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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Republican Senators Enter the Impeachment Chaos

October 3rd, 2019

The Daily Wire 

GOP Senators Say Hillary, DNC Colluded With Ukraine To Undermine Trump Campaign, Press DOJ To Probe

Joseph Curl October 1, 2019

Two top Republican senators have asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that Democrats sought dirt on Donald Trump from Ukrainian officials during the 2016 election. In a letter to Attorney General William Barr released Monday, Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Chuck Grassley of Iowa push the Justice Department to open a probe, saying they have “concerns about foreign assistance in the 2016 election that have not been thoroughly addressed.”

“Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored. Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempt to undermine our democratic processes,” the senators wrote in the letter.

“The Justice Department has yet to inform Congress and the public whether it has begun an investigation into links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee. Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored,” the two senators wrote in the letter, dated September 27. “Are you investigating links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee? If not, why not?”

The senators claim Alexandra Chalupa, a Democratic consultant, worked with Ukrainian officials to find dirt on Trump in 2016.

“At the center of this plan was Alexandra Chalupa, described by reports as a Ukrainian-American operative ‘who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee’ and who reportedly met with Ukrainian officials during the presidential election for the express purpose of exposing alleged ties between then-candidate Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia.[4]  Politico also reported on a Financial Times story that quoted a Ukrainian legislator, Serhiy Leschenko, as saying that Trump’s candidacy caused ‘Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election,’” the letter says.

Chalupa denies the allegations. “During the 2016 US election, I was a part-time consultant for the DNC running an ethnic engagement program,” she told CNN in July. “I was not an opposition researcher for the DNC, and the DNC never asked me to go to the Ukrainian Embassy to collect information.”

But the senators cited a news article from The Hill claiming otherwise.

“In addition, in May 2016, Chalupa emailed a DNC official stating that she met with 68 Ukrainian investigative journalists about Manafort and that there would be ‘[a] lot more coming down the pipe,’” the senators wrote. “Less than a month later, the ‘black ledger’ identifying payments made to Manafort from Ukrainian politicians was announced in Ukraine.[11] And finally, Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, stated during a congressional interview that Fusion GPS used Serhiy Leschenko, a Ukrainian politician that admitted Ukraine intervened in the 2016 election, as a source for derogatory material against then-candidate Trump.”

The senators asked for a response by Oct. 14.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Attorney General Barr:

We write to follow up on Senator Grassley’s July 20, 2017 letter, which highlighted brazen efforts by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign to use the government of Ukraine for the express purpose of finding negative information on then-candidate Trump in order to undermine his campaign.[1]  That letter also highlighted news reports that, during the 2016 presidential election, “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump” and did so by “disseminat[ing] documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggest[ing] they were investigating the matter[.]”[2]  Ukrainian officials also reportedly “helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.”[3]

At the center of this plan was Alexandra Chalupa, described by reports as a Ukrainian-American operative “who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee” and who reportedly met with Ukrainian officials during the presidential election for the express purpose of exposing alleged ties between then-candidate Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia.[4]  Politico also reported on a Financial Times story that quoted a Ukrainian legislator, Serhiy Leschenko, as saying that Trump’s candidacy caused “Kiev’s wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election.”[5]

The July 20, 2017 letter further noted that the Democratic National Committee encouraged Chalupa to work with Ukrainian embassy staff to “arrange an interview in which Poroshenko [the president of Ukraine] might discuss Manafort’s ties to Yanukovych.”[6]  In March 2016, Chalupa met with Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., and Oksana Shulyar, a top aid to the Ukrainian ambassador, to share her alleged concerns about Manafort.  Reports state that the purpose of that initial meeting was to “organize a June reception at the embassy to promote Ukraine.”  However, another Ukrainian embassy official, Andrii Telizhenko, told Politico that Shulyar instructed him to assist Chalupa with research to connect Trump, Manafort, and the Russians.  He reportedly said, “[t]hey were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa” and that “Oksana [Shulyar] was keeping it all quiet…the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.[7]  In a May 2019 article, Telizhenko was quoted as saying,

