Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘impeachment inquiry’

GOP Rep: Democrats Still Withholding Secret Impeachment Transcripts


Reported by Joshua Caplan | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/27/gop-rep-democrats-still-withholding-secret-impeachment-transcripts/

From left, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., listens to an aide as they meet in a …/AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Appearing Friday on the Fox News Channel, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) revealed House Democrats are still withholding transcripts of depositions conducted by the House Intelligence Committee inside Congress’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) as part of their impeachment inquiry.

A partial transcript is as follows; 

ANCHOR: Democrats and Nancy Pelosi have said they are waiting on these articles to ensure there’s a fair trial in the Senate, but there have been a lot of other theories floated by Republicans, by folks from the other side of the aisle that think that Nancy Pelosi is stalling for all sorts of reasons. So I want to get your thoughts on why these articles are being held.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS: My first take is that they’re holding the articles of impeachment because they really had nothing in the first place, so if they send them to the Senate and it crashes and burns, the president is exonerated and they did not accomplish what they set out to accomplish, which was to politically harm the president at the beginning of a political year.

ANCHOR: So you think they’re stalling, in essence, to continue digging, that they’re hoping they find something more?

REP. BURGESS: Look, they had all the tools at their disposal on the House side, they made it secret. They had armed guards outside the doors. They still haven’t made all of the transcripts available to members of Congress. And according to House rules, any committee hearing, the transcript is supposed to be available to other House members. But they have not done so, and no one has asserted that these are classified briefings. They were just simply secret hearings because it behooved the speaker to have secret hearings. That doesn’t pass muster. That’s not a constitutional part of the process.

Adam Schiff Gives Democrats Only 24 Hours to Sign Impeachment Report


Written by Joel B. Pollak | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/01/adam-schiff-gives-democrats-only-24-hours-to-read-impeachment-report/

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 4: U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks to reporters following a closed-door hearing with the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees at the U.S. Capitol on November 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. On Monday, House investigators released the first transcripts from … Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is giving members of his committee just 24 hours to read and sign off on his report recommending articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. As Breitbart News reported Friday, House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler has previewed the report, and suggested it will include claims of “collusion” with Russia — as well as Ukraine, Russia’s enemy.

And as reported Saturday, Schiff will provide the full report to committee members on Monday, who must sign off on Tuesday in time for the first hearing in Nadler’s committee on Wednesday, which will discuss the supposed constitutional and legal basis for impeachment.

It is a foregone conclusion that Democrats will sign off on Schiff’s report. Evidence does not seem to be the top priority for Democrats: a majority favored an impeachment inquiry by August 1, eleven days before the so-called “whistleblower” sent a letter to Schiff complaining about Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

However, as the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York has noted, Democrats are in such a rush that they are leaving potential facts out of their examination. For example, they could wage a court battle to force former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify. Bolton reportedly disapproved of the role played by U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in relations with Ukraine. He could be a key witness. However, Democrats did not want to wait to hear what he had to say.

As York noted recently in a column titled “Why the rush toward impeachment?”, Democrats “are racing to get the job done by Christmas. They’re not even trying to hear from some key witnesses, like former national security adviser John Bolton, because they don’t want to take the time to go to court over it.”

York notes that Democrats are fearful of letting impeachment drag into the 2020 presidential primary, when it will pull several U.S. Senators off the campaign trail. And they are also worried about the fact that public support for impeachment is stagnant at best, and slipping at worst, after lackluster public hearings last month.

But the rush has been a feature from the very beginning. On the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry, the president had already announced that he had declassified the transcript (or “readout”) of the phone call with Zelensky, and that it would be published the next day. Pelosi did not want to wait for the evidence: her decision was driven by political factors.

Likewise, the Intelligence Committee has rushed its proceedings before all of the evidence was available to most members of Congress, or the public. It often published lengthy transcripts of closed-door depositions on the eve of public hearings, and only released the most exculpatory transcript after public hearings were over.

