Lindsey Graham Implicated In Ukraine Extortion Scheme

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As President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial continues this week, the Daily Beast has revealed another startling new revelation from personal Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas. According to Parnas’s lawyer Joseph Bondy, in late 2018, Giuliani personally delivered a letter to none other than top Trump ally and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that called for sanctions on a laundry list of Ukrainian officials that it was at least partly in the Trump team’s corrupt self-interest to target. In other words, while Graham self-righteously goes on and on about what a supposed sham the impeachment case is or whatever else — in reality, he’s seemingly been in on the scheme at the center since 2018.

The Graham letter was delivered alongside a similar letter to then-Treasury Department official Sigal Mandelker, whose correspondence was signed by “a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen named Michael Guralnik” who’d supposedly served in the Soviet army for ten years. He alleged that a list of Ukrainian figures that he named were embezzling U.S. military aid that had been sent to the country for their own benefit. One of the figures singled out is, wait for it: Mykola Zlochevskiy, leader of the Burisma energy company where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter worked and that Republicans have harped on and on about for ages at this point.

The supposed embezzlement, according to the letters, was supposedly used to fund black market purchases of weapons from a Russian company under U.S. sanctions. Besides Zlochevskiy, the letters also name Valeriya Gontareva, who led the National Bank of Ukraine for a few years and “oversaw the Ukrainian government’s decision to seize control of a bank that belonged to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky,” in the Daily Beast’s description. Kolomoisky was allegedly using that bank as a personal front, and in the wake of her work to bring the criminals to heel, Gontareva has faced death threats and dangerous stunts like her home burning down just late last year. And Giuliani jumped on the bandwagon against her.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington spokesperson Jordan Libowitz commented:

‘While we can’t obviously speak to the veracity of these claims, it does seem to look more and more like Rudy Giuliani is incredibly deeply involved with some seriously shady business in Ukraine and we need more information, not only on his activities, but his activities and those of his associates on behalf of or benefiting Donald Trump. As bad as these things look on their face, they’re so much worse if you consider the involvement of the president of the United States.’

Soon after the sanctions letter stunt, Giuliani roped Graham into his Ukraine scheming yet again. The Daily Beast notes that shortly before the date on the Guralnik letter, “Giuliani sent Graham a letter of his own asking his staff to help three unnamed Ukrainians get visas so they could come to the U.S. and share information about the Bidens.”

That effort was ultimately not successful, although it most certainly has not stopped Giuliani from rushing on in to trying to dig up more dirt on the Bidens anyway.