(…) On July 25, Trump spoke with new Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelensky on the phone and asked him to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr. He and Trump were both determined to discover the origins of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign.
“They say a lot of it started with Ukraine,” Trump told the Ukrainian president. “I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people, and I would like you to get to the bottom of it,” he said. “Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it, if that’s possible.”
Trump had another matter he wanted to raise. “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. It sounds horrible to me.”
Other senior U.S. officials whose duties and areas of expertise required it were listening in on the call. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was listening, and so was Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the NSC’s Ukraine director. After the morning call, Vindman registered his concerns with two NSC staff lawyers, one of whom was his twin brother, Yevgeny. In the afternoon, Alexander Vindman phoned Eric Ciaramella, who also worked on Ukraine and Russia issues.
The next day Ciaramella wrote a memo about his conversation with Vindman: “The official who listened to the entirety of the phone call was visibly shaken by what had transpired and seemed keen to inform a trusted colleague within the U.S. national security apparatus about the call.”
The official described the call as “crazy,” “frightening,” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security.”
The official asserted that the president used the call to persuade Ukrainian authorities to investigate his political rivals, chiefly former vice president Biden and his son Hunter. The official stated that there was already a conversation underway with White House lawyers about how to handle the discussion because, in the official’s view, the president had clearly committed a criminal act by urging a foreign power to investigate a U.S. person for the purposes of advancing his own reelection bid in 2020.
“The president,” Ciaramella wrote, “did not raise security assistance.”
Just two days after the curtain dropped on the Mueller investigation, Ciaramella was rebooting the collusion narrative. According to the story the CIA officer and his colleagues would tell, Trump was again in league with a foreign power to defeat a rival candidate. They rotated Ukraine in for Russia and Biden for Clinton.
The operation’s personnel drew from the same sources as the Russia collusion operation — serving officials from powerful government bureaucracies, the CIA, Pentagon, and State Department, as well as elected officials, political operatives, and the press. Therefore, the process was also the same: The actors would work the operation through the intelligence bureaucracy and the media to start an official proceeding, in this case an impeachment process. The play was set to begin.” (Read more: JusttheNews, 9/27/2020) (Archive)