Ukraine: “Honey-Hole” for U.S. Political Corruption

Ukraine has certainly been in the news of late. It seems that its being in the U.S. news so much has to do with some pretty sketchy political corruption.

Former VP Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been stuck in the spotlight of Ukraine the past few months because of his excessive compensation from Burisma — a Ukrainian gas company — for which he served as a Board member. He received significant payment for his service.

The spotlight on Hunter was there because of his father’s intervention while Vice President in a Ukrainian government corruption investigation of Burisma. The Vice President forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor on that case in exchange for the U.S. release of $1 Billon of aid to Ukraine. That was the beginning of “Ukraine-Gate.” And “Ukraine-Gate” is alive and well. The Bidens are certainly not the only American political family involved in Ukraine’s corruption.

The husband of Democrat Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, reportedly took $700,000 from firms connected to a Ukrainian oligarch who has allegedly been “accused of ordering contract killings.”

      Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL)

The husband of Democrat Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, reportedly took $700,000 from firms connected to a Ukrainian oligarch who has allegedly been “accused of ordering contract killings.

Public records show that Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s husband, Robert Powell, spent much of the last ten years as general counsel for companies owned at least in part by Igor Kolomoisky, a wealthy Ukrainian businessman involved in banking and mining. In federal financial disclosures, Mucarsel-Powell reported that her husband of 15 years earned most of their household income during the previous two years — at least $695,000 — from a ferroalloys trading corporation associated with Kolomoisky.

The connections between Robert Powell and Kolomoisky were first reported by Daily Beast reporter Betsy Swan last year — who also highlighted some of the allegations that have been made against the Ukrainian oligarch.

Swan reported in April 2018 that the FBI was “investigating” Kolomoisky over “potential financial crimes, including money laundering, according to the sources, who say the probe is wide-ranging and has been underway for quite some time. Kolomoisky has not been indicted for ‘initiating or participated in any global crime,’ and a lawyer representing him said he denies any wrongdoing.”

“Kolomoisky has a host of enemies. He’s been accused of commissioning contract killings,” Swan continued. “And in 2016, Ukraine’s central bank nationalized Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank because it didn’t have enough cash. Billions of dollars disappeared from its coffers because it lent so much to Kolomoisky associates, according to the FT. The move was widely viewed in the West as a victory for transparency and good governance, in a country whose politics are impoverished on both counts.”

Robert Powell’s connections to Kolomoisky could create a significant distraction for Democrats during their impeachment hearings since they launched their inquiry into President Donald Trump over a July 25 phone call that he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Democrats claim that Trump pressured Zelensky into investigating former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military assistance to Ukraine, which Democrats claim amounts to a quid pro quo or bribery.

So far, Democrats’ claims that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo or bribery have largely not been substantiated in their public impeachment hearings as multiple witnesses, including Ambassador Marie YovanovitchSenior NSC official Tim MorrisonAmbassador Kurt Volker, and Ambassador Gordon Sondland all testified that there was no quid pro quo during the phone call.

In a separate report, The Daily Beast noted that the connections between Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s husband and the Ukrainian oligarch left many concerned.

“Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who focuses on Russia and Ukraine, said the link is concerning, citing accusations that Kolomoisky has been involved in billion-dollar criminal schemes and contract killings,” The Daily Beast reported. “He called the ties ‘highly suspicious.”

“When you work for a guy like that, you know what you’re dealing with,” said Edward Chow, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There should be no illusion of what you’re dealing with, even if the business you have to conduct for him in the United States is spotless. You know where the wealth came originated. There should be no reason not to know because everyone knows.”

We would be remiss if we did NOT mention the allegations that several other political heavyweights have sons connected directly or indirectly to Ukraine in business dealings. Those “heavyweights” include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, and former Secretary of State John Kerry. There are numerous stories from several sources that confirm the Ukrainian involvement of these. There are several stories that discredit these allegations. But it is factual that Ukraine has, in the past, been a “honey-hole” for financial corruption. After all, why would so many from the political and economic world in the U.S. have any ties to Ukraine? “Follow the Money.”

