Biden And Obama Must Answer For Russiagate

By J. Peder Zane for RealClearPolitics

What did Barack Obama and Joe Biden know about the Russiagate collusion hoax their fellow Democrats ginned up to kneecap Donald Trump – and when did they know it? How much did their chicanery contribute to Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade the Ukraine?

Those questions are coming into sharp relief following a definitive report by my RealClearInvestigations colleague Paul Sperry last week that places the worst political scandal in our nation’s history and Putin’s brutal war directly inside the White House.

Drawing on a wide range of documents, many never previously reported, Sperry details how the Obama administration worked closely with the Clinton campaign and a foreign government – Ukraine – in a “sweeping and systematic effort” to interfere in the 2016 election. It turns out Democrats were guilty of every false charge they lodged against Trump.

RELATED: Liberal Bill Maher Slams Russiagate Narrative: ‘Why Didn’t Putin Invade When Trump Was In Office?’

Their maneuverings began in 2014 when Obama officials supported the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych because he was too close to Putin. Biden, then the vice president, was the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine. Sperry reports that leaked transcripts of conversations between two high-level officials in both the Obama and Biden administrations – Victoria Nuland and Jake Sullivan – reveal that Biden gave his blessing to the formation of a new coalition government.

Sperry writes that Nuland even “traveled to Kiev and helped organize street demonstrations against Yanukovych, even handing out sandwiches to protesters.”

A few months after the anti-Putin government took power next door to Russia, Putin marched into Crimea. Eight years later, he invaded Ukraine.

Top Obama administration officials continued to influence Ukraine’s internal affairs. Biden, for example, would later boast of threatening to withhold aid until the government fired its chief anti-corruption prosecutor – who, among other matters, was investigating the gas company Burisma that was paying his son, Hunter Biden, $83,333 a month for a largely ceremonial position for which he had no qualifications other than his family name. [In 2019, House Democrats would impeach Trump for temporarily withholding aid to Ukraine to pressure it to investigate the Biden family’s dealings there.]

During its final two years, the Obama administration’s dealing with Ukraine became increasingly focused on the 2016 election. Sperry reports that Nuland received some 120 reports on Ukraine from an outside contractor – Christopher Steele.

A former British intelligence officer, Steele would soon start working for the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. Fusion’s crown jewel was the so-called Steele dossier, a series of salacious and false memos allegedly cobbled together by Steele that formed the basis of the Trump/Russia collusion theory.

Steele and his Fusion colleagues weren’t the only political operatives working behind the scenes in the Obama administration. In April 2015, the Democratic National Committee hired a Ukrainian-American activist named Alexandra Chalupa as a $5,000-a-month consultant.

Chalupa was convinced that Trump’s Achilles heel was Paul Manafort, a lobbyist who had done work for the party led by Viktor Yanukovych. Her effort to attack Trump by exposing Manafort’s alleged Russian ties was the seed of the collusion hoax. Sperry reports that the DNC operative visited the White House at least 27 times during 2015 and 2016.

Among the government officials she worked closely with was Eric Ciaramella, the CIA detailee to the White House who would later be the “whistleblower” regarding Trump’s 2019 call with the Ukrainian president that led to his first impeachment.

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At the same time, the Obama administration was politicizing its foreign policy for domestic goals. In one of the more damning passages in his article, Sperry reports:

The Obama administration’s enforcement agencies leaned on their Ukrainian counterparts to investigate Manafort, shifting resources from an investigation of a corrupt Ukrainian energy oligarch who paid Biden’s son hundreds of thousands of dollars through his gas company, Burisma.

“Obama’s NSC hosted Ukrainian officials and told them to stop investigating Hunter Biden and start investigating Paul Manafort,” said a former senior NSC official who has seen notes and emails generated from the meetings and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

As it became increasingly clear that Trump would be the GOP’s 2016 nominee, Chalupa and the administration ratcheted up the pressure on Ukrainian officials to denounce Clinton’s rival in order to sanitize their dirty tricks. [Fusion GPS did the same with Steele, having him present himself as an independent former British intelligence agent – while hiding his ties to Clinton – so that his smears would seem apolitical.]

Democrats collaborated with several Ukrainian lawmakers who supported them. This is not surprising because, Sperry reports, while Ukraine might have been a relatively small and poor nation, one of its oligarchs contributed more money to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was secretary of state than any other group of foreign nationals, including the Saudis.

