The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine ‘Scandal’: The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy

The impeachment offensive against Donald Trump is another symptom of a partisan disease that ignores an even greater malignancy, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The most crucial aspects of the Trump-Ukraine “scandal,” which has led to impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, are not being told, even by Republicans.

Trump was very likely motivated by politics if he indeed withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for Kiev launching an investigation into Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, though the transcript of the call released by the White House between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelinsky does not make certain such a quid-pro-quo.

But what’s not being talked about in the mainstream is the context of this story, which shows that, politics aside, Biden should indeed be investigated in both Ukraine and in the United States.

We know from the leaked, early 2014 telephone conversation between Victoria Nuland, then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and Geoffrey Pyatt, then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, that then Vice President Biden played a role in “midwifing” the U.S.-backed overthrow of an elected Ukrainian government soon after that conversation.

That’s the biggest crime in this story that isn’t being told. The illegal overthrow of a sovereign government.

As booty from the coup, the sitting vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, soon got a seat on the board of Ukraine’s biggest gas producer, Burisma Holdings. This can only be seen as a transparently neocolonial maneuver to take over a country and install one’s own people. But Biden’s son wasn’t the only one.

Left to right: Kerry, post-coup president Petro Poroshenko, Pyatt and Nuland, June 2014. (State Dept.)

A family friend of then Secretary of State John Kerry also joined Burisma’s board. U.S. agricultural giant Monsanto got a Ukrainian contract soon after the overthrow.  And the first, post-coup Ukrainian finance minister was an American citizen, a former State Department official, who was given Ukrainian citizenship the day before she took up the post.

After a Ukrainian prosecutor began looking into possible corruption at Burisma, Biden openly admitted at a conference last year that as vice president he withheld a $1 billion credit line to Ukraine until the government fired the prosecutor. As Biden says himself, it took only six hours for it to happen.

Exactly what Biden boasted of doing is what the Democrats are now accusing Trump of doing, and it isn’t clear if Trump got what he wanted as Biden did. 

Threats, Bribes and Blackmail

That leads to another major part of this story not being told: the routine way the U.S. government conducts foreign policy: with bribes, threats and blackmail.

Trump may have withheld military aid to seek a probe into Biden, but it is hypocritically being framed by Democrats as an abuse of power out of the ordinary. But it is very much ordinary.

Examples abound. The threat of withholding foreign aid was wielded against nations on the UN Security Council in 1991 when the U.S. sought authorization for the First Gulf War. Yemen had the temerity to vote against. A member of the U.S. delegation told Yemen’s ambassador: “That’s the most expensive vote you ever cast.” The U.S. then cut $70 million in foreign aid to the Middle East’s poorest nation, and Saudi Arabia repatriated about a million Yemeni workers.

Katharine Gun

The same thing happened before the Second Gulf War in 2003, as revealed by whistleblower Katharine Gun (who will appear Friday night on CN Live!). Gun leaked an NSA memo that showed the U.S. sought help from its British counterpart in signals intelligence to spy on the missions of Security Council members to get “leverage” over them to influence their vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

In 2001 the U.S. threatened the end of military and foreign aid if nations did not conclude bilateral agreements granting immunity to U.S. troops before the International Criminal Court.

More recently, the U.S. used its muscle against Ecuador, including dangling a $10 billion IMF loan, in exchange for the expulsion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy.

This is how the U.S. conducts “diplomacy.”

As former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali wrote:

“Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.”

This fundamental corruption of U.S. foreign policy, which includes overthrowing elected governments, is matched only by the corruption of a political system that exalts partisan political power above all else. Exposing this deep-seated and longstanding corruption should take precedence over scoring partisan scalps, whether Biden’s or Trump’s.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at  joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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58 comments for “The Untold Story of the Trump-Ukraine ‘Scandal’: The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy

  1. TellTheTruth-2
    September 29, 2019 at 18:17

    The real question is: Would we be here today if Obama/Biden had not taken part in an illegal overthrow of Ukraine? If you follow actual events, the people of Crimea were so upset they voted, LAWFULLY, to return to Russia. The two Eastern regions of Ukraine voted to join Russia too; but President Putin refused to accept them.

    The vultures also descended on Ukraine to make a profit and Hunter Biden was one of them and an honest prosecutor started to investigate, and Joe Biden blackmailed the “installed” President to fire him. When the people of Ukraine got fed up with the “installed” President, they voted a COMEDIAN, who ran as a joke, into office. Now the conspirators have a new ball game and, before this is over, the CORRUPTION will come out and impeachment will only speed it up.

    So, bring on the impeachment and let the truth come out as it should. Before this is over, this could be the Dimms last Rodeo for a long, long time.

    • frank
      September 30, 2019 at 18:12

      Its all Russias fault

  2. Ol' Hippy
    September 29, 2019 at 11:14

    Finally, mention of the illegal coup. Biden’s shady dealings to, maybe, shelter his kid. The whole mess stinks and smells of an op by the CIA. All while real whistleblowers languish in jails here and in the UK.

  3. Sam F
    September 29, 2019 at 09:24

    The “fundamental corruption of U.S. foreign policy [is] the corruption of a political system” that extends throughout Congress and the executive, judiciary, and mass media. I am investigating large scale political racketeering in Florida, and have found that the federal judiciary is also completely corrupt, as are the mass media. The corruption is partisan, but it is led by factions of the rich making personal deals.

    There are very serious defects in our Constitution that must be fixed as the primary cause of problems in this society. Severe accountability for corruption, torture, spying, and secret war (military, economic, or information war), as well as for manipulation of mass media, elections, and judiciary, must be part of the Constitution, which must also clarify the boundary between secrecy for defense and the crime of secrecy for aggressive wars never approved by the people. The Constitution must define military, economic, or information war, and clarify military power limits, and limits to the power of treaties.

    It is a very small and pathological tyrant class whom we oppose, at least as much as in our Revolutionary War, working against us by ever modernized means of economic and information power, and the tools of that revolution are ever less available.

  4. dean 1000
    September 29, 2019 at 08:40

    Great piece Joe. As you say “the biggest crime in this story isn’t being told. The illegal overthrow of a sovereign government.” Also damning links to Biden and Nuland.

    Lesser facts the corporate media won’t mention are whether the CIA agent/whistleblower was involved in the 2014 overthrow of the Ukrainian government. If so, was he trying to protect himself, the CIA, or others?

    Ya don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that Trump is the chief law enforcement officer of the US. The constitution requires presidents to “take care that the laws are faithfully executed.” Investigating corruption, crime or wrongdoing is not an impeachable offence.

    The CIA/whistleblower has shot the democrats in the foot as well as himself. The democrats who have gone hog wild to impeach Trump are in dire need of a reality check.

    • boxerwar
      September 29, 2019 at 16:48

      50 Shades of Gray —

      or how weapons sales and

      Shadow Governments Suck Up

      to the American Arms Industry

      for Favors and Quid-Pro-Quo… .

      SO MANY
      BOMBS…

      SO MANY

      UNNESSISERY
      DEATHS
      .

      WHO CARES
      WHEN THERE’S
      SO MUCH MONEY
      TO BE MADE. …?

  5. Trantorian
    September 28, 2019 at 14:39

    Biden and the neoliberals wanted the prosecutor to be more aggressive in getting rid of any remaining Russian influence. He didn’t think for a second that that Burisma, et al would be threatened. The brand new, US-installed neofascist government was more than willing to buy arms (the whole reason for the “loans”), use Monsanto seeds and Roundup, and become a new buffer state for the US.

  6. PeanutBotticelli
    September 28, 2019 at 07:51

    The US president telling a foreign leader “I’m not giving you any aid unless you allow my cronies to corruptly and ruthlessly exploit the resources of your country” — that kind of bribe solicitation, which goes on constantly, whether it takes this explicit form or not, is not regarded as more remarkable then the fact that we breath aire, let alone anything improper, much less an impeachable offense.

    The US president telling a foreign leader “I’m not giving you any aid unless you help me expose the corrupt way in which the resources of your country are already being ruthlessly exploited by the family of my opponent in this intra-oligarchical contest I’m in the middle of” is not only seen as improper but as the virtual end of the republic, an impeachable offense.

