A high-ranking member in the Verkohvna Rada of Ukraine is accusing the head of the country’s anti-corruption bureau of leaking information about associates of Donald Trump to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, according to the television station 112 UA.
MP Boryslav Rozenblat this week accused National Anti-Corruption Bureau chief Artem Sytnyk of leaking information about “black accounts” involving members of Trump’s campaign to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
Rozenblat in December won a lawsuit against Sytnyk and MP Serhiy Leshchenko over documents the two leaked to Clinton that allegedly revealed payments to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from the Party of Regions, the ruling political force in Ukraine that’s since disbanded.
The court found the leaks constituted “interference in the U.S. elections,” 112 UA reports.
On Thursday, Rozenblat held a press conference and distributed secretly recorded audio to the media he claims is evidence of Sytnyk discussing the reasons behind his attempts to help the Clinton campaign in 2016.
“Yesterday, I wanted to make a statement but I will do it today on your television cameras. I have precise information that the head of our National Anti-Corruption Bureau, Mr. Sytnyk really leaked information about double-entry bookkeeping in favor of a candidate from Democrats Hillary Clinton,” Rozenblat said.
“On December 11, I won a lawsuit of Leshchenko and Sytnyk, and the illegal actions on the spread of the secret information were recognized. Today I have precise information,” he continued. “I give you the flash drives with the records of the talk of Mr. Sytnyk, where he clearly states that he works for Hillary and does everything in the interest of the Ukrainian people but against American people. Because Trump is beneficial for the Americans and Hillary is beneficial for Ukraine. It is the state treason.”
In the recording, “a person with a voice which sounds a lot like Sytnyk’s says that Clinton was favorable for America and the world, and it would be better for Ukraine if she won.”
“I helped him as well. Not him, but Hillary … Internal issues are more important than external ones for Trump,” according to 112 UA’s translation of the recording. “Hillary is one of those politicians favorable for America and the world. It would be better for us, but what Trump does is better for Americans.”
Sytnyk allegedly explained that he attempted to help Clinton, it just didn’t work. The voice in the recording didn’t mention Manafort, but rather, Robert Porter, presumably the former chief of staff for Sen. Orrin Hatch who served as White House staff secretary during Trump’s first year in office. Porter resigned in February 2018 amid news reports on years-old domestic abuse allegations from his two ex-wives.
“When I investigated black accounts, we revealed information about Robert Porter who was imprisoned. He was the head of Trump’s campaign. Trump doesn’t care, his system works like a clock,” Sytnyk allegedly said in the recording. “A week before the elections, FBI resumed investigation against Hillary. That’s why Trump won, though not easy. I don’t understand why Trump struggles against FBI, when they helped him win.”
Manafort is expected to serve a combined 7 ½ years in prison stemming from convictions in two federal cases tied to an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, though neither case involves Manafort’s work for Trump.
“Manfort’s charges in Mueller’s cases largely related to consulting work he did for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine years before joining Trump’s presidential campaign,” according to CNBC.
Shortly after Manafort’s sentencing on the federal charges, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced charges in New York courts involving 16 counts of mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records for Manafort’s activities between 2015 and 2017, the news site reports.
President Trump can pardon Manafort for the federal convictions, but cannot issue pardons for state charges.