Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin felons

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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:44 am


Indicted Giuliani associate joined DeSantis on last-minute campaign swing
GARY FINEOUT10/21/2019 04:30 PM EDT

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, answers questions from reporters, with his wife Casey. Standing behind Casey DeSantis is Lev Parnas | AP Photo | AP Photo
TALLAHASSEE — Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian American businessman accused of funneling foreign money into U.S. elections, attended a string of events with Ron DeSantis in the closing moments of the Republican candidate’s 2018 campaign for governor in Florida.

In a photograph taken Nov. 4, two days before the election that propelled DeSantis to victory, Parnas is next to the smiling candidate at a campaign rally in South Daytona. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is standing nearby in the shot, which was published by Getty Images.

Other photographs show Parnas at a Boca Raton event held 200 miles away an hour and a half later that day.

DeSantis last week acknowledged knowing Parnas, who was arrested this month along with Igor Fruman, another South Florida businessman. Both men are associates of Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have accused Parnas and Fruman of attempting to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections and influence U.S. politics on behalf of at least one Ukrainian government official.

Other pictures of Parnas with DeSantis at campaign events have surfaced, but the Getty photographs appear to show the two men traveling together during the heat of the gubernatorial campaign. DeSantis eventually edged out Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum after a recount.

Edward MacMahon, a Virginia attorney representing Parnas, said “if he was in the pictures,” then Parnas was likely on the DeSantis campaign plane.

Helen Aguirre Ferré, a spokesperson for DeSantis, said that while pictures show Parnas at two campaign events that day, Giuliani and the DeSantis campaign each had their own planes and Parnas used the Giuliani plane.

“The governor was not on the plane” that Parnas was on, Ferré said.

Bondi, in a text message, said she could not recall if Parnas was on the plane used by the campaign that day, or whether she talked to Parnas.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday published a report on Parnas’ private Instagram account, which featured a picture of Parnas and Giuliani on a jet that was posted a day before the DeSantis campaign events.

The Journal report included a photo from Parnas’ account that showed Giuliani at the Nov. 4 Boca Raton event for DeSantis. A photo posted on Twitter shows Parnas standing behind Giuliani at the same campaign rally.

Parnas and Fruman are based in South Florida and were helping Giuliani investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and frequent target of Trump attacks.

DeSantis last week said his campaign had disgorged $50,000 in donations from a company created by Parnas and Fruman and described him as a typical donor who had attended Republican National Committee functions and Trump Victory functions.

“He was at a lot of these things, was I think viewed as one of the top supporters of the president in Florida,” DeSantis told reporters on Oct 16. “It was like any other donor, nothing more than that.”

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged Parnas and Fruman and two other men with conspiracy, making false statements and falsifying business records. Before their arrests, the two men had been drawn into a U.S. House-led impeachment inquiry into Giuliani’s work as Trump's personal lawyer.

Prosecutors claim the two funneled $325,000 to a Trump-aligned super PAC through Global Energy Partners, a company created shortly before the contribution was made.

Global Energy Partners also gave $50,000 to a DeSantis-controlled political committee in June 2018. After the two men were indicted, DeSantis gave the money to the U.S. Treasury.

The federal indictment said the two men “concealed the scheme from the candidates, campaigns, federal regulators and the public.”

Matt Dixon contributed to this report. ... ng-1225738
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:51 pm

Watch This Closely: New Details On How Giuliani Pal Met Ukrainian Oligarch
Josh Kovensky

Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash reacts prior to a public hearing at the supreme court in Vienna on June 25, 2019. (Photo by HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT (Photo credit should read HERBERT NEUBA... MORE
One of the most potentially explosive connections in the metastasizing Trump/Giuliani/Ukraine scandal is that of Dmitry Firtash.

A middleman in the gas trade between Ukraine and Russia who federal prosecutors describe as an “upper-echelon” member of the Russian mafia, Firtash appears to be using debunked allegations that Giuliani has made against Joe Biden in a last-ditch bid to prevent his extradition from Austria to the United States on foreign bribery charges.

He has long argued that the case against him is politically motivated, and his legal team appears to see the dirt that President Trump wanted to Ukraine to manufacture against Biden as potentially useful to his case.

A new Wall Street Journal report reinforces the point, while adding intriguing new timing.

Take a look at the following paragraph:

In June, Mr. Firtash was introduced to Lev Parnas, a Florida businessman who aided Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, according to the person with knowledge of the tycoon’s Vienna legal strategy. Mr. Parnas recommended hiring Mr. DiGenova and Ms. Toensing, the lawyers who back Mr. Trump. The lawyers in turn brought Mr. Parnas on as a translator, their law firm said in a statement.

Parnas is the Giuliani buddy who was indicted last week, and who allegedly pressured Ukrainian prosecutors to fabricate dirt for President Trump’s benefit.

It’s not clear from the Journal report who introduced Firtash to Parnas.

But if Parnas first met with the Ukrainian gas oligarch in June, it suggests that Firtash only entered the picture after Giuliani’s plan to push Kyiv to manufacture dirt about Biden was already public, and had been for months.

Furthermore, it suggests that Parnas and his longtime associate Igor Fruman may have been going oligarch-by-oligarch through Ukraine.

The pair had enraged another Ukrainian bigwig named Igor Kolomoisky the month before, after allegedly asking him to set up a meeting with the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. That culminated in Parnas and Fruman suing Kolomoisky, accusing him of threatening to have them killed. Kolomoisky denied the allegation, and later settled the case out of court.

It now appears that only one month after that brouhaha, Parnas came a’knockin on Firtash’s door in Vienna. And, as we’ve seen from the Journal report and elsewhere, it was at least briefly lucrative for Parnas: he and two Fox News talking heads he brought on to the legal team – Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing – raked in $1 million from the Vienna-stranded oligarch for their efforts. ... n-oligarch
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:26 pm

Emma Loop

SCOOP: A grand jury has demanded legal documents that include bank records on Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two key operatives who worked on the Ukrainian backchannel campaign with Rudy Giuliani. By @MikeSallah7, @JasonLeopold, and me:

The documents in question, some of which were previously obtained by BuzzFeed News, show dozens of transfers totaling more than $3 million into accounts belonging to Parnas last year.

The demand for the documents comes after at least one US bank raised concerns about a series of suspicious transactions in Parnas’s accounts, which had hallmark signs of money laundering and fraud, according to two senior law enforcement officers.

Among the suspicious transactions is a $263,000 transfer from Fruman’s company to an account he shared with Parnas — on the same day their indictment says Fruman received $500,000 from the unnamed Russian businessman.

The subpoena, which was served on a source who requested anonymity, led to the release of information that included records detailing bank statements for several corporations controlled by Parnas, his wife, and Fruman, dating back at least three years.

The records show a lot of large, round-dollar transfers, some times back and forth, between Parnas and Fruman’s business accounts — something money laundering experts said raises red flags. ... -financial

And some news on David Correia: His wife, Katie Correia, received several thousand-dollar transfers from accounts controlled by Parnas last year.

This isn’t Parnas’s first brush with the law. In 2008, the FBI in Orlando started looking into his company, Edgetech, which sold “The Edge,” a precursor to the smartphone.

For my fellow 90s kids who love a little early 2000s nostalgia, here’s a version of the device that appears to have preceded “The Edge.”

Did I mention this story has the Backstreet Boys AND NSYNC? ... -financial

Even more news: In 2008, Parnas and Edgetech were sued by a bank in Indiana for bouncing a $100,000 cheque. The bank’s lawyer wrote that Parnas and another executive “may have committed a criminal act reportable to federal authorities.”

Federal Investigators Are Probing Suspicious Financial Transactions By Two Giuliani Associates Who Ran A Back-Channel Campaign
Federal investigators have acquired records — many obtained earlier this month by BuzzFeed News — showing a whirlwind of lavish spending by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two key operatives who dug up dirt on Joe Biden for President Trump.

Michael Sallah
Posted on October 22, 2019, at 6:29 p.m. ET

BuzzFeed News; Getty Images; AP Images
Lev Parnas (left) and Igor Fruman
A federal grand jury investigating activities surrounding Rudy Giuliani’s back-channel campaign in Ukraine has demanded legal documents that include records of extravagant spending at Trump hotels and millions of dollars in financial transfers by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two key operatives who carried out the plan, according to a source familiar with the demand.

The documents requested by a subpoena that was issued in Florida last week could shed light on whether other people, including foreign nationals, were trying to influence the top levels of government and impact the 2020 presidential campaign.

The subpoena also shows the investigation has extended beyond campaign finance violations — the current charges against two of the defendants in the shadow campaign — and may examine more serious financial crimes.

The documents in question, some of which were previously obtained by BuzzFeed News, show dozens of transfers totaling more than $3 million into accounts belonging to Parnas last year as he and his business partner Fruman jetted into Ukraine and other countries in search of damaging information on Joe Biden.

The demand for the documents comes after at least one US bank raised concerns about a series of suspicious transactions in Parnas’s accounts, which had hallmark signs of money laundering and fraud, according to two senior law enforcement officers.

