Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
On November 22nd, a 100-page Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) data-dump was made by the U.S. Department of State, to the Democratic-Party-aligned nonprofit “American Oversight,” which had been founded in March 2017 by liberals (really by some of the main billionaires who fund the Democratic Party) after the 2016 Democratic electoral defeat (by Republican billionaires). The now Republican-headed U.S. State Department made as difficult as possible the news-media picking up on and reporting about the contents of this dump; they made it difficult especially by providing only a photographic image of each page, impossible on most systems to do any “Edit” “Find”; and also impossible to perform any “Edit” “Copy” “Paste” of any quotation from the document, into a news-report. Consequently, on November 23rd, I made a pdf copy of that document to the Web Archive (the first of probably many that will become posted there), in order to be able to link here to something that will come onscreen less sluggishly for any interested reader who will want to see the document, and I am herewith pasting below what I consider to be the most important extended passage in the document, so as to make that passage especially available online. I have manually transcribed the photos, in order that any portion of this important passage (pages 61-66) can now be easily found and cited by other reporters. This way, at least that passage might become more widely disseminated to the public — which it should be, because the information there contradicts many of the ‘news’-reports about Ukrainegate, or the impeachment case against Trump. (Some excerpts from this extended passage were reported on November 25th by the great non-mainstream news-site Zero Hedge, and that was entirely accurate.) In this passage, President Trump’s lawyer Rudolphe Giuliani, on January 23, 25, and 26, of 2019, took a deposition from Viktor Shokin, whom Joe Biden had forced to be fired on 29 March 2016 as Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, and also a deposition from Yuriy Lutsenko, who replaced Shokin and thereby freed-up from the Obama Administration in 2016 a one-billion-dollar donation (‘loan guarantees’ to the then-and-now bankrupt Government of Ukraine) from America’s taxpayers, to fund the then just-recently-installed-by-Obama anti-Russian Government of Ukraine, for it to stay afloat just a while longer. Here is that passage (pages 61-66):
U.S. Department of State
January 23, 2019
445 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
On January 23, 2019, a telephone interview with Mr. Viktor Shokin the former General Prosecutor of Ukraine was conducted. Present in the New York location were: Rudolph Giuliani, Mr. Igor Fruman, Mr. Lev Parnas and Mr. George Boyle. The conversation was conducted through the use of two (2) interpreters one (1) in Ukraine and one (1) Lev Parnas in New York. The sum and substance of the conversation are as follows:
Mr. Shokin stated that he was appointed to the position of General Prosecutor of Ukraine from 2015 until April of 2016 when he was removed at the request of Mr. Joseph Biden the Vice President of the United States. Mr. Shokin was a Deputy Prosecutor prior to becoming the General Prosecutor. He became involved in a case against Mr. Mykola Zlochevsky the former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine. The case was opened as a result of Mr. Zlochevsky giving himself/company permits to drill for gas and oil in Ukraine. Mr. Zlochevsky is also the owner of Burisma Holdings, which is a corporation registered in Cyprus. Mr. Shokin stated that there are documents that list five (5) criminal cases in which Mr. Zlochevsky is listed, with the main case being for issuing illegal gas exploration permits. The following complaints are in the criminal case.
1. Mr. Zlochevsky was laundering money
2. Obtained assets by corrupt acts bribery
3. Mr. Zlochevsky removed approximately twenty three million U.S. dollars out of Ukraine without permission
4. While seated as the Minister he approved two addition[al] entities to receive permits for gas exploration
5. Mr. Zlochevsky was the owner of two secret companies that were part of Burisma Holdings and gave those companies permits which made it possible for him to profit while he was the sitting Minister
The above cases were closed after Mr. Zlochevsky was dismissed from the Ministry.
Mr. Shokin further stated that there were several Burisma board appointees [that] were made in 2014 as follows:
1. Hunter Biden son of Vice President Joseph Biden
2. Joseph Blade former CIA employee assigned to Anti-Terrorist Unit
3. Aleksander Kwasnieski former President of Poland
4. Devon Archer roommate to Christopher Heinz the step-son of Mr. John Kerry United States Secretary of State
Mr. Shokin stated that these appointments were made by Mr. Zlochevsky in order to protect himself.
Mr. Zlochevsky left Ukraine while the above mentioned cases were open.
Mr. Shokin stated that the investigations stopped out of fear of the United States. Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015 the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which, according to Mr. Shokin, implied to do nothing. On or about September 2015, Mr. Pyatt gave a speech in Odessa where he stated that the cases were not investigated correctly and that Mr. Shokin may be corrupt.
Mr. Shokin stated that in 2014 Mr. Zlochevsky was in the UK and that the twenty three million dollars were frozen in the UK in the BNP Bank. Mr. Shokin stated that false documents were prepared and the money was released so Mr. S[sp]lochevski before Mr. Shokin took office. That release of the money made Mr. Shokin look into the above cases again. Mr. Shokin stated that there were several articles written about bribes being taken during the investigation of the cases. The bribes were an effort to have the cases closed. On April [actually 29 March] of 2016 Mr. Shokin was dismissed as the General Prosecutor of Ukraine [and both the U.S. and its stooge the EU celebrated his firing — the EU aquiesced in the U.S. regime’s Ukrainian coup]. In November of 2016 the cases were closed by the current Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.
Mr. Shokin further stated that on February of 2016 warrants were placed on the accounts of multiple people in Ukraine. There were requests for information on Hunter Biden to which nothing was received. It is believed that Hunter Biden receives a salary, commission, plus one million dollars. Mr. Shokin stated he was warned to stop by Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko told Mr. Shokin not to investigate Burisma as it was not in the interest of Joe and/or Hunter Biden. Mr. Shokin was called into Mr. Poroshenko’s office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Mr. Shokin stated that on or around April of 2016 Mr. Petro Poroshenko called him and told him he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden. Mr. Biden told Mr. Poroshenko that he had evidence that Mr. Shokin was corrupt and needed to be fired. Mr. Shokin was dismissed in April of 2016 and the U.S. aid was delivered within one and one half months.
On a different point, Mr. Shokin believes the current [U.S.] Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch denied his visa to travel to the U.S. Mr. Shokin stated that she is close to Mr. Biden. Mr. Shokin also stated that there were leaks by a person named Reshenko of the Ukrainian State Secret Service about the Manafort Black Book. Mr. Shokin stated that there is possible deceit in the Manafort Black Book.
End of interview.
January 25, 2019
445 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
On January 25, 2019, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko the current Prosecutor General of Ukraine was present at 445 Park Av e, New York, NY. He was present to speak about corruption in Ukraine. He was accomapnied by Glib Zagoriy, Gyunduz Mamedov, Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman. Also present were Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and George Boyle.
Mr. Lutsenko stated that he is currently the Prosecutor General for Ukraine. He was the Minister of Interior from 2007 to 2010. He further stated that he was placed in jail for two and one half years as a political prisoner.
Mr. Lutsenko stated that his office has the following units under his purview:
1 Police Department
3. Secret Service
4. Investigative Department
Mr. Lutsenko stated that his office has recovered several billion dollars and has had two thousand six hundred thirty-seven [2,637] verdicts of corruption. Mr. Lutsenko went on to explain that there is a unit called Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutors Office (SAP) which has under its purview National Anticorruption Bureau Ukraine (NABU) which investigates corruption cases that involve public figures from Mayors upward. He stated that the current U.S. Ambassador protects SAP and NABU. He feels they are good organizations but have terrible leadership. His office has absolutely no control over SAP or NABU and can’t even ask what they are working on, however they fall under his ‘control’.
He further state[s] that he believes Mr. Viktor Shokin, the former Prosecutor General, is honest.
Mr. Lutsenko went on to say that he began looking at the same case Mr. Shokin was looking at (mentioned above) and he believes Hunter Biden receives millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma. He produced a document from Latvia that showed several million dollars that were distributed out of Burisma’s account. The record showed two (2) companies and four (4) individuals receiving approximately sixteen million dollars in disbursements, as follows [the breakdown is shown].
Mr. Lutsenko feels that the total disbursements can be as high as $100,000,000. …
Ambassador Pyatt gave a speech on September 25, 2015 in Odessa against the Prosecutor Generals’ Office.
Yuriy Lutsenko Continued:
On January 26, 2019, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, the current Prosecutor General of Ukraine, was present at 445 Park ave., New York, NY. …[His second day of testimony contained only one specific mention which was not vague and which had not been indicated previously by Shokin: A “system was set up in order to remove money from the Ukraine, have it laundered, and then collect the laundered money. These companies were all headed by one Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Lutsenko stated that about twenty (20) to forty (40) of these companies were shell companies. He further stated that there were twenty-three (23) companies located off shore, and that two of them had approximately seven billion dollars that were placed in the Templeton Fund. The system ran similar to a ‘pyramid’ scheme and all of the beneficiaries were pro-Russian [which was undefined but presumably meant associated with the pre-coup Ukrainian Government].
For background and context in order to interpret those depositions, it might be helpful to see my recent “Ukraine, Trump, Biden — The Real Story Behind ‘Ukrainegate’”. Zlochevsky is actually the decoy, but the real person who has majority-ownership of Burisma, after Zlochevsky sold to him most of his shares in 2011, is the key Ukrainian billionaire who had backed Obama’s February 2014 coup, Ihor Kolomoysky. And Kolomoysky is now far more interested in recovering a few billions from his bankrupt PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest bank, than in trying to extract the relative pittance that might still be entailed in Burisma (which probably isn’t much, now that no established fracking company has found it to be worth developing). Apparently, Trump hasn’t yet decided whether to continue the Obama-installed regime in Ukraine or else to expose it and to go after both Obama and Kolomoysky, and to abandon the cover-story of Biden and Zlochevsky. If he does decide to go after the principals in the case, then he’ll have to expose whom were the actual principals, and whom were merely their agents. Thus far, in the American press, all of the attention has been only on actual agents, no principals. Given the way in which Trump’s State Department buried the release of that data-dump, Trump has not been particularly eager to get the real story out there. Nor, of course, are the Democratic Party billionaires whose “American Oversight” has likewise done nothing to facilitate the exposure of the actual historical narrative in this case.
Also of interest in the document are:
Dec. 7, 2015 Biden-Poroshenko meeting Kiev:
Dec. 9, 2015: Hunter Biden and business partner Devon Archer meet at State Department regarding Burisma Holdings prosecution. [But no online record is provided, no documentation here, of what was said.]
Feb. 11, 16, 19, 2016:
VP Biden holds series of phone calls with President Poroshenko to check on status of pending items from their December 2015 meeting. Removal of general prosecutor raised again. [But, again, no online record is provided. No evidence is provided of any mention of replacing the prosecutor.]
March 15, 2016: Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland demands Ukraine “appoint and confirm a new, clean Prosecutor General, who is committed to rebuilding the integrity of the PGO, and investigate, indict and successfully prosecute corruption and asset recovery cases — including locking up dirty personnel in the PGO itself.” She offers no proof that special prosecutor’s [General Prosecutor’s] office is corrupt. https://ua.usembassy.gov/ukrainian-reforms-two-years-maidan-revolution-russian-invasion
March 22, 2016: VP Joe Biden engages in a phone call from Washington DC with Ukrainian President Poroshenko about U.S. loan guarantees [there is actually no indication in the official readout regarding any “loan guarantees”]. It is believed in this call that Biden renews his demands that the president fire Prosecutor General Shokin, … but this time Biden warns Ukraine risk[s] losing the next $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees [and, yet again, Pompeo’s State Department falsifies, because the official readout says nothing of the sort]. https://ua.usembassy.gov/readout-vice-president-bidens-call-president-petro-poroshenko-ukraine-032216 [The only useful information that’s provided there is that seven days before Shokin was fired, Biden did phone Poroshenko, and that Pompeo’s State Department isn’t to be trusted in anything it asserts, because it misrepresents here what that readout says. Therefore, the “Dec. 9, 2015” entry also isn’t to be trusted, since no accompanying documentation is provided for its allegation.]
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.