We’re not into Conspiracy theories at TruthNewsNetwork. But what we ARE into is ferreting out the truth. We learned that in the world of politics, where there is smoke, not only is there currently a fire, the fire started burning long before the smoke was noticed.

Steve Hilton of FOX News did a story on his Sunday night show detailing some more of Ukraine/U.S. political, financial “smoke:” (Hilton’s words in italics)

Remember Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner in Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings? He had previously been a top fundraiser for John Kerry, who was Secretary of State at the time. And soon after Devon and Hunter joined the Burisma Board, the company channeled $90,000 to a lobbying firm called ML Strategies, which was headed by none other than David Leiter, John Kerry’s former chief of staff.

That’s handy because then-Secretary of State John Kerry himself has visited Ukraine with promises of U.S. aid and assistance. Well, Leiter registered as a Burisma lobbyist in mid-2014. But in the year leading up to that, he gave close to $60,000 to Democrats, including a select group of U.S. senators who would later be instrumental in pushing cash towards Ukraine’s energy sector, directly in line with Burisma’s interests.

He donated to Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., four times and to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., three times. A month after the last of those donations, both Markey and Shaheen were among four senators who wrote a letter to President Obama that said, “We should leverage the full resources and expertise of the U.S. government to assist Ukraine in improving its energy efficiency, increasing its domestic production and reforming its energy markets.”

This was at a time when Democrats were waging war on fossil fuels, opposing fracking, and trying to shut down U.S. energy production. American natural gas was terrible for the environment. Still, Ukrainian natural gas was good for the campaign coffers when it involves Hunter Biden’s business interests and John Kerry’s former chief of staff. As Hilton points out, Sen. Markey’s hypocrisy runs particularly deep:

Sen. Ed Markey was the Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal! He wants to shut down gas production in America. Yet he personally intervened with the Obama administration to send your tax dollars to boost Ukraine’s gas production. And not just once.

Not only did he write that letter to Obama, but he sponsored multiple pieces of legislation that called for more U.S. assistance and aid specifically to help Ukraine’s natural gas sector, including one that “directs the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to prioritize support for investments to increase energy efficiency, developed domestic oil and natural gas reserves and develop renewable energy sources in Ukraine.”

Democrat senators take campaign cash from Ukrainian interests while urging Ukraine to help remove a duly elected President from office, and these are the people who would vote in an impeachment trial.

Summary

In this Ukraine “thing,” there are indeed deep and intense financial ties between U.S. political heavyweights and family members and Ukraine oligarchs. We’ve heard of relations that include the sons of Nancy Pelosi, Mitt Romney, and John Kerry in addition to those of Hunter Biden. Let’s be honest with each other:

  • What does Ukraine have that U.S. financial institutions (represented by the sons of these very-connected politicians) want or need?
  • Why have these ties with Ukraine been political rather than just one international company doing business with another international company put together by politicians?
  • In the case of the Bidens, why are they being given free passes — even the former VP who publicly confessed of his bribery of Ukraine officials?
  • What were ties to former top Ukraine government officials with Barack Obama? What were the details of those ties?
  • Why do Congressional leaders from both parties ignore discussions of past and current Congressional involvement in Ukraine?

We don’t have “for-sure” answers to these questions. But Americans want and deserve answers to these and other questions. What is now absolute is that there is an entirely different level of accountability for those who serve in the federal government from average Americans in regards to ties with foreign governments. It appears to ordinary American citizens that legislators have advantages. They and their family members are allowed to be part of “questionable” business interactions with a foreign government and elites in those countries approved to do work with the U.S. These people have been called the “Deep State” and other names. Regardless of the group name, it is real, IS working and functioning.

One good thing about our 24/7 news capabilities is that we are privy to much more news detail than ever before in history. That’s good. What’s terrible is that the determination to provide news facts is controlled totally by private news organizations. Each of those involved holds a political perspective. It seems that those political perspectives determine not only what see and hear; they decide the actual substance of the stories.

That’s at least as scary as the above-reported financial involvements of politicos and siblings with the nation of Ukraine.

“Follow the Money”


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