[Chalupa] said the DNC wanted to collect evidence that Trump, his organization and Manafort were Russian assets, working to hurt the U.S. and working with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin against the U.S. interests. She indicated if we could find the evidence they would introduce it in Congress in September and try to build a case that Trump should be removed from the ballot, from the election.[8]

Reportedly, Telizhenko was instructed by the Ukrainian government to meet with an American journalist about Paul Manafort’s ties to Ukraine.[9]  In addition, in May 2016, Chalupa emailed a DNC official stating that she met with 68 Ukrainian investigative journalists about Manafort and that there would be “[a] lot more coming down the pipe.”[10]  Less than a month later, the “black ledger” identifying payments made to Manafort from Ukrainian politicians was announced in Ukraine.[11]  And finally, Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, stated during a congressional interview that Fusion GPS used Serhiy Leschenko, a Ukrainian politician that admitted Ukraine intervened in the 2016 election, as a source for derogatory material against then-candidate Trump.[12]

After two years, more than 2,800 subpoenas, approximately 500 search warrants and witness interviews, and $30 million in taxpayer money, Robert Mueller reported that then-candidate Trump did not collude with the Russians or any other foreign government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.[13]  In contrast, however, the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee hired Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research against candidate Trump, which included, among other efforts, the hiring of former British Intelligence Officer Christopher Steele to compile the “Steele Dossier” that reportedly used Russian government sources for information.  These facts continue to raise concerns about foreign assistance in the 2016 election that have not been thoroughly addressed.

According to the Justice Department, U.S. Attorney John Durham is “exploring the extent to which…Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation” during the 2016 election.[14]  However, the Justice Department has yet to inform Congress and the public whether it has begun an investigation into links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee.  Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored. Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempt to undermine our democratic processes. Accordingly, please provide an answer to two questions from the July 2017 letter related to the Democrats’ collusion with Ukrainian officials:

  1. Are you investigating links and coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee?  If not, why not?
  2. Why hasn’t the Justice Department required Alexandra Chalupa to register as a foreign agent under FARA?

In addition, information has surfaced that raises new questions.  A recent report described a note purporting to memorialize a meeting in Kiev between the Ukrainian Acting Prosecutor General, Yuriy Sevruk, and Burisma’s American legal team.[15]  Yuriy Sevruk was the temporary replacement for the Prosecutor General that Vice President Biden demanded be fired, Viktor Shokin.  The note, reportedly written by Sevruk, states that “[t]he purpose of their visit was an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures on the activities of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine [Shokin] in regards to the investigation of criminal activities of Zlochevsky [Oligarch owner of Burisma Holdings].”[16]

The article also reports that Ukrainian prosecutors have unsuccessfully been trying to get information to Justice Department officials since the summer of 2018, possibly including “[h]undreds of pages of never-released memos and documents … [that] conflict with Biden’s narrative”[17] that his actions in Ukraine had nothing to do with his son’s connections to Burisma.  In light of this reporting, has the Justice Department obtained or been offered documents from Ukrainian officials related to these matters?  If so, what were those documents?

We respectfully request that you respond to all of these questions no later than October 14, 2019.

We anticipate that your written reply and most responsive documents will be unclassified.  Please send all unclassified material directly to the Committee.  In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to the Committees, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security.  Although the Committees comply with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information, they are not bound, absent their prior agreement, by any handling restrictions.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to these matters.  Should you have any questions, please contact Joshua Flynn-Brown of Chairman Grassley’s staff at (202) 224-4515 or Brian Downey or Scott Wittmann of Chairman Johnson’s staff at (202) 224-4751.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley

Chairman

Senate Finance Committee

Ron Johnson

Chairman

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

-30-

[1] Letter from Hon. Charles E. Grassley, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, to Hon. Rod J. Rosenstein, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice (July 20, 2017), available at https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/constituents/2017-07 20%20CEG%20to%20DOJ%20%28Ukraine%20DNC%20FARA%29.pdf.

