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Trump Strong arms Ukraine to investiage Biden

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    Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers Friday that President Donald Trump pressured the State Department to oust her from her position.

    Yovanovitch appeared on Capitol Hill on Friday for a deposition in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. The Democratic chairmen of three House committees said they subpoenaed her before her testimony after they learned late Thursday that the State Department had directed Yovanovitch not to testify.

    Yovanovitch was recalled from Kyiv as Rudy Giuliani – who is Trump’s personal attorney and has no official role in the U.S. government – pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate corruption allegations against the Bidens. Yovanovitch was removed from her post after insisting that Giuliani’s requests to Ukrainian officials for investigations be relayed through official channels, according to a former diplomat who has spoken with her.

    http://arizonarepublic.az.newsmemory.com/?publink=4b9bcc9dd

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    Besides Guiliani and Bill Barr, another Trump official who was involved in the scheme to pressure Ukraine to help Trump was Mick Mulvaney. At critical moments, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney circumvented the National Security Council and assisted those pressing Kiev to produce "deliverables" that could help President Trump politically.

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    The New York Daily News just published another great cover that lambasts "America's mayor":

    View image on Twitter

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    Ukraine is not the only country that Trump is withholding funds from.

    As it turns out, Puerto Rico has also been screwed by Trump.

    Trump administration officials have admitted that last summer they knowingly withheld billions of dollars Congress appropriated to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. House Democrats say withholding the relief money violates the law.

    Federal law requires that our government help Americans hit by natural disasters, but two Housing and Urban Development officials acknowledged at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Oct. 17 that HUD blocked the Puerto Rico relief funds.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/team-trump-admits-holding-back-billions-for-puerto-rico-disaster-recovery/

    Keep your fucking paper towels, Trump. What they need is MONEY. It's not brain surgery to figure that out, Mr. Carson.

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    As far as I can see, the only solution is to clean out this whole pig barn with lots of brooms and disinfectant. Rewrite the Constitution to reflect modern times and add new laws which clearly define the tasks and limits of the upper echelon.

    If not then this country is doomed; it cannot continue with an 2 party system which are extremely polarized and incompetent. Way too many "partisan" lawyers in this country who only make the mess bigger. The only way to get rid of them is write laws clear and without "loopholes". Also it is time to rewrite/update the Constitution; way to few updates in 300 years. Case laws should not be needed, if there is an sound up to date "base law" which is updated all the time, so it is an "living document". Amen

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    The news about Ukraine gets more damning virtually every day. Here's the most recent examples:

    1) Trump was actively seeking to build a resort there. Both Ivanka and Don Jr. traveled there in 2006, and Don Jr. traveled there in 2008. Junior and his father have blasted Joe Biden for son doing business in a foreign country but here we are with another classic case of Trump’s projection skills which are at the level of an IMAX theater.

    https://politicaltribune.org/trumps-ukraine-scandal-appears-to-get-more-complicated-as-new-report-claims-potus-wanted-to-build-resort-there-before-taking-office/

    2) Don Jr. played a key role in having the former ambassador removed. The Ambassador sent a secure email at the end of this past March to the State Department brass, explaining that Trump Jr.’s public tweets led to an “avalanche of attacks” on both herself and the embassy, which “undercut” the perception that she spoke for the U.S. government, and promoted Rudy Giuliani as our nation’s rightful messenger to the authorities.

    Incredibly, instead of a statement of support, Ambassador Yovanovich was instead advised by hotelier turned-EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland that she should tweet praises of President Trump if she wanted to save her job.

    http://Junior and his father have blasted Joe Biden for son doing business in a foreign country but here we are with another classic case of Trump’s projection skills which are at the level of an IMAX theater.

    3) transcripts just released reveal that Trump himself may have been directly involved as early as January 2018 - and Rudy is definitely in deep shit.

    http://arizonarepublic.az.newsmemory.com/?publink=436b09fe3

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    that guy in AZ Wrote:

    Ukraine is not the only country that Trump is withholding funds from.

