Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘#ImpeachTrump’

Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.
  ―  George Bernard Shaw
[They won’t.  But they should…  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2019 Carry It
2018 Simple
2017 Knowledge Pays
2016 Brief Glimpses And Full Glances
2015 Pursuing Perspective
2014 Wearing Down?
2013 Labouring Under A Curse
2012 Listen To Yourself
2011 Career Tips (Part 1)
No Captain Dunsel

Read Full Post »

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
  —  Peter Drucker
[I’ve been watching the impeachment “trial” of our President in the U.S. Senate.  As I anticipated, the “Fix” is in and #IncompetentTrump will not receive a “fair” trial, let alone be removed from office, because the Republicans are more interested in maintaining power than they are in protecting the Constitution (or the country).  It remains to be seen if there will be sufficient turnout in November to overcome the voter exclusion the Republicans will use to try to tip the election in their favor.  Here’s to hoping the future will be different.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2019 Interesting, But Not Fascinating
But Try To Eat The Low-Hanging First
2018 Me, Too
2017 Apt Enough?
2016 Now Or Ever
21, Pause, Restart
2015 I Am Shocked, Sir, Shocked…
Lucy & FSND-2
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

Read Full Post »

You do not know what you can miss before you try.
  —  Franklin Pierce Adams
[Let’s impeach, try, convict and remove Donald Trump from office.  I’d love to know if I’ll miss him…  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2018 #PresidentBoneSpur
2017 My Staggering Confusion
Zapped!!!
2016 And Bloggers?
2015 Ethical Energy
2014 Are You Likely To Defend It?
2013 Might As Well
2012 The Long And Short Of It
2011 Bravery

Read Full Post »

One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.
  —  Arnold H. Glasow
.
On This Day In:
2018 Second Chances – Rice, Now Trees
And Then You Have To Start Training Again
2017 Small Hands, Small Grasp
2016 Two Murrow’s
Election + 1 Week
2015 Not Mine, Anyway
2015 South By South East
2013 Don’tcha
2012 I Hear A Distant Thunder
2011 A Poison Tree

Read Full Post »

Why Trump Only Goes Out In Public To His Own Rallies

Last night (27 October 2019), President Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, D.C. between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.  When introduced, the President was first booed by the crowd and then while pointing in his direction, the crowd began chanting “Lock him up!” repeatedly.  While politicians getting booed at baseball games (and other sports events) is nothing particularly newsworthy, it is notable (and a bit saddening) that Trump has so shamed the office that a crowd would chant to have him incarcerated on a televised event being seen around the world.
We can draw a line from Reagan’s line:  “Government is the problem!” to Joe Wilson’s:  “You lie!” at President Obama’s 2009 State of the Union Speech to a crowd shouting to “lock up” a sitting President.  When the general public is encouraged to disrespect the government and our elected officials, “We the People” all become a little less civil and a little less secure in our own liberties.
While I personally believe candidate Trump did conspire / collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 election and while I believe President Trump has continued to commit crimes (obstruct justice) and violate his Oath of Office, I am more dismayed “the Office” has been brought down in public opinion this way and is now subject to ridicule in front of the world.  If Trump is not impeached and subsequently removed from Office between now and November 2020, I hope the next election provides our nation with a President who can both bring respect back for the Office and (more importantly) give us “a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
.
On This Day In:
2018 And Flights Of Fancy
Dodgers Lose 2nd Consecutive World Series!!
2017 By Their Acts Thy Shall Know Them
2016 Remembering
2015 One
2014 Sure Experiments And Demonstrated Arguments
2013 Irrational Complacency
2012 Why Criticize?
Giants Sweep 2012 World Series With Game 4 Win (4 To 3)!!!
2011 Saying Just Enough
2010 Giants Win Game 2 Shutout of Rangers – 9 to 0!!!

Read Full Post »

…As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
Those words echoed with me throughout the week.  It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great.  We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.
But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us?  If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military?  And if they don’t join, who will protect us?  If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us?  And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness.  He is wrong.  These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years.  If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better.  The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
  —  William H. McRaven
Retired Navy Admiral
Former commander of the United States Special Operations Command and former chancellor of the University of Texas system.
Excerpt from his opinion / editorial:  “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President
Found on the web site for The New York Times:  https://wwww.nytimes.com
The link to the on-line version is:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/trump-mcraven-syria-military.html
.
On This Day In:
2018 Maps For Those Difficult Times
2017 A True American Hero
Or Desserts
2016 What #AmnestyDon Is Really Afraid Of
2015 What Are You Doing?
2014 The Ideal Man
2013 Daring Ripples
2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

