The Daily Caller ran a story today on Monica Crowley’s new gig. She’s registered under the Foreign Agent Registration Act as a lobbyist for Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk.
In 2015, Pinchuk paid Trump’s foundation 150K for a speech by Trump. Other than that and Ukraine being next to Russia and Trump being tied to Russia via some campaign staff members, this is unremarkable. If you want to see where Pinchuk stands on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, read this. You’ll be astonished that he’s pretty much a mouthpiece for Berlin and Brussels. He believes the annexation of Crimea is illegal. He doesn’t think Ukraine is experiencing a civil war but rather a foreign invasion. According to Forbes, he’s pretty unusual in that he’s a genuine philanthropist and not mobbed up.
Right now this story seems to be being used strictly as a cudgel to bash Trump.
I don’t really care about who Monica Crowley works for. Being a lobbyist for a foreign entity is not illegal. What is unfair is the criticism. Who is Crowley’s boss? Doug Schoen. Doug Schoen is a part of the Clinton empire. He’s worked for Hillary on her first presidential campaign. Pinchuk has been a client of Schoen since 2011. Schoen has written a book attacking Putin. As for Pinchuk, he has deep ties to the Clintons. This is from the New York Times in August 2016:
One of the attendees at these conferences speaks to the stickiness of some donor relationships.
Victor Pinchuk, a steel magnate whose father-in-law, Leonid Kuchma, was president of Ukraine from 1994 to 2005, has directed between $10 million and $25 million to the foundation. He has lent his private plane to the Clintons and traveled to Los Angeles in 2011 to attend Mr. Clinton’s star-studded 65th birthday celebration.
Between September 2011 and November 2012, Douglas E. Schoen, a former political consultant for Mr. Clinton, arranged about a dozen meetings with State Department officials on behalf of or with Mr. Pinchuk to discuss the continuing political crisis in Ukraine, according to reports Mr. Schoen filed as a registered lobbyist.
A previously undisclosed email obtained by Citizens United, the conservative advocacy group, through public records lawsuits shows the name of Mr. Pinchuk, described as one of Ukraine’s “most successful businessmen,” among those on an eight-page list of influential people invited to a dinner party at the Clintons’ home.
Earlier in 2012, Ambassador John F. Tefft wrote to Mrs. Clinton about a visit to Ukraine by Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, “at the invitation of oligarch, Victor Pinchuk.” Mrs. Clinton replied, “As you know, hearing nice things about your children is as good as it gets.”
There is no deeper anti-Trump story here. It is a story as old as Washington. Crowley knows influential people inside the administration. Schoen has a deep pockets client he doesn’t want to lose. He needs someone who can get their phone calls returned. Crowley needs a job. It isn’t magic conjured out of Vladimir Putin’s butt.
If you’re going to criticize Crowley for something, criticize her going to work for a Clinton affiliated firm and repping a long time friend of the Clintons. Don’t criticize her because she has a job.