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THREAD: I suspect WSJ's reporting of SDNY investigation into Giuliani's involvement w/ Firtash, Parnas and Fruman in trying to hijack Ukraine's largest natgas company, Naftogaz, will prove to be the first of several 'layers' of corrupt activities by Giuliani's "crew" in Ukraine.
Giuliani's activities and contacts in Ukraine are wider and of longer standing than the events covered in the Yovanovitch hearing today, or the Naftogaz related investigation reported by WSJ. This is a good summary:
Trump's involvement in Firtash/Giuliani schemes re. Naftogaz cannot be ruled out. Yes, he wanted 'deza' on Biden, etc. but it seems 'in character' that he'd also be interested in any 'business deal' arranged by a personal lawyer assiduously leveraging their relationship.
I see the removal of Amb. Yovanovitch as a first move in a concerted effort, led by Giuliani *on behalf of Trump*, to co-opt the Zelensky admin, roll back the anti-corruption thrust of post-2014 Ukrainian society, and reinstall a Russian friendly power structure.
If Zelensky had given the Zakaria interview, pledging publicly to investigate the Bidens, Trump would have had important kompromat on Zelensky. The 'quid pro quo' shd be seen, among other things, as an attempt to break Zelensky.
As Yovanovitch testified, Giuliani's efforts in the 'irregular channel' were diametrically *opposed* to stated U.S. policy. Assuming Giuliani was operating as Trump's agent, what we have is a POTUS secretly *subverting* U.S. foreign policy and natsec, for personal gain.
Had they not been caught in the act, Trump/Giuliani stood to accomplish two things: (1) advancing Putin's interest in reasserting influence if not control over Kyiv, and (2) opening a no-holds-barred playground in Ukraine for their own corrupt business activities.
On this understanding of events, it's clear that, as in so much else with Trump, the 'play' was in concert with, and supportive of, Putin. As others have noted, the 'Ukraine story' shd be understood as *part of* the larger story of Trump's relationship w/ Russia.
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