Ukraine Whistleblower Aims at Trump, hits Biden
What we know from the dust-up about President Trump and Ukraine is that the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IG) was taken in by the Telephone Game.
Last week, the initial report was that Trump made a disturbing “promise” to a foreign leader, possibly Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a phone call in July. This caused a lot of heavy breathing as the mainstream media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) thought Impeachment Day was at hand, and a straight-shooting public servant would bring down Trump.
Later in the week we learned “the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work” which is bureaucratese for “gossip.” The IG likely knew that, but he also knew a hot potato when he saw one, and tossed it to the Director of National Intelligence to avoid the headline “IG Ignored Allegation of Trump Corruption.”
It was finally revealed that Trump spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July and, among other things, asked him to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, who was appointed to the board of directors of the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, in April 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Crimea. Then-Vice President Biden was the Obama administration’s “go-to guy during the Ukraine crisis.” Burisma is headed by a businessman close to the Russia-friendly former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
Trump also asked Zelensky that Ukrainian officials work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on the Biden matter. Outrage ensued at the prospect that Giuliani was inserting himself in the matter in order to protect Trump, or cover something up, or whatever, until we learned that Rudy was originally asked by the State Department to help it connect with a Zelensky advisor in an effort to establish a relationship with the new Ukrainian president.
Another nail went in the coffin of this tale when it was reported, quietly Friday evening, that the Trump-Zelensky conversation did not contain an explicit quid pro quo.
So, Trump, when he spoke to Zelensky, asked for Ukraine’s cooperation with a request that originated at the State Department about matters of public record.
What this escapade has done is throw light on the financial maneuvering of members of Joe Biden’s family, which belies Biden’s image as “Lunch Bucket Joe” from Scranton.
With the 2020 election looming, Joe Biden would prefer everyone forget Hunter’s $3 million payday from Burisma Holdings, the takeover of Paradigm Global Advisors which the Bidens unsuccessfully tried to turn into a knockoff Clinton Foundation, and Joe Biden bragging he caused the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma while Hunter Biden was on the board of directors.
And this issue will expand like an inkblot: there’s what Hunter was doing in China at the same time his father was meeting with Chinese leaders; Rudy’s allegation the funds from Ukraine were laundered in Latvia and Cyprus; and John Kerry’s dismay that politicians would play hardball, which likely explains how America would up with the Iran nuclear deal.
Was Trump twisting Zelensky’s arm? You bet, and no expressed quid quo pro was necessary. Zelensky has every incentive to cooperate if only to try get past allegations of Kyiv’s support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Personally, Zelensky has yet to meet Vladimir Putin and a strong show of American support is critical as he may have to make unpopular tradeoffs to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Zelensky probably knows, despite the threats from Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Congress will appropriate the military aid finding it needs, and Trump will sign the aid bill. What Trump may not do is offer rhetorical support for Kyiv if it drags its feet investigating the Bidens. Ukraine is, unfortunately, the stick in the hands of the media, the Democrats, and Trump.
If the Ukrainian prosecutors say they don’t have any information on Hunter Biden, the local security services do, because Hunter and his colleagues were likely watched by Ukrainian spies, Russian spies, and Ukrainian spies working for the Russians.
The IG complaint is classified for now, but Trump knows the story will all come out and has chided the media, “you’re gonna look really bad when it falls.” In fact, Trump appears to be making good on his assertion as the administration will release the IG complaint and the transcript of the phone call with Zelensky by the end of the week. If, as FBI lovebird Peter Strzok would have said, “there’s no big there there,” it will further discredit the mainstream media and Trump’s opponents so the question is, does the whistleblower really work for Trump?