Nadler has given Trump until Friday to respond to a request to participate, either directly or through his counsel, in the Judiciary Committee’s impeachment proceedings.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Republicans to Subpoena Whistleblower, Hunter Biden, Alexandra Chalupa


Written by Kristina Wong | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/20/republicans-to-subpoena-whistleblower-hunter-biden-alexandra-chalupa/

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 20: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) listens as Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Union, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the fourth day of …Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Republicans intend to subpoena testimony and documents related to the anonymous whistleblower, Hunter Biden, and Democratic National Committee contractor Alexandra Chalupa, according to a letter they sent to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

“Although Speaker Pelosi promised that Democrats would ‘treat the President with fairness,’ you have repeatedly prevented Republicans from fully and fairly examining issues central to the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry,’” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote in a November 20, 2019, letter.

“We therefore write to inform you that we intend to subpoena testimony and records in an attempt to inject some semblance of fairness and objectivity into your one-side and partisan inquiry,” they said.

On the whistleblower, they wrote that the whistleblower’s testimony is “necessary for a full and fair understanding of all relevant facts.” They wrote:

The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community reported that the whistleblower had a political bias against President Trump and public reports suggest that the whistleblower worked closely with former Vice President Joe Biden. In addition, there are multiple discrepancies between the whistleblower’s complaint — the piece of evidence central to the Democrat’ inquiry — and the closed testimony of the witnesses. For these reasons, we must assess the whistleblower’s credibility and the sources he or she utilized to develop the anonymous complaint.

On Biden, they wrote that since witnesses raised the issue of Hunter Biden getting paid $50,000 per month for sitting on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company that was under investigation, learning more about it would be “directly relevant to the inquiry”:

According to the New York Times, Hunter Biden was ‘part of a broad effort by Burisma to bring in well-connected Democrats during a period when the company was facing investigations backed not just by domestic Ukrainian forces but by officials in the Obama administration.’ Reports suggest that Burisma paid Hunter Biden $50,000 per month through a company called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC. Because witnesses explained that Hunter Biden’s presence on Burisma’s board raised concerns during the Obama Administration and President Trump briefly raised this issue during his phone call with President Zelensky, this information is directly relevant to the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry.’

On Chalupa, they also wrote that her testimony would be “directly relevant” since witnesses have testified that Trump believed the Ukrainians “tried to take [him] down”:

In August 2016, less than three months before the election, Valeriy Chaly, then-Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, authored an op-ed in a U.S. newspaper criticizing candidate Trump. In addition, in January 2017, Politico reported about Ukrainian government’s effort to ‘sabotage’ the Trump campaign in 2016 by working closely with the media and a Democratic National Committee consultant named Alexandra Chalupa. The Politico article detailed how Chalupa ‘traded information and leads’ with staff at the Ukrainian embassy and how the Ukrainian embassy ‘worked directly with reporters researching Trump, [Trump campaign manager Paul] Manafort, and Russia to point them in the right directions.’ Because witnesses testified that President Trump believed that Ukraine ‘tried to take [him] down’ in 2016, this information is directly relevant to the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry.’

Nunes and Jordan concluded:

The American people see through your sham ‘impeachment inquiry.’ The American people understand how you have affirmatively prevented Republicans from examining serious issues directly relevant to the issues. Therefore, to provide some basic level of fairness and objectivity to your ‘impeachment inquiry,’ we intend to subpoena the anonymous whistleblower and Hunter Biden for sworn testimony in closed-door depositions. We also intend to subpoena the following entities for record relevant to the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry’:
    1. The whistleblower for documents and communications relating to the drafting and filing of the complaint dated August 12, 2019, and the personal memorandum drafted on or around July 26, 2019.
    2. Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC and any subsidiaries or affiliates for records relating to Hunter Biden’s position on the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings; and
    3. The Democratic National Committee for communications with Ukrainian government officials and for records relating to Alexandra Chalupa.
“We look forward to your prompt concurrence. Your failure to concur with all of these subpoenas shall constitute evidence of your denial of fundamental fairness and due process,” they wrote.