On March 30, 2016 Chalupa wrote to her contact at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington requesting that they express their grave concerns about Trump and Manafort. “Within minutes of sending the email,” Sperry reports, “Chalupa wrote the DNC’s communications director Luis Miranda, ‘The ambassador has the messaging.’ Then she reached out to a friend in Congress, Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, about holding hearings to paint Manafort as a pro-Kremlin villain.”

Sperry reports that these efforts paid dividends in August 2016, when Manafort was forced to resign as Trump’s campaign manager because of his previous work in the Ukraine. [Manafort would later be sent to prison on various tax and other charges, none of which involved him doing Russia’s bidding.]

After Trump’s election that November, a Ukrainian lawmaker who had worked with Fusion GPS in the effort to damage the Republican told the Financial Times that his nation believed “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy.” He said that most of Ukraine’s politicians were “on Hillary Clinton’s side.”

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That, of course, was not the end of the story. Democrats, their allies in the FBI, CIA, and other branches of the government, as well as Never-Trump Republicans – all with the active collaboration of the media – would continue to peddle the Russiagate hoax to damage the commander in chief. On Jan. 5, 2017, just days before they left office, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and others met with then-FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office.

The next day, Comey briefed President-elect Trump about the bogus Steele dossier. CNN then used that meeting as a pretext for trumpeting the false claims of collusion, sparking a media feeding frenzy that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate the charges bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign.

Sperry’s reporting strongly suggests that Obama and Biden were involved in this scandal well before then. The hydra-headed smear campaign against Trump deployed the powers of the executive branch to take down a political rival.

It is long past time for the media to begin the process of restoring its integrity. It could start by correcting the record – and then pressing Barack Obama and Joe Biden to explain why they accused Donald Trump of doing precisely what they did so effectively, which was involve a foreign nation in a U.S. presidential election.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

J. Peder Zane is an editor for RealClearInvestigations and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.

The post Biden And Obama Must Answer For Russiagate appeared first on The Political Insider.

Are Democrats Really Going To Cross The Rubicon?

By J. Peder Zane for RealClearPolitics

While the world focused on Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last week, little attention was paid to the ineffably consequential decision by Democrats to go all-out in their assault on American democracy.

Just as Julius Caesar invited civil war by crossing the Rubicon, the partisan House committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol let it be known that it will recommend bringing two sets of criminal charges against former President Donald Trump regarding the 2020 election.

One allegation is that that he tried to obstruct the lawful counting of votes. The other is that he engaged in a conspiracy to defraud the United States through his false claims of a stolen election.

RELATED: Former AG Bill Barr Wants Republicans To ‘Move On’ From Trump, Blames Him For Capitol Riot

Given how divided our country is, and the wide support Trump still enjoys, his indictment would be an incalculably reckless act. It would be tantamount to the first round of live fire across the bow. Even if the left honestly believes its claims that conservatives are itching to take up arms against the Republic – that Jan. 6 was just a dress rehearsal for a second civil war – why would they consider striking this match?

If Democrats had a slam dunk case against Trump, one could argue that they might have some justification for putting the nation at such risk. They do not. The New York Times tersely noted that it is “far easier for the committee to claim that Mr. Trump had committed a crime … than it would be for prosecutors to win a criminal conviction over the same facts.”

It underscored this point by noting, “In publicly sharing its work, the committee has only escalated expectations that Mr. Trump will be prosecuted, regardless of whether its evidence meets the standard that a federal prosecutor must clear to secure a unanimous guilty verdict.”

To prove the conspiracy charge, for example, prosecutors would have to show that Trump knew he had lost the election but recklessly argued otherwise. The existing evidence so far suggests that Trump truly believes the delusion that he won more votes. The committee, which is a finely tuned machine designed to leak cherry-picked damaging information about the former president, has provided no evidence to support that claim. Nor has it shown that he directed the mob to attack the Capitol to obstruct the vote count.

So far, their argument – which echoes the larger left-wing push to punish and erase all narratives that do not support their preferred version of reality – appears to be that there is a single truth, their truth, and that Trump’s unwillingness to embrace it is a crime.

It is impossible to overstate the danger of this mindset, which is a profound assault on free speech and a dramatic escalation of the effort to criminalize political differences. It is, as Democrats like to say, a page torn straight from Putin’s playbook.

Politics in free nations is necessarily rough and tumble. It is a contest of ideas that often lack scientific precision. It makes room for debatable claims that may contain falsity as well as kernels of truth. The best evidence shows that Trump did not win as many votes as Biden in 2020, but also that it was a highly unusual contest filled with troubling irregularities. Prohibiting people from making that case is un-American.