    As it turns out, Puerto Rico has also been screwed by Trump.

    Trump administration officials have admitted that last summer they knowingly withheld billions of dollars Congress appropriated to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. House Democrats say withholding the relief money violates the law.

    Federal law requires that our government help Americans hit by natural disasters, but two Housing and Urban Development officials acknowledged at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Oct. 17 that HUD blocked the Puerto Rico relief funds.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/team-trump-admits-holding-back-billions-for-puerto-rico-disaster-recovery/

    Keep your fucking paper towels, Trump. What they need is MONEY. It's not brain surgery to figure that out, Mr. Carson.

    He also withheld funds for Lebanon who is just about run over by refugees and Syria may attack them with Russian help.
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    According to a report from Axios, Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse have filed an FOIA request for documents and communications pertaining to Donald Trump’s attempts to get Attorney General Bill Barr to clear him of wrongdoing in his Ukraine quid pro quo demand. This is the second time these senators made a FOIA request for Trump-Ukraine information in less than three weeks.

    Gee, Trump's plan to use his Attorney General to pardon him sure sounds like an obstruction of justice, doesn't it?

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/11/dem-senators-slap-trump-with-a-foia-request-for-info-on-plan-to-use-bill-barr-to-exonerate-him/?utm_source=push_notifications

    See the source image

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    By now, you are probably aware of the fact that Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified on October 29 to the committees in Congress about Trump's strong arming the Ukrainians, was removed from the National Security Council the day before Veterans Day. National security adviser Robert O’Brien, who replaced John Bolton in that position in September, said that Vindman would be leaving his position along with several others as part of a “streamlining” of the National Security Council.

    O’Brien was asked if Vindman was being removed because he was “scheduled to rotate out” or whether there was “any retaliation against him.” In reply, O’Brien said, “I never retaliate against anyone myself.” Asked again whether Vindman had been scheduled to leave, O’Brien replied “there will be a time for everyone who is detailed there.” The evasion in both of those answers is clear.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/11/10/1898525/-Lt-Col-Alexander-Vindman-to-be-removed-from-National-Security-Council?detail=emaildkre

    For the record, the National Security Council was established in 1947 as a mechanism of the executive branch of the federal government for advising the President on matters of high policy, equal in importance to the Cabinet. The solid establishment and effective functioning of this relatively new organ at the apex of government is a current phenomenon of America's political economy.

    Under its statutory charter, the Council is concerned only in policy matters affecting the security of the nation. At present the permanent staff consists of 28 persons, of whom 11 are "think people." At present the permanent staff consists of 28 persons, of whom 11 are "think people."I'm of the opinion that the council does not actually need any streamlining,

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/1956-04-01/development-national-security-council

    Alexander Vindman has been in the Army for 20 years. In addition to his Purple Heart, he also has received several other honors. After graduation from the State University of New York, he received a master of arts degree from Harvard in Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian studies. Since he is fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian, you would think that he would be a strong asset for the National Security Council.

    Since his commander-in-chief, "cadet bone spurs" is a vindictive a**hole, this is yet another example of Trump's abuse of power, which is also an impeachable offense.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Vindman

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    The latest twist in the Ukraine story just came to light yesterday about Trump's attempted extortion of Ukraine. The article below, from the New York Times, mentioned a name that I had not seen before - Yuriy Lutsenko, a Ukrainian prosecutor who was helping Guiliani unearth damaging information about the Bidens. Lutsenko had had some clashes with out ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, and "wanted her done".

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/us/politics/trump-impeachment-articles.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Lutsenko was not the only individual who was plotting to remove her from her position.

    Heather Cox Richardson also had a story this morning that was even more damning, and she mentioned a guy who is running for congress from Connecticut. His name is Robert F Hyde, and I had never heard his name before this morning. He was responsible for putting Yovanovitch under surveillance, and he explored having her attacked or assassinated.

    Her article from yesterday also contained a few other facts that caused my jaw to drop a bit.

