“On May 30, 2016, Nellie Ohr sent an email to Bruce Ohr, Holtyn, Ivana Nizich, and Joe Wheatley—then both trial attorneys in the DOJ’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. Nizich had previously worked for Bruce Ohr. The email held a subject line that read “Reported Trove of Documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions’ ‘Black Cashbox.’” Within the email was the text from an article penned the day before by Nikolai Holmov, a blogger at Odessatalk, with the title bolded and enlarged. It also contained a link to the underlying article.
“Documentation regarding that Party of Regions’ ‘chyornaya kasse’ has now seemingly found its way to NABU, the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau,” the article stated.
The article contained a tweet that led to another article, in Russian, from May 28, 2016, providing further details on the “chyornaya kasse” or black box ledger:
“On Saturday, published in the Weekly Mirror, Ukraine, an interview was made public with the former First Deputy Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Viktor Trepak, who claims that he handed over documents confirming illegal payments of cash by the Party of Regions to a number of former and current senior officials. According to him, we are talking about the so-called “black bookkeeping” of the Party of Regions with total payments of about $2 billion.”
Trepak reportedly claimed his information regarding the more than $2 billion fund implicated “officials of the highest level, ministers and heads of departments, people’s deputies, famous politicians, public figures, representatives of international organizations, judges, including the highest judicial instances.”
(UPDATE) Interestingly, when one goes to Holmov’s Twitter feed, the last retweet sent (as of publication of this article) was on Jan. 11, 2019. It is a retweet of an announcement from Mark Galeotti that he was “joining the pre-eminent security think tank @RUSI_org as a Senior Associate Fellow.” Galeotti, as previously mentioned, had been referenced with some frequency in Ohr’s emails. In addition to being the author of numerous articles, Galeotti penned an article for Tablet Magazine, titled, “The ‘Trump Dossier,’ or How Russia Helped America Break Itself.”
Some questions raised in Holmov’s article would later prove prescient. “Have copies of these documents made their way to other, perhaps foreign security services? To what end?” he asked. “If there are foreign personalities involved, are those relevant documents to be shared with those nations—and when?”
Holmov addressed the motivations of the person responsible for disclosing the ledger, noting, “Not all informants are informants for cash reward—there are other (and perhaps more dangerous) motivators.”
He also wondered about the timing, observing that the documents had “not just appeared from nowhere. Somebody has kept it, knowing it to be what it is, for quite some time. Thus why now has it come to light and been given to the authorities?”
Interestingly, Holmov noted that no names or specifics have been made public “for now” as any such disclosure “could very well impede subsequent investigations by NABU.” A Ukrainian court later determined that a NABU official played a role in the leaking of documents to The New York Times.
Nellie’s May 30, 2016, email would prove prophetic. It alerted officials within the Justice Department of a discovery that would have far-reaching implications for Manafort—and the Trump campaign—months before the news reached a national level. (Read more: themarketswork, 4/11/2019) (Archive)