Among the suspicious transactions is one for more than $250,000 — money that arrived, late last year, as the two business partners were setting the groundwork for the plan in Ukraine and launching a marijuana venture, according to court records and the law enforcement officers.

Ken McCallion, a former New York federal prosecutor who spoke earlier this year with FBI agents working on the case, said investigators are steeped in a financial probe that will require an examination of money wires from multiple banks. "You follow the money to find the people financing the campaign," said McCallion, who once represented the former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a civil lawsuit against Donald Trump’s campaign chair Paul Manafort.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Geoffrey Berman, US attorney for the Southern District of New York
Officials from the FBI, as well as the Southern District of New York, which brought the campaign finance charges, declined to comment. Rudy Giuliani, the lawyer who works for the president and directed the Ukraine campaign, did not respond to interview requests. A lawyer for Parnas and Fruman did not respond to a request for comment.

The subpoena, which was served on a source who requested anonymity, led to the release of information that included records detailing bank statements for several corporations controlled by Parnas, his wife, and Fruman, dating back at least three years.

It's not clear whether any of the financial transactions documented in these statements sparked the probe into the men at the center of the effort to help President Trump, but the structure of numerous transfers concealed the source of the money and where it was being spent, say two money laundering experts.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were transferred among the partners last year — in some cases back and forth — while some of the funds were sent to family members in patterns not consistent with normal business transactions, the experts said.

For instance, a company controlled by Parnas and his wife, Svetlana, moved $490,000 into a business owned by Fruman on May 16. The next day, Parnas’s wife moved $12,650 to Fruman’s company.

The following day, the company controlled by Parnas and his wife sent $205,000 to another account they control. Minutes later, Svetlana Parnas wired $5,000 to Katie Correia, the wife of David Correia, a longtime partner of Parnas’s who was also indicted by the grand jury. That transaction is one of several wires in neat, thousand-dollar multiples sent to Correia’s wife last year. He was arrested at JFK airport last Wednesday. A lawyer for David Correia did not return a request for comment.

Ivan Garces, a longtime Miami consultant who spent years conducting money laundering investigations for financial institutions, said the sequence of the transfers would alarm the bank.

“The back and forth and the round dollars — those are going to set off alerts,” said Garces, a former director of forensic services for KPMG, an auditing firm.

Month after month, the partners’ business accounts took in money — dozens of transfers ranging from a few thousand dollars to $1.26 million — mostly in large, round numbers.

In the indictment issued two weeks ago, the partners are accused in one transaction of trying to hide the source of a major contribution they made to a pro-Trump super PAC: $325,000 that came from the refinancing of a condo owned by Fruman in South Florida.

The bank records obtained by BuzzFeed News show that six months later, Fruman and Parnas continued to move money into three different company accounts — two of which were incorporated in Delaware without any offices, phones, or known business activities.

While dollars were flowing into the accounts, the men were spending tens of thousands on travel and entertainment as they carried out their campaign and set up their marijuana enterprise, according to the records turned over to federal prosecutors last week.

In September 2018, Parnas and Fruman jetted to Las Vegas for a meeting to discuss the marijuana operation they wanted to open, according to the indictment. There, Parnas charged $2,021 at the luxury Palazzo resort and nearly $500 at a Barneys New York store inside the hotel, records show.

The next month, they returned to Las Vegas to attend a campaign rally for a state candidate, the indictment says, and Parnas charged $6,240 at the Wynn Las Vegas. That same month, Parnas charged nearly $7,200 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.

The trips followed excursions in at least a half dozen other cities, where they stayed at five-star hotels and dined at expensive restaurants.

McCallion said he learned from his contacts in Ukraine that "Parnas and Fruman were throwing around a lot of money. It's very conspicuous spending." He said the agents he spoke with earlier this year were conducting a counterintelligence investigation into whether foreign money was paying for their activities. They "want to know who is bidding for the services of Parnas and Fruman and Giuliani,” he said.

Already, investigators have connected Parnas and Fruman to at least one foreign national — an unnamed Russian businessperson mentioned in the indictment who allegedly gave the men money to fund political campaigns in Nevada, where they wanted to launch the marijuana business.

One of those payments — $500,000 — was wired into a business account owned by Fruman in October, the indictment states. On that same day, Fruman moved $263,000 into an account shared with Parnas, the bank documents show — the transfer that drew the attention of the bank, the law enforcement sources told BuzzFeed News.

The bank records obtained by BuzzFeed News do not indicate the sources of all the money flowing into their accounts. But Ed Martin, a former IRS special agent who conducted financial crimes investigations, said the records provide data that can be critical in connecting the movement of the money. "You don’t just look at one pocket,” he said. “It’s another puzzle part. These are the things that build a timeline. It’s important.”

As agents bear down on the financial records, investigators are expected to look into other businesses run by the partners in prior years, including a company founded by Parnas that drew the attention of the FBI a decade ago.

Located in a small office near Fort Lauderdale, Edgetech International gained the distribution rights to a handheld device known as the Edge, which was a precursor to the smartphone.

For nearly three years, Parnas beckoned investors to buy shares in the company through press releases and other promotions that a federal court receiver would later deem to be fraudulent.

Parnas announced sponsorships with all-pro Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, NBA star Shawn Marion, and music mogul Lou Pearlman, the legendary manager behind the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC who fled the country months later after being accused of running one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history.

While Parnas touted the success of his company, Edgetech’s stock plunged from $3.20 a share to just 2 cents in less than two years.

By 2007, he had failed to pay Edgetech employees. He told an investor the IRS had frozen his assets in his divorce proceedings — a line he would later use with an investor who is still owed a $500,000 court judgment — said a former vice president of the company.

Parnas and his company were also sued by Lake City Bank in Indiana for financial fraud after a $100,000 check bounced. The bank’s lawyer wrote in 2008 that Parnas and another executive “may have committed a criminal act reportable to federal authorities.”

That year, the FBI in Orlando began looking into the Edgetech case and meeting with Parnas's lawyer to talk about what they suspected was stock market manipulation, according to Parnas’s attorney at the time, who asked not to be identified.

The government did not pursue charges, but in 2009, a federal judge in Detroit found that Parnas’s company and other defendants had committed fraud in the sale of the stock and ordered them to pay $336,879 for losses to a Michigan investor.

Charles Murphy, a lawyer for the receiver in the case, said a private investigator tried to track down Parnas and serve the notice, but could never find him. “By the time we started chasing them, the company had shut down,” he said.

Scott Chapman, a Florida lawyer who is still pursuing Parnas in an unrelated court case, said Parnas entered his office years ago, waving an Edge in his hand.

At the time, he owed tens of thousands for failing to pay the lease payments on a 1995 Ferrari 456 GT.

He said Parnas told him, “When this hits, I’ll pay you the whole 60 grand.’’ But he never paid, said Chapman, and the debt has since grown to $122,000.

Chapman said he doesn’t know how Parnas has paid for the five-star hotels and restaurants over the past year. “Whether he is just a front man for another powerful person, I just don’t know. Someone is paying for it.” ... -financial
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:23 pm

Indicted Giuliani associate Igor Fruman taps Manafort attorney
Todd Blanche is expected to represent Fruman, who is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in New York.

Dowd no longer appears to be involved. It is rare for a defense attorney to represent two defendants in a criminal matter.

Downing and Zehnle did not respond to repeated requests for comment about whether they plan to stay on the case.

Blanche, now a partner at the Manhattan-based law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, declined to comment when asked about any connection between his representation of Manafort and that of Fruman. Blanche also declined to say how his role defending Fruman came about.

Fruman was released from an Alexandria jail last week after pledging $1 million in property. Parnas was released on Monday after putting up $200,000 in funds and promising that family members and other associates would come up with $1 million if he failed to show up for court.

Both men are expected to face formal arraignment on Wednesday in Manhattan before U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken. Two other men are also charged in the case, but Giuliani is not charged or mentioned.

Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign chairman for several months in 2016, is currently serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence on federal charges including filing false tax returns, failure to report overseas accounts, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act and tamper with witnesses.

In March, Manafort was charged by a New York grand jury with 16 state crimes, including mortgage fraud and falsifying business records. The move appeared to be a bid to blunt the impact of any pardon or commutation Trump might issue on the federal charges.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the state charges. Blanche has urged a judge to dismiss the case as a violation of a New York law limiting the filing of state charges that duplicate charges already tried in federal court. ... che-054996

Mike Pence has some explaining to do
Bill Palmer | 10:20 pm EDT October 22, 2019

We all saw Mike Pence travel to Turkey last week in a failed attempt at convincing President Erdogan to stop murdering the U.S.-allied Kurds. We all saw that effort fail in humiliating fashion. Now it turns out Pence’s trip to Turkey wasn’t just ill-fated and inept; it may have had a criminal component.

Days ago, the Feds at the SDNY criminally indicted Turkish bank Halkbank, on charges of laundering millions of dollars in an effort at working around U.S. sanctions against Iran. This case has found its way to court already, and – incredibly – the back and forth with the judge involves Mike Pence’s trip to Turkey.

Respected reporter Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News says that Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lockard told the judge that when Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo visited Turkey last week, Erdogan tried to convince them to drop the case against Halkbank. This obviously didn’t work, as the case is still proceeding in court. But what made Erdogan think that he might have been able to get Pence to go along with this? After all, you don’t make a corrupt pitch to someone you think is clean.

This is all complicated by two factors. First, the SDNY case against Halkbank involves convicted Turkish criminal Reza Zarrab, who was previously represented by attorney Rudy Giuliani – who is knee deep in every Trump scandal. Second, Mike Pence himself is knee deep in the Ukraine scandal, and as more details emerge, it’s starting to look like the Ukraine scandal and the Turkey-Syria scandal are the same scandal. What does Erdogan know about Pence that we don’t? Mike Pence has some explaining to do about his trip to Turkey last week. ... -do/22208/
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:01 pm

Ukrainian Mobsters claim to have executive privilege because they work so closely with the President :D


Denying Election Crimes, Giuliani Friends Raise Specter of Exec Privilege
ADAM KLASFELDOctober 23, 2019

Booking photos of Lev Parnas, left, and Igor Fruman, taken Oct. 9, 2019. The two business associates of Rudy Giuliani were arraigned Wednesday in New York City on charges they conspired to make illegal contributions to political committees supporting President Donald Trump and other Republicans. (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)
MANHATTAN (CN) – The arraignment of Rudy Giuliani’s associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman had been shaping up to be a routine plea of not guilty — until a defense attorney remarked Wednesday that the case could invoke evidence falling under the realms of executive privilege.

“These are issues that we need to be very sensitive to,” Parnas’ attorney Edward McMahon said this morning.

U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken pressed McMahon about how such a privilege would come into play, asking whether Giuliani worked for Parnas or Parnas worked for Giuliani.

Both worked for each other, McMahon replied, adding that the fact that Parnas and the president share a lawyer could spark tangled privilege issues.

Emphasizing that he could not personally assert privilege, McMahon said: “Only the president or the White House can invoke that.”

The comment underlined the White House’s proximity to a case accusing Parnas and Fruman of illicitly funneling Russian money into U.S. elections.

Federal prosecutors depict the conspiracy as a tangled one.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebekah Donaleski revealed that her office has issued subpoenas to 50 bank accounts in the voluminous discovery, a disclosure that falls the day after a report in BuzzFeed that authorities found red flags for money laundering involving millions in suspicious transactions.

Roughly two weeks ago, Parnas and Fruman were arrested outside Washington at Dulles International Airport, holding one-way tickets to Vienna. Both men have surrendered their passports and posted bail, agreeing to electronic monitoring and heavy travel restrictions.

The duo promptly left New York’s Thurgood Marshall Courthouse after Wednesday’s brief hearing.

Joseph Bondy, an attorney for Parnas, lashed out at what he described as a campaign by the powerful to discredit his client.

“We look forward to defending Mr. Parnas in court, based on the evidence, not a smear campaign, driven by self-serving, scheming leaks, apparently from the highest level of our government,” Bondy told reporters.

Though Bondy would not specify the leaks to which he had been referring, BuzzFeed published an investigation the previous night that cited “senior law enforcement officers” as sources and gave a deep view of the men’s alleged finances.

The report described the men’s “extravagant spending at Trump hotels” in service of Giuliani’s back-channel campaign in Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, the president’s likely election rival.

Parnas delivered a more cryptic statement, claiming that the “truth will be revealed” and he would be “vindicated.”

Fruman and Parnas — born in Ukraine and Belarus, respectively — have been charged with using straw donors to launder foreign money into U.S. elections through limited liability companies.

Their accused co-conspirators Andrey Kukushkin, a Ukrainian-born resident of California, and David Correia, of South Florida, pleaded not guilty last week. ... privilege/

Buried in this story on the Ukrainian grifters CNN reveals that the flight to Vienna was to meet with Shokin--for an INTERVIEW WITH HANNITY.
Image ... 0188484608
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:26 pm

On March 25, the day after Barr released a summary of the Mueller report, Parnas posted photos from what he called a celebratory dinner with the Trump legal team at Trump's hotel in DC.

Image ... rst-family

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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:01 am

Rudy Giuliani's Actions in Ukraine for Trump 'the Highest of High Crimes,' Says Law Professor
By Shane Croucher On 10/24/19 at 6:39 AM EDT
A Georgetown University law professor said the actions of Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine show that President Donald Trump has committed the "highest of high crimes" by abusing the power of his office to advance his own interests.

On Wednesday evening, Giuliani, who is Trump's personal lawyer, tweeted that "everything I did was to discover evidence to defend my client against false charges."

Responding to the tweet, Georgetown's Professor Marty Lederman wrote that it "confirms what was so outrageous," namely that Giuliani did not represent the United States but was operating solely in the interests of his client.

Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over his conduct towards Ukraine. House Democrats accuse Trump of attempting to solicit the interference of a foreign government in the 2020 election for his own political advantage.

Giuliani has spent months chasing down spurious corruption allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden—a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination—and his son Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

The former New York City mayor was also pursuing a widely-debunked conspiracy theory that the DNC conspired with the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike to frame Russia for election meddling, and that the evidence is held on a server in Ukraine.

It was part of his effort to defend his client against special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump, though the probe did not establish a conspiracy between the Kremlin and the campaign.

Now, it has emerged that Trump asked Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open investigations into both the Bidens and the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory in a July 25 phone call of which the White House released a summary.

During that call, Trump urged Zelenskiy to speak with Giuliani—who had no official capacity with the U.S. government—to discuss the potential investigations. Zelenskiy said his assistants had met with Giuliani and that he hoped to meet him when he comes to Ukraine.

Moreover, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, testified to Congress that he thought Trump was dangling a potential White House meeting for Zelensky and withholding military aid from the country as leverage to ensure the investigations were opened and publicly announced.

It is evidence of a quid pro quo between the Trump and Zelensky regarding the investigations. Trump denies any wrongdoing and insists there was no quid pro quo.

This month, two of Giuliani's associates working with him in his Ukraine inquiries, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted on campaign finance charges.

They are accused of covertly funneling Russian money to U.S. political campaigns and using it to try to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations by pushing for the recall of the ambassador in Kyiv.

"With all the Fake News let me make it clear that everything I did was to discover evidence to defend my client against false charges," Giuliani wrote on Twitter last night. "Dems would be horrified by the attacks on me, if my client was a terrorist. But they don't believe @realDonaldTrump has rights. Justice will prevail."

Georgetown's Lederman wrote: "This merely confirms what was so outrageous: Giuliani wasn't a representative or employee of the United States; his duty of loyalty was 100% to his (personal capacity) client. And yet Trump told Ukraine it had to dance to Rudy's tune.

"A tune *designed to advance Trump's personal interests*--in order to remain in the U.S.'s good graces (e.g., to secure access, aid, etc.).

"This is the highest of high crimes—using the leverage of his position as chief diplomat to advance his own interests—and it's hard to imagine anything more inconsistent w/Trump's constitutional oath & duty and more revealing of his utter unfitness for office.

"And that'd be true *even if there were no quid pro quo* (but of course there was, which makes it all the worse)."

According to Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution: "The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Rudy Giuliani Ukraine Donald Trump CrowdStrike Biden
Former New York City Mayor and attorney to President Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani visits "Mornings With Maria" with anchor Maria Bartiromo at Fox Business Network Studios on September 23, 2019 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images ... or-1467451
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:30 pm

Lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch have another client: The columnist who pushed Biden corruption claims
The privilege issue came up most recently in a New York court on Wednesday, when a lawyer for the recently indicted operative Lev Parnas said the White House might invoke executive privilege over evidence collected in the campaign finance investigation. That is because Giuliani was representing Parnas and Trump at the same time, said the lawyer, Edward MacMahon Jr.

“He was working for Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Giuliani was working for the president of the United States,” McMahon told the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Oetken.

Solomon, a former op-ed columnist and executive vice president for The Hill who recently left to launch his own outlet, has written extensively about Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine and about Marie Yovanovitch, the veteran ambassador who was abruptly recalled in May amid a campaign by Trump’s allies—including Giuliani—to remove her. DiGenova and Toensing have appeared frequently as guests on Hill TV.

A series of articles Solomon published about Ukraine were mentioned in an anonymous complaint by an intelligence community whistleblower, which characterized Solomon’s work as part of the “circumstances leading up to” Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In that call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens and “get to the bottom of” Ukraine’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Solomon, who is now a Fox News contributor, also featured in documents the State Department’s Inspector General gave Congress earlier this month that revealed a campaign to smear Yovanovitch and the Bidens.

