Archive for the ‘Investigative Reporters’ Category

Byron York’s article about the “Democrats’ Colonel Vindman problem” highlights the things that Col. Vindman said that might hurt Democrats by the time Democrats wrap up Col. Vindman’s public testimony. Of particular interest to Republicans will be Col. Vindman’s verification of the July 25th Trump-Zelenskiy phone call.

Democrats have suggested that the rough transcript was doctored by the White House. Though that hasn’t gotten much traction, it’s still out there. Col. Vindman put that to rest.

Another problem that Democrats have comes from John Ratcliffe’s cross-examination of Col. Vindman:

“I’m trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law,” Ratcliffe said to Vindman. “And what I understand you to say is that you weren’t certain that there was anything improper with respect to the law, but you had concerns about U.S. policy. Is that a fair characterization?”

“So I would recharacterize it as I thought it was wrong and I was sharing those views,” Vindman answered. “And I was deeply concerned about the implications for bilateral relations, U.S. national security interests, in that if this was exposed, it would be seen as a partisan play by Ukraine. It loses the bipartisan support. And then for — ” “I understand that,” Ratcliffe said, “but that sounds like a policy reason, not a legal reason.”

Saying that you’re worried about the conversation sounds ominous. Without pinning the source of the concern down, it might mean that Col. Vindman was worried for legal reasons. That’s certainly how Democrats tried portraying it. Rep. Ratcliffe’s cross-examination pinned that down as policy concern. That matters because you don’t impeach sitting presidents over policy disagreements. That’s a dispute best settled with elections, not impeachment.

This back-and-forth highlights another problem for Democrats:

At another point, Castor asked Vindman whether he was interpreting Trump’s words in an overly alarmist way, especially when Vindman contended that Trump issued a “demand” to Zelensky. “The president in the transcript uses some, you know, words of hedging from time to time,” Castor said. “You know, on page 3, he says ‘whatever you can do.’ He ends the first paragraph on page 3, ‘if that’s possible.’ At the top of page 4, ‘if you could speak to him, that would be great.’ ‘So whatever you can do.’ Again, at the top of page 4, ‘if you can look into it.’ Is it reasonable to conclude that those words hedging for some might, you know, lead people to conclude that the president wasn’t trying to be demanding here?”

“I think people want to hear, you know, what they have as already preconceived notions,” Vindman answered, in what may have been one of the more revealing moments of the deposition. “I’d also point your attention to ‘whatever you can do, it’s very important to do it if that’s possible.'” “‘If that’s possible,'” Castor stressed. “Yeah,” said Vindman. “So I guess you can interpret it in different ways.”

That isn’t a demand as much as it’s a petition or request. There’s lots of literary distance between demand and request. In fact, they’re close to being opposites. Saying that President Trump demanded an investigation is provocative. Saying that President Trump requested help with something doesn’t sound provocative.

That’s why Democrats intentionally chose the word demand. It isn’t surprising that Democrats used the provocative-sounding word considering the fact that they’re trying a weak case. You might even say that Democrats are trumping up the accusations because they know that the evidence doesn’t get them there. Then there’s this:

Vindman portrayed himself as the man to see on the National Security Council when it came to issues involving Ukraine. “I’m the director for Ukraine,” he testified. “I’m responsible for Ukraine. I’m the most knowledgeable. … Yet at times there were striking gaps in Vindman’s knowledge of the subject matter. He seemed, for instance, distinctly incurious about the corruption issues in Ukraine that touched on Joe and Hunter Biden.

“What do you know about Zlochevsky, the oligarch that controls Burisma?” asked Castor. “I frankly don’t know a huge amount,” Vindman said. “Are you aware that he’s a former Minister of Ecology”? Castor asked, referring to a position Zlochevsky allegedly used to steer valuable government licenses to Burisma. “I’m not,” said Vindman.

“Are you aware of any of the investigations the company has been involved with over the last several years?” “I am aware that Burisma does have questionable business dealings,” Vindman said. “That’s part of the track record, yes.”

If that’s the NSC’s definition of an expert, we should be worried. I’d make an exception if Col. Vindman was holding his cards close to his vest. I suspect that’s what Lt. Col. Vindman was doing.

