Lev Parnas Says It Was All About Biden, Not Corruption

In an explosive interview on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, Lev Parnas, the indicted Ukrainian-American at the very center of President Trump’s impeachment saga, appears to have dealt a death blow to Trump’s defense when he told host Maddow that all Trump wanted from President Zelensky of Ukraine was dirt on Biden and that he was never interested in rooting out corruption in the country.

Parnas told Maddow, “It[Ukrainegate]was all about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and also Rudy [Giuliani]had a personal thing with the Manafort stuff, the black ledger. That was another thing that they were looking into. But it was never about corruption, it was strictly about Burisma which included Hunter Biden and Joe Biden.”

This is a very problematic revelation for the Trump team because their entire defense has been that as President, Trump had every right to deny aid to Ukraine if he felt that hard earned U.S. tax dollars would be misappropriated by corrupt Ukrainian officials.

Republican Senators, especially those from swing states who are up for reelection this year, have found it impossible to defend Trump against allegations that he sought help from a foreign country (Ukraine) to dig up dirt on his political opponent (Biden). These Senators have instead rested on the more palatable anti-corruption defense.

If Parnas’ allegation that this was all about Joe Biden pans out, and all indications are that they will, then the vulnerable Republican Senators who have relied on the anti-corruption defense will have no leg to stand on and may be forced to do the unthinkable–put the country’s interests over the GOP and vote to remove Trump from office .

Bottom line folks, we all know that Washington and indeed the rest of the country has become deeply polarized as a result of the Trump presidency. Under any other normal administration, the revelations brought forward by Ukrainegate would be enough to garner bipartisan support both in the House and Senate for a president’s impeachment and removal from office. It will be interesting to see whether partisanship in Washington has become so bad under Trump, that he is allowed to get away with his very troubling conduct re Ukrainegate–the quintessential “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

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Drain The Swamp?Yeah Right. How Lobbyists Are Helping Trump Roll Back Regulations

Bombshell NYT piece goes into details of how the Trump administration, with the help of lobbyists tied to the fossil fuel industry (oil and gas), is rolling back environmental regulations and in so doing, seriously jeopardizing the public’s health and safety. These environmental regulations affect everything– from the air we breathe, the water we drink, to the toxic(potentially carcinogenic) substances we may be exposed to as a result of petrochemical processes.

Trump who was elected President largely because of his signature promise to “drain the swamp”(end corruption) in Washington, has apparently created his own swamp of oil and gas lobbyists who are tearing down environmental regulations they deem a hindrance to maximizing profits.

Yeah, you read that right–oil and gas lobbyists are helping the Trump administration to tear down environmental regulations so that the companies they represent can maximize profits–public health and safety be damned. This is public corruption at its worst and as “swampy” as it gets.

According to the New York Times piece the Trump admin has to date rolled back 95 environmental regulations, 58 of them completely and 37 still in the roll back process.

16 environmental regulations related to air pollution and emissions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process

10 regulations related to drilling and extractions have already been completely rolled back with 9 more still in the roll back process.

As for regulations related to infranstructure and planning, 11 regulations have already been completely rolled back with 1 more still in the roll back process.

7 regulations related to animals have already been completely rolled back with 3 more still in the roll back process. 5 regulations related to toxic substances have already been rolled back with 3 still in the roll back process.

4 regulations related to water pollution have already been completely rolled back with 6 more still in the roll back process. According to the NYT piece, there are 11 other environmental regulations the Trump administration has tinkered with, 5 of which have completely been rolled back and 6 still in the roll back process.

Bottom line folks, there are already very many reasons for America to adopt Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ( AOC) Green New Deal(GND). As gifted as Rep AOC is in promoting her GND, she rarely cites corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the central reasons why the country should adopt her plan. Hopefully this bombshell NYT piece will make her highlight corruption in the oil and gas industry as one of the primary reasons why America needs the green new deal. Simply put, AOC’s GND will once and for all, drain the swamp that is the oil and gas lobby.

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$1.5 Trillion Worth Of $100 Bills Are Unaccounted For

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with his wife Louise Linton

A bombshell Yahoo News piece says a staggering $1.5 trillion worth of U.S. dollar bills, predominantly the $100 bills(C-notes) are unaccounted for. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was confronted with this question on Fox Business Network (FBN) where he gave the explanation that weak economies around the world are increasingly using the U.S. dollar, meaning the missing $100 bills are probably sitting in bank vaults around the world.

Specifically, Sec Mnuchin told FBN’s Lou Dobbs,“Literally, a lot of these $100 bills are sitting in bank vaults all over the world…..The dollar is the reserve currency of the world, and everybody wants to hold dollars…….And the reason why they want to hold dollars is because the U.S. is a safe place to have your money, to invest and to hold your assets…….There’s a lot of Benjamins all over the world.” ($100 bills are colloquially referred to as “Benjamins” because they bear the picture of founding father Benjamin Franklin)

Reasonable people will agree that Secretary Mnuchin’s explanation, that the $100 bills are probably sitting in bank vaults worldwide, is very plausible. The question he was never asked however, is why we are having this problem now? Weak economies around the world have been using U.S. currency way before the Trump administration. Were the $100 bills also unaccounted for prior to the Trump administration? Yours Truly, always ahead of the curve, raised this question on Twitter.

Bottom line folks, we have witnessed shocking levels of corruption in the 3 short years Trump has been President. Under any other normal U.S. administration, the explanation given by Sec Mnuchin would be sufficient. Given the fact that the Trump administration has exhibited shocking levels of corruption, most notably the disappearance of $40 million of inaugural funds, congressional Democrats and the mainstream media owe it to the public to press Secretary Mnuchin for more answers regarding the missing Benjamins.

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Trump Family’s Deceptive Trade Practices

A CNN Special Report by Erin Burnett exposed some stunning deceptive practices employed by the Trump family in their real estate dealings. Some of the deceptive statements the Trumps used to lure in real estate investors are borderline criminal fraud. According to the CNN Special Report, the Trump family essentially embarked on real estate projects worldwide and then made false media pronouncements that their properties were sold out in an effort to lure in investors. Non-suspecting investors then pumped money into what they believed were very profitable Trump properties only to be hit by bankruptcy notices resulting in severe losses. The full CNN Special Report titled “The Trump Family Business” is available here but the relevant clip is below

In 2009 Ivanka Trump for example told CBS regarding the Trump Tower Toronto project, “We have projects all over the world that are incredibly successful and that are virtually sold out…from Hawaii to Toronto to Istanbul.” However according to Erin Burnett, bankruptcy papers filed for the Toronto project years later totally contradicted Ivanka’s statement to CBS. Turns out a whopping 75% of the “sold out” Toronto building remained unoccupied.

Similar shocking deceptive practices were also employed at Trump’s SOHO project where Ivanka told reporters in 2008 that 60% of the units had been sold. It later turned out upon further inspection that contrary to Ivanka’s assertion, only 15% of the units had been sold. Even more troubling about the SOHO project is the fact that there were email exchanges between Ivanka and Trump’s eldest son Don Jr showing that the two were willfully lying to investors about the occupancy rates at Trump SOHO. This apparently led to a lawsuit which the Trump family settled with the terms remaining secret.

Bottom line as Erin Burnett’s Special Report points out, a lot of these real estate investors who were lured into investing based on gross misrepresentations by the Trumps, ended up losing large sums of money. These were not just harmless sales gimmicks employed by the Trumps. Even though it is unlikely that any criminal prosecution could be initiated against Trump’s adult children(statute of limitations), the only decent cause of action for them given their current status in society(Presidential children) would be to make a public apology to the investors who got crushed by their deceptive trade practices.

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Paxtons Are A Symbol Of Texas GOP’s Corruption

Texas Attorney-General and his wife State Senator Angela Paxton

A lot has been made about the corruption of the Trump administration and Republicans generally at the national level, and deservedly so. Very little however is said about the entrenched corruption among Republicans at the state level, especially in so-called “Red States” like Texas that have a GOP trifecta–control of the Judiciary, Legislature and Executive Branch.

