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Post by Original Quill on Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:25 pm

New York Times wrote:
Beyond the Partisan Fight, a Wealth of Evidence About Trump and Ukraine
Kenneth P. Vogel
February 5, 2020, 1:16 PM UTC

WASHINGTON — When all the partisan posturing, parliamentary wrangling and legalistic arguing are stripped away, the impeachment process that dominated Washington for months produced a set of facts that is largely beyond dispute: The president of the United States pressured a foreign government to take actions aimed at his political opponents.

As the Senate moved toward acquitting President Donald Trump on Wednesday, even some Republicans stopped trying to defend his actions or dispute the evidence, focusing instead on the idea that his conduct did not deserve removal from office, especially in an election year.

Trump’s “behavior was shameful and wrong,” and “his personal interests do not take precedence over those of this great nation,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Monday. She went on to declare that she would nonetheless vote to acquit.

Trump’s public statements, plus testimony and documents introduced during the impeachment process and revelations independent from the congressional inquiry, establish a narrative of the president’s involvement in the effort led by Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, to persuade Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating two topics.

One centered on purported efforts by Ukrainians to undercut Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The other was the overlap between former Vice President Joe Biden’s anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine and his son Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company widely associated with accusations of corruption.

There are still unanswered questions about the details of Trump’s involvement, and additional information could emerge later.

But a review of thousands of documents and dozens of interviews reveals how Trump developed a bitter grudge against Ukraine and then became personally involved in pressuring its leaders. Evidence of Trump’s role comes from a variety of sources.

In His Own Words

Some of the clearest evidence comes from Trump’s own statements, both in his phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine on July 25 and in public remarks he later made.

A reconstructed transcript of the call, made public by the White House in October, makes clear that Trump asked the Ukrainian president to pursue investigations into the Bidens and into one element of his belief that Ukraine worked against his election in 2016: a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine rather than Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and that Ukraine had possession of a server that would shed light on the theory.

“I would like you to do us a favor though,” Trump said, asking Zelenskiy’s government to work with Attorney General William Barr and Giuliani to pursue the investigations.

“I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike,” Trump said, referring to an American cybersecurity firm and the debunked theory about Ukraine’s involvement in the hack of the Democratic Party. “The server, they say Ukraine has it.”

He went on to bring up the Bidens.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Trump said, according to the reconstructed transcript. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it.”

What Trump first said in private to Zelenskiy, he later said in public. In early October, answering questions from reporters outside the White House, Trump repeated and expanded on his calls for foreign help in investigating the Bidens.

“I would say that President Zelenskiy, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens,” Trump said. “Because nobody has any doubt that they weren’t crooked.”

He also suggested that Ukraine was not the only country that should dig into Hunter Biden’s international business dealings.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump said.

Trump has defended himself by saying that there was nothing wrong with asking another government for help in fighting corruption.

Putting Power to Work

Trump removed a U.S. diplomat from her post after Giuliani and his associates accused her of opposing him politically and impeding their push for the investigations. And the president directed other government officials to work with Giuliani as he sought a public commitment from Zelenskiy to pursue those investigations.

In conversations with Trump in early 2019, Giuliani claimed that the U.S. ambassador to Kyiv, Marie L. Yovanovitch, a widely respected 33-year career diplomat, was hindering efforts to gather evidence from Ukrainians to defend the president and to target his rivals.

Trump connected Giuliani with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late March to discuss the allegations, according to an interview with Giuliani and emails showing at least two telephone calls between the men, including one arranged with guidance from Trump’s personal assistant.

Trump ordered the recall of Yovanovitch in late April. Later, during the July phone call with Zelenskiy, Trump called her “bad news” and said, “she’s going to go through some things.”

Trump and Pompeo “relied on” Giuliani’s claims in their decision to oust Yovanovitch, Giuliani said.

In early May, Trump asked John Bolton, his national security adviser at the time, to call Zelenskiy to ensure he would meet with Giuliani, according to Bolton’s unpublished book manuscript. Trump and Giuliani denied Bolton’s account.

When Giuliani failed in his efforts to meet with Zelenskiy to press for the investigations, Trump enlisted an ad hoc team to work with Giuliani. The team included Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union; Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine; and Rick Perry, then the energy secretary.

When the three government officials sought to convince Trump that Zelenskiy deserved the full support of the United States, the president responded with anger toward the Ukrainians during a late May meeting. “They’re terrible people,” Trump said, according to Volker’s testimony. “They’re all corrupt, and they tried to take me down.”

