Marie Yovanovitch

October 23, 2019 – Judicial Watch: The State Department uses a Soros-linked social media tracking tool to monitor journalists, Trump allies and it’s called Crowdtangle

“The State Department utilized a powerful Facebook-owned social media tracking tool linked to leftist billionaire George Soros to unlawfully monitor prominent U.S. conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump, according to an agency source. The State Department veteran identified Crowdtangle as the tool used to closely watch more than a dozen U.S. citizens, including the president’s son, personal attorney and popular television personalities such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, among others.

Last week Judicial Watch launched an investigation into the unlawful monitoring, which State Department sources say was conducted by the agency in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee. Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources. Yovanovitch reportedly ordered monitoring keyed to the following search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros and Yovanovitch. Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department last week and continues gathering facts from government sources. This week Judicial Watch filed another FOIA request for information related to the State Department’s use of Crowdtangle.

A private, invitation-only engine, Crowdtangle describes itself as a leading content discovery and social monitoring platform that can help identify influencers and track rivals. It was launched in 2011 to organize activism via social media and Facebook purchased it in 2016. Crowdtangle monitors more than 5 million social media accounts and uses dashboards to track keywords, data and specific topics across platforms. For years Facebook has made Crowdtangle available to the mainstream media and in January founder and CEO Brandon Silverman announced he will give access to select academics and researchers in order to help counter misinformation and abuse of social media platforms. “To date, Crowdtangle has been available primarily to help newsrooms and media publishers understand what is happening on the platform,” Silverman writes. “We’re eager to make it available to this important new set of partners and help continue to provide more transparency into how information is being spread on social media.”

A leftwing, Soros-funded organization called Social Science Research Center (SSRC) is charged with determining who is granted access to Crowdtangle. Earlier this year Facebook announced that SSRC will pick researchers who will gain access to its cherished “privacy-protected” data. The statement assures that “Facebook did not play any role in the selection of the individuals or their projects and will have no role in directing the findings or conclusions of the research.” That is left up to the SSRC, which claims that selected researchers will use privacy-protected Facebook data to “study the platform’s impact on democracy worldwide.” The nonprofit describes itself as an international organization guided by the belief that “justice, prosperity, and democracy all require a better understanding of complex social, cultural, economic, and political processes.” In 2016 Soros’s Open Society Foundations gave the SSRC nearly $500,000 for a Latin America human rights and public health initiative and a global “equality and antidiscrimination” program.

The 2018 Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy report confirms that the State Department uses Crowdtangle and considers it an important tool for social media managers to conduct official agency business worldwide. The State Department’s head of Public Diplomacy training also encourages the use of Crowdtangle to educate personnel about polling data consumption and “the difference between impression and reach.” The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) actually includes a link to Crowdtangle and reveals the agency uses it to track social media posts. Nevertheless, ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons, as sources say Yovanovitch did, using State Department resources would constitute a violation of laws and government regulations. “This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” a senior State Department official told Judicial Watch last week when the story broke.” (Judicial Watch, 10/23/2019)

October 11, 2019 – U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch orders embassy staffers in Ukraine to monitor American citizens via social media and other means

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrives for a closed-door deposition on October 11, 2019. (Credit: Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

“Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating that Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee, ordered embassy staffers in Ukraine to target certain U.S. persons online using the following search terms: “Biden, Giuliani, Soros, and Yovanovitch.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) first raised the possibility that conservative journalists were being monitored last Wednesday on Fox News, telling host Sean Hannity that Yovanovitch had made a number of “strange” and “irregular” requests to monitor their communications.

He said that a number of Ukrainians and officials in the State Department had raised concerns about the ambassador which is why Trump ordered her removal.

According to Judicial Watch, she had created a list of individuals who were to be monitored via social media and other means, and Ukraine embassy staff submitted the request to the Washington D.C. headquarters office of the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

After several days, Yovanovitch’s staff was informed that the request was illegal and the monitoring either ceased or was concealed via the State Department Global Engagement Center, which has looser restrictions on collecting information.

(…) The conservative figures allegedly unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of Yovanovitch include:

Jack Posobiec
Donald Trump Jr.
Laura Ingraham
Sean Hannity
Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia)
Dan Bongino
Ryan Saavedra
Rudy Giuliani
Sebastian Gorka
John Solomon
Lou Dobbs
Pamella Geller
Sara Carter

(Read more: American Greatness, 10/15/2019)  (Archive)

October 11, 2019 – Judicial Watch: Former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testimony reveals she ordered State Dept. subordinates to monitor journalists, Trump allies

“Judicial Watch is investigating if prominent conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump were unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee. Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Friday, October 11, 2019. Her “secret” testimony was leaked to the New York Times during the hearing.

Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources. Yovanovitch reportedly ordered monitoring keyed to the following search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros, and Yovanovitch.  Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department and will continue gathering facts from government sources.

Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine in the spring Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored via social media and other means.  Ukraine embassy staff made the request to the Washington D.C. headquarters office of the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. After several days, Yovanovitch’s staff was informed that the request was illegal and the monitoring either ceased or was concealed via the State Department Global Engagement Center, which has looser restrictions on collecting information.

“This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” according to a senior State Department official. If the illicit operation occurred, it seems to indicate a clear political bias against the president and his supporters. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has also led American embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016. She was recalled by the State Department in May and remains a State Department employee in Washington D.C.

(…) The prominent conservative figures — journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump — allegedly unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch include:

Jack Posobiec

Donald Trump Jr.

Laura Ingraham

Sean Hannity

Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia)

Dan Bongino

Ryan Saavedra

Rudy Giuliani

Sebastian Gorka

John Solomon

Lou Dobbs

Pamella Geller

Sara Carter

Judicial Watch continues its investigation of these matters and will update its reporting as the situation unfolds.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 10/18/2019)

UPDATE: The Yovanovitch transcript was released and she was questioned about Crowdtangle during her deposition against President Trump on October 11, 2019. She claims to be unaware of the software while pointing to the State Department as being responsible for monitoring social media accounts.

The discussion begins on page 92 of  the Yovanovich transcript:

(Yovanovich Transcript, 10/11/2019)

October 11, 2019 – Marie Yovanovitch testifies about her long relationship with Ukrainian neo-nazi official, Arsen Avakov and his fear of Rudy Giuliani snooping around

“The first hints that Giuliani was up to something in Ukraine came to Yovanovitch in November and December of 2018, when she heard that Giuliani was meeting with Yuriy Lutsenko, then the top prosecutor in the country.

Yovanovitch later testified that she learned from embassy staff that “basically there had been a number of meetings between Mr. Lutsenko and Mayor Giuliani, and that they were looking, I should say that Mr. Lutsenko was looking, to hurt me in the U.S.”

By around February, Yovanovitch said, a senior Ukraine official named Arsen Avakov told her he “was very concerned, and told me I really needed to watch my back.”

The official flagged for Yovanovitch that Giuliani, along with his now-indicted middleman Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were meeting with Lutsenko and “were interested in having a different ambassador at post,” according to her testimony.

She thought it was “exceedingly strange,” and testified that, while she understood that the men had business interests in Ukraine, nobody at the embassy had met Parnas and Fruman. Avakov told Yovanivith [sic] that Giuliani reached out to him in early 2019, according to her testimony.

Avakov thought Giuliani’s outreach was “dangerous,” Yovanovitch said, because Ukraine has had bipartisan support in America and to “start kind of getting into U.S. politics, into U.S. domestic politics, was a dangerous place for Ukraine to be.” (Read more: TalkingPointsMemo, 11/04/2019)  (Archive)  (Yovanovitch Transcript)

Max Blumenthal visits The American Foreign Policy Society while they were hosting neo-nazi Andriy Parubiy inside the Senate on July 2, 2018, as Nazi violence rages in Ukraine. (Credit: Max Blumenthal/Mint Press News)

The Nation writes in December 2016:

“In Ukraine today, power is split between Kiev and heavily armed ultranationalist battalions, which have a long record of not only clashing with Kiev but also defying the will of the EU and Washington.

The ultranationalists’ influence via a policy of veto-through-violence is best exemplified by their continued derailment of the Minsk Accords, the agreement for settling the conflict in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Minsk is also the key to lifting the anti-Russian sanctions that are hurting European economies and fomenting resentment in countries like France and Italy. It’s no surprise that Paris, Berlin, and the UN have repeatedly stressed that Minsk remains the only solution to the Ukraine conflict. For Ukraine’s far right, however, the accords—which require Kiev to grant Donbass special status, including the right to use the Russian language—are anathema. Accordingly, whenever the West nudges Ukraine to fulfill its Minsk obligations, the far right steps in, often with violence.

In addition to stymieing the Ukraine peace process and resolution of EU-Russia sanctions, the far right has flouted the rule of law, fostered instability, and undermined basic democratic institutions within Ukraine. Gangs tied to the Azov, Aidar, Right Sector, and Tornado battalions have had gun battles with police, intimidated court proceedings, overturned local elections, torched media buildings, attacked undesirable Soviet monuments, violently threatened journalists, and overtly spoken of overthrowing the government.

It is difficult to imagine any stable administration tolerating three years of such brazen challenges to its monopoly over the use of force, yet nearly all of the far right’s actions have gone unpunished.

(…) One reason behind Kiev’s inability and unwillingness to rein in the battalions is because they remain the fiercest, most battle-hardened units in the armed forces; it’s hard to send in the National Guard to restore order when the National Guard itself consists of ultranationalist formations. An equally disturbing reason is that Ukraine’s far right enjoys the support of two extraordinarily powerful politicians: Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

Both men played a critical role in harnessing neo-Nazi street muscle during the winter 2013–14 Maidan uprising that resulted in the ouster of corrupt, albeit democratically elected, president Viktor Yanukovych. Parubiy’s ties with the far right go back decades: He co-founded and led the Social-National Party of Ukraine, which used neo-Nazi symbols and whose name, according to Der Spiegel, is an intentional reference to the Nazi Party.

Avakov, in turn, developed Maidan’s “self-defense” formations into heavily equipped paramilitary units that fought in Donbass as well as brutally suppressed any hint of secession in Russian-speaking cities that had not yet fallen to the rebels. In the process, these units amassed a horrific record of rape, torture, kidnapping, murder, and possible war crimes, as attested by numerousAmnesty International and United Nations reports.

After becoming interior minister, Avakov has promoted figures such— as a veteran of the neo-Nazi group Patriot of Ukraine and the Azov Battalion who recently became acting chief over Ukraine’s National Police. The National Police—which was funded, equipped, and trained by Washington—was once held up as a shining example of Washington’s guiding Ukraine toward democracy. The fact that it’s now run by a man with neo-Nazi ties is a particularly ironic example of unintended consequences.” (Read more: The Nation, 12/05/2016)  (Archive)

Considering Avakov’s violent history, why was the US Ambassador to Ukraine placating his fear of Giuliani, as well as meeting with him to discuss providing security for Ukraine’s upcoming election?

Avakov tweets on March 21, 2019: “Meeting with US Ambassador Marie Yovanovich discussed urgent issues of ensuring fair and transparent elections, security and preventing provocations at polling stations during voting.” (Credit: Yulia Babich/Twitter)

In a series of tweets by @UkraineLiberty, Yovanovitch’s relationship with Arsen Avakov is further highlighted via her testimony against Trump:

(Credit: @UkraineLiberty)

September 27, 2019 – The Trump-Zelensky transcript contradicts the whistleblower complaint in three notable instances

“The Trump-Zelensky transcript contradicts the whistleblower complaint in three notable instances, raising questions about the credibility of the whistleblower and his or her purported White House sources.

First, WB claims that his sources told him that after “an initial exchange of pleasantries” Trump “used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests.” The transcript shows that the leaders discussed meetings in Poland and DC before ending the call.

 

Second, WB claims that aside from the cases “purportedly dealing with the Biden family and the 2016 US election … no other ‘cases’ were discussed.” But the transcript shows that Trump and Zelensky talked of a potential probe of Marie Yovanovitch. (misspelled as Ivanovich)

Zelensky: “if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country” in regards to Yovanovitch.

In the transcript, Yovanovitch’s name is misspelled “Ivanovich” and Zelensky appears to have misstated her title as “Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine.”

WB claims the loading of the call transcript onto a secure system amounted to an abuse of that system since the “the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.” The transcript was labeled (properly) “SECRET/ORCON/NOFORN.”

The “SECRET/ORCON/NOFORN.” label was appropriate since the call contained Trump’s views on foreign nations, including Germany, a key U.S. ally. Unauthorized disclosure of such information has the potential to harm national security.

Pelosi kicked off impeachment before the White House released the transcript of the call and before the complaint was made public. As a result, she may not have been aware that the complaint is based on hearsay, some of which has now been contradicted by the call transcript.” (Ivan Pentchoukov @IvanPentchoukov/Twitter, 9/27/2019)

March 20, 2019 – Top Ukrainian justice official says they have evidence of wrongdoing by Americans re 2016 election interference and obstruction of criminal probes

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch (Credit: public domain)

“Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes. But, they say, they’ve been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, told me he and other senior law enforcement officials tried unsuccessfully since last year to get visas from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to deliver their evidence to Washington.

