Former Polish President, Who Serves on Burisma Board, Reveals Hunter Biden Was Hired for His Name
Martha MacCallum Grills Georgia Secretary Of State On Whether He Approved Leaked Trump Call
Resurfaced Video: Democrats Protested Electoral Votes After 2000, 2004 Elections, Cited ‘Irregularities Across This Country With Regard to Voting’
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A prominent member of the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian oil and gas conglomerate at the center of the impeachment inquiry, admitted on Friday that Hunter Biden was tapped to join the company because of his father’s political influence.
Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former president of Poland who joined Burisma’s board around the same time as the younger Biden, told the Associated Press it was normal for corporations to seek out well-connected figures for advisory positions. The former president admitted that both he and Hunter Biden secured their posts with Burisma, which at times paid as much as $83,000 per month, due to the influence afforded by their names.
“I understand that if someone asks me to be part of some project it’s not only because I’m so good, it’s also because I am Kwasniewski and I am a former president of Poland,” Kwasniewski said. “And this is all inter-connected. No-names are a nobody. Being Biden is not bad. It’s a good name.”
The former president proceeded to claim that Hunter Biden was an integral part of the board, despite having no background in the energy sector and never once visiting Ukraine during his five-year tenure with Burisma.
“He collected information,” Kwasniewski said, claiming Hunter Biden helped the company with corporate governance. “He was useful for us because he knew something that we didn’t know.”
Kwasniewski’s comments come as Burisma and it ties to Hunter Biden have taken center stage in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The company became central to the proceedings when Trump suggested the Ukrainian government investigate how Hunter Biden was able to secure a seat on its board of directors in the first place.
Democrats claim the president’s suggestion amounted to asking a foreign power for dirt on a political opponent, which they argue is an impeachable offense. Trump and his allies, on the other hand, have countered that Hunter Biden’s appointment, coming around the same time former Vice President Joe Biden was tapped to lead Obama-era policy towards Ukraine, and his relative inexperience in the energy industry warrant investigation.
As Peter Schweizer, senior contributor at Breitbart News, detailed in his book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden’s background in investment banking, lobbying, and hedge fund management paled in comparison to that of current and past members of Burisma’s board.
Adding to concerns is the fact that at the time Hunter Biden joined Burisma, the company was seen as actively courting leaders in the West to prevent further scrutiny of its business practices. The same month Hunter Biden and Kwasniewski were tapped to join the group’s board, the government of Great Britain froze accounts belonging to Burisma’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, under suspicion of money laundering.
A Ukrainian official with strong ties to Zlochevsky admitted in October the only reason that Hunter Biden secured the appointment was to “protect” the company from foreign scrutiny. The claim has credence given that at the time, Joe Biden, as the sitting vice president, was tasked with leading the Obama administration’s policy towards Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
It is in the context of Burisma and Zlochevsky’s legal troubles that Joe Biden’s political influence has raised the most red flags. The former vice president has particularly drawn questions over his conduct in demanding the Ukrainian government fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in 2016.
Joe Biden, who has publicly bragged about the firing, reportedly threatened to withhold more than one billion dollars in U.S. aid if the Ukrainian government did not remove Shokin. He has claimed the demand came from then-President Barack Obama, who had allegedly lost faith in the prosecutor’s ability to tackle corruption.
Unofficially, though, it was known that Shokin was investigating both Burisma and Zlochevsky for public corruption. It is uncertain if the probe extended to Hunter Biden, although Shokin has recently admitted that prior to his ouster, he was warned to back off the matter. Regardless of what occurred, Shokin’s successor, who is now himself being investigated for public corruption, dropped the investigation into Burisma and Zlochevsky.
Since the start of the impeachment inquiry, the Ukrainian government has reopened its case into Zlochevsky, this time broadening the investigation to include public corruption and embezzlement. Even if the Ukrainian government or U.S. law enforcement is unable to prove Zlochevsky and the Bidens acted inappropriately, comments like those by Kwasniewski will continue to create negative public perception around the matter.
Hunter Biden himself has not helped the situation, especially when he admitted during an ABC News interview in October that his father’s political influence was the likely reason for his appointment to Burisma’s board.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, in retrospect,” the younger Biden said when asked if he would have been tapped for the lucrative job had his father not been the sitting vice president. He quickly added, though, that his family’s political prominence had always played a large role in his dealings. “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.”
New Details Emerge on Antifa Activist Charged for Role in Capitol Riot
The self-described left-wing activist recently arrested for allegedly taking part in the storming of the U.S. Capitol — later claiming he was there to “document” it — allegedly wore a gas mask and had a knife at the time of the siege, court papers show.
John “Jayden X” Sullivan is due to appear in court at 4 p.m. local time Friday in connection with charges for civil disorder, violent entry or disorderly conduct and entering a restricted building or grounds.
The 26-year-old self-described journalist and activist was arrested Thursday and has been in the custody of Toeele County, Utah, authorities, officials previously said. Sources told Fox News Sullivan is not known to be affiliated with Antifa.
In addition to the ballistic vest Sullivan was previously reported to have worn while inside the Capitol, court papers show he also wore a gas mask and claimed to have had a knife.
Sullivan, who filmed his time in the federal building — including the fatal shooting of California Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt — later shared the footage with authorities.
In one clip, Sullivan can be heard saying: “Hey guys, I have a knife. I have a knife. Let me up,” court documents state.
In one video, Sullivan can allegedly be heard cheering on the crowd as they broke through the final barricade before the Capitol and saying: “We did this together. … We are all a part of history.”
In at least two encounters, Sullivan can be heard on video telling officers to stand down so they don’t get hurt and saying “the people have spoken,” according to an affidavit.
Sullivan, who founded activist group Insurgence USA, told Rolling Stone he was acting in such a way because he “had to relate to these people.”
He continued: “And build trust in the short amount of time I had there to get where I need to go … to the front of the crowd to see the dynamic between the police and the protesters, because nobody wants to see the backs of people’s heads from a far-off distance.”
He told Fox News was at the Capitol siege to “document” the events, and said he frequently attends and films protests.
“As far as being able to understand who is in the crowd, based on being around protests a lot … I didn’t see any people who were originally at BLM protests,” he told Fox News at the time.
He could not be reached for comment following his arrest.
Sullivan was also charged with rioting and criminal mischief on July 13 following a June protest in Provo that resulted in an SUV driver being shot while driving through the two opposing groups. The case is still pending.
Secret Service Refutes WaPo Story Claiming that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Denied Agents Restroom Access in Their Home
The Washington Post reported Thursday that U.S. Secret Service agents assigned to protect Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been forced to go to great lengths to use the bathroom because the couple forbids their protectors from using the facilities in their home.
But a spokesperson for the Secret Service says The Post’s claims were not true.
The Post made waves with a story alleging that Kushner and Trump told agents they were not allowed to use any of the six restrooms in their Washington, D.C., home, causing the guardians major inconveniences whenever nature called.
“After resorting to a porta-potty, as well as bathrooms at the nearby home of former president Barack Obama and the not-so-nearby residence of Vice President Pence, the agents finally found a toilet to call their own,” the newspaper reported, adding, “But it came at a cost to U.S. taxpayers. Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date — to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbor of the Kushner family.”
According to The Post—which published pictures and details of the Kushner-Trump residence—”a spokeswoman for the Secret Service initially declined to comment, writing in an email that the agency ‘does not discuss the means, methods or resources utilized to carry out our protective mission.'”
Yet, after the allegations went trending on Twitter and spurred on additional headlines, the agency spokesperson corrected the record.
The Post reported:
But on Thursday evening, eight hours after this story appeared online, she sent a second email with a new statement, saying that the Secret Service tries to have minimal impact on households it protects. “In accordance with this practice, Secret Service personnel do not request access to the facilities at private residences,” she wrote. “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have not denied Secret Service personnel access to their home to include use of the restroom.”
The White House also denied the claim, with spokesman Judd Deere telling the outlet:
“When discussions regarding protecting their home were initially had in 2017, Ivanka and Jared made clear that their home would always be open to the incredible men and women on their detail. It was only after a decision by the [Secret Service] was made that their detail sought other accommodations,. The Kushners have a tremendous amount of respect for the servicemen and women on their detail and for the United States Secret Service as a whole. Their home will always be open to them and they have immense gratitude for their service over the last four years.”
After the Secret Service spokeswoman issued her statement to The Post refuting the claims, an assistant to President Donald Trump tweeted, “The @washingtonpost story about Jared and Ivanka today was a lie. The story never made sense, and was simply not true. Now the Secret Service has even denied the story.”
Jacob Blake Opens Up on Police Shooting, Says He Didn’t Want to be the ‘Next George Floyd’ — Which is Why He Walked Away from Police — and Admits He Was Armed
Jacob Blake, who was shot at least seven times in the back by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer — says that he was worried he was going to become the “next George Floyd,” which prompted him to walk away from responding officers.
He also admitted that he was armed.
A Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer shot Blake in the back seven times during an Aug. 23 call for a domestic dispute. The officers who shot Blake were ultimately cleared, and not charged with any crimes after the investigation revealed that Blake was, in fact, armed with a knife at the time he was shot, and that the officer reasonably believed that Blake might harm him or the children in the car.
The attorney for the officer who shot Blake has noted publicly that the officer believed that Blake was attempting to kidnap the children in the purportedly stolen car that precipitated Blake’s interaction with the police.
Following the shooting, riots and protests erupted across Wisconsin, after Blake was repeatedly and erroneously described as having been “unarmed” at the time he was shot.
Blake, who is partially paralyzed as a result of the shooting, spoke to “Good Morning America’s” Michael Strahan on Thursday about the August shooting that took place outside of a Kenosha-area home.
On the incident, Blake recalled, “I was like, ‘He’s shooting me.’ I couldn’t believe it, so I kind of sat down in the car … put my hands up, because I didn’t want him to shoot me in my face or in my head or nothing. He just kept shooting, kept shooting. My babies are right here, my babies. So after he stopped shooting me, I said, ‘Daddy loves you no matter what.”
