Following The Money

We don’t pay our national leaders a lot of money, yet many of them become millionaires while in office or shortly after leaving office. It happens on both sides of the aisle, and I believe it is time we looked into how this occurs. Meanwhile, in one instance someone has.

The Ukraine News Agency is reporting today that Burisma Group, a Ukrainian energy company, paid former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 for lobbying activities. This was reported by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada member Andriy Derkach, who cited investigation materials.

The article reports:

Derkach publicized documents which, as he said, “describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr.” at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine’s press center in Kyiv on Wednesday.

“This was the transfer of Burisma Group’s funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services,” Derkach said.

He also publicized sums that were transferred to Burisma Group representatives, in particular Hunter Biden, a son of the former U.S. vice president.

“According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014],” Derkach said.

“Using political and economic levelers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group,” he said.

The article concludes:

It was reported earlier that Derkach publicized correspondence between the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and officers of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. According to publicized correspondence, starting from July 14, 2017, the lists of criminal proceedings undertaken by NABU officers were sent from the electronic mailbox of Polina Chyzh, an assistant to NABU first deputy head Gizo Uglava, to the electronic mailbox of Hanna Yemelianova, a legal specialist of the anti-corruption program of the U.S. Justice Department at U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Derkach also said that NABU-leak materials will be published on his Facebook account and materials that he got from investigating journalists have already been passed to Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations and the Prosecutor’s General Office.

He also said he will initiate the creation of an ad hoc parliamentary investigative commission and has already requested launching a criminal case against Ukrainian officials into interference into U.S. elections. The court session is scheduled for October 21, he said.

Burisma Holdings is a Cyprus-registered gas producing company holding assets in Ukraine. It is one of Ukraine’s top-three independent gas producers headquartered in Kyiv. Zlochevsky is the founder and the ultimate beneficiary owner of the company.

It may be a blessing to the Democrats that Joe Biden is no longer their leading presidential candidate.

The Truth Is Very Different From What The Media Is Reporting

If you are someone who relies on the mainstream media, you are probably ready to impeach President Trump. That is sad and destructive. The media has been leading the charge on impeachment since January 2017 when President Trump was sworn in. This is a political activity aimed as defeating the President in the 2020 election. If it works, it will provide the template for future campaigns. That will be very damaging to our republic, particularly if the media decides to take sides as they have currently done.

The Federalist posted an article yesterday about the testimony of Ambassador Kurt Volker, who served for two years as the top U.S. diplomatic envoy to Ukraine.

The article reports:

Congressional testimony from the former top American envoy to Ukraine directly contradicts the impeachment narrative offered by congressional Democrats and their media allies. Ambassador Kurt Volker, who served for two years as the top U.S. diplomatic envoy to Ukraine, testified on Thursday that he was never aware of and never took part in any effort to push the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter. He also stressed that the interactions between Giuliani and Ukrainian officials were facilitated not to find dirt on Biden, but to assuage concerns that the incoming Ukrainian government would not be able to get a handle on corruption within the country.

Volker’s full remarks, which were obtained by The Federalist, can be read here.

Volker said that an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Volker to connect the advisor to Rudy Giuliani, a personal attorney for President Donald Trump.

“[I]n May of this year, I became concerned that a negative narrative about Ukraine, fueled by assertions made by Ukraine’s departing Prosecutor General, was reaching the President of the United States, and impeding our ability to support the new Ukrainian government as robustly as I believed we should,” Volker said. “After sharing my concerns with the Ukrainian leadership, an advisor to President Zelensky asked me to connect him to the President’s personal lawyer, Mayor Rudy Giuliani.”

“I did so solely because I understood that the new Ukrainian leadership wanted to convince those, like Mayor Giuliani, who believed such a negative narrative about Ukraine, that times have changed and that, under President Zelensky, Ukraine is worthy of U.S. support,” Volker said. “I also made clear to the Ukrainians, on a number of occasions, that Mayor Giuliani is a private citizen and the President’s personal lawyer, and that he does not represent the United States government.”

Volker vehemently denied that he ever urged the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on the Biden family.

“As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing, which convey a sense of real-time dialogue with several different actors, Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion,” he said.

Volker testified that he never even mentioned a delay on U.S. military assistance to Ukrainian officials until late August, when news reports indicated that funding had been put on hold. Volker’s statement directly undercuts claims that the funding was part of a quid pro quo meant to force the Ukrainians to take certain actions in order for the military aids to be released. (The underline is mine.)

