DOC: SCHIFF STAFFER MET WITH IMPEACHMENT WITNESS IN UKRAINE… …TRIP PAID BY BURISMA SPONSORED ORG!

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By Aaron Klein – Oct 17, 2019

Itinerary for a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Atlantic Council think tank reveals that a staffer on Rep. Adam Schiff’s House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a meeting during the trip with acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, now a key witness for Democrats pursuing impeachment.

The Atlantic Council is funded by and works in partnership with Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

Taylor has been called by House Democrats to appear next week to provide a deposition as part of the investigation being led by Schiff into President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Taylor himself has evidenced a close relationship with the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council, writing analysis pieces published on the Council’s website and serving as a featured speaker for the organization’s events. He also served for nine years as senior advisor to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, which has co-hosted scores of events with the Atlantic Council.

As Breitbart News reported, Thomas Eager, a staffer on Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee, took a trip to Ukraine in August billed as a bipartisan “Ukraine Study Trip” in which ten Congressional staffers participated.

Eager is also currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Congressional Fellowship, a bipartisan program that says it “educates congressional staff on current events in the Eurasia region.” The pre-planned Ukraine trip was part of the fellowship program.

Burisma in January 2017 signed a “cooperative agreement” with the Council to specifically sponsor the organization’s Eurasia Center, the same center that sponsored Eager’s Ukraine trip.

A closer look at the itinerary for the August 24 to August 31 trip shows that the delegation’s first meeting upon arrival in Ukraine was with Taylor.

Spokespeople for Schiff’s office did not reply to multiple Breitbart News requests sent over the course of the last three days for comment on Eager’s meeting with Taylor.

When Breitbart News first reported on Eager’s visit to Ukraine two weeks ago, Schiff’s office quickly replied to several comment requests, denying any impropriety related to Eager’s association with the Atlantic Council or the trip.

The unanswered Breitbart email requests to Schiff’s office from the past three days posed the following question:

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While in Ukraine, did Mr. Eager speak to Mr. Taylor about the issue of reports about any representatives of President Trump looking into alleged Biden corruption in Ukraine?

The dates of the pre-planned trip are instructive. Eager’s visit to Ukraine sponsored by the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council began 12 days after the so-called “whistleblower” officially filed his August 12 complaint.

Schiff and his office have offered seemingly conflicting statements on the timeline of the California Congressman’s initial contact with the so-called “whistleblower.”

Speaking on September 17, Schiff told MSNBC, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”

Schiff’s spokesperson, Patrick Boland, was quoted on October 2 saying, “At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance.” Boland said Schiff’s committee received the complaint the night before it publicly released the document.

On Oct 2, however, the New York Times reported that Schiff received some of the contents of the complaint through an unnamed House Intelligence Committee aide initially contacted by the so-called “whistleblower,” described as a CIA officer.

The Times reported the aide “shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff.”  The referenced officer refers to the so-called “whistleblower.”

The newspaper also reported:

By the time the whistle-blower filed his complaint, Mr. Schiff and his staff knew at least vaguely what it contained

Speaking to CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Schiff conceded that he was not clear enough about his contact with the so-called “whistleblower.”

“I should have been much more clear,” Schiff said.

Taylor, who emerged from government retirement in June to serve as charge d’affaires in Kyiv, is being deposed by House Democrats after text messages provided to Democrats showed him expressing concern about Trump’s requests for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens over issues related to Burisma.

NBC News quoted sources saying Taylor will be represented during the deposition by attorney John Bellinger, who served at the National Security Council and as the State Department’s lead lawyer under President George W. Bush’s administration.

Bellinger was a prominent “Never Trump” Republican, drafting an August 2016 letter with dozens of other senior Republican national security officials warning Trump would be the “most reckless President in American history.”

Taylor and Atlantic Council

Taylor has authored numerous analysis pieces published by the Atlantic Council.

In March, three months before he became Trump’s ambassador to Ukraine, the Atlantic Council featured an oped co-authored by Taylor in which the diplomat argued Ukraine “has further to travel toward its self-proclaimed European goal” of reformation.

In 2017, Taylor wrote a piece for the Council about a Ukrainian parliament vote on health care reform.

In November 2011, the Atlantic Council hosted Taylor as the featured speaker at a discussion event when he was appointed that year as Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions at the State Department.

When he deployed to Ukraine as Trump’s ambassador in June, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), which has co-hosted events with the Atlantic Council, authored a piece in the Kyiv Post welcoming him.

Taylor for the last nine years served as a senior adviser to the USUBC.

The USUBC’s piece noted that the “USUBC has worked closely with Ambassador Taylor for many years,” touting his role as the business group’s senior adviser.

On June 26, just nine days after arriving in Ukraine as ambassador, the USUBC already hosted Taylor for a roundtable discussion about his new position.