“I thought it was going to be the last thing I said to them,” he admitted. “Thank God it wasn’t. I didn’t want to be the next George Floyd. I didn’t want to die.”
He told Strahan, “I resisted to getting beat on. What I mean by that is not falling, not letting them put their head on my neck. That’s all I was thinking.”
According to CNN, “Blake [said he] picked up the knife and began to walk toward the driver’s door of the SUV, away from the officers” during the altercation.
“I shouldn’t have picked it up,” Blake said, admitting that he “wasn’t thinking clearly” at the time.
Blake said that he “intended to put the knife in the SUV and then lay on the ground to submit to the police officers.”
“If they did it there and they killed me there, everybody would see it,” he reasoned.
A September report from the Kenosha Police Union stated that Blake reportedly confronted responding officers following the domestic dispute call.
The report alleged that Blake reportedly put one of the responding officer in a headlock position, and was reportedly armed with a knife that he refused to drop.
When Blake attempted to get back into his vehicle, the officer shot him multiple times.
Officers reportedly saw a knife on the floor of Blake’s vehicle during the attempted detainment.
At the time, Kenosha Police Union Attorney Brendan Matthews said that officers were responding to the residence of Blake’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he has children. The unnamed woman accused Blake of sexual assault in May, and in August, phoned police to report that Blake was reportedly attempting to steal her keys and her vehicle. Previous reporting noted that Blake was not supposed to be at the woman’s residence due to the purported May assault.
Last week, Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said that the officer who shot Blake would not be charged, and said that the officer fired in self-defense as Blake was “actively resisting” arrest.
Blake is suing the Kenosha Police Department for reportedly violating his civil rights during the incident.
GOP Congressman Who Lost Legs In War Responds To Attack From CNN’s Tapper On If He Supports Democracy
Disabled war veteran Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) slammed CNN host Jake Tapper on Wednesday after Tapper called out Mast’s “commitment” to American democracy after Mast asked whether members of Congress had questioned individuals involved in last week’s riot before initiating impeachment this week.
“On January 6th, thousands broke the law by taking siege of our capital here with us inside. Has any one of those individuals who brought violence on the capital, been brought here to answer whether they did that because of our president?” Mast asked on the House floor, which was highlighted during an interview that he did Thursday morning on Fox News. “It appears I will receive no answer. I will yield my time back.”
Tapper responded to Mast’s remark, saying on live television, “Congressman Brian Mast, a Republican from Florida, who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although I don’t know what his—I don’t know about his commitment to it here in the United States.”
"Congressman Brian Mast… who lost his legs by the way fighting for democracy abroad, although I don't know — about his commitment to it here in the United States" pic.twitter.com/GidrZHUzOe
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 13, 2021
Mast initially responded by writing on Twitter: “I lost two legs for @jaketapper’s right to say whatever the hell he wants, but that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election.”
During his interview on Fox News this morning, Mast said that the message he wanted to deliver on the House floor was:
The message was simple. You have 430 plus members of Congress, they’re responsible for making the highest laws in the land that pertain to all-Americans and they are about to vote one way or another on whether the president incited other people to do something and there wasn’t one of those members that could say they heard any questioning of the people that were said to be incited. Nobody was asked do you do this because of the president? Do you do it because of something he said he year ago or something something Giuliani said on January 6th? Did you go there because of the president but violence was your own thing? Did he tell you to be peaceful? Nobody can say they spoke to one of those individuals and that has to be the most dangerous precedent for this body to set to say if you are an American out there this is how we are going to hold you accountable for inciting somebody else. We’re not going to bother to ask any questions at all, we’re just going to jump to a conclusion and rush to judgment. That is totally un-American, wholly in opposition to the due process that every American is owed.
Mast was also asked to respond to Tapper’s remarks, to which he responded, “I’m going to say to Mr. Tapper the same thing that half of America is saying right now: Hold me to a high standard, don’t hold me to a double standard.”
“And me asking if any of these lawmakers that are about to vote have gone through any questioning, any hearings, and asked any questions of anybody, that’s an appropriate question and it speaks to the foundation of our democracy. It doesn’t diminish it,” he continued. “And I would give this statement to him as well, it is not as important in America, especially today with all the division that we have, that I say this is what I think about you. We got to get to the point that we’re saying, this is why I think something, now I can say this is why I think you’re wrong and we can have a real debate and hopefully you end up learning something about each other instead of just coming away with two people that are pissed off at one another.”
When further pressed by one of the co-hosts on Fox & Friends about how he felt about what Tapper said, Mast said, “My commitment to democracy, to my country, is unwavering.”
“I love this place so much. It literally breaks my heart to see the divide that exists in it. I love our democracy,” he continued. “For all of our problems, there is no government that I would rather be a part of anywhere in this world. And to strengthen that and keep it strong, we have to ask those questions. It’s not the opposite of that where we don’t ask those questions, don’t ask lawmakers, ‘did you take the time to ask somebody or interview somebody or have a hearing?’ That has to be the foundation of having justice. It’s asking questions and waiting for the answer in silence until somebody gives it to you or taking their silence as an answer. That’s my response to him, I love this place.”