Included in the roughly 50-page packet was an email from Solomon to Toensing, diGenova, and Parnas previewing an article he’d written that was not yet published. The story claimed that the Obama administration had directed Ukrainian prosecutors to drop an investigation into a group “co-funded by both the Obama administration and the liberal megadonor George Soros.”

After that email became public, Solomon claimed he was simply fact-checking the piece before it was published. But Toensing, diGenova, and Parnas are not mentioned in the article, raising the possibility that the trio, who had been working to find evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens in Ukraine, had been working directly with Solomon on the story.

Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election and corrupt pressure by the Obama administration on Ukrainian prosecutors are not the first unsubstantiated theories pushed by Toensing and diGenova that Solomon has advanced in his columns.

Solomon also wrote extensively about the Uranium One controversy, which alleged a link between a 2010 sale of U.S. uranium supplies and donations to the Clinton Foundation.

In October 2017, Solomon was the first to report on an informant who accused former secretary of state Hillary Clinton of helping a Russian company improperly obtain uranium mining rights—an informant being represented at the time by Toensing. ... ing-056643
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:47 am

It Seems Like Bad News for Rudy Giuliani and His HENCHMEN That the Feds Blew the Door Off a Safe
The presidential* lawyer may well be thrown overboard.

By Charles P. PierceOct 25, 2019
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Russian born businessman Parnas at Trump Hotel in Washington
Aram Roston/Reuters/Newscom
WASHINGTON—In the end of things, when there are no more distractions and nothing more to throw overboard, and thirst and hunger begin to overcome the last occupants of the lifeboat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they're all going to cast starving eyes at Rudy Giuliani and think thoughts of grim cannibalism. From CNN:

The subpoena to Steven Fruman is the latest indication of prosecutors' actions since the rushed arrest two weeks ago of his brother, Igor Fruman, and another defendant, Lev Parnas, at a Washington-area airport. Since then, investigators have doled out multiple subpoenas and conducted several property searches, in one case blowing the door off a safe to access the contents, sources tell CNN.
Federal prosecutors told a judge this week that they are sifting through data from more than 50 bank accounts. In addition, they've put a filter team in place as they examine communications obtained via search warrant and subpoena, sensitive to material that could be subject to attorney-client privilege because Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, counted Parnas as a client. A filter team is a separate set of prosecutors who are assigned to examine evidence and set aside material that is privileged.
I am not an international bagman, but I've got to be thinking that having the Feds blow your safe is a pretty damn bad sign for your personal future.

As they pursue an ongoing investigation into Igor Fruman, Parnas and their co-defendants, prosecutors are also investigating Giuliani's Ukranian business dealings, CNN has reported. Parnas and Igor Fruman for months have aided Giuliani in what he has described as his effort to unearth damaging information about his client Trump's political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, whose son was on the board of a Ukranian energy company. In recent days, Giuliani has been seeking a criminal-defense attorney, CNN has reported. He says he has not been contacted by the FBI or by New York federal prosecutors.
Six, two and even, they're selling you out, Rudy. They're going to cut you loose. You're the scapegoat of last resort.

Update (3:18 p.m.): Of course, Rudy isn't helping his own case very much. Unbelievably, from NBC News:

The fact that Giuliani was reaching out wasn’t remarkable. He and the reporter had spoken earlier that night for a story about his ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group. But this call, it would soon become clear, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter. The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; the reporter was asleep. The next morning, a message exactly three minutes long was sitting in his voicemail. In the recording, the words tumbling out of Giuliani’s mouth were not directed at the reporter. He was speaking to someone else, someone in the same room.
Giuliani can be heard discussing overseas dealings and lamenting the need for cash, though it's difficult to discern the full context of the conversation.“You know,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ‘cause he didn’t do any due diligence.” It wasn’t clear who Charles is, or who may have been implicated in a fraud. In fact, much of the message’s first minute is difficult to comprehend, in part because the voice of the other man in the conversation is muffled and barely intelligible. But then Giuliani says something that’s crystal clear. "Let's get back to business." He goes on. "I gotta get you to get on Bahrain."
Well, you know what they say: a lawyer who butt-dials a reporter has a fool for a client. ... -off-feds/
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:31 pm

Rudy Giuliani (center) speaks with New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone prior to a game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in London in June 2019. Lev Parnas, a now-indicted associate of Giuliani's, can be seen standing on Giuliani's right. Rudy Giuliani/Twitter

There’s A Village In Ukraine Where Rudy Giuliani Is The Honorary Mayor. That’s Not The Weird Part Of This Story.
Financial documents show that two associates of Rudy Giuliani also made a donation of $25,000 that appears to have bought them access to conservative figures.

Posted on October 26, 2019, at 1:58 p.m. ET
Christopher Miller for BuzzFeed News
An entrance to Anatevka Jewish Refugee Community
ANATEVKA, Ukraine — Less than 20 miles outside of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, there’s a little village inspired by Fiddler on the Roof that is playing an outsize role in the political scandal embroiling Washington, thanks to a cast of characters that includes the village’s honorary mayor.

And who’s he?

None other than Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was recently presented with an oversize ceremonial key to the village by its pro-Trump rabbi founder.

Anatevka, named after the village from the musical, was founded in 2014 by Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, primarily as a refuge for Jewish families displaced by Russia’s five-year war against Ukraine in the country’s eastern Donbass region that has killed around 13,000 people.

The Anatevka project was also at the center of an aborted effort — brokered by Giuliani’s associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — to get the former mayor of New York to come to Ukraine in May for a meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, then the president-elect, whom he planned to push for investigations that would help President Donald Trump politically. Among the village’s funders are a former pro-Russian Ukrainian presidential candidate, a notorious Kazakh oligarch — and Fruman.

Fruman and Parnas stand accused of funneling money, much of it allegedly foreign, into Republican campaigns in the United States. The two men pleaded not guilty to four counts of campaign finance violations in a federal court in New York City on Wednesday and are now awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, another aspect of their alleged influence campaign has gone relatively unexamined.

For at least two years, Parnas and Fruman made donations to, and solicited financial support for, Jewish charitable causes as part of an international effort to build ties with influential politicians, according to interviews and records obtained by BuzzFeed News and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

In addition to contributions to the Anatevka project, financial documents show that Fruman and Parnas made a previously undisclosed donation of $25,000 to an affiliate of the National Council of Young Israel, a New York–based nonprofit run by Joseph Frager, who was formerly a fundraiser for the outgoing United States energy secretary, Rick Perry. The donation was given in the same month Parnas and Fruman traveled to Israel with NCYI and Republicans such as Mike Huckabee and Anthony Scaramucci.

The Giuliani associates’ financial support of both charitable causes appears to have bought them access to conservative figures in the US and Israel, as well as businesspeople in Ukraine. That access helped to bolster their back-channel campaign with Giuliani to try to dig up dirt on, and push conspiracy theories about, the Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden.

The payment to the Young Israel affiliate was from a bank account likely among those subpoenaed last week by the grand jury looking into the men’s trail of extravagant spending, as well as financial ties to figures including Giuliani, whose shadowy efforts in Ukraine Democrats are zeroing in on as they build a case for the impeachment of Trump.

When asked if Parnas and Fruman would comment about this article, their lawyer, John Dowd, said: “Don’t hold your breath.”

Angela Weiss / Getty Images
Lev Parnas
Rudy Giuliani lounges in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, his tie undone, alongside Parnas and Fruman.

Grinning widely as Parnas drapes an arm across his shoulder, Giuliani looks into a phone while someone records a video of them. He greets his friend Azman: “Moshe, how are ya, baby?”

The three men chuckle and each flash a thumbs-up before telling their rabbi friend, “We love you.”

The scene plays out in a now-viral video shot in 2018 that was published on the Facebook page for the Anatevka Jewish Refugee Community. In the video, which was unearthed this month by Jewish Insider, Giuliani and his associates discuss plans to soon visit Ukraine and Anatevka — “the best place in the world,” Fruman says.

The village of Anatevka, located just miles from the fictional setting of Fiddler on the Roof, is a dusty, fenced-in, and mostly treeless cluster of buildings. This week, work crews could be seen building two new structures. Residents who had relocated from the eastern war zone said that, despite the village’s lack of amenities, they were thankful for a peaceful place to live and a roof over their heads. As they spoke, a young girl rode by on a bicycle, an activity that one man said she wouldn’t have been able to safely do back in the east.

The site, which also contains the nearly 200-year-old grave of a prominent Hasidic rabbi, Mordechai Twersky, currently houses around 140 people. Its facilities include schools for children, according to the settlement’s administrator, Yoel Azman, who is the rabbi’s son.

The project has thus far cost somewhere between $6 million and $7 million, said the younger Azman, adding, “We’re constructing buildings every two or three months.”

He declined to discuss donations to the project, other than to point out plaques bearing donors’ names scattered around the complex. A tree sculpture adorned with those names in the center of the complex provided a fuller picture of Anatevka’s benefactors.