“We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk told me in a wide-ranging interview. “However, the [U.S.] ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

One focus of Ukrainian investigators, Kulyk said, has been money spirited unlawfully out of Ukraine and moved to the United States by businessmen friendly to the prior, pro-Russia regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainian businessmen “authorized payments for lobbying efforts directed at the U.S. government,” he told me. “In addition, these payments were made from funds that were acquired during the money-laundering operation. We have information that a U.S. company was involved in these payments.” That company is tied to one or more prominent Democrats, Ukrainian officials insist.

In another instance, he said, Ukrainian authorities gathered evidence that money paid to an American Democrat allegedly was hidden by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) during the 2016 election under pressure from U.S. officials. “In the course of this investigation, we found that there was a situation during which influence was exerted on the NABU, so that the name of [the American] would not be mentioned,” he said.

Ukraine is infamous for corruption and disinformation operations; its police agencies fight over what is considered evidence of wrongdoing. Kulyk and his bosses even have political fights over who should and shouldn’t be prosecuted. Consequently, allegations emanating from Kiev usually are taken with a grain a salt.

But many of the allegations shared with me by more than a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials are supported by evidence that emerged in recent U.S. court filings and intelligence reports. The Ukrainians told me their evidence includes:

  • Sworn statements from two Ukrainian officials admitting that their agency tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton. The effort included leaking an alleged ledger showing payments to then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort;
  • Contacts between Democratic figures in Washington and Ukrainian officials that involved passing along dirt on Donald Trump;
  • Financial records showing a Ukrainian natural gas company routed more than $3 million to American accounts tied to Hunter Biden, younger son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, who managed U.S.-Ukraine relations for the Obama administration. Biden’s son served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings;
  • Records that Vice President Biden pressured Ukrainian officials in March 2016 to fire the prosecutor who oversaw an investigation of Burisma Holdings and who planned to interview Hunter Biden about the financial transfers;
  • Correspondence showing members of the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Kiev interfered or applied pressure in criminal cases on Ukrainian soil;
  • Disbursements of as much as $7 billion in Ukrainian funds that prosecutors believe may have been misappropriated or taken out of the country, including to the United States.

Ukrainian officials say they don’t want to hand the evidence to FBI agents working in Ukraine because they believe the bureau has a close relationship with the NABU and the U.S. Embassy. “It is no secret in Ukrainian political circles that the NABU was created with American help and tried to exert influence during the U.S. presidential election,” Kulyk told me.

Kulyk’s boss, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, told me he has enough evidence — particularly involving Biden, his family and money spirited out of Ukraine — to warrant a meeting with U.S. Attorney General William Barr. “I’m looking forward to meeting with the attorney general of the United States in order to start and facilitate our joint investigation regarding the appropriation of another $7 billion in U.S. dollars with Ukrainian legal origin,” Lutsenko said.” (Read more: The Hill, 4/07/2019)

January 30, 2017 – Ten days into Trump’s presidency, the attorney for the ‘hearsay whistleblower’ tweets: “#coup has started. As one falls two more will take their place. #rebellion and #impeachment”

“A few people have started looking at the connections behind Mark Zaid, the attorney for CIA “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella.  What is starting to emerge is evidence of what CTH outlined yesterday; the current impeachment process is part of a coup continuum, and everything around the whistleblower is part of a long-ago planned and pre-constructed operation.

Two strong examples are very poignant:

This 2017 tweet by the whistleblowers’ attorney is evidence of what we were sharing yesterday.  A point that almost everyone is missing…what is happening now with Adam Schiff and his Lawfare-contracted legal aide, Daniel Goldman, was designed last year.  The current HPSCI legislative impeachment process and every little aspect within it is the execution of a plan, just like the DOJ/FBI plan was before it in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Mark Zaid (Credit: MSNBC)

The use of a ‘whistle-blower’ was pre-planned long ago.  The agreements between Schiff, Lawfare and the CIA ‘whistle-blower’ were pre-planned.  The changing of whistle-blower rules to assist the plan was designed long ago.

Adam Schiff and Daniel Goldman are executing a plan concocted long ago. None of the testimony is organic; all of it was planned a long time ago, long before anyone knew the names Marie Yovanovitch, Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland or Bill Taylor.   All of this is the coordinated execution of a plan.

“The anti-Trump members of the National Security Council and U.S. State Department were always going to be used.  Throughout 2018 and 2019 embeds in the ‘resistance’ network were awaiting instructions and seeding evidence, useful information, to construct an impeachment narrative that was designed to detonate later.

