Corrupt Senators Took Ukraine Cash

While Democrats are pushing the bogus Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo story invented by that great storyteller, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, two groups of Democratic senators have been colluding with Ukrainian interests to advance their own agenda and political careers.

Kudos to Steve Hilton for pointing out the corruption of the first group on the Oct. 13 edition of his Fox show “The Next Revolution” – a group of Democratic senators took cash from a Ukraine lobbyist to push Ukrainian gas interests at the same time the Democrats are pushing the Trump-Ukraine yarn. As Hilton states in a transcript of his show available on Fox Opinion:

Remember Devon Archer, Hunter Biden's business partner? 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 a war on fossil fuels, opposing fracking, and trying to shut down U.S. energy production. American natural gas was bad for the environment, but 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."

Interestingly, as Democrats falsely accuse President Trump of bribing the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on a political opponent, namely Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, another group of Democratic senators actually asked the Ukrainian government to help the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to dig up dirt on Donald J. Trump. As the Marc Thiessen noted in his recent column in the Washington Post:

It got almost no attention, but in May [2018], CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”

This is corruption and hypocrisy raised to a new level. President Trump, as the transcript of his call to Ukrainian President Zelensky showed, pressured no one to dig up dirt on a political opponent. There was no quid pro quo, only a request that the Ukrainians look into the real crime Joe Biden confessed it -- leveraging U.S. financial support to get a prosecutor investing his son’s company, Burisma, fired.

And if you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with the 2016 campaign, try Hillary Clinton’s collusion with the Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump. As Politico reported in a story that went nowhere at the time:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

Here you have a real meeting between a DNC operative in a foreign embassy receiving materials used to defame and derail the Trump campaign. This meeting had real consequences. No fabricated versions of phone calls here.

Democratic senators took campaign cash from Ukrainian interests while begging Ukraine for help in removing a duly elected President from office. And these are the people who would participate in a Senate impeachment trial. The inmates are indeed running the asylum.

Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

While Democrats are pushing the bogus Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo story invented by that great storyteller, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, two groups of Democratic senators have been colluding with Ukrainian interests to advance their own agenda and political careers.

Kudos to Steve Hilton for pointing out the corruption of the first group on the Oct. 13 edition of his Fox show “The Next Revolution” – a group of Democratic senators took cash from a Ukraine lobbyist to push Ukrainian gas interests at the same time the Democrats are pushing the Trump-Ukraine yarn. As Hilton states in a transcript of his show available on Fox Opinion:

Remember Devon Archer, Hunter Biden's business partner? 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 a war on fossil fuels, opposing fracking, and trying to shut down U.S. energy production. American natural gas was bad for the environment, but 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."

Interestingly, as Democrats falsely accuse President Trump of bribing the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on a political opponent, namely Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, another group of Democratic senators actually asked the Ukrainian government to help the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to dig up dirt on Donald J. Trump. As the Marc Thiessen noted in his recent column in the Washington Post:

It got almost no attention, but in May [2018], CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as “strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine,” the Democratic senators declared, “We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump,” before demanding Lutsenko “reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation.”

This is corruption and hypocrisy raised to a new level. President Trump, as the transcript of his call to Ukrainian President Zelensky showed, pressured no one to dig up dirt on a political opponent. There was no quid pro quo, only a request that the Ukrainians look into the real crime Joe Biden confessed it -- leveraging U.S. financial support to get a prosecutor investing his son’s company, Burisma, fired.

And if you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with the 2016 campaign, try Hillary Clinton’s collusion with the Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump. As Politico reported in a story that went nowhere at the time:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

Here you have a real meeting between a DNC operative in a foreign embassy receiving materials used to defame and derail the Trump campaign. This meeting had real consequences. No fabricated versions of phone calls here.

Democratic senators took campaign cash from Ukrainian interests while begging Ukraine for help in removing a duly elected President from office. And these are the people who would participate in a Senate impeachment trial. The inmates are indeed running the asylum.

Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.