A1. John Podesta / Joule Unlimited / Rusnano
In reporting about Russiagate, "Ukraine-Gate", and the congressional inquiry into whether President Trump should be impeached, the narrative seems to focus on the "either/or", rather than on what the facts are.
I say this because it is possible, for example, that both of the following are true: 1) Republicans sought help with election interference from Russians; and 2) Democrats sought Russian help with election interference in the same election. It's also possible that both parties attempted to collude with Ukraine.
I contend that the scandals surrounding Joe Biden's and Donald Trump's possible illegal political and business dealings with Ukraine and/or Russia should not be dealt with as separate issues. I believe that this is part of an endemic problem; a process which begins with American interference into the politics and affairs of foreign nations, continues when those foreign nations respond in kind with their own interference into our elections, and continues further when America foolishly responds with more interference.
I believe that it will be impossible to hold both parties accountable when they collude with one another to commit crimes (as in the case of the work for Ukraine which Democrat Tony Podesta did with Republican Paul Manafort) unless and until we have not only truly independent prosecutors and private investigators, but also at least one or two "third political parties" which have customarily been shut out of joint Republican-Democratic crime planning and racketeering planning.
I will attempt to demonstrate that, due to the sheer number of pieces of evidence suggesting the corruption of each country by each party, it is likely that all four permutations of party-country collusion have been attempted at one point or more.
Three Examples of Evidence That the Hillary Clinton Campaigns, Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, the Obama Administration, and Other Democrats Colluded with Russia, or Acted in Russia's Favor Inappropriately
John Podesta received 75,000 common shares in the energy company Joule Unlimited, and failed to disclose those shares in 2011, "divesting" himself of those shared by giving them to his daughter Megan Rouse. Russian-owned state enterprise Rusnano invested $35 million in Joule while Podesta worked there, and $200 million altogether. One of the board members of Joule Unlimited is Anatoly Chubais, known for being a Russian "oligarch".
Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign allegedly used Russian bots against Bernie Sanders and/or Donald Trump in 2016.
Clinton associate Frank Giustra built the company UrAsia Energy Ltd., and sold it to Canada-based company Uranium One, which then sold it to Russian company Rosakom. Tony Podesta hired David Adams to consult with Hillary Clinton on the Uranium One deal, which happened under Obama's watch and Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State. People in Russia, linked to Uranium One and UrAsia, sent $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow to a Russian-owned bank with links to the Uranium One deal.
Eleven Examples of Evidence That the Hillary Clinton Campaigns, Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, the Obama Administration, and Other Democrats Colluded with Ukraine, or Acted in Ukraine's Favor Inappropriately
Tony Podesta's Podesta Group was recruited - along with Mercury Public Affairs - by Paul Manafort and Rick Gates's lobbying firm (the European Center for a Modern Ukraine) to do lobbying work inside the United States on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions (whose ecology minister Mykola Zlochevsky co-founded Burisma Holdings Ltd.). Tucker Carlson reported that, contrary to previous reports, Tony Podesta had not been offered immunity in exchange for testifying against Paul Manafort. Why Tony Podesta escaped prosecution is therefore still a mystery.
Hillary Clinton compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler after the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, ostensibly for moving troops into an area which, in her opinion, had been conquered, rather than annexed legally and with the approval of the international community. Clinton said that Putin's actions were "like what Hitler did back in the '30s".
A phone call between Hillary Clinton's appointee Victoria Nuland (former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs), and Barack Obama's appointee Geoffrey Pyatt (former ambassador to the Ukraine), was leaked in early February 2014 after the Ukrainian civil uprising began. On that call, Nuland told Pyatt "Fuck the E.U." and the two discussed which leaders America could potentially work with, and should essentially choose to lead Ukraine over the following years.
David J. Leiter - a former aide for John Kerry, and the husband of former Hillary Clinton senior aide Tamera Stanton Luzzatto - did lobbying work for Burisma Holdings Ltd..
Leiter's wife Luzzatto once managed the blog "Evie's Crib", which may have been a child pornography site; and on October 8th, 2015, she emailed John Podesta about how her granddaughters would be in a heated pool for "entertainment".
John Kerry's stepson Christopher Heinz served on the board of Burisma, leaving shortly after Hunter Biden joined the board.
Joe Biden was the "points person" for Ukraine in the Obama Administration, at the same time when the Ukrainian civil war / civil uprising was occurring in 2014, and around the same time when Biden's son Hunter and his firm Burisma came under scrutiny. Biden was filmed bragging about getting Ukrainian state prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired after he began an investigation of Burisma (on which Hunter Biden served as a board member). In what appears to have been a perfectly legal move - with the authorization of Congress, and the permission of then president Barack Obama to act on his behalf - Joe Biden withheld military aid from Ukraine, getting "quid pro quo" in exchange for a cessation of the investigation into his son's company.
The Democratic National Committee, under the control of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team, recruited Ukrainian-American Alexandra Chalupa as a contractor for the D.N.C. in 2016. Valeriy Chaly, former Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., stated that a D.N.C. contractor pressured the Ukrainian embassy to try to find "Russian dirt" on Trump and Paul Manafort. Chaly stated that the contractor tried to urge former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to make a statement denouncing Manafort. Manafort was fired and convicted of being an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of the Ukrainian government.
Alexander Vindman, a U.S. citizen who was born in Ukraine while it was part of the Soviet Union, has been accused of being a "Never Trumper" and a spy.
Marie "Masha" Yovanovitch, the former Ambassador to Ukraine, was called to testify at the impeachment inquiry hearings about Trump's possible illegal attempt to withhold congressionally authorized military aid from Ukraine. Ukrainian officials reportedly told Yovanovitch to "watch her back" because Rudy Giuliani had plans to replace her as ambassador. Giuliani allegedly wanted Yovanovitch removed because he and Trump felt that Yovanovitch was hindering investigations into Hunter Biden and Burisma.
Democratic U.S. Representative from California, and chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has been accused of having business interests in Ukraine. This allegation stems from his association with Igor Pasternak, who hosted a fundraiser for Schiff in 2013.
Paul Pelosi, Jr. - the son of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California - has been accused by various media outlets of having ties to corruption in the Ukrainian energy market. However, Pelosi has denied that his work with Viscoil had anything to do with Ukraine.
Eight Examples of Evidence That the Donald Trump Campaign and Administration Colluded with Russia, or Acted in Russia's Favor Inappropriately
Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia as a refugee, after he lost power in Ukraine in 2014. This occurred after Paul Manafort and Rick Gates (and their lobbying firm European Center for a Modern Ukraine) recruited Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group to lobby inside the United States on behalf of the Ukrainian government, the Party of Regions, and Yanukovych.
[Note: See D1 and D2 for information about why instances of Manafort-Ukrainian collusion might actually be more accurately described as examples of Manafort-Russian collusion.]
C2. Oleg Deripaska's past business ties to Paul Manafort
Russian oligarch and self-described "entrepreneur" Oleg Deripaska stated that he was invested in a small company when he had business ties to Manafort. Deripaska said that his ties to Manafort ended in 2011.
On June 27th, 2018, Business Insider picked up a report by Reuters, which said that a court document had been released; a warrant for Paul Manafort's Virginia home. Tax returns for a company owned by Manafort and his wife, revealed that Deripaska had loaned Manafort $10 million. Deripaska financially supported Manafort's lobbying work for Ukraine in 2005 and 2006.
Deripaska cooperated with the F.B.I. regarding the charges against Manafort. Deripaska might not be, by any means, an enemy of the United States; he helped the F.B.I. attempt to rescue C.I.A. contractor Robert Levinson from captivity in Iran (although that attempt failed).
The suggestions that Deripaska's business ties to Manafort could spell out Republican-Russian collusion, stem not from Yanukovych's taking refuge in Russia, but from the fact that Donald Trump is favorable towards the resolution of Deripaska's financial issues. Deripaska fought what he considered an unfair imposition of U.S. sanctions against his business in Russia, through what he described as his money having been taken away as a credit and then never returned.
The accusation of Republican-Russian collusion here, is leveled at Oleg Deripaska, as well as Konstantin V. Kilimnik, the Ukrainian-born Russian political consultant who requested that Paul Manafort give the Kremlin-linked Deripaska briefings about Trump's campaign.
Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and others, may have been aware that Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya intended to discuss "dirt on Hillary Clinton" during the now-infamous "Trump Tower meeting" in June 2016. The stated purpose of the meeting was to discuss adoptions, which is plausible considering that Vladimir Putin banned the adoption of Russian children by Americans in 2012, and may have been concerned about the safety of Russian children in America (perhaps especially so given the chances of Hillary Clinton becoming president, and her and Obama's flawed track record at preventing and prosecuting child abductions; for example, the Laura Silsby incident in Haiti, to which Trump made public reference at the Al Smith dinner in October 2016).
In July 2016, Donald Trump said at a press conference, broadcast live on C.N.N., "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing" (referring to Hillary Clinton's emails).
Donald Trump Jr. has been alleged to have met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and possibly Russians as well, to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and others, by leaking their emails. The emails were indisputably leaked, but it remains unclear who hacked or cracked those emails and how they did it.
Donald Trump's presidential campaign allegedly used Russian bots and/or troll farms against the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016.
Donald Trump's presidential campaign allegedly used Russian internet troll farms against Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016.
Donald Trump may have attempted to collude with Russian actors with the intent of making a deal securing rights to construct a new Trump Tower in Moscow. These attempts were apparently unsuccessful; but even if unsuccessful, the failure to secure a deal would not exonerate Trump if his intentions were illicit.
C9. Russian spy Maria Butina's infiltration of the N.R.A. and Republican Party
The F.B.I. reported that Russian agent Maria Butina successfully sought ties to the Republican Party. With the help of Aleksandr Torshin and Butina's then boyfriend and political operative Paul Erickson, Butina worked to promote Russian interests in the United States, infiltrating the National Rifle Association (N.R.A.) as part of her work as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia.
[Note: I would like to urge my readers to re-read Accusation C1, in order to refresh their memories to provide context for Accusations D1 and D2.]
Four Examples of Evidence That the Donald Trump Campaign and Administration Colluded with Ukraine, or Acted in Ukraine's Favor Inappropriately
In June 2016, Donald Trump's presidential campaign hired Paul Manafort as the chair of its campaign team; he served in that position until that August. Previously, Manafort - along with Rick Gates, and their lobbying firm European Center for a Modern Ukraine (E.C.M.U.) - recruited Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group to lobby inside the United States on behalf of the Ukrainian government, the Party of Regions, and Viktor Yanukovych. The E.C.M.U. was purportedly working to "Westernize" the Party of Regions.
In early 2019, Manafort was sentenced to 43 months in prison, and additional charges increased that to nearly eight years in prison. Manafort is set to be released from prison in 2024. Rudy Giuliani reportedly consulted Paul Manafort on the topic of U.S.-Ukraine relations, while Manafort was incarcerated.
[Note: The fact that Manafort lobbied on behalf of the Ukrainian government, does not necessarily mean that he was not serving as an agent of Russia in an indirect manner. Given the pro-Russia stances of the Party of Regions and Viktor Yanukovych, and the fact that Yanukovych took refuge in Russia after he lost power in the Ukrainian civil uprising in 2014, it seems likely that "Westernizing" the Party of Regions was not what Manafort really wanted after all (if "Westernizing" means distancing Ukraine from Russia). Ukraine was arguably under heavy Russian influence from 2002 to 2014, the period during which Yanukovych was intermittently in charge of Ukraine. This is why all examples of Trump collusion with foreign nations involving Paul Manafort, should be considered as possible examples of Republican-Russian collusion, in addition to the obvious Republican-Ukrainian collusion which it would appear to be on the surface.]
D2. Ukrainian-Russian Konstantin Kilimnik asked Manafort for Trump campaign briefings for Deripaska
Konstantin V. Kilimnik is a Ukrainian-born Russian political consultant. Kilimnik requested that Paul Manafort give the Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska briefings about Trump's presidential campaign.
D3. Giuliani sent Ukrainians Parnas and Fruman to get dirt on Biden
Lev Parnas is a Jewish-Ukrainian immigrant and U.S. citizen, and Igor Fruman is a Jewish-Belarusian immigrant and U.S. citizen. In 2018, Parnas and Fruman hired Rudolph Giuliani as a consultant for their fraudulent security business "Fraud Guarantee". Later that year, Giuliani sent Parnas and Fruman to Ukraine to find people and information that could be used to damage Joe Biden and undermine the Mueller investigation into Trump-Russian collusion.
On the morning of July 25th, 2019, Donald Trump called President Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine since May. Amid disputes regarding the contents of the call, and reliable sources regarding transcripts and regarding what was said during the call, Trump has been accused of ordering European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and others to work with Rudy Giuliani, acting as Trump's lawyer, with the intent of having Giuliani pressure American and Ukrainian officials to investigate Hunter Biden and his firm Burisma Holdings Ltd. (which is actually based in Cyprus, not Ukraine). Trump has been accused of trying to get "quid pro quo"; i.e., receive a promise and/or a Zelensky-issued public statement on Biden and Burisma, in exchange for the release of $400 million in Ukrainian military aid.
Some of this information was originally published in the article
"Forty-Seven American Political Figures with Ties to Ukraine",
published on October 12th, 2019,
and Edited and Expanded Between Octoober 13th and November 14th, 2019