Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pauses while speaking to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, after his meeting with President Donald Trump, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning. He often appears on the show, but today’s conversation was especially interesting. To give you some background, last week investigative journalist John Solomon reported a story which received little attention from the rest of the media, but was actually quite significant. (Solomon’s full report can be viewed here.) Here is a summary.
The transcript of George Kent’s testimony before the impeachment inquiry panel was released on Thursday. Kent was the former charge d’affair at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine. He told the committee that “the State Department’s main foreign aid agency, known as USAID, planned to co-sponsor a clean energy project with Burisma.”
Because Burisma was under investigation for corruption at that time, Kent said he intervened to stop the venture. He told lawmakers:
There apparently was an effort for Burisma to help cosponsor, I guess, a contest that USAID was sponsoring related to clean energy. And when I heard about it I asked USAID to stop that sponsorship.
Burisma had a poor reputation in the business, and I didn’t think it was appropriate for the U.S. Government to be co-sponsoring something with a company that had a bad reputation.
Solomon explained that text messages, sent in December 2015, from Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, showed they (he and Hunter) were behind the push for this deal. At the same time, the New York Times had just published a story about the Burisma investigation in which they wrote that “Hunter Biden’s role in the company was undercutting Vice President Joe Biden’s efforts to root out corruption in Ukraine.” Solomon reported that:
Internal State memos I obtained this week under FOIA show Hunter Biden and Archer had multiple contacts with Secretary of State John Kerry and Deputy Secretary Tony Blinken in 2015-16, and that Burisma’s own American legal team was lobbying State to help eliminate the corruption allegations against it in Ukraine.
Hunter Biden’s name was specifically invoked as a reason why State officials should assist, the memos show. A month after Burisma’s contact with State, Joe Biden leveraged the threat of withholding U.S. foreign aid to force Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who at the time was overseeing the Burisma probe.
Note: In February of 2016, Ukrainian officials raided the home of Burisma founder and owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Within weeks, the company began to lean harder against the State Dept. to help end the investigation and they were not shy about using Hunter Biden’s involvement with the company to get their attention.
And why shouldn’t they? In effect, Burisma was paying the unqualified Hunter Biden and his business partner to sit on their board for this very type of thing. Some might even call it a quid pro quo. We’ll pay Vice President Joe Biden’s son a big salary that he does little to no work for, and when we need help from his father, we can feel free to ask. Hunter’s arrangement with Burisma gave the company leverage with Joe Biden, who was supposed to be leading the country’s fight against corruption.
Bartiromo and Graham discuss this story in the video below. Graham mentions the raid, followed by a rash of communications between Devon Archer and John Kerry and notes that, all of a sudden, in March, the case goes away. (Joe Biden issued his infamous threat in March 2016. Fire the prosecutor or you don’t get the $1 billion in aid.)
Everyone knows there’s more to this story than meets the eye. And everyone also knows that it’s in Schiff’s best interest to keep the truth buried.
“Back to the whistleblower,” Graham said, “It’s impossible to bring this case forward in my view fairly without us knowing who the whistleblower is and having a chance to cross-examine them about any advice they may have. If they don’t call the whistleblower in the House, this thing is dead on arrival in the Senate.” He continues:
Well, if the whistleblower comes from Brennan’s world, it would be stunning, I think. If the whistleblower had a connection to a Democratic candidate, that would be stunning. The only way you can fairly deal with this issue is for us to find out who the whistleblower is. No American can be accused of a crime based on an anonymous allegation. The whistleblower is foundational to what they are doing to the House and the fact that they don’t want to call him tells you everything that you need to know about how valid this effort is to impeach the president.
What’s going to happen, When you find out who is the whistleblower is, I’m confident you are going to find out it’s somebody from the deep state. You are going to find out they had interactions with Schiff, and this thing’s going to stink to high Heaven. The only reason we don’t know who the whistleblower is that it hurts their cause. They are not trying to find the truth here. If you really wanted to know the truth about why Joe Biden said what he did about the prosecutor..let’s find out. Was Hunter Biden in the crosshairs of the prosecutor?
This is not about Schiff trying to find the truth. This is about Schiff trying to destroy the Trump presidency.
Bartiromo makes the point that “many of the players that we talk about when it comes to Ukraine are the same players that dropped those breadcrumbs and tried to spread a narrative about President Trump that was absolutely not true.” She asks Graham why the House GOP wants to investigate Nellie Ohr.
“They’re trying to make a connection between the whistleblower and what happened in 2016. Here’s what they don’t want you to know,” Graham says. “They don’t want you to know that the whistleblower was on the Brennan team, if he was…that he’s tied to the people that falsely got out a warrant against Carter Page four times…that he’s tied to the group that set up a counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016. It would blow them out of the water if, in fact, the whistleblower was connected to a Democratic candidate and came from the CIA world that’s been trying to destroy the Trump presidency since before he got elected. That’s why they don’t want you to know who this person is.”
I wonder how much longer we have to pretend we don’t know who the whistleblower is.
(Relevant segment begins at 3:00.)