December 11, 2019 – DOJ IG Michael Horowitz opening statement to Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the FISA report
A few excerpts clipped from IG Horowitz’s opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee:
December 9, 2019 – Rep. John Ratcliffe says the hearsay whistleblower made false statements in his written complaint to the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding the evidence
“Rep. Ratcliffe said House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is burying evidence of the whistleblower’s crimes in the House SCIF.
Impeachment ringleader Adam Schiff still won’t release the transcript of Intel Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson’s October 4 closed-door testimony even though he has released 15 other witness transcripts.
A couple of weeks ago, Ratcliffe revealed he “asked IG Atkinson about his “investigation” into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified “secret” so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions.”
Ratcliffe suggested Monday that the “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella committed perjury by making false statements in his written forms filed with the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding evidence of Ciaramella’s crimes to protect him from a criminal investigation.
Ratcliffe said it’s time to release the transcript of ICIG Michael Atkinson’s testimony.
“The way to do that would be to release the Inspector General’s testimony or even just pages 53 to 73,” Ratcliffe said noting there is nothing in those pages that would release the identity of the whistleblower nor jeopardizes national security. (Read more: The Gateway Pundit, 12/09/2019) (Archive)
November 30, 2019 – John Ratcliffe suggests IC IG Atkinson’s transcript is being withheld because of his testimony to possible connections between Schiff’s staff and the hearsay whistleblower
“Republican Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe hinted Saturday at the reason he believes House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff won’t release Michael Atkinson’s transcript.
Ratcliffe suggested in a tweet that Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, might have revealed information about a possible connection between the whistleblower and members of Schiff’s staff.
“It’s because I asked IG Atkinson about his ‘investigation’ into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified ‘secret’ so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions,” he tweeted.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/01/2019)
October 31, 2019 – NSC official Tim Morrison, tells Schiff nothing illegal took place In Trump call to Ukrainian president
“Tim Morrison, a top official with the National Security Council, told lawmakers Thursday that he did not believe “anything illegal was discussed during the conversation” between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the opening statement reviewed by SaraACarter.com.
Morrison, who is the outgoing senior director of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council and a deputy assistant to the president, told lawmakers that the transcript of the call was accurate but he contended that some of the details provided by other witnesses did not coincide with his regarding certain aspects of the Ukrainian issue. House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff, D-CA, who has been criticized for his continued anti-Trump partisan rhetoric by Republicans, has been pushing for Trump’s impeachment.
Morrison told the closed-door panel of lawmakers Thursday that he reviewed the Memorandum of Conversation regarding the July 25 phone call that was released by the White House. He said he listened to the call, along with others. He noted it occurred from the Situation Room.
“To the best of my recollection, the MemCon accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call,” he said, regarding the transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky.
October 29, 2019 – Swalwell and Schiff confirm in Alexander Vindman’s transcript that he is the hearsay whistleblower’s source/leaker
“Transcripts are being released from various impeachment inquiry witnesses and it’s becoming clear exactly why Adam Schiff wanted to keep all this stuff secret.
(…) There are other questions involving the original whistle-blower (reported to be Eric Ciaramella). We know he was not legally privy to anything on the telephone call between Trump and Zelensky, which has formed the genesis of this matter. That means that whoever gave him the contents was illegally leaking classified information. Perhaps the whistle-blower himself is protected by statute for simply passing that information along, but whoever gave it to him certainly isn’t it for their original crime.
That leads us to Alexander Vindman. He’s become a central figure in these discussions after he marched up to Capitol Hill, proclaiming himself a patriot, and shared all his deep concerns about Donald Trump. He accused the President of “subverting” U.S. foreign policy, which gives you a window into the perverted minds of some of these bureaucrats that assume it is they who actually run things.
It’s been suspected that Vindman was the one who leaked to the whistle-blower and now that his testimony has been released, it seems fairly certain.
In these transcripts, we see Jim Jordan pressing Vindman on who outside of the chain of command he talked to about the call. Then we see Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell jump in and stop him from answering. But it’s what they say when they stop Vindman that gives the entire thing away.
The problem is that Jordan never asked about the whistle-blower. This means that both Schiff and Swalwell accidentally confirmed here that Vindman is indeed the source for the ICIG complaint. In short, if Vindman answering the question about who he talked to would give up the whistle-blower’s identity, that means Vindman was the source.
(…) Last I checked, it’s a crime to share classified information with people not legally able to receive that information. We’ve been told from the beginning of this ordeal that the whistle-blower himself did not have the proper clearance to access the phone call.
The rough transcript of the call, according to the complaint, was first classified as secret and later top-secret, ensuring that only those with the highest clearances would be able to read it.
Not only did Vindman share concerns about a call classified at the highest level, he gave exacting details and quotes to the whistle-blower.