Hopefully this bombshell piece by Texas Tribune will open the door to more coverage of the entrenched GOP Corruption in the Lone Star State and other “Red States”

The Texas Tribune piece above goes into great detail about how State Senator Angela Paxton’s new bill opens her up to charges of corruption. So in order to avoid redundancy, Yours Truly will do what he does best–cut to the chase and tell grassroots Democrats what is corrupt/swampy about Senator Paxton’s bill.

You will remember that in 2015, Texas Attorney-General was indicted and charged for violating a Texas securities law–essentially giving investment advice that he was not authorized to give. In Texas, as in many other states, one is required to register with the state board before giving investment advice. Giving investment advice without registering with the state board is a third degree felony in Texas (2-10 years jail). There are many reasons for the state board registration requirement, key among them curbing corruption/self dealing. If I am a major shareholder at a large Texas company, and I am advising someone/ a corporation to make a major investment in the same company, the folks at the Texas state board can easily sniff out the self dealing because they will have records of all my financial entanglements. Simply put, it is a very important anti-corruption measure to have investment advisers register with the Texas state board.

Angela Paxton the wife of Texas AG Ken Paxton ran for office in 2018 and was elected Texas State Senator for Senate District 8(SD 8). One of her first actions as a Texas legislator was introducing Senate Bill 860 (SB860) which among other things, seeks to make it legal for someone to give investment advice without registering with the Texas state board–the same thing her husband is currently in trouble for. It’s not hard to see why the naked self-dealing/corruption that is inherent in Sen Paxton’s SB860 has sparked outrage in Texas. Sadly however, this is just a sample of the kind of entrenched corruption that is commonplace in “Red States” like Texas that never get the mainstream media attention they deserve. Hopefully from here on out the Texas Tribune and other major Texas publications will expose instances of public corruption like the one exhibited by the Paxtons. Yours Truly will certainly make #TexasSwamp a major topic of debate especially as we approach the 2020 elections.

Bottom line if Democrats hope to turn Texas blue, they have to make the entrenched GOP Corruption a key campaign issue in 2020 and beyond. Maybe just maybe this may be the key to Democrats capturing the coveted US Senate seat currently held by John Cornyn in 2020.

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Democrats Introduce HR1 “ForThePeople” Act

In case you missed it House Democrats recently introduced HR1 dubbed “ForThePeople” Act , their first bold bill which seeks to tackle among other things GOP’s culture of corruption and rampant gerrymandering. For detailed information on HR1, please refer to the hearings below shared by Speaker Pelosi on her Twitter page.

A lot of grassroots Democrats get lost in the Washington/mainstream media weeds which is why Yours Truly goes out of his way to break things down as much as possible to ensure every voter gets it, a good example being the famous “Handy Lists”. Therefore rather than go into the specific details of HR1, which you can already find on Speaker Pelosi’s Tweet above and various sections of the mainstream media, we will instead point out the main issues powering HR1 which grassroots Democrats need to know. These are the main issues Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats seek to address with HR1–“ForThePeople” Act;

End partisan gerrymandering for congressional districts

Make election day a federal holiday

Guarantee early voting dates

Establish a nationwide voter registration

Stop purging of voters by state Secretaries of State

Ensure the President and Supreme Court Justices are subject to the same ethics and non-corruption rules as other public officials

End flow of anonymous money into campaigns by forcing “dark money” groups and super PACS to disclose their donors

Require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to release their tax returns

In the coming days and weeks we will dive into the specifics of these key planks of HR1 and as usual, create a “Handy List” of GOP members of congress who stall its progress. There’s a very good chance most if not all of HR1 provisions will pass in the House but stall in the U.S. Senate therefore expect a lot of handy lists of GOP Senators.

Bottom line HR1 is a brave bold initiative by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats and yet another reminder as to why voting matters. Thanks to the huge Dem voter turnout in November 2018, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are now embarking on addressing issues that are near and dear to grassroots Democrats hearts, especially voting rights. This is just the beginning. We must make sure we stay engaged with House Democrats but more importantly work harder to take over the U.S. Senate in 2020.

