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New documents shed new light on Marie Yovanovich’s role in the Burisma scandal

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and former Trump aide Dave Bossie say Yovanovich knew a lot more about the investigation.


Full transcript:

John Solomon  0:06  
Hello America and welcome to a new edition of John Solomon Reports the podcast from Just the News where the last couple of days we had a lot of news here. Oh my gosh, we got Senator Richard Byrd stepping down as the Intelligence Committee Chair as the FBI issued a search warrant to get his phone and insider stock trading case, we've had the names of the Obama era officials who unmask Mike... or sought to unmask Mike Flynn's calls. And we've had our own exclusive here at Just the News about new documents new state department documents released under FOIA that showed or call into question the testimony of Adam Schiff's star witness at the impeachment hearings. That's right. Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, and we're going to get to all of that we've got two amazing guests right we've got Dave Bossie head of Citizens United, the man whose FOIA lawsuit resulted in those Ukraine documents the ones I wrote...

Unknown Speaker  1:00  
...about that broke on just the news about 30-40 hours ago, and we have congressman Lee Zeldin, Republican of New York, the man who questioned Ambassador your vantage and elicited the testimony that now conflicts with the documents we put into public on Just the News. And we're going to get to all of that in a few minutes. Plus, we're going to talk about why the new data on unmasking is important and where the investigation must go next. We'll have all of that, two great interviews, you're not going to want to miss Congressman Lee Zeldin, Dave Bossie of Citizens United, outside adviser to President Trump both on the show today, right after these commercial breaks.

John Solomon  1:44  
Alright folks, welcome back from the commercial break. And remember, as we always ask, please support our sponsors, our advertisers, all the great people that make this radio show this podcast available as well as the great reporting you get every day on Just the They're special to us and we hope that you can reward them for their support for our reporting. All right, we're gonna get to two things here today. The first is the story we broke on Tuesday night. But both of our guests today, Congressman Lee Zeldin, Citizens United Dave Bossie, he played a critical role in their story. But first, we want to explain it to you a little bit more. So if you remember back to last fall, the star witness in Adam shifts impeachment hearings was a woman named Marie Yovanovich. She had been fired by Trump in 2019 as the ambassador to Ukraine, she was a career woman well respected in the diplomatic ranks, and she had been there during part of the time that the Joe Biden Bunter Biden Burisma holdings controversy was hovering over the US embassy. And during her testimony, she made fairly light of the whole Burisma scandal basically saying it wasn't something on her radar, something that was he was particularly focused on. In fact, your testimony particularly under questioning by Congressman Zeldin, who's going to be onthe show later today was that she really didn't know much about Burisma or Hunter Biden or the criminal investigations that surrounded that company in Ukraine, other than what she got in a briefing in the summer of 2016, before she was confirmed before the Senate, and then what she read in some of the news clips in Ukraine and Congressman Zeldin repeatedly pressed her "you only knew things about the press report, this wasn't a big deal?" And she said, "Yes, I may have gotten other information. I don't remember. 

John Solomon  3:26  
But I'm pretty much think that's where it came from." Well, the new documents uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Citizens United, Dave Bossie's group, he'll be on the show in a little bit as well, reveal a different story, a very different story between September and December of 2016. Right after Yovanovich started as the ambassador in Kiev, Ukraine. And right as the presidential election in America was heating up to its end Trump versus Clinton. There were enormous significant regular conversations going on between Yovanovich and her aides inside the Kiev embassy in Ukraine. These included really specific things like she got a letter from Burisma's lawyers making clear that Burisma was trying to settle the criminal cases launched by Ukraine prosecutors against Burisma before the election was over. She also got a briefing by George Kent, extremely important her top deputy another one of the famous witnesses from the impeachment hearing, and was laid out the entire case and hunter Biden's role was mentioned as a board member brought in right when these criminal investigations were going sort of as a shield. And then perhaps most significant of all the thing that Congressman Zeldin and others probably gonna have hard time accepting she didn't remember, she met directly with one of Burisma's lawyers. That's right. A lawyer from the firm Blue Star Strategies that was trying to help Burisma polish its image get these allegations of corruption to disappear particularly at the embassy where they had been critical of Burisma, and to get these criminal cases settled by Ukraine prosecutors before the election was over, before Donald Trump could take over and make hay of it. Well, we now know that she knew a lot more than what was in the news clips. 

John Solomon  5:16  
She knew a lot more than what she had gotten in her pre confirmation briefing, she was kept apprised of the developments, had a detailed meeting with one of the Burisma representatives, got a detailed letter from another, and perhaps most striking of all, and this is something to keep an eye on, when the final word came out in Ukraine that Burisma had successfully ended a three year criminal investigation and that its owners Zlochevsky, and the company Burisma who had hired Hunter Biden, the board member paid him millions of dollars that when that word came out that he was escaping severe penalty, and that the cases had been closed down, there was a big uproar and the embassy, the people working around Ambassador Yovanovich sent a set of clips and noted that one of the reports in Ukraine was that there had been some payoffs made some corrupt actions taken to influence the Ukrainian government officials to ensure that they dropped this case. 

John Solomon  6:12  
And not not but a few hours later, after the reports came out, a deputy economic counselor, one of the senior officials in the embassy reporting to the advantage told the ambassador hey, these reports are true the the allegation that varicella dumped some cheap gas on the market so that Ukrainian government officials could buy it low and sell it high and make a profit, get a payoff, get something corrupt. It's true. That's what the economic counselor told the ambassador. That's what makes all of this all the more implausible that Ambassador to your vantage during the testimony during the show hearings of Adam Schiff and the impeachment claim that she didn't remember anything except what she read in the newspaper when she was having the sort of discussions a meeting with a Burisma my representative a conversation with her on multiple occasions, a detailed letter from Burisma's lawyers and as soon as she got it, she sent it. She forwarded it to her staff saying, What's this about? I need to know. And she gets a briefing. She doesn't seem to remember any of that. And I think that that is going to lead to some bigger questions about the accuracy of her testimony, the completeness, the thoroughness of their testimony. We're gonna ask Congressman Lee Zeldin, who did the questioning that elicited those answers, what he thinks of it, whether he thinks she lied or did something inappropriate? We're also gonna ask Dave Bossie about it, you're gonna hear from both of them. Meanwhile, there's been a lot of breaking news on the front since our story broke. Late last night Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, announced that he's going to issue a subpoena next week for that company Blue Star Strategies. 

John Solomon  7:44  
That firm that was representing Burisma, a representative of who met with the ambassador Yovanavich so there's an official subpoena being prepared and voted on next week. And we are hearing from our from sources in the house that House Republicans though they're in the minority are about to make a major request for documents from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Stay tuned we're gonna have a lot of conversations, we've got the two key players on it Dave Bossie Citizens United, the group whose FOIA lawsuit got us these documents, got us exclusive story, as well as Congressman Lee Zeldin who last October did the inquisition, the interrogation of Ambassador Yovanovich that elicited the answers that are now under question. All right, we're gonna go to commercial break in a second, but I want to get to one more thing. 

John Solomon  8:30  
The other big news that we've had, and that is that, as you know, yesterday, the two senators Johnson, Senator Johnson I just mentioned and Senator Chuck Grassley released a document that had been declassified by the Director of National Intelligence, Rick Grinnell, he's the acting DNI, and this gives us for the first time the list of Obama era officials who sought to unmask the conversations that Mike Flynn had with Russian and other foreign leaders. This has been a big controversy since the very beginning days of Russiagate, why? Because one of those conversations after they were unmasked was leaked to the New York Times and became the focal point to smear Flynn, to force his resignation and then to lead to a criminal investigation that accused him of lying to the FBI. Something he is now trying to get reversed his conviction. What did we learn from the release yesterday, what we learned is more than a dozen Obama political officials sought to unmask Mike Flynn's conversations between the day Donald Trump won, November 9 2016,to the day President Trump took office January 2017. 

John Solomon  9:39  
So over a little over two months, more than a dozen requests for more than two dozen conversations that Flynn was having that were being intercepted by the NSA. This is a privacy violation for certain. And it's the sort of thing that when we first began our effort on Russia gate three years ago, my reporting, we started here we started with the issue: Why were there so many unmaskings going on? We now know who they are. And let me just give you some of the names. Well former and fired FBI Director, James Comey. He tried to unmask a conversation, and UN Ambassador Samantha Power. Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Treasury secretary Jack Lew, all political appointees, CIA director John Brennan he's one, and I'm going to give you one it's really interesting. A Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Department named Sarah Raskin. She's important not only for her own career as a treasury official, but also she's married to Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland. He's one of Trumps most harsh critics in Congress. So you see the political connections there a lot of political appointees, the wife of a political critic of the President. That's the sort of people that were getting these unmasking. 

John Solomon  10:03  
Now unmaskings was originally created, so that intelligence analysts could better understand and analyze intercepts, but now it's become a political football. This confirms what we had feared all along that political appointees were getting the unmasked conversations of their adversaries. Mike Flynn was not liked by the Obama administration as it was going out the door. And what are they doing? They're looking at his conversations, unmasking his protected name and these intercepts. Now, what we need to find out is, who of any of those officials leaked the one conversation that went to the Washington Post that is clearly a felony, leaking of classified intercept would be a felony. And also, were these requests legitimate? Were they doing it for political periods or political payback? Or did they have an intelligence reason that we do not yet know about? 

John Solomon  11:39  
That's going to be the focus of many, many investigations. Senator Johnson, Senator Grassley and also Senator Lindsey Graham all announced yesterday that they're going to be holding hearings and investigations into these unmaskings. Why was it happening? Why was it going on? And then secondly, and perhaps just as importantly, the DNI Rick Grinnell sent these records to the Justice Department where two special prosecutors, John Durham and Jeff Jensen, have been looking at the Mike Flynn case and potential abuses by investigators. So they'll have it for their criminal investigations, if they so choose. Big development, major development, a confirmation of the politicalization of these unmasking issues. And and you know, a lot more to be learned. We should give everyone the benefit of the doubt until we know what happened. But what we do know happened now is that a whole lot of Obama era officials were seeking the unmasked intercepts of Mike Flynn heading out the door as they were heading out the door and then Mike Flynn suddenly becomes the subject of James Comey, the FBI and then eventually special prosecutor Robert Muller's investigation. Anyone see a coincidence there? We'll have to wait and see. On a good note, I want to share one thing myself and my, my former colleague Sarah Carter, great reporter, we started the whole Russiagate reporting Back in the spring of 2017, by focusing on unmasking. What did we, what did we break? in the spring of 2017, we got data from the ODNI, the Office of Director of National Intelligence showing that there had been this massive spike in the number of searches of Americans phone records, basically, the unmasked names of Americans or their phone numbers were being searched in a database, and people were sucking up the Americans phone records to see who they were talking to overseas. And then we saw over that as a search to see who called who there was a corresponding rise in the number of contents, meaning the actual intercepts that what I was saying or someone was saying overseas, the act there was a large surge in the number of searches, and that led to larger numbers of requests. I think about nine or 10 thousand in 2016. 