As you can see this latest attempt to discredit President Trump is smoke and mirrors. Unfortunately it will continue until the politicians behind it are voted out of office. Those government officials who have used their office either for personal gain or to spy on their political opposition need to face severe penalties.

What we need here is a “Mordecai moment.”

Before We Get Too Hung Up On President Trump’s Phone Call

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that includes a copy of a letter sent by Democrat Congressmen to the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine written on May 4, 2018.

This is the letter:

So why is this okay when Democrats in Congress do this, but not okay when a Republican President does this?

A Rare Moment Of Truth In The Democrat Debates

The Daily Caller posted an article today about remarks made by Democratic Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard regarding Senator Kamala Harris of California during the Democrat debate on Wednesday.

The article notes:

Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was among the first to land a solid blow on presidential primary rival Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), but she may not have taken her attack far enough.

“She put over 1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana,” Gabbard said of Harris’s time as a prosecutor and District Attorney of San Francisco.

But as Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle discovered as he fact-checked Gabbard’s claim, the number of people Harris sent to jail for marijuana violations was actually closer to 2000.

Garofoli noted that an initial report published by the Washington Free Beacon had put the number at 1560, but that a spokesman for California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had told him the actual number was 1974.

It’s an interesting attack. First of all, Kamala Harris was doing her job as District Attorney of San Francisco. Admittedly, her priorities might have been a little off, but she was essentially doing her job. The really sad part of the story is that she is so arrogant that she laughed about putting people in jail for something she herself had done. Some of our politicians have made a career out of ‘one rule for me and another rule for thee.’ That is the sad part of the story.

Wondering If This Will Actually Happen

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the negotiations surrounding the trial of Jeffrey Epstein.

The article reports:

Jet-setting financier and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein’s trial on child sex trafficking charges won’t start until next June, at the earliest.

Federal prosecutors clashed with lawyers representing the jet-setting financier Wednesday over when the trial should begin, with the government arguing it should kick off next June, while the defense advocated for a post-Labor Day 2020 start date.

The judge didn’t make a definitive ruling, though he said June 2020 is the earliest the high-profile trial, expected to last four to six weeks, would commence.

Martin Weinberg, one of Epstein’s attorneys, claimed that the defense had one million pages of discovery to wade through and argued that a September 2020 trial date would be preferable because “thirteen months sounds like the appropriate amount of time it takes to prepare a case of this magnitude.”

A federal prosecutor countered that the trial should start sooner than that, telling the judge that a delay is not in the public interest and arguing that Epstein should be tried as “swiftly as possible.”

Judge Richard Berman, who finds himself in the national and international spotlight while presiding over this case, hinted the trial might begin around June 8, 2020, but said he’d revisit the exact timing of the Epstein trial in the future.

There are a lot of people who do not want to see this trial take place. Many of them are in very powerful positions in our government. In my mind there is a real question as to whether Jeffrey Epstein will survive in prison long enough to be tried. Prisoners are not known for their compassionate treatment of men who sexually assault underage girls. There are also a lot of famous people who visited his island–some on a fairly regular basis.

Stay tuned.

A Book I Plan To Read

Sidney Powell’s Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is a book I plan to read. The American Thinker posted an article today about the book.

The book lists a number of examples where the Justice Department was anything but just:

False charges brought by overzealous prosecutor Andrew Weissmann (Robert Mueller’s right-hand man) in the case against leading accounting firm Arthur Andersen. Although the conviction was subsequently reversed unanimously by the Supreme Court, Andersen was completely destroyed, its 85,000 employees lost their jobs, and the assets of untold investors were wiped out. Weissmann was promoted by the DoJ.

Destruction of the lives of four Merrill Lynch executives. Before they could appeal their fake convictions, they were sent to prison with the toughest criminals in the country. “They did the worst things they could possibly do to these men,” says Powell. The defendants were eventually exonerated on appeal, but it was only after one of them served eight months in solitary confinement.

Frequent failure by the DoJ to disclose evidence favorable to defendants as required by law.

Using the phony Steele dossier, the DoJ and FBI unlawfully obtained FISA warrants for the surveillance of the Trump election campaign. The dossier was then used to justify creation of a special counsel to investigate alleged Trump-Russia collusion. After two years, that investigation is nothing more than a witch-hunt against Trump supporters.

Leaking at the top levels of the FBI and DoJ in the midst of criminal investigations.

