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Posted on April 03 2018

Who is John Mashburn...

 

Apparently Bipartisanship in Congress is still a remote possibility. No I’m not messing with you. Hope Springs Eternal, right?

On March 29, 2018 Senators Grassley and Feinstein dispatched a letter to Donald J. Trump for President, seeking additional documents and as noted in the footnote, request an additional search using “ Papad*”. 

What was actually overlooked was this portion of their letter:

  • “We are writing today because we believe information obtained in a recent Committee interview warrants expanding those searches to two additional custodians who were not included in the original effort, John Mashburn and Rick Dearborn.” (emphasis added)

 

 

  •  “ask that you include the term "Papad*" in the searches of the additional custodians Mr. Mashburn and Mr. Dearborn, in an effort to account for possible misspellings. “

 

 But who is John Mashburn?

 

  • According to the a Charolette Observer  in December 2014 Mashburn was Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C)
  • Mashburn was “quietly added” to the Trump Campaign in early May 2016. Uncharacteristicly Trump never issued a press release announcing the hiring of Mashburn.
  • The only public notification I could find was this article b Marjorie Dannenfelser, touting Mashburn has a “huge prolife hire”
  • Mashburn was paid $7,341 in consulting fees from the American Civil Rights Union, in the Spring of 2017, while working at the White House. 

 

The aforementioned payment to Mashburn, may have in fact be unlawful, pursuant to Executive Order 12731 of October 17, 1990. Section 102 (a) which reads in part:

 

  • "(a) No employee who is appointed by the President to a full-time
    noncareer position in the executive branch (including full-time noncareeremployees in the White House Office, the Office of Policy Development,and the Office of Cabinet Affairs), shall receive any earned income forany outside employment or activity performed during that Presidential appointment.”

 

Do not be fooled that John Mashburn is some innocuous member of the Trump Administration. He’s not. Mashburn currently serves as Deputy White House Cabinet Secretary for Donald Trump. Which means his current duties includes overseeing dozens of federal agencies. As in Mashburn is literally Trump’s  fly on the wall in these Agencies. Keep in mind that Mashburn was appointed shortly after Trump’s inauguration, as in the same day and likely within hours.

The heightened interest by both SCO Mueller and the Senate Judiciary Chairman & ranking member, that tells me there’s smoke with Mashburn.

The smoke may have a lot to do what to Mashburn’s role as the policy director for the Trump Campaign. And I suspect Mashburn was intimately involved in the RNC platform pivot on Russia but most importantly Ukraine.

 

Just a few days ago, the MSM widely reported that Special Counsel Mueller’s team of investigators have zeroed in on the 2016 RNC Convention and platform change. In the abstract here are a few data points to think about: 

 

  • Manafort and his Deputy Gates were brought in to “strong arm” delegates, leading up to the RNC convention.
  • the Trump Campaign was relatively disengaged on nearly ALL Convention/Platform policies.
  • the -only- topic Trump’s campaign fought for was the “gutting” the Ukraine platform language.
  • Manafort, Gates, JD Gordon and John Mashburn largely orchestrated the odd pivot.
  • “GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for” to better arm themselves against the aggressive Russian encroachment.

 

Diana Denman, a platform committee member offered an amendment that used the following language, in support of arming the Ukraine;

 

“Today, the post-Cold War ideal of a “Europe whole and free,” is being severely tested by Russia’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine. Launched in 2014, Moscow’s offensive constitutes the first attempt since the end of World War II to change by force the sovereign boundaries in Europe. Ukraine’s government and people have shown a remarkable resolve to resist Russian pressure, including by mobilizing a military force that, together with European sanctions, has successfully thwarted further advances by the Russian military and its surrogates.

The Ukrainian people deserve our admiration and support in their struggle, and in their efforts to strengthen “the Rule of Law,” forge a Free Market economy,  and expand democratic governance. We therefore support maintaining (and, if  warranted, increasing) sanctions against Russia until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored. We also support providing lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine’s Armed Forces and greater coordination with NATO  on defense planning. Simultaneously, we call for increased financial aid for Ukraine, as well as greater assistance in the economic and humanitarian spheres, including government reform and anti-corruption.”

 

This two little nuggets were buried in this November 2017 Bussines Insider article Given that Ms. Denman was the original author of the proposed Ukraine Amendment. And her decades long work with the GOP, there’s nothing in her actions that would give any of us pause or doubt the veracity of  her recollection and the series of events that occurred.

 

Again, John Mashburn accepting $7K for “consulting Services” while an employee of the White House should probably be scrutinized. See the ProPublica John Mashburn File

Particularly since he’s an attorney and has multiple decades of “public service” so I’m pretty sure he knows what is or what is not permissible. But then again look at who Mashburn’s boss is, Trump isn’t the poster child of Government Ethics. 

In closing, Diana Denman is a witness that can shed a lot of sunlight on the 2016 RNC Ukraine Platform Change and I suspect that John Mashburn has a lot of explaining to do...hopefully in Special Counsel Mueller’s Office. 

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