Read Full Post »

I’ve just learned about his illness.  Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.
  —  Irvin S. Cobb
.
On This Day In:
2018 Come November 6th
2017 Hearts And Memories
2016 Tremendous Energy
Beyond Trying
2015 Tell Me…
2014 Live Forever (To Remember Me)
Orange October (VI) – Giants Win Game 4
2013 More Than Just Words
2012 Egotist, n.
2011 Good And Bad

Read Full Post »

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
  —  Mark Twain
.
On This Day In:
2018 Three Things
2017 Love Yourself
Deliver The Revolution
2016 Once Eccentric
2015 Trusted Desperation
2014 Orange October (V) – Giants Win Game 3
Who Am I To Teach?
2013 Deliver Us Something Larger
2012 Bore, n.
2011 Attaining High Office

Read Full Post »

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
  —  Oliver Goldsmith
[My best guess is there is not a single Republican Senator with the guts to stand up for the Constitution and against our “wanna-be tyrant”.   But that’s just MY best guess.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2018 VOTE – We Need A Wave
2017 Soothe, Inspire And Recharge
2016 Aren’t We?
2015 Cold Embrace
2014 Delightful
2013 Apprenticeship
2012 Curtain Rods
2011 A Living Force
2010 BART Rides – A Tipping Point

Read Full Post »

The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
  —  Albert Camus
.
On This Day In:
2018 Mine, Too
2017 Who’s Turn Is It Now?
2016 Before You Vote In November…
2015 Two Faithful Thoughts
2014 Love Light
Orange October (III) – Giants Advance To National League Championship Series (NLCS)
2013 Nothing Ridiculous
2012 Keeping Faith
2011 Summon Us, Don’t Criticize Us
2010 Obama’s Wars – Book Review
Game Two – Hearbreaking Loss

Read Full Post »

Cowardice asks the question – is it safe?  Expediency asks the question – is it politic?  Vanity asks the question – is it popular?  But conscience asks the question – is it right?  And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.
  —  Martin Luther King, Jr.
.
On This Day In:
2018 Intensity Doesn’t Make It Correct
HF2: 1940’s Grapes
2017 Proof Sits In The Oval Office
2016 Tragic Determinism
2015 Maybe It Should Be Clearer
2014 Make It Your Strength
2013 Four Score
2012 The Ruler
2011 Forever
2010 Just Cuz
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?
It’s Alive!! (3rd Pair Shoe Review)

Read Full Post »

