Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks with reporters after a campaign stop at Lindy’s Diner in Keene N.H., Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The Hill’s John Solomon reported an incident that took place several weeks ago at bipartisan meeting between U.S. officials and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held in Kiev. During this meeting, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) apparently sent a very clear message to Zelensky. And, borrowing a page from Joe Biden, he actually boasted about his audacity afterward.
Following the meeting, Murphy spoke to reporters. He said he pointed out to Zelensky that Ukraine currently enjoyed bipartisan support for its U.S. aid
but wouldn’t it be a shame if something were to happen to it but if he chose to “investigate past corruption allegations involving Americans, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s family,” he runs the risk of losing Democratic support going forward.
Murphy reportedly told Zelensky that U.S. aid was Ukraine’s “most important asset” and if he were to comply with Trump’s request, it would be “disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations.”
Solomon spoke to Murphy on Monday and he said, “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.”
So, once again, a Democrat is using U.S. aid as a bargaining chip. Or was it a threat to withhold future aid? It sounds remarkably similar to Joe Biden’s threat to withhold $1 billion in aid to the country in March 2016 if the prosecutor general who was about to question his son wasn’t fired.
Biden learned in December 2015 from an article in the New York Times that Burisma Holdings was under investigation by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Viktor Shokin. The Times article did not mention that Shokin was preparing to question Biden’s son, Hunter, about his dealings with Burisma. It’s not clear if they had this information and buried it or if they had no knowledge of it.
Obviously, this was a concern not only for Biden, but for the Obama administration. A story like this coming out during an election year would certainly hurt Democrats. So, they took action.
In January 2016, Solomon writes:
The Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country.
The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist.
U.S. officials “kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united,” said Andrii Telizhenko, the former political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington who organized and attended the meetings.
Solomon spoke to Nazar Kholodnytsky, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, who had attended the meeting, shortly afterward. Kholodnytsky told him he saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election.
Following this meeting, Democrats began to apply pressure to the Ukrainian embassy in Washington. The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. at that time was Valeriy Chaly confirmed to Solomon that in March 2016, a DNC contractor “pressed his embassy to try to find any Russian dirt on Trump and Manafort that might reside in Ukraine’s intelligence files. The DNC contractor also asked Chaly’s team to try to persuade Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to make a statement disparaging Manafort when the Ukrainian leader visited the United States during the 2016 election.”
Chaly said the embassy denied both requests.
The story about the efforts of the DNC working with officials at the U.S. embassy in Kiev to bring down Paul Manafort is well-known.
Moreover, Nellie Ohr had a Ukrainian connection of her own. Ohr worked as a contractor for opposition research firm Fusion GPS in 2016. Her job was to conduct research into members of the Trump family. Last summer, in her testimony before Congress, she said that one of her major sources had been a member of the Ukrainian parliament. Nellie Ohr is the wife of Bruce Ohr who, at the time, was the 4th highest ranking DOJ official. He delivered research from dossier author Christopher Steele and his wife to the FBI.
Evidence of Democrat’s election interference and wrongdoing in 2016 is overwhelming and it is documented. The examples cited above merely scratch the surface.
When you consider the endless corruption and the countless abuses of power by members of the deep state during the 2016 election cycle, the coverage over President Trump’s request that Ukraine reopen an investigation into the likely wrongdoing of the Biden’s is surreal.
Solomon raises a question:
Could it be the Ukraine tale currently being weaved by Democrats and their allies in the media is nothing more than a smoke screen designed to distract us from the forthcoming Justice Department inspector general report into abuses during the Democratic-inspired Russia collusion probe?