When Bill Taylor is texting Gordon Sondland about a quid-pro-quo, and Sondland is reacting with ‘wtf are you talking about’, Taylor was texting by design.  He was manufacturing evidence for the narrative.  This was all a set-up. All planned.

When Marie Yovanovitch shows up to give her HPSCI deposition to Daniel Goldman with three high-priced DC lawyers: Lawrence Robbins, Laurie Rubenstein and Rachel Li Wai Suen, having just sent her statements to the Washington Post for deployment immediately prior to her appearance, Yovanovitch is doing so by design.  All planned.

Here is another example from Mark Zaid, attorney for the “Whistleblower”, just ten days after the inauguration of President Trump where he directly calls out an ongoing “coup“:

This mention of the “coup has started” is even more nefarious, and even more specific to a CTH warning, because Zaid is specifically noting that Dana Boente was/is part of the effort.

Why is that name important?  Because Dana Boente is currently FBI chief legal counsel, hired into the FBI in January 2018.  Boente is dirty.

In April of this year we outlined the evidence to show how Dana Boente was a dirty cop [SEE HERE]; and then in June of this year HPSCI ranking member Devin Nunes threatened to send criminal referrals for FBI Director Christopher Wray and FBI counsel Dana Boente [SEE HERE].

(Dirty Cops – Full Backstory)

(Conservative Treehouse, 11/06/2019)

April 4, 2016 – The US embassy presses Ukraine to drop probe of George Soros group during 2016 election

“While the 2016 presidential race was raging in America, Ukrainian prosecutors ran into some unexpectedly strong headwinds as they pursued an investigation into the activities of a nonprofit in their homeland known as the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC).

The focus on AntAC — whose youthful street activists famously wore “Ukraine F*&k Corruption” T-shirts — was part of a larger probe by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office into whether $4.4 million in U.S. funds to fight corruption inside the former Soviet republic had been improperly diverted.

The prosecutors soon would learn the resistance they faced was blowing directly from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, where the Obama administration took the rare step of trying to press the Ukrainian government to back off its investigation of both the U.S. aid and the group.

“The investigation into the Anti-Corruption Action Center (sic), based on the assistance they have received from us, is similarly misplaced,” then-embassy Charge d’ Affaires George Kent wrote the prosecutor’s office in April 2016 in a letter that also argued U.S. officials had no concerns about how the U.S. aid had been spent.

At the time, the nation’s prosecutor general had just been fired, under pressure from the United States, and a permanent replacement had not been named.

Yuriy Lutsenko (Credit: Hill TV)

A few months later, Yuri Lutsenko, widely regarded as a hero in the West for spending two years in prison after fighting Russian aggression in his country, was named prosecutor general and invited to meet new U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

Lutsenko told me he was stunned when the ambassador “gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute.” The list included a founder of the AntAC group and two members of Parliament who vocally supported the group’s anti-corruption reform agenda, according to a source directly familiar with the meeting.

It turns out the group that Ukrainian law enforcement was probing was co-funded by the Obama administration and liberal mega-donor George Soros. And it was collaborating with the FBI agents investigating then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business activities with pro-Russian figures in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (second left) and George Soros (right), founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations, during a meeting in Kiev. (Credit: Nikolay Lazarenko/Sputnik)

The implied message to Ukraine’s prosecutors was clear: Don’t target AntAC in the middle of an American presidential election in which Soros was backing Hillary Clinton to succeed another Soros favorite, Barack Obama, Ukrainian officials said.

“We ran right into a buzzsaw and we got bloodied,” a senior Ukrainian official told me.

Lutsenko suggested the embassy applied pressure because it did not want Americans to see who was being funded with its tax dollars. “At the time, Ms. Ambassador thought our interviews of the Ukrainian citizens, of the Ukrainian civil servants who were frequent visitors in the U.S. Embassy, could cast a shadow on that anti-corruption policy,” he said.

State officials told me privately they wanted Ukraine prosecutors to back off AntAC because they feared the investigation was simply retribution for the group’s high-profile efforts to force anti-corruption reforms inside Ukraine, some of which took authorities and prestige from the Prosecutor General’s Office.

But it was an unusual intervention, the officials acknowledged. “We’re not normally in the business of telling a country’s police force who they can and can’t pursue unless it involves an American citizen we think is wrongly accused,” one official said.” (Read more: The Hill, 3/26/2019)