Biden Selling out the U.S.

The Biden impeachment investigation began this week. If your source of news is CNN,MSNBC, and the Big Four TV networks, you didn’t know about this, the fourth such inquiry in U.S. history, because they blacked it out. Here’s a handy source to the workings of the House Oversight Committee which you might want to keep for reference.

It apparently wasn’t very significant to the press. Not like the round-the-clock coverage of the lie that Trump was colluding with Russia, a lie generated by Hillary Clinton and megaphoned by them. Have they noted that the FBI agent who helped launch the probe into this alleged collusion was ironically on the payroll of a Russian and an Albanian? He has admitted he was on the payroll of a rich Russian and is set to admit being the recipient of an Albanian payoff.

Former high-ranking FBI agent Charles McGonigal, who last month copped to New York charges of conspiring to violate US sanctions while working with a Russian oligarch [Oleg Deripaska] is set to plead guilty Friday for accepting secret payments from an ex-foreign intelligence agent.

McGonigal, 55, will appear before US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington, DC, to enter his plea on nine counts of falsifying records, concealing material facts and making false statements, court filings show.

The former FBI special agent in charge served as counterintelligence chief in New York from 2016 to 2018 — and helped launch a probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia to get “dirt” on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election.

McGonigal allegedly took $225,000 from an ex-Albanian intelligence operative, identified in European media as Agron Neza, and met with the nation’s prime minister, Edi Rama, while working for the bureau.

He initiated the lucrative arrangement in August 2017 — and it continued beyond his retirement from the FBI in September 2018, according to his January indictment.

He was not the only one in D.C. on the payroll of foreign governments. 

Professor Jonathan Turley has set out ten reasons why the impeachment inquiry is justified and in this list, you can see the multiple ways President Biden sold out our interests to Ukrainians and Chinese.

  • Hunter Biden and his associates were running a classic influence peddling operation using Joe Biden as what Devon Archer called “the Brand.”…millions were generated for the Bidens from some of the most corrupt figures in the world.
  • Some of the Biden clients pushed for changes impacting United States foreign policy and relations, including help in dealing with Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin investigating corruption.
  • President Biden has made false claims about his knowledge of these dealings repeatedly in the past, including insisting that he had no knowledge of Hunter’s foreign dealings which Archer has declared “patently false…”
  • The President had been aware for years that Hunter Biden and his uncle James were accused of influence peddling…
  • President Biden was repeatedly called into meetings with these foreign clients and was put on speakerphone. He also met these clients and foreign figures at dinners and meetings.
  • Emails and other communications show Hunter repeatedly invoking his father to secure payments from foreign sources…
  • A trusted FBI source recounted a direct claim of a corrupt Ukrainian businessman that he paid a “bribe” to Joe Biden through intermediaries.
  • Hunter Biden reportedly claimed that he had to give half of his earnings to his father and other emails state that intermingled accounts were used to pay bills for both men…
  • At least two transfers of funds to Hunter Biden in 2019 from a Chinese source listed the President’s home in Delaware…
  • Some of the deals negotiated by Hunter involved potential benefits for his father, including office space in Washington. At least nine Biden family members reportedly received money from these foreign transfers… 

I don’t imagine for a minute that these payments are unrelated to Biden’s secreting of classified documents in unsecured locations at his home and in the Penn Biden Center. Paul Sperry reports this week that these documents “include national defense information related to China.”

And then there’s evidence that the government of Iran, the most serious threat to our interests in the Middle East, has placed those promoting its interests in key places in the Biden Administration. Earlier we learned that Biden’s Iran envoy Robert Malley is under investigation, his security clearance revoked, and he has been suspended from the State Department for mishandling classified information, the suggestion being that he shared this information with the Iranian Government. This week, Semafor and Iran National report that some of Malley’s acolytes are “linked to a pro-Iranian echo chamber” and have actively been promoting Iranian interests since at least 2015.

Emails that the outlets obtained show that Iranian government officials internally claimed credit for cultivating a network of Western scholars whom the country’s foreign ministry leaned on to promote its message internationally during its nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration. The program was called the Iran Experts Initiative.

The IEI members allegedly laundered the regime’s talking points, publishing op-eds, giving interviews with news outlets, and seeking the input of regime officials on their public engagements.

Two of the scholars involved in the program, Ali Vaez and Ariane Tabatabai, have close ties to Malley. He hired Tabatabai to join his office at the start of the Biden administration; she subsequently moved to a role within the Pentagon.

Vaez, meanwhile, is a longtime expert on Iran policy at the International Crisis Group think tank. Malley, who worked with him at ICG, tried to bring him on board at State -- but was blocked from doing so when Vaez failed to obtain a security clearance for the role, according to Iran International. Yet even after he was denied clearance, Vaez continued to write Malley’s tweets from his perch outside of government.

Why that’s a problem should be self-evident… Throughout the talks surrounding the 2015 accord, Tabatabai and Vaez were in constant contact with officials on the Iranian foreign ministry’s payroll, not only asking them their views on potential speaking opportunities, but also giving them the chance to review and suggest changes to their writing on the Iran negotiations…

Even if, for the sake of argument, there is some innocent interpretation of these interactions, the views expressed in the messages were disqualifying on their own merits.

The Iran International report described one email exchange between Vaez and Zarif in 2014, after the foreign minister had expressed disapproval of a report that Vaez’s organization had published regarding Iran. Vaez responded to Zarif, saying that he was eager to assist Iran…

Washington’s pro-Iran engagement machinery has already cranked into overdrive, calling the reports wrong or, as one of its members put it, a “depressing, McCarthyistic campaign.” But none of the reporting has been refuted, even by its targets….

The State Department and the Pentagon, meanwhile, defended Tabatabai and said the clearance process had been properly conducted….

During a press briefing yesterday, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller went on the offensive, implying that the reporting was irrelevant because the events described took place nearly a decade ago. He also declined to give an update on Malley’s status….

The State Department needs to give Congress a full accounting of Malley’s rocky tenure in the administration. 

Hussein-Abdul Hussein explains how serious this is.

My take on this Semafor and IranIntl stories is that either Malley, ICG, and his coterie of assistants are too naive, or they think that Americans are too dumb and will buy their cover story. In dictatorships like Iran, there are no think tanks, scholars, journalists or independent opinion or thinkers. Every word that is said or printed is approved by the intelligence agencies, and often "leaked" by them. You know how Fareed Zakaria and/or Christian Amanpour interview Iran's president every year? That'd never happen if the Iranian intel agencies thought, for a second, that these CNN anchors would ask hard questions that might make the Iranian president look bad. Writers in dictatorships (and fans of dictatorships in the West) are often given leeway, and they internalize censorship and start self-censoring, becoming aware of what the rulers like and what they dislike. When I was a journalist in Lebanon, every time I interacted with the Iraqi Embassy staff (I was a dual national back then) I assumed each one of them was an intel operative, and that every word I said was being recorded and documented, and whatever they shared with me was instructions, not suggestions. The day after Saddam fell on April 9, 2003, I published an op-ed in NYT (when it was still pro-democracy and liberty) called it My First Day of Freedom. I said it was the first article with my name on it and without fear that whatever I say would be, one day, held against me. That a bunch of Americans thought that they were freely exchanging ideas with Islamist #Iran regime apparatchiks is a horrible cover story. If it is not a cover story, then those who've been running our U.S. policy on Iran are clueless about how autocracies work. 

Is there a single foe compromising our national interest not welcomed by this corrupt administration?

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