Guest post by Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D.
December 2015 was a pivotal month in many respects.
During the first week of December 2015, Donald Trump began to establish a substantial lead over his Republican primary opponents.
Vice President Joseph Biden traveled to Ukraine to announce, on December 7th, a $190 million program to “fight corruption in law enforcement and reform the justice sector,” but behind the scenes explicitly linked a $1 billion loan guarantee to the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who had been investigating the energy company Burisma, which employed Biden’s son Hunter.
On December 9, 2015, the reported whistleblower Eric Ciaramella held a meeting in Room 236 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, which was 59%-funded by Barack Obama’s State Department and the International Renaissance Foundation, a George Soros organization.
Also attending that meeting was Catherine Newcombe, attorney in the Criminal Division, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, with the U.S. Department of Justice, where, among other duties, she oversaw the Department’s legal assistance programs to Ukraine.
By December 2015, Paul Manafort was undoubtedly considering approaching the Trump campaign to rejuvenate his U.S. political bona fides and mitigate the legal and financial difficulties he was experiencing at the time.
From the beginning of his association with the Trump campaign, Roger Stone, a long-time Manafort partner, made a strong case to Trump to bring in Manafort, who would officially connect to the campaign immediately after the February 1, 2016 Iowa caucuses.
Based on events occurring during the same period, were Obama Deep State operatives aware of Manafort’s intent and already intending to use his past questionable practices and links to Russia against Trump?
Such awareness of Manafort’s plans could have been obtained either through FBI surveillance, which began in 2014 and ended in early 2016, or through information provided by Manafort associates, for example, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Manafort and was a FBI and Department of State asset, not a Russian agent as later painted by the Mueller investigation.
- To coerce the Ukrainians to drop the Burisma probe, which involved Vice President Joseph Biden’s son Hunter, and allow the FBI to take it over the investigation.
- To reopen a closed 2014 FBI investigation that focused heavily on GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort, whose firm long had been tied to Trump through his partner and Trump pal, Roger Stone.
That is, contain the investigation of Biden’s son and ramp up the investigation of Paul Manafort.
Again, according to White House logs, the attendees at the January 19, 2016 meeting in Room 230A of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building were:
Eric Ciaramella – National Security Council Director for Ukraine
Liz Zentos – National Security Council Director for Eastern Europe
David G. Sakvarelidze – Deputy General Prosecutor of Ukraine
Anna E. Iemelianova (Yemelianova) – Legal Specialist, US Embassy Kyiv and US Department of Justice’s Anti-Corruption Program.
Nazar A. Kholodnitsky, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor
Catherine L. Newcombe – attorney in the Criminal Division, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, with the U.S. Department of Justice
Svitlana V. Pardus – Operations, Department of Justice, U.S. Embassy, Ukraine.
Artem S. Sytnyk – Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine
Andriy G. Telizhenko, political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington DC
Jeffrey W. Cole – Resident Legal Advisor at U.S. Embassy Ukraine, presumed to be FBI
Just two weeks after that meeting, on February 2, 2016, according to White House logs, Eric Ciaramella chaired a meeting in Room 374 of the Eisenhower Executive Office, which seems to be a planning session to re-open an investigation of Paul Manafort (Note: one of the crimes of which Manafort was accused was money laundering, an area covered by the Department of the Treasury). The attendees were:
Jose Borrayo – Acting Section Chief, Office of Special Measures, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
Julia Friedlander – Senior Policy Advisor for Europe, Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Michael Lieberman – Deputy Assistant Secretary, Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury
Scott Rembrandt – Anti-Money Laundering Task Force, Assistant Director/Director, Office of Strategic Policy, Department of the Treasury
Justin Rowland – Special Agent (financial crimes), Federal Bureau of Investigation
It appears that Paul Manafort became a vehicle by which the Obama Deep State operatives could link Trump to nefarious activities involving Russians, which eventually evolved into the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. Remember, the key claim of the follow-up Steele dossier, the centerpiece of the Mueller investigation, was that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was the focal point of a “well-developed conspiracy between them [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership.”
Nellie Ohr, Fusion GPS employee and wife of Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, not only worked with Christopher Steele on the so-called Trump dossier, but, in May 2016, was the conduit of information to her husband and two Department of Justice prosecutors of the existence of the “black ledger” documents that contributed to Manafort’s prosecution.
Bruce Ohr and Steele attempted to get dirt on Manafort from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, efforts that eventually led to a September 2016 meeting in which the FBI asked Deripaska if he could provide information to prove that Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia.
Given his close association with the pro-Russia Ukrainian government, it would be safe to assume that one motivation to pursue Paul Manafort so vigorously also stems from the humiliation and anger the Obama Administration experienced due to the failure of its Russia “reset” policy and its impotence in the face of Russia’s seizure of the Crimea.
The surveillance and entrapment attempts of Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and others were designed to collect evidence about Trump without formally documenting that Trump was the target.
After the election, to cover their tracks, James Comey, representing the FBI and the Department of Justice, misleadingly told Trump that the investigation was about Russia and a few stray people in his campaign, but they assured him he personally was not under investigation.
Donald Trump always was, and still is, the target of the Deep State, the left-wing media and their Democrat Party collaborators.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control and cyber security subject matter expert and a veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa. He receives email at [email protected]