New Feature: Trump Impeachment Readers Guide

 

 

Today's column announces a new way for the Justice Integrity Project to report on the many important daily developments regarding the U.S. presidency and its global implications. 

Given the large number of explosive news stories arising recently, we have shifted resources on a temporary basis toward more excerpts of news reports from elsewhere on the most important topics, such as Trump impeachment inquiry by the U.S. House of Representatives and the related developments.

This means less emphasis on publishing our original columns while we evaluate the credibility of complex, far-flung global events during an era of strong bias and outright disinformation efforts from both government and private outlets.

Donald Trump (Defense Department photo by Dominique Pineiro)Our main subsite for the material that we excerpt (with occasional original reporting) will be "Trump Watch," which overlaps in content with our more general "News Reports" section. Other specialized sections are "Media News," "#MeToo scandal" and "Deep State."

The subsites include reporting on, for example, continuing Jeffrey Epstein — Donald Trump revelations that straddle several categories of news. For example, we have reported extensively on teen rape allegations against the two men that are seldom noted elsewhere in depth aside from the Wayne Madsen Report, edited by our colleague of that name. He co-authored a series that we reported jointly on the topic in early 2018.

U.S. House logoUnder this new format, the Justice Integrity Project plans to continue research as usual, including attendance at major congressional and court hearings and interviews of sources.

Realistically, however, presenting a curated selection of the most meaningful reporting and commentary from elsewhere in a "Readers Guide" — in the spirit of our longstanding guides on the key books, films, archives and evidence regarding assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy — is likely to provide a greater service to our readers at this juncture in United States history than a forced schedule of columns.

A dozen or more daily developments are frequently important to know, as illustrated by the events of the past week. 

Outstanding work is being done by other journalists many times a day, of course, some in the mainstream and some in the alternative media. These are reports about such inherently secret or far-flung topics as national security whistleblowers, corruption intrigues in Ukraine, battle front coverage on the Turkish-Syrian border and the supposed "fake news" allegations regarding all Justice Department logosuch topics.

It would be arrogant — and not especially effective — for us to try to replicate the most important work in our own columns instead of encouraging readership of the best reporting from elsewhere on these complex topics.

john durham CustomThat said, we are confident of providing value added by focusing what attention we can on useful reporting and commentary.

That's especially so because this project was founded nearly a decade ago to examine in depth precisely the kinds of allegations of rigged corruption prosecutions and related propaganda that form part of the core of the current House impeachment inquiry.

That inquiry has focused most notably on alleged efforts by the Trump administration to pressure Ukraine's government to undertake corruption investigations implicating former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-running Democratic presidential candidate last summer, in advance of the 2020 elections.

We plan to publish soon our findings from a multi-year examination of the career of U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut, right, a career federal prosecutor whom Trump nominated to the top federal post in Connecticut. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has appointed Dunham this year to undertake what is now a criminal investigation of allegations that Justice Department and intelligence officials improperly tarnished the Trump campaign and presidency.

Nearly all media reports assert that Durham has a stellar reputation. Yet there's another side to Durham's background suggesting a deference to political considerations in his prosecutorial work. Therefore, any examination of his current investigation requires consideration of ongoing developments elsewhere.

 

Political Prosecutions

The Justice Integrity Project, launched in early 2010, has published many scores of original investigative reports documenting how partisan U.S. prosecutors and judges targeted political adversaries with highly dubious "corruption" charges that, upon review, appeared designed to help influence elections, often by destroying a target's career, finances and family by oppressive and unmerited prosecution tactics.

Sadly, many politically inclined judges and congressional oversight committees rubber stamp abusive processes. Financially strapped news organizations, in turn, often rely too much on prosecution don siegelman wannouncements and other conventional wisdom instead of undertaking independent reporting.

For such reasons, an announcement of an investigation has the potential to poison the reputation of anyone so targeted. The smears can be especially damaging for targets seeking election.

On the other hand, candidates for major offices currently require such heavy fund-raising for the most part that many are tempted to cross a line between corrupt practices and normal campaign tactics. The difference can be extremely difficult for the public to know in a timely manner before elections.

As a non-partisan organization, our major investigations have exposed, among other things, the frame-up of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, his state's leading Democrat.

ted stevensWe reported similarly in depth about such unrelated abusive prosecutions of Republicans, including the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, right, and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, a Bush administration Homeland Security nominee for the cabinet position.

Illustrating the justice system's widespread problems, the U.S. Supreme Court remained oblivious to the disgraceful prosecution of Siegelman and his co-defendants even though his federal trial judge was forced to resign his lifetime appointment to the bench after a pattern of corruption and abusive conduct enabled by the judge's hidden control of a major federal contracting company that received a $300 million no-bid contract during the case.

Even more relevant to current issues, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, left, the Washington, DC- based federal judge who denounced the Justice Department's emmet sullivan 2012treatment of Stevens, albeit too late to help the senator before his narrow re-election defeat, is currently overseeing the vigorous defense of former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

We have been covering the Flynn case as part of our coverage that has expanded from allegations of abusive prosecutions to cover wider but often related problems, such as rigged elections and economic injustice.

Hidden Realms

A particularly sinister realm of difficult-to-report topics includes political assassinations, concocted sex smears and other biased "news" coverage. The research suggests that sordid political tricks often have common roots that tend to keep the powerful in power — and keep the public uninformed and financially victimized.

A recent concrete example involves sexual scandal, blackmail and hypocrisy in political circles, particularly when exposure could mean loss of office. Wayne Madsen, the columnist noted above, drew on his long experience (including as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer and temporary special agent of the FBI) in reporting on such matters to publish a Wayne Madsen Report column on Oct. 25 headlined, The Real Three Amigos and how sexual blackmail has them at Trump's beck and call. It began (with excerpts from the subscription site by permission):

According to testimony provided to the House impeachment inquiry by George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's European and Eurasian Bureau, the Trump White House replaced the official Ukraine policy team within the State Department and National Security Council with "three amigos" who took their directions directly from Donald Trump's business agent and alleged lawyer Rudolph Giuliani.

The three amigos consisted of Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, a Trump Inauguration Committee donor and political appointee; Kurt Volker, the then-special envoy to Ukraine; and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Volker has since resigned his post and Perry has announced his resignation.

However, the "three amigos" title should be conferred upon Trump's top three congressional defenders: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Jim Jordan (R-OH). All three are subjects to significant political blackmail arising from their closeted gay sexual orientation. All three represent constituencies where anti-gay Christian fundamentalists enjoy political strength that can make or break any candidate for political office.

From afar, that type of commentary might seem incredible, unfair or otherwise unwarranted, particularly when (as often the case) national security issues from U.S. or international players might be involved, thereby providing an extra level of intrigue and secrecy.

Yet this editor was present when credible sources described to Madsen substantial evidence regarding the allegations contained in his Oct. 25 column.

The overall circumstances, including Madsen's track record of exposing in 2006 then House Speaker Dennis Hastert's record as a gay pedophile a decade before federal charges authenticated Madsen's three-part expoe in 2006, prompted publication in our news/opinion roundup on Oct. 25 of an excerpt of Madsen's column.

The reasoning? With the stakes so high for the nation's constitutional system, the public deserves a chance to discuss the most visible political actors and their potential motivations. In this instance, all of those whom Madsen named have aggressively sought fame and power and used it on occasion to demean others in sometimes outlandish fashion. The question of "Why?" deserves to be explored even if the topic is too inherently controversial for most reporters and news organizations.

The Big Picture

presidential   puppetry coverIn 2013, we drew on our many investigations of injustice and reviews of superficial history and biased news reporting to author Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, the first comprehensive book about the Obama Administration’s second term and a survey of hidden dimensions of power politics extending back to the World War II era.

Unfolding as a Washington, DC-based mystery story, Puppetry led readers step by step into an understanding of the seldom-reported power structures that have elevated all recent U.S. presidents into office in a century-long pattern.

In essence, these are the same kinds of issues now central to the U.S. House impeachment inquiry into the Trump administration and the defense by the president and his allies, who claim they are the true victims of a "Deep State" cabal.

We discuss these themes often in broadcast and lecture commentaries to supplement our written coverage. These include last week's hour-long interviews on the weekly McDuff podcast hosted by John OLoughlin (who focuses heavily on the continuing import of Presidential Puppetry's revelations) and Connecticut WLIS/WMRD radio host Phil Mikan, who dialogs more directly about the House impeachment inquiry and counter-claims by the president's defenders.

Summing Up

"Corruption" allegations are extremely difficult to assess when much of the evidence remains secret, which is why the process is open to abuse. So, we plan to keep exploring major allegations in depth here.

burisma logoOne complicating factor is that some influence peddling is unseemly and even unethical even if reporters, at least, cannot prove that it is illegal.

For such reasons, we reported several times beginning in 2014 that Vice President Joseph Biden's son, Hunter Biden, had been named to the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings (logo at left).

The younger Biden's board position and $50,000-per-month compensation for five years are at the core of allegations being made by Trump and his allies. Yet many of them have been engaged in similar if not greater practices, evidence is showing.

Readers are invited to join us in exploring these issues, most immediately by reading and commenting on the news items — but also by sharing news tips and undertaking citizen action.

 

Subscribe to JIP Posts by email

Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

E