December 8, 2019 – OAN Lutsenko interview outlines Marie Yovanovitch perjury; George Kent impeachment motive; Lindsey Graham motive to bury investigation
In a fantastic display of true investigative journalism, One America News journalist Chanel Rion tracked down Ukrainian witnesses as part of an exclusive OAN investigative series. The evidence being discovered dismantles the baseless Adam Schiff impeachment hoax and highlights many corrupt motives for U.S. politicians.
Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress.
What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently.
Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch.
Imagine what would happen if all of the background information was to reach the general public? Thus the motive for Lindsey Graham currently working to bury it.
You might remember George Kent and Bill Taylor testified together.
It was evident months ago that U.S. chargé d’affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was one of the current participants in the coup effort against President Trump. It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff’s political coup effort.
Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (’06-’09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.
In November Rudy Giuliani released a letter he sent to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor blocked VISA’s for Ukrainian ‘whistle-blowers’ who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme.
Unfortunately, as we are now witnessing, Senator Lindsey Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been recipients for money through the aforementioned laundry process. The VISA’s are unlikely to get approval for congressional testimony, or Senate impeachment trial witness testimony.
U.S. senators write foreign aid policy, rules and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds. Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various “institutes” and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]
The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers, approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money. The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of “indulgence fees”, junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.
If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus. President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process. Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because, well, in reality, all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.
A “Codel” is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payment terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing. This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year. The “institutes” is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc. There are trillions at stake.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/08/2019)
- Adam Schiff
- Bill Taylor
- Burisma Holdings
- December 2019
- Department of State
- financial exploitation
- George Kent
- Hunter Biden
- indulgence fees
- Joe Biden
- John McCain
- Lindsey Graham
- Marie Yovanovitch
- money laundering
- Rudy Giuliani
- U.S.Embassy Kiev
- US Agency for International Development (USAID)
- Yuriy Lutsenko
December 6, 2019 – Giuliani alleges $5.3 billion in U.S. aid misused in Ukraine, U.S. embassy told police ‘not to investigate’
“Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani alleged on Dec. 6 that $5.3 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine was misused, with much of the money going to non-governmental organizations favored by the U.S. embassy.
The embassy, which at the time was led by Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, directed Ukrainian officials not to pursue an investigation of the matter, Giuliani, who is a personal attorney for President Donald Trump, wrote on Twitter.
“Much of the $5.3B in US Aid Ukraine reported as misused was given to the embassy’s favored NGO’s. At the time Yovanovitch, witness for the Witchunt, was the Amb. That embassy directed the police not to investigate,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani did not offer any evidence for his claim. The day before, he wrote that the misuse was discovered by the “Accounts Chamber” in Ukraine, an apparent reference to Ukraine’s Accounting Chamber. The Accounting Chamber is an audit body for Ukraine’s parliament and acts as a watchdog over the state budget.
Much of the $5.3B in US Aid Ukraine reported as misused was given to the embassy’s favored NGO’s.
At the time Yovanovitch, witness for the Witchunt, was the Amb. That embassy directed the police not to investigate.
Wonder why Obama forgot Art. 2, Sec. 3.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 6, 2019
Presidential Legal Obligations 101:
Art 2, Sec. 3 of the US Constitution obligates the President to investigate and ask for investigations of corruption in countries we provide funds to.
Who ever heard of a president being impeached for carrying out his constitutional mandate?
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 6, 2019
Giuliani leveled the allegation on the heels of a trip to Europe during which he met and interviewed several former Ukrainian officials, including Yuriy Lutsenko, Viktor Shokin, and Andrii Telizhenko. Shokin, Lutsenko, and Telizhenko have previously alleged misconduct by Obama-administration officials, including Yovanovitch and former Vice President Joe Biden.