[2] Id.

[3] Kenneth P. Vogel & David Stern, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire, Politico (Jan. 11, 2017). https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Kenneth P. Vogel & David Stern, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire, Politico (Jan. 11, 2017). https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446.

[8] John Solomon, Ukrainian Embassy confirms DNC contractor solicited Trump dirt in 2016, The Hill (May 2, 2019).  https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/441892-ukrainian-embassy-confirms-dnc-contractor-solicited-trump-dirt-in-2016

 

Impeachment marches on and Trump fights back

October 3rd, 2019

The march to impeachment goes on with wild statements being thrown back and forth between Democrats and Republicans. Meanwhile, important legislation is ignored because the House of Representatives cannot move on such legislation since Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats care about only one thing: Destroy the Trump presidency. The following posts might shed some light on where this is all going, or maybe not.

Daily Wire/ October 1, 2019

Conservative News/ October 2, 2019

Giuliani: ‘Pretty Close To Overwhelming Evidence’ That Obama Ordered Hillary, Democrats To Dig Up Dirt In Ukraine On Trump

Ryan Saavedra

Trump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested on Monday night that there was serious evidence that the Obama White House directed Democrats to work with Ukraine to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump.

Giuliani joined Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday night(9/30/2019) where he detailed the latest developments into the situation regarding Ukraine, which stems from a 2017 Politico investigation that found that Ukraine was working with operatives for the Democratic National Committee to sabotage Trump.

“The reason why the president of the United States had an obligation to ask the president of Ukraine to follow up on these allegations because there is substantial — I don’t want to exaggerate it but pretty close to overwhelming evidence, including a finding by a Ukrainian court that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats cooperated with Ukrainians with the order coming directly from the White House … to dig up dirt on her political opponent, and they did,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani then shifted his comments to focus on then-Vice President and now current Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and the allegations surrounding his Ukraine corruption scandal.

“In this case, Biden sold his office for millions,” Giuliani said. “Is there anybody that believes that Ukraine or China were paying for Hunter Biden’s expertise? Or do you have the common sense to realize they were buying Joe Biden’s office? And that is very damaging to the United States. Joe Biden was sent to Ukraine to, in part, deal with corruption, and he helped to corrupt the Ukraine. He is a laughingstock.”

“We are [a laughingstock] because we talk about corruption and this guy puts his incompetent son to work for the most crooked oligarch in Russia? I mean, it is outrageous,” Giuliani continued. “The only really sad part of this … is how much in the tank and how corrupt this media has become. They have corruption staring them in the face and they closed their eyes to it, and then they make up charges against President Trump that aren’t true. They don’t look at this whistle-blower. He is giving them hearsay evidence.”

“And I’m going to tell you one other thing — Biden’s corruption helped to cover up all of the allegations of collusion because there was a company involved run by George Soros which was involved in the investigation, and that was closed down to cut off all of the proof, the additional proof, of just how far the Democrats went in corrupting the 2016 election and in corrupting the Ukraine,” Giuliani concluded.

Allegations surround the Biden-Ukraine corruption scandal stem from comments that Biden made last year when he bragged to an audience that “he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin” who was investigating a company that employed Biden’s son, The Hill reported.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden said. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

 

Trump Derangement Syndrome

September 23rd, 2019

 

As always, Victor Davis Hanson has produced a superb essay, which in this case helps explain much of why Trump is so violently hated.

The Daily Signal

The Real Reason for Trump Derangement Syndrome

Victor Davis Hanson

September 19, 2019

Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf.

As a result, not even former President George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at Trump. For most of his time in office, Trump, his family, his friends, and his businesses have been investigated, probed, dissected, and constantly attacked.

In 2016 and early 2017, Barack Obama appointees in the FBI, CIA, and Department of Justice tried to subvert the Trump campaign, interfere with his transition, and, ultimately, abort his presidency. Now, congressional Democrats promise impeachment before the 2020 election.

The usual reason for such hatred is said to be Trump’s unorthodox and combative take-no-prisoners style. Critics detest his crude and unfettered assertions, his lack of prior military or political experience, his attacks on the so-called bipartisan administrative state, and his intent to roll back the entire Obama-era effort of “fundamentally transforming” the country leftward.

Certainly, Trump’s agenda of closing the border, using tariffs to overturn a half-century of Chinese mercantilism, and pulling back from optional overseas military interventions variously offends both Democrats and establishment Republicans.

Trump periodically and mercurially fires his top officials. He apparently does not care whether the departed write damning memoirs or join his opposition. He will soon appoint his fourth national security adviser within just three years.

To make things worse for his critics, Trump’s economy is booming as never before in the new 21st century: near record-low unemployment, a record number of Americans working, increases in workers’ wages and family incomes, low interest rates, low inflation, steady GDP growth, and a strong stock market.

Yet the real source of Trump derangement syndrome is his desire to wage a multifront pushback—politically, socially, economically, and culturally—against what might be called the elite postmodern progressive world.

Contemporary elites increasingly see nationalism and patriotism as passé. Borders are 19th-century holdovers.

The European Union, not the U.S. Constitution, is seen as the preferable model to run a nation. Transnational and global organizations are wiser on environmental and diplomatic matters than is the U.S. government.

The media can no longer afford to be nonpartisan and impartial in its effort to rid America of a reactionary such as Trump, given his danger to the progressive future.

America’s ancient sins can never really be forgiven. In a new spirit of iconoclasm, thousands of buildings, monuments, and statues dedicated to American sinners of the past must be destroyed, removed, or renamed.

A new America supposedly is marching forward under the banner of ending fossil fuels, curbing the Second Amendment, redistributing income, promoting identity politics and open borders, and providing free college, free health care, and abortion on demand.

An insomniac Trump fights all of the above nonstop and everywhere. In the past, Republican presidents sought to slow the progressive transformation of America but despaired of ever stopping it.

No slugfest is too off-topic or trivial for Trump. Sometimes that means calling out former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick for persuading NFL stars to kneel during the national anthem. Huge, monopolistic Silicon Valley companies are special Trump targets. Sometimes Trump enters cul-de-sac Twitter wars with Hollywood has-beens who have attacked him and his policies.

Trump variously goes after Antifa, political correctness on campus, the NATO hierarchy, the radical green movement, Planned Parenthood, American universities, and, above all, the media—especially CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

For all the acrimony and chaos—and prognostications of Trump’s certain failure—a bloodied Trump wins more than he loses. NATO members may hate Trump, but more are finally paying their promised defense contributions.

In retrospect, many Americans concede that the Iran deal was flawed and that the Paris climate accord mere virtue-signaling. China was long due for a reckoning.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation proved fruitless and was further diminished by Mueller’s bizarrely incoherent congressional testimony.

Some of the most prominent Trump haters—Michael Avenatti, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Anthony Scaramucci, and Rep. Adam Schiff—either have been discredited or have become increasingly irrelevant.

Trump has so enraged his Democratic adversaries that the candidates to replace him have moved farther to the left than any primary field in memory. They loathe Trump, but in their abject hatred he has goaded the various Democratic candidates into revealing their support for the crazy Green New Deal, reparations for slavery, relaxed immigration policies, and trillions of dollars in new free stuff.

In a way, the left-wing Democratic presidential candidates understand Trump best. If he wins his one-man crusade to stop the progressive project, they are finished, and their own party will make the necessary adjustments and then sheepishly drift back toward the center.

(C) 2019 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Commentary By

Victor Davis Hanson @VDHanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and author of the book “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.” You can reach him by e-mailing authorvdh@gmail.com.

