by Alex Christoforou, The Duran:
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the latest attempt to derail Trump’s presidency which revolves around the US president asking Ukraine to conduct a legal investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden, who boasted, on video, about withholding $1 billion in US loan guarantees unless Ukraine fired the man charged with investigating his son, Hunter, and his son’s company Burisma for corruption.
The Washington Post is now quietly reporting that a July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not contain an explicit quid pro quo if Ukraine launched an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son as initially reported.
In other words, there was no quid pro quo (during that specific phone call) offered in exchange for Trump asking Ukraine officials to investigate possible crimes committed by Hunter Biden.
For days we’ve been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States after a whistleblower lodged an ‘urgent’ complaint about something Trump promised another world leader – the details of which the White House has refused to share.
Then, we learned it was a phone call.
Then, we learned it was several phone calls.
Now, we learn it wasn’t Russia or North Korea – it was Ukraine!
Here’s the scandal; It appears that Trump, may have made promises to newly minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – very likely involving an effort to convince Ukraine to reopen its investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, after Biden strongarmed Ukraine’s prior government into firing its top prosecutor – something Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have pursued for months. There are also unsupported rumors that Trump threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists.
And while the MSM and Congressional Democrats are starting to focus on the sitting US president having a political opponent investigated, The New York Times admits that nothing Trump did would have been illegal, as “while Mr. Trump may have discussed intelligence activities with the foreign leader, he enjoys broad power as president to declassify intelligence secrets, order the intelligence community to act and otherwise direct the conduct of foreign policy as he sees fit.”
Moreover, here’s why Trump and Giuliani are going to dig their heels in; last year Biden openly bragged about threatening to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy as Vice President if they didn’t fire their top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin – who was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm whose board Hunter Biden sat on.
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. –The Hill
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event – while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.
In short, there’s both smoke and fire here – and what’s left of Biden’s 2020 bid for president may be the largest casualty of the entire whistleblower scandal.
And by the transitive properties of the Obama administration ‘vetting’ Trump by sending spies into his campaign, Trump can simply say he was protecting America from someone who may have used his position of power to directly benefit his own family at the expense of justice.
Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are acting as if they’ve found the holy grail of taking Trump down. On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) interviewed inspector general Michael Atkinson, with whom the whistleblower lodged their complaint – however despite three hours of testimony, he repeatedly declined to discuss the content of the complaint.
Following the session, Schiff gave an angry speech – demanding that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire share the complaint, and calling the decision to withhold it “unprecedented.”
“We cannot get an answer to the question about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress,” said Schiff, adding “We’re determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is to make sure that the national security is protected.”
According to Schiff, someone “is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress … There certainly are a lot of indications that it was someone at a higher pay grade than the director of national intelligence,” according to the Washington Post.
Just asked Schiff why IG couldn’t talk today about substance of whistleblower complaint or WH involvement, and he said DNI and DOJ won’t let the IG talk about it. “This shows someone is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress.” pic.twitter.com/q3cyg4zt36
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 19, 2019
On thursday, Trump denied doing anything improper – tweeting “Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself.”