Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Political Blotter for Week Ending 24 November 2019

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 23, 2019

After weeks of public hearings, bipartisan political theatrics, and Tweets, POTUS Trump’s “ass is in a sling” after Gordon Sondland, his Ambassador to the European Union, and political donor who gave $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, testified before the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and said that “I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is ‘yes’.”

Ambassador Sondland further testified that, “They knew what we were doing and why. Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.”

Regarding any official explanation for why POS45 held up the Congressionally-mandated money for Ukraine, he said, “I tried diligently to ask why the aid was suspended, but I never received a clear answer.”

Of course, POS45 had to deny it all and had the unmitigated gall and audacity to say of Sondland – again, whom he appointed as Ambassador to the European Union after Sondland donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee – that, “This is not a man I know well.”

Aside from the obvious bomb drops which’ve occurred this week in the Impeachment Investigation being conducted by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – which include testimony by:

• Gordon Sondland, Ambassador to the European Union,
that
“yes,” there was “a quid pro quo.”

• Dr. Fiona Hill, Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia and Senior Director for Europe and Russia, National Security Council,
that
“It is a fiction that the Ukrainian Government was launching an effort to upend our election, upend our election to mess with our Democratic systems.”

• Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman, Director for European Affairs, National Security Council,
that
“supposed Ukrainian involvement in partisan support of candidate Clinton and in opposition to President Trump,” was a “key element of that particular narrative that developed… that the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens,”
-and- that,
“in the President asking for something, it became — there was — in return for a White House meeting, because that’s what this was about. This was about getting a White House meeting. It was a demand for him to fulfill his — fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting.”

• Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, Former Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
that,
“I was concerned about what I saw as the lack of public support for Department employees,”
and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s continued refusal to interact, or respond to him on the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, or of his own intent to resign,
indicated a lack of support that was broader than simply a question of statements.”

• William B. Taylor, Jr., Chargé d’Affaires Ad Interim for U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine,
that
“That was my clear understanding, security assistance money would not come until the President [of Ukraine] committed to pursue the investigation,”
and
“that President Trump would like to hear about the investigations” of the Bidens, that “it was becoming clear to the Ukrainians that, in order to get this meeting that they wanted, they would have to commit to pursuing these investigations. And Mr. Danyliuk, at least, understood — and I’m sure that he briefed President Zelensky, I’m sure they had this conversation — believed that openingthose investigations, in particular on Burisma, would have involved Ukraine in the 2020 election campaign. He did not want to do that,”
-and- that
“In a regular, NSC secure video conference call on July 18th, I heard a staff person from the Office of Management and Budget say that there was a hold on security assistance to Ukraine but could not say why. Toward the end of this otherwise normal meeting, a voice on the call, the person who was off screen, said that she was from OMB and her boss had instructed her not to approve any additional spending of security assistance for Ukraine until further notice,”
-and- that
“President Trump did insist that President Zelensky go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference, and that President Zelensky should want to do this himself. Mr. Morrison said that he told Ambassador Bolton and the NSC lawyers of this phone call between President Trump and Ambassador Sondland.”

And then, there’s this – though it’s not now receiving much press – which recently happened:

Lev Parnas Helped Rep. Devin Nunes’ Investigations
“The indicted Giuliani associate helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for the Republican congressman in 2018.”

by Betsy Swan, Political Reporter
Updated Nov. 21, 2019 3:16AM ET
Published Nov. 20, 2019 7:58PM ET
https://www.thedailybeast.com/lev-parnas-helped-rep-devin-nunes-investigations

“Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, Parnas’ lawyer Ed MacMahon told The Daily Beast.

