Billionaire Victor Pinchuk, founder and member of the board of the Yalta European Strategy (L) and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton give a speech at the YES conference in 2013.
According to news reports, special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a $150,000 donation made to the Donald J. Trump foundation after Trump gave a short video presentation:
The special counsel is investigating a payment made to President Trump’s foundation by a Ukrainian steel magnate for a talk during the campaign, according to three people briefed on the matter, as part of a broader examination of streams of foreign money to Mr. Trump and his associates in the years leading up to the election.
Investigators subpoenaed the Trump Organization this year for an array of records about business with foreign nationals. In response, the company handed over documents about a $150,000 donation that the Ukrainian billionaire, Victor Pinchuk, made in September 2015 to the Donald J. Trump Foundation in exchange for a 20-minute appearance by Mr. Trump that month through a video link to a conference in Kiev.
This is simply wrong. There is easy proof that this has nothing to do with “streams of foreign money…in the years leading up to the election.” Rather, this is a combination of trial by press release and a fishing expedition. What is the proof?
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.
That would be Pinchuk introducing a speech by Hillary Clinton in the image at the top of the page.
So, have your foundation accept $25 million from Viktor Pinchuk and fly around in his private jet? Totally cool. Let your foundation accept $150,000 for a 20-minute video-feed of a speech? Get a special counsel investigation. And yes, I plead guilty to that cardinal NeverTrump sin of “whataboutism,” which, as best I can tell, is insisting that the same standard apply to Democrats as to Republicans–funny how this was never an issue before January 20, 2017, isn’t it?
For me, this, along with the raid on the home and office of President Trump’s personal lawyer, indicates that Mueller is not interested in “Russian collusion” in any way, shape, or form but he is on a jihad to cause the impeachment of President Trump.