Follow Breitbart News’s @Kristina_Wong.

Emails: Open Society Kept Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Updated on George Soros’s Personal Ukraine Activities


Written by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/17/emails-open-society-kept-alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-updated-on-george-soross-personal-ukraine-activities/

George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management and Open Society, testifies before US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry on ‘Foreign Policy and the Global Economic Crisis’ March 25, 2009, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, received emails about Ukraine policy from a top director at George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

The emails informed Ciaramella and a handful of other Obama administration foreign policy officials about Soros’s whereabouts, the contents of Soros’s private meetings about Ukraine and a future meeting the billionaire activist was holding with the prime minister of Ukraine.

A primary recipient of the Open Society emails along with Ciaramella was then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who played a central role in the anti-Trump dossier affair. Nuland, with whom Ciaramella worked closely, received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to her direct role in facilitating the dossier within the Obama administration.

The emails spotlight Soros’s access to national security officials under the Obama administration on the matter of Ukraine. In one instance, Jeff Goldstein, senior policy analyst for Eurasia at the Open Society Foundations, sent a June 9, 2016 email to Nuland and Ciaramella, who were the missive’s primary recipients.

CC’d were three other State Department officials involved in European affairs, including Alexander Kasanof who worked at the U.S. embassy in Kiev.

The message read:

I wanted to let you know that Mr. Soros met with Johannes Hahn in Brussels earlier today. One of the issues he raised was concern over the decision to delay the visa liberalization for Georgia and the implications for Ukraine.

The email revealed that “GS” – meaning Soros – “is also meeting [Georgian] President [Giorgi] Margvelashvili today and speaking with PM Groyman,” referring to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

The email stated that Soros told Hahn “that Ukrainian civil society is concerned that without reciprocity from the EU for steps Ukraine has taken to put in place sensitive anti-corruption and anti-discrimination legislation and institutions it will not be possible to continue to use the leverage of EU instruments and policies to maintain pressure for reforms in the future.”

Soros also “urged Hahn to advocate with member states to move ahead with visa liberalization for Ukraine,” the email related.

“I’m sure you’ve been working this issue hard; if you have any thoughts on how this is likely to play out or where particular problems lie I’d appreciate if you could let us know,” the email concluded.

Goldstein’s email text sent to Nuland and Ciaramella was not addressed to any one individual. Nuland replied that she would be happy to discuss the issues by phone. Goldstein set up a phone call and wrote that Soros specifically asked that an employee from the billionaire’s “personal office” join the call with Nuland.

The email was released last August as part of a separate Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Citizens United.  The FOIA request was unrelated to Ciaramella.

Johannes Hahn, referenced in the emails as meeting with Soros about Ukraine, is the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. In 2015, Hahn participated with Nuland in the YES Summit, which bills itself as “the leading public diplomacy platform in Eastern Europe.” Another summit participant was Vadym Pozharskyi, a board advisor to Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company at the center of the impeachment trial and the allegations related to Hunter and Joe Biden.

On scores of occasions, Hahn was a featured speaker at roundtables and other events produced by the Atlantic Council think tank, which is funded by and works in partnership with Burisma. The Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations and has been in the news for ties to various actors associated with the impeachment issue.

In one of several instances, Breitbart News reported, itinerary for a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Atlantic Council reveals that a staffer on Rep. Adam Schiff’s House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a meeting during the trip with Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, now a key witness for Democrats pursuing impeachment. The Schiff staffer is also an Atlantic Council fellow, while Taylor has evidenced a close relationship with the Atlantic Council.

Breitbart News previously reported on other emails that show Ciaramella worked closely with Nuland. Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

FBI notes cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

Meanwhile, looped into some other email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry. Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele. Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland. At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower.

Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

Soros funding and ‘whistleblower’ complaint

Besides Burisma funding, the Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations, Google, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., and the U.S. State Department. Google, Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund, and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower’s complaint alleging Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 presidential race.

The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the so-called whistleblower’s document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblower’s own claims, as Breitbart News documented.

One key section of the so-called whistleblower’s document claims that “multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.”

This was allegedly to follow up on Trump’s call with Zelensky in order to discuss the “cases” mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblower’s narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.

Even though the statement was written in first person – “multiple U.S. officials told me” – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called whistleblower’s account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

  • Write that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko “also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.”
  • Document that Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani “had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
  • Bolster the charge that, “I also learned from a U.S. official that ‘associates’ of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, “I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.”

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a “joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine.”

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

The OCCRP and BuzzFeed “joint investigation” resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rivals. The so-called whistleblower’s document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

Rep. Dan Bishop Names Alleged Impeachment ‘Whistleblower’: ‘He’s Not Voldemort’


Written by Hannah Bleau | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/12/rep-dan-bishop-names-alleged-impeachment-whistleblower-hes-not-voldemort/

MONROE, NC – SEPTEMBER 10: North Carolina 9th District Republican candidate Dan Bishop addresses supporters after being announced as the winner of his race defeating Democratic candidate Dan McCready during an election night party on September 10, 2019 in Monroe, North Carolina. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) became the first member of Congress to publicly name the alleged “whistleblower,” whose second-hand complaint sparked the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, on Twitter Monday evening.

Bishop on Monday responded to a tweet from an individual who suggested that the GOP refrain from using the term “whistleblower,” instead referring to him as  “the leaker” or “the operative” or “the deep state spy in the White House.”

The North Carolina congressman said he agreed “100%,” noting that he refuses “to cower before the authoritarian intimidation campaign.”

“He’s not Voldemort. And he’s not a bona fide whistleblower. Even if he were, he wouldn’t be entitled to secrecy. Eric Ciamarella is a deep state conspirator,” Bishop wrote. “He needs to testify now”:

Eric Ciaramella is a career CIA analyst whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called “whistleblower” in a report last month. However, Ciaramella had been floating around as the possible “whistleblower” long before the bombshell report.

Ciaramella also has links to the infamous anti-Trump dossier and reportedly “interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee,” as Breitbart News reported.

Bishop’s move now places extra pressure on tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (owned by Google parent company Alphabet), and WikiPedia, which have all suppressed usage of Ciaramella’s name and penalized users for sharing it. “We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower’s name,” Facebook told Breitbart News last week — but said the company “will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in debate.” As the first member of Congress to use the name in a public setting, Bishop certainly fits the description of a public figure airing Ciaramella’s name in debate.

Despite popular belief, the law “does not explicitly prevent anyone other than the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) who received the complaint that triggered the impeachment inquiry from outing the identity of the so-called ‘whistleblower,’” as multiple establishment media outlets have admitted.

Republicans listed the “whistleblower” on their list of witnesses that they wish to testify – a list which also includes Hunter Biden, Biden’s business partner Devon Archer, Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr, and Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Schiff dismissed the Republicans’ list.

“This inquiry is not, and will not serve, however, as a vehicle to undertake the same sham investigations into the Bidens or 2016 that the President pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit, or to facilitate the President’s effort to threaten, intimidate, and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm,” Schiff stated.

Fact Check: No, Gordon Sondland Did Not Prove Ukraine ‘Quid pro Quo’


Reported by Joel B. Pollak | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/05/fact-check-no-gordon-sondland-did-not-prove-ukraine-quid-pro-quo/

Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, adresses the media during a press conference at the US Embassy to Romania in Bucharest September 5, 2019. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images)

CLAIM: Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland confirmed, contrary to earlier testimony, that there had been a “quid pro quo” between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian government: military aid for “dirt.”