The list, mainly businesspeople from the former Soviet Union, included such controversial figures as Vadim Rabinovich, a Ukrainian oligarch, 2014 presidential candidate, and lawmaker who founded a pro-Russian party with a close friend of Vladimir Putin, and Alexander Mashkevich, a Kazakh Israeli mining billionaire whose company, Eurasian National Resources Corporation, is being investigated for corruption in the United Kingdom. ENRC has denied the allegations.

For at least two years, Fruman has also been a public backer of the project. In late 2017, he set up a New York–based charity, American Friends of Anatevka, which, according to its financial records, took in just over $1,300 that year. Figures for 2018 are not yet publicly available.

In early 2018, Fruman also organized for a consignment of yellow American school buses to be sent to the village. The shipment was a debacle.

“None of them actually worked,” said David Milman, Rabbi Azman’s deputy. “But that’s not his fault. He bought some written-off buses, and they were transported to Ukraine. We spent a lot of time and money on customs clearing and, after that, we discovered they weren’t suitable for transporting small children.”

Christopher Miller for BuzzFeed News
A tree adorned with the names of donors stands on the grounds of Anatevka.

One of the bigger mishaps faced by Anatevka was the cancellation of the planned visit by Giuliani in May, which fell apart after Zelensky refused to take a meeting with him, and Giuliani faced public backlash over the trip.

The attention garnered by the trip was one of the first hints of what would become the impeachment scandal that has consumed the White House, revealing the links between Giuliani and a cast of characters in Ukraine.

Before canceling the trip, Giuliani told the New York Times he intended to give a paid speech to an unnamed Jewish group in Ukraine. In a Facebook post four days later, Azman revealed Giuliani had been invited to speak by both the Anatevka community and Fruman’s New York–based charity.

Instead of going to Ukraine, Giuliani and Parnas traveled to Paris the following week, where they met Nazar Kholodnytsky, the head of Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, who was one of the sources for Giuliani’s back-channel Ukraine campaign. Azman also flew in to join them and presented the former mayor of New York with the symbolic key to Anatevka, a moment the rabbi posted about on Facebook.

“When Giuliani had to cancel his visit in May for political reasons, he called Rabbi Azman and told him he wanted to meet anyway,” Milman said. “He had already bought a good bottle of kosher cognac for the rabbi and wanted to present it to him.”

Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment about this article. Reached by phone, Azman refused to discuss potential payments to Giuliani and his relationship with him.

“I don’t want to be involved in [an] American political scandal. I work with refugees,” Azman said, referring to Anatevka. “It’s a really beautiful project, and now you want to involve it in dirty politics.”

Parnas and Fruman made use of Giuliani’s closeness to the project to attempt to direct money toward the New York charity, rather than toward the local fund for the Anatevka project. According to a Ukrainian businessperson who encountered Parnas and Fruman in Kyiv this year, the two men used Giuliani’s planned visit to Anatevka as a selling point to drum up contributions to the project from members of the country’s Jewish community.

The businessperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he found it strange that the two men were asking Ukrainian businesspeople to send money to the US-based nonprofit.

“How come I should give to an American charity?” the businessperson recalled replying to Parnas and Fruman, adding that he told them it would make more sense to donate directly to the Ukrainian charity.

Photos posted by Azman to Facebook show that his relationship with Giuliani goes back at least as far as January 2017, when the two of them were pictured together at Kyiv’s Brodsky Synagogue. The pictures also show Fruman as a speaker at a May 2018 event at Anatevka. Another image shared by Azman showed him, Giuliani, Parnas, and Fruman sitting with other men around a table at an undisclosed location on Nov. 2, 2018 as their Ukraine campaign geared up.

Azman declined to speak about his relationship with Fruman and Parnas, asking for a reporter to call back later to set up a time for an interview. A subsequent call went ignored. Another was answered by his press secretary, who said the rabbi would not be available for an interview. The next day, Milman said Azman would no longer be speaking to the media.

Parnas and Fruman were, by this point, earning a reputation as hustlers in Republican circles, jetting around the world, and pressing people from all walks of life for money while touting their connections to Giuliani and the Trump administration.

While they supported Anatevka in Ukraine, Parnas and Fruman also built political ties in the US via at least one five-figure donation to Chovevei Zion, an affiliate of the National Council of Young Israel, an Orthodox Jewish nonprofit.

Financial records show the men donated $25,000 to the organization on Aug. 21, 2018, from one of their companies, Global Energy Partners LLC. The company has a similar name to Global Energy Producers, a Delaware LLC set up by the men to pursue a deal selling American liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Ukraine.

A $325,000 donation made in 2018 in the name of Global Energy Producers to America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC, is one of several political contributions that US prosecutors allege in their indictment to have been made while Fruman and Parnas were concealing the true origin of the money.

Young Israel, an association of over 100 US Orthodox synagogues, has in recent years become a staunch supporter of Trump and the Israeli right, a partisan shift that caused some to split from the group. The association’s first vice president, New York gastroenterologist Joseph Frager, is a longtime supporter of conservative Republicans, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Both Fruman and Parnas attended a trip organized by Frager to Israel in late July and early August 2018, which was attended by Huckabee and former Trump White House spokesperson Anthony Scaramucci. On the trip, Parnas and Fruman met David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, and were pictured together with the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the home of Israeli billionaire and conservative donor Simon Falic.

Also pictured on the Israel trip with Fruman, Parnas, and Huckabee was Anatevka’s Azman.

When asked about the 2018 trip, Scaramucci said he interacted with Parnas and Fruman “four or fives times maybe,” calling them “friendly.”

“Igor had difficulty with English. Lev spoke English fluently. And he was a talkative guy, a pleasant guy, didn’t think anything of him one way or the other,” he said, adding that there was one thing about the men that stood out. “They were name-dropping Rudy like a machine gunner.”

Scaramucci said he thought about Parnas and Fruman again this week — after the two men pleaded not guilty to the charges — and about the fact that they had dined and posed with Trump on several occasions.

“What you have to understand about Trump, despite the bombast and the big rallies, he’s a fairly reclusive guy. You know, like when he’s home, he wants to be alone, reading magazines and newspapers and watching TV. He's not hosting like, you know, 200-person parties and stuff like that. It’s not his personality,” Scaramucci said. “So if you’re you’re having dinner with him in the White House residence, he knows who the hell you are.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Fruman and Parnas, and their LNG export company, Global Energy Producers, were handed Young Israel’s Chovevei Zion (Lovers of Zion) award at a gala in New York in March this year, an event attended by Giuliani and Huckabee. Also in attendance were Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Tommy Hicks Jr., co-chair of the Republican National Committee and former head of America First Action — both of whom had received donations from Fruman and Parnas in 2018.

Josh Nass, owner of a New York–based public relations agency, recalled Parnas and Fruman standing out in the VIP room before the gala dinner. Nass said he approached the men, who introduced themselves as entrepreneurs in the gas business. Fruman stayed mostly quiet, while Parnas did the talking.

“Based on what [Parnas] was saying, it seemed like he was trying to sell me on the fact that he was a very important, influential person that has some very exciting business propositions,” Nass said.

Parnas, Nass continued, boasted of “incredibly vast” connections “in the pro-Trump apparatus, and they go all the way up to the senior-most echelons of the party.”

What the men seemed less interested in was the charity event itself. “They didn’t mention the organization [Young Israel] a single time to me. We may as well have been at the Trump International Hotel,” Nass said.

Nass said the conversation was cut short when Parnas got a phone call from Giuliani.

Frager said that he did not introduce Parnas and Fruman to Perry. “Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman met Mike Huckabee at a Republican event in June of 2018 before they came on the Israel trip,” he said. Huckabee did not respond to a request for comment.

The president of Young Israel, Farley Weiss, said Parnas and Fruman’s $25,000 donation was connected to their attendance on the 2018 Israel trip. “I don’t know [Parnas and Fruman], and if I met them it was very brief. Likely I was in a picture with them at the [March gala] dinner, but they did not give us a donation for that honor,” Weiss said.

The men were given an award at that event in exchange for bringing Giuliani, he said. ... mpeachment
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:28 am

'The Wild West': Questions surround Trump legal team payments
Luppe B. Luppen and Hunter Walker

'The Wild West': Bucking Clinton-era precedent, Trump's legal team runs without ethics review

Leading lawyers and legal experts who spoke to Yahoo News believe there are problems posed by President Trump receiving free legal services from Rudy Giuliani.

In 1994, as a slew of scandals were popping up around President Bill Clinton, an attorney who worked with his defense team visited the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in Washington to ask a simple question in person: Could the president of the United States accept free legal services from his personal lawyers?

An unambiguous answer came back from the OGE, the executive branch’s in-house experts at preventing conflicts of interest: No.

“An inquiry was made very early on after the president retained legal counsel,” the attorney, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Yahoo News. “Meetings were held with the OGE, and the OGE advised that any provision of legal services would have to be done at market rate.”

The OGE’s concern, the attorney explained, “was the appearance of undue influence.” In other words, a lawyer providing the president with free legal services, or a donor who subsidized those services so the president would not have to pay out of his own pocket, might appear to have substantial leverage over America’s most powerful elected official.

Flash forward 25 years, and President Trump is doing things very differently. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the most high-profile member of the personal legal team during both the Russia investigation and the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry, is providing free legal services to the president.

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump and Jay Sekulow. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP)
Rudy Giuliani, President Trump and Jay Sekulow. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP)
In an interview earlier this month with Yahoo News, Giuliani responded with an unequivocal “Yes, sir” when asked if he is representing Trump pro bono, including covering expenses. Jay Sekulow, Trump’s other main personal attorney, says his work for Trump is paid, but declined to say by whom or how much.

Until now, Trump’s legal arrangements have been in a gray area of regulation, but critics are trying to change that and the OGE is currently considering establishing new rules for how members of the executive branch can pay for their personal legal needs.

Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation dedicated to combating corruption, has petitioned the OGE to establish guidelines covering personal attorneys for executive branch officials. Holman, who testified before the office earlier this month, described the current situation — where there are few guidelines and it is unclear where Trump’s lawyers are getting their money from — as “the Wild West.”

“The Office of Government Ethics has never until now started developing any consistent rules and regulations to govern legal expense funds for the executive branch,” Holman said. “So if you go back and take a look at the few opinions they’ve offered over the course of the last several decades, you’ll find them completely contradictory and inconsistent.”

The term for free legal services, “pro bono,” is a shortening of the latin phrase pro bono publico, for the public good, and therefore not taking a fee.

Giuliani declined to answer follow-up questions about his legal work for Trump, but Sekulow, who is paid, said he didn’t see anything wrong with that arrangement. “Pro bono is exactly that. It’s pro bono,” he said.

Sekulow declined to discuss any specifics regarding his payment as part of Trump’s legal team, including the amount or source of payments. “I don’t discuss my fees situation,” he said. “... I don’t discuss ever what the fee arrangements are, but I’ve been compensated.”

While Sekulow wouldn’t discuss details, he insisted that there wasn’t anything improper being done. “I can’t discuss how we’re being paid, but it’s obviously appropriate,” Sekulow said.

However, other leading lawyers and legal experts who spoke to Yahoo News believe there are problems posed by Trump receiving free legal services from Giuliani.

Charles Fried, a Harvard Law professor who served as solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan and serves on the board of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, said it would be “obviously problematic” for Trump to have a member of his legal team working pro bono.

“He is ... receiving hundreds of hours of legal services, which, you know, people like Giuliani charge a thousand dollars an hour. [Trump is] getting that for free,” Fried said.

Until the OGE issues new rulings, the issue of presidential legal representation will likely remain sparsely regulated, in part because there is limited precedent for a president needing extensive personal legal services. In the 1990s, when Clinton’s lawyers went to the OGE, the president’s use of a team of personal attorneys for a major case was largely uncharted legal territory in the landscape of new regulations enacted after the Watergate scandal.

In Clinton’s case, ultimately, the OGE advised his attorneys on how to set up an independent trust that would raise money to pay his lawyers — referred to interchangeably by ethics experts as a “legal defense fund” or a “legal expense fund.”

In late 2018, the office began a rule-making process to provide a broader framework for executive branch officials’ legal expenses. Holman expects that the OGE’s rule-making process will go beyond creating rules for legal expense funds to cover parallel subjects like the free legal services Giuliani provides to Trump. “It will address all the issues related to legal services for public officeholders, including pro bono and crowdsourcing,” he told Yahoo News.

Scott Amey, general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan watchdog group, also said the OGE had been too slow to act. Amey said new guidelines could come from the rule-making process, but in the meantime, officials should proceed cautiously.

“Legal defense funds and pro bono legal services offered to any government employee, including the president, raise a host of conflict of interest and ethics questions that require answers,” Amey said. “The Office of Government Ethics is seeking advice and might have a rule or guidance in 2020, but government ethics officials are facing this problem now, and any decisions about receiving money or services should be handled with the public interest in mind.”

The OGE declined to comment. Two other personal attorneys who worked for Trump during the special counsel investigation, John Dowd and Emmett Flood, also declined to comment. William Consovoy, who represented Trump before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and recently argued that the president would have immunity from criminal investigation or prosecution even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue in New York, did not respond to a request for comment.

Even if the OGE comes up with a set of new rules covering the president, it’s unclear what impact that would have on Trump. Typically, the OGE makes recommendations to the executive branch or, in criminal cases, referrals to the Department of Justice, but rules from the office are nonbinding, and it is up to the other federal agencies whether to follow the OGE’s guidance.

The Trump administration has previously run afoul of federal ethics watchdogs and ignored their recommendations. In February 2017, the office recommended that the White House consider taking disciplinary action against Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, after she gave an apparent endorsement of the private business of Ivanka Trump, the daughter of and an adviser to the president, in potential violation of the Hatch Act. A White House lawyer responded by brushing off the issue.

The administration appears to be taking the same attitude toward any questions over legal services.

Sekulow, Trump’s attorney, said he and his team have not consulted with the OGE. “I’m not a government employee. I don’t get near that,” Sekulow said of the ethics office.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone did not respond to requests for comment.

Even though Trump would not necessarily have to abide by any future OGE rules on legal counsel, there are laws that govern his conduct. The president is exempt from much of the regulation that bars other executive branch officials from taking gifts worth over $20; however, the president is subject to bribery laws and is prohibited from taking gifts “in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act.”

Tony Essaye, a retired attorney who was the executive director of one of Clinton’s legal defense funds, said pro bono work would raise “a lot of issues and questions ... as to where people are giving free services to the president they get a certain degree of influence.”

Essaye offered a broad example: “If you’re doing a lot of work for me free, if you come to me and say, ‘Look, I’ve got a friend who I would like you to do this for, or that for,’ I’m more inclined to be willing to do that because I appreciate what you’ve done for me.”

Based on past cases, Paul Light, a New York University professor of public service and former director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, predicted regulators would eventually determine that Trump should be charged market rate for legal services.

“The history of this is that a fair market value is determined not by the president, not by the White House, not by presidential counsel of any kind, it’s to be determined by the federal government,” Light said. “This isn’t Donald Trump’s call. This will be eventually the call of a federal bureaucrat.”

Light said Trump’s legal team should be keeping meticulous records and tracking their billable hours. “To be on the safe side, one would urge any president, not just Trump ... to register the pro bono gift of legal services for future review,” he said.

Sekulow would not comment on how his team is tracking and charging for their work. “I’m not going to discuss our billing, but we send bills and get paid,” he said. “That’s all I’ll say.”

The opacity surrounding Trump’s legal defense, which doesn’t include a fund, is very different from how it was handled with Clinton.

Back in 1994, to address the OGE’s concerns about the appearance of undue influence, the Clintons’ legal team determined their legal defense fund would have a number of voluntary safeguards. It would have a $1,000 individual contribution limit and semiannual reports disclosing its donors, and it would be forbidden from advertising or soliciting donations and from accepting money from political action committees, corporations, lobbying groups, professional associations or labor unions.

Ultimately, there were two trust funds established for the Clintons’ legal defense — and they provided a dramatic example of how the president’s legal expenses could be an attractive target for outside interests seeking to gain influence with the White House.

Bill and Hillary Clinton established the first fund in 1994 as the president faced legal issues, including a sexual harassment suit from Paula Jones. The fund ran into trouble when Ya Lin “Charlie” Trie, a restaurateur from Clinton’s home state, delivered a manila envelope full of hundreds of thousands of dollars in money orders. Some of the money was linked back to a Taiwan-based organization that had chapters in the United States.

After a series of meetings at the White House, the donations were returned. Trie was later indicted in connection with other suspicious donations to the Democratic National Committee and pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations.

By 1998, as the Monica Lewinsky scandal loomed, donations were no longer coming into Clinton’s original legal defense fund as a result, in part, of what a CNN report termed “the embarrassment” that lingered after the Trie episode. Clinton’s supporters established a second fund that relaxed some of the strictures, increased the contribution limit tenfold, and permitted advertising and solicitations for donations.

Essaye, who was appointed to run that second fund, said the OGE also stipulated that the Clintons’ defense trust should not have the Clintons serve as its grantors, as they had with the first fund, since they were also the trust’s beneficiaries. This time around, the fund had independent leadership, and specific rules were put in place to make it independent of the Clintons’ control.

“The money would not go to the Clintons. It would go directly to the law firms, and that’s essentially what occurred,” Essaye explained.

By contrast, Trump’s arrangement with Giuliani and Sekulow, which doesn’t involve a legal defense fund, lacks these conflict of interest safeguards and offers no transparency.

“Trump just ignores all that stuff, I suppose,” Essaye said.

Neil Eggleston, who served as President Barack Obama’s White House counsel from 2014 to 2017, said Republicans “would have gone crazy and insisted on investigations and subpoenas” if Obama employed a personal legal team with undisclosed income sources, foreign ties and pro bono work.