If Trump can be charged with a crime, what about Joe Biden, who repeatedly claimed that Trump was not legitimately elected in 2016? What about Rep. Jamie Raskin, a leading member of the Jan. 6 committee who objected to the certification of Florida’s electors by making the bogus argument that they were not qualified to serve under state law?

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Once a precedent is set, it becomes the norm. Do we really want to go down this road of indicting – rather than just challenging and debunking – those whose only crime is holding problematic opinions?

Why would Democrats place our republic in such peril? The answer is that they want this conflict. As polls show their effort to transform America meeting ever wider resistance, they seem eager for a final battle that will allow them to vanquish the right once and for all. Unable to achieve their ends through democratic channels, they are intent on blowing up the system.

I know that sounds crazy. It’s impossible to imagine how this battle would unfold and how victory could even be achieved. But Democrats are convinced that only they possess the truth and that those who disagree with them are beneath contempt. They see their venomous tactics as virtuous.

If you have ever confronted hard-core Democrats about these issues, you know there is no talking to them. All they have is their certainty.

Truth be told, Democrats have paid little price so far for their war on American norms. Unwilling to accept Trump’s victory in 2016, they advanced the sulfurous claim that the president was an agent of Russia. We now know that false narrative was concocted by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and embraced without evidence by the Obama White House, much of the media, the FBI, and other aspects of the Deep State.

In its size and scope Russiagate is the worst scandal in American history. And yet Hillary Clinton and President Obama remain party heroes who are never pressed on the issue. Former Clinton staffers who spread the scurrilous Trump/Russia rumors, including Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, have only been rewarded for their perfidy. The New York Times, Washington Post and other news outlets who won prizes for pushing the conspiracy theory refuse to correct many clear errors in their coverage.

The incendiary path Democrats are heading down is unimaginably destructive, not just to the United States but to the world. As Putin continues his war in Ukraine and      intensifies, united American leadership is indispensable. Instead of bringing us together, criminal charges against Trump would burn down our house.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

J. Peder Zane is an editor for RealClearInvestigations and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.

The post Are Democrats Really Going To Cross The Rubicon? appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump Awards Congressman Jim Jordan With Presidential Medal Of Freedom

President Trump awarded Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the Nation’s highest civilian honor.

The Hill reports that Jordan received the award “citing his defenses of Trump against impeachment and the Russia investigation.”

In a White House press release, President Trump lauded the Republican Congressman for having “led the effort to confront the impeachment witch hunt.”

“He is an inspiration to freedom-loving Americans everywhere and has distinguished himself as one of the most consequential members of Congress of his generation,” the statement concluded.

RELATED: Trump To Award Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan With Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Jim Jordan, Adam Schiff Slayer, Wins Medal Of Freedom

Jim Jordan repeatedly took Democrat Adam Schiff to task during the RussiaGate impeachment inquiry meetings, claiming that the Democrat had a reputation for leaking and lying.

He called Schiff out for claiming outwardly that he had no idea who the famous ‘whistleblower’ was during the impeachment hearings, even though that would be an impossibility.

“This committee will not be used to out the whistleblower,” Schiff claimed at the time.

“You have said you don’t know who the whistleblower is – even though no one believes you,” Jordan shot back at the California Democrat.

Another memorable exchange between the pair took place when Jordan tried to finish a question and Schiff claimed he wouldn’t ‘indulge him’ much longer.

“I have indulged you with extra time—” Schiff said.

Jordan replied, “I appreciate it,” as he tried to finish his line of questioning.

“But indulgence is wearing out,” Schiff interjected.

“Our indulgence wore out with you a long time ago, Mr. Chairman, I will tell you that,” fired back Jordan.

Jordan Grilled Dr. Fauci About Lockdowns And BLM Protests

Jordan also made a splash during testimony by Dr. Anthony Fauci regarding the coronavirus, lockdowns, and Black Lives Matter protests.

In one particularly heated exchange Jordan asked Fauci, “Should we limit the protesting?”

“I’m not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way,” Fauci responded.

“I haven’t seen people during a church service go out and harm police officers or burn buildings,” Jordan scoffed, noting Fauci had opined on plenty of other events prior to that.

“No limit to protests, but you can’t go to church on Sunday.”

President Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom one week earlier to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), another staunch ally.

Nunes was instrumental in uncovering the deep-seated corruption that took place behind closed doors during the Russia probe.

The post Trump Awards Congressman Jim Jordan With Presidential Medal Of Freedom appeared first on The Political Insider.