Giuliani’s call was a precursor to the infamous call where Trump pressured Zelensky, a move that led to Trump’s first impeachment trial. The fact of Giuliani’s call was already known, but the audio clearly shows the pressure.

“All we need from the president [Zelensky] that is, I will put an honest prosecutor in charge, he will investigate and unearth the evidence, which currently exists and is there any other evidence on the implication of the 2016 elections, then l ‘Biden case must be exhausted, “Giuliani said, according to the audio.” … Someone in Ukraine has to take this seriously. “

The new audio shows how Giuliani aggressively coaxed Ukrainians into obeying Trump’s orders. And it undermines Trump’s oft-repeated claim that “there was no quid pro quo” where Zelensky could garner U.S. government support if he did political favors for Trump.

The call was one of the first rounds in Trump and his allies’ multi-year quest to damage Biden and reverse the 2020 electoral process – by soliciting foreign interference, by lying about electoral fraud, by attempting canceling the results and inciting the death January 6 assault on the Capitol.

A catalog of anti-democratic activities. This latest clause, in which they line up examples of Trump’s pre- and post-election attempts against Biden, represents a chronicle of undemocratic subversion.

Giuliani suspended an in-person meeting between Trump and Zelensky, largely in exchange for Zelensky’s investigation into Biden. Listening to him now – knowing that Trump would ultimately be indicted, twice, and that Giuliani would find himself under criminal investigation for his international efforts on Trump’s behalf – doesn’t make Giuliani brazenly negotiate on US world power for political gain. of Trump less shocking.
Biden invites Zelensky to the White House … later. The Ukrainian president has been denied a White House meeting with Trump, possibly because he refused to investigate Biden. Now Biden will grant this courtesy to Zelensky, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Monday, after the leaders spoke on the phone. But the meeting will only take place after Biden meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit scheduled in Geneva next week.
Zelensky is far from happy with Biden. He told Axios he had desperately wanted to meet before Biden’s meeting with Putin. Russia was the aggressor against Ukraine in taking control of Crimea in 2014 and recently raised serious concerns when it conducted military exercises just across its border from Ukraine.

Sullivan said Biden promised Zelensky on Monday that he “will stand up firmly for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and aspirations as we move forward.”

The immediate problem is the North-2 gas pipeline, which Russia will use to bypass Ukraine by sending gas to the European Union. Biden decided not to forcibly oppose the pipeline as Zelensky had hoped, sanctioning the European companies involved. Ukrainians fear that they will become more isolated if Russia has easier access to Europe around them. Read more here.

Zelensky told Axios last week that Biden’s decision to let Russia proceed with the pipeline would be a victory for Putin and Moscow.

In a Washington Post editorial, Biden vowed to make Ukraine and European security a main topic of his meeting with Putin.

Biden sees his presidency as a pivotal moment in world history as democracies clash with autocracies, like China and Russia, where a small group of leaders consolidated power and crushed the opposition.

Biden’s list of reproaches to Russia is very long and includes:

  • his interference in the presidential elections,
  • the disinformation spread online from there that is supposed to create havoc in the United States,
  • cybercriminals operating from there and threatening US fuel and food supply lines with ransomware demands,
  • human rights violations against opposition leaders,
  • American citizens detained in Russia.

In March, Biden told Good Morning America that Putin would pay the price for his election interference and told George Stephanopoulos he believed Putin was a killer.

Biden said he once said to Putin across the way, “I don’t think you have a soul.”

Putin’s response, according to Biden, was: “I think we understand each other.”

Strategic stability. “ Now they will face each other as opposing leaders, but Biden seeks stability above all else, Sullivan told reporters.

“Ultimately what we’re looking to do is have the two Presidents send a clear signal … to their teams on issues of strategic stability so that we can make progress on arms control and other nuclear areas reduce tension and instability in this aspect of their relationship, ”Sullivan said.

Also, what America stands for. Here’s more from Sullivan: “And second, being able to look President Putin in the eye and say, ‘This is what America expects are. This is what America stands for. This is what America stands for. that America is everything. ‘ We believe this is an essential aspect of US-Russian diplomacy because President Putin is a unique type of personalized leader and having the opportunity to come together at a summit will allow us to manage this relationship and uphold the values. Americans in the most efficient manner.

Trump’s subversion continues. Representative Liz Cheney, the congresswoman from Wyoming stripped of her leadership role by House Republicans, made a provocative remark on CNN’s Ax Files podcast.

Trump, she told CNN’s David Axelrod, increasingly resembles the Chinese Communist Party when he challenges the American electoral system.

“When he says our system isn’t working… when he suggests he’s, you know, incapable of conveying the will of the people, you know, that somehow he’s failed – that’s the same things the Chinese government says about us, ”Cheney continued. “And and it is very dangerous and damaging… and it is not true.”

What else?

Ransom recovery. According to CNN report: US investigators recovered millions of dollars in cryptocurrency paid in ransom to hackers whose attack shut down key East Coast pipeline last month, people say informed about it. … Ransom recovery is a rare outcome for a business victim of a debilitating cyberattack in the burgeoning criminal ransomware industry.
New safety rules for US pipelines after the attack. From CNN report: The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday will require operators of critical pipelines to comply with several cybersecurity measures, including reporting cybersecurity incidents to the ministry within 12 hours, according to DHS officials.

The death knell for the voting bill. West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin doesn’t necessarily oppose the franchise bill Democrats want Congress to pass. He just wants bipartisanship. This is a prerequisite for his vote, let alone his support to bypass the systematic obstruction. Which basically means the voting bill is dead. And it can mean the same for Biden’s wish for a massive infrastructure bill.

In fact, Manchin opposes restrictive state laws that Democrats want to replace with a federal voting law, he writes in The West Virginia Gazette. But he will not support any remedy that is not bipartisan.

“The truth, I would say, is that partisan voting and electoral reform will virtually ensure that partisan divisions continue to deepen,” he wrote.

His faith that Republicans will be prepared to work with Democrats is, I think, contrary to recent history of minority Republicans, but we’ll see.

Manchin: Yes, this process can be frustrating and slow. It will force compromises that are not always ideal. But consider the alternative. Do we really want to live in an America where a party can dictate and demand anything and everything it wants, when it wants it? I’ve always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it. And I can’t explain strictly partisan electoral reform or blow up Senate rules to speed up a party’s platform.

Brief analysis of Chris Cillizza: Joe Manchin has just completely screwed the Democrats.
The Supreme Court will not hear the challenge of a draft reserved for men. From CNN report: The court order means that for now, even if the project is not implemented, only men will still be required to sign up for the selective service. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh wrote to explain their vote, noting Congress could take up the issue in the near term. “At least for now,” Sotomayor wrote, “the court’s long-standing deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs warns against granting a review while the Congress is actively evaluating the issue “.

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