Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Yo Quiero Chalupas

senate.grassley.gov |  Two Senate chairmen want to know whether the Justice Department has acquired information from Ukrainian prosecutors that may contradict the stated reasoning behind former Vice President Joe Biden’s threat to withhold U.S. assistance from Ukraine. They are also renewing an inquiry into the department’s response to reported efforts by Ukrainians, in coordination with Democratic Party associates, to acquire damaging information on Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) are seeking additional information about the department’s review of the Russia investigation’s origins, including the DNC’s reported work with Ukraine to undermine candidate Trump.   
“Ukrainian efforts, abetted by a U.S. political party, to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored. Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempt to undermine our democratic processes,” the Senators wrote in the letter. 
The letter follows a July, 2017, inquiry from Grassley to the department referencing reports that a DNC consultant coordinated with the Ukrainian government to acquire opposition research on Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. According to a Politico investigation, “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump” and “helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers…” Though media reports indicate that U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating whether Ukraine played a role in the counterintelligence probe during the 2016 election, the Justice Department has yet to confirm whether it has begun an investigation into coordination between the Ukrainian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the Democratic National Committee.
Separately, a report yesterday revealed new documents that call into question the stated reasons behind a 2016 ultimatum by then Vice-President Biden to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor who had investigated a company for which Biden’s son was a board member. According to the report, Ukrainian officials have tried to forward documents related to the matter to the department, to no avail. Grassley and Johnson are requesting details on any actions the department is taking to review the material referenced in the report.
Full text of the Grassley-Johnson letter to Barr follows: