John Solomon

November 22, 2019 – John Solomon challenges Lt. Col. Vindman with a list of “28 primary factual elements” in his Ukraine columns

 honor and applaud Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s service to his country. He’s a hero. I also respect his decision to testify at the impeachment proceedings. I suspect neither his service nor his testimony was easy.

“But I also know the liberties that Lt. Col. Vindman fought on the battlefield to preserve permit for a free and honest debate in America, one that can’t be muted by the color of uniform or the crushing power of the state.

So I want to exercise my right to debate Lt. Col. Vindman about the testimony he gave about me. You see, under oath to Congress, he asserted all the factual elements in my columns at The Hill about Ukraine were false, except maybe my grammar

Here are his exact words:

“I think all the key elements were false,” Vindman testified.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y, pressed him about what he meant. “Just so I understand what you mean when you say key elements, are you referring to everything John Solomon stated or just some of it?”

“All the elements that I just laid out for you. The criticisms of corruption were false…. Were there more items in there, frankly, congressman? I don’t recall. I haven’t looked at the article in quite some time, but you know, his grammar might have been right.”

Such testimony has been injurious to my reputation, one earned during 30 years of impactful reporting for news organizations that included The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Daily Beast/Newsweek.

And so Lt. Col. Vindman, here are the 28 primary factual elements in my Ukraine columns, complete with attribution and links to sourcing. Please tell me which, if any, was factually wrong.

Fact 1: Hunter Biden was hired in May 2014 by Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, at a time when his father Joe Biden was Vice President and overseeing US-Ukraine Policy. Here is the announcement. Hunter Biden’s hiring came just a few short weeks after Joe Biden urged Ukraine to expand natural gas production and use Americans to help. You can read his comments to the Ukrainian prime minister here. Hunter Biden’s firm then began receiving monthly payments totaling $166,666. You can see those payments here.”

(Read the complete list of facts: JohnSolomonReports, 11/22/2019)  (Archive)

November 21, 2019 – Three Senate Committees are now investigating the Bidens and Ukraine

“As House Democrats wrapped up the public impeachment hearings on Nov. 21, Senate Republicans sent the latest round of records requests as part of a growing inquiry into the Obama administration’s actions related to Burisma, the Ukrainian gas firm that hired Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

From left to right, Senators Lindsey Graham, Charles Grassley and Ron Johnson (Credit: public domain)

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote to the National Archives requesting records of January 2016 White House meetings with senior Ukrainian officials. The senators’ reference events detailed in an April 25 article by investigative reporter John Solomon, who quoted firsthand witnesses to report that Ukrainian officials who attended the White House meeting were encouraged to reopen an investigation involving the chairman of the Trump campaign and stand down from an investigation into Burisma.

On the same day, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) requested records from the State Department regarding the communications in 2016 between Biden, then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and their respective offices.

Graham also requested information about a March 2, 2016 meeting between Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner, and then-Secretary of State John Kerry. The meeting took place weeks after Ukrainian authorities seized the assets of Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma. Archer and Hunter Biden were on the board of directors of Burisma at the time of the seizure.

The Nov. 21 letters are the latest request by the Senate Republicans, all three of whom have described the requests as an investigation. On Nov. 6, Grassley and Johnson sent a request for an extensive list of documents and information pertaining to the Bidens and Burisma to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. On Nov. 15, they asked for Suspicious Activity Reports from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on a list of key players in the Burisma matter, including Hunter Biden, Archer, and their firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners. The Nov. 15 letter specifically referred to the Burisma inquiry as an active investigation.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 11/26/2019)  (Archive)

October 11, 2019 – Judicial Watch: Former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testimony reveals she ordered State Dept. subordinates to monitor journalists, Trump allies

“Judicial Watch is investigating if prominent conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump were unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee. Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Friday, October 11, 2019. Her “secret” testimony was leaked to the New York Times during the hearing.

Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources. Yovanovitch reportedly ordered monitoring keyed to the following search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros, and Yovanovitch.  Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department and will continue gathering facts from government sources.

Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine in the spring Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored via social media and other means.  Ukraine embassy staff made the request to the Washington D.C. headquarters office of the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. After several days, Yovanovitch’s staff was informed that the request was illegal and the monitoring either ceased or was concealed via the State Department Global Engagement Center, which has looser restrictions on collecting information.

“This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” according to a senior State Department official. If the illicit operation occurred, it seems to indicate a clear political bias against the president and his supporters. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has also led American embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016. She was recalled by the State Department in May and remains a State Department employee in Washington D.C.

(…) The prominent conservative figures — journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump — allegedly unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch include:

Jack Posobiec

Donald Trump Jr.

Laura Ingraham

Sean Hannity

Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia)

Dan Bongino

Ryan Saavedra

Rudy Giuliani

Sebastian Gorka

John Solomon

Lou Dobbs

Pamella Geller

Sara Carter

Judicial Watch continues its investigation of these matters and will update its reporting as the situation unfolds.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 10/18/2019)

UPDATE: The Yovanovitch transcript was released and she was questioned about Crowdtangle during her deposition against President Trump on October 11, 2019. She claims to be unaware of the software while pointing to the State Department as being responsible for monitoring social media accounts.

The discussion begins on page 92 of  the Yovanovich transcript:

(Yovanovich Transcript, 10/11/2019)

May 24, 2019 – Southeastern Legal Foundation files FOIA request for FISC records on Carter Page

Southeastern Legal Foundation logo (Credit: public domain)

“Southeastern Legal Foundation filed a Motion for Publication of Records with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) on behalf of award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon and itself, seeking rulings, orders and opinions issued by the Court finding any of the attorneys associated with the Carter Page FISA applications violated rules of the Court or rules governing professional conduct by attorneys.

Southeastern Legal Foundation successfully pursued Bar sanctions against sitting President Bill Clinton, ultimately resulting in the surrender of his law license on the last day in office and disbarment by the U.S. Supreme Court (1998-2001) as part of the Agreed Order of Discipline from Independent Counsel Robert Ray.  Click here for more information on the Clinton matter.

“We face a serious crisis of public confidence in our judicial system.  Our nation’s highest law enforcement officers and government attorneys are suspected of lying, misleading and withholding information from the FISC in order to obtain permission to conduct surveillance on U.S. citizen Carter Page,” said Todd Young, SLF executive director.  “If true, even in part, one of the most profound ways to help re-establish public trust in the rule of law is to hold these attorneys professionally and publicly accountable for their alleged grievous violations of the law and public trust.”

Click here for FISC Motion for Publication of Records filed by SLF)

Click here for FOIA request to DOJ

Click here for FOIA request to FBI

(Southeastern Legal Foundation, 5/24/2019)

February 2019 – A new document reveals Ukraine officials had already reopened probe of Hunter Biden-linked firm months before Trump phone call

“A newly unearthed document shows that Ukrainian officials had opened a new probe into the firm linked to Hunter Biden months before President Trump’s phone call with that country’s leader, contributor John Solomon reported late Tuesday.

Solomon said Tuesday on “Hannity” that the U.S. government knew Ukraine was planning to look again into activities at Burisma Holdings, an energy company that employed then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son as a member of its board of directors, early this year. The report is noteworthy because President Trump has been accused by Democrats of threatening in July to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine unless its new president pursued an investigation into the company and the younger Biden’s role there.

“The U.S. government had open-source intelligence and was aware as early as February of 2019 that the Ukrainian government was planning to reopen the Burisma investigation,” he claimed. “This is long before the president ever imagined having a call with President Zelensky,” he added, noting Petro Poroshenko was still Ukraine’s president at that time.

“This is a significant shift in the factual timeline.”

Solomon said the information he obtained, including documents shown on “Hannity” Tuesday, was omitted from a U.S. intelligence community whistleblower’s complaint lodged against Trump last month.

Solomon said that NABU — an FBI-like anti-corruption agency in Ukraine — requested the probe into Burisma and owner Mykola Zlochevsky be reopened earlier this year. The investigation then went forward, Solomon said. The new probe later resulted in a “Notice of Suspicion” being filed, alleging the existence of “illicit funds” running through the firm, Solomon also claimed.” (Read more: Fox News, 10/09/2019)

June 1, 2018 – Opinion: Curious Origins of FBI’s Trump Russia Probe

John Solomon (Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia)

By: John Solomon

“The bridge to the Russia investigation wasn’t erected in Moscow during the summer of the 2016 election.

It originated earlier, 1,700 miles away in London, where foreign figures contacted Trump campaign advisers and provided the FBI with hearsay allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, bureau documents and interviews of government insiders reveal. These contacts in spring 2016 — some from trusted intelligence sources, others from Hillary Clinton supporters — occurred well before FBI headquarters authorized an official counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.

The new timeline makes one wonder: Did the FBI follow its rules governing informants?

Here’s what a congressman and an intelligence expert think:

“The revelation of purposeful contact initiated by alleged confidential human sources prior to any FBI investigation is troublesome,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), an ally of President Trump and chairman of a House subcommittee that’s taking an increasingly aggressive oversight role in the scandal, told me. “This new information begs the questions: Who were the informants working for, who were they reporting to and why has the [Department of Justice] and FBI gone to such great lengths to hide these contacts?”

Kevin Brock agrees that Congress has legitimate questions. The retired FBI assistant director for intelligence supervised the rewriting of bureau rules governing sources, under then-director Robert Mueller a decade ago. Those rules forbid the FBI from directing a human source to target an American until a formally predicated investigative file is opened.

Brock sees oddities in how the Russia case began. “These types of investigations aren’t normally run by assistant directors and deputy directors at headquarters,” he told me. “All that happens normally in a field office, but that isn’t the case here and so it becomes a red flag. Congress would have legitimate oversight interests in the conditions and timing of the targeting of a confidential human source against a U.S. person.” (Read more: The Hill, 6/01/2018)