John Solomon  13:49  
Officials seeking to see the names of intercepted people, Americans names that are supposed to be minimized, protected, redacted from these transcripts. That is so important. So we saw this three fold increase in the searches of Americans phone records, I think it was about 9500 searches in 2013, the first year of Obama's second term. And by 2016, the election year and had gone up to more than 30,000 searches of unmatched phone records, Americans actual names or their phone records being searched in the database. There's some good news, a little bit of good news. Since President Trump took office, those searches have been going down by almost 50%. In 2018. There's about 14,374 unmasked searches of American phone calls, and in 2019, went up a little bit still way below where it was at the end of the Obama era. 16,692. So there's a little bit better protection of Americans phone records in the new data I was able to get from ODNI. But still, a lot of unmasking was going on at the end of President Obama's tenure. I said about 90 to 9300 people made requests, or there are 9200 requests to unmask specific Americans' names and transcripts. That number hasn't changed. 

John Solomon  15:04  
It's about 10,000 last year under Trump. So unmasking at least the final version of unmasking the type where a political appointee or agency asked to see a name and a report, is still about the same as where it was when Obama left office. The good news is the number of searches on Americans private phone records in the National Security Agency's database has gone down as a result of reforms that President Trump took. Alright, we're going to go to a commercial break when we come back first day Bossie Citizens United. And then Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York, the republican who's interrogation of Marie Yovanovich, the former Ukrainian Ambassador is taking on new significance in the marketplace. i'm John Solomon. You're listening to John Solomon Reports at Just the We'll be back in just a few seconds.

Unknown Speaker  15:58  
Alright folks, welcome back from the commercial break. And as promised, our next guest is Dave Bossie the former congressional investigator, the current outside adviser to President Trump, and most importantly, the founder and head of Citizens United, the group that filed the FOIA lawsuit that gave us those great documents earlier this week about Marie Yovanovich, the Ukraine ambassador, and the meetings about Burisma, yes, the Hunter Biden company that she forgot to tell the impeachment hearings about last fall. Dave, welcome to the show.

Dave Bossie  16:27  
Hey, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Unknown Speaker  16:29  
Well, first off, a lot of folks have probably know your group, most famously for the Supreme Court ruling that it helped bring about on campaign finance, but talk about some of the great work you do every day in bringing transparency in through Freedom of Information Act, lawsuits.

Dave Bossie  16:44  
Yeah, it's one of the one of the great things we've been doing for a long time, John, and we used it really effectively over the last 10 plus years, really ever since 2006 2007, leading up to when Hillary Clinton was going to run the first time and Barack Obama ended up beating her, but we've all citizens United in our research and legal teams use FOIA, the Freedom of Information Act to try to pry out of the government, important documents and we never get them through FOIA. So we ended up having to litigate every single case. And we have cases today, john, and I think you know this, is we've had federal judges approve schedules for document distribution to us that last 40 to 60 years, not months, not days, not weeks, but 40 to 60 years, literally, my grandkids are going to have to care if they want to review these documents when they come out of the the government archives. 

Dave Bossie  17:48  
It's insanity. It's really the opposite of what FOIA was created for. It's the opposite of what transparency in government is supposed to be. And it's one of the things that citizens United doesn't does very well, we also make a lot of documentary films with a lot of guys that, you know, your audience knows from Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, you know, you name it, we do a lot of different things and, and we have some great films coming out this fall. So we're a busy group and we're excited to be talking about, you know, these documents that we kind of fell into. John, as you well know, we didn't we didn't go after Ambassador Yovanovich's, emails, we didn't go after her documents at all. We actually went after George Kent's documents based on his testimony last fall during the impeachment saga. We listened to him about Burisma and Hunter Biden. And we, it we FOIAed his documents, and we fell and that's what good investigations do - you've pulled the threads and we found these documents on Yovanovich and Burisma, Blue Star, Hunter Biden through going through George Kent. So my point is in... the point of that information is that if we had gone after Yovanovich material, we may even go get more meaning there may be more there that they didn't want us to see because they clearly didn't give us this material except under federal court order.

Unknown Speaker  19:19  
Yeah. Well, I can answer a part of that question. I've had a pending lawsuit that did specifically seek Ambassador Yovanovich's contacts with Burisma. Here's a funny thing. Dave, you got these documents back in late April when you were kind enough to share with us in my lawsuit they told me there were no more responsive documents and they didn't produce these, so it shows you the games that you were just talking about in this four year process. I requested all of Ambassador Yovanovich's contacts with with about Burisma, these were clearly responsive, and I never got them in and then the State Department has gone to the court saying we're done with production. We have nothing more. I can't wait to tell the judge that they might want to go look again.

Unknown Speaker  19:59  
You know, unfortunately for the American people, that that's the rule, right, not the exception. We do this routinely. And then we share our documents with congressional committees that are running investigations on us in the House and Senate. And we run across the exact problem that you are describing. So Citizens United gets a document production, and we go meet with a Senate investigative committee and share those same exact documents. And they say, we didn't have these. And they certified to us that they gave us everything and we don't have these. And it happens every day. And that's the problem with down in the bowels of these federal agencies. It doesn't matter which one, we happen to be dealing with Department of Justice and state and other intel on this particular investigation. But it doesn't matter. You could be going to the EPA or the Department of Education, they treat everyone the same.

Unknown Speaker  20:58  
Transparency is is costly unfortunately for the American people, it doesn't come easily and your work has been epic over the years and these new documents, as my listeners are really familiar because of the story that broke Tuesday night with with your your great for them are already acutely aware of the story. I want to take you to why this is so remarkable. Last night I was on Laura Ingram. And the question came up about you know, how did how did Adam Schiff put all these people on Mount Rushmore? James Comey, John brennan, Maria manovich. They were all heroes during the hearings, and then we find out afterwards that they probably belong on [unintelligible] people who gave us incomplete inaccurate and and unheroic testimony. Talk a little bit about how surprised you were to learn that your vantage had had these contacts with Burisma, after testifying that she didn't think she had any?