“Nunes aide Derek Harvey participated in the meetings, the lawyer said, which were arranged to help Nunes’ Read the rest of this entry »

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“Dad… Don’t worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

“Dad, my sitting here today, in the US Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the right decision forty years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family. Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”

Alexander S. Vindman, LEFT, (who was born 9 minutes before his brother) with his twin brother, Yevgeny, at the Pentagon in 2016. They are both Lieutenant Colonels in the Army. Yevgeny, who goes by Eugene, also serves on POTUS Trump’s National Security Council, as an attorney handling ethics issues. (Credit Carol Kitman)

— Lt. Col Alexander Vindman (US Army), concluding opening comment 19 November 2019 in the impeachment investigation. LTC Vindman and his family emigrated to the United States from Ukraine, then part of Russia, when his father was aged 47, and he was then-aged 3-and-a-half in 1979. LTC Vindman has shed blood for our nation, having been awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in an October 2004 Iraqi roadside attack. He previously served on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff from September 2015 to July 2018, and is currently assigned to the National Security Council as a foreign area officer specializing in Eurasian political-military operations, specifically including Ukraine. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University, and his Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard.

The Army records LTC Vindman’s awards, which include:
Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), Read the rest of this entry »

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Feds Investigate Giuliani

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 16, 2019

“Oh! What a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!”

– from the play “Marmion,” Canto VI Stanza 17, by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Scottish author & novelist

Rudy Giuliani (RIGHT) at the James J. Fox cigar bar in London, with Lev Parnas (lower LEFT) and, Igor Fruman (speaking on the phone), and a third, unnamed associate. (Obtained by ProPublica)

Yesterday, Friday, 15 November 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported around noon Eastern Time, that Federal prosecutors in Manhattan were investigating whether Rudy Giuliani – a former Federal Prosecutor who is Trump’s personal lawyer – stood to profit personally from a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) venture in Ukraine, which has been linked to corrupt oligarchs, and other corrupt officials, some of whom may have been, or may be yet, associated with the Ukrainian government – including two Naturalized American Citizens, Lev Parnas, and Igor Fruman.

Lev Parnas was born in Ukraine to Jewish parents who emigrated with him to the United States when he was aged three, while Igor Fruman was born in Belarus to Jewish parents, and later moved to Detroit.

Federal authorities arrested the two men October 9, 2019 at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C. as they both sought to leave the United States with one-way flight tickets on Lufthansa Airlines flight to Frankfurt, and charged them with illegally contributing to Trump’s election campaign. Deeming them flight risks, a Federal Judge in Northern Virginia set bail at $1 million each, and the pair are still in custody.

Lev Parnas (left) and Igor Fruman are shown after their arrest on Oct. 9 at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C.

The Federal indictment said Parnas acted “at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials,” and though none were named, it was well known that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s primary critic in the Ukrainian government was Yuriy Lutsenko, who at the time was the Ukraine’s Prosecutor General and well-known to use the law as a weapon for his own personal political fights.

Federal Prosecutors indicted two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, along with Parnas and Fruman, and accused them of funneling money to state and federal candidates in exchange for potential influence, noting that the four men wanted to set up recreational marijuana businesses in Nevada and other states, and sought political help to obtain the necessary licenses.

NPR reported 23 October 2019 that, “a company called Global Energy Producers (GEP) gave $325,000 to America First Action, the superPAC supporting Trump.” GEP is a shell company created by Parnas and Fruman.

According to Trevor Potter, a Republican former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), General Counsel to the now-late Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain in his 2000, and 2008 presidential campaigns, who is now an investigator and founder of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a non-partisan, non-profit legal advocacy group which monitors money and political campaigns, CLC found that the campaign contribution came from GEP which appeared to be a shell company, and as he described, was “a blank slate.”

As Potter recalled, “The company hadn’t existed. It had been formed literally a couple weeks before the contribution. It had no website, no history of political activity, so you’re thinking this is most likely a company created to make this contribution. You have to disclose on the FEC reports the true source of the money, who the contributor actually is.”

Establishing a shell company to donate political contributions is an illegal act under Federal law.

As CLC further investigated, they found that GEP – through Parnas and Fruman – had donated to then-Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican who represented Texas’ 32nd Congressional District. Sessions was defeated by Colin Allred, his Democratic challenger in the November 2018 election.

In his official capacity, then-Representative Sessions, who was Chairman of the House Rules Committee, wrote a letter in 2018 to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stating that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch should be fired, and accused her of expressing “disdain” for the President and administration.

