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The Ukrainian MP Who Leaked Paul Manafortís Secrets Speaks to Tablet
Tablet ^ | 04/10/2017 | Vladislav Davidzon

Posted on 04/12/2017 12:41:35 AM PDT by Fedora

Serhiy Leshchenko, the Ukrainian MP who leaked evidence of Paul Manafort’s systematic corruption to The New York Times, kicking off the latest round of Trump-Russia scandals, is a former investigative journalist famed for his pedantic and forensic habits in parliament. . .

Leshchenko and some of his journalist reformer friends, such as Mustafa Nayem, were brought into Ukraine’s parliament by President Petro Poroshenko on his winning parliamentary slate in 2014 as a way of showcasing his reformist credentials. Leshchenko has since become a fierce critic of Poroshenko, whose parliamentary faction he has never left. . .

[Q:] Let’s return to Paul Manafort. There is a nagging issue that never becomes apparent in all the various articles that have been written about the scandal, including both the Politico and New York Times pieces. You are leaking documents that you have from your sources. You are the essential guy in Ukraine in making sure that we in the West know about Mr. Manafort and his many charming adventures in Ukraine. So, when you leak, are you representing yourself as an independent-minded reformist MP, or are you executing government policy?

[A:] No, I am representing only myself, of course. I never ask permission from anyone, not the president, not the Rada. This is purely my own position as a politician.

[Q:] So no one else is involved officially in these leaks? Not the SBU (Ukrainian Security Services), not the prime minister, not the NABU (National Anti-Corruption Bureau)? No one else is involved here? You have your source, and you are totally independent on this issue, just you? This is not government policy?

[A:] Of course. I never speak with them or coordinate my position on either Manafort or any other issue. I am not authorized to comment on the government’s position, but I did not coordinate my speeches with anyone. . .

[Q:] So the big question—do you really think Manafort is a Russian agent?

[A:] Whether he is a Russian agent or not, I do not know. That should be investigated by the competent authorities. I know simply that first and foremost, he received funding from Yanukovych. It was dirty money, which was laundered by corrupt officials from our budget; this money was paid through illegal money-laundering schemes and fraud by electronic transfers through Khyrgiztan.

I believe that this investigation should be conducted in the U.S. and this is in the interest not only of America but also of the global fight against corruption, in the interests of Europe and Ukraine both, because the more exposure there is of Trump and Trump’s circle the more difficult it will be for Trump to conclude a separate deal with Putin, thereby selling out both Ukraine and the whole of Europe.

TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: 2013; 201307; 20130718; adamschiff; alexkuzma; biden; bidencalls; blimpdealer; blimps; burisma; chrismurphy; connecticut; davidleiter; eu; guns; helium; hunterbiden; igorpasternak; johnkerry; kuzma; leshchenko; manafort; mccain; menditto; mlstrategies; mustafanayem; nabu; nayem; pasternak; paulmanafort; phonecall; poroshenko; schiff; serhiyleshchenko; ukraine; valeriemenditto; worldwideaeros
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I have quoted some sections from the interview which raise the question of possible political forces behind Leshchenko's leaks. He denies any, but his last sentence explicitly indicates a political motivation: namely, to influence Trump's Russian policy in favor of Ukraine and the EU.
1 posted on 04/12/2017 12:41:35 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora

Man the Ukrainians are stupid. Pissing off the most powerful man in the world isn’t a good way to safe from Russia.

2 posted on 04/12/2017 12:44:36 AM PDT by RedWulf (At least we got Gorsuch!)
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To: Fedora

Paul Manafort’s systematic corruption? LOL. Nice try.

The NY Times article had nothing on him.

3 posted on 04/12/2017 12:57:04 AM PDT by Helicondelta (Deplorable)
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To: Fedora

Can one still buy a life insurance policy on someone else’s head? If so, I’ll take one for $2 million on this guy.