Unknown Speaker  21:49  
Having been around this town meaning Washington DC and watching the enemies of Donald Trump do and say whatever they need in order to try to damage him to destroy him. And that is the problem. And so yes, were we surprised that we came up with... whether we found these documents? Yes. Where are we surprised that she did it? Absolutely not. If you look at one of the other witnesses, David Holmes, David Holmes is somebody who came across as an Eagle Scout, the quintessential Boy Scout, "I'm, non political," for your listeners, he's the guy who had the bionic ears and heard both sides of a conversation with the President of the United States in a restaurant where the phone was not on speakerphone. And so, you know, back in the days when you could go to a restaurant, right, so... did David Holmes remembers every word of this conversation and "I am not political. I don't have any partisan reasons for telling the story." We continue to dig at the State Department during and after his testimony into these people who were involved in meeting with Christopher Steele and getting that steel dossier, that fake phony dossier... from the State Department to the FBI. Okay, and that and so we have, we have those meetings that happened and we know that who those people were, so we start subpoenaing it start FOIAing that information of what that group of people were doing. 

Dave Bossie  23:35  
And we get emails that show that there is a person on all of these hate filled emails amongst the cabal at the State Department that's trying to destroy President Trump. And one of the people on it is Stephanie Holmes, and my team decides [unintelligble]... Looks at Stephanie Holmes and says, "Oh my God. That's David Holmes' wife." So So David Holmes, who puts himself out as a non political, nonpartisan, professional diplomat, and I'm just reporting what I hear his he didn't bother to tell the committee that his wife was actively discussing these issues actively coordinating on email chains, about the Steele dossier with the same people who are trying to do this. This is this is the problem. And by the way, if we had gotten these documents from the State Department, prior to the committee hearings, in impeachment, they would have been questioned, and David Holmes, his credibility would have been destroyed. But instead he comes off as the Eagle Scout. And that's what the deep state does. They hide these things until after the fact. And so we're lucky that we have, you know, people like you, John, who are dogged and willing to write these stories, because a lot of people will be like, oh, you know, that's yesterday's news. Even though it's not yesterday's news.

Unknown Speaker  24:59  
Yeah, no, it's really tomorrow's news if we're ever going to solve this weaponization of law enforcement and in the case of Congress, impeachment, we have to expose the the inaccurate, incomplete and completely misleading things that have been carried out the last few years by the FBI and by Adam Schiff and Congress. You look at this and we now know that the testimony was clear that that Ambassador Yovanovich said she didn't know anything about Burisma except for her pre confirmation hearing briefing and things she read in the newspaper and now we know she met directly with Burisma's representatives. She got a lengthy letter from Brees, Ms. Lawyers, she engaged in numerous email contacts and got a private briefing from George Kent, the State Department official you focused on what's the consequence of this? You know, does does she get in trouble? Does she be forced to change her testimony?

Unknown Speaker  25:51  
You know, that's a great question, John, and what should happen in a normal, serious world, there should be a criminal referral from both the House Judiciary Committee or the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Senate Committees that oversee this, because those are the ones that heard testimony. And there should be a criminal referral on perjury for Ambassador Yovanovich. And she should be held accountable she should be made to answer for what she has done here. Look, the American people are seeing what is going on with Mike Flynn, General Flynn, a three star Lieutenant General spent almost 30 years of his life in uniform defending our country. He is somebody who is had run ins with Barack Obama. And so when you've had run ins with Barack Obama, you get the the sting of, you know, the entire federal government being used to destroy you. 

Dave Bossie  26:53  
You get unmasked by people like Joe Biden and and McDonough and you know, Ben Rhodes and you get all these bad guys within the Obama administration 10-12 days before the end of the term, and they're unmasking Mike Flynn. That's just disgusting. So you'd look at what the American people see what's happening to Mike Flynn and then you see the hypocrisy of what happens to Ambassador Yovanovich. It's the same thing. Actually, this is worse, Mike Flynn didn't lie. Mike Flynn didn't do what the FBI tried to set him up. And that's what they did. They set him up James Comey and McCabe and Strzok, the bad actors who have all been fired at the FBI. Every one of them should be prosecuted, whether they get convicted or not, but they all should be looked at for prosecution for what they have done to the United States. What they've done to the FBI, what they've done to these cases, obstruction, you know, interfering, this is criminal activity, and Yovanovich should be made to answer but you see the hypocrisy of how they treat me Mike Flynn versus how they treat one of the one of the good old boys right one of the club. 

John Solomon  28:06  
Well, we have a great guest coming up right behind you, Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is the very congressman who questioned Yovanovich and elicited the testimony. We're going to have to ask him is he going to refer Marie Yovanovich to the Justice Department for prosecution? We'll get that chance in a few minutes.

Unknown Speaker  28:22  
Lee Zeldin is one of the great members of Congress today. He has so come into his own. He is a national leader on this anti corruption, transparency and holding government accountable, and it doesn't matter if it's Republican or Democrat. Lee Zeldin is a squared away guy. He's a guy you want representing you in Congress. That's just my opinion of how I look at these members of Congress today. You know, and Lee Zeldin is such a decent person, and I look at his thoughtful questioning. And  he's the reason he's exactly what you just said. He's the reason that we got these documents. He's the reason, his questioning is what raised questions to us during the impeachment process, during the hearings that made us go and do this FOIA and this litigation, as well as others that we still have coming down the pike, and hopefully we get even more answers.

John Solomon  29:23  
Yeah, no, absolutely. And you can see he was drilling down. He didn't believe the idea that something as important as Burisma and Hunter Biden, the Vice President's son,his company being invested investigated in the fall of 2016. That all she would know about it was from news clips. You can see he kept drilling down and gave her multiple opportunities to say, No, I got a briefing. The best she could say is I might have learned something else, but I don't remember it. And that raises another question. There's two options here, right, one she either knowingly lied, which is she knew she had it, or she didn't review her documents before she went in for testimony for a hearing fhat was the most epic of hearings, we were talking about removing The President of the United States from office.