In July 2018, CLC notified the FEC of possible campaign finance violations by Parnas and Fruman.

Interestingly, in a totally separate, and seemingly unrelated turn of events, Dale W. Perry, the American owner of a large energy company doing business in Ukraine, first got wind of Parnas and Fruman after they’d met with one of his former business partners in March 2019, and described an unusual plan.

Perry characterized Parnas and Fruman’s scheme saying, “What was so troubling was, it was basically the presentation of the intent to take the gas sector back to where it was during the Yanukovych regime.”

Viktor Yanukovych is the former Ukrainian President, who, as Perry said, was “a heck of a lot more corrupt,” was friendly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, in office 2010-2014, was removed from office by the Ukrainian parliament February 2014, went into self-imposed exile in southern Russia that same month, and in January 2019 was tried and convicted in absentia of treason by Ukrainian court after it was discovered he had written a letter to Putin March 1, 2014 asking him to use Russian army and police forces to restore order in Ukraine, which in turn, led to the Russian invasion of Crimea. He has been in exile since 2014.

Petro Poroshenko, considered a Ukrainian oligarch, succeeded Yanukovych, who in turn was defeated May 2019 by Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who campaigned on an anti-corruption platform, and won with 73.22% of votes cast.

In May, as part of the celebration and acknowledgement of Zelenskiy’s election victory, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry traveled to Kiev, Ukraine to serve as the senior U.S. government representative at his inauguration. While there, in a private meeting with Zelenskiy, Perry pressed him to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board. Those in attendance left with the impression that Perry wanted to replace the American representative, Amos Hochstein, a former Diplomat and Energy Representative who served in the Obama administration, with someone “reputable in Republican circles.”

Rick Perry, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy – official portrait

During that same trip, a second meeting occurred at a Kyiv hotel, which included Ukrainian government officials and energy sector business individuals. At that meeting, Secretary Perry was explicitly clear that Trump wanted to Read the rest of this entry »

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Public Admissions of Wrongdoing

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 15, 2019

So… what do you do when criminals boldly admit their criminal acts on national television?

IMPEACH!

Trump, White House lawn: “They should investigate the Bidens.”
Trump: Ukraine And China Should Both Investigate The Bidens
October 3, 2019
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/10/03/trump_ukraine_and_china_should_both_investigate_the_bidens.html

Chris Cuomo, CNN: “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?”
Giuliani: “Of course I did!”
‘Of course I did’: Giuliani acknowledges asking Ukraine to investigate Biden
September 19, 2019
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/19/giuliani-biden-ukraine-trump-1506009

Journalist Jonathan Karl, ABC News: “What you just described is a quid pro quo.”
Mulvaney: “We do that all the time with foreign policy.”
The White House Just Admitted to a Quid Pro Quo with Ukraine on Live TV
October 17, 2019
https://www.gq.com/story/quid-pro-quo-all-the-time
GOP Railing After Mick Mulvaney Admits To Quid Pro Quo Then Pretends He Never Said It
October 18, 2019
https://www.essence.com/news/politics/mick-mulvaney-quid-pro-quo/

Trump, White House lawn: “China has started an investigation.”
Trump: Ukraine And China Should Both Investigate The Bidens
October 3, 2019 Read the rest of this entry »

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Honesty Will Drive Trump From Office

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

This one, honest man – a West Point graduate, where the honor code is “I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do” – a career Army officer who later became a diplomat, will be Trump’s undoing, simply because he TOLD THE TRUTH – unlike President Trump, who is incapable of truth-telling.

This honest man’s testimony (who Trump ordered to not testify) provides an openly and starkly contrasted picture of a publicly and brazenly corrupt President and administration, the likes of which our nation has never seen, surpassing even then-President Richard M. Nixon’s lies and other criminal conduct for which he resigned in shame.

Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor is escorted by U.S. Capitol Police on Tuesday as he arrives to testify before House committees as part of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump. – Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The second and third paragraphs in his 15-page testimony read as follows:

“I have dedicated my life to serving U.S. interests at home and abroad in both military and civilian roles. My background and experience are nonpartisan and I have been honored to serve under every administration, Republican and Democratic, since 1985.

“For 50 years, I have served the country, starting as a cadet at West Point, then as an infantry officer for six years, including with the 101 Airborne Division in Vietnam; then at the Department of Energy; then as a member of a Senate staff; then at NATO; then with the State Department here and abroad — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jerusalem, and Ukraine; and more recently, as Executive Vice President of the nonpartisan United States Institute of Peace.”

Ambassador Taylor is a man of honor… unlike President Trump.

And, Ambassador Taylor makes it explicitly clear the reason why policy toward Ukraine matters when he wrote that:

“I am convinced of the profound importance of Ukraine to the security of the United States and Europe for two related reasons:

“First, if Ukraine succeeds in breaking free of Russian influence, it is possible for Europe to be whole, free, democratic, and at peace. In contrast, if Russia dominates Ukraine, Russia will again become Read the rest of this entry »

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Voters With 2020 Vision See Elizabeth Warren Trumping Trump

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, September 26, 2019

Donald Trump, United States President, official portrait

To many, Trump v2.0 would be an inconceivable, unimaginable nightmare.

However, I sincerely doubt that we – and the world – will have to be concerned with a 2nd Trump term.

POTUS George W. Bush, official portrait

Why?

Not only are many Trump voters abandoning him, they are disavowing him in record numbers. Or, as then-POTUS George W. Bush said in Nashville, TN on September 17, 2002, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.'”

In addition to the other shenanigans and bad behavior for which Trump is notoriously infamous – including the rude necessity of Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia “witch hunt” investigation which conclusively demonstrated several instances of Obstruction of Justice by Trump, and resulted in 199 criminal charges, 37 indictments or guilty pleas, and 5 prison sentences for those in Trump’s inner circle – the suggestion from this latest debacle with Ukraine that Trump would unconscionably abuse of the power of the office of United States President to even consider collaborating with a foreign government to achieve his personal political objectives is not merely treasonous, it is confirmation to many on the political sidelines that he is selfishly duplicitous and connivingly unscrupulous, and it is reason enough to oust him from office not just at the 2020 ballot box, but by impeachment.

Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, official portrait

Trump’s phone call is the tipping point, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back – and Read the rest of this entry »

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Follow The Money: Paul Manafort, Donald Trump & Michael Flynn

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

By now, you’ve likely heard, or read about Paul Manafort’s bail being revoked.

Manfort, of course, was briefly then-candidate Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Manager, and has been arrested by the FBI as part of former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s (b.1944) ongoing investigation into illegal activity by foreign nations in the United States, some of which may have been related to the General Election of 2016.

Manfort (b.1949) is a Georgetown University School of Law-educated attorney, and among other activities, has made his money lobbying for, and advising the national political campaigns of such presidential candidates as Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Robert “Bob” Dole.

Manafort has also advised political campaigns in totalitarian dictatorial regimes, and has lobbied for, advised, and represented some highly unsavory international criminal characters including Read the rest of this entry »

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UAH President Dr. David B. Williams resigns… as predicted.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Regular readers of this blog will note that in an earlier entry entitled “UAH President Dr. David Williams to resign” which was published Wednesday, February 17, 2010, I predicted Williams’ resignation.

Today’s – Tuesday, March 15, 2011 – Huntsville Times front page headline which read “Williams surprises UAH with departure,” comes as no surprise at all.

UAH President David Williams resigns - HSV Times front page 3/15/11

UAH President David Williams resigns - Huntsville Times front page 3/15/11

What I found particularly interesting about the article was that Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, End Of The Road | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

UAH President Dr. David Williams to resign

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The good president cannot recover from this coup de grace, and will be forced to resign amidst public outcry from the students, their parents, the university’s employees (faculty and staff) while the Board of Trustees remains curiously silent.

In the coming days and months, the university will face significant losses from civil lawsuits over …Continue…

Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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