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Corrupt Ukrainian oligarch hired pro-Trump attorneys because he nursed a years-long grudge against Biden

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A Ukrainian oligarch with links to President Donald Trump’s legal team has blamed former Vice President Joe Biden for the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars from his natural gas fortune.

Dmytro Firtash has been furious at Biden since the former vice president pushed gas market reforms in 2014 and 2015 that have cost the Ukrainian industrialist up to $400 million a year, reported The Daily Beast.

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Biden delivered a speech Dec. 9, 2015, to Ukraine’s parliament praising protesters who forced out the country’s Russia-friendly former president, and also called for reforms to the gas market there.

“The energy sector needs to be competitive, ruled by market principles — not sweetheart deals,” Biden told Ukrainian lawmakers.

Firtash, who made his fortune on through just that sort of deal, was enraged by the speech.

“He was the overlord,” Firtash told The Daily Beast, nearly four years later. “I was ashamed to look at this. I was repulsed.”

Firtash, who is fighting extradition to the U.S. on bribery and related charges, hired pro-Trump attorneys Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova to dig up dirt on Biden, and their findings have formed the basis of a conspiracy theory endorsed by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

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A documentary produced for Firtash’s legal team was published by The Hill’s John Solomon, who is also represented by Toensing and DiGenova, who frequently appear on Fox News to defend the president.

Two Giuliani associates who were recently indicted on campaign finance violations reportedly brought up Firtash’s name when discussing their plans for the Ukrainian energy sector, and one of those men — Lev Parnas — worked as a translator for the oligarch’s legal team.

The Justice Department indicted Firtash in April 2014 for authorizing $18.5 million in bribes to Indian government officials as part of an effort to mine for titanium to use in Boeing planes.

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He was arrested in Austria a few weeks before the announcement of the indictment, and Firtash posted about $174 million bail and has been fighting extradition from Vienna.

U.S. government authorities have argued that Firtash is an “upper echelon” associate of a Russian criminal organization, which he claims is baseless.

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Firtash hired DiGenova and Toensing as his attorneys in July, as Giuliani was conducting back-channel diplomatic efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden — which are now under investigation as part of an impeachment inquiry.


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Trump officials demanded the Army ‘dig for misconduct’ to justify firing Lt. Col. Vindman

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This week, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman willingly left the Army after decades of honorable service. He cited a concerted campaign of "bullying" from the highest branches of power in the United States, and now more details are becoming known.

A New Yorker report revealed that top aides to President Donald Trump were told that they needed to find dirt on Vindman that could justify the firing of the decorated war hero.

"Vindman expected to go to the National War College this fall—a low-profile assignment—then take another foreign posting," the New Yorker reported. "But, in a final act of revenge, the White House recently made clear that Trump opposed Vindman’s promotion. Senior Administration officials told [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper and Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army, to dig for misconduct that would justify blocking Vindman’s promotion. They couldn’t find anything, multiple sources told me. Others in the military chain of command began to warn Vindman that he would never be deployable overseas again—despite his language skills and regional expertise."

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George Conway reveals how Mary Trump’s book and the Supreme Court prove the ‘walls are closing in’ on the president

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Republican lawyer and "Lincoln Project" co-founder, George Conway, wrote in a Washington Post column Thursday that there are a lot of commonalities in Mary Trump's forthcoming tell-all book and the Supreme Court decision passed down in President Donald Trump's case with New York prosecutor Cy Vance.

Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, delivers "professional judgments about the president's indisputable narcissism and, perhaps, sociopathy dovetail with those that other experts have reached before," wrote Conway. "Yet it's not the possible diagnoses that give Mary Trump's book its punch. It's the factual detail — detail that only a family member could provide."

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Tennessee Republican says he hasn’t ‘really studied’ whether the Civil War was about slavery

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On Thursday, The Tennessean's Natalie Allison reported that Tennessee state Rep. Mike Sparks, who makes a habit of complaining that "young people" and "journalists" don't bother to study history, could not answer a basic question about what the Civil War was fought over.

"Was the Civil War about slavery?" asked a reporter.

"I haven't really studied it," said Sparks.

"You said you know history!" said another reporter.

"I just think we need to all study history," said Sparks, still not answering the question. "There's different contexts."

This comes during a debate over whether to remove a bust of Confederate general and suspected Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another lawmaker, state Sen. Joey Hensley, defended Forrest, arguing that "3,000 Blacks attended his funeral" — a common but unproven claim of Confederate sympathizers.

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