President Donald Trump’s shakedown of Ukraine was influenced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This assessment comes from the people closest to the president—people in his own administration working on Russia and Ukraine. According to The Washington Post, Trump sought guidance from Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (a Putin confidant) on how to approach the new reformist president of Ukraine, creating fear within the Trump administration that Trump would fall under their “malign influence.”
The Trump administration has given up on trying to pretend Trump’s extortion of Ukraine didn’t happen. Yesterday, two administration officials—Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Office of Management and Budget Director and Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney—explicitly confirmed that Trump dangled a White House meeting and military aid to Ukraine as leverage to strong-arm Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Trump’s political opponent and a long-debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two members of President Donald Trump’s legal team, were arrested for campaign-finance violations while apparently trying to flee the country. According to the indictment, Parnas and Fruman allegedly laundered money through a pro-Trump 2020 political action committee while lobbying for the removal of US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch—who was indeed removed in May. This scheme appears to be designed to take advantage of Ukrainian corruption to score a deal in the gas sector. For that to happen, they needed to get rid of the Ambassador and get the new Ukrainian government on board.
Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham are traveling around the world trying to get foreign governments to give credence to a conspiracy theory that they believe will undermine the FBI’s decision to open an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This effort is an abuse of power, purely designed to help President Donald Trump politically. The fact is, it would have been malpractice if the FBI had not opened its investigation in the summer of 2016.
After the administration blocked his initially scheduled appearance, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is now reportedly set to testify before the House under subpoena.
Two key players in the Ukraine scandal are now facing charges: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman—Soviet-born Florida businessmen who have been helping President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, run his “shadow Ukraine agenda” were arrested for allegedly violating campaign finance law in an effort to “buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns, and the candidates’ governments.” (Their lawyer has so far declined to comment on the charges.) Parnas and Fruman have been intricately linked to the Ukraine scandal from the very beginning, reportedly helping Giuliani set up meetings with current and former Ukrainian officials—and allegedly devising a plan to profit off of the corruption and chaos that President Trump was creating.
Every new piece of information that has come out about the Ukraine scandal has confirmed that President Donald Trump tried to extort the new, reformist Ukrainian government to undermine the 2020 U.S. election. The facts of the case—and the president’s own admission—speak for themselves, and they are damning.
Barr’s Conspiracy Witch Hunt: Why It Would Have Been Malpractice For the FBI Not to Have Investigated Trump And Russia.
Attorney General Bill Barr and US Attorney John Durham are traveling around the world seeking to prove Trump’s conspiracy theories that the Russia investigation was some sort of deep state plot to undermine Trump. But given the incredible number of alarms bells that were set off in 2016, it would have been negligent for the FBI not to have begun the Russia investigation.