July 20, 2024
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  • Source: FreePressers
  • 04/28/2024
FPI / April 26, 2024

Eric Ciaramella, the so-called "whistleblower" credited for the Democrats' first impeachment of President Donald Trump, was "deeply involved in the political maneuverings behind Biden-family business schemes in Ukraine" that Trump wanted investigated, a report said.

Ciaramella, a national security analyst attached to then-Vice President Joe Biden’s office, "was a close adviser when Biden threatened to cut off U.S. aid to Ukraine unless it fired its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Ukraine-based Burisma Holdings," Paul Sperry reported for RealClearInvestigations on April 17.

Burisma at the time was paying Biden’s son Hunter millions of dollars.

“It now seems there was material evidence that would have been used at the impeachment trial [to exonerate Trump],” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who has testified as an expert witness in the ongoing Biden impeachment inquiry. “Trump was alleging there was a conflict of interest with the Bidens, and the evidence could have challenged Biden’s account and established his son’s interest in the Shokin firing.”

Perry noted that "some former congressional investigators say Ciaramella effectively helped cover up a scandal far worse than what Trump was impeached over. What’s more, he failed to disclose that he had a potential conflict of interest stemming from his connection to the matter Trump asked Zelensky to probe when he lodged his complaint against Trump."

Ciaramella’s role – including high-level discussions with top Biden aides and Ukrainian prosecutors – was revealed in the recent release of White House emails and photos from the National Archives.

"What Ciaramella witnessed and what he documented in notes he took during high-level Biden-Ukraine meetings could now be relevant to the active impeachment inquiry of President Biden. The House may have little choice but to hold the kind of hearings the Democrats blocked during the earlier impeachment by keeping Ciaramella’s identity – and his own potential conflict – secret," Sperry wrote.

"As the catalyst for Trump’s impeachment, Ciaramella could now be a reluctant witness for Biden’s," Sperry added.

The emails show Ciaramella expressed shock – “Yikes” is what he wrote – at Biden’s move to withhold the $1 billion in aid from Kyiv, which represented a sudden shift in U.S. policy. They also show Ciaramella "was drawn into White House communications over how to control adverse publicity from Hunter taking a lucrative seat on Burisma’s board," Sperry noted.

There is no evidence Ciaramella raised alarms about the questionable Biden business activities he witnessed. That is a sharp contrast to 2019, when Ciaramella accused accused Trump of a corrupt quid pro quo for seeking an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma.

RealClearInvestigations was the first to identify the then-33-year-old Ciaramella as the anonymous impeachment “whistleblower,” something major media continue to keep under tight wraps. WorldTribune.com's coverage in 2019 also identified Ciaramella.

Related: Reports: Ciaramella hosted 2016 White House meeting that issued demand to Ukraine, November 12, 2019

Ciaramella, a longtime advocate for aid to Ukraine, worked under CIA Director John Brennan when President Barack Obama made Biden his point man on Ukraine in 2014, the same year Burisma hired Hunter Biden.

In 2015, the CIA detailed Ciaramella to the White House, where he worked closely with Biden and his staff as a top adviser on key Ukrainian policies. After Biden left office, Ciaramella stayed on at the GOP White House until mid-2017 even though he’s a Democrat, working as a Ukrainian and Russian analyst on Trump’s National Security Council. Co-workers there accused him of trying to sabotage Trump, including allegedly leaking sensitive information to the press.

Former Obama-Biden administration officials have confirmed in recent closed-door congressional testimony that Ciaramella was a key part of Biden’s process for making policy in Ukraine.

The newly disclosed emails show Ciaramella met with the top Biden officials involved in discussions concerning the $1 billion aid package and Shokin, including: Amos Hochstein; Victoria Nuland; Geoffrey Pyatt; Bridget Brink; and Michael Carpenter.

On Jan. 21, 2016, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt emailed Ciaramella and other White House aides an article from the Ukrainian press – “U.S. loan guarantee conditional on Shokin’s dismissal.”

“Yikes. I don’t recall this coming up in our meeting with them,” Ciaramella replied, referring to the White House meeting he hosted with top Ukrainian prosecutors.

In a closed-door 2020 deposition before the Senate, Pyatt sounded skeptical that Ciaramella was in the dark about the Shokin decision. “I think you have to ask Eric what he meant by ‘Yikes,’” Pyatt told Senate investigators. He said that he believed conditioning the loan guarantee on Shokin’s removal “obviously came up in those meetings” hosted by Ciaramella, suggesting that Biden’s aide knew of the quid pro quo before Pyatt circulated the article about it from the Ukrainian press.

The day before he hosted the Ukraine prosecutors, Ciaramella received an agenda from a State Department official that asked him to “note the importance of appointing a new PG [Prosecutor General], reiterating that Shokin is an obstacle to reform,” according to emails. The agenda also called on Ciaramella to “ask the del [Ukrainian delegation] what high-level cases are on the docket for prosecution,” which raises suspicions in some quarters that Biden’s advisers were fishing for information about Shokin’s plans for prosecuting Burisma oligarchs, something Hunter Biden had been asked to find out.

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