This Raises More Questions Than Answers

Yesterday Real Clear Investigations posted the following:

Jonathan Winer, a former top aide to Secretary of State John Kerry who was a key conduit for disseminating the discredited Steele dossier in the U.S. government, worked as a lobbyist for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in years preceding the Russiagate affair. This revelation raises new questions about Russian efforts to influence American foreign policy — far afield from any Kremlin efforts to favor Donald Trump.

Winer’s connection to Deripaska came to light through last week’s release of the fifth and final volume of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. The Senate report also found that at different times ex-British spy Christopher Steele had worked for the powerful oligarch with ties to President Vladimir Putin, and sent scores of reports from his intelligence firm on to Winer, who admitted to the panel destroying many of them before leaving the State Department. Further, the Senate developed evidence that Glenn Simpson – whose company Fusion GPS contracted with Steele for the dossier – also did work for Deripaska. Simpson denied that, telling senators, “I don’t think I’ve knowingly had any contact with his organization.”

In his initial interview with the Senate committee, Winer claimed never to have met the oligarch. In a second interview Winer revised this answer. He conceded that, beginning in 2003, Deripaska had hired the law firm Alston & Bird, where Winer was a partner. He worked on the Deripaska account but, asserting attorney-client privilege, refused to say what exactly he had done on Deripaska’s behalf. RealClearInvestigations sent questions to Alston & Bird’s spokesman but received no reply.

The article notes:

While at the State Department during President Barack Obama’s second term, Winer disseminated to his colleagues over 100 memos written by Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence. Among them were memos apparently intended to help influence U.S. foreign policy in favor of Steele’s Russian client, billionaire Putin loyalist Deripaska.

The Senate revelations establish that Winer was a key but little-known figure in Russiagate. He, along with former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr – whose wife worked for Fusion GPS – have emerged as prime vehicles for the dissemination of the Steele dossier to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.

It gets worse. The article concludes:

During his first stint, Winer worked with Namsrai representing a Russian nuclear power company called Techsnabexport. Or at least they did their best to make it appear they were primarily working for that company when they were actually working for the Russian government.

APCO’s 2011 Foreign Agents Representation Act filing names Techsnabexport as the “foreign principal” for which it was working. The firm described their client as “an open joint stock company wholly owned by the JSC Atomenergoprom.” In the fine print one discovers that that company in turn is “wholly owned by State corporation for Atomic Energy, ‘Rosatom,’ which is wholly owned by the Russian government.”

A “Contract for Lobbying Services and Consulting Services” was drawn up by APCO in April 2010, a copy of which was attached as a secondary appendix to the FARA filing. The “Scope of Work” includes “Creating and promoting a new image of State Atomic Energy corporation ‘Rosatom,” supporting “the interests of Rosatom in the USA,” and overcoming “existing political and trade barriers.

In October 2010, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved Rosatom’s controversial acquisition of Uranium One, a Canadian company with extensive mining projects in the US.

Namsrai did not respond to emails from RealClearInvestigations asking why APCO listed Techsnabexport as its “foreign principal” client and not the official Russian state nuclear power enterprise, Rosatom, and whether Steele performed any work for the company.

As Winer’s connections with Russia and the Steele dossier emerge, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson says he wants to hear more from him. But, Johnson said, the committee’s ranking Democratic member, Gary Peters, is trying to derail his efforts to enforce the committee’s subpoena and interview Winer under oath. Peters’ spokesperson did not respond to questions from RealClearInvestigations.

“Among other issues, Mr. Winer’s admitted destruction of his records related to his contacts with Christopher Steele is concerning and deserves an explanation,” Johnson said. “I am looking forward to learning more from Mr. Winer in spite of Democrat attempts to further delay our investigation.”

Please follow the link and read the entire article. The fact that someone who obviously did not have America’s best interests at heart was in such a high government position is frightening.

A List The Media Does Not Want You To See

Breitbart posted an article today titled, “Five Times Hunter Biden’s Business Dealings Presented a Conflict of Interest for Joe Biden.”

