On Thursday, President Trump held a gathering at the White House to thank his family, supporters and legal team and celebrate his acquittal in the Senate. This ends the travesty of his phony impeachment, which started even before he was inaugurated and went on to shred the Constitution in the attempt to take him down. Of course, like sharks that have to keep swimming and eating to stay alive, his political enemies are still actively searching for some crime to “get” him on. They and their media accomplices were even criticizing him for his remarks during Thursday’s event, slamming him for “not bringing the country together,” if you can believe that.
The President was justifiably outspoken about the attempted coup that took place within the intel bureaucracy. “...If I didn’t fire James Comey, we would have never found this stuff. ‘Cause when I fired that sleazebag, all hell broke out. They were ratting on each other; they were running for the hills. Let’s see what happens...It’s in the hands of some very talented people.” a reference to Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham.
When you have a little time (it runs about an hour), you should watch this. It’s Trump at his best and most reflective. Melania is glowing with happiness. Really impressive –- I was glad to see he hasn’t lost his sense of humor after such an ordeal.
As for the false narrative that was created around Trump to remove him from office, one of the Democrats’ big talking points has been that Russia --- not Ukraine --- interfered with our 2016 Presidential election. Anyone suggesting that Ukraine was involved must be saying that Russia’s hands were clean, according to this line of “reasoning.” So, the idea of Ukraine’s involvement had to be coming from some wild-eyed right-wing conspiracy theorist trying to defend President Trump from the charge of being an agent of Vladimir Putin. It followed that Rudy Giuliani couldn’t have had a legitimate reason to look into Ukrainian involvement in 2016; that was merely a pretense for him to look into Joe Biden in anticipation of 2020, they said.
You see the logical flaws in this “either/or” argument. When it’s laid out like this, it makes absolutely no sense. Besides, I thought the left was opposed to “binary” choices, ha. Certs is a candy mint! Certs is a breath mint! Wait, you’re BOTH right! (And for those who remember when SNL was really funny, New Shimmer is a floor wax AND a dessert topping!) It was Russia...AND Ukraine!
Which leads me to some new revelations concerning what happened in Ukraine to launch an investigation of Trump 2016 campaign director Paul Manafort.
Recall that in December of 2018, a Ukrainian court ruled that two government officials, a member of parliament named Sergey Leschenko and (not kidding) the head of the Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine, Artem Sytnyk, were found guilty in a Ukrainian court of illegally interfering in the American 2016 election by publicizing the so-called “black ledger” of cash payments to Paul Manafort. That ruling was overturned on a technicality, but what they did to publicize the ledger remains true. THE NEW YORK TIMES was only too happy to break the ledger story in August 2016.
John Solomon has been investigating the origins of this mysterious ledger for a long time now, as Manfort rots in jail, and Leschenko told him in an interview last summer that although he publicized the ledger in 2016, he didn’t think it could be used as evidence in court because there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that it was authentic. Doubts arose because officials said Manafort was never paid in cash, and the ledger reflected cash payments. The ledger appeared to have been created after the fact.
Once the ledger was made public, though, it led to the firing of Manafort from Trump’s campaign and an investigation that revealed crimes for which he was prosecuted –- by the special counsel, who sought damaging information on Trump. But it was never introduced at his trial or significantly analyzed in Robert Mueller’s report, which found no evidence of “collusion” between Trump and Russia. Mueller never released the “302’s” that would have detailed their conclusions about the ledger.
So, was the ledger a fake, created to provide a pretense to go after Manafort while he was Trump’s campaign director? Solomon has learned there was special counsel testimony attesting to the ledger’s inauthenticity from Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates. In a “302” (summary of witness testimony) from April of 2018, Gates said, “The black ledger was a fabrication. It was never real, and this fact has since been proven true.” This statement is consistent with what several Ukrainian officials have told Solomon in his quest for the story. But Mueller did not include it.
As Solomon reports, “If true, Gates’ account means the two key pieces of documentary evidence used by the media and FBI to drive the now-debunked Russia collusion narrative --- the Steele dossier and the black ledger --- were at best uncorroborated and at worst disinformation. His account also raises the possibility that someone fabricated the document in Ukraine in an effort to restart investigative efforts on Manafort’s consulting work or to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.”
So, with the “dossier” revealed as a highly imaginative work of fiction paid for by the Hillary campaign and the “black ledger” almost certainly manufactured as well, what happens now? Well, first of all, we need to acknowledge that there was some serious election “meddling” going on in UKRAINE that justified Rudy Giuliani’s desire to uncover it in the interest of his client. Second, our own intelligence bureaucracy needs to be overhauled to stop the use of fake “evidence” to launch investigations for political purposes.
On that score, FBI Director Chris Wray has announced that every FBI official listed in IG Michael Horowitz’s report is being reviewed for possible discipline. “Possible discipline”? That’s not good enough. Wray has kept a low profile in the aftermath of that report, which showed 17 “errors and omissions” in their phony FISA application and three renewals, and it’s difficult to know how determined he is. What’s the goal: to impart genuine reform, or to shore up the FBI’s image? Wray seems mostly interested in rehabilitating their image. Sorry, but an attempt at an “image makeover” isn’t going to cut it.
One encouraging development (hope it ‘s true): The White House is considering dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. This is not “retaliation,” as the media will portray it, but part of a badly needed purge. Details here...
Which brings us back to Trump’s remarks on Thursday. “We’ve been going through this now for over three years,” he said. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never happen to another President, ever.”
Without a complete housecleaning, including criminal prosecutions where appropriate, it most certainly will. (As I mentioned, Democrats are already trying to do it again to President Trump.) And when I say “housecleaning,” I mean the FBI, CIA, DOJ...and, very importantly, the House of Representatives.