Turns out that one of the Democrats’ star witnesses in their sham impeachment of President Trump – former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch – seemed to have been shading the truth. Are you at all surprised?
We just received 210 pages of records from the State Department showing that Yovanovitchhad specifically warned in 2017 about corruption allegations against Burisma Holdings. However, during her November 2019 testimony in the impeachment proceedings, Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she knew little about Burisma.
We obtained the records in response to our FOIA lawsuit filed in January 2020 seeking records of communications from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv mentioning Burisma (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:20-cv-00229)).
On October 4, 2017, Michael Polt, a former ambassador to Estonia and Serbia and who until October 2020 was Senior Director at the McCain Institute, emailed Yovanovitch regarding the McCain Institute’s plan to conduct leadership development training for Ukrainian prosecutors that would be funded by Burisma. The idea was suggested to Polt by Sally Painter, Burisma’s lobbyist at Blue Star Strategies, and a Burisma executive. In the email, Polt notes that he was introduced to Painter by U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker. Volker was also a Trump impeachment witness.
Polt emails Yovanovitch on October 4, 2017:
Dear Masha: Greetings from the home front and all the best for your complex assignment in Kiev! I wonder if I could pick your brain on a leadership development we have been asked to run for Ukrainian public prosecutors here at the McCain Institute. Kurt cannot get involved with this, due to his other role as Special Envoy. Sally Painter of Blue Star Strategies, whom Kurt introduced to me and then stepped aside, together with Vadym Poharskyi of the Burisma Group have asked us whether we could provide a two-week Leadership Development and Professional Capacity Building program for Ukrainian public prosecutors proposed to us by the Ukrainian Chief Prosecutor. Burisma would fun this. We are prepared to do this, as we have done for similar groups from the DRC [Democratic Republic of the Congo] and from Pakistan. I would greatly appreciate your view if you know Burisma and/or Vadym or others.
Yovanovitch, in her response, warned Polt about Burisma, writing:
Mike: Sorry not to have responded more quickly. I will get back to you with a fuller response, but I would urge caution in dealing with the Burisma Group. It is widely believed that the owner was the beneficiary of the corrupt justice system here and I think –to the extent that anyone is aware that Burisma is funding the training –there would be raised eyebrows in Kyiv over the irony of Burisma training prosecutors and to what end.
I’d also note that the PGO [Prosecutor General’s Office] is one of the entities here that remains resolutely unreformed. After a year and a half of trying, we pulled out and reprogrammed our resources into other areas in the justice sector that were ready for change. Wish I had better news and will get back to you with more details.
In a November 7, 2017, email to Yovanovitch, Polt indicates that he is taking her “sage advice” and “not moving forward” with Burisma’s funding of the training.
During her November 15, 2019, testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment proceedings, Yovanovitch said she didn’t have much knowledge about Burisma, and noted that she only learned of its connection to the Biden family through “press reports” she read while preparing for her Senate confirmation hearing.
The new production of records from the State Department also includes several emails regarding the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv’s response to John Solomon’s reporting for The Hill. The emails are almost entirely redacted, as are the names of the officials involved. In one email regarding this effort, an unidentified official cites a report by the George Soros-funded Anti-Corruption Action Center defending itself against the reporting as a “useful reference point.”
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv closely monitored media and social media reaction to many conservatives and journalists in potential violation of federal law.
Marie Yovanovitch knew much more about Burisma than what she revealed in her testimony at the sham impeachment hearings. We will continue our efforts to unearth the shady details in the Burisma-Biden scandal that is not going to go away.
We have been busy uncovering other details of this scandal.
In October we received records from the State Department that included a briefing checklist of a February 22, 2019, meeting in Kyiv between Yovanovitch and Painter. The briefing checklist noted that Painter also planned to meet with Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) Officer Martin Claessens “regarding the Burisma Group energy company.”
At the time of the meeting, Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, was serving on the board of directors for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy firm, despite having no previous experience in the energy industry. Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019.
In September 2020 we made public records that show George Kent, the Obama administration’s deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of Ukraine policy, which was copied to Yovanovitch, highlighting Russia-linked media “trolling” Joe Biden over “his son’s business.”
In a related case we uncovered records showing the U.S. embassy in Ukraine monitoring, in potential violation of law, Donald Trump, Jr., Rudy Giuliani and major journalists on Twitter on their commentary on Ukraine, “Biden-Burisma 2020,” and George Soros. The search terms flagged to be monitored by State Department officials on social media included Yovanovitch, Ukraine Ambassador, Ukrainian Ambassador, Ukraine Soros, Clinton campaign, and Biden-Burisma.
With Hunter Biden’s admission this week that the FBI is investigating him, the Burisma scandal is a fetid mess. And no matter what corrupted FBI and compromised DOJ do, you can trust Judicial Watch to keep on battling in court for the truth about Biden family corruption.
Ex-Con Hired by D.C. as ‘Violence Interrupter’ Charged with Murder
Your capital city, Washington D.C., is revealing the danger of the Left’s soft on crime agenda. It’s a city clamoring to defund the police while hiring – and even celebrating – a man arrested for murder. You will be appalled as you read our Corruption Chronicles report:
In a curious twist, a “reformed” criminal hired by the District of Columbia’s chief legal officer to help curb violence has been arrested and charged with murder. The case involves a taxpayer-funded public safety program known as Cure the Streets launched by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine to reduce gun violence by treating it as a disease that can be interrupted and stopped from spreading.
Cure the Streets typically hires men and women with criminal histories as violence interrupters because they know first-hand about the challenges that residents of crime-infested communities live with. Racine, who was reelected to a second term in 2018, says the transformed criminals hired by his program perform community-driven public safety work that can avoid using police.
Here is how they carry out the task, according to Racine’s office: By interrupting potentially violent conflicts because they have relationships and influence within targeted neighborhoods. Violence interrupters “engage with the community to learn about brewing conflicts and resolve them peaceably before they erupt in violence,” the program’s website states. Violence interrupters also identify and treat individuals at high risk for involvement with violence by meeting with them and implementing individualized risk reduction plans. “They also help connect participants with needed services, such as housing, counseling and employment assistance, and develop action plans for a positive future.” Finally, the D.C. Attorney General claims violence interrupters mobilize communities to change norms by engaging residents, local businesses, community leaders and faith leaders to work with high-risk individuals to reduce violence. “CTS works with these partners to organize forums and public events where residents can gather and interact safely without fear of conflict and violence,” the D.C. government website claims. It is not clear what impact Cure the Streets is having on violent crime in the District, but the Metropolitan Police Department reports that homicides are up 20% from last year.
The program operates in notoriously high-crime sections throughout D.C., which are broken down by wards. They include Eckington/Truxton and Trinidad in Ward 5, Marshall Heights/Benning Heights in Ward 7 and Bellevue, Washington Highlands, and Congress Heights in Ward 8. The Cure the Streets employee recently charged with murder was a supervisor who led a team of six violence interrupters and outreach workers. His name is Cotey Wynn, an ex-con with an extensive rap sheet who served a decade in prison before D.C.’s chief legal officer hired him. Wynn’s record includes felony murder, first degree murder, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and distribution of a controlled substance, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. On December 4, the agency’s Capital Area Fugitive Task Force arrested the 39-year-old Wynn and charged him with second degree murder while armed. At the time of his arrest Wynn was under the supervision of the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia, a federal agency that believes preventative detention should only be a last resort for defendants, who should live in the least restrictive conditions while awaiting court.
Police say Wynn fatally shot a 53-year-old man named Eric Linnair Wright in 2017 near the Trinidad neighborhood in Northeast Washington. The violence interrupter was identified by multiple witnesses after viewing security camera footage from nearby homes, according to police. Authorities also tracked Wynn’s cell phone to the location of the crime. In a statement issued to local media, Racine’s spokesperson said this: “The Office of the Attorney General is aware of Mr. Wynn’s arrest for a homicide he is alleged to have committed in 2017, prior to his employment with Cure the Streets. This case will now proceed through our criminal justice system where Mr. Wynn is presumed innocent. We are confident that justice will be served once this process is complete. Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Wright, the victim in this case, and to the affected members of the community. The important work of the Cure the Streets team will continue.”
It was not that long ago that the same office, charged with enforcing D.C. laws and protecting the interest of its citizens, bragged about what a great guy Wynn is. In a profile posted on the Attorney General’s website over the summer, Wynn was portrayed as somewhat of a saint. “When observing Cotey at work, you see a respected professional, a loving father, a devoted friend, and a pillar of the community,” according to the piece which includes a photo of the accused murderer delivering resources to D.C. residents during COIVD-19. The story also reveals that Wynn could not find a job after a decade in prison since “the damage to his reputation made it hard for him to find employment” so D.C. government hired him as a violence interrupter for Cure the Streets.
Stay safe out there.