VERDICT: FALSE. Sondland said that he “presumed” there was a “quid pro quo.” But he did not have any first-hand knowledge of one, and other witnesses have testified that there was no such “quid pro quo” at all.

The House Intelligence Committee began releasing transcripts this week of its behind-closed-doors interviews with witnesses in the “impeachment inquiry.” On Tuesday, it released the transcripts of the appearances of Sondland and former Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker.

Volker testified that there had never been a “quid pro quo” — that he had never heard one discussed, and that Ukrainian officials seemed unaware of any such arrangement at all.

But Sondland, who had also testified earlier that there was no “quid pro quo,” had to amend that testimony after he was apparently contradicted by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, who testified last month that he believed there was a “quid pro quo,” under which the Trump administration was withholding key military aid to Ukraine unless it investigated alleged corruption related to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

In a supplemental declaration filed with the committee, Sondland said that “by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid,” he “presumed that the [Ukraine] aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement” and the investigation of the Bidens. That led him to tell the Ukrainian government that “resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur” until it complied.

But there are two big logical leaps in Sondland’s statement.

The first is that he only “presumed” there was a “quid pro quo” — that is, he did not have direct knowledge of one.

The second is that he told the Ukrainians that a “quid pro quo” was “likely” — that is, he did not know with certainty.

In their rush to accuse the Trump administration of wrongdoing, Democrats and the media have overlooked one other key fact: the crucial August 2019 Politico article.

The article, “Trump holds up Ukraine military aid meant to confront Russia,” dated August 28, was the first that the Ukrainians ever knew about any withholding of aid — five weeks after the phone call between Trump and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky which supposedly prompted the so-called “whistleblower” to approach Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. Sondland refers specifically to September.

Therefore what changed his — and others’ — impression was not anything the administration (or its representatives) did or said. Rather, it was the media.

Since Sondland consumes the same media that everyone else does — indeed, it is part of a diplomat’s job to know what is being said — he drew his own conclusions. But when he asked President Trump directly, Trump told him there was no “quid pro quo”: he just wanted Zelensky to do “the right thing.”

All of this presumes there is something wrong with a “quid pro quo.” But even that seems untrue. In fact, “quid pro quo” arrangements are normal in diplomacy. A House bill passed recently by Democrats would establish a “quid pro quo” that bars Russia from access even to private U.S. funds until it can be shown not to have interfered in U.S. elections. Trump, Democrats say, sought his personal or political interest; it also happened to be a national interest.

For years, Democrats defended the investigations of President Barack Obama’s administration into then-candidate Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign by arguing that the country had to know if a major candidate was corrupt or compromised by a foreign power.

That investigation may have been conducted in an unlawful manner — and a grand jury is now on the case — but the logic they used then is even more appropriate to Ukraine and the Bidens.

Hunter Biden’s role as a go-between for Burisma — a Ukrainian gas company suspected of corruption — and his father’s administration has never been fully investigated. The so-called “whistleblower” worked for Biden at the time; that conflict of interest, too, has never been explored.

If Trump had demanded a “quid pro quo,” he would have been doing his job. As it is, there is no evidence of a “quid pro quo” — certainly not from Gordon Sondland.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Exclusive — Fake News Echo Chamber: New York Times Prints Lies by Adam Schiff Witness Made in Secret Testimony


Authored by Matthew Boyle | Washington, D.C.

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/24/exclusive-fake-news-echo-chamber-new-york-times-prints-lies-by-adam-schiff-witness-made-in-secret-testimony/

The New York Times building is seen on September 6, 2018 in New York. – A furious Donald Trump called September 5, 2018 for the unmasking of an anonymous senior official who wrote in the New York Times that top members of his administration were undermining the president to curb …ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty 

The New York Times on Wednesday published what would have been a major story on White House National Security Council (NSC) aide Kash Patel—if only it had been true.

