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Vindman blows apart ‘preposterous’ Ukraine story cited by Trump as excuse for firing ambassador

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On Saturday, The Daily Beast reported that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council official who offered extensive testimony on the events of the Ukraine scandal, went out of his way to debunk the “investigative reporting” of a right-wing journalist whose work formed the basis for President Donald Trump and his allies to go after former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

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John Solomon, a longtime reporter who served as a columnist and executive vice president for the D.C.-centered newspaper The Hill, wrote several articles about the supposedly corrupt efforts by Biden to push out a Ukraine general prosecutor, and made appearances on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to promote them. Later reporting revealed that Solomon was in contact with allies of Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, and his colleagues at The Hill have blasted him for embarrassing their newsroom.

One of Solomon’s most influential pieces was an interview with former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who claimed that officials in his country leaked information on Paul Manafort to help Hillary Clinton and that former U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovith gave him a “do-not-prosecute” list while working to help Clinton sabotage Trump. This likely formed the basis for Trump’s decision to fire Yovanovitch — who was trying to raise red flags about Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine with military aid — as ambassador.

According to The Daily Beast, when Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) — an ally of Trump — asked Vindman about Solomon’s reporting, Vindman called it a “false narrative,” which he knew to be untrue based on “authoritative sources.” He added that he talked to “interagency colleagues from State and the Intelligence Community” who found Solomon and Lutsenko’s claims against Yovanovitch “preposterous … I think all the key elements are false.”

“Just so I understand what you mean when you say key elements,” Zeldin said. “Are you referring to everything John Solomon stated or just some of it?”

“All the elements that I just laid out for you,” Vindman said. “The criticisms of corruption were false. Were there more items in there, frankly, congressman? I don’t recall. I haven’t looked at the article in quite some time, but you know, his grammar might have been right.”

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Vindman’s testimony matches up with that of U.S. diplomat George Kent, who said in his interview with impeachment investigators that Solomon’s reporting, “if not entirely made up of full cloth … was primarily non-truths and non-sequiturs.”


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REVEALED: Bolton urged House Dems to investigate Ukraine ambassador’s firing two days before impeachment launched

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Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) blew up President Donald Trump's claims that John Bolton kept his concerns about Ukraine to himself.

The New York Democrat, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, revealed Wednesday that Bolton urged him "unprompted" in September to look into the ousting of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

Why didn’t John Bolton complain about this “nonsense” a long time ago, when he was very publicly terminated. He said, not that it matters, NOTHING!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2020

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Lindsey Graham quickly scuttles press conference after being linked to Ukraine scheme

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) did not appear at a Wednesday press conference after reports linked him to a highly-controversial Ukraine scheme.

According to The Daily Beast, President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, provided Graham with a letter lobbying for sanctions on Ukrainian officials. The letter was obtained through Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

Fox News reported on Wednesday morning that Graham was expected at a press conference -- but the senator never showed.

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Trump White House sends formal threat to John Bolton — and warns him not to publish his book: CNN

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CNN is reporting that the Trump White House has sent a formal threat to former national security adviser John Bolton aimed at blocking the publication of his upcoming tell-all book about his time working for the president.

The threat against Bolton marks an escalation for the Trump White House, which has resisted allowing Bolton to testify in the president's Senate impeachment trial. The president himself attacked Bolton in a tweet on Wednesday morning, and claimed that he fired him as national security adviser because he wanted to start "World War Six."

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