4 posted on 04/12/2017 1:00:10 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: Fedora
Wow, Leschenko is definitely a politcal hack. Compare and contrast this statement:

"[h]e [Paul Manafort] created the image of Yanukovych as a candidate who would defend the interests of the Russian-speaking population, thus provoking a split in the society, as before that the topic of language had never been important"

with the electoral maps here. And note that Manafort was not involved in any Ukrainian elections before 2006 (according to Leschenko himself).

5 posted on 04/12/2017 1:03:08 AM PDT by ScaniaBoy (Part of the Right Wing Research & Attack Machine)
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To: Fedora
Interesting quote from Manafort in a related story:

Ukrainian-Americans Protest Manafort's Ties To Russia

"When people say that I was involved in a pro-Putin administration, number one, they don't understand that Yanukovych and Putin were enemies for most of the four years of his term,'' Manafort told The Courant. "Number two, the main accomplishment of Yanukovych was to set the stage for Ukraine to be in Europe, which is pro-American and pro-Western, not pro-Russian.''

The same story also identifies some of the political opposition to Manafort within the U.S. Ukranian community:

Manafort "wanted to fill his pockets with the Russians' money against the Ukrainian people,'' said Valerie Menditto of East Berlin, a Ukrainian-American who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. . .

"Manfort is the kind of guy who likes to operate behind the scenes, so we think it's important to out him,'' said Alex Kuzma of Glastonbury, who helped organize the protest. . .He added, "We're afraid there's going to be undue influence on the U.S. government from Putin and from Manafort. It's hard to tell what is not known, but as Sen. [John] McCain said a few weeks ago, 'There's a lot more shoes to drop off of this centipede.'"


Murphy addresses Ukraine in New Haven (March 2, 2014)

Last weekend during a visit to New Haven, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy predicted that Russia would never send its military into Ukraine.

“I can’t imagine Russia would use military force,” said Murphy, Connecticut’s leading politician in dealing with the crisis in that Eastern European nation. “I can’t even imagine the descent into madness that would occur if Russian marched into Ukraine.”

Murphy was back in New Haven Saturday, addressing Ukraine at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Church on George Street, after Russia had in face marched in to seize control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

“There clearly have to be consequences to Russia,” he said. “Russia wants to be part of the global economic community.” With American military intervention unlikely, he said, economic pressure is the best to change Russia’s behavior. He cautioned, however, that the United States’ influence on Russia is limited by the relatively small amount of direct trade between the two countries; it will be up to Europe, he said, to make Russia feel economic pain.

Murphy is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on European Affairs. In December, visiting Kiev with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Murphy addressed a mass protest rally. . .

During the visit to the church the names of the 92 protesters who died in the violence in Kiev last week were read aloud. Alex Kuzma noticed something: at least a third were Russian.

That, he told Murphy, should help disprove “the misconception that just because people speak Russian, they’re allied to Russia.”

Murphy said he would incorporate that into his talking points as he tries to rally his colleagues in Congress to support the new Ukrainian government. . .

Connecticut Rallying For Ukraine (March 5, 2014)

With President Barack Obama speaking at Central Connecticut State University this afternoon, roughly two dozen Ukrainian-Americans demonstrated, peacefully, to make certain President Obama keeps his promise.

“Now’s that time that we need to stand up for Ukraine as a country and we’re pleased with President Obama’s statements, but now that’s got to be backed up with actions,” said Alex Kuzma, of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation.

Backed up, he says, monetarily rather than militarily. . .

“The Ukrainian people, they’ve stood up for three months in the sub zero temperatures out there on the maiden, in Independence Square, demanding their freedom and demanding a change of regime and they got it. Now, it behooves us as Americans to support their democracy,” said Kuzma. . .

6 posted on 04/12/2017 1:24:37 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: ScaniaBoy

Good observation. Consistent with that, in the first link I quoted in Post #6, Manafort alludes to the political divisions in the Ukraine, some of which he says break down along east-west lines.

7 posted on 04/12/2017 1:27:43 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora

In response to renewed Russian aggression, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement about the U.S. obligation to provide additional support to the people of Ukraine. . .Strengthening the Ukrainian military now, at their moment of peril, is the best way to deter Russia from taking control of further territory and forcing them to negotiate seriously.