 

Internet vs Web

September 15th, 2019

The following was sent to me by my good friend, Dr.Stephen Dubel, from whom I have always learned important facts and new ideas. I think the following is indeed quite interesting.

The Internet vs. The Web

By Maeve Maddox

Although the hoi polloi (i.e., the masses) use the words Web and Internet interchangeably, there is a difference worth learning.

The Internet existed before the Web.

The first meaning of internet as it relates to computing was “a computer network consisting of or connecting a number of smaller networks, such as two or more local area networks connected by a shared communications protocol.”

The U.S. Defense Department had such a network called ARPANET–an acronym derived from Advanced Research Projects Agency Network.

From this DoD “internet” evolved “the Internet,” a global computer network that provides a variety of communication facilities–only one of which is the Web.

ARPANET was developed in the 1960s to enable researchers to use computers from remote locations. In 1982, the Internet Protocol Suite (IPS) was standardized and the Internet was officially defined as a global interconnected network. Although global, the new Internet was still mainly the reserve of people with the specialized skills needed to access it.

All that changed in the early 1990s when Tim Berners-Lee, a graduate of Oxford University, created a system of interlinked documents (e.g., web pages) that could be easily accessed by anyone using a browser. He called it the World Wide Web.

The Web, therefore, is not the Internet. The Web is one of many services that run on top of the Internet infrastructure. Other such services include email, FTP, and VOIP (e.g., Skype).

Here’s a typical misuse of the term Internet:

Are you unfamiliar with the Internet? If you want to know how to search the Internet, then you have to find the right search engine, type in your search as accurately as possible, and browse through the results to find the one you want. –WikiHow

 

I’m guessing that the Defense Department may know how to search the Internet, but when ordinary mortals go online to find cute kitten photos, they use search engines to search the Web.

 

 

 

Trump/Bolton/Big Mistake

September 15th, 2019

Trump is making an enormous mistake. Bolton is correct. How can you reduce the economic pressures on Iran when they strike Saudi Arabia as they did yesterday? Please read on.

NEWSMAX

September 15, 2019

Axios: Bolton Resigned Over Talk of Easing Iran Sanctions

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s resignation came this week after President Donald Trump spoke about the possibility of easing Iranian sanctions,  a source told Axios.

Bolton, famously a hardliner against foreign adversaries, reportedly believed strongly the maximum pressure campaign against Iran was working and easing sanctions would have been capitulating, according to the anonymous source.

The news came just as a series of brazen attacks on a massive Saudi Aramco oil facility this weekend knocked off half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and threatened to send world oil markets skyrocketing.

Houthi rebels claimed the attacks that were carried out by roughly a dozen drones that originated in Yemen. But on Saturday, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed Iran, an ally of the Houthis, for the attack.

Pompeo tweeted after the White House confirmed that President Donald Trump offered support for Saudi Arabia’s self-defense in a call on Saturday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Iran launched an “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” Pompeo said on Twitter after at least one Republican lawmaker urged the U.S. to respond in kind with a strike on Iranian oil facilities. He gave no evidence to back up that allegation.

Iran denied responsibility but said it is ready for war. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, “Having failed at ‘max pressure,’ @SecPompeo’s turning to ‘max deceit.’”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a confidant of Trump, earlier urged a decisive U.S. response against Iranian targets.

“It is now time for the U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment,” Graham of South Carolina said on Twitter. “Iran will not stop their misbehavior until the consequences become more real, like attacking their refineries.”

The Trump administration has been imposing economic sanctions on Iran after decertifying and pulling out of the Obama-era nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – JCPOA). The deal restricted levels of uraninum enrichment, which Iran had ceased to adhere to, despite wanting to maintain the agreements with European countries.

Iran has expressed an interest in renegotiating with the U.S. if sanctions are lifted, according to the report, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “signaled approval” of Bolton’s ouster, according to an AP report.

President Trump has frequently negotiated with U.S. adversaries and has been oft-criticized for it, particularly in the interactions with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

 

 


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