[Marxism] Giuliani, Nunes and "-1" phone calls

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 04:10:15 MST 2019


This article confirms how Trump has been using Giuliani to carry out
foreign policy completely outside official channels, meaning outside the
control of the capitalist class. Interesting that one of his strongest
defenders in congress, Devin Nunes, has now been revealed to have been part
of this.


In the two days before President Trump forced out the American ambassador
to Ukraine in April, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was on the
phone with the White House more than a dozen times.

Phone records cited in the impeachment report
<https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/03/us/politics/house-impeachment-report.html>
released
Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee illustrate the sprawling reach
of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign first to remove the ambassador, Marie L.
Yovanovitch, then to force Ukraine’s new government to announce criminal
investigations for Mr. Trump’s political gain.

That effort accelerated through the spring and summer into a full-court
press to force Ukraine’s new president to accede to Mr. Trump’s wishes or risk
losing $391 million
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/22/world/europe/ukraine-trump-military-aid.html>
in
military assistance desperately needed to hold off Russian-led forces
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/world/europe/ukraine-war-impeachment.html>
waging
a separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

>From March 26 to Aug. 8, as he developed an irregular foreign policy channel
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/11/us/ukraine-trump.html> that eventually
sidelined both National Security Council and State Department aides, Mr.
Giuliani — who is not a government employee — was in touch with top-ranking
officials, the newly revealed call records suggested. He reached out to
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/23/us/politics/pompeo-trump-ukraine-impeachment.html>;
the national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton; Representative
Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee itself;
midlevel White House officials; the Fox News host Sean Hannity; a
conservative columnist; an associate who has been charged in a scheme
related to Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster; and the owner of a mysterious number,
“-1.”

Investigators are trying to determine whether the unidentified phone number
belongs to Mr. Trump, said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of
California, who leads the House Intelligence Committee. If so, the phone
calls with Mr. Giuliani could be further evidence of the president’s direct
involvement in the Ukraine affair.


The report gave no indication of what conversations took place or how
investigators obtained the telephone records, which were apparently
produced in response to subpoenas to AT&T and Verizon. Nonetheless, the
timing and volume of the calls buttressed testimony by witnesses who
portrayed Mr. Giuliani at the center of a shadow foreign policy that
dismayed and baffled many in the administration.

The call records showed “considerable coordination among the parties,
including the White House” to falsely portray Ms. Yovanovitch as disloyal
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/us/politics/yovanovitch-trump-ukraine-ambassador.html>
to
the president and to manipulate administration policy for his personal
benefit, Mr. Schiff told reporters.


The report detailed a game of phone tag between the -1 phone number and Mr.
Giuliani on Aug. 8. That same week, Mr. Giuliani was vigorously pressing
State Department officials to persuade President Volodymyr Zelensky of
Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into the Biden family and
whether Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.

Mr. Giuliani missed calls from -1 on Aug. 8 to two of his cellphones. Mr.
Giuliani then called the White House switchboard and the White House
Situation Room, before connecting with -1.


Circumstantial evidence shows that some of the -1 calls involved Mr. Trump,
Mr. Schiff said, adding that his committee was working “to find out
definitively.”

House investigators suspect that the number may belong to Mr. Trump in part
because of phone records used as evidence in the criminal case against
Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime friend and former campaign adviser who was
convicted last month
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/15/us/politics/roger-stone-trial-guilty.html>
of
seven felonies, including lying to Congress. Mr. Stone, who talked directly
to Mr. Trump, received a call from a number listed only as -1, the records
from his trial show
<https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6546-roger-stone-call-records/45b34b2a7a5abe77b014/optimized/full.pdf#page=3>
.


The phone records also detail at least half a dozen calls between Mr.
Giuliani and a number associated with the White House’s Office of
Management and Budget. At the president’s request, beginning in early July
— if not sooner — that office froze $391 million in military assistance,
congressional witnesses testified.

Mr. Giuliani insisted on Tuesday that he had nothing to do with withholding
funding for Ukraine, and any conversations he had with the budget office
involved other matters. “I never discussed military assistance,” he said.
“I am expert on so many things it could have been some very esoteric
subject.”


Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine are under intense scrutiny by federal
prosecutors as well as congressional investigators. Prosecutors in New York
are looking into whether he violated foreign lobbying laws
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/us/politics/rudy-giuliani-investigation.html>
in
trying to oust the American ambassador and also scrutinizing any financial
dealings he might have pursued with Ukrainian officials. Two of his
associates — including one whose records were also in the House report, Lev
Parnas — have been indicted
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/10/us/politics/lev-parnas-igor-fruman-arrested-giuliani.html>
on
charges of violating campaign finance laws and other infractions.

State Department phone records cited in the House report show Mr. Giuliani
and Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice in late March. In an interview in late
November, Mr. Giuliani said he spoke to Mr. Pompeo to give him the results
of his Ukraine research, including the role he believes that Ukrainians
played trying to disrupt Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

At the time, Mr. Pompeo was under pressure from both Mr. Giuliani and the
White House to remove Ms. Yovanovitch from her post. A month later, she was
recalled to Washington, even though multiple high-ranking State Department
officials testified that she had done nothing wrong.

The records of Mr. Giuliani’s calls also suggest that Mr. Nunes may have
played a bigger role than was previously known in Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to
manipulate the administration’s policy toward Ukraine. Mr. Nunes was in
contact with both Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Parnas, the associate of Mr.
Giuliani who helped the former New York mayor come up with negative
information to further his strategy on Ukraine.

In a Fox News interview on Tuesday night, Mr. Nunes said that while he did
not recall talking with Mr. Parnas, he might well have. “I remember that
name now because he has been indicted, he said, adding, “It seems very
unlikely that I would be taking calls from random people.”

On April 10, the records show, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Nunes traded short
calls before Mr. Giuliani reached Mr. Nunes and the two spoke for about
three minutes.

While the subject of their conversation is not known, they were most likely
speaking about Ukraine, the report suggested. In the days beforehand, Mr.
Giuliani said on Fox News that Ukraine had improperly interfered in the
2016 election and posted on Twitter citing criticism of Ms. Yovanovitch and
accusing Ukrainian officials of interfering in American politics.


During the impeachment hearings, Mr. Nunes led the defense of Mr. Trump
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/21/us/politics/republicans-impeachment-defenses.html>,
repeatedly raising questions about Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election and
urging an investigation into Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice
President Joseph R. Biden, who was hired onto the board of a Ukrainian gas
company.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Schiff raised questions about Mr.
Nunes’s role. “It is, I think, deeply concerning that at a time when the
president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up
dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were
members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Mr. Schiff said.


Mr. Nunes ignored questions about the call records in the Capitol, and his
spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. But Republican leaders
backed him on Tuesday. “Devin Nunes has a right to talk to anybody,”
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top Republican in the
House, told reporters.

Mr. Giuliani also spoke with current and former members of Mr. Nunes’s
staff, including Kashyap Patel, who left Mr. Nunes’s office in February and
joined the National Security Council staff to work on issues involving the
United Nations and other international organizations. The two men had a
25-minute call on May 10, according to the records, despite the fact that
Mr. Bolton, then the national security adviser, had said that no one in his
office should be talking to Mr. Giuliani, according to congressional
testimony.

Mr. Patel had no formal responsibility for Ukraine policy, and Fiona Hill,
then a senior aide to Mr. Bolton, had raised questions about whether he was
straying from his official portfolio. She asked Charles Kupperman, then Mr.
Bolton’s top deputy, in late May whether Mr. Patel had assumed a role in
Ukraine matters but received no answer, according to the impeachment report.

After The New York Times published an article in October about Ms. Hill’s
testimony
<https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/us/politics/kash-patel-ukraine.html>,
Mr. Patel filed a defamation lawsuit against the news organization. In that
lawsuit, Mr. Patel denied he “played a role in shadow foreign policy” aimed
at pushing Ukraine to pursue investigations sought by Mr. Trump.


A National Security Council spokesman declined to comment when asked about
Mr. Giuliani’s phone call with Mr. Patel.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/us/politics/rudy-giuliani-calls-1.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

-- 
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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