U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Vice Chair of the bipartisan Senate Ukraine Caucus and member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, joined U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and a bipartisan group of 23 other senators in calling on President-elect Donald Trump to continue America’s tradition of support for the people of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. . .In addition to Murphy, Blumenthal, Durbin, and Portman, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bob Casey (R-Pa.), John Boozman (Ark.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) signed onto the letter.

8 posted on 04/12/2017 1:37:57 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora

” I believe that this investigation should be conducted in the U.S. and this is in the interest not only of America but also of the global fight against corruption, “

9 posted on 04/12/2017 1:46:42 AM PDT by Vendome (I've Gotta Be Me -
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To: Fedora
Ukrainian Employer of Joe Biden’s Son Hires a D.C. Lobbyist (July 7, 2014)

When Vice President Joe Biden's son, R. Hunter Biden, joined the board of a private Ukrainian oil and natural gas company this spring, he explained his new job as a legal one, disconnected from any effort to influence the Obama Administration. In a press release, the younger Biden boasted of his abilities on issues like improving corporate transparency.

But the company, Burisma Holdings, did not disclose at the time the scope of their plans for influencing the U.S. government. Recently released documents show that Biden’s hiring coincided with the launch of a new effort to lobby members of Congress about the role of the company in Ukraine and the country's quest for energy independence.

David Leiter, a former Senate chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, signed on to work as a lobbyist for Burisma on May 20, 2014, about a week after Biden announced he was joining the company, according to lobbying disclosures filed this month.

Leiter's involvement in the firm rounds out a power-packed team of politically-connected Americans that also includes a second new board member, Devon Archer, a Democratic bundler and former adviser to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. Both Archer and Hunter Biden have worked as business partners with Kerry's son-in-law, Christopher Heinz, the founding partner of Rosemont Capital, a private-equity company.

Biden's office referred questions to a Burisma spokesman, who says Biden has not been involved in contacting members of Congress or the Obama Administration about the company. "His role, like all board members, is to provide strategic guidance to Burisma," said Lawrence Pacheco, who works in Washington D.C. for FTI Consulting, a communications firm that is also employed by Burisma.

But Burisma is contacting officials in Washington through Leiter’s lobbying firm, ML Strategies. "ML Strategies is working with Burisma to educate U.S. officials about the company and its role in creating a stable and secure energy future for Ukraine, not any specific policy or legislation," Pacheco said. “Burisma supports energy independence, economic growth, national sovereignty and regional stability and will engage as needed to encourage efforts to further these goals.”

Some Democratic senators, meanwhile, have been working to secure more U.S. funding, either directly or through entities like the Export-Import Bank, to improve Ukraine’s domestic energy production potential. On June 27, Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, wrote President Obama a letter with three other Democratic senators calling for increased aid. "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," wrote Markey, who has also proposed legislation with about $40 million in additional aide for Ukranian energy development.

Markey’s letter was trumpeted by Burisma Holdings as a commendable move towards securing the future security of Ukraine. "Burisma Holdings today applauded the range of U.S. legislative support for development of Ukraine’s broad and untapped resources and an increase in transparency and good governance," the company said in a statement on the day the letter was released.

An aide in Markey’s office told TIME that Leiter, Biden and Archer were not part of discussions that led to the drafting of the letter or the legislation. Staff for the other senators who signed the letter, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Christopher Murphy of Connecticut, also said they did not have contact with Leiter, who could not be reached for comment.

Burisma Holdings is owned by a Cypriot holding firm, Brociti Investments Limited, which is controlled Nikolai Zlochevskyi, a former Ukranian government minister, according to Cypriot records. It controls government development licenses in three regions of Ukraine, and sells to industrial customers in the country, according to the company.

By taking a job with Burisma, the younger Biden has put himself in the middle of a struggle between the United States and Russia, which currently provides the bulk of the natural gas supplies to Ukraine. Both the White House and European nations have recently emphasized the strategic interest in making Ukraine less dependent on Russia.

Since Hunter Biden took the new job, his father, Vice President Joe Biden, has continued to serve as the Obama Administration's point person on Ukraine, traveling to the country as recently as June for the inauguration of President Petro Poroshenko and talking to Poroshenko by phone at least five times in the last month.

“I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in the last two months in Ukraine,” the elder Biden said on June 19. “You see what the Russians are doing relative to using gas as a foreign policy tool to try to alter behavior. And so it’s -- around the world in varying degrees it’s of significant consequence in terms of security, both economic and political security of a nation.”

There is no legal barrier to prohibit Hunter Biden from working with a company that can be impacted by the policy decisions of his father, and the White House has maintained that the Vice President has not been influenced by his son’s employment. “The Vice President does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company,” said his spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff.

But Hunter Biden’s new job, along with the association with Burisma of other politically-connected businessmen, has raised concerns among some Ukraine watchers. "It's unhelpful when we are trying to get across to the Ukrainians to clean up corruption and special deals for special folks,” said Ed Chow, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think tank. “It maybe sends the wrong message that Westerners are just hypocritical."

10 posted on 04/12/2017 1:47:07 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Vendome

Related to that, elsewhere in the interview, he talks about the need for the FBI to investigate Manafort, since he says the FBI can get at the relevant bank records.

11 posted on 04/12/2017 1:48:04 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: hoosiermama; piasa


12 posted on 04/12/2017 1:48:41 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora

What’s interesting is that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant, based on “Probable Cause” and there is no result.

Usually, when a FISA warrant issued, there is a prosecution...

I mean “ Man, you had probable cause...”

Game over man, Game over...

13 posted on 04/12/2017 1:51:02 AM PDT by Vendome (I've Gotta Be Me -
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To: Fedora
MURPHY VOTES AGAINST CONFIRMING REX TILLERSON AS SECRETARY OF STATE Murphy: “We have reason to fear that Mr. Tillerson would run the State Department like he ran Exxon, where he repeatedly worked against U.S. national interests.”

“…[W]e have reason to fear that Mr. Tillerson would run the State Department like he ran Exxon, where he repeatedly worked against U.S. national interests. Mr. Tillerson opposed sanctions levied against Russia in the wake of their invasion against Ukraine…[and] was awarded the Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin,” Murphy said on the Senate floor. . .

And when asked by President Obama and his administration to work – to refrain from attending a major economic development conference hosted by Vladimir Putin in the middle of the Ukraine crisis, Tillerson thumbed his nose at America. He intentionally embarrassed his own country and our allies by sending his top deputy to that conference – and it gets worse – and standing next to Russian officials to announce major new contracts with Russia.

“Think about that. We begged Exxon to stay away from that conference. Not only did they go, but Tillerson had his number-two guy announce new contracts in the middle of the sanctions, in the middle of the worst of the crisis with Ukraine.

So what's the backstory here?--Exxon and some Russian oil interests versus whatever Ukranian oil interests Murphy's lobby represents (linked to Soros, I presume)?

14 posted on 04/12/2017 1:53:08 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Vendome

And Comey and the media kept emphasizing how hard it is to get a FISA warrant, so according to that there should be some strong evidence against Manafort. Why haven’t they leaked it yet, since they’re leaking everything else?

15 posted on 04/12/2017 1:55:01 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora

The leak so much, they need depends to control the effluence...

16 posted on 04/12/2017 1:56:36 AM PDT by Vendome (I've Gotta Be Me -
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To: Fedora

Good work

17 posted on 04/12/2017 2:11:04 AM PDT by hoosiermama (When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.DJT)
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To: Fedora
lients lobbying on H.R.5859: Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014

Clients lobbying on H.R.5859: Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014

12 unique organization(s) has/have registered to lobby on this bill. Click on a client's name to view all the bills on which they reported lobbying. Click on the number of reports to view all the client's reports that mentioned this bill. Moving to the Sponsors tab (above) will show you the members of Congress who sponsored this legislation.

NOTE: Occasionally, a lobbying client may refer to a bill number from a previous Congress, either in error or because they are lobbying on a bill that has not yet been assigned a number. In these cases, it will appear as though they are lobbying on the bill sharing that number in the Congress in which they are filing, which in most cases is a different bill entirely. To see more information about the bill the client is lobbying on, you can look at the specific report under the "Report images" tab on the lobbying client's profile page. If you believe that there is an error, please e-mail us and we will attempt to correct it.

Client Year No. of Reports & Specific Issues*
Exxon Mobil 2014 3
BP 2014 2
Worldwide Aeros 2014 2
Caterpillar Inc 2014 1
Chevron Corp 2014 1
American Petroleum Institute 2014 1
Amway/Alticor Inc 2014 1
General Motors 2014 1
International Paper 2014 1
Nalco Holding 2014 1
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telcom 2014 1
US Chamber of Commerce 2014 1

Lobbying Report (April 20, 2015)

Worldwide Aeros Corp. . .Martin Van Valkenburg, Drew Shoemaker. . .Continued efforts on gaining support and promoting Aeroscraft and lighter-than-air (LTA) product line. Including efforts for DHS to include provisions for a competitive bid for a pilot program in the DHS appropriation bill. . .Continued efforts on gaining support and promoting Aeroscraft and lighter-than-air (LTA) product line, including integrating surveillance equipment. Promoting HR 955 the Ukraine Support Act, which will help provide funding for defensive weapons to Ukraine. . .Working with Ex/Im Bank on issues related to potential opportunities. . .

H.R.955 - To authorize assistance and sustainment to the military and national security forces of Ukraine.

Sponsor: Rep. Smith, Adam [D-WA-9] (Introduced 02/12/2015). ..

Cosponsor Date Cosponsored

Rep. Thornberry, Mac [R-TX-13]* 02/12/2015

Rep. Nunes, Devin [R-CA-22]* 02/12/2015

Rep. Schiff, Adam B. [D-CA-28]* 02/12/2015. . .

Pelosi, Schiff Slam "White House Surrogate" Nunes' "Act Of Diversion & Desperation"

Schiff is betraying his own rather specialized interests here: on July 18, 2013, a fundraiser for Schiff’s reelection campaign was held at the home of Ukrainian arms dealer Igor Pasternak in Washington, D.C. Price of admission: $2,500 a head, and $1,000 for guests. Why is Pasternak such a fan of Schiff’s?. . .

War turns Ukraine into 'supermarket' for illegal weapons (August 6, 2016)

Meet John McCain a Notorious Gun Runner (February 28, 2014)

One of the Arizona arms manufacturers which contributed to McCain’s campaign is Dillon Aero, based in Scottsdale, which supplies miniguns to one of the US Army’s airborne special operations units. . .Another is Century International Arms, Inc., listed as an importer of historic firearms into the United States. Both these companies are represented by a legal firm called MarkBarnes & Associates, based in Washington DC, which also admits to doubling as a lobbying organisation. . .Mark Barnes is registered by the US Senate as an arms lobbyist, his ID Number being 5426-24, and his House of Representative arms lobbyist ID is 311050001. . Dillon Aero arms have been tracked entering Georgia via an intermediary company, alongside otherwise legal imports. UKRS, the Ukrainian State Arms Exporter, has also sent arms to Georgia which its military have never seen. A dossier on these deals is now in the hands of the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office. This details how Dillon Aero was caught red handed by an agency of the United States Government (Customs Enforcement), while it was in the process of catching another department of the same government blatantly circumventing arms export controls. . .So we can link Senator McCain with arms dealers from his home state, at least one of whom is operating illegally, and other arms dealers and agencies in Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey and Jordan. . .

18 posted on 04/12/2017 2:26:00 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: hoosiermama

Thanks; see #18 as well.

19 posted on 04/12/2017 2:26:32 AM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora; LS; WildHighlander57; GregNH; Liz

Interesting that McCANE has the connections with arms dealers. Does he get a kick back/campaign contributions for all the ones he helps sell?

20 posted on 04/12/2017 2:44:12 AM PDT by hoosiermama (When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.DJT)
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