Tests for the coronavirus have become widely available across the U.S., rendering the media’s constant criticism of President Donald Trump supposed failure to provide adequate COVID-19 testing null and void.
After four months of the coronavirus outbreak across the country, states have a surplus of tests but not enough people who need them.
According to a Washington Post survey, dozens of states reportedly have an abundance of test kits and services. The survey focused on governors’ offices and state health departments, and the results show positive data supporting the possibility of safely lifting stay-out-home orders and working toward normalizing Americans’ lives.
One state defying independent experts’ predictions, Utah, is conducting only 3,500 tests a day, with maximum capacity of 9,000, The Post reported.
In fact, health officials are practically begging people to get tested, with highway billboards stating “GET TESTED FOR COVID-19.”
Why is it that the president has been harshly criticized over testing by the media and top politicians, yet people are not showing up to utilize the now-abundantly available tests?
“It could be simply that people don’t want to be tested. It could be that people feel like they don’t need to be tested. It could be that people are so mildly symptomatic that they’re just not concerned that having a positive lab result would actually change their course in any meaningful way,” Utah Health Department spokesman Tom Hudachko theorized.
Florida has been a state that the president highlighted as a positive example.
Do you think the establishment media’s next anti-Trump narrative will have any truth to it at all?
2% (42 Votes)
98% (1908 Votes)
“Ron DeSantis of Florida, the Governor, is doing a fantastic job in Florida. He said he’s got a little bit of the opposite problem. He’s got so much testing that people sit around and wait for people to come in; that they have a far — a great — overcapacity for testing, and there are numerous other states that have told me the same thing,” Trump said in a briefing on May 11. “That’s, by the way, a good problem not a bad problem.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed the statement that the president made about the state of Florida having an “over capacity for testing.”
“There were extra tests,” McEnany said. “There wasn’t enough demand. There weren’t people showing up to use them all.”
As of April 29, Los Angeles has had such ample testing available that the city is allowing any resident, regardless of symptoms, to get tested as frequently as they want.
According to numbers given by The Associated Press by the mayor’s office, thousands of tests are not being used, The Associated Press reported.
The U.S. is currently testing over 300,00 people per day, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. These numbers are twice that of last month’s average and have hit the goal the White House put in place.
“If people want to get tested, they get tested. We have the greatest capacity in the world,” the president stated in the same May 11 briefing.
Wow! The Front Page @washingtonpost Headline reads, “A BOOST IN TESTS, BUT LACK OF TAKERS.” We have done a great job on Ventilators, Testing, and everything else. Were left little by Obama. Over 11 million tests, and going up fast. More than all countries in the world, combined.
Regardless, the White House has been forced to waste its time defending the president from the fake news media and Democrat politicians’ constant barrage of attacks related to testing.
The president has had to contend with fake news criticism, initial tests shortages thanks to the president before him, and defiance from obstinate politicians, but yet he succeeds not just for himself, but for the American people as a whole.
I’ll give the anti-Trump media one thing, they certainly are persistent. From the Russia-collusion hoax and impeachment sham to testing shortages, they always find some nonsense to fill the airwaves.
The only real question is what they’ll come up with next, now that this narrative has failed them.
This week, new evidence emerged in the sexual assault allegation by former Joe Biden staffer Tara Reade against the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. According to Business Insider, four people have stated that Reade told them contemporaneously about her accusation that Biden assaulted her in 1993. Meanwhile, the Media Research Center uncovered a clip, purportedly of Reade’s mother, calling into “Larry King Live” back in 1993 to obliquely refer to the allegation.
While such evidence does not speak to the actual event at issue, it does demonstrate that Reade has been talking about the alleged incident since it occurred.
The media ignored the original allegation for weeks. Now, even while reporting on the new developments, they’ve found ways to downplay their importance. Thus, The Washington Post — democracy dies in darkness! — wrote an article headlined “Trump allies highlight new claims regarding allegations against Biden.” Normally, headlines are designed to convey information about the underlying story. This headline was apparently written in English, translated to Swahili and then to Punjabi via Google Translate and then back to English before printing.
Other news outlets skipped the revelations altogether. The New York Times, which ran a comprehensive piece two weeks ago attempting to debunk Reade’s case, completely ignored the new information. NBC News didn’t bother covering the information either. Meanwhile, NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack printed a piece on the network website celebrating its journalistic performance. “Humbled by the responsibility we bear, we try our damnedest to serve our audience,” he said. It’s a wonder Lack didn’t dislocate both arms trying desperately to pat himself on the back.
As of this writing, Biden has not been asked a single direct question about Reade by a television reporter. Meanwhile, members of the media cheer their audacity in asking President Trump questions like, “If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War, does he deserve to be re-elected?” So. Much. Journalisming.
Why does any of this matter? Not because Biden should be convicted in the court of public opinion without evidence. He shouldn’t. The standards of due process should apply evenly, regardless of partisanship. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh should not have been subjected to thousands of hit pieces, magazine covers and twisted accusations that his anger at rape accusations he disputed was mere evidence of his privilege. Christine Blasey Ford should not have been celebrated nationwide as a symbol of truth telling without any corroborative evidence. #BelieveAllWomen was always an idiotic slogan. Only now are members of the media admitting it.
That’s why this matters. Biden’s candidacy will survive Tara Reade: Democrats aren’t dumping Biden overboard based on a 27-year-old accusation of questionable veracity, and they certainly won’t do so when running against Trump, who has his own checkered history. But the media’s pathetically hypocritical standard on due process and sexual assault allegations won’t survive. Neither will their credibility. President Trump spends an inordinate amount of time bashing the media for their lack of seriousness. The same media who laureled Democrats for cashiering Kavanaugh and now spend their days studiously avoiding any talk about Tara Reade deserve every ounce of skepticism the American people can muster.
We’re living in a time when we must trust the media more than ever — to bring us unbiased, factual information about a global pandemic, to warn us of dangers and to be reasonable about risk assessment. Yet the media have spent so many years burning through their credibility that they have little left. That’s their own fault. If they wish to restore their credibility, they could start by apologizing for their Kavanaugh coverage — and by providing some fact-checking about their own political motivations.
A New York Timesreport this week criticizes pro-Trump media figures who downplayed the threat of coronavirus. Fair enough.
But it is worth examining how mainstream media outlets treated lawmakers who were warning about the virus and about China’s potential malfeasance early on.
Recent Stories in Coronavirus
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), for example, encouraged President Donald Trump in January to implement a travel ban from China. He told CBS’s Face The Nation on Jan. 26 that China had a “record of dishonesty and incompetence” in combating health crises and cautioned that while Washington was consumed with Trump’s impeachment trial, it was the viral outbreak that was the “most important story in the world.”
Citing Cotton, a Politicoreport in early February warned that a travel ban and quarantine measures “could undercut international efforts to fight the outbreak by antagonizing Chinese leaders.”
Cotton also argued that the virus might have originated at a Chinese biochemical lab in Wuhan that sits near the seafood market where Chinese officials initially claimed the disease originated. The New York Timesaccused him of spreading a “conspiracy theory,” writing that it was “the sort of tale that resonates with an expanding chorus of voices in Washington who see China as a growing Soviet-level threat to the United States, echoing the anti-Communist thinking of the Cold War era.”
“Right wing media outlets fan the anger,” Times business correspondent Alexandra Stevenson wrote on Feb. 17. Presumably, the right-wing outlets providing a megaphone for this conspiracy theory were different from the ones that were dangerously minimizing the threat of the illness.
Heads, the Times wins; tails, Republicans lose.
What most mainstream news reports have refused to acknowledge is that when it comes to the coronavirus, the right, the left, and, unfortunately, the scientific experts are flying blind, writing and rewriting the rules ad hoc and trying to muddle through.
There have been enough miscalculations to go around. The Times‘s effort to classify them by political inclination is laughable. There was the Vox explainer published in early February comparing the coronavirus to the flu. “Half the people in America do not get a flu shot and the flu, right now, is far deadlier,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper said on March 4th. “So if you’re freaked out at all about the coronavirus, you should be more concerned about the flu.”
It is also worth noting which voices have proved prescient. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, in a Friday column that quotes Cotton, writes now that alas, “scientists don’t rule out that an accident at a research laboratory in Wuhan might have spread a deadly bat virus that had been collected for scientific study.”
He writes about a theory percolating in scientific circles about “an accidental lab release of bat coronavirus.”
“Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?”
Will the Washington Post excoriate their own well-sourced columnist for “spreading a debunked conspiracy theory” as they did when Cotton offered the same informed speculation six weeks ago? Will the New York Times offer their readers an analysis of how the panicked Republicans of February were unfairly maligned by the millennial pandemic explainers at Vox?