However, he suggested the Trump administration is “just a different presidency” in how it addresses ethical and legal concerns, pointing out how White House officials pushed aside the OGE’s concerns about Kellyanne Conway.

“These kind of issues, they just don’t really pay much attention to,” Eggleston said of the Trump White House. “It’d be weird if they were cutting square corners on this when they don’t cut square corners on anything else.”

But the questions surrounding potential conflicts of interest could prove troublesome for Trump’s legal team, particularly for Giuliani, whose sources of outside income have attracted the attention of law enforcement agencies.

Giuliani has been linked to work in more than a dozen foreign countries through his former law firm, other legal work and his security consultancy. Two of his business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested on Oct. 9 and charged with illegally trying to direct foreign funds to American political campaigns. Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Giuliani’s relationship with the two men.

A lawyer for Parnas reportedly argued in Manhattan federal court on Oct. 23 that some of the evidence supporting the campaign finance charges against Parnas may be protected by executive privilege due to Giuliani’s simultaneous representation of Parnas and Trump. That unusual argument ties the criminal case directly to the White House.

Fried, Reagan’s former solicitor general, described the mix of Giuliani’s foreign ties and pro bono work for Trump as troubling. “He’s not allowed to take money from a foreign government,” Fried said of Trump. “He is, however, receiving hundreds of hours of legal services … for free, and Giuliani is able to do that, in part, because he’s making money representing foreigners. Why don’t you work it out?”

While Giuliani has attracted the most attention because of his pivotal role in the impeachment inquiry, the president’s other top lawyer, Sekulow, also has income sources that have come under scrutiny.

In addition to his work for Trump, Sekulow has a private law firm, and he and his family also operate — and receive substantial income from — a network of nonprofit charitable organizations that describe themselves as dedicated to religious advocacy. In the past two years, as Sekulow served as Trump’s attorney, he has shifted parts of his empire of nonprofits to focus on pro-Trump legal work.

Yahoo News reviewed four years of tax filings that showed that his main nonprofit fundraising entity, legally named Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, took in over $216 million in aggregate revenue from 2015 to 2018. This money is largely from contributions, and while some of it flows through visible tributaries like professional fundraising vendors, other funds come from unknown sources into the charity’s coffers with no transparency of any kind. Nonprofits are not required to disclose individual donors, and it is unclear who is funding Sekulow’s various organizations.

The best-known charity associated with Sekulow is ACLJ, the American Center for Law and Justice, described as a law firm dedicated to protecting “religious and constitutional freedom.” ACLJ was founded in the 1990s by televangelist Pat Robertson and began its existence championing Christian conservative causes such as school prayer and opposition to abortion. During the Obama administration, the group began to pursue cases aligned with the Republican agenda, such as mounting legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act.

ACLJ sends funds to partner organizations around the world, but Sekulow at first said it doesn’t “get foreign money,” then offered a clarification.

“Now, I say we don’t accept foreign money. I couldn’t tell you every donor,” Sekulow said. “You know, we have hundreds of thousands of donors. But I don’t recall a situation where we’ve ever had what I would call a foreign donor. We don’t take government donations.”

Recently, Sekulow’s charitable organizations have taken on an increasingly pro-Trump bent. An analysis of ACLJ-National’s filings in federal district and circuit courts shows that, since the president was elected in 2016, 16 of the 31 cases the group has become involved in, either as a party or through friend of the court briefs, appear to be directly tied to either defending Trump’s policies, pursuing investigations that would be useful to his legal defense or simply to antagonizing his political opponents.

ACLJ’s most recent federal case is a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that seeks records of former FBI Director James Comey’s communications with a person who was purportedly Comey’s confidential informant in the White House. ACLJ has also filed FOIA requests aimed at exposing Obama officials’ purported “unmasking” of the identities of Trump allies in connection with the Russia investigation and records related to Uranium One, a company that directed money to the Clinton Foundation amid a Russian takeover. The organization’s digital and radio platforms also regularly tout the work of Trump’s legal team and attack the impeachment inquiry.

On his daily radio broadcasts, Sekulow is fond of saying that he switches between “wearing my ACLJ hat or my lawyer for the president hat.” But even he said the ACLJ’s work has overlapped with some cases involving Trump because of the organization’s focus on “constitutional issues.”

Those charitable groups, which pay substantial sums to Sekulow and firms he owns, and whose donors are not identified, have also engaged in what appears to be pro-Trump advocacy.

Lloyd Mayer, a professor of law at Notre Dame, said this mixing of nonprofit and business also could be problematic from the standpoint of tax law. “If he is using the charity to benefit his private legal practice,” he said, “that would raise issues of private benefit,” among other concerns.

In other words, a tax-exempt charity like the ACLJ might not be permitted to support legal work that benefits a client — like Trump — whom Sekulow represents in his private practice.

However, Sekulow said the ACLJ is “very specific about ... making sure that the work of the ACLJ fits within the parameters” of its mission.

“Everything is done according to the rules and regulations with the Internal Revenue Service, and we’re meticulous in our accounting,” he said of the ACLJ.

Phillip Hackney, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s law school who focuses on tax law for charities, argued that IRS enforcement would ultimately be unlikely. Like many of the other aspects of Trump’s legal team, he said, the involvement of ACLJ in funding Sekulow and engaging in legal advocacy for the president falls into a “gray space” between providing a benefit to a private party and “litigating out important ideas” that “otherwise normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to present themselves.”

“It’s really hard for the IRS to do anything about it,” Hackney said. “It’s kind of hard for the IRS to make those distinctions in any way in which it does not come out itself seeming biased.”

With the IRS unlikely to act, it may ultimately be up to the OGE to determine what rules, if any, apply to Trump and his unusual arrangement for legal services. And nothing is likely to happen on that front before the impeachment inquiry and possible trial take place this year.

While the OGE is “taking it seriously now, they are not going to come up with anything until 2020 and probably after the election,” says Holman of Public Citizen.

“We are going to go into the 2020 election cycle with no rules governing how legal expense funds are handled or whether a lawyer can offer gifts of legal services or not,” he continued. “Literally, no rules, and worse yet, no transparency.” ... 50118.html
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:35 am


Maybe - just maybe you should have paid attention

Also CASE NUMBER: 50-2018-CA-002109-XXXX-MB
Show this thread

Also CASE NUMBER: 50-2018-CA-002109-XXXX-MB
This one instantly caught my attention because it was recently re-opened ... p=drivesdk

Igor Furman Motion to Compel
It’s like Lev & Igor are thick as thieves, grifting & other unsavory business practices
I found paragraph 6 rather interesting
Motion to Compel ... p=drivesdk

JACKPOT - See September 30, 2019 Motion by nonparty (wait for it)
Now why on earth would this Co be involved with a fraud against this family Trust.
Just me spreading my Twitter Glitter
SNORT ... p=drivesdk


FTR to check the “authenticity” of the Lev & Sletvana Parnas and Igor Count filings - you can pull down the same documents
I do NOT nor have I ever trafficked in “fake” court filings

https://applications.mypalmbeachclerk.c ... earch.aspx

At any rate I’ve got to unplug and try to rest my body & mind. The <3 teaspoons of mash potatoes - welp that experiment did not go well.
And I’ll be damned if I’ll let the Drs temporarily install a feeding tube. This healing shit is bananas. And I’m tired of feeling yucky

Order Parnas et al case assigned to Judge Oetken - also arraignment scheduled for Thursday October 17th

File411 Retweeted NBC News
What an IDOIT did he really think flying in to NYC he would some now evade law enforcement
Gawd how delightful Correia cuffed & stuffed in SDNY
File411 added,
NBC News
Verified account

JUST IN: David Correia, 1 of the 4 people indicted in an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money and violate FEC laws was taken into custody at New York's JFK airport this morning; the case includes Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman - …

I’m going to point out that if you think the Ukrainian Othodox is the only area Russia has infiltrated
Then you’re stone cold WRONG
Waves hiya @RudyGiuliani
Live URL (note the date) ... n__=%2B%3D
Archived URL

Note the date - July 4th...and who’s with Trump?

