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We knew there was a good reason we spent two hours this week learning about the Ukrainian oligarchs Paul Manafort really was sending secret polling data to during the Trump campaign, using as an intermediary his RUSSIAN SPY friend Konstantin Kilimnik. The New York Times first reported erroneously that Manafort had asked Kilimnik to give that shit to Oleg Deripaska, AKA "Putin's favorite oligarch," whom Manafort used to work for, to whom he owed many moneys, and to whom he had offered secret briefings on the Trump campaign. (We still don't know what all that is about, but we are going to guess it's about NO COLLUSION.)

The Times reported late Thursday -- hope they got this one right -- that Robert Mueller is investigating a metric fuckton of Ukrainian oligarchs who showed up at Trump's inauguration, trying to figure out what the hell they were up to. While the Times says they ran the gamut of special interests, lots of them were Ukrainians of the pro-Russia variety, and they were offering "peace plans" for Ukraine, which in this context usually means plans for Ukraine to just let Russia have the Crimean peninsula, and to lift the sanctions on Russia imposed in punishment for its illegal seizure of the peninsula. (Know what a good peace plan for Ukraine is? For Russia to GET THE FUCK OUT OF UKRAINE.)

Funny how it always comes back to IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SANCTIONS, STUPID.


One of the Ukrainian oligarchs listed in the article is a guy we met in that piece about Paul Manafort, Serhiy Lyovochkin, an old associate of Manafort's from his wild days ratfucking for pro-Russian parties in Ukraine. Former Manafort associate and lobbyist Sam Patten pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) with his own work in Ukraine and using a straw purchaser to illegally funnel a $50K donation to the Trump inaugural so that Lyovochkin could attend with Manafort's RUSSIAN SPY friend Kilimnik.

But Lyovochkin wasn't the only one! There was also Andrii Artemenko, the member of the Ukrainian parliament who gussied up a "peace plan" for Ukraine with Michael Cohen's Russian-American buddy/Trump's former business associate Felix Sater, giving Russia everything it ever wanted for Christmas, including lifting sanctions. That's the plan Sater handed to Michael Cohen to hand to Michael Flynn during the 6.4 seconds when Flynn was national security advisor.

And there's this guy:

Serhiy Kivalov, a Ukrainian lawmaker known for pro-Russian initiatives, took photos of [Trump and Melon dancing like a normal couple at the inaugural], as well as of his coveted tickets and passes to the soiree where it took place, the Liberty Ball at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, posting them on Facebook and declaring that "it was an honor" to attend.

Awwwww, it's nice to get to go to parties.

The Times reports that it wasn't just about pounding Boone's Farm and getting to third base for these party animals. They were also meeting up with Republican members of Congress and other Trump people at the Trump hotel.

As recently as last month, prosecutors were asking witnesses about illegal foreign lobbying related to Ukraine. Another subject of questions has been whether foreigners from Ukraine and other countries used straw donors to disguise donations to the inaugural committee. Federal law prohibits foreigners from contributing to an inaugural committee, although they can attend events if Americans buy the tickets.

Other Ukrainian figures listed in the article, which we assume means they are under Mueller's scrutiny, include:

  • Pavel Fuks, LOL his last name is "Fuks." The Times says this Ukrainian-Russian dude worked with Trump in the past to build a trash palace in Moscow, but he's on Moscow's naughty list now.
  • Vitaliy Khomutynnik, who was a member of the now defunct Party of Regions, one of the pro-Russia political parties Paul Manafort did dirty work for. He and Fuks (LOL) got their picture made with Kevin McCarthy, the new House minority leader, during the inauguration!
  • Borislav Bereza, a really intriguing character who is Jewish, super right-wing, but doesn't seem to be all in for Russia at all. The Times reports he got his inaug tickets from a person "connected with Illinois" but really he can't recall. Maybe it was a Groupon.

So many Ukrainians in Washington, jockeying for influence with the new, easily bought administration. What else they did at the inauguration is anybody's guess, and by "anybody's guess," we mean Robert Mueller has the receipts.

So, are any or all these folks connected to the Russian quid pro quo with the Trump campaign to steal the election for Trump in exchange for getting rid of those blasted sanctions? We don't know, but pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs and Russian oligarchs do tend to go to the same Starbuckses, so maybe. It took us approximately one second of Googling to find a picture of the Kivalov character with Vladimir Putin, but we have no idea if that's significant.

But at the same time, all their interests seem to align quite nicely. For instance, as the Times points out, a bunch of sanctioned Russian oligarchs who want to do business in the West would be super happy if one of those "peace plans" got adopted and suddenly their sanctions went POOF BYE BYE! Maybe Trump could have gotten one of his failed Moscow Trump Tower projects off the ground, like the one he was working on during the campaign while lying and saying he had nothing to do with the Russians, if the Russian banks that might have financed the trash palace weren't sanctioned. Maybe Michael Flynn could have really ca$hed in on his grifty plan to "recolonize" the Middle East and steal its resources and divvy up the spoils between despots and oligarchs! Folks close to Flynn sure were excited about such a plan at last coming to fruition, and we know that because they were texting about it during the inauguration, according to a whistleblower.

Remember also that this is happening against a backdrop of the feds investigating the Trump inauguration itself, looking at everything from illegal foreign donations to contractors bribing the new administration for influence and probably lots of other stuff too. You know, typical DRAIN THE SWAMP stuff.

Turns out that swamp just happens to be full of Ukrainians with "peace plans" that all look like big wet blowjobs for Russia. Who knew!

[New York Times]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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CLEAR YOUR CALENDARS FOR FEBRUARY 7! And then fill them back up with whatever the fuck you want, because Michael Cohen has announced through his lawyers that he is too scared to testify before an open session of Congress that day, citing threats to his family from Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

Wonkette has no reason to believe Cohen isn't being serious here, and NBC News reports Cohen's wife and father-in-law are particularly concerned about their safety if the man who used to call his boss MIS-TURRRR TWUMP goes to Congress and tells the truth this time. Still, we must pause to note that this is the same guy who said this to NPR reporter Tim Mak, back when Mak was at The Daily Beast:

"I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we're in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don't have," Cohen told Mak [...] "And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know."

"So I'm warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?"

It's not so fun when the shoe is on the other foot, IS IT, MICHAEL?

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Did Nancy Pelosi do something to give Donald Trump the mistaken impression he has leverage here? We don't remember her doing anything like that!

Trump sent Pelosi a letter this morning to say that, despite how she told him to stay the fuck out of her House because of his government shutdown, he would still be coming to the House on January 29 to deliver his State of the Union address. And for some weird-ass reason, Trump and his advisers in the White House actually thought she would back down. It's both hilarious and alarming that Trump and his people are that stupid, isn't it?

Anyway, Pelosi took the dare. She took the dare. Was there anybody besides those dumb fucking idiots in the White House who thought she wouldn't take the dare?

Pelosi sent a letter right back to Trump to kindly explain to him that no means "go fuck yourself," and that if he'd like her to stick her foot further up his ass and kick it around a bunch, he's welcome to test her some more:

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