October 29, 2019 – The “coup” against Trump is formalized…a resistance member shows up to testify at Trump’ impeachment inquiry, wearing a military uniform
“The word “coup” shifted to a new level of formalized meaning last week when members of the political resistance showed up to remove President Trump wearing military uniforms.
Not only did U.S. military leadership remain silent to the optics and purpose, but in the testimony of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman he admits to giving instructions to ignore the instructions from a sitting United States President.
In the absence of push-back from the Joint Chiefs, from this moment forth, the impression is tacit U.S. military support for the Vindman objective.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, testified before congressional committees conducting an impeachment inquiry on October 29, wearing a full military uniform.
To date, there has been no visible comment from U.S. military sanctioning Lt. Col. Vindman for his decision; or correcting the impression represented by Vindman’s military appearance. The willful blindness is concerning, but it gets much worse.
Beyond the debate about the optics of the “coup“, within the testimony of Lt. Col Vindman, the witness readily admits to understanding the officially established policy of the President of The United States (an agreement between President Trump and President Zelenskyy), and stunningly admits that two weeks later he was giving countermanding instructions to his Ukrainian counterpart to ignore President Trump’s policies.
The coup against President Donald Trump went from soft, to hard. Consider…
The testimony from Lt. Col. Vindman is available here.
Borrowing from Roscoe B Davis, here are some highlights:
Representative John Ratcliffe begins deconstructing Lt. Col Vindman, while his arrogant attorneys begin trying to interfere with the questioning.
(Vindman’s testimony with Congressman Ratcliffe continues on Conservative Treehouse linked here:)
This next section is very interesting and very important.
Congressman John Ratcliffe begins questioning Vindman from the perspective of an Article 92 violation, coupled with an Article 88 violation. President Trump is Lt. Col Vindman’s superior. President Trump sets foreign policy.
Two weeks after President Trump has established an agreement with Ukraine President Zelenskyy, and established the policy direction therein, Lt. Col. Vindman is now giving contrary instructions to the Ukranian government. Vindman’s lawyer recognizes where the questioning is going and goes absolutely bananas:
October 22, 2019 – A transcript of William Taylor’s testimony against President Trump shows all of his evidence is hearsay
“A key Democratic witness against Trump admitted in congressional testimony last month that he was not part of the July 25 phone call between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents, that he didn’t see a transcript or readout of it until late September when it was declassified and released, and that he has never even spoken to President Donald Trump.
William Taylor, the charge d’affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, told lawmakers in secret testimony two weeks ago that his opinions about an alleged quid pro quo demanded by Trump were formed largely from conversations with anti-Trump staffers within the diplomatic bureaucracy.
“[Y]ou’ve never spoken to Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani?” Taylor was asked.
“No, no,” he replied.
“Has anyone ever asked you to speak to Mr. Giuliani?”
“No,” Taylor said.
“And if I may, have you spoken to the president of the United States?” Taylor was asked.
“I have not,” he said.
“You had no communications with the president of the United States?”
“Correct,” Taylor said.
He also admitted he had never spoken to Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s chief of staff.
When asked who exactly he had spoken to about the brouhaha, Taylor confirmed that his only contacts about the matter were with John Bolton, the former national security adviser who was fired by Trump, Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, and Tim Morrison. Both Hill and Vindman are rumored to have been sources for the so-called whistleblower who filed a complaint against Trump in August.
Taylor also testified that his knowledge of the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky wasn’t first-hand knowledge.
Updates may be added:
October 15, 2019 – Notes on George Kent’s closed-door testimony
“The second witness in the first public “impeachment inquiry” hearing to be called to testify Wednesday by House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) will be George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the State Department.
Kent already testified once, on October 15 — behind closed doors and long before an “impeachment inquiry” was authorized. The transcript was only recently released.
Democrats are making Kent one of their two leadoff witnesses because for two reasons. First, he comes across as a likable curmudgeon: while he has sharp criticism for President Donald Trump, he also has a quick wit. Second, he has many negative things to say about the role of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, acting as President Trump’s personal lawyer and also as a player in U.S.-Ukrainian relations. Democrats will use Kent’s testimony to lay the foundation for an attack on Giuliani that they hope will paint the president in the worst possible light as well.
(Giuliani also published an op-ed on Tuesday evening in the Wall Street Journal, which will appear in print on Wednesday: “My client’s call with the Ukrainian president was innocent, and the House inquiry is a travesty.”)
Key Democratic Talking Points
1. Kent will testify that he believes that Giuliani, through dubious sources in Ukraine, was part of a “campaign of slander” that led to President firing Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. One of the key articles in the campaign was published by John Solomon in The Hill, in which former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko claimed that Yovanovitch had given him a “do not prosecute” list. She was alleged to be anti-Trump. She denies all of the claims.