Unwillingness of federal judges to discipline the DoJ for its transgressions.

We have seen this sort of questionable behavior by Robert Mueller and Andrew Weissmann in the investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. Paul Manafort is in solitary confinement for no apparent reason, and Roger Stone was arrested in a scenario that would have been appropriate for El Chapo, but not for a sixty-something man with no guns and a deaf wife.

The article at The American Thinker concluldes:

The civil rights of innocent individuals are being violated for no reason other than their political views. Do you think William Barr, our new attorney general, will do something to stop it? Let’s hope he is more effective than his predecessor. Unless the Mueller investigation is terminated and we address the real scandal in our government — corruption at the top levels of the DoJ and FBI — we can kiss the American system of justice goodbye.

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you reside, this should frighten you. If a group of people with a common political philosophy can pervert justice in America, then the tables could turn at any time and another group of people with a different political philosophy could do the same thing.

Is This What The Voters Wanted?

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported a statement from New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James. The statement is troubling on many levels.

The article reports:

New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James is buttressing President Trump’s claims that there is a “witch hunt” pursuing him; she told NBC News that she intends to investigate not only the president, but also his family and “anyone” in his circle who may have violated the law.

James blustered, “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” adding, “We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

The article also notes:

When she campaigned for attorney general, James stated that she supported legislation allowing prosecutors to charge individuals who received a presidential pardon. Because of the double jeopardy clause, if an individual receives pardons for crimes at the federal level, they cannot be tried at the state level. James stated:

After careful deliberation, I am urging the state legislature to swiftly pass legislation which safeguards against President Trump’s attacks on the rule of law in our country. The pending legislation closes a loophole in our state law that effectively allows the president to pardon individuals for crimes committed in New York State. Given President Trump’s recent use of the presidential pardon in a case adjudicated in New York State and his claim that he can pardon himself as he pleases, it’s clear that we must act now. We can protect New Yorkers from double jeopardy prosecutions without giving away our state’s ability to deliver justice for all.

I wonder if this lady has actually read her job description.

According to the National Association of Attorneys General:

As the chief legal officer of the states, commonwealths and territories of the United States, the attorneys general serve as counselors to their legislatures and state agencies and also as the “People’s Lawyer” for all citizens. Originating in the mid-13th century in the office of England’s “King’s Attorney,” the office had become, by the American Revolution, one of advisor to the Crown and to government agencies.

While varying from one jurisdiction to the next due to statutory and constitutional mandates, typical powers of the attorneys general include the authority to issue formal opinions to state agencies; act as public advocates in areas such as child support enforcement, consumer protections, antitrust and utility regulation; propose legislation; enforce federal and state environmental laws; represent the state and state agencies before the state and federal courts; handle criminal appeals and serious statewide criminal prosecutions; institute civil suits on behalf of the state; represent the public’s interests in charitable trust and solicitations; and operate victim compensation programs.

What New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James plans to do is highly unethical. Using one’s public office to personally go after a person or family you disagree with or don’t like is a blatant abuse of power.  She deserves to be immediately censured for her statements if not impeached.

What Happens When Cultures Do Not Mix

The UK Telegraph reported yesterday that a French women and her two daughters were attacked by a man with a knife in the Alpine resort of Garde-Colombe, near Laragne, in southern France.

The article reports:

Initial reports claimed the man struck because he was angered by the women being “scantily dressed,” but a local prosecutor denied this. 

Raphaël Balland, prosecutor of Gap, said: “I wanted to quash the rumour currently doing the rounds because on no account did this man make such comments about the fact that the attack may have been motivated by the victims’ dress code.”

The attacker, named as Mohamed B, 37, “may have acted out of religious motives”, French television channel TF1 reported.

Despite the prosecutor’s denial, TF1 reported that he was angry that the girls were wearing shorts.

The mother had helped the attacker when he became ill the previous day, TF1 said.

Let’s look at this report. The article mentions later in the piece that the attacker was Moroccan-born and from the Paris area. The prosecutor obviously wants the media to avoid drawing the obvious conclusions about the motives of the attacker. The kindness of the mother on the previous day obviously did not impact the attacker’s intentions. This is what we open ourselves up to when we welcome people to America who have no intention of assimilating into our culture. The difference between today’s refugees and yesteryear’s refugees is that yesteryear’s refugees appreciated their new freedom and were anxious to become Americans. Unfortunately, many of today’s refugees want to turn America into the dysfunctional societies they fled.