Ukraine, seeking us missiles, halted cooperation with mueller investigation canada live news o gosh


U.S. President Donald Trumps habitual dishonesty is a trait well understood by the entire mainstream news media, and even many members of the conservative media. But it is not fully understood. Trump manages to lie in ways that hardened cynics never anticipated. The last few hours alone have brought news of fresh new forms of Trumpian dishonesty that have managed to shock even the people who were looking for it.

The decision to halt the investigations by an anticorruption prosecutor was handed down at a delicate moment for Ukraine, as the Trump administration was finalizing plans to sell the country sophisticated anti-tank missiles, called Javelins. It isnt a bad strategy, says Jennifer Duffy at the Cook Political Report. “The end goal is to taint somebody as not conservative enough, and there are limited ways to do that.” Other “unpopular” Democrats include former President Barack Obama, featured in 18,971 GOP ads this year, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who appears in 9,721 Republican ads. Luckily for Republicans, Pelosi said Tuesday she will run for House speaker if Democrats win the House this fall. (“Its important that it not be five white guys at the table, no offense,” Pelosi told The Boston Globe.)

The State Department issued an export license for the missiles on Dec. 22, and on March 2 the Pentagon announced final approval for the sale of 210 Javelins and 35 launching units. The order to halt investigations into Mr. Manafort came in early April.

Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that only John Dowd, Trumps former lead attorney, had security clearance that would allow him to sit in on any discussions regarding possible collusion and obstruction of justice. The special counsels probe, which is investigating whether the Trump campaign played a role in Russian interference in the 2016 election, involves classified information, and none of Trumps current lawyers have been cleared to discuss it.

The new government established a special prosecutor to pursue corruption in the former administration. By late last year, the prosecutor, Serhiy Horbatyuk, had opened about 3,000 cases, including four related to Mr. Manaforts consulting for the former president and his political party.

The order issued in April isolated these four investigations. The cases were not closed, the prosecutor generals office said in a statement, but the order blocked Mr. Horbatyuk from issuing subpoenas for evidence or interviewing witnesses. Moon is enthusiastically liked in South Korea, where he has an 86 percent approval rating. Respondents to the Korea Research Center poll found a number of moments in the summit between the leaders impressive, including the pledge to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Thirty percent of respondents said Moons decision to cross the border was the most impressive part. Nearly 90 percent of South Koreans said the summit was a productive step forward.

One inquiry dealt with possible money laundering in a single $750,000 payment to Mr. Manafort from a Ukrainian shell company. The payment formed one part of the multimillion dollar transfers to Mr. Manafort from politicians in Ukraine that underpin indictments filed by Mr. Mueller in federal court in Washington and Virginia. Before the case was frozen, prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Ukrainian banks.

Another concerned a former chairman of the Ukrainian Parliaments foreign relations committee, Vitaly Kalyuzhny, who had signed nine of 22 entries designated for Mr. Manafort in a secret ledger of political payoffs uncovered after the 2014 revolution. The ledger showed payouts totaling $12.5 million for Mr. Manafort.

The handwritten accounting document, called in Ukraine the Black Ledger, is an evidential linchpin for investigating corruption in the former government. Mr. Manafort denied receiving under-the-table payments from the party and his spokesman said the ledger might be a forgery.

The other two cases looked at Skadden Arps, which wrote a report with Mr. Manaforts participation that was widely seen as whitewashing the politically motivated arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Yanukovychs principal rival, Yulia V. Tymoshenko.

Two months before Ukraines government froze the cases, Mr. Horbatyuk reached out to Mr. Muellers office with a formal offer to cooperate by sharing evidence and leads. Mr. Horbatyuk said that he sent a letter in January and did not receive a reply, but that the offer was now moot, since he has lost the authority to investigate.

Ukrainian officials are apparently aware of Trumps dismay over the ongoing investigation into his campaigns alleged collusion with Russian election interference, lawmakers told The Times, which seems to have motivated the decision to halt investigations into Manaforts activities.

The special counsels office has identified the man, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, Mr. Manaforts former office manager in Kiev, as tied to a Russian intelligence agency. Mr. Kilimnik was also under investigation in Ukraine over espionage, but no charges were filed before he left the country, sometime after June. During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Kilimnik met twice with Mr. Manafort. In December, a court filing in the United States said Mr. Kilimnik was currently based in Russia.

But in the United States, Mr. Muellers office appears still keenly interested in Mr. Manaforts ties to Russia. Among the questions Mr. Mueller would like to ask Mr. Trump, according to a list provided to the presidents lawyers, was: What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign? The Ukrainian governments decision to halt the investigations into Manafort reportedly came in April, roughly a month after the Pentagon gave the final approval for the sale of 210 Javelins and 35 launching units to Ukraine. Ukraine received the missiles on April 30.

In Kiev, the missile sale was seen as a political victory for Mr. Poroshenko, indicating American backing for his government in the war in eastern Ukraine against Russia-backed separatists and against the threat of a wider Russian intervention in the country. After Ukraine announced on April 30 that it had received the missiles, Mr. Poroshenko posted on Facebook that the long-awaited weapon arrived in the Ukrainian Army. Meanwhile, the US government has been one of Ukraines staunchest allies in the fight against pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government apparently doesnt want to do anything to jeopardize this.

Apart from the missiles, the Ukrainian government is propped up with about $600 million in bilateral aid from the United States annually. Mr. Poroshenkos office did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. Ukraines chief prosecutor has seemingly frozen four investigations into Paul Manafort, President Donald Trumps former campaign chairman, in an effort to avoid “irritating” American officials.

David Sakvarelidze, a former deputy prosecutor general who is now in the political opposition, said he did not believe that the general prosecutor had coordinated with anybody in the United States on the decision to suspend the investigations in Ukraine, or that there had been a quid pro quo for the missile sale.

Ukrainian politicians, he said, concluded on their own that any help prosecuting Mr. Manafort could bring down Mr. Trumps wrath. Manafort is currently facing prosecution in the US over charges of money laundering and financial fraud linked to his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Last summer, another member of Parliament, Andrey L. Derkach, initiated an investigation into leaks to the news media about Mr. Manaforts dealings from Ukrainian law enforcement, saying they put at risk vital American aid to Ukraine. He has openly opposed any Ukrainian role in aiding the special counsels investigation.