[The following is the declassified whistleblower complaint on President Donald Trump and Ukraine.  It has been released and is available from several public and news sources on the internet.  Note:  The document footnotes which are contained in the original document appear at the end of this “text” version.  —  KMAB]
Dear Chairman Burr and Chairman Schiff:
I am reporting an “urgent concern” in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(A).  This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment.
In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.  This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals.  The President’ s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort.  Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.
  –  Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort.  The information provided herein was relayed to me in the course of official interagency business.  It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.
  –  I was not a direct witness to most of the events described.  However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another.  In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.
I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters,” consistent with the definition of an”urgent concern” in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(G).  I am therefore fulfilling my duty to report this information, through proper legal channels, to the relevant authorities.
  –  I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.
To the best of my knowledge, the entirety of this statement is unclassified when separated from the classified enclosure.  I have endeavored to apply the classification standards outlined in Executive Order (EO) 13526 and to separate out information that I know or have reason to believe is classified for national security purposes.  (1)
  –  If a classification marking is applied retroactively, I believe it is incumbent upon the classifying authority to explain why such a marking was applied, and to which specific information it pertains.
I. The 25 July Presidential phone call
Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  I do not know which side initiated the call.  This was the first publicly acknowledged call between the two leaders since a brief congratulatory call after Mr. Zelenskyy won the presidency on 21 April.
Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests.  Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid.  According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:
  –  initiate or continue an investigation (2) into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;
  –  assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike,(3) which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016; and
  –  meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.
The President also praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, and suggested that Mr. Zelenskyy might want to keep him in his position.  (Note: Starting in March 2019, Mr. Lutsenko made a series of public allegations – many of which he later walked back — about the Biden family’s activities in Ukraine, Ukrainian officials’ purported involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, and the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.  See Part IV for additional context.)
The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call.  They told me that there was already a “discussion ongoing” with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.
The Ukrainian side was the first to publicly acknowledge the phone call.  On the evening of 25 July, a readout was posted on the website of the Ukrainian President that contained the following line (translation from original Russian-language readout):
  –  “Donald Trump expressed his conviction that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve Ukraine’s image and complete the investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”
Aside from the above-mentioned “cases” purportedly dealing with the Biden family and the 2016 U.S. election, I was told by White House officials that no other “cases” were discussed.
Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call — a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House Situation Room, as is customary.  The officials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a “routine” call with a foreign leader.  I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.
  –  In addition to White House personnel, I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.
  –  I was not the only non-White House official to receive a readout of the call.  Based on my understanding, multiple State Department and Intelligence Community officials were also briefed on the contents of the call as outlined above.
II. Efforts to restrict access to records related to the call
In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced — as is customary — by the White House Situation Room.  This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.
  –  White House officials told me that they were “directed” by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.
  –  Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature.  One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.
I do not know whether similar measures were taken to restrict access to other records of the call, such as contemporaneous handwritten notes taken by those who listened in.
III. Ongoing concerns
On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy and a variety of Ukrainian political figures.  Ambassador Volker was accompanied in his meetings by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.  Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker and Sandland reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to “navigate” the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy.
I also learned from multiple U.S. officials that, on or about 2 August, Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Madrid to meet with one of President Zelenskyy’ s advisers, Andriy Yermak.  The U.S. officials characterized this meeting, which was not reported publicly at the time, as a “direct follow-up” to the President’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy about the “cases” they had discussed.
  –  Separately, multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelenskyy advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov. (4)
  –  I do not know whether those officials met or spoke with Mr. Giuliani, but I was told separately by multiple U.S. officials that Mr. Yermak and Mr. Bakanov intended to travel to Washington in mid-August.
On 9 August, the President told reporters: “I think [President Zelenskyy] is going to make a deal with President Putin, and he will be invited to the White House.  And we look forward to seeing him.  He’s already been invited to the White House, and he wants to come.  And I think he will.  He’s a very reasonable guy.  He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”
IV. Circumstances leading up to the 25 July Presidential phone call
Beginning in late March 2019, a series of articles appeared in an online publication called The Hill.  In these articles, several Ukrainian officials — most notably, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko — made a series of allegations against other Ukrainian officials and current and former U.S. officials. Mr. Lutsenko and his colleagues alleged, inter alia:
  –  that they possessed evidence that Ukrainian officials — namely, Head of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk and Member of Parliament Serhiy Leshchenko — had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, allegedly in collaboration with the DNC and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv; (5)
  –  that the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv — specifically, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who had criticized Mr. Lutsenko’ s organization for its poor record on fighting corruption — had allegedly obstructed Ukrainian law enforcement agencies’ pursuit of corruption cases, including by providing a “do not prosecute” list, and had blocked Ukrainian prosecutors from traveling to the United States expressly to prevent them from delivering their “evidence” about the 2016 U.S. election; (6) and
  –  that former Vice President Biden had pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to fire then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to quash a purported criminal probe into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board the former Vice President’s son, Hunter, sat. (7)
In several public comments, (8) Mr. Lutsenko also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters. (9)
The allegations by Mr. Lutsenko came on the eve of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on 31 March.  By that time, Mr. Lutsenko’s political patron, President Poroshenko, was trailing Mr. Zelenskyy in the polls and appeared likely to be defeated.  Mr. Zelenskyy had made known his desire to replace Mr. Lutsenko as Prosecutor General.  On 21 April, Mr. Poroshenko lost the runoff to Mr. Zelenskyy by a landslide.  See Enclosure for additional information.
  –  It was also publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had met on at least two occasions with Mr. Lutsenko: once in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid-February.  In addition, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani. (10)
  –  On 25 April in an interview with Fox News, the President called Mr. Lutsenko’s claims “big” and “incredible” and stated that the Attorney General “would want to see this.”
On or about 29 April, I learned from U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation that Ambassador Yovanovitch had been suddenly recalled to Washington by senior State Department officials for “consultations” and would most likely be removed from her position.
  –  Around the same time, I also learned from a U.S. official that “associates” of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team. (11)
  –  On 6 May, the State Department announced that Ambassador Yovanovitch would be ending her assignment in Kyiv “as planned.”
  –  However, several U.S. officials told me that, in fact, her tour was curtailed because of pressure stemming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations.  Mr. Giuliani subsequently stated in an interview with a Ukrainian journalist published on 14 May that Ambassador Yovanovitch was “removed … because she was part of the efforts against the President.”
On 9 May, The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to press the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations that would help the President in his 2020 reelection bid.
  –  In his multitude of public statements leading up to and in the wake of the publication of this article, Mr. Giuliani confirmed that he was focused on encouraging Ukrainian authorities to pursue investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged wrongdoing by the Biden family. (12)
  –  On the afternoon of 10 May, the President stated in an interview with Politico that he planned to speak with Mr. Giuliani about the trip.
  –  A few hours later, Mr. Giuliani publicly canceled his trip, claiming that Mr. Zelenskyy was “surrounded by enemies of the [U.S.] President… and of the United States.”
On 11 May, Mr. Lutsenko met for two hours with President-elect Zelenskyy, according to a public account given several days later by Mr. Lutsenko.  Mr. Lutsenko publicly stated that he had told Mr. Zelenskyy that he wished to remain as Prosecutor General.
Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decision making processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President.  These officials also told me:
  –  that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giulianiin an attempt to “contain the damage” to U.S. national security; and
  –  that Ambassadors Volker and Sandland during this time period met with members of the new Ukrainian administration and, in addition to discussing policy matters, sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the-one-hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.
During this same timeframe, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to ” play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.  (Note: This was the general understanding of the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into early July.  I do not know who delivered this message to the Ukrainian leadership, or when.)  See Enclosure for additional information.
Shortly after President Zelenskyy’ s inauguration, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani met with two other Ukrainian officials: Ukraine’s Special Anticorruption Prosecutor, Mr. Nazar Kholodnytskyy, and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko.  Both Mr. Kholodnytskyy and Mr. Telizhenko are allies of Mr. Lutsenko and made similar allegations in the above-mentioned series of articles in The Hill.
On 13 June, the President told ABC’ s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign government.
On 21 June, Mr. Giuliani tweeted: “New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 and alleged Biden bribery of Poroshenko.  Time for leadership and investigate both if you want to purge how Ukraine was abused by Hillary and Clinton people.”
In mid-July, I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to U.S. assistance for Ukraine.  See Enclosure for additional information.
ENCLOSURE: Classified appendix
(U) CLASSIFIED APPENDIX
(U) Supplementary classified information is provided as follows:
(U) Additional information related to Section II
According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President’s call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs.  This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information , such as covert action.  According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs.  According to White House officials I spoke with, this was “not the first time” under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information.
(U) Additional information related to Section IV
[Redaction]  Note: This section begins with a classified body of text and includes an associated classified footnote.
I would like to expand upon two issues mentioned in Section IV that might have a connection with the overall effort to pressure the Ukrainian leadership.  As I do not know definitively whether the below-mentioned decisions are connected to the broader efforts I describe, I have chosen to include them in the classified annex.  If they indeed represent genuine policy deliberations and decisions formulated to advance U.S. foreign policy and national security, one might be able to make a reasonable case that the facts are classified
  –  I learned from U.S. officials that, on or around 14 May, the President instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President Zelenskyy’ s inauguration on 20 May; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the delegation instead.  According to these officials, it was also “made clear” to them that the President did not want to meet with Mr. Zelenskyy until he saw how Zelenskyy “chose to act” in office.  I do not know how this guidance was communicated, or by whom.  I also do not know whether this action was connected with the broader understanding, described in the unclassified letter, that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani,
