On Wednesday’s (bs) impeachment inquiry, I learned something interesting related to government bureaucracy.
George Kent, a deputy assistant Secretary of State, and ambassador William Taylor testified that embassy staff and ambassadors have no role in informing the President of the United States before the president makes a phone call with a foreign head of state. These weren’t statements about their opinion on how the system should work, but statements about the current practice of the state department. They are not to blame for the process. These two are career civil/military servants, and are respected by both sides of the political aisle.
When the White House decides to contact a foreign government, it only interacts with the national security council (essentially a limited cabinet with a few bureaucrats). While the Secretary of State is supposed to be on the council, it’s looking like contact with men on the ground with their respective cabinet official is non existent. It appears that protocol removes information from the Secretary’s desk by several steps as well.
The system can be described as a nonsensical bureaucratic run around, with gatekeepers of information at every step. State department officials are left with the claim that “they just work for the department,” and must follow those procedures.
Other interesting testimony from Wednesday is that Ukraine is an incredibly corrupt country (shocking, right?), where prosecutors shut down cases for bribes. The Gas company hunter Biden worked for has a “mixed” reputation, and has taken part in many scandals. The corrupt head of the company hired numerous politicians, including the VPs son.
VP Biden started taking numerous trips to Ukraine at the same time (2014-)