Welp, it’s happening again. Despite the rampant corruption surrounding them on all sides, prosecutors from the Southern District of New York have managed to find charges relating to a Trump associate, or in this case, associates of an associate.
The SDNY formally announced federal campaign finance charges today against two foreign-born men who allegedly aided Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal
timebomb attorney, in his efforts to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.
The men, Ukrainian-born Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, U.S. citizens originally from Belarus, are accused of conspiring to “circumvent the federal laws against foreign interference by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and State office,” according to a four-count indictment. Two other men, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin, also face charges. The charges include conspiracy, falsifying records and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.
Immediately after the announcement, the Democratic House committees leading the “impeachment inquiry” into President Trump announced they have subpoenaed Parnas and Furman. But you already knew that.
The men, who were reportedly arrested at Dulles International Airport as they were about to board an international flight on one-way tickets, are under fire for donating to various Republican campaigns, and specifically for $325,000 they gave to America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC in 2018. The indictment accuses them of setting up a phony company to conceal the source of the contributions.
“Parnas and Fruman, who had no significant prior history of political donations, sought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working,” the indictment reads. “In order to conceal from third parties, including creditors, their sources of funding and capital, Parnas and Fruman created a limited liability corporation, Global Energy Producers, and then intentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of in their own names.”
It should be noted that this crime, if a crime has indeed been committed, is one for which half of Washington DC could be indicted if the DOJ sought to make it a priority. But as always, it’s only a priority for anyone who could be associated with the president. Nonetheless, AG Barr has reportedly been aware of this case for weeks and gave the indictment his blessing. I’m still waiting to hear whether he supports a federal fraud probe of Ilhan Omar.
The alleged campaign finance violations aren’t the only accusations in the indictment, though, and if you’ve been following the Ukraine story for a while, it will become fairly obvious in short order that they weren’t the true predicate for these charges.
Prosecutors also allege that Parnas and Fruman enlisted a U.S. congressman to seek the ouster of the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was prematurely recalled from her post earlier this year. The ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, is notoriously anti-Trump and was called “bad news” by the president in his July phone call with the Ukrainian president that’s at the center of the supposed quid pro quo scandal.
The congressman is not identified in the indictment, but public campaign finance records indicate it is former Congressman Pete Sessions. Parnas and Fruman allegedly met with Sessions several times to discuss Yovanovitch’s ouster. Sessions said he had been alerted that our ambassador to Ukraine had been openly disparaging President Trump, which is obviously something an ambassador should not be doing to their own president. Sessions said he sought to find out what was happening but had no clue about any illicit schemes involving Parnas and Fruman.
Rudy Giuliani’s attorney, Jon Sale, has also somewhat thrown the two men under the bus, or at least gotten distance from his client, by releasing a statement that makes clear the indictment has nothing to do with Mayor Rudy.
“The indictment does not involve Mayor Giuliani in any way. At one point he represented those two men as a lawyer, so that is privileged. He only knew [them] because they were his clients,” Sale said.
Giuliani pointed out that this case has been ongoing for 18 months and, whaddayaknow, it just happened to result in an indictment at a time that was decidedly convenient for the president’s enemies. Given all the circumstances and amazing coincidences, it’s a safe assumption that these charges aren’t the result of mere good old fashioned police work.
So, what is all this about, exactly? I think I may have an idea.
Ukraine and the DNC
Despite the predictable script-reading of the MSM portraying questions of Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election as a kooky conspiracy theory, there actually is a there, there.
As was reported in Politico in 2017, Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide (Paul Manafort) in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And to top it all off, a Politico investigation found that they helped Hillary’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers.
Did you get that? You read correctly. Hillary and the DNC WORKED WITH A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT TO DIG DIRT ON A POLITICAL OPPONENT IN A PRESIDENTIAL RACE. YOU KNOW, THAT THING THEY’RE TRYING TO IMPEACH TRUMP FOR.
The investigation, which the rest of the media have ignored with all their might, found that an Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the DNC met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russia.
And those efforts were not fruitless. The Ukrainian operation had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Russia.
There’s little evidence of such a top-down effort by Ukraine. Longtime observers suggest that the rampant corruption, factionalism and economic struggles plaguing the country — not to mention its ongoing strife with Russia — would render it unable to pull off an ambitious covert interference campaign in another country’s election. And President Petro Poroshenko’s administration, along with the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, insists that Ukraine stayed neutral in the race.
The Ukrainian agenda against Trump and for Clinton was arguably born in 2013. That’s when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had been advising, abruptly backed out of a European Union pact linked to anti-corruption reforms. Instead, Yanukovych entered into a multibillion-dollar bailout agreement with Russia, sparking protests across Ukraine and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country to Russia under Putin’s protection.
In the ensuing crisis, Russian troops moved into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and Manafort dropped off the radar.
Here is the origin of the DNC’s favorite little Ukrainian meddler, as reported by Politico:
Manafort’s work for Yanukovych caught the attention of a veteran Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC’s arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.
A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching Manafort’s role in Yanukovych’s rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych’s political party.
In an interview this month, Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities — including Ukrainian-Americans — she said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well.
What do you know — a precocious former member of the Clinton White House staff-turned-DNC operative was on the case from the very beginning, and she was perfectly situated to facilitate some good ole fashion foreign election interference on behalf of Queen Hillary. The Clintons are nothing if not resourceful.
Chalupa occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, making the case that the Trump campaign had a “Russia connection” as far back as January 2016, months before Manafort even joined the campaign. Her briefings, while welcomed, weren’t given a great deal of weight at the time by either the Clinton camp or the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S.,Valeriy Chaly, as it was believed at the time that Trump had virtually no shot at the presidency.
Then, things started heating up.
Four days after Chalupa met at the embassy with Ambassador Chaly to give an update on Trump dirt, candidate Trump hired Manafort, which set off lightbulbs in the Clinton camp that maybe Chalupa could be useful after all. Indeed, Chalupa became Hillary’s top campaign asset overnight. The day after Manafort’s hiring was revealed, she briefed the DNC’s communications staff on Manafort, Trump and their supposed ties to Russia.
From that point on, the embassy officials became “helpful” in Chalupa’s efforts to construct a RussiaGate scandal tying Manafort and Trump to shadowy Russian intel operations, she said, reportedly trading information and leads with Chalupa o a regular basis. “If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with.” Chalupa claimed that no actual documents were exchanged, however.
And of course the media had a part to play. Chalupa said the embassy worked directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions. Chalupa added that embassy officials weren’t as forthcoming with the press as she would have liked, though, because they were wary of the political nature of the situation and didn’t want to “pick sides.”
Ambassador Chaly’s top aide, Oksana Shulyar, became something of an investigate partner for Chalupa, thus further demonstrating the robust cooperation between the Ukrainian Embassy and Chalupa in the Clinton’s larger oppo-research mission. Shulyar vehemently denied working with reporters or with Chalupa on anything related to Trump or Manafort, explaining “we were stormed by many reporters to comment on this subject, but our clear and adamant position was not to give any comment [and] not to interfere into the campaign affairs.”
But Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy, tells another story. He says that Shulyar, under whom he directly worked at the embassy, instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. “Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa,” recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa,” he said, adding “Oksana was keeping it all quiet,” but “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.
Call me crazy, but I find Telizhenko’s version of events a bit more credible.
In fact, sources familiar with the effort told Politico that Shulyar specifically called Telizhenko into a meeting with Chalupa to provide an update on an American media outlet’s ongoing investigation into Manafort. Not only had they been tasked to dig dirt on Manafort and Trump, they were expected to brief the higher-ups on their progress. And those higher-ups them briefed their higher-ups, aka the Clinton campaign.
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”
Chalupa confirmed that, a week after Manafort’s hiring was announced, she discussed the possibility of a congressional investigation with a foreign policy legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who co-chairs the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. But, Chalupa said, “It didn’t go anywhere.”
So, for those keeping track at home, not only did the Ukrainian Embassy assemble a dirt-digging operation against Trump, but the leader of said operation was in touch with a sitting member of Congress to gauge whether investigations could be launched on Capitol Hill. Well, they ended up getting their investigations alright. Unfortunately for them, they came while President Trump was in office.
When Politico reached out to Rep. Kaptur about their nifty little operation, they were told by a Kaptur staffer that it was a “touchy subject.” Kaptur’s office later emailed an official statement explaining that she was backing a bill to create an independent commission to investigate “possible outside interference in our elections.” The office added “at this time, the evidence related to this matter points to Russia, but Congresswoman Kaptur is concerned with any evidence of foreign entities interfering in our elections.”
I’m sure Rep. Kaptur was disappointed to learn that Bob Mueller’s investigation into election interference turned out to be grossly one-sided.
When Chalupa wasn’t linking up with members of Congress in an attempt to get them to help in her meddling operation, she was schmoozing with American reporters to make sure dirt was being released into the ether. Her favorite journalist/operative was one Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News, who wrote several articles against Manafort during the campaign. In one email, which was sent in early May to then-DNC communications director Luis Miranda, Chalupa noted that she had extended an invitation to the Library of Congress forum to Isikoff.
Two days before the event, he had published a story for Yahoo revealing the unraveling of a $26 million deal between Manafort and a Russian oligarch related to a telecommunications venture in Ukraine. And Chalupa wrote in the email she’d been “working with for the past few weeks” with Isikoff “and connected him to the Ukrainians” at the event.
This networking is quite curious, seeing as how Isikoff, along with his leftist bedfellow David Corn, were among the first two propagandists who began to circulate the narrative of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. He and Corn were also privy to the infamous Steele dossier before Steele eventually shopped it around to various media outlets in an effort to get the narrative going in the home stretch of the campaign, which, believe it or not, the mainstream media wouldn’t do because the dossier was so unsubstantiated.
Let’s take a second to consider that fact. A dossier that was too shady, too unsubstantiated for even viscerally anti-Trump outlets to run during an election was later used by the FBI to secure surveillance warrants against American citizens. The Fake News literally had higher standards than the FBI when it came to verifying information. If that doesn’t alarm you, nothing will.
But it does raise questions of just how much involvement the Ukrainian government may have had with the production of the dossier. The DNC says they had “zero involvement,” but given the tangled web we’ve laid out in this piece, we can hardly take them at their word.
From the beginning of this so-called Ukraine scandal, I’ve suspected that this was yet another case of offense-as-the-best-defense, meaning parties who actually do have a shady history working with the Ukrainian government for domestic political purposes stood to benefit greatly by discrediting any investigation into their deeds.
Can it really be a coincidence that this 5-alarm panic regarding anything Trump and Ukraine happens to come at the same time AG Barr and John Durham are traveling to the region to gather information regarding shady deep state shenanigans leading up to and beyond the 2016 election?
In this piece, using investigative information gathered from a mostly leftwing news outlet, I’ve definitively shown that the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee did exactly what President Trump is being accused of now. The media have successfully suppressed this information for the most part, but how hidden could it stay given that the top law enforcement officer in the country is personally hopping on planes to expose it?
With each new “revelation” regarding Trump and Ukraine, it becomes more obvious that this is a case of not only projection, but, more importantly, distraction, deflection and obfuscation.
The question is, how much longer must the Trump administration pay for crimes that their enemies committed? Until Barr, Durham, Horowitz and Trump hit back in a big way, this will be the daily routine. One can only hope that the counterpunch we’ve awaited for 3 years is now inbound.
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