Exactly as with Watergate, it is a simple thing. Trump, aided by Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer and US Attorney General Robert Barr, a former CIA “fixer,” have, according to some news sources including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, been caught bribing and blackmailing a foreign leader in something miles beyond RussiaGate.
From the Daily Beast:
“President Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Hunter Biden, son of 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden, eight separate times during one phone call this summer, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
According to the Journal’s sources, Trump told President Volodymyr Zelensky in that July phone call to work with the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani on probing the former vice president over allegations he shielded from investigation a Ukrainian gas company with ties to his son.
“Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation,” the Journal added.
Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian president have come under scrutiny following news of a whistleblower’s complaint about the president’s communications with a foreign leader and a “promise” Trump allegedly made in those conversations.”
What puts the icing on the cake, as it were, is that directly tied to this, Trump held up a $260 million military aid package which was eventually released after the blackmail attempt came to light. Also,from the Daily Beast:
“A source with direct knowledge of the situation says that in recent months he has informally advised Trump on how to approach Zelensky. That advice came around the time rumors started flying that the president was withholding aid to the Ukrainian government until he received assurances the Biden investigation would move forward.
“He’s a question mark. There are a lot of good things, but there are these people he surrounds himself with,” Giuliani said of Zelensky in a conversation with The Daily Beast in late July. “He’s been there too short a period of time to know how he’s going to act. But I think there are very good signs and I have an open mind.”
On Thursday evening, when asked about the latest Ukraine revelation and if it was related to his well-publicized efforts, Giuliani simply said, “Don’t know and don’t care. Let them [the Democrats] knock themselves out.” Asked whether anybody had been in touch with him yet about the whistleblower complaint, the Trump attorney responded, “No, it’s total bull[shit].” He then claimed that “Biden did bribery, and you don’t cover it. I did my job as a good lawyer [for President Trump] and Corrupt Media gets excited.”
The Trump administration ultimately did sign off on a major military aid package, releasing it on Sept. 12. Zelensky spoke to Trump in late July. The readout of that call from the Ukrainian camp reportedly noted that Trump was focused on Ukraine’s ability to ‘complete investigations into corruption cases that have hampered Ukraine-US cooperation.’”
This is where it ties up neatly, 8 requests to investigate the son of a political rival and the blackmail, holding up funds based on blackmail which has been officially acknowledged by the Ukrainian government.
Then it gets deeper, particularly if you watch the press. We have two platforms, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post reporting the story. Behind it all, where the story gained official standing as a criminal investigation against Trump is the law that protects federal “whistleblowers” who bring evidence of wrongdoing, in this case by President Trump.
That evidence is, we are told and it could be nothing else, an intelligence intercept of conversations either directly with Trump and Zelensky or, and these are not protected in any way, multiple confirming intercepts that cover not only Zelensky discussing the blackmail but others, which could well include Giuliani and Barr, discussing criminal aspects of the conspiracy.
Where it stands, the White House is blocking congress from evidence that has already been judged substantive in establishing the guilt of Trump and many of those around him in crimes well beyond Watergate.
The whistleblower materials have already been verified by intelligence officials at the White House and congress has been informed that they are considered valid and of vital interest to national security, that Donald Trump is considered by the National Security Council, a “threat against the United States.”
While we see some media outlets reporting some parts of the story, others are censoring it entirely and others still, like the “Trump hating” New York Times, simply accepting Trump’s denials and accusations as proof the charges are false.
You see, Trump has said the individual charging him is a known operative of the opposition party. Problem here, Trump has no idea who this individual is, he simply reached into his bag of tricks learned from mentor Roy Cohn, the infamous mob boss that Trump spent his early years “clubbing” with, always deny, always attack, this was the Roy Cohn way.
Cohn’s vindictive and combative ways aided Trump but Cohn himself succumbed to liver cancer as a complication of AIDS in 1986, leaving Trump to eventually find, years later, Rudy Giuliani as a legal guide, but never anyone to replace Cohn, his lifelong closest associate.
We are looking at this one incident because it represents one leak, one highly documented leak, that exposes the way Trump has done business since day one and that blackmail and bribery have been a part of White House day to day operations since Trump moved in and, according to our sources, years before.
Let us look at the situation in the Persian Gulf. The US has just sent military units to “protect” Saudi Arabia, the 4th largest military on earth, from Iran, a nation with a handful of aircraft.
The problem here, Trump and his family have hundreds of millions in overt and even more in covert private business deals with Saudi Arabia, including deals for hotels, night clubs and even “adult relaxation” facilities, a term we take to mean “brothels” which are invariably tied to human trafficking.
Let us remember that on two occasions, Trump attacked Syria based on reports he received from his daughter who read them on social media. On both occasions, Syrian air defenses handily defeated American attacks, a huge humiliation for the Pentagon.
The result of this, something not reported, is that the Pentagon is unwilling to accept orders from Trump, orders continually issued, then rescinded then reissued, the altered then forgotten.
Military leaders speak of nothing else, “Trump has advanced dementia.”
Then we have the recent revelations by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. From Politico:
“Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that Israeli officials “played” President Donald Trump in their conversations with him, warning that a “healthy amount of skepticism” is needed in dealings with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The comments came during a panel discussion at Harvard University in which Tillerson, who was fired by the president last year, touched on a variety of themes from his tenure, including Iran, his hiring freeze at the State Department and the unpredictable nature of Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Netanyahu.
‘They did that with the president on a couple of occasions, to persuade him that ‘We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys,’’ Tillerson said, according to the Harvard Gazette. “We later exposed it to the president so he understood, ‘You’ve been played.’”
He cautioned that skepticism is necessary when dealing with Netanyahu, whom Tillerson called ‘a bit Machiavellian.’”
In fact, every action Trump has been involved in starting with breaking the nuclear treaty with Iran which has virtually destroyed NATO is based on Trump being “played” by Netanyahu.
Inside sources also say Netanyahu had a hand in Trump backing out of the INF treaty as well, putting the US on a war footing with Russia and in an arms race that has potentially disastrous consequences, particularly since Russia’s weapons tend to work better than America’s, a fact the Pentagon has not been able to keep from the public. From Tass:
“Missile defense systems all over the world sometimes fail to demonstrate the intended result, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said, when asked by a reporter why Saudi troops, armed with US-made Patriot missile defense systems, failed to repel the recent drone attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities.
‘We’ve seen air defense systems all around the world have mixed success,’ the Department of State press service quoted Pompeo as saying upon his arrival to Jeddah. ‘Some of the finest in the world don’t always pick things up. We want to work to make sure that infrastructure and resources are put in place such that attacks like this would be less successful than this one appears to have been.’
The US top diplomat lashed out at rumors that the attack on Saudi Aramco oil facilities was a result of US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.”
One must remember, Israel is protected by a lightly modified American system, far less costly and elaborate than the one that failed in Saudi Arabia. The same thing is true for Saudi Arabia and for much of Western Europe except nations like Turkey that use Russian systems.
Others are likely to follow as well.
And we must remember, Iran has a Russian air defense system.
Washington faces an analog of Watergate with these exceptions, the media giants that took on Nixon and his gang no longer exist. Washington is a city of “small men,” not just Trump, Barr and Giuliani, but opposition as well.
Few alive today remember Senator Sam Ervin. The real question here isn’t so much the those we have thus stated, that the military no longer finds Trump credible and has taken on presidential power, the worst kept secret imaginable, that America as we know it ended some time ago.
There are so many others.
I mention Senator Ervin but let us read his opening address from 1973 courtesy of Rolling Stone:
“A Black Cloud of Distrust, May 17th, 1973.
We are beginning these hearings today in an atmosphere of utmost gravity. The questions, that have been raised in the wake of the June 17th break-in, strike at the very undergirding of our democracy. If the many allegations made to this date are true, then the burglars who broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate were in effect breaking into the home of every citizen of the United States.
If these allegations prove to be true, what they were seeking to steal was not the jewels, money or other property of American citizens, but something much more valuable—their most precious heritage, the right to vote in a free election. Since that day, a mood of incredulity has prevailed among our populace, and it is the constitutional duty of this committee to allay the fears being expressed by the citizenry, and to establish the factual bases upon which these fears have been founded.
The Founding Fathers, having participated in the struggle against arbitrary power, comprehended some eternal truths respecting men and government. They knew that those who are entrusted with power are susceptible to the disease of tyrants, which George Washington rightly described as “love of power and the proneness to abuse it.” For that reason, they realized that the power of public officers should be defined by laws which they, as well as the people, are obligated to obey.
The Constitution, later adopted amendments and, more specifically, statutory law provide that the electoral processes shall be conducted by the people, outside the confines of the formal branches of government, and through a political process that must operate under the strictures of law and ethical guidelines, but independent of the overwhelming power of the government itself. Only then can we be sure that each electoral process cannot be made to serve as the mere handmaiden of a particular Administration in power.”
Remember, this was 1973. The Vietnam war was nearly ended, America has stopped what had seemed an endless war, one brought to a close by combat veterans, not “activists” or “leftists.”
Nixon, as with Trump, both acolytes of Roy Cohn, was seen as a sinister individual, a pathological liar, malevolent and “unclean.”
His destruction was seen as a victory for justice at the hands of men who fought and won World War II, leaders that simply don’t exist anymore, leading an America that fewer and fewer Americans have faith in.
Trump didn’t cause this. Did it start with 9/11, or the Kennedy killings or the fake terror wars?
What is left is simple, Trump is now a placeholder, not a president, powerless, clownish, a buffoon and embarrassment. Opposing him, to a large extent, are those who will never be able to find what we used to call “the American spirit.”
It could have been that Trump might well have been the cure to the disease of engineered cynicism that infects America. Instead, the president who promised to “empty the swamp” became, as so easily predicted, the worst of its creatures.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”