At least those of us lucky enough to have masks won’t have to hold our breath.
(Permanent Musical Accompaniment The The Putative Last Post Of The Week From The Blog’s Favourite Living Canadian)
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA—It’s a bright, beautiful primary day here in the home office of American sedition, and people seem most convinced that Uncle Joe Biden has finally found a “path” to the nomination that doesn’t lead to the Sarlacc pit. The next five days, in which a whopping share of the delegates can be won, either will bring some clarity to this race, or leave it in a hopeless muddle. I’m inclined to the latter speculation, and not just because I’m a big fan of chaos.
Elizabeth Warren could finish second in both California and Massachusetts, which would be good and very bad for her. Tom Steyer, who’s pumped so much money into this state they should name a bridge after him, may turn out to be a one-state wonder, and Michael Bloomberg’s wallet remains more impressive than the candidate ever was. If Biden gets a big win here, the only story coming from an elite political media that has been dying of thirst for it over the past three months is going to be The Biden Bounceback. But Biden’s chances three days later are far murkier. I am told that his presence in California is minimal at best. So, what do we learn if Biden doubles up Sanders here, but then goes to California and doesn’t even land a single delegate? Surging can’t be entirely in the eye of the beholder. It remains the William Goldman election: nobody knows anything.
While most of the attention was fixated on the doings down here, a court handed the administration a huge victory on Friday based on some of the most nakedly political reasoning since William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia looked at Florida in 2000 and thought, Yeah, we got this. From the Washington Post:
The Justice Department had argued the Constitution categorically bars the courts from stepping into this kind of dispute between the politically elected legislative and executive branches. The court majority agreed and dismissed the case, finding it has no authority to resolve the issue. Congress and the White House are “locked in a bitter political showdown that raises a contentious constitutional issue: The Committee claims an absolute right to McGahn’s testimony, and the President claims an absolute right to refuse it,” wrote Judge Thomas B. Griffith, who was joined by Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson. “We cannot decide this case without declaring the actions of one or the other unconstitutional, and ‘occasions for constitutional confrontation . . . should be avoided whenever possible,’” wrote Griffith, like Henderson a Republican presidential appointee.
If it stands, this decision would leave Congress with no remedy against the people who defy its subpoenas save one: holding the individual for inherent contempt and locking the miscreant in the ancient hoosegow in the basement of the Capitol. I am not entirely against this idea, of course, but I’d like to see the law evenly applied, and the notion that the judiciary can’t step in and resolve a dispute between the executive and the legislature is an ad hoc bit of legal okey-doke that will evaporate magically the next time a Democratic president wants his people to ignore subpoenas from a Republican-led committee. Clean out that dungeon, gang. It’s open for business again.
Don McGahn, center, can ignore a congressional subpoena because reasons.
Chip SomodevillaGetty Images
In Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp is Governor Brian Kemp largely through the ratfcking efforts of former Secretary of State Brian Kemp, tapes have been leaking out from a House subcommittee on minority voter suppression that seem to demonstrate that, in either capacity, Brian Kemp’s idea of public service largely consists of the public’s serving him and his friends. From the Georgia Recorder:
“Good work, this story is so complex folks will not make it all the way through it,” Kemp, who was running for governor at the time, wrote in the subject line of his email to campaign advisers. His campaign aide, David Dove, agreed. Dove suggested that the reporter “wrote this to appease her folks on the left but this won’t help draw eyeballs.” Another email exchange between Kemp and his campaign advisers in October 2017 appeared to mock a press release from Democrat Stacey Evans warning that Georgia was systematically deleting voter registrations.
Dove forwarded the press release to Kemp, writing “us” next to emojis depicting laughter. Kemp replied, writing “us” next to another emoji. The emails were released Wednesday as part of a report from the U.S. House Oversight Committee into voter suppression in minority communities. The committee said that it found “concerning information about voter suppression in Georgia,” as a result of its investigation. Documents provided to the committee show that state election officials publicly claimed to lack authority over polling locations, “while behind the scenes they were advising counties on closing, moving, and consolidating polling sites,” the report says.
Sometimes, I wonder why the Russians are wasting all that time and money on vandalizing our elections. People like Brian Kemp will do it for free.
Governor Brian Kemp was Secretary of State Brian Kemp at a convenient time.
