Testimony by Thor Halvorssen before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary is being ignored completely by most media on both right and left. Halvorssen heads up the Human Rights Foundation (NY). Halvorssen is most definitely not a rightwinger. Nor is he a Trump activist.
Dig a little beyond Halvorssen’s testimony on Fusion GPS and Derwick Associates, and guess whose name pops up?
Preet Bharara, former US Attorney for the Southern District of NY in the Obama regime, appeared to be investigating Derwick Associates, an energy company hired by the government of Venezuela to build power plants.
Media like Medium did report on that investigation after the US Dept. of Justice filed charges against former employees of Venezuela’s state oil entity, Petroleos de Venezuela SA. Talking heads went mum after those reports came out alleging Derwick would also be investigated to determine whether bribes were exchanged between PVSA and Derwick. It’s complicated because a US company was also part of the mix. In March, 2016, Medium ran a blog post (citing info from Bloomberg) mentioning US Attorney Bharara was involved in the investigation:
“Switzerland Department of Justice and Police confirmed to Finews that US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, is specifically asking for information on PDVSA – Derwick Associates deals.”
You can read Halvorssen’s testimony and his own summary of it online. He levied a number of allegations about Derwick Associates and Fusion GPS. Fusion is a company credited by Business Insider and others as “The opposition research firm that produced the explosive dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.”
My own opinion on the dossier is that a retired Brit spy talked to Russians at large and compiled a report based on rumors and gossip, but that’s beside the point. We still don’t know who paid for that dossier. We do know who pushed it to the FBI—Republican senator John McCain (AZ) who would be viewed as the opposite of Trump on US national sovereignty, the open border, taxes, and now Obamacare. McCain has always been a politician bound to the moment. Note I included taxes because the PPACA commonly called Obamacare is a tax bill. A vote permitting the bill to stand is a vote for massive taxes. McCain helped keep Obamacare in place.
Halvorssen’s testimony is riveting. His narrative includes claims of smear jobs, defamation of those who tried to act as whistleblowers on behalf of the Venezuelan people, and outright threats. Money laundering, corruption, and graft are among his allegations. Halvorssen’s statement is copyrighted at Scribd, but if at all possible, read it. You will see just how filthy politics can be, and how media can be manipulated to benefit highly questionable individuals.
Now consider this. Bharara is part of the Special Counsel team investigating Russian interference into our election. We have no idea what Bharara found regarding Derwick. The Wall St. Journal allegedly killed a story, according to Halvorssen, about what he called “Derwick’s crimes.”
A number of pundits and political comics have made much of the “conspiracy” nuts who support Trump on the Russian hysteria. Ironically, the intrigue is real and it is far deeper than we imagined. It is also highly unlikely we will get to the bottom of it all unless someone lights a fire under those sitting in chairs at the Dept. of Justice.
That Bharara was appointed to the Special Counsel team is an outrage. After taking office, President Donald Trump fired him. Bill Clinton fired or got the resignations of more than 90 US attorneys when he took office. George W. Bush, a Republican, also replaced most US attorneys, and Democrats behaved as though it was an unusual act.
The Federalist sums up much of Halvorssen’s testimony, including this about Fusion:
“Interestingly, given Fusion GPS’ admitted role in compiling a dossier against Donald Trump, Halvorssen said that Fusion GPS’ methods of going after whistleblowers and journalists included “smear campaigns,” “dossiers containing false information,” and “carefully placed slanderous news items.”
Bharara, who in fact hasn’t shied from the limelight in my opinion, received a scolding from a judge overseeing a corruption case:
“The U.S. attorney, while castigating politicians in Albany for playing fast and loose with the ethical rules that govern their conduct, strayed so close to the edge of the rules governing his own conduct that defendant Sheldon Silver has a nonfrivolous argument that he fell over the edge to the defendant’s prejudice.”
Ironically media reported in spring, 2017, that Bharara was the subject of an investigation—in Turkey. Chuck Schumer (NY), Dems’ ‘leader’ in the Senate was also included. The investigation related to “alleged ties to a Poconos cleric blamed for unrest in Turkey”, according to the NY Post.
Bharara should not be on a team investigating a president who fired him. That special counsel chose to appoint someone so blatantly questionable should call into question the entire effort.
Halvorssen’s testimony indicates American taxpayers are owed answers about Fusion GPS, who paid them, and who funded the process for the FBI to obtain a dossier that appears to be based on gossip and disinformation from Russians whose names we are not even told.
We deserve to know whether Derwick is still being investigated. If the investigation was dropped, we are owed answers on that.
Meanwhile we should ask politicians and media why they’re ignoring Halvorssen’s shocking testimony about a murky firm and its potential for interfering in the US election.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 31, 2017)