One America News (OAN) filmed Giuliani’s interviews with the officials. The channel is scheduled to air the exclusive interview in a two-part series on Dec. 7 and 8. OAN claims the program will “debunk” the Democrat narrative at the center of the impeachment proceedings against Trump.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 12/06/2019) (Archive)
November 15, 2019 – John Solomon asks 15 questions of former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch
After nearly two years of reporting on Ukraine issues, here are 15 questions I think could be most illuminating to everyday Americans if the ambassador answered them.
Ambassador Yovanovitch, at any time while you served in Ukraine did any officials in Kiev ever express concern to you that President Trump might be withholding foreign aid assistance to get political investigations started? Did President Trump ever ask you as America’s top representative in Kiev to pressure Ukrainians to start an investigation about Burisma Holdings or the Bidens?
What was the Ukrainians’ perception of President Trump after he allowed lethal aid to go to Ukraine in 2018?
In the spring and summer of 2019, did you ever become aware of any U.S. intelligence or U.S. treasury concerns raised about incoming Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his affiliation or proximity to certain oligarchs? Did any of those concerns involve what the IMF might do if a certain oligarch who supported Zelensky returned to power and regained influence over Ukraine’s national bank?
Back in May 2018, then-House Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggesting you might have made comments unflattering or unsupportive of the president and should be recalled. Setting aside that Sessions is a Republican and might even have donors interested in Ukraine policy, were you ever questioned about his concerns? At any time have you or your embassy staff made comments that could be viewed as unsupportive or critical of President Trump and his policies?
John Solomon reported at The Hill and your colleagues have since confirmed in testimony that the State Department helped fund a nonprofit called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre of Ukraine that also was funded by George Soros’ main charity. That nonprofit, also known as AnTac, was identified in a 2014 Soros foundation strategy document as critical to reshaping Ukraine to Mr. Soros’ vision. Can you explain what role your embassy played in funding this group and why State funds would flow to it? And did anyone consider the perception of mingling tax dollars with those donated by Soros, a liberal ideologue who spent millions in 2016 trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump?
In March 2019, Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko gave an on-the-record, videotaped interview to The Hill alleging that during a 2016 meeting you discussed a list of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups you did not want to see Ukrainian prosecutors target. Your supporters have since suggested he recanted that story. Did you or your staff ever do anything to confirm he had recanted or changed his story, such as talk to him, or did you just rely on press reports?
Now that both the New York Times and The Hill have confirmed that Lutsenko stands by his account and has not recanted, how do you respond to his concerns? And setting aside the use of the word “list,” is it possible that during that 2016 meeting with Mr. Lutsenko you discussed the names of certain Ukrainians you did not want to see prosecuted, investigated or harassed?
Your colleagues, in particular Mr. George Kent, have confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. embassy in Kiev did, in fact, exert pressure on the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office not to prosecute certain Ukrainian activists and officials. These efforts included a letter Mr. Kent signed urging Ukrainian prosecutors to back off an investigation of the aforementioned group AnTac as well as engaged in conversations about certain Ukrainians like Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko, journalist Vitali Shabunin and NABU director Artem Sytnyk. Why was the US. Embassy involved in exerting such pressure and did any of these actions run afoul of the Geneva Convention’s requirement that foreign diplomats avoid becoming involved in the internal affairs of their host country?
On March 5 of this year, you gave a speech in which you called for the replacement of Ukraine’s top anti-corruption prosecutor. That speech occurred in the middle of the Ukrainian presidential election and obviously raised concerns among some Ukrainians of internal interference prohibited by the Geneva Convention. In fact, one of your bosses, Under Secretary David Hale, got questioned about those concerns when he arrived in country a few days later. Why did you think it was appropriate to give advice to Ukrainians on an internal personnel matter and did you consider then or now the potential concerns your comments might raise about meddling in the Ukrainian election or the country’s internal affairs?
If the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States suddenly urged us to fire Attorney General Bill Bar or our FBI director, would you think that was appropriate?
At any time since December 2015, did you or your embassy ever have any contact with Vice President Joe Biden, his office or his son Hunter Biden concerning Burisma Holdings or an investigation into its owner Mykola Zlochevsky?
At any time since you were appointed ambassador to Ukraine, did you or your embassy have any contact with the following Burisma figures: Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, lawyer John Buretta, Blue Star strategies representatives Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, or former Ukrainian embassy official Andrii Telizhenko?
John Solomon obtained documents showing Burisma representatives were pressuring the State Department in February 2016 to help end the corruption allegations against the company and were invoking Hunter Biden’s name as part of their effort. Did you ever subsequently learn of these contacts and did anyone at State — including but not limited to Secretary Kerry, Undersecretary Novelli, Deputy Secretary Blinken or Assistant Secretary Nuland — ever raise Burisma with you?
What was your embassy’s assessment of the corruption allegations around Burisma and why the company may have hired Hunter Biden as a board member in 2014?
In spring 2019 your embassy reportedly began monitoring briefly the social media communications of certain people viewed as supportive of President Trump and gathering analytics about them. Who were those people? Why was this done? Why did it stop? And did anyone in the State Department chain of command ever suggest targeting Americans with State resources might be improper or illegal? (John Solomon, 11/15/2019) (Archive)
- 2016 Election
- Andrii Telizhenko
- Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC)
- Artem Sytnyk
- Blue Star Strategies
- Burisma Holdings
- Clinton campaign
- Department of State
- Devon Archer
- George Kent
- George Soros
- House Intelligence Committee
- Hunter Biden
- illegal surveillance
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- John Buretta
- John Kerry
- Karen Tramontano
- Marie Yovanovitch
- Mike Pompeo
- National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU)
- November 2019
- Pete Sessions
- Sally Painter
- Serhiy Leshchenko
- Trump-Zelensky transcript
- U.S.Embassy Kiev
- Ukrainian nationalists
- Victoria Nuland
- Vitali Shabunin
- Volodymyr Zelensky
- Yuriy Lutsenko
October 15, 2019 – Notes on George Kent’s closed-door testimony
“The second witness in the first public “impeachment inquiry” hearing to be called to testify Wednesday by House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) will be George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the State Department.
Kent already testified once, on October 15 — behind closed doors and long before an “impeachment inquiry” was authorized. The transcript was only recently released.
Democrats are making Kent one of their two leadoff witnesses because for two reasons. First, he comes across as a likable curmudgeon: while he has sharp criticism for President Donald Trump, he also has a quick wit. Second, he has many negative things to say about the role of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, acting as President Trump’s personal lawyer and also as a player in U.S.-Ukrainian relations. Democrats will use Kent’s testimony to lay the foundation for an attack on Giuliani that they hope will paint the president in the worst possible light as well.
(Giuliani also published an op-ed on Tuesday evening in the Wall Street Journal, which will appear in print on Wednesday: “My client’s call with the Ukrainian president was innocent, and the House inquiry is a travesty.”)
Key Democratic Talking Points
1. Kent will testify that he believes that Giuliani, through dubious sources in Ukraine, was part of a “campaign of slander” that led to President firing Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. One of the key articles in the campaign was published by John Solomon in The Hill, in which former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko claimed that Yovanovitch had given him a “do not prosecute” list. She was alleged to be anti-Trump. She denies all of the claims.
- What Democrats aren’t telling you: Yovanovitch may be the innocent victim of a campaign of slander. However, new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Trump in their phone call that he also thought she was “bad.” He said: “I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.” All ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president; there was nothing illegal in her dismissal.
2. In their summary of Kent’s testimony, Democrats claim: “With respect to President Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Biden, Mr. Kent stated: ‘I do not believe the U.S. should ask other countries to engage in politically associated investigations and prosecutions.’” He also said that Trump’s actions were wrong.
- What Democrats aren’t telling you: Kent only learned about the request because the president released the transcript. He also had no firsthand knowledge of any connection between aid and investigations. Asked by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), “Do you have any firsthand knowledge of United States aid to Ukraine ever being connected to the opening of a new investigation?”, Kent answered: “I do not have direct knowledge, no.”
3. Kent told the closed-door hearing that he had heard from Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland that “POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton.”
- What Democrats aren’t telling you: Kent himself expressed misgivings about Hunter Biden serving on the board of Burisma, a company associated with Ukrainian corruption. He testified that in 2015, “I raised my concerns [with the vice president’s staff] that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of milljons of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.” He was told that then-Vice President Joe Biden could not be reached to deal with the problem because Biden’s other son, Beau, was dying of cancer. Hunter continued on the board, even though, Kent said, there were concerns in the State Department about Burisma.
Another key point: Kent testified the U.S. has made aid to Ukraine conditional on reform in the past. For example, the U.S. made sovereign loan guarantees from 2014-2016 conditional on reform in the Ukrainian prosecution services. Asked whether he thought former Vice President Biden had used a “quid pro quo” in his now-infamous threat to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid unless Ukraine fired its chief prosecutor, Kent said he preferred the term “conditionality for assistance,” saying that governments use it, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (Read more: Breitbart, 11/13/2019) (Archive)
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)
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?
In a series of tweets by @UkraineLiberty, Yovanovitch’s relationship with Arsen Avakov is further highlighted via her testimony against Trump:
March 20, 2019 – Senior Ukrainian official opens probe into US 2016 election interference on behalf of Hillary Clinton
“Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV’s John Solomon in an interview aired on Wednesday that he has opened a probe into alleged attempts by Ukrainians to interfere in the United States’ 2016 presidential election.
“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week.
Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
Hill.TV has also reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, NABU, and Clinton’s spokesperson for comment.
“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko said.
“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” he continued.
Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s wrongdoing in Ukraine.” (Video: The Hill, 3/20/2019)
March 20, 2019 – As Russia collusion fades, a Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges
“After nearly three years and millions of tax dollars, the Trump-Russia collusion probe is about to be resolved. Emerging in its place is newly unearthed evidence suggesting another foreign effort to influence the 2016 election — this time, in favor of the Democrats.
Ukraine’s top prosecutor divulged in an interview aired Wednesday on Hill.TV that he has opened an investigation into whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.
The leak of the so-called black ledger files to U.S. media prompted Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign and gave rise to one of the key allegations in the Russia collusion probe that has dogged Trump for the last two and a half years.
Ukraine Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko’s probe was prompted by a Ukrainian parliamentarian’s release of a tape recording purporting to quote a top law enforcement official as saying his agency leaked the Manafort financial records to help Clinton’s campaign.
The parliamentarian also secured a court ruling that the leak amounted to “an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko told me. Lutsenko said the tape recording is a serious enough allegation to warrant opening a probe, and one of his concerns is that the Ukrainian law enforcement agency involved had frequent contact with the Obama administration’s U.S. Embassy in Kiev at the time.
“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko told me.
Lutsenko, before becoming prosecutor general, was a major activist against Russia’s influence in his country during the tenure of Moscow-allied former President Viktor Yanukovych. He became chief prosecutor in 2016 as part of anti-corruption reforms instituted by current President Petro Poroshenko, an ally of the U.S. and Western countries.
(…) Furthermore, the mystery of how the Manafort black ledger files got leaked to American media has never been solved. They surfaced two years after the FBI investigated Manafort over his Ukraine business activities but declined to move forward in 2014 for lack of evidence.
We now have strong evidence that retired British spy Christopher Steele began his quest in what ultimately became the infamous Russia collusion dossier with a series of conversations with top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr between December 2015 and February 2016 about securing evidence against Manafort.
We know the FBI set up shop in the U.S. embassy in Kiev to assist its Ukraine–Manafort inquiry — a common practice on foreign-based probes — while using Steele as an informant at the start of its Russia probe. And we know Clinton’s campaign was using a law firm to pay an opposition research firm for Steele’s work in an effort to stop Trump from winning the presidency, at the same time Steele was aiding the FBI.
Those intersections, coupled with the new allegations by Ukraine’s top prosecutor, are reason enough to warrant a serious, thorough investigation.” (Read more: The Hill, 3/20/2019)
- 2016 Election
- 2016 election meddling
- anti-corruption reform
- black-ledger files
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton campaign
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Manafort financial records
- National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU)
- Obama administration
- Paul Manafort
- Petro Poroshenko
- Trump Russia collusion
- Trump Russia Investigation
- U.S. Embassy
- Yuriy Lutsenko
March 20, 2019 – Top Ukrainian justice official says they have evidence of wrongdoing by Americans re 2016 election interference and obstruction of criminal probes
“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 23 & 25, 2019 – The Giuliani notes on his two meetings with former Ukrainian prosecutors
“Notes of Rudolph Giuliani’s interviews with two former Ukrainian prosecutors include one’s allegation that then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned him against investigating energy firm Burisma Holdings “as it was not in the interest of Joe and/or Hunter Biden.”
The prosecutor was later fired, under what President Trump says was pressure from Vice President Biden. His son Hunter had a lucrative role on the Burisma board.
The notes were published by a Ukrainian news site, and their authenticity was confirmed by Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, and by a second source who has seen the originals and who declined to be identified. But RealClearInvestigations could not confirm the prosecutors’ assertions as presented in the notes.
The documents are embedded in the Google-translated article linked to here and can be viewed by scrolling down the page.
(…) The five pages of typewritten, printed-out notes – not transcripts –together with the IG’s cover letter to lawmakers, were posted this week on a Ukrainian website, The Babel. They appear to memorialize two conversations: one on Jan. 23, when Giuliani spoke by phone with the former general prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin; the other is from two days later, when Shokin’s successor, then-General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, met Giuliani in New York.
In addition to the fired Shokin’s claim that President Poroshenko warned him not to investigate Burisma because it was not in the Bidens’ interest, the notes say, the prosecutor also said he “was warned to stop” by the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt.
The State Department declined to explain this assertion about Pyatt, who was ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 to 2016 and now is Ambassador to Greece. The Biden presidential campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Recounting Shokin’s version of events, the notes say he “was called into Mr. Poroshenko’s office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.” Poroshenko later told Shokin that “he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden,” the Giuliani interview notes say. (Read more: RealClearInvestigations, 10/09/2019) (Archive)
May 4, 2018 – Senators Menendez, Durbin and Leahy threatens aid if Ukrainian prosecutor doesn’t cooperate with the Mueller team’s investigation into Trump/Russia collusion
“In 2018, Democratic Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Pat Leahy of Vermont sent a letter to the Ukrainian general prosecutor accusing him of trying to “impede cooperation” with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion by the Trump campaign.
“On May 2, the New York Times reported that your office effectively froze investigations into four open cases in Ukraine in April, thereby eliminating scope for cooperation with the Mueller probe into related issues,” the senators wrote to General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko. “The article notes that your office considered these cases as too politically sensitive and potentially jeopardizing U.S. financial and military aid to Ukraine.”
The senators also specifically add that it would be a mistake for Lutsenko to drop the investigations “in order to avoid the ire of President Trump.”
The letter also appears to dangle U.S. support for Ukraine as a reason for the country to continue cooperating with the investigation, stating, “In four short years, Ukraine has made significant progress in building [democratic] institutions despite ongoing military, economic and political pressure from Moscow. We have supported that capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these principles.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy delivered a similar message to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky earlier this month, warning that Democratic support for the country could dwindle if he complied with the president’s requests to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics. I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. There are few things that Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington these days, and support for Ukraine is one of them,” Murphy told The Hill’s John Solomon.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 09/25/2019) (Archive)