Do you still believe the “i hardly knew him”
You see @RudyGiuliani made several (inadvertent) admissions March, April May and November in various TV Interviews
Live URL ... 171559798/

Archived URL
JACKPOT look at who is sitting next to @RudyGiuliani

Live URL ... 036657676/

Archived URL

I’ve taken the liberty of archiving the “Chief Rabbi of Ukraine’s” photo albums
Live URL ... ernal&_rdr

Archived URL

November 2018

Live URL ... =3&theater

Archived URL

Double Jackpot of Parnas & Furman - July 4, 2018

Live URL ... =3&theater

Archived URL
Come on man - “I hardly know the guy”

Live URL ... =3&theater

Archived URL

So let me get this straight Igor Furman spoke at our Embassy in Israel of which the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine then posted on his Facebook account
Bat Shit CRAZY pants
Live URL ... =3&theater

Archived URL


- Defendants Parnas & Fruman “adjourned to Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at 11:30AM”

- Defendants Correia & Kukushkin will take place as previously scheduled on Thursday, October 17, 2019, at 3:30PM

Public Drive of Order ... p=drivesdk

I mean if you read the original Indictment (YES I’m still betting on at least 1 superseder) there were multiple “...” which in my line of work means this case is a heavy documents, transcripts, intercepts etc
And it’s wonderfully glorious - the end ... 88897?s=20

Defendant David Correia Bond & Conditions of Release
Curious that his bond was only set at $250K vs the $1M for Parnas & Furman

Additional conditions of Release for Defendant Correia
Does anyone know WHY he’s allowed to travel to Massachusetts? Seemed kind of weird to me.
And perhaps I’m wrong but I thought he was mainly in the SDFL and LA...
8 page Conditions uploaded to my drive ... p=drivesdk


Defendant Andrey Kukushkin
Case No - 1:19-cr-00725-JPO-4
Conditions of Release - similar to Parnas & Furman
$1M bond
Surrender travel documents (& no new applications)
Defendant arraigned; pleads Not Guilty

Public Drive ... p=drivesdk


Because it’s...somewhat relevant given the time frame.
Also take a guess how many Liens have been levied against Parnas, or his wife or his companies?
1? Nope
2? Nope ... p=drivesdk

Who dah frick is Barbara Ison?
I mean $61K lien seems eyebrow raising given the following year Parnas & Fruman made it rain dollars.
But meh whadda I know ... p=drivesdk

Oh and I bet you thought that August 2017 interest rate was...low.
Well CONGRATULATIONS you’re right - See October 2017 “Amended” Lien.
Again who dah frick is Barbara Ison? ... p=drivesdk

There there there my liddl’ red sparrow - Svetlana did you think I forgot about you?
See the Mr & Mrs Parnas 2012 $21K+ Lien ... p=drivesdk

And lastly because desa is rampant on this platform.
It is mandatory to walk you through how easy it was to obtain these liens
Step 1)
Step 2) select liens
Step 3) like unicorn magic

Now. Now. Now Igor Fruman I didn’t forget about you but I will say you might want to check the Collins Ave address listed on this 2016 Lien.
(pro-tip it’s currently valued >$2.2M) ... p=drivesdk

Like I said - according to Zillow the address listed on the aforementioned Lien has a current market value of >$2.2M
So pardon me while I go look at entity that owns the property- I’m going with Russian shell or shelf company ... 2539_zpid/

Step 1) find folio # for property
Step 2) 31-2202-043-0250
Step 3) plug folio # in here ... 1154653654
Step 4) like unicorn magic
Turns out Fruman “owns” said Collins Ave property


That’s right gurrrlll you stand by your man...although I do wonder how soon the Judge will issue a gag order given the multiple TV Interviews.
Plus nothing says daddy I love you da mostest that I also secured your bond.


I uploaded the document to my public drive, see below

Sweet Sweet Baby Jesus - I wonder if the GOP really comprehends the totality of the Judge’s Ruling.

Lev Parnas, Giuliani associate, can be questioned under oath about Republican money transfers, judge says - CNNPolitics

2:20 PM - 29 Oct 2019

File411 Retweeted File411
In case you are wondering what the case number is...
See next two tweets

Also CASE NUMBER: 50-2018-CA-002109-XXXX-MB
Show this thread

File411 Retweeted File411
Not that it matters but I kind of told you the liens & transfers would be super relevant
Did you think I pulled that out of thin air?
Nope I even gave you the links to the documents in this sub thread
ps see SDFL Judge’s Order in next tweet

Because it’s...somewhat relevant given the time frame.
Also take a guess how many Liens have been levied against Parnas, or his wife or his…
Show this thread

READ PAGE 2 the 1st Paragraph in the RED BOX - because it’s exactly what many of us said it would be.
And NOW it’s Court Order.
I told you to pay close attention to this case - now you know WHY
(Paywall) - shot ... cation/pdf


Uploaded to my public drive - 5 page order ... p=drivesdk

Like I said pay ATTENTION to page 2 - none of this should surprise you because in my line of work you follow the facts AND THE MONEY...
Weird right?
Nah..down to the penny re $510K+ Lien
But bonbons in mah calorie hole ... p=drivesdk

Replying to @File411
If you lay down with dogs...wait, I love dogs. If you dance with a radioactive zombie...

Come on in...the water is warm-ish
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:42 am

In Ukraine, the quid pro quo may have started long before the phone call
President Trump, right, meets with then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House in June 2017. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

David Ignatius
Oct. 31, 2019 at 7:01 p.m. CDT
A standard theme in detective thrillers is that the perpetrator feels compelled to return to the scene of the crime. It’s an irrational urge, and readers of such potboilers are often left wondering whether the protagonist secretly wants to get caught.
Perhaps we’re living a real-life version of this fictional plot in President Trump’s alleged solicitation of political help from Ukraine, which this week spawned a full-blown impeachment probe. Republicans question whether the Ukraine events have the weight of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But when seen as part of a pattern of behavior, the gravity becomes clearer.
Trump survived his first effort to solicit foreign political help in his appeals to Russia for damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. But soon after Trump was cleared of “collusion” by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, he seemingly went at it again — this time demanding political dirt from Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, as a condition of delivering military assistance to Kyiv.

Trump evidently thought he’d been exonerated, too, of obstructing Mueller’s investigation (though Mueller’s report is ambiguous on that question). Perhaps emboldened, the president has since appeared to deepen his obstructive behavior, trying to block witnesses from testifying before Congress about Ukraine or any other questionable presidential and personal behavior.
This ad will end in 5 seconds

The Fix's Amber Phillips explains what a "quid pro quo" is and how it factors into the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. (Zach Purser Brown/The Washington Post)
If this were a thriller, we’d suspect that the central character has a compulsion that he doesn’t understand or control — and keeps repeating the actions that get him in trouble.
But this is reality, not bedtime reading. And now it’s an impeachment investigation, as of Thursday, that requires evidence of wrongdoing rather than psychological speculation about motives. House investigators have been conducting a rapid, well-focused inquiry. But here are two nagging questions that I hope investigators can answer.

What led to Trump’s first meeting on June 20, 2017, with Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko? Ukraine had hired the lobbying firm BGR Group in January 2017 to foster contact with Trump, but nothing had happened . . . and then the door opened. Why?
On June 7, less than two weeks before Poroshenko’s White House meeting, Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, had visited Kyiv to give a speech for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, headed by a prominent Ukrainian oligarch. While Giuliani was there, he also met with Poroshenko and his prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, according a news release issued by the foundation.
Just after Giuliani’s visit, Ukraine’s investigation of the so-called black ledger that listed alleged illicit payments to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was transferred from an anti-corruption bureau, known as NABU , to Poroshenko’s prosecutor general, according to a June 15, 2017, report in the Kyiv Post. The paper quoted Viktor Trepak, former deputy head of the country’s security service, saying: “It is clear for me that somebody gave an order to bury the black ledger.”

The New York Times reported in May 2018 that Ukraine had “halted cooperation” with Mueller’s investigation. The paper quoted Volodymyr Ariev, a parliament ally of Poroshenko, explaining: “In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials.”
Was there any implicit understanding that Poroshenko’s government would curb its cooperation with the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation of Manafort, who would later be indicted by Mueller?
Why was Marie Yovanovitch , the U.S. ambassador to Kyiv, fired in May? Trump, Giuliani and their allies had been attacking her since early 2018, but for what reason? Lutsenko, the Ukrainian prosecutor, told the Hill in March that she had given him a “do not prosecute” order, an incendiary charge that Donald Trump Jr. promptly echoed on Twitter. But Lutsenko later recanted, and the State Department said the story was a fabrication.

So why were Trump and Giuliani so eager to dump the ambassador? Here’s what Yovanovitch said during her Oct. 11 testimony to House investigators: “Individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”
The former ambassador may have been referring to Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas , two Giuliani clients who were indicted last month on suspicion of arranging secret contributions to help foreign governments. (Fruman and Parnas have pleaded not guilty.) Their biggest project, according to an Associated Press Oct. 7 story, was a plan to sell U.S. natural gas to Ukraine, aided by Giuliani and Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s lobbying of Naftogaz, the Ukrainian gas company.
Trump’s effort to play politics in Ukraine is described in an ever-widening stream of documents and testimony. The House must now assess whether Trump’s behavior makes him unfit to continue in office. ... story.html
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:01 pm

Fruman and Parnas are central to impeachment issue is they tried to flee BECAUSE they were subpoenaed.
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Re: Pics Show Pence, Giuliani, Trump & Jr w/ pro-Kremlin fel

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:44 pm

Miriam Elder

Yvanovitch says a Ukrainian official told her to “I really needed to watch my back” and told her about Parnas and Fruman
Later, Yovanovitch says it was Interior Minister Arsen Avakov who warned her about Parnas and Fruman

Yovanovitch reveals here that Giuliani managed to reach Avakov by phone, but that he did not meet with him. ... 2337664001
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