Giuliani, Pompeo, Nunes, et alia: Busted

Guiliani already was pretty much busted, but now he’s even more busted, with Pompeo. From Vox:

A tranche of State Department documents obtained by the advocacy group American Oversight suggest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani discussed US-Ukraine policy as early as March 2019, further tying Pompeo to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

The documents — obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request — lay out Giuliani’s efforts to establish direct contact with Pompeo. They alsoseem to support the public testimony of US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who told lawmakers Wednesday “everyone was in the loop” when it came to Trump’s campaign to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Biden family.

The nearly 100 pages of new documents could point to the beginning of that involvement for Pompeo, who has worked to distance himself from the pressure campaign.

Pompeo is seriously thinking about resigning as SecState to run for a Senate seat. Or maybe to spend more time with his family.

These March conversations seem to have paved the way to a key role for Giuliani in official US-Ukraine policy. Sondland’s testimony suggested that over time, Pompeo began to direct his officials with concerns about US-Ukraine relations to speak not with him, but with Trump’s personal lawyer.

“Even as late as September 24, Secretary Pompeo was directing [former US special representative to Ukraine] Kurt Volker to speak with Rudy Giuliani,” Sondland told lawmakers Wednesday. “In a WhatsApp message, Kurt Volker told me in part: ‘Spoke w Rudy per guidance from S.’” (S is shorthand among State Department officials for the secretary of state.)

All of this suggests Pompeo was made aware of Giuliani’s agenda in Ukraine from the lawyer himself, and that he knew and understood how key Giuliani was to the president’s desires for the investigations. Sondland’s testimony already made it difficult for the secretary of state to claim he didn’t know about the pressure campaign or the efforts to oust Yovanovitch. The documents obtained by American Oversight make this even more difficult for Pompeo to do.

And what more can we say about Devin Nunes, who is as deeply implicated in this scandal as anybody else? I want the House intelligence committee to demand that HE testify. Adam Schiff should nail his ass.

From CNN:

A lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani told CNN that his client is willing to tell Congress about meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.

The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine. Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes.

“Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December,” said Bondy.

Shokin was ousted from his position in 2016 after pressure from Western leaders, including then-vice president Biden, over concerns that Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases.

Do we want to review some of Nunes’s other, um, projects? Most recently we learned of a Nunes staffer named  Kashyap Patel who went to work in the White House and passed himself off as Trump’s Ukraine expert. I wrote on Halloween

It turns out that an entirely different person had been briefing Trump on Ukraine, and Trump was under the impression that person was his “top Ukrainian expert.” Lt. Col Vindman had not been allowed to brief the “president” on anything, even though he was the real expert on Ukraine and the other guy is not known to have any expertise on Ukraine at all. The other guy, Kashyap Patel, was a longtime staffer of Rep. Devin Nunes who joined the White House staff in February; in what capacity no one seems to know.

Apparently this guy Patel has been feeding Trump wackjob conspiracy theories rather than actual intelligence on Ukraine. Worse, nobody in the White House had the guts to go in and explain to Trump that Patel doesn’t know Ukraine from ukuleles and that his real Ukraine adviser was Lt. Col. Vindman.

I want to know more about how that came about.

Nunes has been at the forefront of covering Trump’s butt regarding the Trump-Russia investigation from the beginning, when Nunes was on the Trump transition team.

As head of the House Intelligence Committee (until this year), Nunes was in a position to put the brakes on investigations, and he did his best. And this happened in 2017:

At least three senior White House officials, including the top lawyer for the National Security Council, were involved in the handling of intelligence files that were shared with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and showed that Trump campaign officials were swept up in U.S. surveillance of foreign nationals, according to U.S. officials.

The White House role in the matter contradicts assertions by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and adds to mounting concerns that the Trump administration is collaborating with the leader of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

And you might remember the Nunes Memo. Here is the Mahablog Nunes Memo archives, if you need a refresher. In short, Nunes has been part of this scheme since the Trump transition in 2016.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee questions former special counsel Robert Mueller as he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)