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Staggering $40 Million Of Trump’s Inaugural Funds Missing

President Donald J. Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony, Jan 20, 2017

In case you missed it, a stunning segment on OutFrontCNN with Erin Burnett said that a staggering $40 million dollars of Trump’s inaugural funds have just disappeared. Citing a Pro Publica report, host Erin Burnett said, “We know that they[Trump’s Inaugural Committee] raised $107 million from donors….Of the $107 million, we to this day do not know where $40 million of it went. How is that possible?” Erin Burnett is not alone in her outrage. A lot of Americans are shocked at how this level of public corruption has gone unanswered(no prosecution) for 2 years. The full OutFrontCNN segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

An even more troubling revelation from the bombshell OutFrontCNN segment is that Ivanka Trump who doubles up as Presidential daughter and Adviser apparently was in the middle of the price negotiations between the Trump Inaugural committee and the Trump Organization raising obvious conflict of interest questions–self-dealing. The Trump Organization apparently extremely overcharged the Trump Inaugural Committee for rooms, meals and event space at Trump Hotel in DC and there are emails showing that Ivanka Trump was in on the price negotiations.  

This is hands down one of the biggest stories of the week but it has strangely received very little mainstream media attention. It is mind-boggling how $40 million dollars can just disappear in thin air–outright theft/embezzlement– and two years later nobody is either sitting in jail for it, or fighting a criminal indictment. Can you imagine if this happened under the Obama administration and the Obama family was suspected of having embezzled inaugural funds? 

This is by all objective standards a shocking case of public corruption. But you don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, listen to what Richard Painter, the Ethics Chief under the George W. Bush administration told OutFrontCNN host Erin Burnett; “It’s shocking. Somebody’s stealing money….somebody’s putting money in their own pocket…$40 million dollars unaccounted for, that is a telltale sign of fraud…criminal activity is very likely. If we had seen any amount of money missing in the Bush inaugural committee I would have called people into my office and said I want to find out exactly where that money is, and better find out fast because it could be a crime…..”

Bottom line folks when incidents of blatant corruption by public officials go on for this long without any legal consequences, the spotlight shifts from the corrupt act itself to who we are as a society. In this case it raises the question as to whether certain people are above the law. There is absolutely no way that two years after a suspected theft/embezzlement by members of any other previous U.S. administration, one that was widely reported by the mainstream media and has a lot of documentary evidence, would not have yielded indictments already.

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Who Paid Acting AG Matthew Whitaker $1.2 Million?

Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today dropped a bombshell on ABC’s This Week show saying Acting AG Matthew Whitaker received some $1.2 million dollars in income to defend Trump on TV but nobody knows the source of the money.


Sen Klobuchar told host George Stephanopoulos;
“There are court cases going on that are questioning this appointment of someone[Whitaker] that is literally a walking conflict who got $1.2 million, the most he ever got in his life, to go on TV to protect Donald Trump and we have no idea where that money came from, and so I am asking where did that money come from?”

Different arguments have been made as to why Matthew Whitaker is unfit to fill the AG spot vacated by Jeff Sessions but none is as powerful as the conflict of interest argument advanced by Senator Klobuchar. As the Senator aptly put it, Whitaker is “literally a walking conflict” and must not be allowed to fill the AG spot without vetting by the U.S. Senate.

Bottom line, Democrats both in the House and Senate must put up a fight to protect Mueller probe and highlighting Acting AG Whitaker’s numerous conflicts of interest, including this mysterious $1.2 million payment is a very good starting point.

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Former Harris County GOP Chairman’s Law Office Raided By Houston Police

HPD Officers Search Former Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill’s Law Office

Officers from the Houston Police Department have apparently raided the Law Office of former Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill.


The Harris County District Attorney’s office has confirmed that they had a warrant for the raid. Mr Woodfill is apparently accused of taking $300,000 from a client’s trust account.

Obviously this is still an ongoing investigation so details will come out later. It however cannot be left unsaid that GOP, the so-called “moral values party” has become synonymous with corruption, especially now that Trump is at its helm.

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