Kevin C. CoxGetty Images
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “My Baby Is The Real Thing” (Roddie Romero): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans. (Special Bonus Mardi Gras Track.)
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archive: Here, from the home office of American sedition in 1965, is a Klan meeting to protest Lyndon B. Johnson’s efforts to dismantle Jim Crow. I’m sorry. I know they were—and are—as serious as Gaboon vipers, but damn me, those people look like idiots. They look like those long-headed mummies from Central America who, as we all know, really were produced by selective breeding with space aliens. (IS SUCH A THING EVEN POSSIBLE?) History is so cool.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, ScienceDaily? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
“The town of Mount Morgan near Rockhampton has hundreds of fossil footprints and has the highest dinosaur track diversity for the entire eastern half of Australia,” Dr Romilio said. “Earlier examinations of the ceiling footprints suggested some very curious dinosaur behaviour; that a carnivorous theropod walked on all four legs. “You don’t assume T. rex used its arms to walk, and we didn’t expect one of its earlier predatory relatives of 200 million years ago did either.”
Researchers wanted to determine if this dinosaur did move using its feet and arms, but found accessing research material was difficult. “For a decade the Mount Morgan track site has been closed, and the published 1950s photographs don’t show all the five tracks,” Dr Romilio said. However Dr Romilio had a chance meeting with local dentist Dr Roslyn Dick, whose father found many dinosaur fossils over the years. “I’m sure Anthony didn’t believe me until I mentioned my father’s name — Ross Staines,” Ms Dick said. “Our father was a geologist and reported on the Mount Morgan caves containing the dinosaur tracks in 1954.
When in doubt, check in with your dentist.
The team firstly concluded that all five tracks were foot impressions — that none were dinosaur handprints. Also the splayed toes and moderately long middle digit of the footprints resembled two-legged herbivorous dinosaur tracks, differing from prints made by theropods. “Rather than one dinosaur walking on four legs, it seems as though we got two dinosaurs for the price of one — both plant-eaters that walked bipedally along the shore of an ancient lake,” Dr Romilio said. “The tracks lining the cave-ceiling were not made by dinosaurs hanging up-side-down, instead the dinosaurs walked on the lake sediment and these imprints were covered in sand. “In the Mount Morgan caves, the softer lake sediment eroded away and left the harder sandstone in-fills.”
I admit it. I was rooting for dinosaurs that could walk upside down on the ceiling. But they lived then to make us so happy now, anyway, it’s hard for me to complain.
If you can get through this past week without purging yourself of all reason, you’re all Top Commenters.
I’ll be around off and on all weekend as South Carolina gradually fades into Super Tuesday. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, or I’m coming over there to walk on your ceiling.
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Charles P. Pierce Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976.
Three years ago Friday, I was sitting in the press gallery of the Senate chamber, looking down at the top of Steve Daines’s head. Daines was presiding and it was late at night. The gallery and the chamber were practically empty. The Democratic minority was trying to delay — or to stop — the nomination of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to be Attorney General. They were attempting to do so by holding the floor. Off to Daines’s right, Senator Elizabeth Warren rose to speak.
She began to read a letter that Coretta Scott King had written years earlier opposing Sessions’s nomination to the federal bench. Ms. King had minced no words calling out what she’d seen as Sessions’s racism. As Warren read the letter, Daines ruled her remarks out of order because, at the time, Sessions was still a senator and that meant another senator couldn’t attack him personally, even through Dr. King’s widow from beyond the grave. Warren kept reading. Suddenly, Mitch McConnell strode down the aisle and formally silenced her. His explanation launched thousands of T-shirts, bumper stickers, and political bric-a-brac. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Ira L. Black – CorbisGetty Images
On the third anniversary of that singular moment, I had to hear Donny Deutsch in Morning Joe dismiss Warren as “strident.” For the record, all the members of the MJ crew, male and female, seem to have a bug the size of a Land Rover up their collective arse about SPW — which leads me to believe that the elite political press learned sweet fck-all in 2016. Every regular at this shebeen knows by now that I hold SPW in great political and personal affection. However, that doesn’t enter into the fact that she has been virtually disappeared since Iowa ended, assuming of course that it has. She outperformed her poll numbers, beat a former vice-president like a drum, and finished a solid third in a race of which we were told relentlessly would produce “three” tickets out. Until, I guess, she won one of them.
