by WorldTribune Staff, April 8, 2019
Ukrainian officials say their efforts to deliver evidence of Democratic Party interference in the 2016 presidential election have been brushed off by the U.S. Department of Justice, a report said.
“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,” John Solomon reported for The Hill on April 7.
Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, told Solomon he and other senior law enforcement officials have been thwarted by the DOJ 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.”
Kulyk said Ukrainian investigators are focusing on money that was unlawfully moved out of Ukraine 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,” Kulyk told Solomon. “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 said.
Kulyk also said that Ukrainian authorities had 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.
Ukrainian authorities’ 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.
- 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 told Solomon they are hesitant 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 said.
Kulyk’s boss, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, told Solomon 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.
Solomon, a former investigative reporter for AP and senior editor at The Washington Times, cautioned that “Ukraine is infamous for corruption and disinformation operations … 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.”