This article was originally published by Aaron Kesel at Activist Post.
Scandal-plagued U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic “wonder boy” candidate Joe Biden have been exchanging political punches over a new scandal that erupted in Ukraine. Trump asked the Ukrainian President to investigate potential corruption involving Joe’s son, Hunter Biden after a prosecutor investigating his financial dealings was fired in exchange for billions of dollars in U.S. govt aid organized by Joe Biden as Vice President of the U.S.
Although, the mainstream media wants the public to believe the Bidens “did nothing wrong.” The truth of the matter is Hunter Biden blatantly used his father’s position of power as Vice President for his own financial gain in both Ukraine and China.
In Ukraine alone, Hunter Biden was paid half a million dollars a year for a job he never showed up to, where he had no experience and couldn’t even speak the language, several red flags.
Hunter, a Yale-educated lawyer, had previously served on the boards of Amtrak and a number of nonprofit organizations and think tanks, but lacked any experience in Ukraine. As a fun fact, to make his case worse, just months earlier he had been discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine. Hunter was paid as much as $50,000 per month in some months for his work for Burisma Holdings, which largely remains unknown.
In 2014, Hunter Biden is seen golfing in the Hamptons with his father and Devon Archer, who served on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings with Hunter, FOX News reported.
Viktor Shokin was widely accused of corruption himself and then booted from his office in April 2016. Shokin was accused of blocking major cases against allies and influential figures. In March 2016, Biden, as Vice President, had threatened to cut off $1 billion in guaranteed loans unless Ukraine ditched Shokin; one month later the country complied with the demand.
However, at the same time, Biden had protected his son under investigation by leveraging U.S. aid to Ukraine in exchange for firing the Ukrainian former prosecutor, which could be seen as a conflict of interest. However, Bloomberg disputes this claiming that the prosecution of Hunter Biden’s client had already been shelved at the time Joe Biden was calling for the prosecutor to be removed.
Investigations into such activities by Hunter are well documented, ironically, by the mainstream press that is now attacking Trump for asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Hunter and his father for corruption; a totally warranted investigation, given that Hunter’s father himself confessed that he told Ukraine to “fire the prosecutor or essentially, I am walking away with a billion-dollar loan.” This writer is no legal expert, but that sounds a lot like quid pro quo activity.
Conflicting accounts have now risen in Ukraine as well about what took place by Biden, with the former President of Ukraine and the prosecutor telling two different tales.
Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, told Rudy Giuliani earlier this year that he was asked to back off any probe of the natural gas company linked to Joe Biden’s son, according to a copy of Giuliani’s notes obtained by Fox News.
A former top diplomat, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, asked that Shokin use “kid gloves” in pursuing the company, according to the notes of President Trump’s personal attorney, reported by the outlet. “Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador [to Ukraine] Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with kids gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing,” Rudy Giuliani told FOX.
Beyond the claim by Giuliani on FOX, Shokin swore in an affidavit prepared for a European court, that when he was fired he was told the reason behind his departure was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation.
“The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.
“On several occasions, President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,” Shokin added.
You may remember Pyatt from the infamous Ukraine coup phone call, in which the former diplomat and then Asst. Sec. of State for Europe, Victoria Nuland, discussed a plot to overthrow the government. Nuland then states, “fuck the EU.”
Both Joe and Hunter Biden were cleared of any wrongdoing in Burisma earlier this year when Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko said that the Ukrainian private gas company was not the target of investigations by his office. He also added the former Vice President, and current Democratic 2020 candidate, didn’t act improperly when he called for the dismissal of Ukraine’s former prosecutor-general, Victor Shoki, who had been investigating the company.
“I do not want Ukraine to again be the subject of U.S. presidential elections,” Lutsenko said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws – at least as of now, we do not see any wrongdoing. A company can pay however much it wants to its board.”
However, there is a matter of memos and documents that contradict the narrative that were reported by The Hill’s John Solomon. According to the news site, these files, “raise the troubling prospect that U.S. officials may have painted a false picture in Ukraine that helped ease Burisma’s legal troubles and stop prosecutors’ plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
Solomon continues writing, “for instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered “an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures” about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor’s firing was announced.