A cable chyron said it all — “Sanders, Buttigieg tied. Biden Fourth.” What exactly was the value of that ticket? Moreover, it should bother everyone that the same pejoratives used on Hillary Rodham Clinton — schoolmarmish, strident, unlikeable — are being used now to minimize SPW as a candidate. They are radically different people, although I don’t know HRC as well as I know SPW. But I know them well enough to know that their strengths and flaws are not identical, unless you want them to be. And if Donny Deutsch is nervous about women who are smarter than he is, he at least ought to be more imaginative in how he shows it. (The same stuff also has been aimed at Amy Klobuchar, but in a less concentrated form, probably because she hasn’t cracked double digits in the polls yet. But you wait. If she gains traction, Amy The Boss From Hell will reappear.) But I believe that the disappearing of SPW has more to it than sexism. I think the money power, including those elements of it that own media conglomerates, see her as a genuine threat. Unlike Bernie Sanders, whom they feel they can pink-bait out of contention, Warren knows their tricks and traps better than they know them. How do you think Mike Bloomberg or the powers at Comcast feel about her detailed plan to crack monopolies in our current economy? They don’t think Sanders can win — and they may in fact be wrong about that — but they know what SPW can do if she ends up with the power to do it.
As for the Democratic Party, well, who is the only one of the top four candidates whose campaign came out of that banjaxed Iowa system without complaining about it, conjuring up conspiracy theories, or giving vainglorious victory speeches? Hint: it was the campaign that quietly offered it help to try and fix the mess without trying to take political advantage of it. And it persists.
Respond to this post on the Esquire Politics Facebook page here.
Charles P. Pierce Charles P Pierce is the author of four books, most recently Idiot America, and has been a working journalist since 1976.
Former vice president Joe Biden’s extraordinary campaign memo this week imploring U.S. news media to reject the allegations surrounding his son Hunter’s work for a Ukrainian natural gas company makes several bold declarations.
The memo by Biden campaign aides Kate Bedingfield and Tony Blinken specifically warned reporters covering the impeachment trial they would be acting as “enablers of misinformation” if they repeated allegations that the former vice president forced the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden worked as a highly compensated board member.
Biden’s memo argues there is no evidence that the former vice president’s or Hunter Biden’s conduct raised any concern, and that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s investigation was “dormant” when the vice president forced the prosecutor to be fired in Ukraine.
calls the allegation a “conspiracy theory” (and, in full disclosure, blames my reporting for
the allegations surfacing last year.)
the memo omits critical impeachment testimony and other evidence that paint a
far different portrait than Biden’s there’s-nothing-to-talk-about-here rebuttal.
are the facts, with links to public evidence, so you can decide for yourself.
Fact: Joe Biden
admitted to forcing Shokin’s firing in March 2016.
is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory, that Joe Biden bragged in
this 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016
to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukraine’s president Petro
Poroshenko didn’t immediately fire Shokin.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be
leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said:
‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting
the money,’” Biden told the 2018 audience in recounting what he told Poroshenko
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place
someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations
Fact: Shokin’s prosecutors were actively investigating
Burisma when he was fired.
While some news organizations cited by the Biden memo have reported
the investigation was “dormant” in March 2016, official files released by the
Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, in fact, show there was substantial investigative
activity in the weeks just before Joe Biden forced Shokin’s firing.
To put the payments in perspective, the annual amounts paid by
Burisma to Hunter Biden’s and Devon Archer’s Rosemont Seneca Bohais firm were 30
times the average median annual household income for everyday Americans.
For a period of time in 2015, those investigations were stalled as Ukraine was creating a new FBI-like law enforcement agency known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau ((NABU) to investigate endemic corruption in the former Soviet republic.
There was friction between NABU and the prosecutor general’s office for a while. And then in September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt demanded more action in the Burisma investigation. You can read his speech here. Activity ramped up extensively soon after.
In December 2015, the prosecutor’s files show, Shokin’s office
transferred the evidence it had gathered against Burisma to NABU for investigation.
In early February 2016, Shokin’s office secured a court order
allowing prosecutors to re-seize some of the Burisma founder’s property, including
his home and luxury car, as part of the ongoing probe.
Two weeks later, in mid-February 2016, Latvian law enforcement sent
this alert to Ukrainian prosecutors flagging several payments from Burisma
to American accounts as “suspicious.” The payments included some monies to Hunter
Biden’s and Devon Archer’s firm. Latvian
authorities recently confirmed it sent the alert.
