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CORRUPTION

Ukraine Scandal Couldn’t Have Happened Without Pompeo Knowing: Ex-State Department Official

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In light of a series of damning text messages revealing the scope of the effort by the Trump administration to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, former State Department official Phillipe Reines told MSNBC’s David Gura that there’s no way any of this went on without Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s knowledge.

“I worked there for four years,” said Reines. “I worked with hundreds, if not more than a thousand foreign service officers like Bill Taylor, I worked with the secretary. This doesn’t go on without a few things. First, without the secretary knowing. No one’s calling Rudy Giuliani on their own, because they feel like involving him in Ukrainian policy. People are not writing text messages where they’re saying, hey, I don’t think this is a good idea. They know, they’re memorializing it, they were what we call papering it. This is not how things are done. And we say that about everything, but this is so beyond the pale, it’s why they are getting caught every step of the way.”

“And by the way, there is so much more than this,” added Reines. “I mean, this is going to document itself up the ladder to Pompeo. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. As someone who had tens of thousands of their email out in the public domain and having to explain what it means if I’m telling Hillary Clinton that ‘Homeland’ is on Showtime at 10:00. I mean, it is crazy to look at these texts and have to interpret them. There’s nothing to interpret!”

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CORRUPTION

Giuliani Demands Investigation of Ambassador Yovanovitch — but Can’t Even Spell Her Name

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Rudy Giuliani on Monday demanded an investigation into former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch — who had spent the day testifying before Congress.

Giuliani made the statement while retweeting a conspiracy theory by Tom Fitton of the far-right group Judicial Watch:

“No wonder [Trump] and President Zelensky of Ukraine agreed Ambassador Yonacovitch (sic) was a real problem,” Giuliani said, while misspelling Yovanovitch’s name.

“I wonder if Shiftless asked her about this? Will there be an investigation or is she another ‘Protected Person’ like Biden & Hillary,” Giuliani tweeted.

Despite being implicated in the scandal, Giuliani has continued to speak out in attempts to defend the work he did with Trump to solicit foreign election assistance.

 

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CORRUPTION

Indicted Giuliani Associate Identified Himself as ‘Friend of Trump’ at Private 2016 Election Night Party: Report

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According to a report from Politico, one of the two men taken into custody for campaign finance violations — and who has been connected to President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani — made an appearance at a private 2016 Election Night party and identified himself as a friend of the then-Republican presidential nominee.

Noting that Trump has distanced himself from Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were both arrested attempting to flee the country two days ago, the report suggests his relationship with at least one of them may go back three years.

“In fact, Lev Parnas described himself to a foreign correspondent at the cash-bar event in midtown Manhattan as a friend of the president-elect who didn’t live far from his South Florida winter home,” Politico reports, based on an item in Le Figaro, France’s oldest daily newspaper.

The report goes on to state, “Parnas arrived at Trump’s November 2016 election night party, which was held in a ballroom at the Midtown Hilton, with two other men in suits and their heavily made-up wives.”

Related: A Federal Criminal Investigation Into Rudy Giuliani Is Being Conducted: Report

“The Ukrainian-born businessman told the paper that a friend from his hometown of Boca Raton, Fla., had hosted several fundraising events for Trump and that his daughter had traveled around the state singing on the candidate’s behalf. It is not clear what friend Parnas was referring to,” Politico reports, adding, “The new detail connecting Trump and Parnas at the same election night party in November 2016 raises fresh questions about the president’s insistence that he doesn’t know the Ukrainian-born businessman. It comes amid a rapidly unspooling investigation that appears headed for a House vote to impeach the president.”

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CORRUPTION

Inside the Jaw-Dropping Connection Between Trump Ousting Ukraine Ambassador and Guiliani’s Busted Henchmen

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Trying to wrap their arms around the flood of information that has come out in the past 24 hours about two close associates of Rudy Giuliani who attempted to flee the country before being arrested for campaign finance violations, a CNN panel drew a direct line between their actions at the behest of the former New York City mayor and President Donald Trump firing the ambassador to Ukraine.

Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, New Yorker journalist Susan Glassner explained that ousted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch — who is expected to testify before House members on Friday — may have been a victim of the machinations of not only Giuliani but also his arrested associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

After host Berman noted there was still a question over whether the White House would attempt to stop Yovanovitch from testifying, Glassner pointed out some curious connections to the Parnas and Fruman.

“I think it’s very significant that you put Ambassador Yovanovitch up there in that graphic and the reason why is that, to me, it’s a breathtaking aspect of this unfolding scandal,” she began. ” And we still don’t know a lot of information that Giuliani teamed up with this pair, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, acting on the behest of Ukrainian officials from the former government of [Ukraine President Petor] Poroshenko.”

“Their agenda was to get this pesky U.S. ambassador who was bothering them about too much corruption in the Ukrainian government to get her out, and they tried. they went to a congressman,” she continued. “I believe that was former Republican Congressman Pete Sessions in the summer of 2018. He then produced a letter complaining about Ambassador Yovanovitch.”

“Then they teamed up with Giuliani, and who executed their plan but the president of the United States,” she added. “We know that President Trump is the one who ordered Ambassador Yovanovitch to be forced out of her position, so he is carrying out their mission essentially of getting rid of the U.S. ambassador. I find that to be an extraordinary aspect of this unfolding story and very significant.”

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