In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails.”
So what’s the deal with Trump’s own involvement?
Allegations are flying around that Trump may have also withheld money in the form of defense aid to Ukraine and demanded that Biden and his son be investigated for corruption. Trump is further alleged to have instructed Ukraine’s President to work with DOJ Attorney General William Barr.
Despite these claims, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that Trump didn’t pressure him, contrary to what’s being reported in the media.
There have been many significant updates since the scandal broke, including the GOP accusing the entire CIA whistleblower complaint to be an organized coup against Trump. The Republicans reason this by saying there was foreknowledge by House Intelligence Committee leader Adam Schiff and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who launched an impeachment investigation.
This is in part because a spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., acknowledged that one of the two whistleblowers alleging misconduct in the White House had reached out to Schiff’s staff before filing his/her complaint. Schiff had previously claimed in a televised interview that “we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” A Schiff spokesperson, however, told FOX News that Schiff himself “does not know the identity of the whistleblower, and has not met with or spoken with the whistleblower or their counsel” for any reason.
The New York Times also weighed in stating in a report that Schiff got an “early account” of the phone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian leader. Schiff responds on Twitter, claiming that his staff on the Intelligence Committee only advised the whistleblower to speak to an inspector general within the intelligence community.
When a whistleblower seeks guidance, staff advises them to get counsel and go to an IG.
That’s what they’re supposed to do.
Unlike a president pressing a foreign leader to dig up dirt on a political opponent.
That’s not what a president is supposed to do.
And we all know it. https://t.co/dzVAFGpMen
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 2, 2019
Trump responded to the claims of foreknowledge by bashing Schiff calling him a “fraud” while meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
“It shows that Schiff is a fraud. … I think it’s a scandal that he knew before,” Trump said. “I’d go a step further. I’d say he probably helped write it. … That’s a big story. He knew long before, and he helped write it too. It’s a scam.”
Schiff read what he called a “parody” version of President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a hearing on the matter, which has drawn controversy and blowback.
“I have a favor I want from you,” Schiff said while appearing to read from a paper. “And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it, on this and on that.”
“Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist,” Trump tweeted. “He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty.”
Schiff responded to Trump on social media, accusing him of trying to “shakedown” a world leader for election dirt and then attempt to cover it up.
You engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country.
And then you tried to cover it up.
But you’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves.
But most importantly here, they endanger our country. pic.twitter.com/Qha74pwW8m
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 27, 2019
Despite all this, the CIA’s top lawyer, Courtney Simmons Elwood, made what she considered to be a criminal referral on the phone call, according to NBC News.
NBC botched its reporting by revealing that the whistleblower was a man, writing:
Elwood, the CIA’s general counsel, first learned about the matter because the complainant, a CIA officer, passed his concerns about the president on to her through a colleague. On Aug. 14, she participated in a conference call with the top national security lawyer at the White House and the chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Another article by NBC reveals that there is a complaint that involves someone outside of the intelligence agencies.
As a result, the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, is withholding that complaint because it doesn’t meet the legal requirement for disclosure to Congress, according to letters obtained by the news agency.
What much of the mainstream press is missing, is that this information regarding Trump and Ukraine isn’t new. In fact, a headline from May by NYMag reads: “Trump Is Pressuring Ukraine to Smear Clinton and Biden.”
In that article, NY Mag writes that “Trump’s agents are lobbying Ukraine to smear his political rivals, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.”
“Giuliani is trying to get Ukraine to pursue two investigations: one against the last Democratic presidential nominee, and another against the leading candidate to be the next one,” NY Mag continues.
Although claims that Trump had his eyes set on going after Biden aren’t new, there is new information that allegedly Trump administration officials sought to take over a Ukrainian gas giant Naftogaz and direct its money-flow back to their own pockets, Associated Press reported.
According to the news agency, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer Giuliani were involved and their aims were profits, not politics. This group’s plan was then to steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by the Trump allies.
Trump’s attorney Giuliani is in the crosshairs of the investigation in multiple ways. Recently, Ukrainians who helped Giuliani’s efforts to investigate Democrat Joe Biden were arrested for campaign finance violations. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were alleged to be a part of a conspiracy to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections according to prosecutors, Wall Street Journal reported.