    Tonight, just on the cusp of the House articles of impeachment going over to the Senate, the House Intelligence Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs transmitted to the House Judiciary Committee some of the material it has garnered from indicted political operative Lev Parnas’s phones. While there were two files—one is secret because it involves sensitive personal information—the other has provided material that is a game changer in three ways.

    First of all, much of it is damning in its own right. Second, it will force Trump either to admit he was part of the Ukraine scheme all along or to call his friend (and sometime lawyer) Rudy Giuliani a liar. Third, it will add fuel to the fire that is making Trump so terribly angry and erratic these days, which will likely mean his behavior will only get worse. But with this new material in front of them, along with more that we have not seen, it is unlikely Republican leaders will be willing to continue to defend him except in the most general of ways.

    There are also texts from Giuliani to Parnas, saying that he can overrule the decision of the Ukraine embassy, then under the direction of Marie Yovanovitch, not to give Viktor Shokin, the corrupt former Prosecutor General of Ukraine, a visa. He texted: “It’s going to work I have no 1 in it”

    There is sharing of stories from Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Don Bongino about attacks on US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich.

    “Fuck that bitch,” Hyde wrote on March 22, 2019. (Yovanovitch was highly regarded, and one of our very top diplomats.)

    The next day he texted: “Wow. Can’t believe Trumo [sic] hasn’t fired this bitch. I’ll get right in that”

    Then: “She under heavy protection outside Kiev”

    Unidentified [probably Lev Parnas]: “I know crazy shit”

    Hyde: “My guy thinks maybe FSB..?” [FSB is Russian security]

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

    So ...

    Who is Robert Hyde? Daily Beast provides the answer:

    Hyde runs a Washington-based government relations firm, Finley Hyde & Associates, according to his LinkedIn account. The company’s website is decorated with pictures of Hyde and high-powered Republicans like Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Hyde’s firm claims to have handled “major public affairs projects in the U.S. and abroad” and worked for clients that included “foreign government allies of the U.S.”

    In August, Hyde launched a bid against Rep. Jahana Hayes (D) in Connecticut’s 5th District. Hyde’s Twitter and Facebook accounts are filled with pictures of him and prominent Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Sen. Rand Paul (KY). Hyde has also taken pictures with Trump at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/who-is-robert-f-hyde-the-trump-donor-who-apparently-tracked-marie-yovanovitch

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    The Washington Post published a few tantalizing stories about Ukraine this morning:

    1) The GAO just published a report that said that the administration violated the law by withholding Ukraine aid. **

    2) David L. Stern and Isabelle Khurshudyan just published an article saying that Ukraine has just opened a probe into the surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch.

    3) During Lev Parnas's interview with MSNBC, he said that Devin Nunes was involved in "getting all this stuff on Biden"

    4) Robert Hyde, who was involved in surveillance of the ambassador, was a known stalker with mental health issues. Hyde publicized that he was placed in a psychiatric facility in Florida last May, following an incident at the Trump National Doral Miami resort. A report written by the Doral Police Department at the time notes that Hyde expressed fear for his life and told officers that he “was scared due to several painting workers and landscape working trying to do harm to him because they weren’t working.”

    In his crazy mind, "just because you are paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get you".

    Hyde has other legal issues, according to records, including an eviction from a commercial property in Simsbury, Connecticut, where his former business was located. In 2011, Hyde was arrested in Avon, Connecticut, for reckless endangerment in connection a tree that fell on power lines near one of his work sites

    The Intercept obtained police records showing that Hyde violated a restraining order issued by a Washington, D.C., Superior Court judge at the request of a Republican consultant who says that Hyde stalked her and intimidated her family over the last year. In one of the reports, an officer disclosed that Connecticut police confiscated Hyde’s firearms in connection to his violation of the restraining order. Hyde was reported to authorities for “unsettling behavior” and trespassing at a church in Connecticut, according to a separate police report last summer.

