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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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(David Bythewood) #1827

Barr Is Trying to Erase the Truth

He’s smearing the Russia investigation and covering up Trump’s guilt.

In December 2018, President Donald Trump nominated William Barr to be his attorney general. Trump wanted Barr to bury the Russia investigation, and in April, Barr did just that. Brushing aside the evidence compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller, Barr decreed that Trump wouldn’t be prosecuted. Now Barr is trying to erase the truth from public memory. He’s claiming that the investigation found no evidence against Trump.

When Barr scrapped Mueller’s findings, he asserted that Mueller never pressed for an interview with Trump, that Trump fully cooperated with the investigation, that Trump never tried to fire Mueller, and that Trump’s cover-up attempts were directed only at the press. Barr also claimed that Trump “did nothing wrong,” that the investigation found “no evidence” against Trump, and that suspicions of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign were “without a basis.” Every one of these claims was demonstrably false. Barr even defended Trump’s attacks on the investigators. He said that if he were in Trump’s shoes, “I’d be comfortable saying it was a witch hunt.”

At first, Barr seemed to be an ordinary liar. But in recent months, he has displayed a fanatical streak that suggests he might sincerely believe his fictions. “People are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that,” Barr opined in May. The true threat, he argued, came from Americans “resisting a democratically elected president.” In October, Barr accused “so-called progressives” of a “campaign to destroy the traditional moral order.” Last month, he denounced these same “so-called progressives,” along with a “hyper-partisan media,” for waging “a scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of ‘Resistance’ against this Administration.”

This week, Barr pounced on a Justice Department report about the Russia investigation. The report, issued on Monday by the department’s inspector general, faulted the FBI’s surveillance of a marginal Trump adviser, Carter Page, but found no “documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions” of investigators. A normal attorney general would have welcomed this vindication of his department. But Barr works for Trump, not for law enforcement. Instead of embracing the report, he’s disparaging it, smearing the FBI, and pretending that Trump has been exonerated.

On Tuesday, at a forum hosted by the Wall Street Journal, Barr called the Russia investigation “a travesty.” He asserted that “from day one,” it produced “nothing that substantiated any kind of collusion” between Russia and the Trump campaign. In an interview with NBC News, Barr called the investigation “completely baseless” and claimed that there “never has been any evidence of collusion.”

Barr dismissed the FBI’s portion of the inquiry, which lasted a year. “From the very first day of this investigation, which was July 31, 2016, all the way to its end in September 2017, there was not one incriminatory bit of evidence to come in. It was all exculpatory,” he told NBC. He also dismissed Mueller’s portion of the inquiry, which ran from May 2017 to April 2019, as well as media reports of secret dealings between Russia and the Trump campaign. “Our nation was turned on its head for three years, I think, based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press,” said Barr. He protested that “the entire case collapsed” in January 2017 but that Trump’s persecutors “kept on investigating the president.”

This account bears no resemblance to reality. The FBI had lots of evidence. The investigation began with a forensic analysis that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee in early 2016. A Trump adviser privately alluded to a Russian offer to help Trump by releasing dirt on Hillary Clinton. On July 27, Trump openly declared, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” In August, another Trump adviser predicted trouble ahead for Clinton’s campaign chairman, and WikiLeaks soon released the chairman’s hacked emails. The investigation would later confirm a two-way channel between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign.

In November and December, Russian officials conferred secretly with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Trump’s incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn. When the FBI asked Flynn about these talks, he lied. In February, Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation of Flynn. In May, Trump fired Comey, shared highly sensitive intelligence with Russian officials in a private meeting, and told them that by getting rid of Comey, he had eased pressure on the U.S.-Russia relationship.

Two episodes show clear collaboration between Trump and Russia. First, in July 2017, the New York Times published emails proving that Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with Russians during the campaign to hear an explicit offer of “information that would incriminate Hillary” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” The proposal was abandoned only because the Russians couldn’t explain how their information would nail Clinton. Trump later ordered a cover-up of the offer and, when it became public, tried to shut down the Russia investigation.

Second, Mueller’s investigators found that in July 2016, “within approximately five hours” of Trump’s televised request to find Clinton’s emails, hackers working for Russian intelligence “targeted for the first time Clinton’s personal office” and a slew of email addresses connected to her campaign. Trump asked, and Russia answered.

Barr’s propaganda is completely false. Mueller, the FBI, and the press found considerable evidence that Trump and his campaign sought to collaborate with Russia to win the election. They also found that Trump obstructed the investigation. The only reason Trump remains unindicted is that Barr declared the evidence insufficient. Now Barr is saying the evidence never existed. If he’s not delusional, he’s a liar.


#1828

Here’s the mentioned story from the New Yorker,


#1829

Cross-posting :pray:


#1830

Full List: Where Every House Member Stands on Impeachment

FYI, 218 is a simple majority in this House. The count at this posting is 194 in favor of Impeachment.


#1831

Giuliani’s role as instigator, co- conspirator and one who promotes fraudulent cases against those who might stand in their way is getting exposed. We’re getting more and more clues as to how the State Dept. Pompeo and T liked this logic.

Rudolph Giuliani said in an interview that he briefed the president “a couple of times” about Marie Yovanovitch, the envoy to Ukraine, setting her recall in motion.

WASHINGTON — Rudolph W. Giuliani said on Monday that he provided President Trump with detailed information this year about how the United States ambassador to Ukraine was, in Mr. Giuliani’s view, impeding investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump, setting in motion the ambassador’s recall from her post.

