Washington told Ukraine to end probe into George Soros-funded group during 2016 US election – report
An NGO co-funded by George Soros was spared prosecution in 2016 after the US urged Ukraine to drop a corruption probe targeting the group, the Hill reported, pointing to potential shenanigans during the US presidential election.
Bankrolled by the Obama administration and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC) was under investigation as part of a larger probe by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office into the misallocation of $4.4 million in US funds to fight corruption in the eastern European country.
As the 2016 presidential race heated up back in the United States, the US Embassy in Kiev gave Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko “a list of people whom we should not prosecute” as part of the probe, the Hill reported. Ultimately, no action was taken against AntAC.Also on rt.com Top Ukrainian prosecutor attacks US ambassador, hints he may help Trump manage Russiagate
Lutsenko told the paper that he believes the embassy wanted the probe nixed because it could have exposed the Democrats to a potential scandal during the 2016 election.
A State Department official who spoke with the Hill said that while the request to nix the probe was unusual, Washington feared that AntAC was being targeted as retribution for the group’s advocacy for anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine.
AntAC wasn’t just the benefactor of well-connected patrons – at the time it was also collaborating with FBI agents to uncover then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine. Manafort later became a high-profile target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian collusion, and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for tax fraud and other financial crimes.
Lutsenko divulged in an interview with the Hill last week that he has opened an investigation into whether Ukrainian officials leaked financial records during the 2016 US presidential campaign in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.Also on rt.com Ukraine should reimburse Crimea for 25 years of ‘unfair treatment’ – Russian Duma speaker
While AntAC may have failed to help the FBI find the Russia collusion smoking gun, the group’s activities constitute yet another link between the anti-climactic Russiagate probe and Soros, a Democrat mega-donor who bet big on Hillary Clinton taking the White House in 2016.
In 2017, the billionaire philanthropist siphoned money into a new group, the Democracy Integrity Project, which later partnered with Fusion GPS to create the now-infamous Steele dossier.
Spokespersons for AntAC and the Soros umbrella group Open Society Foundations declined to comment on the Hill’s scoop.
Ironically, the prosecutor general who had preceded Lutsenko, Viktor Shokin, resigned under pressure from Washington – which accused Shokin of corruption.
Virtuous US officials continue to make similar demands of Ukraine’s justice system. Earlier this month, Washington urged the Ukrainian government to fire its special anti-corruption prosecutor, again over accusations of administrative abuse.
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