Schiff steps in it

“Both those parts of the call, the request for investigation of Crowd Strike and those issues, and the request for investigation of the Bidens, both of those discussions followed the Ukraine president saying they were ready to buy more Javelins. Is that right?” asked Schiff.

Mr. Schiff just stepped in it mightily. An action can’t be both a request and a demand. Those words are close to being opposites definition-wise.

For the record, it’s obvious from President Trump’s softened language that request is the accurate word. Demand is a stretch.

When it comes to Democrats displaying illogic, Ilhan Omar is pretty impressive. Last week, former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan criticized Rep. Omar. Appearing on Sara Carter’s program, Miss Idan said that Omar “does not represent me as a Muslim, does not represent millions of Muslims Middle East.”

Rep. Omar replied, saying “Hey, I might be wrong but I don’t think you are a #MN05 resident and like that makes me not your representative.” That illogic is frightening. Miss Idan didn’t talk about Rep. Omar representing her in Congress. Still, the back-and-forth wasn’t over:


Sara Carter jumped to Miss Idan’s defense:


Democrats, the supposed political party favored by women, didn’t lift a finger to defend a clearly westernized Muslim. Sara Carter, an ace investigative reporter who has broken tons of story investigating the investigators for FNC, jumped to Miss Idan’s defense. This isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing that Democrats, who used to be huge defenders of civil liberties, wouldn’t defend a woman’s civil liberties.

The major over-arching issue is that Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party is dead. Honestly, since Barack Obama left the White House 3 years ago, his Democratic Party is already on hospice. Today’s Democratic Party is filled with socialists and anarchists.

John Solomon’s reporting in this article should worry Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller’s lead prosecutor.

According to Solomon’s article, “an FBI agent wrote in a footnote to the affidavit” that “[t]he April 12, 2017, Associated Press article reported that DMI [Manafort’s company] records showed at least two payments were made to DMI that correspond to payments in the ‘black ledger.'” Then Solomon wrote “There are two glaring problems with that assertion. First, the agent failed to disclose that both FBI officials and Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who later became Mueller’s deputy, met with those AP reporters one day before the story was published and assisted their reporting.”

Then there’s this:

Secondly, the FBI was told the ledger claimed to show cash payments to Manafort when, in fact, agents had been told since 2014 that Manafort received money only by bank wires, mostly routed through the island of Cyprus, memos show.

It gets worse:

Liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz said FBI affidavits almost never cite news articles as evidence. “They are supposed to cite the primary evidence and not secondary evidence,” he said. “It sounds to me like a fraud on the court, possibly a willful and deliberate fraud that should have consequences for both the court and the attorneys’ bar,” he added.

The operational premise likely is that the FBI should have firsthand information because of its investigation. The other premise is that ‘news’ articles aren’t exactly reliable these days. News articles, furthermore, should be considered hearsay. That’s the most important reason why judges shouldn’t trust news articles. The other important reason not to trust news articles is because, lately, political operatives have weaponized information in a way to sabotage their opponent’s campaign.

Why wouldn’t Weissmann worry about the inaccuracy of this information? Is it because he’s that unethical? Is it because he’s that much of a partisan hack? Is it because he isn’t as worried about accuracy as he is about convictions whatever the cost? Is it all of the above? I’m betting it’s the last one.

John Solomon and Sarah Carter are the Woodward and Bernstein of 2019. They aren’t alone, though. It’d be improper to not recognize the work of Devin Nunes and Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch. In this video, Mr. Fitton goes into detail on the multiple dossiers in play:

If Weissmann isn’t worried, he’s stupid. The Judicial Watch video is fascinating because it highlights the connections between Steele and the State Department and/or Obama administration officials. That sounds pretty shady. I don’t know if it’s illegal but it’s worth looking into.

What I know is that the US attorney that’s assigned to “investigate the investigators” isn’t a prosecutor to be trifled with. John Durham took over a 30-year-old cold case and turned it into a conviction. If laws were broken, Mr. Durham will get a conviction. With all of the documents admitting what various people were doing, I can’t imagine Durham not getting to the bottom of these cases.