Musing about law, books, and politics

More on the Fox-Trump-Putin Love Affair

Today the first White House official testifies in the impeachment probe. 

Colonel Alexander Vindman’s statement is here.

Vindman served multiple tours as Infantry officer, was wounded in Iraq, and awarded a purple heart.

Since 2008 Vindman has been a foreign area officer specializing in Eurasia.

Since July 2018, he served at the National Security Council. He reports to Fiona Hill, who reported to Bolton.

From his statement: the newly elected Ukrainian president Zelenskyy was seen as a unifying figure in Ukraine as the first candidate to win a majority in every region. He ran on a platform of unity and anti-corruption.

April 21: Trump called Zelenskyy to congratulate him on his election victory. Vindman listened to the call, which was positive. Trump extended a WH invitation.

July 10: Danylyuk (Ukraine National Security official) visited D.C. to meet with Bolton. Volker, Sondland and Perry also attended.

The meeting went well until the Ukrainians mentioned the White House meeting, which they saw as critically important to solidify US support.

Sondland talked about Ukraine delivering specific investigations “in order to secure a meeting with Trump.”

Bolton then cut the meeting short.

After the meeting was a scheduled debriefing. Once more, Sondland emphasized the importance of Ukraine delivering investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma.

Vindman pushed back against this.

Hill then entered the room and told Sondland that his statements were inappropriate. If you’re thinking, “Wait! This contradicts Sondland’s testimony,” you’re right!

Sondland had an entirely different recollection of that July 10th meeting. From Sondland’s statement to Congress:

Vindman says that both he and Hill both reported their concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel.

July 21: Zelenskyy’s party won the parliamentary elections in a landslide victory.

The NSC proposed that Trump call Zelenskyy to congratulate him.

The now-famous call happened on July 25. Vindmann listened in on the call in the Situation room. He didn’t think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a US citizen. (Notice that he uses the word “demand.” He also listened to the actual conversation whereas the rest of us received a summary.)

The NYTimes reported additional details about Vindman’s background:

Perhaps like Deepak Gupta, Supreme Court and appellate advocate, you thought the GOP would have a hard time attacking a White House official and U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a Purple Heart recipient wounded in Iraq.

Gupta naively underestimated the danger and creativity of the GOP.

Here Gupta, sees Ingraham, Dershowitz, and John Yoo imply (without a shred of evidence) that Vindman is a Ukrainian double agent.

We all have our chilling moments when we confront the reality of today’s Fox-Trump-GOP.

(Yoo is a U.C. Berkeley law professor. Facepalm)

Never mind that Sondland testified that the Three Amigos also gave advice to Ukrainians.

The difference between the 3 Amigos and Vindman? From Ingraham: Vindman was working “against the president’s interests” while “working in the White House.

Notice Ingraham said “the president’s interests,” not the interests of the US. Right there on Fox.

What’s really going on here is a tug of war over Ukraine.

Ukraine wants to align itself with Europe. It wants rule of law and democracy. That’s why they elected Zelenskyy.

Russia wants Ukraine to be part of Russia.

Vindman (and the others marching in to Congress to testify) want to enable Ukraine to embrace democracy and rule of law.

This may still come as a shock to people, but the Trump-FOX-GOP is siding with Russia.

Manafort was working in Ukraine on behalf of Putin. That’s why the Trump-FOX-GOP worked so hard to dunk the Mueller report.

They can’t tell the truth because they know the idea that the U.S. should align itself with Putin instead of NATO would shock most Americans.

So they lie. For more on why the most radicalized part of the Fox-Trump-GOP is on Russia’s side, see this post.

Get ready for a lot more lying. Because the truth is that they are in love with Putin and Russian-style autocracy.

If you missed my earlier post on Putin + the GOP = True Love, click here.

Justin said:

I agree. I don’t think it’s an accident that Speaker Pelosi keeps repeating that.

It all ties together: Manafort, Trump, Russia, Ukraine. 

The beauty of the Ukrainian scandal is that it’s easy to grasp and fits into soundbites.

Adding new information. It looks like Sondland had his memory refreshed: