A Tale of Two Truths, Part 1 [OPINION]
In this bizarre chapter of American history in which we find ourselves, the President of the United States is under attack by members of Congress looking to impeach him but constantly search for ways to entrap him in order to do so.
The impeachment articles du jour this time, is allegedly over him having the audacity to look into possible or probable crimes against him, his campaign in 2016 and his administration. President Trump believes a powerful alliance of bureaucrats and elected officials attempted to frame him with collusion with Russia, an adversary nation. If found guilty, he could have spent the rest of his days in prison.
He has hired supplemental security on top of Secret Service for protection and, as is his way, he has hired private counsel to supplement his White House attorneys. The former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, is his private attorney and has been assigned to take a deep forensic look at how these accusations could have turned to FISA warrants and FBI surveillance. Giuliani is focusing on Ukraine first.
Giuliani is best known as "America's Mayor," but he is also the renowned U.S. District Attorney who took down the "untouchable" New York mafia. Tackling powerful, stealth crime syndicates is not new to him.
It appears to me that one of two things is going on, but let's face it; when it comes to Eastern European governments, deception, disinformation and convoluted plots are expected. Pundits like me can only use the information that we can gather and who knows how legit that is? Our own intelligence agencies are squabbling over this and some of them maybe even be involved.
One possible truth is that Trump and his allies are wrong and the Democrats and intelligence community under James Brennan and John Clapper had it right: Russia, not Ukraine, was responsible for the election meddling and that Viktor Shokin was corrupt as Ukraine's Prosecutor General and obstructed justice, forcing then-Vice President Joe Biden and other European diplomats to pressure for his resignation.
So their position is that the Russians have convinced the president and his allies that Ukraine and the Democratic Party, including these higher-ups in the intelligence community, scuttled the Shokin when he began to look into the shady dealings of Ukraine's Burisma Energy.
This is what the Democrats and mainstream media are selling.
The Trump team believes the current administration in Ukraine under President Volodymyr Zelensky may be able to renew the investigation Shokin began and unveil information helpful in solving the plot against Trump in the first place. He also seems to believe Biden may have been involved in the plot against him and may have illegal incentives to come to the aid of Burisma Holdings.
One problem the president has is that the Obama administration had in place loyal supporters who work in the National Security Council as duty officers in the "Situation Room," and who monitor any call the president makes overseas or to foreign dignitaries here in the country.
It appears that as soon as Trump brought up the idea of Zelensky getting him the data from Crowdstrike, the DNC server which may have answers to many questions, an alert went out specifically steered to Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman.
That documented conversation took place on July 25, 2019, and while the Democrats say they were alerted to this call by a "whistleblower" on August 12, there are signs of a possible political setup.
Schiff hired two members of the National Security Council who worked in the White House situation room where the duty officers monitor these calls. One of them, Sean Misko, was hired as a staffer on August 13, 2019, the day after the report by the "whistleblower." The second was hired in February 2019.
Both are colleagues of the "whistleblower;" Misko has been described as his lunch buddy and friend.
Even the New York Times called into question the honesty of Adam Schiff, reporting clear signs that he was aware of the report before the August 12th official one was produced.
Later on, a curious comment by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) on Sunday, September 29 on CBS' 60 Minutes created quite a stir when she said of President Trump, "He told me it was perfect. There was nothing in the call, but I know what was in the call, err, I mean it was in the public domain."
The classified transcript had not yet been cleared for release by the State Department when she stated that. How would she know what was in that call?
Looking back at the timeline may end up being very important. The Mueller report was released to Congress in May and Mueller spoke before panel members on July 24, which brought great Democrat hopes for impeachment to a screeching halt when it was determined by Mueller's investigative team that "no one in the Trump campaign or administration" was found to be guilty of colluding with Russians, even to affect the outcome of the election.
The very next day, on July 25, the call from Trump to Zelensky was placed and the next impeachment attempt was born.
The so-called "whistleblower" named Eric Ciaramella by Real Clear Investigations Paul Sperry, was a member of that NSC duty officer team that monitors the president's calls. He began his White House duty under President Obama's administration and continued there when President Trump's tenure began. He left that post, or more accurately according to a former NSC official, was removed from his position there when he was suspected of leaking and working against President Trump. He'd also traveled with then-VP Biden to Ukraine in 2015-16 on several occasions.
Former CIA official Brad Johnson stated that as a student, Ciaramella would consistently protest for left-wing causes while at Yale and even protested in favor of a Muslim Brotherhood professor there. Johnson said CIA Director John Brennan handpicked him for the NSC.
Ciaramella is a registered Democrat but also openly supports the candidacy of Joe Biden for president. Ciaramella also organized training seminars for Ukrainian prosecutors in Washington, after Biden pressured Ukraine's then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire then-Prosecutor General Shokin or else he would stop $1 billion U.S. dollars in aid to that nation.
The prevailing wisdom suggests (through the process of elimination and the small inventory of suspects) that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was the one who listened in to the phone call, who then passed this on to Ciaramella (still with the CIA), who then passed the characterizations of the content on to Sean Misko, who left his post at the NSC also in 2017 and joined Congressman Adam Schiff's staff on July 26 – the day after the phone call between Trump and Zelensky.
