for energy contracts. These are properly described as up for bid, but the bidding comes inescapably in the form of bribes. Likely enough, Hunter's covered against legal action, because that's not that hard to do, but his efforts to distance himself from Burisma are telling. He's dirty.

    Highlighting "crony capitalism" involving a close relative would be an entirely fair attack on a political opponent, though in this instance, with the muckraking coming from a businessman president profiting directly from his presidency, it might not be prudent to open that box.

    I'm not sure what to call folks who dissemble about the President soliciting a thing of immense personal/campaign value from a foreign government, demanding that government meet with his personal attorney, then blocking needed and allocated funding right up until Congress sent over a investigative preservation request. Nor do I know what to call the same folks who dissemble about the President violating the law to prevent a whistleblower complaint about his conduct from reaching Congress.

    But whatever one can call 'em, they're not good citizens of the Republic. And, with that, I'll return to the infrequent lurkings.

    --Sam
    Always a pleasure, Sam.

    And again, as I mentioned upthread, those who are willing to wait will be rewarded. Both audio and transcripts of the call will be in the press soon enough, and we can move on from the if, if, if ... speculations to a more serious discussion of facts.

    Leave a comment:

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