Besides the CIA whistleblower and another unknown official, additional government employees are debating coming forward to testify against Trump in favor of the impeachment efforts, according to reports.
Business Insider reports the full alleged transcript of the conversation Trump had with Ukraine President Zelenskyy:
Donald Trump: Congratulations on a great victory. We all watched from the United States and you did a terrific job. The way you came from behind, somebody who wasn’t given much of a chance, and you ended up winning easily. It’s a fantastic achievement. Congratulations.
President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right Mr. President. We did win big and we worked hard for this. We worked a lot but I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections and yes it is true that these were unique elections. We were in a unique situation that we were able to achieve a unique success. I’m able to tell you the following; the first time, you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you are now calling me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
Donald Trump: [laughter] That’s a very good idea. I think your country is very happy about that.
President Zelenskyy: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government. You are a great teacher for us and in that.
Donald Trump: Well it’s very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.2
President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only. 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet with her. I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I’m very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
Donald 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 it3. As you saw 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 Zelenskyy: 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 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.
Donald 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 of 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.4 The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want 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.
President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, 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 us, it would be very helpful for the investigation6 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 Ivanovich. 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.
Donald Trump: 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.
President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States. Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On the other hand, I also want to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. As to the economy, there is much potential for our two countries and one of the issues that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe we can be very successful and cooperating on energy independence with the United States. We are already working on cooperation. We are buying American oil but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We will have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I would like to thank you very much for your support.
Donald Trump: Good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we’ll work that out. I look forward to seeing you.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and get to know you better. I am looking forward to our meeting and I also would like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kyiv which is a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country which would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that on September 1 we will be in Poland and we can meet in Poland hopefully. After that, it might be a very good idea for you to travel to Ukraine. We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine.
Donald Trump: Okay, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland because I think we are going to be there at that time.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much Mr. President.
Donald Trump: Congratulations on a fantastic job you’ve done. The whole world was watching. I’m not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you Mr. President bye-bye.
If Trump did hold money over Ukraine’s head, like Biden did, he should be impeached and prosecuted for quid pro quo the same as Biden should be. It seems that for whatever reason the mainstream press is making this only about Trump while ignoring the corruption of Biden. However, Biden is not innocent and scrutiny is warranted on his son’s investments in both Ukraine and China.
Further, if Biden and his son Hunter should be prosecuted for quid pro quo, so should Donald Trump and his kids from who Ivanka Trump and her husband alone profited $82 million last year according to reports. One such mention is the comparison of Ivanka’s Chinese relationship to Hunter Biden’s own deals with China during his father’s vice presidency. Ivanka is said to have an estimated 39 trademarks in 2018 and 2019 alone that were accepted by China.
Ivanka’s clothing line is produced in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, according to Teen Vogue magazine which looked into her businesses. In 2017, a Chinese labor activist was arrested and two others vanished after investigating alleged labor abuses at a factory called Huajian known to make shoes for several brands — including Ivanka Trump’s, NPR reported.
In July 2018, Ivanka shut down her company; despite this, she received 16 trademarks in China and her business dealings are completely shrouded in secrecy, as CBS reported in 2017. Those trademarks pertain to everything from bags to umbrellas to sausages, Business Insider reported.
Two months before, in May, Ivanka’s brand received approval for another seven trademarks. This was coincidentally the same month Trump announced that he had reached a deal with China to lift a U.S. ban on telecom giant ZTE. If that’s not enough, on the same day she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping, her business received another three trademarks, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW.)
NBC reports that in 2018 alone by the end of November, Ivanka had a strikingly high number of 34 total Chinese trademarks. Then in 2019, Ivanka was awarded another additional 5 trademarks according to Fortune magazine.
All of the trademarks were said to be filed in 2016-2017 and last until at least 2028, according to numerous reports.
Before this report was about to go to press, Hunter Biden stepped down from the board of BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Co. a Chinese-backed private equity firm, NY Post reported.
On the flip side, if Trump administration officials really did try to run a scheme in Ukraine they, too, should be prosecuted; corruption is corruption and isn’t restricted by political gang colors exempting individuals like the media tries to do with Biden.