by WorldTribune Staff, September 25, 2019
U.S. Democrats since at least 2016 have repeatedly “exerted pressure on Ukraine … to meddle in U.S. politics and elections,” The Hill’s John Solomon noted in a Sept. 23 report.
Democrats were turning the screws on Ukraine long before Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s discussions with Ukrainian officials, Solomon pointed out.
The Dems were exerting pressure on Ukraine well before President Donald Trump’s phone call in July to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump inquired about Ukraine formally investigating whether Joe Biden, while vice president, used a threat of canceling foreign aid to shut down an investigation into $3 million routed to the U.S. firm run by Biden’s son, Solomon noted.
Radio and TV host Mark Levin, in a Facebook post, noted: “Since Trump won election the Democrats and media have sought his impeachment. Less than 14 months until the next election, they use Biden’s lawlessness as a pretext to reportedly trigger it. This is unprecedented and unconscionable.”
Writing for The Epoch Times on Brad Johnson, a retired CIA senior operations officer and current president of Americans for Intelligence Reform, called the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower situation “a very ‘here we go again’ moment,” in which “the president was initially accused of making a ‘promise’ to the Ukrainian leader that was very ‘troubling.’ We have since learned it was a request, not a promise, and that request was for the Ukrainian justice system to move forward.”
Biden has admitted, that he was still vice president and visiting Ukraine, he insisted that Ukraine fire the prosecutor who was investigating his son in a criminal matter, or else he would block a desperately needed billion-dollar aid package. “This seems to be a textbook example of obstruction of justice, albeit in Ukraine,” Johnson wrote.
According to corporate media reporting, Johnson noted, “the implication is, of course, that the president did something that once again constitutes collusion with a foreign power or is in some way illegal or immoral. There is an immediate problem with this story and how it is being covered.”
Johnson continued: “As we all know, whistleblower is a term for someone on the inside who reports on illegal activity. Here is the rub: Foreign policy is set by the president, and he’s fully within the rights and responsibilities of his office to promise or request of a foreign leader anything he wants.
“I doubt we have ever had a U.S. president who hasn’t requested something of a foreign leader. To suggest that there is something inherently wrong with that is misleading at best and an outright lie at worst.”
Johnson continued: “Here is his conundrum: Biden admitted to pressuring Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who happened be investigating his son. Trump requested that the Ukrainian justice system be allowed to continue that investigation. To be clear, by all accounts, Trump didn’t request an outcome of the judicial process, only that it be allowed to continue after it was stopped in its tracks by Biden.”
How should investigators proceed with a “whistleblower” complaint, Johnson wrote, “that is about the person seeking justice and not the person who obstructed justice? How is this anything other than a politically motivated hit job by an anti-Trump individual who puts his personal political views above national interests?”
Given what has transpired between Democrats and Ukraine in the past three years, analysts are wondering who exactly should be targeted for impeachment.
Earlier this month, during a meeting in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut delivered a pointed message to Zelensky, Solomon reported.
“Murphy made clear — by his own account — that Ukraine currently enjoyed bipartisan support for its U.S. aid but that could be jeopardized if the new president acquiesced to requests by Giuliani to investigate past corruption allegations involving Americans, including Biden’s family,” Solomon noted.
After the Kiev meeting, Solomon noted that Murphy had “boasted that he told the new Ukrainian leader that U.S. aid was his country’s ‘most important asset’ and it would be viewed as election meddling and ‘disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations’ to bend to the wishes of Trump and Giuliani.”
“I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics. I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. There are few things that Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington these days, and support for Ukraine is one of them,” Murphy told Solomon, confirming what he told Ukraine’s leader.
Solomon wrote: “The implied message did not require an interpreter for Zelensky to understand: Investigate the Ukraine dealings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and you jeopardize Democrats’ support for future U.S. aid to Kiev.”
In January 2016, the Obama White House invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington under the guise of fighting corruption in the Eastern European country.
“The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist,” Solomon reported.
After the Washington meeting, a new round of Democratic pressure was exerted on Ukraine — “this time via its embassy in Washington,” Solomon wrote.
“Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States at the time, confirmed to me in a statement issued by his office that, in March 2016, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) pressed his embassy to try to find any Russian dirt on Trump and Manafort that might reside in Ukraine’s intelligence files.
“The DNC contractor also asked Chaly’s team to try to persuade Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to make a statement disparaging Manafort when the Ukrainian leader visited the United States during the 2016 election.
“Chaly said his embassy rebuffed both requests because it recognized they were improper efforts to get a foreign government to try to influence the election against Trump and for Hillary Clinton.”
The pressure from Democrats continued as Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if Poroshenko did not fire the country’s chief prosecutor, who was investigating the firm employing Biden’s son.
“Ukraine would have been bankrupted without the aid, so Poroshenko obliged on March 29, 2016, and fired Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin,” Solomon wrote.
At the time, Biden was aware that Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma, the firm employing Hunter Biden, after a December 2015 New York Times article.
Solomon noted: “What wasn’t known at the time, Shokin told me recently, was that Ukrainian prosecutors were preparing a request to interview Hunter Biden about his activities and the monies he was receiving from Ukraine. If such an interview became public during the middle of the 2016 election, it could have had enormous negative implications for Democrats.”