In an interview, Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, described how he passed along to Mr. Trump “a couple of times” accounts about how the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, had frustrated efforts that could be politically helpful to Mr. Trump. They included investigations involving former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ukrainians who disseminated documents that damaged Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The president in turn connected Mr. Giuliani with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who asked for more information, Mr. Giuliani said. Within weeks, Ms. Yovanovitch was recalled as ambassador at the end of April and was told that Mr. Trump had lost trust in her.

The circumstances of Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster after a smear campaign engineered in part by Mr. Giuliani were documented during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, where she was a key witness in impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump. Mr. Giuliani has made no secret of his role in flagging concerns about Ms. Yovanovitch to Mr. Trump.


(David Bythewood) #1832

I am pretty certain it is not Amb. Marie Yovanovich’s job to give people visas. Rudy is in over his head. Especially after she was slandered and fired.


#1833

WATCH: House Rules Committee Debates Articles of Impeachment

The House Rules Committee debated two articles of impeachment - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - against President Trump.


#1834

Bloomberg

Christian Berthelsen

December 17, 2019, 9:57 AM PST

Firtash Lawyer Was Source of $1 Million to Parnas, Giuliani Ally

A lawyer for Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch facing U.S. charges, was the source of a $1 million that went to a family account of Lev Parnas, who was working with Rudy Giuliani.

As President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Giuliani teamed up with Parnas to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family.

The source of the money, which Parnas’s lawyer has called a loan to his wife, was disclosed in federal court in Manhattan during a bail hearing for Parnas. Prosecutors are seeking to have him jailed, calling him a flight risk.

I don’t understand why the outrage isn’t off the charts over Trump’s lawyer being paid by indicted Ukrainians who are being paid by Russians.

Firtash has received $3 billion in inflated profits from Russia’s Gazprom oil company (ultimately run by Putin). He has also received $11 billion in credit from bankers close to Putin.

From 2014:

Russian government records reviewed for this article reveal for the first time the terms of recent deals between Firtash and Russia’s Gazprom, a giant gas company majority owned by the state.

According to Russian customs documents detailing the trades, Gazprom sold more than 20 billion cubic metres of gas well below market prices to Firtash over the past four years - about four times more than the Russian government has publicly acknowledged. The price Firtash paid was so low, Reuters calculates, that companies he controlled made more than $3 billion on the arrangement.

Over the same time period, other documents show, bankers close to Putin granted Firtash credit lines of up to $11 billion. That credit helped Firtash, who backed pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich’s successful 2010 bid to become Ukraine’s president, to buy a dominant position in the country’s chemical and fertiliser industry and expand his influence.

CORRECTION: Above, I referred to Parnas and Fruman as “Ukrainians” – I should have referred to them as “U.S. citizens with close ties to Ukraine.” Parnas was born in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union and Fruman was born in Belarus when it was also a region within the Soviet Union. Both immigrated to the U.S. and are now U.S. citizens with extensive connections to Ukraine.


#1835

Sometimes I can’t keep the oligarchs straight, luckily @dragonfly9 already provided us with a mini profile. :raised_hands:

This all goes back to Paul Manafort. :ghost:


#1836

Money Trail from Putin to Trump Documented

With the disclosure that Russian oligarch and Putin associate Dmitry Firtash paid $1 million to the Parnas family, all of the pieces have fallen into place documenting a clear money trail from Putin to Trump. Here are the steps along that trail, each one documented by a respected news source:

  1. PUTIN to FIRTASH
    Russia’s Gazprom Oil (controlled by Putin) provides $3 billion in inflated profits to Firtash. At the same time, Putin’s bankers extend Firtash $11B in credit.
    Reuters

  2. FIRTASH to PARNAS
    Firtash sent $1 million to the Parnas family – Parnas tried to hide it from prosecutors.
    Bloomberg

  3. PARNAS to GIULIANI
    Parnas paid $500,000 to Giuliani.
    Reuters

  4. GIULIANI to TRUMP
    Giuliani is gifting Trump his services (which are being paid for by Parnas). Trump did not delcare this gift on his financial disclosure forms.
    NYT

So here’s the money trail in brief:

Putin --> Firtash --> Parnas --> Giuliani --> Trump

I’m not saying this was one continuous, coordinated funneling operation since money changed hands over an extended period, but this does show how cash originally controlled by Putin wound up as a gift to Trump. And that gift (Giuliani’s services) is intended to help re-elect Trump which would greatly benefit Trump’s ally, Putin.


#1837

Trump Denounces ‘Partisan Impeachment Crusade’ on Eve of House Vote

12/17/19 READ: Letter from President Trump to Speaker Nancy Pelosi


#1838
  • A federal judge on Tuesday rejected prosecutors’ requests that he revoke the $1 million release bond for Lev Parnas, an associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

  • Prosecutors said he failed to disclose a $1 million transfer from a lawyer for Ukraine oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who faces criminal charges in the United States.

  • Parnas is charged with violating U.S. campaign finance laws by allegedly funneling foreign donations to candidates for federal and state offices to win potential influence.

P.S. I’m continuing to post Parnas news in the Impeachment thread because of his entanglements with Giuliani and the Ukraine scandals which are central to the Impeachment inquiry.


#1839

Wow, So scarey!


(David Bythewood) #1840

Another story on this:



The letter itself, wherein Trump states there was “more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials” and “it is time for you… to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy.”


(David Bythewood) #1841

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort hospitalized for cardiac event: Sources

Manafort is slated to be released from prison Christmas Day 2024.


#1842

Please do. I’m going to add a sub-section to our timeline called Sideshow Rudy. It’s all related and if Giuliani get arrested it’ll be important in regards to the President.


#1843

Yes, that letter represents an unfit president.

Bigly.


#1845

This whole conversation right here :point_down:


(David Bythewood) #1846



(David Bythewood) #1847