Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked for records of White House meetings in 2016 between Obama administration officials, Ukrainian government representatives, and Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials.
Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asked Archivist David Ferraro to produce records so as to “better understand the nature of these meetings, including who attended and what was discussed,” in a letter sent on Thursday (pdf).
“According to recent reports, in January 2016 Ukrainian governmental officials and corruption investigators met with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State and Department of Justice (DOJ). Obama Administration officials also met with Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the DNC, who reportedly worked with Ukrainian officials to undermine the Trump campaign,” Grassley said in a news release.
Their letter, citing those reports, elaborated that in 2016, “some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators [met] face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).”
Some of the meetings reportedly included Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the DNC. They said Chalupa, who is Ukrainian-American, has been accused of working with Ukrainian officials to undermine Trump’s 2016 campaign.
During the January 2016 meeting, the senators said that officials also brought up investigations into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas firm that had hired Hunter Biden, who served as a board member.
The letter places focus on Andrii Telizhenko, a former official at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington who has claimed to have witnessed alleged attempts between the DNC and the Ukrainian government.
“U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kyiv drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over,” he was quoted by the two senators as saying in their letter.
The senators are now requesting records about the five White House meetings listed in the letter and all records related to meetings between and among White House officials, Andrii Telizhenko, Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Oksana Shulyar, and Valeriy Chaly.
“Please provide these documents as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 5, 2019,” the senators requested in the letter.
Hunter and Joe Biden are one of the key figures mentioned in the House Democrat-led impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Democrats have alleged that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the Bidens in exchange for military aid. Several witnesses testified that they presumed that the Trump administration was engaged in a quid pro quo agreement with Ukraine, which the White House, Ukrainian officials, and Trump has denied.
Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka, meanwhile, announced Wednesday that Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky is suspected in the “theft of government funds on an especially large scale,” but did not provide more details, Reuters reported. Zlochevsky’s whereabouts are unknown.