by WorldTribune Staff, August 14, 2019
Newly released documents show the extraordinary access leftist billionaire George Soros was granted by the Obama administration during the 2016 election cycle.
Soros had invested heavily in Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Federal election records show he gave $10.6 million to her campaign and the super PACs supporting it, making him one of Clinton’s top 10 donors.
Another of the leftist billionaire’s investments was in reshaping Ukraine’s government “to his liking, and that his business empire might find fertile ground in that former Soviet state,” The Hill’s John Solomon reported.
“So when Donald Trump’s improbable march to the White House picked up steam in the spring of 2016, Team Soros marched to the top of the State Department to protect some of those investments,” Solomon wrote, citing documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Citizens United.
During the 2016 campaign, then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland received repeated calls, emails and meeting requests from Soros, according to the memos.
On May 25, 2016, for example, Chris Canavan of the Soros Fund Management firm provided Nuland a written briefing under the heading “Russia sovereign bond issue.” At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime posed a threat to Soros’s vision for Ukraine.
“Toria, here is my take on Russia’s foray into the bond markets this week, based on the market chatter I’ve been able to pick up,” Canavan wrote in an email, released with heavy redactions hiding most of his advice to Nuland.
Solomon noted that Canavan “worked on the for-profit side of the Soros empire, and his cozy nickname relationship with the top State official responsible for Russia and Ukraine policy speaks volumes about the access Soros was afforded.”
Soon after Canavan’s contact with Nuland, the nonprofit side of the Soros empire “rang the same doorbell,” Solomon noted. “Soros and his top foundation official in Ukraine scored a hastily arranged call with Nuland to discuss European migration policy.”
A Soros official wrote to Nuland’s aide: “Many thanks for sorting today’s call on such short notice — much appreciated. During the call, Mr. Soros promised A/S Nuland he would send her his draft article on migration policy for the New York Review of Books.”
Solomon noted that “Few people in the world could command the attention of one of America’s busiest, most influential diplomats for a pre-publication read of a column. Soros apparently was one of those few.”
In June 2016, Soros’s team again reached out to Nuland, this time seeking to discuss “EU visa liberalization for Ukraine and Georgia” after meeting in Brussels with a top European Union official. According to the documents obtained by Citizens United, Soros’s team wanted the U.S. to intervene to get the EU to ease visa rules to help Ukraine, as that country pursued reforms advocated by Soros.
Nuland wrote back, alerting Soros’s top policy adviser on Eurasia, Jeff Goldstein, to a key piece of intelligence: One EU country “has changed its mind” and she was “happy to discuss this further.”
“We are working it. Not sure whether intervention by GS would help,” Nuland answered in response to Soros’s pressure.
People close to Soros told Solomon in interviews that Soros “often had contact with government officials during the Obama years, including a 2010 meeting with Clinton at State. But they acknowledged the flurry with Nuland in spring 2016 was unusual both for its frequency and its intensity.”
Sorors’s “many admirers in America — including such financial beneficiaries as Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, as well as many of the 2020 presidential candidates — all advocate to eliminate the corrupting influence of big political money and the access that big donors win inside government,” Solomon wrote. “Often, those liberals suggest it’s a Republican problem.
“But the 2016 State memos offer a powerful irony: In many ways, Soros is emblematic of the very financial influence and access that liberals seek to eliminate.”
As for Ukraine, the Soros associates claimed the exchanges were driven by the billionaire’s concerns about its future, not politics or business.
“But a close examination of internal Soros organization documents show a close alignment of his political, business and philanthropic interests, especially in 2016,” Solomon wrote.
Having donated heavily to Clinton’s campaign, when Soros sought to build U.S. pressure on Ukraine policy in 2016, “he turned to Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, as a prelude to Nuland,” Solomon wrote.
“Both the migration crisis and Ukraine are part of his view of Europe as falling apart, and the U.S. as ultimately not doing enough to prevent the political disintegration of its most important ally,” Soros aide Michael Vachon wrote Podesta in a March 2016 email that U.S. officials say was hacked by Russia and published by WikiLeaks. That email sought a meeting with the Clinton campaign chairman.
On another front, a Ukrainian nonprofit funded in part by Soros “was a cheerleader for the discovery of documents in Ukraine during the 2016 election that showed then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort received millions in payments from Ukraine’s Russia-friendly political machine. The revelations led to Manafort’s resignation and eventual prosecution,” Solomon wrote.
“This time, philanthropy and politics found common ground for the Clinton-backing Soros.”
And when Ukraine’s general prosecutor sought to investigate one of the country’s nonprofits partially funded by Soros during 2016, “the State Department pressured Ukrainian officials to drop the case,” Solomon wrote.