The Brew: Bribery and Bloviating, Harshness and Hope in the Nation’s Capital
Yay, it’s Friday!
The United States has its first match tonight in the Women’s World Cup down under. Team USA will be taking on Vietnam. I wonder which Jane Fonda will be rooting for? Co-host New Zealand started the tournament off with an upset 1-0 win over Norway.
But it’s fitting, for a week where we’ve been so focused on the Nation’s Capital, that the most cheerful sports news comes out of Washington, D.C. That later.
Sen. Grassley Releases the FBI Memo Detailing Alleged Biden-Ukraine Bribery Scheme
We’ve been hearing for a few months about this FBI FD-1023 Confidential Source Memo outlining an alleged bribery scheme where a Burisma business executive in Ukraine paid Joe Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million each to help get Ukraine’s prosecutor General Viktor Shokin off their back.
On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley released the four-page CSM. The allegations — and we must remember these are just allegations — are even more damning in black and white.
🚨 BREAKING: Senator Chuck Grassley has released the FD-1023 describing an alleged criminal Bribery scheme involving Joe Biden and a Ukrainian Business executive. pic.twitter.com/UuKSjrcL3a
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) July 20, 2023
The source had been brought to Ukraine to help further Burisma’s business efforts in the U.S. When he arrived, Burisma’s CFO told the source precisely why Hunter Biden was hired for their Board of Directors: “to protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.” That “dad” would be then-Vice President Joe Biden, who happened to be Obama’s point man for the country. When asked why Burisma kept Hunter around, Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky said that although he thought Hunter was “stupid,” he kept him on board “so everything would be okay.”
Both Bidens had urged the hire, Zlochevsky also admitted. If true, yet another nail in the “I never discussed business with Hunter” coffin.
Details of the alleged bribery scheme slowly emerge. Burisma wasn’t going to be able to get an IPO in the U.S. due to Prosecutor General Viktor Sorkin’s criminal investigation into the company. The case had to be cleared out first. At a meeting in a Vienna coffee house, the source advised Zlochevsky to pay $50,000 to a Ukraine lawyer to litigate the case, keep the matter in country, and not have anything to do with the Bidens. The businessman laughed … particularly over the source mentioning the number five. “It cost 5 (million) for one Biden, and 5 (million) for another Biden.” According to the source, this $10 million was for handling the Sorkin issue.
And handle it Joe did. He got Sorkin fired … and later bragged about it.
After the 2016 election, “CHS asked if Zlochevsky was concerned about Burisma’s involvement with the Bidens. Zlochevsky stated he didn’t want to pay the Bidens but was ‘pushed to pay’ them.” Coerced. Zlochevsky then revealed he had many texts, emails and “recordings” that would prove he was forced to make the payments. 17 recordings in all. Two personally involving Vice President Joe Biden.
He would say in a later conversation how it would take ten years for the Americans to trace the money sent to Joe Biden.
How fascinating to read how Zlochevsky felt forced to pay the Bidens in light of the recently revealed WhatsApp message of Hunter shaking down a Chinese businessman for millions, with his father (allegedly) beside him. “I am sitting here with my father we would like to understand why the commitment has not been fulfilled.” it says in part, “Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight.” Or else.
Sounds a lot like extortion, no?
It’s also crucial to note the FBI had these allegations and did not share the information with the IRS Special Agents who were investigating Hunter’s questionable international wheeling and dealing.
You can read the memo here:
Democrats Try to Censor Democrat RFK Jr. At Hearing on Censorship
The House held a hearing yesterday on censorship. The featured witness was Democratic Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, Jr. Yet at this hearing on censorship, Democrats tried to censor him. Truly. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz put forward a motion to have him removed from the hearing, alleging RFK, Jr. made anti-Semitic remarks. He hadn’t. Rep. Dan Goldman accused RFK, Jr. of “hate speech.”
Incidentally, just a day earlier, Goldman accidently proved Joe Biden talked to Hunter Biden about business while trying to prove The Big Guy didn’t talk to Hunter about business. He “tripped the wire,” according to liberal legal scholar Jonathan Turley. This has not exactly been Goldman’s week.
RFK Jr. forcefully defended himself from the assaults on his character, denying he’s ever uttered anything anti-Semitic in his life. But he also said something we need to take to heart:
“Respectful debate is the fertilizer, it’s the water, it’s the sunlight for our democracy. We need to be talking to each other.”
Sale of Washington Commanders Officially Approved
If there is anything that can get people from both sides of the aisle talking to each other in D.C. it is the Washington Commanders. Formerly, over their love of the team, then known as the Redskins. However, since Dan Synder bought the team in 1999, they’ve been united in their frustration at how he has run the franchise into the ground.
Let Red and Blue join together again for the Burgundy and Gold. NFL owners voted unanimously Thursday in a special session to approve the sale of the team to a group led by Josh Harris.
Even ESPN gets it, starting their story, “The Washington Commanders no longer belong to Dan Snyder.”
The purchase price was a North American sports franchise record, $6.05 billion. Snyder bought the team for $800 million.
Why bring the sale up? This week, in one of our Christians Engaged meetings, Sen. Ted Cruz mourned the toxicity that has settled on the city. “It wasn’t like this when I got here.”
It certainly wasn’t like this when I was growing up and working in the shadow of the Capitol Building. Yes, it’s going to take more than the sale of the Washington Commanders to dissipate the bitter poison of partisanship. Waaaaaay more. It’s going to take God moving in the hearts of those who are here. It’s going to take prayer and work.
But perhaps … perhaps … Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and progressives finding themselves cheering together again for the local football team on Sunday will help them realize it’s possible to work together, talk with each other in kindness and respect, the rest of the week. Possible to again see each other as human.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl at GETTR, Gab, Parler, and now at TRUTH Social.