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FILE – In this Jan. 30, 2010, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, with his son Hunter, right, at the Duke Georgetown NCAA college basketball game in Washington. Hunter Biden is expressing regret for being discharged from the Navy Reserve amid published reports that he tested positive for cocaine. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hunter Biden failed the drug test last year and was discharged in February. In a statement issued Thursday, Oct. 16, Biden doesn’t say why he was discharged. He says he’s embarrassed that his actions led to his discharge and that he respects the Navy’s decision. The vice president’s office declined to comment.(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

 

Background Information:

In January 2017, then-Politico writer Ken Vogel (currently writes for the New York Times), and David Stern wrote what has become one of the most frequently cited articles about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election. The report was entitled “Ukrainian Efforts to Sabotage Trump Backfire.” Its lede reads: “Ukrainian officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Hillary Clinton.”

On Wednesday night, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham revealed she had obtained a copy of an email exchange between Vogel and several State Department officials. (My colleague, Nick Arama, posted on this story here.)

On May 1, 2019, Vogel was working on a  story about a White House meeting held on January 19, 2016 which included Ukrainian prosecutors and embassy officials and their U.S. counterparts. He emailed State Department official Kate Schilling for some additional information. The meeting’s purpose was to discuss the Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden’s, involvement with Burisma Holdings, which was under investigation by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office. Most interestingly, the name of the man alleged to be the “whistleblower,” Eric Ciaramella, was present at the meeting and in fact, checked many of the Ukrainian officials into the White House. (Ingraham’s staff confirmed this via a search of the Obama White House visitor logs.)

Please note that Vogel’s email was sent months before anyone had ever heard the name of Eric Ciaramella. (Yes, I love writing his name.) Additionally, Biden had announced his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination the week before.

(Ingraham says that because the whistleblower’s name has not been confirmed, they are redacting it from the email.)

Ingraham read the email on her program. On May 1, 2019, Vogel emailed State Department official Kate Schilling:

We are going to report that [State Department official] Elizabeth Zentos attended a meeting at the White House on 1/19/2016 with Ukrainian prosecutors and embassy officials as well as … [redacted] from the NSC … the subjects discussed included efforts within the United State government to support prosecutions, in Ukraine and the United Kingdom, of Burisma Holdings, … and concerns that Hunter Biden’s position with the company could complicate such efforts.

Ingraham told viewers:

On May 1st, State Department official Kate Schilling forwarded Vogel’s email to her colleagues Elizabeth Zentos and George Kent. Remember him? He was one of the House Democrats all-star impeachment witnesses. According to Schilling’s email, Kent has previously been a source for Vogel — I wonder how many times. Follow up emails reveal the conversation ending on May 3rd when the State Department eventually declined to comment.

Also at the meeting were Ukraine’s lead anti-corruption prosecutor and the head of the anti-corruption bureau, both of whom were there to discuss the complications of Hunter Biden’s sweetheart gig. So what happened to that New York Times story about the 2016 meeting? Pretty hot, don’t you think? It was never published, we asked Ken Vogel, the reporter, why nothing ever came of it but he didn’t respond.

The timing of their request and the subsequent squashing of the story are very interesting. Biden announced his candidacy on April 25th, 2019. The exchanges we laid out here occurred the following week. Now we have some questions. Number one, why wasn’t the whistleblower concerned about Joe Biden overseeing Ukraine policy while his son was cashing in? Was it only troubling that Trump himself tried to get this thing investigated? Number two, why didn’t this story ever run? Did Biden’s team manage to put it down, fearing blowback from his son Hunter’s dirty dealings?

There’s a reason Adam Schiff and now Chuck Schumer fume, as they did tonight, over the very idea of Hunter Biden testifying. They know in their heart of hearts that Ukrainian corruption reached back all the way to the Obama administration and they did nothing. His testimony would also force the Democrats to admit that their 2020 frontrunner oversaw U.S. policy in Ukraine while his own son was bilking their system for 50K a month.

Ingrahams’s new information, Mollie Hemingway weighs in, and a previous report on the January 2016 meeting from John Solomon:

On Thursday night, Ingraham had additional information. One of the Ukrainian embassy officials, Andriy Telizhenko, who had attended the January 19, 2016 meeting, is also discussed in Vogel and Stern’s January 2017 Politico article which Ingraham said, “detailed the efforts by Ukrainian officials to undermine Trump’s 2016 campaign. According to Politico, Telizhenko aided DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa in her mission to hurt Trump’s campaign by trying to find connections between Trump, [former Trump campaign chairman Paul] Manafort and Russia. But according to Telizhenko, he didn’t do this willingly. He claims he was forced into helping Chalupa and have her go after Trump.”

Telizhenko told Vogel and Stern, “We had an order not to talk to the Trump team, because he was critical of Ukraine and the government and his critical position on Crimea and the conflict. I was yelled at when I proposed to talk to Trump. The ambassador said not to get involved; Hillary is going to win.”

Mollie Hemingway spoke to Laura Ingraham on Thursday night and said:

There seems to be a concerted effort between the media, Democrats and some people in the bureaucracy to keep people from having any discussion about Ukrainian meddling, much less a thorough investigation. You have Alexandra Chalupa opening bragging about how she coordinated between the Ukrainian government officials and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to get negative information about Paul Manafort into the public sphere and she succeeded.

If you really care about election meddling from foreign governments, you have two examples in the Hillary Clinton campaign. She sourced the dossier to Russian officials, she secretly funded that. And you have people at the DNC, a contractor at the DNC [Chalupa] funneling information the DNC and the Clinton campaign information from Ukraine, getting stuff out into the media, And they really did unseat Paul Manafort as chairman of the Trump campaign…That’s really impressive work that they did.

The idea that Obama officials were concerned, but we’re not supposed to have any questions about it is very alarming.

Obama Administration officials were very concerned about the “appearance” of Hunter Biden’s position going into the 2016 election. I posted about this yesterday. In December 2015, the New York Times published an article which reported that Burisma was under investigation. Joe Biden then learned that his son was about to be questioned by the prosecutor general’s office and the pressure from Biden (and the Obama administration) to prevent this from happening began.

The title of the article is, “Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch.” The cover photo shows Hunter Biden at a 2008 campaign event, waiting in the wings, shadows on the curtain behind him, alone, arms crossed, furtive expression.

In April 2019, investigative journalist John Solomon wrote a lengthy report in which he discusses the January 2016 White House invitation to the Uranian officials. He spoke to Telizhenko. I posted on his report, but even my post is long. I am including the whole post in case anyone is interested in the details. Otherwise, a scan of the first few paragraphs will give you the gist of it. The important point is that Obama administration officials were deeply concerned over Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma and this story is far from over.

New Revelation: The Corruption Is Leading Right Back To The ‘Scandal-Free’ Obama White House

April 28, 2019

Solomon reported that, in January 2016, the White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington under the pretense of coordinating their nation’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts. (At this time, DNC consultant Ukrainian-American Alexandria Chalupa was warning Democrats that Trump was likely to tap Paul Manafort to run his campaign. I wrote about this here and here.)

Solomon wrote:

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long — during the meetings and afterward — to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump.

Solomon spoke to a former Ukrainian Embassy officer, Andrii Telizhenko, who said, “U.S. officials kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united.”

The Americans told Telizhenko they were interested in reopening an investigation about improper payments to GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort from Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who belonged to Ukraine’s Russia-backed Party of Regions. The FBI had closed this case in 2014. (Manafort’s firm had long been connected to Roger Stone.)

Telizhenko and other attendees “recalled DOJ officials asking investigators from Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could help locate new evidence about the Party of Regions’ payments and its dealings with Americans.” Telizhenko told Solomon. “It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election.”

The Hill’s John Solomon has uncovered new information which provides one more indication that much of the conspiracy to take down President Trump originated from the Obama White House.

Solomon reported that, in January 2016, the White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington under the pretense of coordinating their nation’s ongoing anti-corruption efforts. (At this time, DNC consultant Ukrainian-American Alexandria Chalupa was warning Democrats that Trump was likely to tap Paul Manafort to run his campaign. I wrote about this here and here.)

Solomon wrote:

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long — during the meetings and afterward — to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump.

Solomon spoke to a former Ukrainian Embassy officer, Andrii Telizhenko, who said, “U.S. officials kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united.”

The Americans told Telizhenko they were interested in reopening an investigation about improper payments to GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort from Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who belonged to Ukraine’s Russia-backed Party of Regions. The FBI had closed this case in 2014. (Manafort’s firm had long been connected to Roger Stone.)

Telizhenko and other attendees “recalled DOJ officials asking investigators from Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could help locate new evidence about the Party of Regions’ payments and its dealings with Americans.” Telizhenko told Solomon. “It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election.”

Solomon points out:

That makes the January 2016 meeting one of the earliest documented efforts to build the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative and one of the first to involve the Obama administration’s intervention.

Needless to say, none of the officials Solomon reached out to for confirmation agreed to comment.

Shortly after this meeting, Telizhenko saw signs of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. In May 2016, two months after Manafort became Trump’s campaign chairman, information about the existence of the incriminating Party of Regions’ “black ledger” was released by NABU.

Then, in August 2016, information indicating that a $12 million cash payment had allegedly been made to Manafort was released which forced Manafort to resign immediately and lent credence to the theory that Trump’s campaign was indeed colluding with the Russians.

Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told Solomon that, “Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious.” He said he had explicitly instructed

NABU investigators who were working with American authorities not to share the ledger with the media.

I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort.

For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial.

Solomon also spoke to Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general’s international affairs office, who said that, “shortly after Ukrainian authorities returned from the Washington meeting, there was a clear message about helping the Americans with the Party of the Regions case.”

Solomon reported that Kulyk said Ukrainian authorities had evidence that other Western figures, such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, also received money from Yanukovych’s party. But the Americans weren’t interested: “They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else.”

A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU’s release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine’s parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

Telizhenko said that Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company which was under investigation for “improper foreign transfers of money,” was also discussed at the January 2016 meeting. Bank records show that a firm co-owned by Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, had allegedly received over $3 million in payments in 2014 and 2015 from Burisma for his consulting services and for his service as a board member.

And here is the most damning request the Americans made of the Ukrainians at this meeting:

According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.

Solomon warns that “Ukraine is riddled with corruption, Russian meddling and intense political conflicts, so one must carefully consider any Ukrainian accounts.”

Never the less, Telizhenko’s claims are supported by DOJ documents, “including communications involving Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele.”

Nellie Ohr was hired by Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS to help dig up dirt for the infamous Steele dossier. Solomon reports that “DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the “black ledger” documents that led to Manafort’s prosecution.”

Nellie Ohr wrote: “Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions’ Black Cashbox. Attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU’s release of the documents.”

Also at this time, Bruce Ohr and Steele were trying to obtain information from Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who had a soured business relationship with Manafort. In notes written following his meetings with Steele, Ohr wrote that Deripaska was “almost ready to talk” about the money that “Manafort stole.”

The FBI met with Deripaska in September 2016 to ask if he “could help prove Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia. Deripaska laughed off the notion as preposterous.”

Day by day, the evidence of the Obama administration efforts to build the case of collusion against Trump accumulate. What is necessary is for a team of investigation to bring it all together and lay it out in chronological order and fill in the blanks. I have no doubt that William Barr is currently on it.

Solomon concludes that what has “already been confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report.”

I think we can all agree on that.

 

 

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
MBA, former financial consultant, options trader
Mom of three grown children, grandmother
Email Elizabeth at [email protected]

 
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