  –  On 18 July, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official informed Departments and Agencies that the President “earlier that month” had issued instructions to suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine.  Neither OMB nor the NSC staff knew why this instruction had been issued.  During interagency meetings on 23 July and 26 July, OMB officials again stated explicitly that the instruction to suspend this assistance had come directly from the President, but they still were unaware of a policy rationale.  As of early August, I heard from U.S. officials that some Ukrainian officials were aware that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy, but I do not know how or when they learned of it.
FOOTNOTES:
1.  Apart from the information in the Enclosure, it is my belief that none of the information contained herein meets the definition of “classified information” outlined in EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.1.  There is ample open-source information about the efforts I describe below, including statements by the President and Mr. Giuliani.  In addition, based on my personal observations, there is discretion with respect to the classification of private comments by or instructions from the President, including his communications with foreign leaders; information that is not related to U.S. foreign policy or national security — such as the information contained in this document, when separated from the Enclosure — is generally treated as unclassified.  I also believe that applying a classification marking to this information would violate EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.7, which states: “In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; [or] (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.”
2.  It is unclear whether such a Ukrainian investigation exists.  See Footnote #7 for additional information.
3.  I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine.  (See, for example, his comments to Fox News on 20 July: “And Ukraine.  Take a look at Ukraine.  How come the FBI didn’t take this server?  Podesta told them to get out.  He said, get out.  So, how come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC?”)
4.  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 Zelenskyy adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.
5.  Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko are two of Mr. Lutsenko’s main domestic rivals.  Mr. Lutsenko has no legal training and has been widely criticized in Ukraine for politicizing criminal probes and using his tenure as Prosecutor General to protect corrupt Ukrainian officials.  He has publicly feuded with Mr. Sytnyk, who heads Ukraine’s only competent anticorruption body, and with Mr. Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist who has repeatedly criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s record.  In December 2018, a Ukrainian court upheld a complaint by a Member of Parliament, Mr. Boryslav Rozenblat, who alleged that Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. election by publicizing a document detailing corrupt payments made by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych before his ouster in 2014.  Mr. Rozenblat had originally filed the motion in late 2017 after attempting to flee Ukraine amid an investigation into his taking of a large bribe.  On 16 July 2019, Mr. Leshchenko publicly stated that a Ukrainian court had overturned the lower court’s decision.
6.  Mr. Lutsenko later told Ukrainian news outlet The Babel on 17 April that Ambassador Yovanovitch had never provided such a list, and that he was, in fact, the one who requested such a list.
7.  Mr. Lutsenko later told Bloomberg on 16 May that former Vice President Biden and his son were not subject to any current Ukrainian investigations, and that he had no evidence against them. Other senior Ukrainian officials also contested his original allegations; one former senior Ukrainian prosecutor told Bloomberg on 7 May that Mr. Shokin in fact was not investigating Burisma at the time of his removal in 2016.
8.  See, for example, Mr. Lutsenko’s comments to The Hill on 1 and 7 April and his interview with The Babel on 17 April, in which he stated that he had spoken with Mr. Giuliani about arranging contact with Attorney General Barr.
9.  In May, Attorney General Barr announced that he was initiating a probe into the “origins” of the Russia investigation.  According to the above-referenced OCCRP report (22 July), two associates of Mr. Giuliani claimed to be working with Ukrainian officials to uncover information that would become part of this inquiry.  In an interview with Fox News on 8 August, Mr. Giuliani claimed that Mr. John Durham, whom Attorney General Barr designated to lead this probe, was “spending a lot of time in Europe” because he was “investigating Ukraine.”  I do not know the extent to which, if at all, Mr. Giuliani is directly coordinating his efforts on Ukraine with Attorney General Barr or Mr. Durham.
10.  See, for example, the above-referenced articles in Bloomberg (16 May) and OCCRP (22 July).
11.  I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.
12.  See, for example, Mr. Giuliani’s appearance on Fox News on 6 April and his tweets on 23 April and 10 May.  In his interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani stated that the President “basically knows what I’m doing, sure, as his lawyer.”  Mr. Giuliani also stated: “We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do …  There’s nothing illegal about it …  Somebody could say it’s improper.  And this isn’t foreign policy — I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop.  And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”
.
On This Day In:
2018 Looking Into Golf
Goin’ Yard
2017 Improvise
2016 Got Leisure?
2015 It’s Been Hurtin’ For Quite A While Now
2014 Curious Talent
2013 Eureka
2012 Slow Me
2011 He Said What?!?
2010 Gritty
3 and 3
Just A Hunch
Wall Street – Movie Review
2nd Pair – Shoe Review (Aborted and Final)

Read Full Post »

Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!
  ―  Maya Angelou
.
On This Day In:
2018 No Pride There
London To The Hague
2017 At Least Twenty To Go
2016 A Sweet Smelling Blog Post
Pre-Reacher
2015 Getting The Story Right
2014 Like Shells On The Shore
2013 More And Why
2012 How To Gain Effective Fire
2011 Patriot Act

Read Full Post »

Our problem is not to find better values but to be faithful to those we profess.
   —  John W. Gardner
[Let’s start with the rule of law.  It would make for a great start…  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2017 Training Shoulders
2016 You Just Have To Care
Day 4 – Blending
2015 My Slow Education
2014 Great Service
2013 You Really Should Wear More Sweaters
Here I Am God
2012 The Serenity Prayer
2011 The Victory Of Life

Read Full Post »

[For the full text of this speech, click here:  “The New Normal” on my Poems page.  —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2016 Two Weeks To Go…
2015 Remembering
2014 The Creeping Death Of Civilization
Orange October (X) – A Blue Morning Turns Into An Orange Evening
2013 License Problem
2012 Giants Win Game 2 Of The 2012 World Series 2 To 0!!!
Adage, n.
Questions Women Should Ask Before Voting…
2011 What Are You Looking At?

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: