Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sol Wisenberg Re The Ukraine Hoax

I just came across a good interview on Fox with Solomon "Sol" Wisenberg, who's a very knowledgeable prosecutor in the field of corruption and fraud. He was Deputy Independent Counsel under Ken Starr, so he learned by investigating pros. I find his comments very pithy and to the point. No news, but I think you'll enjoy it. My transcript shortens or omits some of the questions:

October 1, 2019, re the Ukraine Hoax phone call:

Q: Where do you think we are right now in trying to understand the story?
Sol Wisenberg: Well, to me the big part of the story is, I see this as an effort from the beginning really to shut down John Durham's investigation of how the intelligence agencies were used against candidate Trump in the 2016 election. 
Sol Wisenberg: I can't prove it, but there's been a concerted effort to go against Barr, particularly since he said he thought it was a 'big deal'--remember his comment! 'It's a big deal when the party in power uses intelligence agencies to spy on the candidate of the opposing party.'  He's got an impeccable prosecutor he has hired who's respected by both sides of the aisle to investigate this, and I think they're scared to death, certain elements of the intelligence community and the Democratic party about what he is going to find. That doesn't mean that President Trump's phone call wasn't foolish, but I think this is what it's all about, and they were simply waiting for an opportunity to pounce. 
Q: They can't shut down a prosecutor who acts on his own authority. 
Sol Wisenberg: Well, they don't have the authority--he [Durham] works for Bill Barr--but they can try to smear him, and they smear him by smearing Barr.
Sol Wisenberg: If you can dirty up Barr, and indirectly the investigation and Durham through that, you kill its effectiveness. People will say, 'Oh, that's just Bill Barr! That's Bill Barr doing something he shouldn't be doing!' when in fact he has set it up exactly the way you should set it up, by putting a guy like Durham in charge of it. And all Bill Barr did was go to some foreign law enforcement officials and said, 'Durham--this is my man, can you help him? We would like your help.' That's totally appropriate for the top law enforcement official in this country to do.
[Video clip of Trump saying he hopes Barr goes to a laundry list of foreign countries to get to the bottom of the hoax that was perpetrated on the country.] 
Q: Do you seen anything wrong in what you just heard in that sound bite? 
Sol Wisenberg: Not only do I not see anything wrong, but the fact that he said it back in May shows that it's not, y'know, he's been very up front about what he wants Barr to do. Now, he misspoke. He didn't declassify all that stuff. He gave Barr the authority to declassify if necessary. Don't you think that's something that should be investigated? When the incumbent political party opens a counterintelligence investigation on the candidate of the opposing party? I think that's a very big step [opening a CI investigation on the opposing candidate]. You don't take a step like that unless you've really got good evidence. I have no problem ... 
Q: [Re Michael Mukasey's op-ed in the WSJ.] He implies that Ukraine might be in the middle of this matter, a lot more than Democrats have suggested. 
Sol Wisenberg: I have no idea on whether that's accurate or not, but I just know that the idea that you wouldn't want to investigate that is appalling to me. Investigate the whole intelligence effort against Trump and let the chips fall where they may. Just like the Democrats'll let the chips fall where they may in this investigation of the phone call and circumstances surrounding the phone call with the president.


  1. But what do David French and Bill Kristol think?

  2. Again, a bit off topic...

    On the subject of investigating Ukraine.

    This index places Ukraine at No. 120 on the global corruption index, tied with two sub-Saharan African countries.

    The Dems would have us believe that the participation of Biden's son and Kerry's stepson in the management of a Ukrainian energy company controlled by an oligarch which was under investigation in Ukraine for corruption is exempt from examination. The company couldn't possibly be corrupt could it? And the Bidens and Kerrys roles couldn't be of interest, could they?

    And Trump could not possibly have a legitimate concern that we have granted BILLIONS of dollars of aid and loans and sold armaments to the most corrupt country in Europe (after Russia, itself), could he?

    Of course not.

  3. I need to defend Trump again.
    “That doesn't mean that President Trump's phone call wasn't foolish, but …”
    It’s pretty easy to nit-pick somebody else’s private one-to-one conversation from a transcript and call a sentence fragment “foolish”. Two heads of state talking to each other on the phone are NOT two lawyers arguing in a courtroom with a judge listening and parsing their words.
    This whole episode of Democrat “public servants” and Democrat Media so corruptly and brazenly using their positions of power as political weapons against Trump is disgusting. Dignifying their eavesdropping and corrupt (criminal?) leaking, is exactly what the Democrats want, and is also disgusting.

    1. I agree that really the most you could say is that it was perhaps inartful, but that such criticism is hindsight. Trump was trying to persuade a foreign head of state to cooperate in a law enforcement matter that had serious implications for both countries--not to give him a lecture on the US sytem of governance.

    2. It could also be observed that this ticky-tack critique in hindsight is a distraction from the substance of the conversation.

      Of course words and phrases without context--taken out of context--can be seen as foolish, unartful, inapt, informally casual. Isolating words, phrases in this manner leads to interpretations at odds with the substance of the dialogue taken as a whole.

      It's the post-modern game of textual intentions used by sophists.

    3. The genius of Critical Theory is that it facilitates, through de/re-contextualization sleight-of-hand, the conformity of any human interaction to the Party Narrative in order to maximize Dialectic (propaganda) utility for the Party.
      Tom S.

    4. Along the lines of inartful, foolish, etc., what if everyone of us had a magnifying glass exposing all of our transcripts, statements, etc.?

      I know that I misspeak everyday. Sometimes my fingers aren't as fast as my mind, sometimes I say things in the heat of the moment, sometimes I run two ideas together.

      It's not a crime, neither is what Donald did. The crime is getting a committee to write a "whistleblower" report, change the whistleblower regulations, shake other governments down, abuse the power as an FBI or CIA director. This is all done surreptitiously.

      They are nitpicking at the President and trying to bring him down with death by a thousand cuts.

    5. Now we find out that the Ukrainian government has been investigating Burisma and the Bidens since February.

      Here’s what came to us direct from the Ukraine today. A report on a press conference held there today:

      Burisma paid Joe Biden $900,000 for lobbying – Ukrainian MP

    6. Should have mentioned that that report was published by Interfax-Ukraine news agency. An excerpt:

      KYIV. Oct 9 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 for lobbying activities from Burisma Group, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada member Andriy Derkach said citing investigation materials.

      Derkach publicized documents which, as he said, "describe the mechanism of getting money by Biden Sr." at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine's press center in Kyiv on Wednesday.

      "This was the transfer of Burisma Group's funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services," Derkach said.

      He also publicized sums that were transferred to Burisma Group representatives, in particular Hunter Biden, a son of the former U.S. vice president.

    7. Yeah, hopefully we'll get some confirmation soon.