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Ukraine-Gate Heats Up as Trump Authorizes Release of Phone Transcript


- September 24th, 2019
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The American public may soon have a chance to read both the transcript of President Trump’s July phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the “whistleblower” complaint alleging an improper quid pro quo between the president and the Ukraine’s government.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson last week alerted lawmakers that complaint raised allegations of “urgent concern” and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell paved the way for it to be made public Tuesday afternoon.

The Senate unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the whistleblower complaint to be released to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Earlier on Tuesday, President Trump announced that he will release the transcript of his July phone call to Zelensky, in which they allegedly discussed corruption involving Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Trump tweeted. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”

The president’s decision comes amid rampant media speculation that the telephone conversation between Trump and the Ukraine president involved an improper but not necessarily illegal quid pro quo. According to media reports, Trump urged Zelensky to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate Hunter Biden in return for $400 million in aid to Ukraine.

The problem with that narrative is that Ukraine’s government didn’t need any prodding.

According to the Hill’s John Solomon, “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.”

Democrats and their allies in the media have been spinning Giuliani’s interest in the scandal as an attempt to dig up dirt on a political rival (basically what the Dems did to the Trump campaign in 2016).

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.

Giuliani didn’t initiate it. A senior U.S. diplomat contacted him in July and asked for permission to connect Yermak with him.

Then, Giuliani met in early August with Yermak on neutral ground — in Spain — before reporting back to State everything that occurred at the meeting.

On Fox News Sunday, Giuliani said that he had traveled to Ukraine as a lawyer defending his client.

On Monday, Giuliani accused accused the Ukraine government of  laundering $3 million to Hunter Biden and suggested that the Obama administration turned a blind eye to the corruption.

Biden has admitted in public that while vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor as he was investigating corruption at a natural gas firm where his son Hunter Biden served on the board.

“If Dem party doesn’t call for an investigation of Bidens’ millions from Ukraine and billions from China, they will own it,” he tweeted. “Bidens’ made big money selling public office. How could Obama have allowed this to happen? Will Dems continue to condone and enable this kind pay-for-play?”

The scandal has prompted Democrats to go on the offensive, pushing the House to begin a formal impeachment inquiry, based on the deep state “whistleblower’s” allegations. The individual may testify before the House Intelligence Committee as early as this week, according to Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

The whistleblower is represented by anti-Trump deep state lawyers Andrew P. Bakaj and Mark S. Zaid.

Bakaj is a former CIA officer and managing partner at the Compass Ross Legal Group, a national security law firm. He once did counseling work on Capitol Hill for Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Charles E. Schumer, according to his his posted biography.

Zaid is a prominent national security lawyer in Washington and frequent Trump critic on Twitter with an apparent history of sleazy deep state shenanigans.

Both anti-Trump lawyers run a group that pays off deep state officials who leak about the president, the Washington Examiner reported.

Whistleblower Aid was launched in September 2017 — eight months after Trump’s inauguration — with an advertising blitz that involved mobile billboards being driven close to the White House, Congress, outside the Pentagon, and around the headquarters of the CIA and National Security Agency.

The group’s pledge of support, in addition to free legal representation including rent and mortgage assistance, media coaching, and doctor’s bills and counseling, is controversial among lawyers. Critics say it violates attorney ethics.

At the United Nations on Monday, Trump told reporters that he didn’t link the aid money to Ukraine’s investigative actions. “No, I didn’t — I didn’t do it,” Trump said, while repeatedly calling the Bidens’ actions in Ukraine a “disgrace.” He added: “It’s very important to talk about corruption. … Why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?”

Democrats immediately moved the goalposts after Trump’s announcement on Twitter, downplaying the transcript, and focusing on the anti-Trump whistleblower’s report.

“Nixon released his own transcripts of the Oval Office tapes — which turned out to be wildly misleading,” said historian Kevin Cruse.

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin quickly pivoted from tweeting about releasing the transcript to tweeting about releasing the whistleblower complaint.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes suggested that any transcript coming from the Trump administration would not be trustworthy.

Not to be outdone, the RNC called on Biden to release transcripts of calls he had with Chinese and Ukrainian officials while he was veep.

Giuliani, meanwhile, on Monday predicted on Twitter that the Resistance’s latest play would backfire badly on them.

“Our opponents have a big flaw, they swing widely,” he wrote. “In boxing it leaves you open to a straight right hand. Look above. That often as now leads to a knockout. But it’s not over. Now the tapes, the documents, the Burisma meetings and then CHINA $1.5 BILLION.”

Late Tuesday afternoon, Trump explained on Twitter that the State Department got permission from the Ukraine government to release the transcript, and called the controversy a “total Witch Hunt Scam by the Democrats!”

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