    Last year, Hyde began a campaign for Congress, seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn. The former owner of a landscaping company, Hyde describes himself as a “U.S. Marine Corps Iraqi Freedom war veteran” and “an ardent support of our duly elected president, President Trump” on his campaign website.

    In summary, Hyde is gun owner with mental health issues, he is a strong support of Donald Trump - and he is running for Congress.

    Here's a picture that should trigger your gag reflex:

    View image on Twitter

    https://theintercept.com/2020/01/15/trump-supporter-who-discussed-surveillance-of-ambassador-marie-yovanovitch-has-history-of-stalking-mental-health-issues/

    ** As of this morning, 3 GOP senators (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney) seem open to witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial. With one more Republican, Democrats could commandeer the proceedings. If they also also documents like the GAO report, Trump's desire for a short trial and a quick acquittal, are going to go up in smoke.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/us/politics/republicans-impeachment-witnesses.html

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    The second half of the Rachel Maddow interview with Lev Parnas was equally revealing. Everyone was in the loop...all the President's men and the President himself. Gotcha! They are all making statements denying their involvement, but the only way to really seek the truth is to subpoena them all as witnesses in the Senate trial. And I would be okay with Hunter and Joe Biden testifying as well to clear their names. Let the whole nation hear from everyone under oath.

    Let Trump testify on his own behalf under oath. I also wrote my Senator Gardner this morning asking him to vote for allowing witnesses to testify. We need to put pressure on these guys.

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    I don't want to disappoint you, but it will stay an "circus" as long as McConnell has an say. As I've said before, serious things like this should be done as in an "real" court; not an "ad hoc" process like the GOP wants. Sorry knowing the GOP attitude, they will make sure that nothing of the real "stuff" surfaces. I guarantee it will be an huge disappointment for the Dem's. The stupidity is that the "forefathers" forgot to write an "detailed" process as it should be done; as well the Constitution should have been an "living" up to date document. Now it is neither an court or an solid impartial hearing. So let the circus begin.
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    Marie Yovanovitch just accepted the Trainor Award for excellence in diplomacy from the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.

    She noted that the State Department is being “hollowed out” under Trump and that the art of diplomacy has become less of a priority under his administration.

    “Right now, the State Department is in trouble,” Yovanovitch said in accepting the award. “Senior leaders lack policy vision, moral clarity and leadership.”

    Yovanovitch praised the “quiet work of diplomacy” as a way to ensure peace and prosperity in the world. "To be blunt, an amoral, keep 'em guessing foreign policy that substitutes threats, fear and confusion for trust cannot work over the long haul," she said.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/diplomat-ousted-slammed-trump-diplomacy-award-68945183?fbclid=IwAR07ByEf1ucwkdfHuhH9jg1gp-scLYPBub8fah0mfDNYNDjZ17JPrVaiGxM

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    The excuse that Trump used for withholding aid to Ukraine was that he wanted to eliminate corruption there. Since Trump doesn't read much, and doesn't listen to his intelligence agencies, why does he think the Ukraine is corrupt?

    I'm a firm believer in FACTS, which is why I don't think that Trump is the most biblical president we have ever had. If you want to evaluate the corruption level of a country, the World Economic Forum has already done the work for you.

    They ranked 180 countries, and assigned a number to them. A score of 100/100 indicates that a country is not corrupt at all, and a score close to 0 means a country is VERY corrupt. Denmark is the least corrupt country, and Somalia is the most corrupt. You might have notices that SOCIALIST countries rank high on the list, so why do Republicans think that "socialism sucks"?

    The United States has a score of 71/100, Ukraine has a score of 32/100, Russia has a score of 28/100, and Canada has a score of 81/100.

    The paragraph below, though, should set off alarm bells in your head:

    The United States dropped out of the top 20 least corrupt nations for the first time since 2011. Transparency International says: “The low score comes at a time when the US is experiencing threats to its system of checks and balances, as well as an erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.” Obviously, having a mob boss for president means that a country's corruption level is going to go up.

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/least-corrupt-countries-transparency-international-2018/