If they wanted to engage further with Ukraine, Trump told them, they would need to coordinate with Giuliani. “He just kept saying: ‘Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy,’” Sondland later testified.

Over the next few months, according to extensive evidence introduced in the House impeachment inquiry, Sondland and Volker would work to convince the Ukrainians that in order for Zelenskiy to be granted a key request — a high-profile Oval Office meeting signaling U.S. support for his government in its conflict with Russia — he would have to commit to the investigations sought by Trump.

The Aid Freeze

The White House meeting was not the only leverage used by Trump’s team in pressuring the Ukrainians.

In late June, Trump told top aides to look into the military assistance the United States provides to Ukraine, setting in motion a process that led him to order the withholding of $391 million in congressionally approved aid that Ukraine needed for its grinding war against Russian-backed separatists.

Trump’s order distressed officials in the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department, and eventually Kyiv, where at least some officials were aware of the aid freeze as early as July 25, according to officials in Ukraine and the United States. The freeze was not made public until the end of August.

The senior members of Trump’s national security team tried in August to persuade him to release the aid, but he refused.

Sondland eventually told Ukrainian officials that the release of the assistance would be dependent on Zelenskiy publicly committing to an investigation of Burisma, according to testimony in impeachment proceedings from Sondland and William B. Taylor Jr., who served as the top U.S. diplomat in Kyiv after Yovanovitch’s recall.

The aid was released in September, after the freeze was made public and congressional Republicans lobbied Trump to release the money — and after Trump became aware of a whistleblower complaint detailing key elements of the pressure campaign. Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, later told a news briefing that the aid had been withheld as part of the pressure campaign — and then tried to walk back his comments.

Trump’s defense has been that he wanted to make sure the aid would not be squandered by corruption in Ukraine, and that the money was released without Zelenskiy agreeing to the investigations.

A Lawyer and His Client

Trump’s grievances with Ukraine date from his 2016 campaign but were channeled into action by Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who in April 2018 became part of the legal team defending the president against the special counsel’s investigation. Giuliani has repeatedly cited attorney-client privilege in refusing to divulge details of their conversations about Ukraine.

But in interviews, public statements and material gathered by House impeachment investigators, Giuliani has acknowledged that his Ukraine-related efforts were initiated and pursued with Trump’s knowledge and consent.

That was something he made explicit in a letter that he sent Zelenskiy in May 2019. In the letter, Giuliani sought a meeting with Zelenskiy during a planned trip to Kyiv, where, he told The New York Times at the time, he intended to press the Ukrainians to carry out the investigations sought by Trump. Giuliani canceled the trip, and the meeting with Zelenskiy never happened.

Giuliani’s initial interest was in undermining the special counsel’s investigation by raising questions about some of the events on its periphery. He sought to cast doubt on the authenticity of a ledger showing off-the-books payments from a Russia-aligned Ukrainian party earmarked for Paul Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016. Giuliani also questioned the motivations of the Ukrainians who disseminated it and their relationships with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, who, he argued, were aligned with Hillary Clinton and out to get Trump.

Giuliani enlisted two Soviet-born American businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, to help him connect early last year with Ukrainian prosecutors who could be of assistance. Those prosecutors made unsubstantiated claims about the Bidens’ work in Ukraine that Trump and Giuliani would embrace in subsequent months, as the president ramped up his reelection campaign and the former vice president made clear he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge him.

Even after Democrats began impeachment proceedings, Giuliani continued trying to collect information from Ukrainians who he argued would prove that Trump was justified in calling for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the ledger.

In December, Giuliani told an associate that he briefed Trump before traveling to Budapest and Kyiv to film interviews with former Ukrainian officials. As soon as Giuliani returned from the trip, Trump reportedly asked him what he had collected. “More than you can imagine,” he replied.

Giuliani has told his associates that he played the videos of his interviews for an appreciative Trump.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

© 2020 The New York Times Company
https://www.yahoo.com/news/beyond-partisan-fight-wealth-evidence-131644926.html

Posted as a reference.  It is the most complete summary of the saga of just one of impeached-President Trump's crimes--the one for which he was impeached.

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"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

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Post by Lurker on Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:20 am

Trump is nothing but a Russian Mafia crime boss. His loyalty is to Putin and Russia. That alone should have him in prison for life.

I think Iran is serious about assassinating the cretin. We will wait and see.

