Kostiantyn Kulyk is a Ukrainian prosecutor. He says that money was illegally spent by a former Ukrainian president on donations to Democrats. He’d like to present his evidence in the United States.
The problem, according to Kulyk, is that the United States won’t let him in.
In a commentary piece published Monday by The Hill, investigative journalist John Solomon reports that Kulyk told him about “evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes.”
“But, they say, they’ve been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act,” Solomon wrote.
“We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk said in an interview.
“However, the (U.S.) ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”
The State Department apparently isn’t terribly interested in hearing Kulyk’s evidence, which Solomon wrote implicates businessmen in the orbit of former pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in illegal spending on American elections with “money spirited unlawfully out of Ukraine and moved to the United States.”
The businessmen, according to Kulyk, “authorized payments for lobbying efforts directed at the U.S. government,” Solomon wrote.
“In addition, these payments were made from funds that were acquired during the money-laundering operation,” Kulyk told Solomon. “We have information that a U.S. company was involved in these payments.”
Solomon wrote that Ukrainian officials believe that company is linked to “one or more prominent Democrats.”
Kulyk also said that the country’s anti-corruption authority covered up payments made to a Democrat, according to Solomon.
“In the course of this investigation, we found that there was a situation during which influence was exerted on the (anti-corruption authority), so that the name of (the American) would not be mentioned,” Kulyk said, according to Solomon.
Accepting money from a foreign power, of course, is illegal for American politicians.
The report by Solomon comes after a report last week in which Solomon detailed the fact in 2015 and 2016, then-Vice President Joe Biden put pressure on Ukrainian officials to fire a prosecutor who was investigating a natural gas company that had Biden’s son, Hunter, serving on its board.
“Ukraine is infamous for corruption and disinformation operations; its police agencies fight over what is considered evidence of wrongdoing. Kulyk and his bosses even have political fights over who should and shouldn’t be prosecuted. Consequently, allegations emanating from Kiev usually are taken with a grain a salt,” Solomon wrote in that report.
As if the prove the point, Kulyk himself has come under investigation for allegedly enriching himself illicitly while in office, according to a report by The London Post, a 5-year-old U.K. news outlet that, judging by its headlines and news slant, has a decidedly leftish take.
— London Post (@LondonPostUK) March 28, 2019
That the investigation didn’t prevent Kulyk from being promoted might say a lot about how serious the grounds for it are — or how serious Ukraine’s corruption problem really is, it’s tough to tell.
However, judging by Solomon’s reports, the evidence in the case of the 2016 election seems to be much stronger than Ukraine internal politics, or inter-office backstabbing.
“(M)any of the allegations shared with me by more than a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials are supported by evidence that emerged in recent U.S. court filings and intelligence reports,” Solomon wrote last week.
That evidence includes “(s)worn statements from two Ukrainian officials admitting that their agency tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton,” including “leaking an alleged ledger showing payments to then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”
There was also evidence that Ukrainian contacts had passed dirt on Donald Trump to Democrats in Washington during the 2016 campaign, Solomon wrote.
This isn’t surprising, either, inasmuch as a portion of the “Trump dossier” assembled by the political research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee came from a member of Ukraine’s parliament, according to a Daily Caller report in February.
Ukraine prosecutors say that they would prefer to come to the United States to present the evidence of the allegations than to hand them over to the FBI, in part because it’s believed the FBI is in league with anti-corruption officials in Ukraine, Solomon wrote in Monday’s piece.
“It is no secret in Ukrainian political circles that the NABU (the Ukraine anti-corruption agency) was created with American help and tried to exert influence during the U.S. presidential election,” Kulyk told him.
Apparently, though, no one at the Departments of State and Justice is interested.
“It’s like no one at DOJ is listening. There is some compelling evidence that should at least be looked at, evaluated, but the door seems shut at both State and Justice,” one American lawyer familiar with the case told Solomon.
As for the State Department, it told Solomon it couldn’t comment on whether the visas had been held up.
“Visa records are confidential under U.S. law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases,” a State Department spokesperson said.
Solomon’s article is a compelling read, and it’s the second piece in as many weeks to indicate troubling ties between Ukraine and American politicians, particularly on the left side of the aisle.
It’s time that we looked at this more thoroughly — not just through the lens of the Paul Manafort case.
This can’t be sunk by career bureaucrats who want to hold up or deny visas to officials who have evidence of corruption by American politicians.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.