A senior Ukrainian official told The Hill this week that he has launched an investigation into members of his government over an alleged plot to boost Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told The Hill’s John Solomon: “Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information.”
“Lutsenko is probing a claim from a member of the Ukrainian parliament that the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk, attempted to the benefit of the 2016 U.S. presidential election on behalf of Hillary Clinton,” The Hill reported.
“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko said. “It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton.”
Several days before then-president elect Donald Trump would be sworn into office, Politico broke the story about the alleged Ukrainian effort to boost Clinton. Politico reported:
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 operative, Alexandra Chalupa, said in 2017: “When it was announced that the Trump campaign hired Manafort, many Ukrainian-Americans were alarmed and concerned it was an early signal that Putin was trying to influence the US election. At that time, I flagged for the DNC the significance of his hire based on information in the public domain.”
In a separate piece at The Hill, Solomon writes that the Ukrainian investigation centers around “whether his country’s law enforcement apparatus intentionally leaked financial records during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.”
Lutsenko is not the only Ukrainian official that wants an investigation into the ties between Clinton and members of the Ukrainian government.
“In a July 24 letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andrei Derkach, an independent MP who was formerly aligned with a pro-Russian party, requested that authorities launch a pretrial investigation into ‘illegal interference in the election of President of the United States organized by a criminal organization,'” Politico reported. “This organization, he said, consisted of senior members of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau, government officials, and other public figures.”
Several months later Trump tweeted about the report, suggesting that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions should look into it.
“Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – ‘quietly working to boost Clinton,'” Trump tweeted. “So where is the investigation A.G.”
Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – "quietly working to boost Clinton." So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017