Vadym Pozharskyi, adviser to the board of directors at Burisma Holdings, was also previously hosted as a USUBC featured speaker.

A USUBC senior adviser is David J. Kramer, a long-time adviser to late Senator John McCain, who served at the McCain Institute for International Leadership as senior director for human rights and democracy. Kramer played a central role in disseminating the anti-Trump dossier.

In the USUBC piece welcoming Taylor to Ukraine, Kramer himself commented about Taylor’s ambassador position.

“He’s a great choice for now,” Kramer gushed.

Geysha Gonzalez is the sponsoring Atlantic Council officer listed on the Congressional disclosure form for Schiff staffer Eager’s trip to Ukraine. She is deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.

Gonzalez is also one of eleven members of the rapid response team for the Ukrainian Election Task Force, which says it is working to expose “foreign interference in Ukraine’s democracy.”

Another member of the team is Kramer.

Kramer revealed in testimony that he held a meeting about the anti-Trump dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News, who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramer’s permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom. That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.

BuzzFeed infamously published the Christopher Steele dossier on January 10, 2017, setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.

The Washington Posreported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it.

In a deposition taken on December 13, 2017, and posted online earlier this year, Kramer revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier was being taken seriously.

In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste Wallander.

In the deposition, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December 2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry’s State Department.

Schiff signed form

Schiff’s signature appears on the required post-travel disclosure form filed with the House Committee on Ethics documenting the visit to Ukraine. The form signed by Schiff says that Eager’s trip to Ukraine was paid for by the “Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.”

The form bearing Schiff’s signature (above) describes the visit thusly:

Series of meetings and visits with gov’t officials, party officials, civil society and private sector reps in Ukraine to learn about ongoing political and military issues, including conflict in the East.

The costs for Eager’s visit listed on the form are $2202.91 for transportation, $985.50 for lodging, and $630.15 for meal expenses.

Speaking to Breitbart News, Gonzalez confirmed that Eager started his one-year fellowship with the organization in January and that Eager is still a fellow.

Gonzalez said the pre-planned trip was part of the fellowship program, which also includes a full year of round tables and other educational events. She said it was not within her portfolio to comment on issues of funding from Burisma or other donors.

Burisma and Atlantic Council 

Besides funding the Atlantic Council, Burisma also routinely partners with the think tank.

Only four months ago, the company co-hosted the Council’s second Annual Kharkiv Security Conference.

Burisma further co-hosted a U.S.-Ukraine Business Council event with the Council last year in Washington, DC.  David Kramer of the dossier episode is a senior adviser to the Business Council.

Burisma and the Atlantic Council also signed a cooperative agreement to develop transatlantic programs with Burisma’s financial support, reportedly to focus “on European and international energy security.”

Burisma advertises that it committed itself to “15 key principles of rule of law and economic policy in Ukraine developed by the Atlantic Council.”

Common funding themes

Besides Burisma funding, the Atlantic Council is also financed by billionaire activist George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, Google, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., and the U.S. State Department.

Google, Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund, and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called “whistleblower’s” complaint alleging Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 presidential race.

The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the “whistleblower’s” document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called “whistleblower’s” own claims, as Breitbart News documented.OPEN

One key section of the so-called “whistleblower’s” document claims that “multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.”

This was allegedly to follow up on Trump’s call with Zelensky in order to discuss the “cases” mentioned in that call, according to the so-called “whistleblower’s” narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.

Even though the statement was written in first person –  “multiple U.S. officials told me” – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called “whistleblower’s” account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

  • Write that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko “also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.”
  • Document that Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani “had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
  • Bolster the charge that, “I also learned from a U.S. official that ‘associates’ of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” The so-called “whistleblower” then relates in another footnote, “I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.”

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a “joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine.”

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

The OCCRP and BuzzFeed “joint investigation” resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rivals.

The so-called “whistleblower’s” document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.

US Attorney Recommends CRIMINAL CHARGES Against Andrew McCabe – DOJ Rejects His Last Minute Appeal

CAP

 

US Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended charging former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The potential charges against McCabe are related to his false statements to feds in the FBI’s investigation into Hilary Clinton.

Via Mark Meadows–

CAP

Fox News reported:

U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against Andrew McCabe, Fox News has learned, as the Justice Department rejects a last-ditch appeal from the former top FBI official.

McCabe — the former deputy and acting director of the FBI — appealed the decision of the U.S. attorney for Washington all the way up to Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general, but he rejected that request, according to a person familiar with the situation.

A source close to McCabe’s legal team said they received an email from the Department of Justice which said, “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office.”

Comey confidant Benjamin Wittes said in a Lawfare blog post a couple weeks ago that he expected former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to be indicted any day now.

Wittes wrote in a blog post that he was “shocked” to find out federal prosecutors were in the final stages of deciding whether to indict McCabe on charges he lied to federal investigators, referring to the New York Times bombshell released a couple weeks ago.

The potential indictment of McCabe stems from the Inspector General’s findings that the FBI official lied to federal investigators.

McCabe was criminally referred to the US Attorneys office for prosecution in the Spring of 2018 and they are finally getting around to (maybe) indicting him.

The process has been dragged out because of internal deliberations and the case is taking so long that the term expired for the grand jury evidence. One of the lead prosecutors on the case has since left the DOJ out of frustration, according to the NYT.

Russiagate queen reigns no more: Rachel Maddow ratings tank after collusion narrative implodes

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Once a shining beacon of hope for Russiagate true believers, it looks like Rachel Maddow has left her best days behind her; MSNBC’s conspiracy queen has seen her show plummet to fifth place in cable news ratings. What happened?

You rise fast and fall hard in the fickle world of television. Just last April, Maddow overtook Fox News’ Sean Hannity to claim the title of most-watched host across cable news. She had become a reliable source for Russigate aficionados to get their daily dose of crazy.

Sadly for Maddow, the latest data released by Nielsen shows her show in fifth place with a total audience of 2.4877 million viewers for July – behind Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and The Five (all Fox News shows).

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Top 5 Russia-conspiracy fails of Rachel ‘highest-ratings-ever’ Maddow

For context, in January this year, Maddow still boasted an audience of nearly 3.3 million, which means she shed around 800,000 viewers in just six months. Maddow was also in fifth place among viewers in the 25-54 age range – the group most-favored by advertisers.

Ouch.

Once dubbed “the smartest person on TV” by Forbes (really), this is certainly not the big payoff Maddow was expecting, having dedicated three years of her career to breathlessly covering every twist and turn in the anticlimactic Trump-Russia “collusion” drama.

There’s no question that Maddow lost a major component of what had made her show so popular when former special counsel Robert Mueller showed up in March having found no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.

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As former MSNBC host Krystal Ball noted last week in candid criticism of her former network colleague, Maddow had “built segment after segment, show after show, on building anticipation for a big reveal” that never materialized. Indeed, Maddow became something of an expert at promising her audience bombshells that never amounted to anything.

Recall the dramatic teaser tweet she sent out in March 2017 one hour before her show, claiming: “We’ve got Trump tax returns. (Seriously).” When the story turned out to be a big nothingburger (all she had was one boring form which revealed nothing particularly interesting), Maddow lashed out at her own viewers, saying people had “leapt” to conclusions.

Ball also accused Maddow of doing damage to the left, having become “swept up in the ratings bubble” that was being sustained by “feverish Russian conspiracy theories.”

It’s true. Seemingly convinced that the Russiagate story would end with Donald Trump being dragged from the White House in a dressing gown with shackles around his feet, Maddow had abandoned major issues that are important to the American left and trafficked in mental conspiracies and outright fear-mongering instead.

How about that time she suggested that Russia might kill the power in Fargo during a polar vortex and let everyone freeze to death? Or the time she spent three whole minutes dramatically building up to ‘reveal’ that Russia and North Korea share a border – followed by 15 more minutes trying to prove that Vladimir Putin had orchestrated and secretly controlled the Singapore summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un.

A study of her coverage by the Intercept last year showed that 53 percent of Maddow’s segments focused only on Russia over a six-week period between February and March.

Of course, there were no slaps on the wrist for Maddow at MSNBC HQ for getting stories drastically wrong or failing to deliver on her promises of Trump-destroying bombshells. In fact, it seemed the more dramatic and off-the-wall her coverage became, the more she was celebrated for it. This staggering fall from ratings grace can be her comeuppance.

Boo hoo, Rachel. If you need to cry, you could always use the piles of money you made from lies as tissues.

Danielle Ryan

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance writer based in Dublin. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Nation, Rethinking Russia, teleSUR, RBTH, The Calvert Journal and others.

 

MSNBC’s FBI Expert Panics: Why Is AG Barr Doing Interviews?

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Deep State goon terrified of Barr’s candor and transparency

By Newswars.com

A former FBI agent expressed his dismay on MSNBC over Attorney General William Barr’s string of televised interviews explaining the Department of Justice’s actions in investigating the origins of the Deep State Russia witch hunt.

Speaking on “AM Joy” on Saturday, expert Clint Watts lamented Barr’s network appearances, claiming he’s “advancing” Trump’s “conspiracy” that the Deep State tried to overthrow him with the FBI’s Russia probe.

“Why is the Attorney General doing interviews?” Watts asked. “The Attorney General answers questions, he doesn’t raise them. So every time he goes out and does one of these interviews, he is advancing the conspiracy without evidence.”

“The attorney general’s job is to present evidence on the basis of cases. A year ago, when he’s out in the private sector and he’s hanging out and he wants to write a 19-page memo, he has the right to do that.”

“He doesn’t need to be asking questions and sowing a conspiracy,” Watts added.

Interesting take, considering the media and Democrats, in a massive propaganda effort, have been pushing the conspiracy theory for over two years without evidence that President Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

 

Brennan: I’m Still Waiting For Republican Rats To Realize The Trump Ship Is Sinking

By Tim Hains

Former CIA Director John Brennan warned Republicans who support President Trump that they are on a sinking ship, in an appearance Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

“I’m waiting for the Republicans to realize that the Trump ship is a sinking one,” he said.

“There are still rats on that ship, and there are individuals who are not going to separate themselves from Trump. They do so at their own peril. They need to fulfill their obligations, irrespective of their political affiliations. This is now the presidency and institutions of government we rely on to keep us safe and secure.”

MIKE BARNICLE: Last week, there was another continued swipe ordered by the president of the United States, who whatever he says is a megaphone and resonates throughout the country because of the way it is carried, in which he basically said that people like you and several other people in the intelligence community were responsible for trying to participate in a coup, to undermine the presidency of the United States and to remove the president of the United States. What does it do — nevermind to you personally — what does it do to institutions like the NSA, the CIA, the FBI.

JOHN BRENNAN: It continues to show Mr. Trump’s disdain for the intelligence and law enforcement communities, who are trying to do their jobs irrespective of political winds that might be blowing in Washington. It really is demoralizing for Mr. Trump to continue to say there is this “deep state” that tried to launch a coup, and that he is trying to “clean the swamp,” while in fact, it is those professionals within the intelligence community, law enforcement community, who are trying to carry out their duties and responsibilities to the American people. Mr. Trump just continues to go down this road. I think it is having a very damaging impact.

WILLIE GEIST: What do you think, Director Brennan, happens from here? I think people watching want to know. They say, okay, Mueller didn’t like how the report was characterized by the attorney general. Fine, on the issue of obstruction of justice. Now, what? Is it Mueller sitting before the Senate and answering specific questions about what is inside the report? What is the outcome of this?

JOHN BRENNAN: Barr has to be interrogated.

WILLIE GEIST: That starts this morning at 10:00.

JOHN BRENNAN: And then Bob Mueller has to get in front of Congress, then Congress has to do its job.

And I’m still waiting for the Republicans to realize that the Trump ship is a sinking one. There are still rats on that ship, and there are individuals who are not going to separate themselves from Trump. But they do so at their own peril. And they need to fulfill their obligations, irrespective of their political affiliations. And to do it now rather than to allow this continued sinking of not just the presidency, but of these institutions of government that we rely on to keep us safe and secure.

As obsession with Trump tanks CNN ratings, network doubles down

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The pioneer cable news network is getting crushed in the ratings, coming in below Home and Garden TV, and has recently downsized and changed freelance payment terms – but shows no interest in changing the tone of its programming.

Both CNN and MSNBC have allowed themselves to be defined by hostility to both the administration and President Donald Trump personally since the 2016 election, breathlessly pushing the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theory.

While this strategy has largely worked for MSNBC – at least until special counsel Robert Mueller was forced to admit Russiagate was bogus – CNN has struggled to attract an audience beyond those trapped at hospitals and airports.

‘You’re called fake news’: Lavrov shoots down CNN’s ‘fake question’ on Venezuela

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Nielsen TV ratings for May show Fox News dominating for the 35th straight month with 1.3 million total day viewers, MSNBC lagging behind with 909,000, and CNN in the eighth place with 552,000.

CNN wasn’t even in the top 15 primetime spots (for comparison, HGTV came in fifth), and its three main primetime shows – hosted by Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon – ranked 25, 26, and 35, respectively.

Could this have anything to do with the network’s obsession with Trump and his administration that no longer bothers hiding naked partisanship? No way, says CNN leadership, insisting they are “real news” and claiming to be victims of Trump’s “attacks” on “free press.”

In the real world, CNN offered buyouts to 100 or so people at its Atlanta, Georgia headquarters, earlier this month, including CNN International executive vice president Tony Maddox. Since then, it has also laid off a number of people from its Health division and drastically cut back production at its London bureau.

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Furthermore, the network’s parent company Warner Media recently sent out a notice to contractors that it is changing payment terms beginning in June, from 30 days to 90 days – essentially asking anyone it contracts to wait three months to get paid.

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But hey, have you heard that the US government now owns a condominium in New York City’s Trump Tower, because of the Mueller probe? Priorities, people!

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The twist is that CNN boss Jeff Zucker is laughing all the way to the bank, because CNN’s annual profits have doubled to $1.2 billion during his tenure. Some 70 percent of the network’s revenue comes not from advertisers but from carriage fees charged from cable and satellite operators. Some 90 million US households pay these fees every year, effectively subsidizing CNN and giving the network very little incentive to change its ways.

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