Well, I presume you're up to speed on today's events (or yesterday's events, if you're reading this on Thursday). The Trump/Zelensky transcript, which I presumed would be as bogus as a Trumpian weather map, turned out to be damning
. Early reports on the whistleblower's complaints are that it is far more damning.
The part that seems to boggle everyone is the role played by William Barr. I just saw the first half of Maddow's show; she devoted much time to this conundrum. Everyone seems baffled. By now, we all know that Giuliani is more of a bag man than a lawyer -- but why the hell was Barr
If you have been reading this blog for the past few days, you'll have a good idea. I was the first to tell you that Barr was involved in Ukraine-gate up to his capacious hips.
Once again: Everything comes down to Ihor Kolomoisky. Please please please
read my earlier piece about that man
. And send the link to others. Please!
He's the arch-criminal oligarch who basically put Zelensky in charge of Ukraine. Kolomoisky is the puppetmaster and Volodymyr Zelensky is his puppet. Kolomoisky is also the money man behind the Azov battalion, the fascist militant group. I think that it's a pretty good bet that thugs recruited from the Azov battalion have been attacking Kolomoisky's enemies -- particularly Valeria Gontareva, who was the head of the Ukrainian equivalent of our Federal Reserve. In that capacity, she had shut down Kolomoisky's crooked bank; in response, she was threatened, nearly killed, run out of the country, and her house was burned down.
Most importantly, Kolomoisky has also been under investigation for money laundering by the FBI. There are also allegations of criminality involving Kolomoisky's real estate holdings in Ohio. I do not claim to understand the full nature of these allegations; the FBI has not disclosed what the hell is going on.
But the FBI does not investigate a man like Kolomoisky for no reason. Their inquiry was not a fishing expedition.
If they found something -- and I am sure they did -- then it fell to William Barr to decide to prosecute or not to prosecute.
William Barr has leverage over Kolomoisky, and Kolomoisky has leverage over Zelensky. I believe this -- not the anti-tank missiles -- is the reason why Zelensky will offer Trump "proof" for his bizarre right-wing conspiracy theories involving Biden, Manafort and Crowdstrike
Never forget that Zelensky is corrupt as hell. Nothing that comes from his administration can be trusted. Nothing
. Trump praises Zelensky and condemns his predecessor -- and that's all you need to know. In order to figure out who's who in Ukraine, simply reverse everything that Trump says.
I was the only writer who was not
stunned to see William Barr referenced five times in that non-verbatim transcript. Barr is a co-conspirator in all of this. Barr must be impeached. In fact, I think it may more important to impeach Barr than to impeach Trump.
A secondary theory.
I feel that I'm on very firm ground when I state that Kolomoisky is key to the Ukraine scandal
. I'm less sure about the following.
As noted above, Kolomoisky was the money guy behind the Azov battalion. Kolomoisky turned against Putin in a big way after the invasion of Crimea, which hurt Kolomoisky's interests hard. But before that, my understanding is that he and Putin were once on better terms. I know that Kolomoisky's bank PrivatBank had a branch in Moscow.
I'm wondering if Kolomoisky and Putin have achieved some sort of detente. It wouldn't take much -- basically, Putin would have to recompense Kolomoisky for his losses in Crimea.
You may recall reading, a few days ago, about Jarrett William Smith
, the soldier who formulated plans to attack Beto O'Rourke, Antifa, and a cable news network (probably MSNBC).
According to the Justice Department, Smith, who has been in the Army for two years, “said on Facebook he was interested in traveling to the Ukraine to fight with a paramilitary group called the Azov Batallion.”
Azov Battalion is a far-right Ukrainian national guard regiment known for ultra-nationalism and its use of neo-Nazi symbolism.
The American far right supports Putin, not the Ukrainians, in the Ukraine/Russia battle. I know that the Azov battalion has distressed many on the neo-Nazi right; basically, American Nazis think that Ukrainian Nazis have been fighting on the wrong side.
So why did Smith want to join Azov?
Look, I admit that I'm reading tea leaves here. I suspect
that Kolomoisky and Putin may be on the verge of patching up their differences. But I may be wrong.
Nevertheless, I'm confident that Kolomoisky will eventually be recognized as the hidden figure in the current Ukraine scandal.