By: Jeffrey Winograd
PART II – Evidence Debunks Myths of Anti-Trump Ukraine Claims
John Solomon, a highly-regarded and experienced journalist, published a masterful, must-read article on Oct. 31 “debunking some of the bigger fables in the Ukraine scandal.”
Particularly noteworthy about Solomon’s article is that it is replete with links to documents and sources that substantiate what he writes.
Unfortunately, he seems to have enemies out there who are trying to discredit him and his work. This becomes quite apparent when doing an online search as well as by looking at the Wikipedia entry for Solomon.
The key points of his article can best be summarized in the form of questions-and-answers.
QUESTION: Did the Democratic National Committee (DNC) request Ukraine’s help during the 2016 U.S. presidential election?
ANSWER: Yes! Alexandra Chalupa, a DNC contractor, “did, in fact, solicit dirt on Donald Trump and Paul Manafort [who briefly served as Trump’s campaign manager] during the spring of 2016 in hopes of spurring a pre-election congressional hearing into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia,” Solomon wrote. The Ukraine embassy in Washington, D.C. attested to that fact and you can read an official statement here.
QUESTION: Is there evidence supporting the allegation that Ukrainian government officials tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election?
ANSWER: Yes! According to Solomon, one documented episode involved a member of the Ukraine parliament and a senior Ukrainian law enforcement officer who released financial records in the spring and summer of 2016 from a probe into Paul Manafort’s lobbying activities. “The publicity from the release of the so-called Black Ledger documents forced Manafort to resign,” Solomon wrote. He also commented on an Aug. 4, 2016, op-ed published in The Hill (see it here), which criticized Trump and suggested he was an appeaser of Russia while in the midst of the election campaign.
QUESTION: Did former Vice President Joe Biden seek the ouster of the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma Holdings, where his son, Hunter Biden, served on the board and was a consultant? (His son’s firm received compensation of $166,000 per month, not just the widely reported $50,000 per month, over a period of XX months)
ANSWER: Yes! “Joe Biden is captured on videotape bragging about his effort to strong-arm Ukraine’s president into firing Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin,” wrote Solomon. In fact, on Jan. 23, 2018, Biden spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations and stated: “And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
QUESTION: During their July 25 telephone conversation, was Trump trying to pressure Zelenskyy to reopen the probe of Burisma Holdings?
ANSWER: No! “Trump could not have forced the Ukrainians into opening a new Burisma investigation in July because the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office had already opened a new probe on March 28, 2019, or three months before the call,” Solomon wrote. He posted on Scribd the prosecutor’s notice of suspicion although it is in Ukrainian.
QUESTION: In June 2016, did Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, tell the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko the names of people and entities she did not want to have prosecuted in Ukraine?
ANSWER: Yes! Solomon provided a quote from an interview he conducted with Lutsenko this past spring. Stated Lutsenko: At no time since our interview have I ever retracted the statement I made about the U.S. ambassador providing me a list of names of people and organizations she did not want my office to prosecute. I explained to the reporter [who had asked for a copy of the letter with a written list] that the ambassador did not hand me a written list but rather provided the list of names orally over the course of a meeting.” He also posted a letter signed by then Charge d’Affaires George Kent, which stated: “The investigation into the actions of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, based on the assistance they have received from us, is similarly misplaced.” According to Solomon, this nonprofit organization is funded jointly by the State Department and “liberal megadonor George Soros.”
myth regarding Joe Biden, the U.S. embassy in Ukraine and Ukrainian election interference to affect the 2020 presidential election?
ANSWER: No! While Giuliani began his probe in late fall 2018, prior to that Ukrainian prosecutors believed they had relevant evidence to convey to the Justice Department, explained Solomon, adding that visas to deliver said evidence were not forthcoming from the American embassy. He provided a link to an April 7, 2019, article he authored, quoting Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department, as saying: “We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States. 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 Solomon article can be found here.