The story, which relies on leaks from Democrats conducting the “impeachment inquiry” into President Donald Trump of testimony by one witness who had no firsthand knowledge of the allegations she was making, claims Patel had provided President Trump with documents on Ukraine and met with the president about them.

Citing as its sources “people briefed on the matter,” the Times’ Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos wrote that Patel was referred to by President Trump as “one of his top Ukraine policy specialists” and that President Trump “wanted to discuss related documents with him.” The Times reporters claimed that Patel’s NSC and White House colleagues “grew alarmed” over all this.

Later in the Times piece, it became clear where exactly this allegation came from—Fiona Hill, a former Trump administration Russia hand, whom the Democrats have been relying on for testimony in the impeachment inquiry. Hill testified earlier this month in the secret room in the basement of the Capitol building from which Democrats have been running their private impeachment proceedings.

Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote:

Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, testified to House investigators last week that she believed Mr. Patel was improperly becoming involved in Ukraine policy and was sending information to Mr. Trump, some of the people said. Ms. Hill grew alarmed earlier this year when an aide from the White House executive secretary’s office told her that Mr. Trump wanted to talk to Mr. Patel and identified him as the National Security Council’s ‘Ukraine director,’ a position held by one of Ms. Hill’s deputies. The aide said Mr. Trump wanted to meet with Mr. Patel about documents he had received on Ukraine. Ms. Hill responded by asking who Mr. Patel was. While the aide from the executive secretary’s office did not state explicitly that Mr. Patel sent the Ukraine documents to Mr. Trump, Ms. Hill understood that to be the implication, according to a person familiar with her testimony.

As the Times notes, if true, this would mean there were multiple backchannels for Trump on Ukraine matters—the other being through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s associates—and it would make it appear as though Trump was up to something by circumventing established channels for such policy, even though the president as the nation’s chief executive officer is well within his rights to do that.

But the problem with the Times story, and its sources that appear to be leaks from Democrats of Hill’s testimony, is that the entire premise is untrue, sources familiar with Patel’s meetings with the president told Breitbart News. Since the Times published its story, Breitbart News has spoken with a dozen sources including current White House officials, then-current-now-former White House officials, congressional officials familiar with the investigation and the meetings Patel had with President Trump, and others in the know about what actually happened and discovered that Patel’s meetings with President Trump had “absolutely nothing,” in the words of one source, to do with Ukraine whatsoever.

One now-former White House official confirmed that President Trump did in fact meet with Patel on a number of occasions, though it’s unclear if these were one-on-one meetings or there were others present.

A source close to House GOP leadership told Breitbart News that Patel’s meetings with the president were focused on domestic national security matters, and that Ukraine did not come up at all.

That source said of the Times story:

This story is complete nonsense. The meeting was arranged at the suggestion of multiple GOP congressmen and senators to discuss domestic national security issues that Kash has specific knowledge and unique expertise in. This meeting had absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine.

A second well-placed source familiar with Patel’s interactions with the president told Breitbart News that the Times story that relies on Hill’s testimony—leaked by Democrats—is “100 percent false.”

“The New York Times story is 100 percent false,” this source familiar with Patel’s interactions with Trump told Breitbart News. “Kash did not discuss Ukraine with Trump in any meeting, nor did he discuss any Ukraine-related documents with him. The Democrats involved in the impeachment interviews were obviously tipped off that Fiona Hill would invent some story like this if asked about Kash, and that’s why they brought up his name to her, then they leaked the exchange to their lackeys at the Times.”

Hill, Breitbart News has learned, was asked a number questions about Patel by the Democrats during her testimony, and a source in the room said her “responses appeared scripted,” suggesting that there was some coordination between Hill or her lawyers and the Democrats on Capitol Hill before her appearance.

Then, as has happened with so much more that has gone on in the secretive U.S. Capitol basement room in which House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is running the impeachment proceedings away from public view, this information was leaked to the Times and weaponized against the president and his administration—the actual truth and facts be damned.