Shokin told both me and ABC News that just before he was fired under pressure from Joe Biden he also was making plans to interview Hunter Biden.
Fact: Burisma’s lawyers in 2016 were pressing U.S.
and Ukrainian authorities to end the corruption investigations.
Burisma’s main U.S. lawyer John Buretta acknowledged in this
February 2017 interview with a Ukraine newspaper that the company remained under
investigation in 2016, until he negotiated for one case to be dismissed and the
other to be settled by payment of a large tax penalty.
released under an open records lawsuit show Burisma legal team was
pressuring the State Department in February 2016 to end the corruption allegations
against the gas firm and specifically invoked Hunter Biden’s name as part of
the campaign. You can read those documents here.
In addition, immediately after Joe Biden succeeded in getting
Shokin ousted, Burisma’s lawyers sought to meet with his successor as chief
prosecutor to settle the case. Here
is the Ukrainian prosecutors’ summary memo of one of their meetings with
the firm’s lawyers.
is substantial evidence Joe Biden and his office knew about the Burisma probe and
his son’s role as a board member.
The New York Times reported in this December 2015 article that the Burisma investigation was ongoing and Hunter Biden’s role in the company was undercutting Joe Biden’s push to fight Ukrainian corruption. The article quoted the vice president’s office.
In addition, Hunter Biden acknowledged in
this interview he had discussed his Burisma job with his father on one
occasion and that his father responded by saying he hoped the younger Biden
knew what he was doing.
Ethics rules requires government officials to avoid taking policy actions affecting
of Government Ethics rules require all government officials to recuse
themselves from any policy actions that could impact a close relative or cause
a reasonable person to see the appearance of a conflict of interest or question
“The impartiality rule requires an employee to consider appearance
concerns before participating in a particular matter if someone close to the employee
is involved as a party to the matter,” these rules state. “This requirement to
refrain from participating (or recuse) is designed to avoid the appearance of favoritism
in government decision-making.”
State Department officials testified the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine created the
appearance of a conflict of interest.
In House impeachment testimony, Obama-era State Department officials declared the juxtaposition of Joe Biden overseeing Ukraine policy, including the anti-corruption efforts, at the same his son Hunter worked for a Ukraine gas firm under corruption investigation created the appearance of a conflict of interest.
In fact, deputy assistant secretary George Kent said he was so
concerned by Burisma’s corrupt reputation that he blocked
a project the State Department had with Burisma and tried to warn Joe
Biden’s office about the concerns about an apparent conflict of interest.
Likewise, the House Democrats’ star impeachment witness, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, agreed the Bidens’ role in Ukraine created an ethic issue. “I think that it could raise the appearance of a conflict of interest,” she testified. You can read her testimony here.
Fact: Hunter Biden acknowleged he
may have gotten his Burisma job solely because of his last name.
interview last summer, Hunter Biden said it might have been a “mistake” to
serve on the Burisma board and that it was possible he was hired simply because
of his proximity to the vice president.
your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would’ve been asked to be on the
board of Burisma?,” a reporter asked.
don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, in retrospect,” Hunter Biden
answered. “But that’s — you know — I don’t think that there’s a lot of
things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden.”
law enforcement reopened the Burisma investigation in early 2019, well before
President Trump mentioned the matter to Ukraine’s new president Vlodymyr
This may be the single biggest under-reported fact in the impeachment scandal: four months before Trump and Zelensky had their infamous phone call, Ukraine law enforcement officials officially reopened their investigation into Burisma and its founder.
The effort began independent of Trump or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s legal work. In fact, it was NABU – the very agency Joe Biden and the Obama administration helped start – that recommended in February 2019 to reopen the probe.
director Artem Sytnyk made
this announcement that he was recommending a new notice of suspicion be opened
to launch the case against Burisma and its founder because of new evidence
uncovered by detectives.
Ukrainian officials said that new evidence included records suggesting a possible money laundering scheme dating to 2010 and continuing until 2015.
later in March 2019, Deputy Prosecutor General Konstantin Kulyk officially
notice of suspicion re-opening the case.
The implications of this timetable are significant to the Trump impeachment trial because the president couldn’t have pressured Ukraine to re-open the investigation in July 2019 when Kiev had already done so on its own, months earlier.