Please follow the link to the article for the details, but here is the list:

1. Joe Biden’s top campaign contributor hired Hunter fresh out of law school.

The article notes that credit card issuer MBNA Corp. hired Hunter Biden for an undisclosed position, despite the fact that Hunter had no background in either banking or business. Hunter Biden left the company in 1998 to join the Clinton-era Commerce Department it was as a senior vice president.

2. Hunter Biden was on MBNA’s payroll while Joe Biden was writing bankruptcy reform legislation. 

3. Hunter Biden sought to monetize off his father’s political standing on Wall Street. 

In 2006, shortly before Joe Biden assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launched his second presidential campaign, Hunter purchased a hedge fund called Paradigm Global Advisors with his uncle, James. Although neither had a strong background in finance, James and Hunter believed they could leverage Joe Biden’s political connections to their benefit.

“Don’t worry about investors,” James Biden, the former vice president’s younger brother, purportedly told Paradigm’s senior leadership upon taking over the fund, as reported by Politico. “We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.”

This sort of philosophy might explain why many of our Congressmen enter Congress as members of the Middle Class and leave as millionaires.

4. Hunter Biden’s firm scored a $1.5 billion deal with the Bank of China only days after his father paid an official visit to the country. 

Peter Schweizer’s book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends gives the details of the transaction.

5. The Obama-Biden administration helped facilitate the sale of U.S. company with insight into military technology to BHR and a Chinese state-owned defense firm. 

…The sale required approval from the Obama-Biden administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) as AVIC was a subsidiary of the Chinese government and Henniges produced “dual-use” anti-vibration technology with U.S. “military applications.” CFIUS, which is made up of representatives from 16 different federal bodies including the departments of State, Treasury, and Defense, is required to review any transaction with national security implications.

When the AVIC and BHR’s bid was first announced, alarm bells went off in certain sectors of the defense industry. In particular, many noted that AVIC was “reportedly involved in stealing sensitive data regarding the Joint Strike Fighter program,” which it later “reportedly incorporated … into China’s J-20 and J‑31 aircraft.”

Despite the national security concerns, CFIUS approved the deal with AVIC purchasing 51 percent of the company and BHR taking ownership of the other 49 percent. Upon purchase, an industry newsletter stated the deal was the “biggest Chinese investment into US automotive manufacturing assets to date.”

Although the deal was approved by the Obama administration, it has not escaped congressional scrutiny. In August, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) launched a probe into whether or not the CFIUS decision was influenced by either Joe Biden or former Secretary of State John Kerry, whose stepson was also involved in the venture.

“The direct involvement of Mr. Hunter Biden and Mr. Heinz in the acquisition of Henniges by the Chinese government creates a potential conflict of interest,” Grassley noted when launching the probe.

Become a public servant and help your family become wealthy. Somehow I don’t think that is what servanthood is about.

This Really Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

Breitbart posted an article today about donations to the Clinton Foundation since the 2016 election.

The article reports:

The latest tax filings released by the foundation a week ago showed that contributions dropped 42 percent in 2016 from $108 million to $63 million—right around the time Clinton lost last year’s presidential election, according to the New York Post.

Donations tanked by 37 percent in 2015 after the organization tried to fend off allegations that Clinton had used the foundation to engage in pay-to-play schemes with foreign governments.

The former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee allegedly used the charity to solicit millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments and corporations in exchange for giving these entities favorable treatment while she served as Secretary of State.

The Justice Department announced Monday that the agency is weighing whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate the millions of dollars in Clinton Foundation donations tied to the Uranium One deal, whereby the Obama administration permitted a Canadian company called Uranium One to sell one-fifth of America’s uranium to Russia in 2010.

I don’t wish anyone ill, but the rumors of misuse of funds in the foundation have been around for years. In September 2015, Politico posted an article about the Clinton Foundation’s activities in Haiti.

Anyone who has done some basic research quickly discovers connections between donations to the Clinton Foundation and State Department decisions. There is reason to believe that if Hillary Clinton had become President those connections would have appeared at the executive level of our government. Therefore, it is not a surprise that as the influence of the Clinton family is waning, the donations to the Clinton Foundation are dropping. That’s not really rocket science.