- What Democrats aren’t telling you: Yovanovitch may be the innocent victim of a campaign of slander. However, new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Trump in their phone call that he also thought she was “bad.” He said: “I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.” All ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president; there was nothing illegal in her dismissal.
2. In their summary of Kent’s testimony, Democrats claim: “With respect to President Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Biden, Mr. Kent stated: ‘I do not believe the U.S. should ask other countries to engage in politically associated investigations and prosecutions.’” He also said that Trump’s actions were wrong.
- What Democrats aren’t telling you: Kent only learned about the request because the president released the transcript. He also had no firsthand knowledge of any connection between aid and investigations. Asked by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), “Do you have any firsthand knowledge of United States aid to Ukraine ever being connected to the opening of a new investigation?”, Kent answered: “I do not have direct knowledge, no.”
3. Kent told the closed-door hearing that he had heard from Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland that “POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton.”
- What Democrats aren’t telling you: Kent himself expressed misgivings about Hunter Biden serving on the board of Burisma, a company associated with Ukrainian corruption. He testified that in 2015, “I raised my concerns [with the vice president’s staff] that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of milljons of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.” He was told that then-Vice President Joe Biden could not be reached to deal with the problem because Biden’s other son, Beau, was dying of cancer. Hunter continued on the board, even though, Kent said, there were concerns in the State Department about Burisma.
Another key point: Kent testified the U.S. has made aid to Ukraine conditional on reform in the past. For example, the U.S. made sovereign loan guarantees from 2014-2016 conditional on reform in the Ukrainian prosecution services. Asked whether he thought former Vice President Biden had used a “quid pro quo” in his now-infamous threat to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid unless Ukraine fired its chief prosecutor, Kent said he preferred the term “conditionality for assistance,” saying that governments use it, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Read more: Breitbart, 11/13/2019) (Archive)
October 14, 2019 – Fiona Hill fails the truth test — reveals her value as a Kremlin agent
“In the mind of Fiona Hill (lead image, right), the recently departed senior director for Russia at the National Security Council (NSC), everybody in Washington is vulnerable to Russian attacks of one kind or another, but not her.
Instead, she admitted in testimony to the Congressional committees investigating impeachment evidence against President Donald Trump, that she’s on an attack operation of her own. “I’m sorry to be very passionate but this is precisely…why I joined the [Trump] administration. I didn’t join it because I thought the Ukrainians had been going after the President.” She says the reason she joined up was to fight the Russians.
“I thought it was very important to step up, as an expert, as somebody who’s been working on Russia for basically my whole entire adult 1ife, given what had happened in 2016 and given the peril that I actually thought that we were in as a democracy, given what the Russians I know to have done in the course of the 2016 elections… I’m extremely concerned that this is a rabbit hole that we’ re all going to go down in between now and the 2020 election, and it will be to all of our detriment.”
Hill testified that she’s certain that “what happened in 2016” was that the Kremlin intervened to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. “We’re in peril as a democracy because of other people interfering here. And it doesn’t mean to say that other people haven’t also been trying to do things, but the Russians were [the ones] who attacked us in 2016, and they’re now writing the script for others to do the same. And if we don’t get our act together, they will continue to make fools of us internationally.”
“He’s [President Vladimir Putin] looking out there for every opening that he can find, basically, and somebody’s vulnerability to turn that against them. That’s exactly what a case officer does. They get a weakness, and they blackmail their assets. And Putin will target world leaders and other officials like this. He tries to target everybody.”
So, in the logic of Hill’s analysis of how the Russians operate against everybody, including herself, what evidence is there that Hill hasn’t, by concealment, calculation, corruption, or by mistake, succumbed to Putin’s attack, too? Not once was Hill asked by either the Democrats or Republicans during the deposition, nor did she volunteer her own explanation, of how she managed to inoculate herself and is now telling the truth.
If Hill is telling the truth, and equally if she isn’t, she has inflicted serious damage on her own colleagues and superiors, the US Government’s Russia-hating professionals. In her testimony Hill depicts them as lying to each other and to the press; constantly scheming for and against the President; incapable of coordination among themselves, agreement with their allies, or negotiation with their enemies. Most valuable of all to the Kremlin, Hill reveals that the American warfighter is predictable in everything he or she understands, plans or does.
To reveal this much is precious intelligence for Moscow because the Russian secret services and Putin would be less willing to believe it if it had come from home-grown agents. Either Hill is a willing dupe, or she is the fool she is warning her colleagues to beware of.
On October 14, Hill gave ten hours of question-and-answer testimony before the Congressional committees on intelligence, foreign affairs and oversight. The record comprises 446 pages of verbatim transcript. This has just been released in unclassified, partially redacted form; click to read in full.