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Post by Original Quill on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:18 pm

Lurker wrote:Trump is nothing but a Russian Mafia crime boss. His loyalty is to Putin and Russia. That alone should have him in prison for life.

I think Iran is serious about assassinating the cretin. We will wait and see.

I agree it is Russia, Lurker. Indeed, look how the Ukraine debacle shakes out: 1) Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2014; 2) the US Congress agreed to send aid/arms to Ukraine; 3) Trump unlawfully holds up the congressionally authorized aid; 4) Ukraine's military is weakened, lives lost.

These are the facts; the excuses out of the WH are just smoke. The whole thing was a ruse cooked up by Putin in the Kremlin. Trump doesn't even care about the Bidens. It was in the Kremlin's interest--and adverse to Trump--that Trump had to release the July 25th memo of a phone-call. WTF would he do that? Pffft...he was ordered to sacrifice himself to deflect attention away from the Russians, and then come up with a cover-up of the cover-up.

To say it was for political campaign purposes is itself a ruse. Look to who benefited. Follow the money...a cover-up cooked up by Russia. The whole thing was a blatant act of treason, invented up by the Kremlin, executed by their mole in the WH.

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“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

Normal is broken.

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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Post by Lurker on Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:04 pm

I agree!

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Post by nicko on Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:46 pm

Your both nutters, and you've got him for another 4 years, suck it up snowflakes Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Post by Original Quill on Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:58 pm

nicko wrote: Your both nutters, and you've got him for another 4 years, suck it up snowflakes Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

So you say...

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"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

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“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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Post by nicko on Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:50 pm

I do say !
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Post by Tommy Monk on Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:21 pm

The biggest question is... What about the corruption of this Ukrainian company?


And... What involvement (if any) did Hunter Bidon have in any of it?


And also... If involved... What involvement did Bidon snr have in any of it?


Surely there are serious questions to be answered, regardless of who is asking them...!?



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Post by Ben Reilly on Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:50 pm

Tommy Monk wrote:The biggest question is... What about the corruption of this Ukrainian company?


And... What involvement (if any) did Hunter Bidon have in any of it?


And also... If involved... What involvement did Bidon snr have in any of it?


Surely there are serious questions to be answered, regardless of who is asking them...!?



The president used the power of his office to tilt the next election in his favor. Don't forget - he didn't care whether an actual investigation was conducted, only that one would be announced. He only cared about the optics.

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Post by Original Quill on Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:15 am

Tommy Monk wrote:The biggest question is... What about the corruption of this Ukrainian company?

Nay, there is an even bigger question. The Trump Company has been operating as an 'organized crime' entity for a number of years. Some of the tactics that it uses are the same as the Gambino crime family of by-gone days.

Now, the Trump organized crime family has hooked up with the Russian mafia, and taken organized crime international. Indeed, I believe this is why Donald Trump ran for president.

Holding the highest public office seems to insulate one from ever being prosecuted.

Look, for example, at Bush's vice-president, Dick Cheney. He committed his crime right out in the open, and even had an assistant convicted, yet no threat came to Cheney himself. Seeing this, and knowing what potential trouble he faced in the future, Trump probably reasoned: why not at least run for president and cloak yourself in some of that insulation?

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“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

Normal is broken.

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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Post by Lurker on Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:44 pm

nicko, you know nothing about Trump. You are blinded by his criminal appeal and his Nazi demeanor. The lower the scum the better you love him.

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Post by Original Quill on Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:53 pm

Now Trump has again meddled in a criminal case. He has criticized the sentencing report of his friend, Roger Stone.

He then ordered his stooge Attorney General to w/draw the report, and recommend a sweetheart deal to the Judge.

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“Little thieves are hanged, but great thieves are praised.” — Old Russian proverb, offered by Vladimir Putin to Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, July, 2018.

"I don't stand by anything."  ― Donald Trump, interview with John Dickerson, 5.1.17...

Normal is broken.

“That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars
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Post by Lurker on Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:10 pm

nicko wrote: Your both nutters, and you've got him for another 4 years, suck it up snowflakes Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

nicko, your gullibility and lack of understanding are disturbing. Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin would love you. You are easily fooled and manipulated.

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Post by nicko on Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:39 pm

So are you Son, But apart from that I really don't give a shit about him. I just like to warn you about OCD and how it can take over your life, witch, with you, it's already happened .PS do you have time for anything else ?
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Post by Lurker on Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:31 pm

If you don't give a shit, why do you take up for him? The man is the lowest scum that ever lived.

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