Unknown Speaker  30:02  
Yes, she's a Princeton educated,very, very smart. Okay for her to say that golly gee willikers. I didn't, you know, I didn't review my documents defense is hogwash, and it's not going to stand the test because there's going to be ways to show that she did review these documents because those there are documents to show what she reviewed and what she didn't. So we're going to get down into it. So ambassador, Yovanovich, you know, is somebody who clearly thought that impeachment was the end game. That's what they did. Whether it's David Holmes, or Yovanovich or any of these others, they said, this is the end we're going to throw everything at the President we can because we must destroy him with this impeachment hearing. We must defeat him here. Or he's going to defeat us and therefore they went and they threw everything up against the wall.

Dave Bossie  31:01  
And Yovanovich did it and I think that they didn't feel like there would be repercussions that there would be... that anyone would have to answer for this. And now we're seeing a guy named Rick Grinnell change the entire dynamic of what is going on in our intelligence communities. What's going on... look, I you know, I wrote this up on Fox News the other day, but it's, it's, you know, these investigations have been going on for about 1450 days. 1450 days. That is unbelievable, the entire Trump administration in effect, right. And it's taken Rick Grinnell a little over 60 days to dismantle the entire effort by the left. 

Dave Bossie  31:44  
Not entirely, but he is well on his way. And I think he's just beginning because I hope he puts out the list. Not only did he put out the names of those who unmasked Mike Flynn. I hope he puts out the names of those on ethic campaigns, In 2016, of the others, that our Intel was watching, who else was under investigation illegally using those Pfizer warrants and other applications that the FBI was misusing who else during the campaign and transition, were under the microscope? And I think that's going to be a shocking thing as well. And I hope Ambassador Grinnell released that because that's an that's a fourth amendment civil rights violation. And these people need to be made to pay for that.

Unknown Speaker  32:33  
Well, you're so good at connecting the dots and you just did for us for the with the Holmes family connection. Let me throw another one out to you that's specifically related to unmasking. We'll leave Ukraine behind now and go to Russiagate. The one of the 16 requesters of Flynn unmaskings in the in the transition period was a woman named Sarah Raskin, and she was the deputy treasury secretary who just happens to be married to her Congressman Jamie Raskin. And so you see these connections of people who don't have an intelligence responsibility on a daily basis, right. Unmasking was really made for intelligence analysts to look and make sure they could understand the product and inform the policymakers. But now you got the policy makers themselves doing the unmasking. Well, one of those people's married to one of the most harshest critics of President Trump in Congress. And so those are the sort of things that make I think people scratch their head every day and go, what's going on with this unmasking?

Unknown Speaker  33:29  
Yeah, Jamie, Jamie Raskin is, is one of the worst elements in Congress, to be honest with you. He is a hardcore, hardcore leftist, who has, you know, has taken the position of doing and saying anything to destroy President Trump regardless of the consequences, and you could see if this is accurate, that his wife would have transmitted any of that information to him. Now he has a top secret clearance to so they're going to be able to go home and say over dinner Hey, honey, what did you do today? Right?

Unknown Speaker  34:03  
Like, that's the question right? Okay.

Unknown Speaker  34:04  
So it is disgusting, that that a person in a position would misuse and abuse their power. Because unmasking is not an everyday activity, it is not something that is done. It is not something that is done lightly. It is not an everyday activity for our intelligence agencies. And for all of these people, ambassadors to Italy. I mean, what are we... Turkish Ambassador? What are we doing here that these people who are all political hacks, let's just be honest, from Joe Biden, to McDonough, these people were either in on the scam they were running the operation out of the Oval Office for Barack Obama, or they were misusing it for political awkward opportunities. This is this is a this is a big scandal and let me just say this. President Trump, Corey Lewandowski and I wrote a book called "Trump's Enemies." And it was it's from 2018. It was Trump's enemies, how the deep state is undermining the presidency. And in that book, we sat for a one hour interview, in depth interview with the President United States in the Oval Office. Well, it really, actually, it's the only interview he did that year, in his term for a book. 

Dave Bossie  35:29  
And so we were quite honored to do that. But in that we asked him, where does this lead? Where does this investigation lead to, and this is 2018. And he said, this goes all the way to Barack Obama. This goes to the Obama Biden White House, and I believe... in his quote that says, this goes all the way to the Oval Office. The leadership of how this entire conspiracy about attacking Mike Flynn and the campaign, unmasking the whole lot of it, he laid at the feet of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And now two years later, we are seeing that Donald Trump was exactly right then, and we're gonna get to the bottom of this thing over the next six months. If it's the last thing we do... otherwise it's going to go back to business as usual, john, and these intelligence agencies will laugh.

Unknown Speaker  36:33  
They'll be emboldened to do it again. That is the fear and the concern. Well, I want to say one thing in closing, get your reaction to it. So a lot of times people say, well, there's political outrage and there's no action. And I want to point out something that the rest of the media has not pointed out except for me, because I've been on the unmasking case, all the way back to 2014. When I first got the first statistics on it, so here's the trend lines in the first year of the second term of Obama, there were 9500 unmasking by the time Obama left in 2016, they had grown threefold to 30,000 plus unmaskings. So the question is if Donald Trump's concerned about this, did he do anything? Or is he just dancing on the floor of politics? And here is the answer under President Trump unmaskings have been cut by half 50% reduction, they have averaged between 14 and 16,000 unmasking a year, half of what Barack Obama left behind for him. So the President doesn't just complain, he actually took actions to try to protect the privacy. And that's real data right out of the ODNI.

Unknown Speaker  37:31  
I would I would posit to your audience, that now that the and by the way, that's what the President thinking that there were problems, he cut it in half. My guess is, when this president gets reelected, you will be able to have... you and I could have this conversation in two years time and we'll be able to look back and say, in 2019, and in 20, that the President cut it even further and my guess is we will be be dramatic in its scope, because you can't allow these intelligence agencies to run amok. And so, even 14 or 15,000 sounds like a lot to me to be honest. Because that's in a year. I mean, think about how many that is a day, folks. I mean, it's not that hard. I mean, it's just a lot to me. And so who's doing it? Why are they doing it? What are the underlying reasons and facts and circumstances? So, you know, look, every American believes in protecting the American people from from terrorism and criminal activity that takes part abroad, but this, that level seems to me to be, you know, an incredible overreach.

John Solomon  38:46  
Yeah, no, I think that's it for anyone who's a civil libertarian. And, you know, here's the funny part until President Trump came into office. The ACLU, the civil liberties organization had always been concerned about this. But they've been remarkably silent about the abuses that have now been uncovered about Mike Flynn. And I just heard something good. I just I just emailed my Booker saying two years from today. Let's get Dave Bossie back on the show.

John Solomon  39:14  
Well, listen, I can't thank you enough for what you do to bring transparency, FOIA is such an expensive and important tool when you use it in a way to make sure that the American people understand what went on. I'm so grateful that you shared these documents with Just the News first, and we thank you for that work and the transparency you brought, and we look forward to working with you again.

Unknown Speaker  39:33  
Absolutely. John, thank you, it's your dogged reporting that, you know, a lot of this gets uncovered over the last several years. And you know, what, you and I have known each other two decades.

Unknown Speaker  39:43  
Yeah, yeah. Early Clinton administration. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  39:47  
Yeah, it's been a long time. 20 plus years, that we've been doing this and it's remarkable to be able to everyday wake up and try to do good that you know, and create that transparency for the American people so that they get the full accounting of what their government is doing. So thank you for your work.

Unknown Speaker  40:08  
Well, thanks again, Dave, and we'll be in touch with you soon. All right, folks, we're gonna go to commercial break when we come back, the Congressman who asked the fateful question of ambassador Yovanovich, Lee Zeldin joining us next.

John Solomon  40:25  
Alright, folks, welcome back from the commercial break. And as promised, the Congressman who asked those amazing questions of Ambassador Yovanovich last year during impeachment, Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York.Welcome. 

Lee Zeldin  40:37  
Thank you, john, and thank you for your good work over the course of these past couple days, months, years. Throughout this entire impeachment push, your name has come up a lot, so it's good to be on with you to talk to you about your latest good work.

Unknown Speaker  40:51  
Yeah, thank you. I appreciate that. Well, it's been a journey for all of us who have been interested in the truth and you've been such an important player on that. My my listeners are all up to speed on the story itself about what happened between Yovanovich and these new records. But I wanted to ask you, when you were asking these questions back in the fall of 2019, you kept drilling down on this idea that you didn't seem to trust the idea that all she knew about Burisma, Hunter Biden, was just from news media reports. What made you suspicious at that point?

Lee Zeldin  41:22  
Well it was unbelievable. And not just her but others. As we saw over the course of the rest of the depositions, were acting as if they didn't know anything about this. Now, we knew that there was only one specific investigation when she was going through her Senate confirmation hearing that she was prepped to talk about it was this one case. And I know when you're going when you're getting ready for a confirmation hearing, that that almost everybody, whether you're trying to become a judge and Ambassador, cabinet official, you are really drilling into preparing on these points. It's not just some random talking point that someone says that you should think about you never think about it again. So there's just no way that she just said she would know nothing about any of this. It was just there was obviously more to talk about.

John Solomon  42:18  
Yeah, no, absolutely. And you look back now and so her testimony essentially was I didn't know anything about Burisma, Hunter Biden except what I got briefed before my confirmation hearing and what I read in the medium, and now we have thanks to the FOIA lawsuit filed by the Citizens United, we have these documents showing that between September and December 2016 alone, right during the end of the election, she got a direct letter from Burisma, got a briefing on Burisma, then met directly with Burisma representatives and then engaged in a series of emails, including discussions that Burisma and Hunter Biden's company may have settled the case using payoffs and other you know, other assiduous things. You look back now do you think that she misled you in misled the Congress in her testimony?

Unknown Speaker  43:02  
A thousand percent. There's no other way to cut it she it would be unbelievable to to try to imagine that Ambassador Yovanovich, Princeton educated, well regarded for her intellect by many who speak out strongly on her behalf, that she would forget every single one of these meetings, discussions, emails, all of that traffic that is documented that as a result of that FOIA request is now public that you reported on here over the last couple of days, that she would not recall that she would not remember any of it, any of it? It was it wasn't even like there was a vague answer of I believe there was other stuff other than press reports, there were some emails. There were some meetings. There were some discussions. I don't remember the details. Maybe I don't remember the exact timeframe of everything. But to but to not recall any of it. That's just not possible.

Unknown Speaker  44:12  
Yeah, I think a lot of people who've read this story have come to the same, the same conclusion. So the question is, what's the consequence? What can you as a congressman who asked the the faithful questions or the the Republicans in Congress? Do you take another step to make sure that people like this don't give inaccurate false or misleading testimony in the future? What's what are your options at this point now that impeachment is so long over?

Unknown Speaker  44:34  
Well, I'm looking at this as part of a larger issue of what we're talking about right now, people who are lying to Congress now, some cases are even more black and white than this. You look at the example of Clapper saying that he didn't brief President Obama. He's telling Congress this. Comey then tells Congress That clapper debrief, President Obama. Samantha Power testifies to Congress that she wasn't part of any unmasking. And then we see with the documents that have been released in the last couple of days that she was directly really connected to these unmasking requests. So now I'm just giving you a couple of examples. And then something else that's that's pretty outrageous is when the member of Congress is caught in frequent lies, as we've seen with Adam Schiff, where it's illegal for someone to come testify to Congress and lie, but there's no consequences if Congress itself lies, but as far as the individuals who have violated existing criminal statutes, there should be investigations and accountability. I know that if if the tables were turned, and it was Clapper lying and Power lying and these others lying, and it was to take out a president Hillary Clinton or a President Barack Obama, that there would undoubtedly be perjury investigations that would be ongoing. Now in this particular case with with Yovanovich. 

Unknown Speaker  46:21  
She didn't say in her answer, there was nothing else. She said, I don't recall. And you're seeing that and when you look at John Brennan's testimony, for example, where your he got asked questions about the the Flynn investigations and the meetings that were taking place, and his answer was that he didn't remember, you know, I don't I don't recall I have a recollection I'm paraphrasing exactly what his words are. But you have that second level of dishonesty to Congress, for someone isn't black and white stating that a a meeting didn't happen. You know, I never met with President Obama. You have you have that, as you know relates to your Clapper Singh? I never see I didn't spin. I didn't brief President Obama, then you have people saying I don't have a recollection of it. So those, there just needs to be consequences about double standards.

John Solomon  47:19  
It is clear that at the time she testified, and you were asking her the question, she was still an active state department employee, she could have gone back and looked at her records. And we don't know if she did right, And she was participating in one of the most important proceedings that Congress can ever launch and impeachment an effort to remove a president duly elected by the American voters. Do you follow up because you're you're the ultimate victim here as a member, the member who asked the questions, do you follow up and ask the Justice Department investigate? Did she review her records try to zero in on whether it was intentional or otherwise?

Unknown Speaker  47:54  
I think that that absolutely. is called for 100% and why I'll do my last point was about how the statement itself was the vague I don't recall without specifically saying there wasn't any emails, any meetings, any discussions, because that I mean, that's just black and white lie without even looking into it any further. In this particular case, when you use terms like, I don't recall, that's where when you do an investigation, you can determine whether or not she did have her recollection refreshed in preparation for this deposition. If in that particular questioning, she indicates that she did review any of the documents that you just reported on, then it becomes easier to prove a criminal charge. So you can't just jump straight... in a case like this with a statement like what she made. You can't just jump without that investigation into that provable conclusion that she absolutely clear as day lied. So an investigation is is certainly warranted. But this is a much bigger issue. And I'm not seeing any investigations going on. I really hope that is maybe part of Durham's investigation, at least with some of the examples I appointed to on the Russia front.

Unknown Speaker  49:20  
That's a great point that we don't know what's going on behind the scenes. But the only way we're going to get to the bottom of whether someone intended to lie is to actually dig into the contemporaneous text messages, emails and other things. And so will you ask the Justice Department, will you send a letter yourself or do you think members in Congress will? What do you think the plan is? 

Lee Zeldin  49:37  
Well the plan is... I'm going back to DC this afternoon, and I'm going to be seeing my colleagues tomorrow. I've spoken to one of my colleagues here over the course of the last 24 hours, who was in the deposition with me, I've actually spoken to two of my colleagues about it. I spoke to one about a day before that, so I'm going to follow up with them and let's figure out what the right path is here. I've reread the deposition since your story came out. And I believe that if there was an investigation that you might be able to uncover the information that would be needed to prove the offense. You know, again, putting it all in perspective, it's just shocking. How many other cases that are just clear as day black and white, provable with what we know now is false that aren't even being investigated, but maybe terms looking into it.

John Solomon  50:33  
That's what we what we don't know. But you're right. There are many, many very sharp answers. Now, one thing that comes up in these things is a pattern in practice. Right. And so earlier in the impeachment proceedings, Fox News was able to get ahold of some private emails of Yovanovich that showed after she testified that she didn't have a conversation or didn't follow up with democratic staffers on Elliot Engel's committee that in fact she had but she didn't use her State Department emails. She used a private email to communicate with them. Do you think that adds to the picture of a witness and their intentions and their willingness to be forthcoming with Congress?

Unknown Speaker  51:08  
100% that question that I had asked in the deposition about her conversations, the House Democratic staffer, is important to point out, I asked if anyone had replied, If you or anyone else had replied to that outreach from the House Democratic staffer, and that was an opportunity if you want to be forthright, if you want to be transparent, if you want to be honest, and answering the question, that you would say, Yes, I did. These are the interactions that took place. And we shouldn't have to then find an email after the deposition that proves that she was misleading in her answer when you're asked the question under oath. Just shoot straight. I remember Ambassador Kurt Volker was the first transcribed interview that took place and one of the reason reasons why Republicans and Democrats coming out of that meeting weren't going after him at all wasn't because you know of any type of political partisan motivation. It was because in the room he came across as genuine, a genuine candid straight shooter. 

Unknown Speaker  52:16  
If you ask him a question, he's gonna give you the answer, whether you like it or not. And, and, you know, on the other end of the spectrum, Gordon Sandlin, you know, he seemed like a hot mess as you're going through the investigation as you're going through the interview, where he was just all over the map. And in between you have people like Ambassador Yovanovich, who will clearly wasn't shooting straight with it. The two examples that we just got into where you asked a question about interaction with the House Democratic committee staffer, just answer my questions straight up, be candid, be genuine, and don't require us to locate some other email after the fact to find out that you didn't answer the question the way that you should have. And obviously what you just uncovered over the course of these last couple days, I mean, are you kidding me? You want to say it's just it's not a big deal. And then in the interview, she says that the investigation is dormant in the Burisma, Zlochesky case waes dormant, and that was based off of press reports. 

Unknown Speaker  53:21  
Well, that's why we're asking her well, what else did you have other than press reports? I don't recall. And actually, if she was to reference all of the other stuff that she knew about, other than press reports, if she referenced any of that other stuff that you just uncovered, it would totally undermine the argument that it was dormant. So it would create an impeachment push. So this is why the questions were being asked because she was the one who wants to use the word dormant, which all the media wants to reference. I remember CNN's Erin Burnett, going after me, you know, saying no, no, no, the investigation was dormant. So I did the research like where are they coming up with this word, and it was a word that was not even within quotation marks in like a Bloomberg story somewhere where they say that according to a prosecutor, and I don't remember if he even indicated if it was a US prosecutor or Ukrainian prosecutor, that the case was dormant and the word dormant wasn't in quotation marks in that story. 

Unknown Speaker  54:20  
And because of that one news story, using that one word, everyone adopted it as well, the cases therefore dormant. And then Marie Yovanovich will be in an impeachment hearing, saying, based on news reports, that's what this is what actually if she shared all the rest of the information, the conclusion would be now the case is very much open. It was active through September, October, November, December of 2016. And into January of 2017, when, as you reported, Vice President Biden goes to Ukraine. And there's concern on the Ukrainian side that Vice President Biden was being conflicted out because of vice president Biden and his family's business interests in Ukraine. Don't you think any of that is relevant? Your your reporting, not your own notes. Your reporting, Marie Yovanovich's notes and working with her embassy and Ukrainian officials.

John Solomon  55:14  
Yeah, and listen, she had direct knowledge. She got a letter from Burisma's lawyer in September saying we just settled this open investigation and we're working on another one. And in December, she gets a second notification that they settle a second case for a fine and may have done so corruptly. So that the embassy was acutely aware, the investigations were open and Burisma was racing to try to get a settlement. That's a really great point, Congressman, that I that I think the American public probably has to absorb. 

John Solomon  55:42  
I want to ask you about one question because congressional oversight when done well is so important. It's what the founding fathers intended. But there's a term that gets thrown around on Fox News and elsewhere called the Schiff show. And you know, it's sort of a political term but at the end of the day, when we look back at what Adam Schiff over these last few years, he read into the congressional record the Steele dossier before he knew it was accurate. In fact, it turned out to be Russian disinformation. He rushes all these witnesses through like Marie Yovanovich and rapid testimony without any counter witnesses or document productions. And we end up with these false narratives that then we spent three years on winding. How do we change this in Congress? What do we do to end the Schiff show and get back to the sort of oversight hearings that make a difference for the American public?

Unknown Speaker  56:28  
Well, the ultimate power is in the people who go to vote this November, they'll decide whether or not Nancy Pelosi is the speaker or not. They'll decide whether or not Adam Schiff is Chairman Adam Schiff, or not. That gavel that is put into Adam Schiff's hands it's put into Jerry Nadler his hands and Maxine Waters his hands... That's a consequence of the ultimate power which is the American voter choosing which party is going to be in control of the House come January 2021. Now what should happen is that there should be a censure, there should be a resignation, he should lose his gavel. We know what should happen right now between now and November as far as accountability for Adam Schiff. But Nancy Pelosi isn't going to do that. The reason why Adam Schiff is the chair of this committee and to do exactly what he's done is because he is such a good liar, because he's good at writing the fairy tale parody, and then he's really good at telling the parody. 

Unknown Speaker  57:33  
And that's why the speaker promoted him. And so not only are you the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, I am anointing you as the Chair of the House Impeachment Committee. And you can now lead the charge on behalf of our party and half of our country and trying to take down a sitting president, so I don't expect any accountability for him between now and November, but there could be accountability for all of them with that ultimate power in American people and I think it's also interesting about how you use the term, you know, acutely aware. And and what you see is how conveniently people whether it's Adam Schiff, and others who are trying to tell the story. It's Brennan and Clapper in Power and Yovanovich and others are cutely unaware of the rest of the story. And that's what Adam Schiff approached this entire impeachment narrative where he took 3% of the story. And he tried to connect dots not actually connected ignoring the other 97% of the story, to tell a parody that he attempted to be the world's greatest parody. That just wasn't true. It was a Schiff show. I saw it in that deposition. But we're talking about in this interview about Marie Yovanovich in that room, Adam Schiff was the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, the witness coach. He's the chief strategist for lying and leaking and he wasn't sure it was the Schiff show in the basement of the Capitol, which became the Schiff show for the American public to watch, and it went over to the Senate and basically hijacked our country for six months. Imagine just how much more could have been done if you put all that energy in working with each other as opposed to trying to take down the sitting president.

John Solomon  58:07  
You use the word censure, are house republicans thinking of even though they won't get it passed, are they thinking of a censure vote trying to get Adam Schiff sensured in light of the record we now have?

Unknown Speaker  59:30  
The resolutions have been introduced. They have you know, there have been efforts to try to force a vote. But the party that's in the majority right now is is a party that thinks that he should be given awards he should be giving medals not being centered.

John Solomon  59:47  
That's a great point. Great point. Well, sir, I can't thank you enough for what you did to help us all Just the News as we're trying to understand this story and and learn from it. And I know we're going to learn a lot more about Russia and Ukraine in the  next few months. So thank you for taking the time on a busy day to share your thoughts with Just the News and John Solomon reports. We're really glad to have you on today. 

Lee Zeldin  1:00:07  
Good to be with you. 

John Solomon  1:00:08  
Thank you, sir. All right, folks. We'll be back to wrap it up in a second.

John Solomon  1:00:13  
Wow, what a podcast I'm exhausted. But it was worth it. Right. Yeah, I know. We went a little extra long today. But Lee Zeldin, Dave Bossie, a good explanation of the Ukraine Yovanovich story. And what to look forward to in the unmasking scandal unfolding in Washington. We're able to get to all of that today. I'm so grateful you stuck around to listen to it all. I hope you enjoyed it. We'll be back on Tuesday with a new addition. New guests new breaking news. I can't wait to be here with you. Until then, have a safe weekend. Enjoy your family be healthy. Enjoy that time alone. Hopefully soon. I'll be getting back to work and life as normal. i'm john Solomon. You've been listening to john Solomon reports at Just the