It seems to me Misko needs to be a larger focus.
Try as I did, I was unable to close the gaps of what Misko was doing after his White House gig with the CIA ended and until his being hired by Adam Schiff as a staffer almost two years later.
Prior to working for the NSC, Misko worked under Jake Sullivan, who was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's and John Kerry's Director of Policy Planning before becoming Clinton's senior foreign policy advisor in her campaign for president in 2016. In early 2017, Misko argued with Trump officials over policy and the content of the meetings was in the press within the next week.
More fuel to the fire, Misko is also a member of the Atlantic Council, which is funded in part by Burisma Holdings, the Perkins Coie Law firm (which oversaw the Fusion GPS file, including the Steele Dossier), and George Soros's "Open Society" network.
This is interesting. While testifying for the Democrats in the House Intel inquiry two weeks ago, former White House advisor on Russia, Fiona Hill said lawmakers were weaponizing “falsehoods” that advance Russian interests and distract from its aggression in eastern Europe and around the world.
Flashback to 2017, Politico found too many facts to pin some fantastic, implausible theory on Republicans. The very same Atlantic Council felt that it was clear that Ukraine was meddling in the elections, in favor of the Democrats!
As reported in Politico, David A Merkel, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council saw the 2016 US Elections as some 'surrogate battle' between Kyiv and Moscow!
Now, it seems vital to Democrats to bully any and everyone from daring to point to Ukraine meddling into our elections. This is a very shaky 180-degree turn which has many fingerprints left behind for all to see.
I'm not sure the Democrats know of a Jedi mind trick to make us all forget that problematic fact.
I need to look into this, but is a congressional staffer even a lateral move from the CIA's NSC White House duty officer position?
The second part of the equation here is the battle for truth on what actually happened in Ukraine with the Bidens.
Somehow the media has bought into the information that Biden only pressured Ukraine to get rid of then prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin because he refused to look into concerning evidence of corruption at Burisma, where Biden's son Hunter was earning $83,333 per month as a member of its board of directors.
Shokin stated that President Poroshenko had instructed him to shut down any Burisma investigations, but Shokin insists that he instead put a temporary hold on them and refused to close them as ordered.
Shokin claims to have proof of this and has applied for a visa to come to Washington to show officials the evidence but he has been blocked by the US Embassy in Ukraine from getting a visa. It was specifically Ambassador Yovanovich who denied him and then under oath stated that she did not know why he was applying. She also obstructed his successors who have been trying to present much of the same evidence to Washington!
Keep in mind that the some of the sources the mainstream media used to determine this shaky narrative comes from sources including Burisma Holdings founder Mykola Zlochevsky, now named as a suspect in a major money laundering and embezzlement scheme concerning Ukrainian state money. Zlochevsky is also a close ally to ousted former Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko, now known as a treasonous criminal who fled with illegitimately taken riches to Russia, where he lives in exile.
Another curious member of the Burisma Holdings' board of directors is Joseph Cofer Black, a former CIA director of counter-terrorism. Could it be possible that he is influencing our intelligence community's assessments of what is going on in Ukraine in a way that exonerates Biden?
The July 25th call from Trump to Zelensky doesn't have much to go on in terms of impeachment. The part of the transcript relevant to any quid pro quo or bribery concerns reads as follows. The bold emphasis is mine for you to concentrate on what was said and in context:
President Trump: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation .. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you say yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible.
President Zelensky: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from the United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.
Trump: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor bf New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in Ukraine were bad news so I just wanted to let you know that the other thing, there's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me.
Zelensky: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First off I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament; the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look. into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to µs, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country. With regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovic.
Trump: It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough as The President. Well, she' s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani.give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.
End of transcript.
The Democrats and the mainstream media, which act as organs for that party, insist that the Trump allies are barking up the wrong tree. I, for one, say its worth a deeper look than the one anyone has allowed for so far.
It seems to me that the President of the United States wanted to see who did what to the DNC server, which for some reason was based in Ukraine. And the problem anyone would have with that would be what? It also seems that Trump has information that leads him to believe Shokin was not the villain as characterized by the European diplomats, Biden and some members of the U.S. intelligence community.
Some of these accusers are under suspicion today of this elaborate money laundering of Ukrainian state funds on a massive level. Why don't the Democrats want a full and complete understanding of all the above?
What Trump seems to ask from Zelensky here is to see if it is possible for him to look into it, as it is of great importance. When he added "if that's possible", the burden of the prosecutor would have to prove beyond a doubt that he wasn't referring to obstacles that included legal ones. In fact, he asks that further communications be handled with the Attorney General, which is exactly the proper channel. The conversation seems to be one that calls for transparency, justice, and restoration of faith. Not bribery or quid pro quo.
An impeachment of this president over the charges currently in front of us today is nothing but a soft attempt at overthrowing the duly-elected chief executive officer of our government. One which with many, many Americans, myself included, will not sit well.
Ken Pittman is the host of The Ken Pittman Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Contact him at ken.pittman@