Secretary of Energy Rick Perry was more involved in President Donald Trump’s extortion plot to pressure Ukraine for dirt on Joe Biden than previously known. The former Texas governor, according to Politico, may not have “explicitly called on Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter,” but he worked to pressure that embattled country’s leaders to root out corruption.
Perry also “played an active role in the Trump administration’s efforts to shape decisions by the newly elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky,” and “pushed for Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz to expand its board to include Americans.”
Two of those Perry sought to install on that board are “long-time energy executives based in Perry’s home state of Texas.”
Perry replaced Vice President Mike Pence, attending the inauguration of Ukraine President Zelensky, which sent a warning shot to the new president that he needed to play ball with the Trump administration in order to receive support. That support included $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid. Ukraine is fighting Russia, which illegally annexed Crimea, a portion of Ukraine.
He was labeled “was one of the administration’s ‘three amigos‘ on Ukrainian policy, along with Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for the Ukraine conflict, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.”
The Energy Secretary reportedly will submit his resignation effective before year’s end.
Image by U.S. Dept. of Energy via Flickr
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Busted: Barr Personally Briefed Trump on DOJ Investigation Into 9 Discarded Ballots
Attorney General Bill Barr personally briefed President Donald Trump about nine ballots that were found discarded in Pennsylvania.
President Trump first revealed the investigation onto the small number of discarded ballots in an interview with Fox News Radio on Thursday. He later repeated and embellished his claims when talking with reporters later that day.
ABC News, which first reported Barr’s extreme involvement with the case and briefing the president, noted that Trump, “without evidence, argued that it bolsters his baseless claims of widespread fraud in mail-in voting.”
Trump used the information from the attorney general to spread more false allegations about by-mail voting being unsafe.
The Justice Dept. Thursday afternoon issued a press release claiming all nine were ballots cast for Trump. It later deleted that document and published a new one stating 7 of the 9 indicated votes for the president, and two were sealed and the contents unknown.
It is generally not regular practice for an attorney general to brief a president about a small situation. It is almost unheard of for the DOJ to issue a press release or comment on an investigation in progress, especially to reveal major details about the case.
“They were Trump ballots — eight ballots in an office yesterday in — but in a certain state and they were — they had Trump written on it, and they were thrown in a garbage can. This is what’s going to happen,” Trump told Fox News Radio. “This is what’s going to happen, and we’re investigating that.”
He later told reporters, “You know they found I understand eight ballots in a wastepaper basket in some location, they found it was reported in one of the newspapers that they found a lot of ballots in a river. They throw them out if they have the name ‘Trump’ on it I guess,” the President claimed.
“Okay, well they still found them in a river whether they had a name on it or not but the other ones had the Trump name on it. And they were thrown into a wastepaper basket.
NCRM found no reports of ballots being found in a river.
NBC News on Thursday noted that “the White House appeared to have a coordinated rollout of the information coming from the Justice Department.”
‘What Does Putin Have on Him?’ Trump Gives Russia a Pass on Alexei Navalny Poisoning
All eyes have been on Russia since opposition leader Alexei Navalny fell ill in Siberia.
Navalny was finally air-lifted to German, where the government announced toxicology tests found “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent,” according to CNN.
“Alexey Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “This poison can be detected without a doubt in the samples.”
Trump was asked about the poisoning on Friday against the backdrop of the alleged pattern of Vladimir Putin poisoning political opponents.
But Trump refused to condemn the attack or hold Putin to account.
“Once again Trump passes on a chance to hold Russia accountable. What does Putin have on him?” CNN analyst Joe Lockhart asked.
Here’s what others were saying:
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) September 4, 2020
Trump on what he might do about the poisoning of Putin opponent Alexei Navalny: "If Hillary got elected, you would be at war with North Korea." pic.twitter.com/pqKKCBGa0o
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 4, 2020
"But I do get along with President Putin. But I've been tougher on Russia than anybody else by far." — Trump is totally incoherent pic.twitter.com/k5CqY3t3LY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 4, 2020
"I get along with President Putin" is the best response Trump can come up with.https://t.co/473sJdOm7m
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 4, 2020
Worse than saying nothing.
Trump on Russia’s poisoning of Putin critic #Navalny:
"We haven't had any proof yet.” https://t.co/BbBpNire4N
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) September 4, 2020
Trump simply will not criticize Vladimir Putin… ever… https://t.co/JUtBIoGtGh
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) September 4, 2020
DeJoy ‘Surprised and Confused’ After House Oversight Committee Subpoenas Him for Ignoring Deadlines
The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee has followed through on its promise to subpoena the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, after he failed to meet deadlines for document production in both the House and Senate.
“You are hereby commanded to be and appear before the Committee on Oversight and Reform,” the subpoena, signed by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) reads.
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) September 2, 2020
The Postmaster General says he was “surprised and confused” upon receiving the subpoena.
“We remain surprised and confused by Chairwoman Maloney’s insistence on issuing a subpoena to the Postal Service in the midst of ongoing dialogue with her staff,” the USPS says, as USAToday’s Nicholas Wu reports. “We fully intend to comply with our obligations under the law.”
The Committee has been investigating why the USPS has been removing hundreds of mail sorting machines and post office collection boxes, also known as mailboxes, and suspending overtime.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez weighs in:
If the USPS is surprised we are issuing a subpoena, it’s because they weren’t listening.
I said directly in the hearing that if DeJoy didn’t quickly hand over documents, we should issue a subpoena.
They knew the consequences of stalling. Now, where‘s his unaltered calendar? https://t.co/raNrSytmz6
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 2, 2020
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