Perhaps the biggest surprise springing from this morning’s memo was Trump’s ongoing references to “upcoming” phone calls from Attorney General Barr to the Ukrainian president This comes out of left field, leaving many to wonder what the hell was really going on. Moreover, the fact that the “transcript” is now called a “memo-summary” leaves some believing that critical context, the part explaining why Barr might be involved, had been left out. Regardless, the DOJ was very quick to deny that Attorney General Barr did anything with respect to Ukraine, including make any calls. Moreover, the DOJ stated that Barr didn’t even know that his name had come up in Trump’s phone call. Odd. From Politico: In a statement Wednesday, the Justice Department said Barr was unaware of Trump invoking the attorney general in the matter until “several weeks after the call took place,” when it learned of the whistleblower complaint. DOJ said the intelligence community’s internal watchdog referred the matter to the department as a potential campaign finance violation. “The President has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son. The President has not asked the Attorney General to contact Ukraine – on this or any other matter,” spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement. “The Attorney General has not communicated with Ukraine – on this or any other subject. Nor has the Attorney General discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani.” As Fletch would quip: “So what you’re trying to say is that Barr wasn’t involved?” Left unexplained is how Barr can be referenced so many times and yet have no idea why, or what Trump might have wanted at the time. The most sensible explanation that I have run across relates to the fact that Trump referenced Mueller, the “Crowdstrike” thing, Hillary, the last election, and Barr’s promise to “investigate the investigators.” “They say a lot of it started with Ukraine,” Trump said, alluding to a theory often pushed by Giuliani. He added: “Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.” Barr has appointed a DOJ prosecutor to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation, which Trump and his supporters have repeatedly claim stemmed from political bias. DOJ said Wednesday that team is looking into the role Ukraine played in any counterintelligence activities against Trump’s 2016 campaign, and that Barr had not reached out to Ukraine as part of that investigation but that “certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information” to the head of that probe. It appears to me that not only did Trump make aid contingent upon investigating Biden – whether he expressly made the “promise” or not, it was inferred – but, perhaps also made the aid contingent upon help in “investigating the investigators,” which Trump referenced as “many believing it started in the Ukraine.” Add it all up and Barr is uncomfortable today, because he has absolutely no business making any decision now having anything to do with the materials in this investigation, specifically, the Whistleblower complaint. This is a no-brainer in every other world. Obviously, “this” world, Trump-World, bears little relation to the real one, and we will see whether Barr feels any compulsion to recuse himself. We […]
We have something released by the White House. It is labeled as a transcript, but MSNBC just called it a “summary,” though it doesn’t read as a summary, it reads like a transcript. It does seem short, and it’s possible that certain talk was left out. I doubt it, but anything’s possible with this White House. I cannot cut and paste from the pdf document that you can find here: I didn’t find eight instances – depending upon what one counts, I guess – of pressure to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter. But Trump certainly did put pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden. It is explicit, not a shadow of a doubt. Trump characterized it as a “favor” that he needed the Ukrainian president to do. Something not getting any coverage is the fact that Trump also referenced Mueller, talking about Mueller performing “poorly,” something about “Crowdstrike” and the need to speak to Attorney General Barr. Clearly, Trump wanted help in closing up something to do with Mueller, it is near impossible to tell. Interestingly, the Ukrainian president said that he had already spoken to Rudy Giuliani the week prior. So, this was in the works even prior to the phone call. Moreover, the Ukrainian president references an earlier call between him and Trump. We do not have the transcripts of that call, and I find it very possible that Trump would release one transcript, but keep context hidden in another transcript. Trump also mentioned that the United States does a tremendous amount to support Ukraine, much more than Europe. He did not make that support contingent upon investigating Biden, not in this phone call, anyway. But, we must keep in mind two things; One, it doesn’t matter. The demand that a foreign power investigate his political opponent is plenty to fit an abuse of office. and Two, we know that the money got held-up, behind the scenes. with lies to congress and people in the White House left in the dark. That’s plenty, right there. It is also something that the Whistleblower complaint might shed light upon. Right wingers are pounding upon the “No quid pro quo” theory. The release of the transcript is clearly the latest attempt to “Barr-up” the Report, put out the White House spin first, hoping it sticks. The other thing that is of interest to me is that near every time Trump mentions speaking to Rudy Giuliani, Trump includes a request to speak to Attorney General Barr. Barr is a U.S. official, so it isn’t as damning as the request to speak to Giuliani, who was nothing but Trump’s personal attorney. But it does make one wonder whether Barr also pressured the Ukraine into investigating Biden. It is an open question, and something I find interesting. One thing that I “feel” coming. The White House strategy is to rely wholly upon the fact that Trump didn’t explicitly state it would withhold the money. If and when evidence comes out that Trump did hold the money contingent upon the Ukraine investigating Biden, I suspect the White House will lay it all at Rudy’s feet. They will allege that Rudy mentioned withholding the money without authorization by Trump. There will be much more throughout the day. UPDATES: One, it is a summary. According to an […]
We are going to do our best to be your one-stop shop on impeachment related developments, with updates and analysis. That being said, this is going to be torturous, like listening to nails scrape down a chalkboard, then turning on the laptop and describing the nails on the chalkboard. But, we’re here to serve, and that’s why we get paid a couple hundred a month … for now (we invite all here to become patrons and help support us, as we’ll be working harder than ever). Onward. Morning shocker! Not. One day after the Senate voted unanimously to call for release of the Whistleblower complaint, and one day after the White House promised to release the complaint, we hear … “maybe not.” #BREAKING: White House only wants to send Congress a ‘redacted version’ of whistleblower complaint on Trump: NYT https://t.co/tcGenGWHxP — Raw Story (@RawStory) September 25, 2019 No. We don’t let people accused of wrongdoing pick and choose how much of the wrongdoing sees the light of day. We knew this was coming, it is still just galling to see it. Their message: “Trust us!” I suspect I need not dwell upon the answer required. The only question might be the lengths to which the House and Senate must go to yank the entire complaint out of the White House’s trembling hands. Rudy! The sycophants within the White House have clearly determined that the sycophants outside the White House will take the initial fall. The Washington Post brings us this nugget. Trump’s closest advisers, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who was ordered by Trump to suspend the aid to Ukraine, are also increasingly targets of internal finger-pointing. Mulvaney has agitated for foreign aid to be cut universally but has also stayed away from meetings with Giuliani and Trump, officials said. But the person who appears to have been more directly involved at nearly every stage of the entanglement with Ukraine is Giuliani. “Rudy — he did all of this,” one U.S. official said. “This s—show that we’re in — it’s him injecting himself into the process.” To believe “Rudy – He did all of this,” you have to believe that Trump is a hands-off kind of leader, a confident leader who trusts in staff to do their work, and never inserts himself, never micromanages, never seeks to control each detail. Anyone believing Trump is such a confident and trusting leader has no right to form an opinion on this matter. Regardless, the point is that the White House has decided that they are going to toss Rudy under the van, to shield Trump. Trump may go down, but it seems they’re determined to take everyone else down, first. Anyway, Rudy is delivering. He weaseled his way into what he believed would be friendly territory, Fox and Friends, only to find it not as comfortable as he anticipated. Rudy first pushed back on the “shitshow” comment above, and in his pushback, Rudy essentially copped to a felony: Giuliani responded to this by calling all of these officials “disloyal.” Rudy also insisted at one point during the interview that the State Department should be “grateful” that he inserted himself into diplomacy because otherwise no one would have pushed Ukraine to investigate Biden. Down goes Rudy. But Rudy had […]
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