This episode paints a broader and darker picture of what exactly Schiff and his team are doing in the secretive room and raises bigger questions about why Schiff is not holding these hearings in public.

The system Democrats have set up basically goes as such: They bring witnesses in for testimony and depositions and transcribed interviews for hours on end to a private room known as a Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF)–behind closed doors and away from the press and public.

They allow no lawyers for the administration inside to challenge anything, present facts in defense of the president, or hear what’s happening down there. Then, Schiff and his team control the information gathered and collected down there—not allowing the minority sufficient access to it.

After that, Schiff, his team, and other Democrats leak the most damaging information to the media—usually out of context, and without the full story—in order to create a public narrative that the president is in serious trouble.

Then it takes a couple days at least for Republicans to get the full truth out about each of these instances to turn around the narrative and expose each “fact” the Democrats are putting forward as flawed. This latest example saw the Times story on Hill’s testimony as the official public record on this matter, until now, for about a full day.

Technically speaking, Hill did make these claims that the Times reported in her testimony—but the veracity of them was never checked by the Democrats who gathered said testimony then leaked it to the New York Times for publication.

The Times also did not check their veracity, even though the first source who spoke to Breitbart News, the one close to House GOP leadership who confirmed Hill’s claims were false, noted that Hill’s inaccurate claims were reproduced uncritically by the Times based upon Democrat leaks. And the Times, this source said, as an institution was aware of the fact that Hill’s claims were false because a separate White House correspondent at the Times was aware of Patel’s meetings with the president at the time of said meetings well before Hill’s testimony happened and well before Democrats even launched an impeachment inquiry—and that this Times reporter was aware that the content had nothing to do with Ukraine.

“What’s particularly shameful is that at least one New York Times White House reporter was told about this meeting in advance off the record, and knew what this meeting was about—and that it was not about Ukraine—but they printed this fake story anyway,” the source close to House GOP leadership told Breitbart News.

Part of the reason the media and the Democrats wanted to smear Patel and attempt to tie him into the impeachment madness, the second source who was familiar with Patel’s conversations with the president said, is because Patel was critical of exposing the failures of the narrative surrounding the previous attempts by the so-called “deep state” to entangle Trump in a scandal on the Russia narrative.

“The story is a lazy hit piece based entirely on rumors and purported second-hand and third-hand information,” that source told Breitbart News. “Both the Times and the Democrats have a vendetta against Kash because he helped blow up their three-year investment in the Russia hoax.”

In fact, this is evident by the fact that the Times story actually opens with a recounting of Patel’s history as an aide on the House Intelligence Committee when Republicans were in the majority and his role in exposing what has become known as “Spygate.”

Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote to open their article, before they even got into the substance of the new but false allegations that Hill leveled against Patel over meetings with the president:

When Kashyap Patel was an aide to the House Intelligence Committee in the first years of the Trump administration, he played a key role in helping Republicans try to undermine the Russia investigation, writing a memo that accused law enforcement officials of abusing their power. The memo, which consumed Washington for weeks, was widely dismissed as a biased argument of cherry-picked facts. But it galvanized President Trump’s allies and made Mr. Patel a hero among them. After Republicans ceded control of Congress this year, he landed on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council staff.

Later in the story, the Times reporters further explain Patel’s role in exposing the Russia scandal as a hoax designed to harm the president.

“Mr. Patel was previously best known as a lead author of the politically charged memo released early last year accusing the F.B.I. and Justice Department leaders of abusing their power in the early stages of the Russia investigation,” Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote. “Mr. Patel worked at the time as an investigator for the House Intelligence Committee under Representative Devin Nunes of California, who ran the panel when Republicans had control of the chamber. Mr. Patel’s efforts to discredit the Russia investigation made him a minor celebrity in conservative circles but a divisive figure on Capitol Hill.”

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: