In an interview last fall, Ukrainian Trump fixer Andrii Derkach gave an interview in which he told the truth about what’s happened to the politics of his country and the U.S.: “Since 2016, Ukraine has been at the center of domestic politics and the political confrontation of its strategic partner, the United States” and the result has been a “series of international scandals and corruption, in which some representatives of law enforcement and diplomatic bodies of the two countries are mired.”
All signs are flashing red that next week will see more of Ukraine at “the center of domestic politics and political confrontation” of the United States. Next week may well be “Ukraine week” in the US Presidential election. Trump’s friends and enablers everywhere are taking the final steps to counter any final Ukraine revelations in the 2020 election. Forces hostile to anticorruption in Ukraine are also using this period to sweep out the last vestiges of the system erected in Fall 2014 to fight corruption in the country.
The first sign that Ukraine week is about to unfold is that Trump’s friends are being protected from prosecution.
Yesterday, the new powers-that-be in the Southern District of New York took a cue from Attorney General William Barr and rewrote the history of the campaign to smear Joe Biden by filing a superceding indictment of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The prosecution took out all references to Rudy Giuliani and the campaign he helped orchestrate to remove Ambassador Yovanovitch; the prosecutors claim a flimsy reason: “streamlining” the facts. Also gone from the indictment is Congressman-1, Pete Sessions, tossed by voters from his suburban Dallas seat, now running for the safer TX-17 seat in Waco. Rudy is off the hook.
Bigger still are the huge changes that occurred yesterday in Ukraine. The Constitutional Court gutted the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine, known as NABU, the only governmental force that emerged from the 2014 Package of Reforms passed by the Ukrainian Parliament that’s consistently fought corruption in recent years. Late last month, the same court declared the appointment of NABU’s Director, Artem Sytnyk invalid. These changes mean that the forces behind corruption in Ukraine are moving to eliminate their opponents in the last days of Trump’s term, perhaps expecting a Biden win. It is time for the chips to be cashed in. Don’t be surprised by a sudden peace before the end of the year between Ukraine and Russia which recognizes Crimea as Russian. If it happens, Trump will try and drop sanctions as what might be a final payoff to Putin and his associates.
Two other developments guarantee that Ukraine Week is coming in the US presidential campaign. First, the aforementioned Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian Lawmaker the Treasury Department branded a “Russian Agent” a week ago. Look for indicted Ukrainian Lawmaker Oleksandr Onyshchenko to be featured on tapes that will purport to show Joe Biden involved in corruption. The Onyshchenko Tapes have been a feature of a Russian disinformation campaign since 2016.
Close observers should keep their eyes peeled, however, for another “Onyshchenko Tape” that will debut in America next week. Reports are the pro-Russian fugitive Onyshchenko will not like it.
Finally, the two biggest pieces of “Ukraine Week” are likely to drop right here in the US. The first is a report to be issued by Senator Ron Johnson’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which Johnson promised supporters last Monday. This will be full of accusations from Onyshchenko and Derkach.
The final piece we are likely to see from the Trump camp is something out of the Durham investigation, Barr’s wished-for probe to discredit the Mueller Investigation. Last week, Senator Lindsey Graham told supporters to wait 10 or 12 days for something from the Durham probe.
The Black Ledger: How Trump Brought Putin’s Disinformation War to America will be out next week, just in time to give you the whole story behind the last five years of disinformation spread by Putin, Trump-friendly Ukrainians, and the president himself, who faces a reckoning with voters November 3.
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