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US Politics Thread: Year 2 of 1000 of the TrumpenReich


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Here's the thing, most conservatives I know are ardent anti-racists and have been their whole life. Judging others as individuals is a core part of their morality since they were young, imparted to th

Finally,  a Trump proposal I can support.

I am saying that.  If the Democrats want to remain competitive, they need to dig out decades worth of Chicago machine apparatchiks and Clinton lackeys and send them to the salt mines.  If the Republic

WaPo quietly walks back their whistleblower story.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-pressed-ukrainian-leader-to-investigate-bidens-son-according-to-people-familiar-with-the-matter/2019/09/20/7fa39b20-dbdc-11e9-bfb1-849887369476_story.html

One source familiar with the contents of the phone call said that Trump did not raise the issue of American military and intelligence aid that the administration was at the time withholding from Ukraine — indicating that there may not have been an explicit quid pro quo expressed in that conversation.

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https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/462422-missing-piece-to-the-ukraine-puzzle-state-departments-overture-to-rudy

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The coverage suggests Giuliani reached out to new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team this summer solely because he wanted to get dirt on possible Trump 2020 challenger Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings in that country.

Politics or law could have been part of Giuliani’s motive, and neither would be illegal. 

But there is a missing part of the story that the American public needs in order to assess what really happened: Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department.

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Why would Ukraine want to talk to Giuliani, and why would the State Department be involved in facilitating it? 

According to interviews with more than a dozen Ukrainian and U.S. officials, Ukraine’s government under recently departed President Petro Poroshenko and, now, Zelensky has been trying since summer 2018 to hand over evidence about the conduct of Americans they believe might be involved in violations of U.S. law during the Obama years.

The Ukrainians say their efforts to get their allegations to U.S. authorities were thwarted first by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, which failed to issue timely visas allowing them to visit America.

Then the Ukrainians hired a former U.S. attorney — not Giuliani — to hand-deliver the evidence of wrongdoing to the U.S. attorney's office in New York, but the federal prosecutors never responded. 

The U.S. attorney, a respected American, confirmed the Ukrainians’ story to me. The allegations that Ukrainian officials wanted to pass on involved both efforts by the Democratic National Committee to pressure Ukraine to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election as well as Joe Biden’s son’s effort to make money in Ukraine while the former vice president managed U.S.-Ukraine relations, the retired U.S. attorney told me. 

Eventually, Giuliani in November 2018 got wind of the Ukrainian allegations and started to investigate. 

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So Giuliani began to check things out in late 2018 and early 2019, but he never set foot in Ukraine. And when Ukrainian officials leaked word that he was considering visiting Ukraine to meet with senior officials to discuss the allegations — and it got politicized in America — Giuliani abruptly called off his trip. He stopped talking to the Ukrainian officials. 

Since that time, my American and foreign sources tell me, Ukrainian officials worried that the slight of Giuliani might hurt their relations with his most famous client, Trump.

And Trump himself added to the dynamic by encouraging Ukraine’s leaders to work with Giuliani to surface the evidence of alleged wrongdoing that has been floating around for more than two years, my sources said.

It is likely that the State Department’s overture to Giuliani in July was designed to allay fears of a diplomatic slight and to assure the nascent Ukrainian administration that everything would be OK between the two allies.  

 

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