(…) Hill’s testimony reveals, though she doesn’t admit it, that Trump had come to distrust the intelligence analysis and policy advice he was getting from Hill as the coordinator of all the government agencies involved in Ukraine and Russia. She admitted to knowing little personally and directly of what Trump and his senior aides and advisors discussed and decided among themselves. What she knew was indirect, down the White House staff chain, and by hearsay.
Her preoccupation, Hill emphasized repeatedly, was with Russian plotting in Washington, and in Hill’s assessment, the Russian successes. Christopher Steele, whom Hill had known as her counterpart intelligence officer for Russia at the British MI6 years before, had been lured, she testified, by the Russians into the “rabbit hole” Hill called the Golden Showers dossier. Victoria Nuland, former Assistant Secretary of State, was tricked by the Russians into promoting the Steele dossier to NSC officials. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, ex-Ambassador to Ukraine, was victimized by the Russians who eavesdropped on his telephone calls with Nuland when he and she were plotting the Kiev putsch of February 2014.
Hill swore on oath that she too was targeted by Russian agents when she was writing her last book on President Vladimir Putin in 2012. “My phone was hacked repeatedly, and the Brookings system was hacked repeatedly,” she told the Congressmen. “And at one point, it was clearly obvious that someone had exfiltrated out my draft…And then, mysteriously, after this I started to get emails from people who purported to have met me at different points in my career, people I kind of vaguely remember. I’d look online, and there would be these, you know, Linkedln pages or there might be, you know, something I could find out some information for them. And they’d start offering me information, you know, that somehow purported to, strangely enough, some of the chapters that I was actually working on. And when I would go to meetings in Russia, people would basically, you know so that I was being played, or they were attempting to play me as well.”
Hill was not asked if she reported this to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the time. That she didn’t report the alleged plot not only discredits her making the allegation now, seven years later; it also warns the Russian services to tell Putin that there is nothing US officials like Hill don’t imagine or won’t fabricate.
For Hill, those Americans who have been targeted the most are so obviously innocent, it’s a Russian operation to think, say, broadcast or publish otherwise. She is convinced, for example, of the innocence of former Vice President Joseph Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in taking money from Ukrainians seeking to influence US policy, when they were in charge, or when Clinton was running for president. (Hill said she is just as certain Paul Manafort was guilty of taking Ukrainian money.)
As for the current allegation against the Bidens, father and son, that they were corruptly trading US Government favour for cash paid through the Ukrainian oil and gas exploration company Burisma, Hill revealed she had seen no intelligence report on the subject during her time in office. “From your knowledge of Burisma, are they a corrupt company? DR. HILL: I don’t know a lot about Burisma, I’ll be frank… And you never heard of any reason why anybody should be investigating Vice President Biden? A[nswer]. …correct… And are you aware of any evidence that Vice President Joe Biden in any way acted inappropriately while he was Vice President…A[nswer]. I’m not.”
For details of the Burisma case, and the involvement of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, read this.
Hill also expressed the unqualified conclusion, after her professional assessment of the US intelligence, that the narrative of the anti-Trump forces in Congress and the press is accurate. “Do you have any reason,” she was asked by Daniel Goldman, head of investigations for the intelligence committee, “to doubt either the facts alleged in the [Mueller] indictment or the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia did interfere in the 2016 election? A[nswer]: I do not. Q. And do you have any reason to believe that Ukraine did interfere in the 2016 election? A[nswer]: I do not. We’re talking about the Ukrainian Government here when you say Ukraine, correct? A. Yes. Yes, I do not.”
Neither Goldman nor the Republican Congressmen asked Hill what she knew of Victor Pinchuk, the Ukrainian oligarch acting for the Ukrainian Government in sending large sums of money to the Clinton Foundation and Hill’s employer, Brookings.” (Read more: John Helmer, 11/12/2019) (Archive)
- 2016 Election
- 2016 election meddling
- Brookings Institute
- Burisma Holdings
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Daniel Goldman
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Fiona Hill
- Geoffrey Pyatt
- golden showers
- hearsay testimony
- House Intelligence Committee
- House Judiciary Committee
- Hunter Biden
- Igor Kolomoisky
- Joe Biden
- money laundering
- National Security Council (NSC)
- October 2019
- Paul Manafort
- Russian Intelligence
- Victor Pinchuk
- Victoria Nuland
- Vladimir Putin
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:
Donald Trump Jr.
Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia)
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:
- Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
- Dan Bongino
- Department of State
- Donald Trump
- Donald Trump Jr.
- George Soros
- Global Engagement Center
- illegal spying
- Jack Posobiec
- Joe Biden
- John Solomon
- Judicial Watch
- Laura Ingraham
- Marie Yovanovitch
- media leak
- Michael McFaul
- October 2019
- Pamella Geller
- political bias
- Rudy Giuliani
- Ryan Saavedra
- Sara Carter
- Sean Hannity
- Sebastian Gorka