    Two lessons follow:

    (1) ruthlessly and corruptly exploiting the resources of a country dominated by the US is perfectly OK, while seeking to expose the facts is arch-criminal.
    (2) soliciting bribes from foreign leaders is perfectly OK, as long as it ends up victimizing defenseless people, but woe onto you if you should victimize other elements with power.

  7. September 28, 2019 at 02:39

    Joe Biden and John Kerry were not the only leading U.S. politicians with a vested interest in a change of government in Ukraine, John McCain, who bypassed Barack Obama in order to send arms to Ukraine, was supported financially by Arizona weapons manufacturers. Both Kerry and McCain encouraged right-wing thugs at Maidan Square demonstrations in Kiev. The whole Ukraine coup needs investigating, as do all the corrupt figures involved. But that’s not going to happen, as the list is too long.

  8. September 28, 2019 at 01:52

    There is also the fact that the USA justice department is investigating the Russia gate ties to the Ukraine.

    The call was made the day mueller report came out
    US Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 election

    “Durham has been Barr’s right hand as the two look into the complicated and classified issues surrounding how an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia — dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — got its start, though the U.S. attorney from Connecticut has been virtually silent since his selection.“

    The entire democrats Russian ruse started in the Ukraine

    I’m sure democrats are desperate to keep that investigation from finding the truth.

    • Sam F
      September 29, 2019 at 09:31

      Good point that the “democrats’ Russian ruse started in the Ukraine” as the software that stuffs fake Russian-sounding bits into internet packet headers was from Ukraine. I have found similar anti-Russia ruses in the racketeering scams of internet copyright piracy operations based in the West.

  9. September 28, 2019 at 00:46

    Yes, Nancy Pelosi, so without any honesty, says we don’t pressure other governments to get what we want. She clapped her hands when Trump announced sanctions against Venezuela. Just like with Congress’s prayer breakfasts,as they, all, know they have no intention of following Jesus’ or any other deity’s teachings. They just have no sense of shame.

  10. Joe Tedesky
    September 27, 2019 at 23:43

    Well Joe thank you for telling it like it should be told. Although for the MSM to replicate your accurate style of reporting it would mean the MSM would have too tell the truth and that ain’t about happening anytime too soon in this era of ‘fake news’. Again thank you for taking us all back in time to what exactly Ukraine was all about and, that it was an illegal coup conducted under the guiding hand of the USA. By you taking us readers back to the origins of the Maiden Revolt or the USA instigated Ukrainian coup by another name you truly teach the giddy MSM celebrities something about adhering to the fundamentals. Joe you honestly put meaning to why journalism is a honorable profession… I mean that!

    While I sit and contemplate too what strange strategy the Dem’s have where they aim an impeachment hearing towards the direction where a whole host of Obama Administration sins were committed is way beyond good logical comprehension to why a criminal gang would do this. What criminal would want you to revisit they’re crime scene? Only a criminal who would like you to believe that they are innocent of all accusations or, a criminal who is throughly convinced that you are laughably ill informed …or maybe a little bit of both. None the less the battle for the narrative is underway and, we the public are once again denied long awaited citizen unity. This time it’s so bad that even good olde fashion American politicking compromise is off the table. Why that’s downright un-American I tell ya!

  11. Robert Emmett
    September 27, 2019 at 20:35

    Will this become another chapter in The Neverending Story (1984), about the Nothing, a darkness that destroys everything it touches? Or as it may also become known, blowback that just keeps blowing.

    It seems The App-R-At-Us is geared mostly to bamboozle the (U.S.) public, & cover the asses of compromised assets.

    Glad to read, Mr. Lauria, not all the secret decoder rings have gone haywire.

    Ellipse
    What was eclipsed
    with an ellips-
    is loose lips
    sink ships or
    pretzle-dented
    gambits.

    (App-R-At-Us sings:
    Spy in the oval-room,
    shoo fly shoo.
    Buzz in the trans-
    crypt, tell on you.
    Cherry-pick evi-
    dence, what we do.
    Skip to the loo
    with Biden.)

    (MediaCorps sings:
    Here we loop-de-loop;
    here we go loop-de- lie.
    Follow our trail of poop;
    ‘til up our own arse-
    holes we fly.)

  12. IvyMike
    September 27, 2019 at 20:00

    The same B.B. Ghali who outsmarted and used GHWB and Bill to further his interests in Somalia. Not only are we not trained in diplomacy, we not all that good at bribes and threats either.

  13. SA Truther
    September 27, 2019 at 18:50

    Seems there are some other pertinent facts to consider if we’re to get a more global picture of this elephant.

    Ukrainian anti-corruption activists, US allies, the International Monetary Fund and others faulted Shokin for his do-nothing approach to corruption in Ukraine. Hunter Biden was never under investigation as Trump has claimed. Mykola Zlochevsky, who owned Burisma Holdings, was under investigation. Hunter Biden joined the board of directors in 2014 and Britain had begun investigating Zlochevsky before Hunter Biden joined the board.

    And so much more.

  14. Martin
    September 27, 2019 at 16:50

    It shouldn’t be too hard to find out if those ukrainian funds were frozen on trump’s order (my guess is they weren’t).

    • Abby
      September 27, 2019 at 22:15

      The funds were frozen months before the phone call. Trump wanted NATO countries to do more. The funds were released so what’s the big deal?
      BTW..Obama refused to sell the weapons to Ukraine because he didn’t want to ramp up tensions with Russia. Who thinks this is a good idea? Or that Ukraine should be allowed into NATO? Right on Russia’s border.
      Another BTW… Russia is eventually going to start putting missiles in Cuba and others if this country continues with what its doing.

  15. September 27, 2019 at 16:07

    A nation of thieves, thugs, liars and racketeers — at the top. America’s crime family. No wonder whistleblowers get pilloried — along with straight shooters and truth tellers like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez.

    This corrupt mess self-perpetuates while most folks wrap themselves in willing blindness, despite their own suffering, as long as it all seems like someone else’s problem.

    It amounts to a pervasive cultural omerta, abetted by mainstream corporate news and entertainment — a bizarre bubble reality, hard to break. That is why I read outlets like Consortium News.

  16. DavidH
    September 27, 2019 at 14:44

    If the Pubs were to become shocked by this (shocked I tell you), and blew it up on Fox, I wonder if Dems would pay any attention, or just do denial as per usual? Possible grist for unstoppable solidarity.

    PLEASE KEEP THE DOWNLOAD/SAVE OPTION for CN Live! episodes!

  17. September 27, 2019 at 14:44

    Reading all the comments that concede Trump did something awful I would submit asking another president to find out if there is a crook in our midst is not a bad thing. Just another example, like the Clinton emails, where the real crimes are hidden and the imagined ones the ones people pay attention to. We need to keep our eye on the ball, in the case of Clinton it was the emails, not how they surfaced, and in this case it is the matter of corruption, not a request to find out if criminal behavior happened.

    When the old Bolsheviks were caught accepting money from Germany to overthrow the Czar, they immediately launched an attack, declaring they the evidence were forgeries. Tried and true tactic, don’t defend– attack.

    The Democratic Party and the media are doing it and people seem to be buying it.

    As to the quid pro thing, Mr. Lauria does a great job of pointing out that is just business as usual.

    • September 27, 2019 at 18:22

      Bringing the Clinton’s back, as CROOKED Hillary can be, she is a Free (woman) , having a Good Life, with this Bill and Epstein Friend, is there JUSTICE in US ? YES, there is ! But not Against CRIMINALS, Not against CORRUPTION, but for the one that was speeding on the road, passing a red light, driving without its seat belt… That is US, From Head to Toes, a CORRUPTED EVIL NATION !

  18. montag2
    September 27, 2019 at 14:27

    Empires have only one reason for being, and that’s to enrich and empower the empire’s elite. That said, I understand why the U.S. uses its “diplomatic” corps to promote U.S. business interests. However, one of the most unremarked-upon details of Chelsea Manning’s leak of State Dept. cables was the extent to which the State Dept. tried to foist specific American businesses on other countries. They were effectively acting as the business agents for single multinationals, the names of which changed according the economic sector under attack. These were not generic suggestions to other countries to consider American businesses, but were targeted demands for access to foreign markets by individual, powerful companies. Criticisms of the Import-Export Bank center on similar exceptional treatment of our wealthiest corporations.

    Operating in that fashion is a clear indicator of widespread and commonly-accepted corruption.

    • lou e
      September 27, 2019 at 14:49

      Amen; If I were the maximum leader and interested in evenhanded justice, Trump and Biden handcuffed together and punted out the door without a ‘chute would be efficient and effective. Oxford (the one in England) i believe has a motto “not only must justice be done, justice must be seen to be done”…

    • Abby
      September 27, 2019 at 22:20

      Hillary used the state department to fix foreign governments and people’s problems. After she interceded they conveniently made donations in the millions to her foundation. Congress and Obama told her not to do that and yet…

      The IMF instilled heinous austerity measures on Ukraine and the elderly had to return to work. And since Obama’s Ukraine coup over 10,000 ethnic Russians in east Ukraine have been killed. The media doesn’t talk about that.

  19. Piotr Berman
    September 27, 2019 at 12:30

    The last attempt at impeachment fails one litmus test of correct foreign policy (as applied for the last 10 years or so): would it make Putin happy*? Hard to quote Putin himself, but Russian commentators have a lot to laugh about. For example, commenting line-by-line the declassified conversation of two presidents, in which one is polite in a jolly way, and the other resorts to shameless bootlicking (guess who was doing what). That took 14 minutes on a video. Or an article pitying Zelensky “To give or not to give”. The first cruel dilemma of his presidency, so far he managed to finesse any hard choices. But now, he gives the kompromat on Biden, incurring wrath of Democrats and, who knows, the next Administration, or he does not, offending the current president. New satire keeps being posted.

    *To those of you who spend the last years living under a stone: making Putin happy is BAD. Making him unhappy is worth every penny, even if there are a lot of them (e.g. “refurbishing our nuclear forces which now are in tip-top shape. Tip-top.” but many more funds will be spent to make them “exceedingly tip-top”).

  20. September 27, 2019 at 12:29

    Kiers,
    Viktor Yanukovych? That president wasn’t “Russian leaning,” in that he asked the EU for aid before he asked Putin. Those two presidents never liked each other. (Yanukovych: corrupt; Putin: not.) However, Russia was there for his escape when the US decided to take Ukraine for its own. Biden and son are as corrupt as Trump. All our presidents and veeps and secretaries of state are corrupt. (Well, Carter less so that the rest.) It’s not that we don’t have good people who run for president but the rich simply will not let them get on stage front and center or get elected. If the public were smart enough, they could elect an honest president, but they are not.

    • rosemerry
      September 27, 2019 at 14:35

      Spot on!!!!

      Also,besides the fact of the multiple, non-Russiagate reasons to impeach Trump ((and have the joy of a Pence POTUS), and the thought of even running Biden at all as a candidate for POTUS,

      “That’s the biggest crime in this story that isn’t being told. The illegal overthrow of a sovereign government. “

    • lou e
      September 27, 2019 at 14:52

      Good point in the last sentence. It is a sad commentary on the USSA when throwing darts at the phonebook will net the country a better president than what will fit through the political screen…

  21. William H Warrick III MD
    September 27, 2019 at 12:00

    This will be the most disastrous mistake in the History of the Democrat party. This will explode in their faces and the only candidate not supporting it is Tulsi. She will pick up the pieces after she dispenses with Pocahontas over her lack of qualifications to be CiC and either there will be some new Party or a New Democrat Party. I don’t know what Bernie says about it but if he supports it Tulsi will win the Nomination and MAYBE make him the VP so he can concentrate on MC4A. Then she will wipe the floor with Trump.

    • Phree
      September 27, 2019 at 12:28

      Possibly, but I doubt it. Even the Dems will have a hard time screwing this up. Especially since the White House is now claiming advice of counsel in hiding the word-for-word transcript, thereby waiving attorney-client privilege. Trump’s hubris and ignorance has dug him a pretty deep hole this time.

      Some Republicans will (and some already are) realize that they just can’t let something this blatant become acknowledged and approved Presidential conduct. The GOP would have already impeached a Dem based on the publicly available evidence of this stunt.

      And I love Tulsi’s foreign policy. Unfortunately, the MSM has already entrenched the “Assad apologist” myth in the public discourse. I personally think Warren on domestic policy and Gabbard on Foreign policy would be the best ticket, sexists be damned.

    • Piotr Berman
      September 27, 2019 at 12:34

      This is what SHOULD happen, but that, historically, is not a good way to predict the future.

    • September 27, 2019 at 18:31

      Is there anyone that has US printed in her Heart more Than Tulsi ? Medias are AFRAID of her, The way she CLEARLY exposes US Crimes, and say that This Must STOP !! Can you name another that has This COURAGE to Speak up For Americans INTERESTS ! Hey, forget The world for a while, and CARE for US CITIZENS FIRST !! Yes, Sanders has a Vision for US’s Future, and how to (deal) with AIPAC, The POISON !!

    • DMcClure
      September 28, 2019 at 14:55

      Tulsi and Andrew Yang, an unbeatable pair, to lead US forward!

    • OlyaPola
      September 29, 2019 at 03:41

      “Piotr Berman
      September 27, 2019 at 12:34
      This is what SHOULD happen, but that, historically, is not a good way to predict the future.”

      The best way to predict the future is to facilitate it.

  22. Jeff Harrison
    September 27, 2019 at 11:48

    Thanx, Joe. My observation about the typical reporting that gets done is that it always leaves crucial facts and/or context to create the American narrative. I think that what we are seeing now (and have been seeing) falls in the category of The Logic of Empire – i.e. we’ve got to keep running or they’ll catch on.

  23. September 27, 2019 at 11:32

    Absolutely. Just the plain truth.

  24. September 27, 2019 at 10:41

    Mr. Lauria, what a great article. The one piece of your article is outrageous, bizarre and funny. Imagining the scenario you describe:

    “post-coup Ukrainian finance minister was an American citizen, a former State Department official, who was given Ukrainian citizenship the day before she took up the post. ”

    Imagine the scenario. Nuland: “So and so needs to handle this”. Poroshenko. “She’s not an Ukrainian citizen.” Nuland: “Fix it.” Poroshenko: “What’s in it for me.” Nuland’s whispered reply. Poroshenko, “Done.”

    .

    • scrdmgl
      September 27, 2019 at 12:47

      These events were exposed (to no avail) by Russia and other sources.
      Question to those who know World History, is it possible that the US regime is the most corrupt in recorded history? The most shocking part of it, is the fact that the wide majority of US citizens, don’t even consider America as an Empire. What a job of populace’s mental conditioning. The envy of Nazi Germany who never had anything so perfectly imposed over its population. From cradle to grave.

  25. T
    September 27, 2019 at 10:32

    > to spy on the missions of Security Council members to get “leverage” over them to influence their vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

    And the carrot and stick worked: a reporter who has covered the UN for many years was told by members of the delegations of some temporary members of the Security Council that they were indeed going to vote for the invasion. But the giant anti-war demonstrations unnerved their governments, so they didn’t.

    (Of course, the Washington-London Coalition of the Billing went ahead and invaded, anyway. But at least there could be no pretense that this was anything but a massive war crime.)

  26. B. James
    September 27, 2019 at 10:22

    Thank you for this much needed contribution/antidote to the heated coverage of the Ukraine/impeachment brouhaha, especially on the dirty doings of the Obama-Biden administration in Ukraine–the source of what is now being exposed in the whistleblower revelations.

  27. Raymond Comeau
    September 27, 2019 at 10:16

    The Orange Revolution in Ukraine was supported by the USA, so people like Biden and his son would prosper.

  28. Skip Scott
    September 27, 2019 at 10:02

    Great reporting by Joe Lauria on the crux of the issue. Another great article I just read by Caitlin Johnstone hits the nail on the head as well.

  29. September 27, 2019 at 09:59

    It wasn’t a transcript that the WH released. It was a summary. I think it’s pretty clear, with the verbatim transcript moved to prevent access, that there is no way the transcript would have been released. There will be a fight for Congress to get it.

    • Phree
      September 27, 2019 at 12:31

      Yes, I’ve been ripping my hair out when the press calls the summary that was released a “transcript.” One of the most important things in the whistleblower complaint is the confirmation that there is an actual word-for-word transcript. If the Trumpers released the summary thinking it was better than the actual transcript, one can only guess how bad the actual transcript is.

    • Bug Bond
      September 27, 2019 at 16:43

      There can’t be a “verbatim transcript” if the conversation wasn’t recorded by tape or a trained stenographer. This applies to every conversation in history.

  30. kiers
    September 27, 2019 at 09:52

    Trump has created this scandal on purpose. It serves all of the right’s needs.

    As an aside: when US says it wants “bilateral” trade relationships, it means……relationships amenable to extortion. Ivy league mobsters learn to call dirty deeds with fancy terms. Media complies. Voila….democracy!

  31. Bob Van Noy
    September 27, 2019 at 09:10

    Great summation Joe as you keep CN readers on the cutting edge of American deplomacy and corrupt politics. Many Thanks…

  32. Kiwiantz
    September 27, 2019 at 08:51

    Great article as usual Joe. Trumps just the current Don Coleone, Mob Boss that’s occupying the Whitehouse, just another stupid, two-bit Criminal, just like every previous POTUS before him? America has become a Banana Republic that’s without the Banana’s, run by Criminals hacks in charge of a Nation that’s vying for the title of the most corrupt Country on Earth, maybe it should it be renamed Crimerica? This pontificating, self righteous & hypocritical Country is run like a Mafiosi Crime Syndicate shaking down every other Nation on Earth for Oil & Natural resources, drunk on its waning power as a dying Empire of chaos & whose dangerous & reckless disregard for International Laws & blatant Foreign Policy abuses & War Crimes, is perhaps the greatest danger to Mankind, right up there with Climate Change? And the disgusting way the Ruling Elites in both Parties can hypocritically fawn over & support & protect this Whistle blower who dobbed in the Orange Headed Manchild & idiot savant, called Trump, hellbent on securing Trumps Impeachment but have treated heroes such as Edward Snowden & Julian Assange as Treasonous Traitors for exposing similar crimes committed by the US Mafiosi Country, defies belief & is disgustingly hypocritical? But I suppose you have to be the right kind of Whistleblower that can fit the corrupt narrative! America is rotting from the inside out, morally, spiritually & economically with it’s entire Financial System on the verge of economic collapse & no amount of Impeachment scullduggery, QE Money printing to infinity or Endless War creation is going to save the dying Empire of Chaos?

  33. ML
    September 27, 2019 at 08:40

    Excellent, Joe Lauria! Full of facts, yet concise and to the point! Thank you, sir.

  34. Michael Kent
    September 27, 2019 at 08:31

    We just saw ‘Official Secrets’ at the movie theater – the story of whistleblower Katharine Gun’s attempt to derail the Iraq war. It’s a riveting tale with a bad ending, as she heroically tried but failed to stop the killing of thousands of US and British troops as well as hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. The fact that I had never heard of Katharine Gun from that time in 2003 until her story recently came out on the big screen goes to show the complicity of the US and western press in stifling any dissent or deviation from the mainstream war consensus. That today’s media coverage of war – sheer state propaganda – is even worse than it was in 2003, is the most telling part of Katharine Gun’s narrative.

  35. geeyp
    September 27, 2019 at 07:38

    With a hook or with a crook, Natalie Jaresko raked in millions and smiled her way through. As I recall, her soon ex-spouse was suing for divorce and showing some of the corruption that she was involved in, also found in court docs. Who would argue with wanting to get away from her? Her and Nuland are two examples of takers for all the dough they can steal from you and me. Plagerist Joe and Hunter, who was kicked out of the military for his drug of choice, are another two.

  36. September 27, 2019 at 07:01

    Thank you for illuminating “the biggest crime in this story that isn’t being told. The illegal overthrow of a sovereign government.”

    The press failure to tell the fuller truth of such matters is in high relief. And, we can see the mechanics of the media’s role – which applies to so much about this latest controversy among others to be fanned in recent years – in one word in the telephone conversation of Donald Trump – CrowdStrike.

    Looking back to 2016 and CrowdStrike’s false attribution (not the first time Dmitri Alperovitch / CS did such a thing for its masters) – we see how the US media legitimizes the fraudulent elements of state narratives, forging this bogus attribution link into a key propellant in the great Russiagate hoax, helping create the US intell myth that grew like topsy. This is how intell agents and political insiders et al construct a scam via the media – one that has much in common with the smoke-and-mirrors of penny stock promotions.

    As US cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr noted at the time: “Major media outlets including the The Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, and PBS Newshour ran the story without fact-checking a single detail. Motherboard, Forbes, SC Magazine, and other media did the same.”

    eg. (URLs are not included – but the articles should be simple to find using their titles, author and publication info) here’s an article in the Washington Post – typical of what appeared across the legacy media, and provided the fabricated “high confidence” pretext to blame Russia for the so-called DNC “hack”:

    “Cybersecurity firm finds evidence that Russian military unit was behind DNC hack”, Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, December 22, 2016

    And here’s some of the early articles by American cybersecurity expert Carr debunking US intell and CrowdStrike’s claims – those trumpeted globally by the mainstream media coverage:

    “FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort” – December 30, 2016 (LinkedIn)

    “The GRU-Ukraine Artillery Hack That May Never Have Happened” – January 3, 2017 (LinkedIn)

    “Crowdstrike Needs To Address The Harm It Caused Ukraine” – January 15, 2017 (LinkedIn)

    In March 2017, VOA’s Ukrainian service picked up on the work of Carr and others – and exposed the scam. CrowdStrike was forced to walk back its false claims re the fabricated “Ukrainian artillery hack” – but, no matter, the lie had done its job. It enabled then-POTUS Obama to target Russia and it set in motion the false narrative of proof that Russia hacked the DNC. The numerous bogus news reports – in WaPo and elsewhere – have still to be retracted:

    “Think Tank: Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data” – March 21, 2017 (VOA News)

    And we’ve all see how this, and other elements, together were used as ingredients in the Russiagate scam that some forces in America+ aim to carry forward with new illusions – enabled by a press that is not concerned with facts or truth. It’s up to ConsortiumNews – as you have done – and other independent and social media to inform the public about the illegal overthrow of the Ukraine, the CrowdStrike manipulation, Bill Browder / Mikhail Khodorkovsky / Jonathan Winer / John McCain et al’s “Magnitsky myth” and other such harmful schemes and/or crimes – to bring them to light, and to place them in context.

  37. oneilbox
    September 27, 2019 at 06:56

    It may very well be that President Zelensky revealed in the newly released transcript of the Trump conversation, that there are ongoing investigations which are still classified, and related to matters discussed in your article.

    “in addition to that investigation,
    I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the
    investigations.will be done_openly and candidly”

    Many have assumed that Trump was initiating investigations, however, that does not preclude the possibility there have been prior communications initiated by Zelensky on the matters discussed in the phone convo. To whit would be considered confidential and appropriate under the Treaty with Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters https://www.congress.gov/treaty-document/106th-congress/16/document-text

  38. OlyaPola
    September 27, 2019 at 04:59

    “The Routine Corruption of US Foreign Policy”

    Corruption/decay is a useful “organic” fertiliser.

  39. Hmmm
    September 27, 2019 at 00:37

    Another very relevant example: The Obama administration’s apparent pressure on Ukraine in early 2016 to investigate Paul Manafort.

    • kiers
      September 27, 2019 at 09:51

      …..and Greg Craig getting off scot free for aiding a Russia leaning prez of Ukraine.

    • mary-lou
      September 27, 2019 at 10:37

      to ‘investigate’ – is this modern speak meaning conducting oppo-research?

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