Timeline: Hunter Biden, Burisma and the Trump Ukrainian Scandal

Hunter Biden

2002

Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky founds Burisma, an energy company.

2009

June:: Hunter Biden co-founds Rosemont Seneca Partners, with Christopher Heinz (the stepson of John Kerry and heir to the Heinz fortune) and Devon Archer, who had been friends with Heinz at Yale. [1]

2010

February 7, 2010: Viktor Yanukovych elected president of Ukraine.

In an apparent conflict of interest, Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky serves as a minister of ecology and finance under President Yanukovich. His term ends in 2012.

2013

November 2013: Political revolution in Ukraine. Tens of thousands protest the government of President Yanukovych. His reluctance to join the European Union is a major point of contention. [2]

2014

Sometime in 2014: An investigation begins into Burisma founder Zlochevsky for tax violations, money-laundering and self-dealing via his ministry position. The government quickly shutters the inquiry, however.

February 2014: The pro-Russian Ukrainian Yanukovytch government falls. His security forces crack down on the demonstrators killing more than 70 civilians and spurring a political backlash. Yanukovych flees to Russia.[2]

March-April 2014: Russian forces invade Crimea and declare the annexation of the peninsula, starting a war that continues today and has killed more than 14,000 people. [2]

April 2014: Hunter Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, is appointed to a five-year term on the Burisma board of directors. According to Reuters, board meetings were held outside Ukraine, and Hunter Biden never visited the country. Reuters also says Biden assisted with analysis of oil and gas assets the company was considering buying abroad.[3]

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Putin Said to Be Source of Trump’s Bogus Ukrainian Conspiracy Theory

Putin, left, with Hungarian Strongman Viktor Orban

Every conspiracy theory has a source. More often than not, however, the source is impossible to track down. Not so with Trump’s pet theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

The source of that thoroughly disproved assertion was Trump’s handler, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Putin first mentioned it in public during a news conference with right-wing Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, in 2017:

[…]

Trump, Barr Had ‘Animated Talk’ about Horowitz Report on Russia Investigation Origins

Donald Trump and his sycophantic attorney general Bill Barr had an “animated talk” in the Oval Office Thursday night, according to a pool report from the White House Press Corps. Two sources told CNN that the topic of the heated exchange was Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s imminent report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian support for Trump’s 2016 campaign.

[…]

Why Doug Jones will Lose His Senate Seat to a Republican in Alabama

When a less chewed up and spit out Jeff Sessions vacated his Senate seat in 2017 to become Donald Trump’s first U.S. Attorney General, it forced a special election in Alabama to replace him. And that’s about the only way a Democrat like Doug Jones was ever going to win in that state.

The reason is straight ticket voting (STV). Alabama (and six other states*) still offer this option for those who have one concern when casting a ballot: party affiliation.
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The Law: Contributions and Donations by Foreign Nationals

§30121. Contributions and donations by foreign nationals
(a) Prohibition
It shall be unlawful for-

  • (1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make-
  • (A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
  • (B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
  • (C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or

[…]

GOP’s Potential ‘Perfect Storm’ Scenario

“A growing number of Republicans are privately warning of increasing fears of a total wipeout in 2020: House, Senate, and White House,” Axios reports.

  • House Republicans in swing districts are retiring at a very fast pace, especially in the suburbs of Texas and elsewhere.
  • The Republican Senate majority, once considered relatively safe, suddenly looks in serious jeopardy. Democrats are raising more money, and polling better, than Republican incumbents in battleground after battleground.
  • President Trump trails every major Democratic candidate nationally and in swing states — and his favorable ratings remain well under 50%.

“All of this is unfolding while the economy still looks strong, and before public impeachment proceedings have officially begun.”

Florida GOP Has No Appetite for Dinner

Florida GOP Chairman Joe Gruter — AP
“The Republican Party of Florida on Tuesday postponed its biggest annual fundraiser, a move that some officials blamed on lackluster interest from donors,” Politico reports.

“Planners were having difficulty selling table sponsorships to the Statesman’s Dinner, and money that Gov. Ron DeSantis pledged to raise for the event has yet to arrive. Event planners also couldn’t land a keynote speaker for the dinner, which was scheduled for Nov. 9 in Orlando.”

Cowardice and Corruption by Politicians Define the ‘Swamp,’ According to New Public Affairs Poll

Image of the capitol illustrates story about Washington as a swamp
credit: Bloomberg
A new Public Affairs Council/Morning Consult poll examines what outrages people most about Washington politics, whether President Trump’s critical tweets change opinions, and how White House policies have affected American businesses.

Among the findings:

• Of the 10 factors rated for contributing to the Washington, D.C., “swamp,” the top four are specific to politicians: politicians too concerned about getting re-elected (72%), politicians using their influence to make money for themselves or their families (69%), intense partisanship (68%) and politicians spending too much time raising money for their campaigns (62%).

• Republicans and Democrats polled found common ground in their frustrations. Seventy-two percent of Republicans and 75% of Democrats blame politicians who put getting re-elected ahead of acting on their principles. Corruption concerns both groups as well, specifically when it comes to using power and influence to make money while in government. Seventy-three percent of Democrats and 67% of Republicans said this is a major problem.

• The two factors on the list considered least problematic were the use of PACs by companies, nonprofits and unions to support candidates (39% concerned); and the fact that not enough good people want to go into politics (48% concerned).

View the full survey results here: pac.org/pulse

Poll: Support for Trump’s Impeachment Higher Than for Nixon, Clinton at Start of Their Inquiries

Axios: “Public support for President Trump’s impeachment is higher than it was for Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton when the House launched impeachment inquiries against them.”

Why it matters: Support for impeachment of Trump is still less than half the country — 44% in the Monmouth University poll shown here; 47% in CNN. And the polling reflects a 50-50 country. But the Ukraine scandal is pushing the numbers up.”

Ask Dr. Democrat: Impeaching Trump

Dear Dr. Democrat,

Should I be worried that the Democrats appear to have gone all-in on impeaching Trump?

Tangled Up in Tucson

Dear Tangled,

I hope they have more than we’ve seen so far. Knowing Trump, they do.

Fortunately, the standard for impeachment is a very low bar: perjury in
a civil lawsuit unrelated to the president’s time in office. That rules
in just about every infraction greater than a parking ticket.

I also think we’re at an advantage now because the Trumpsters have been
blindsided and so haven’t had time to muddy up the charges like they did
on the Russia scandal. You wouldn’t know it today but there were 10 or
so charges of obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, for example,
and obstruction of justice was one of the articles in both the Nixon and
Clinton impeachments.

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