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Wyden Requests State Department Documents on Trump-Era Ukraine Activities

February 11,2020

Wyden request ensures complete record of State Department activities as Department prepares to comply with Republican requests

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today requested documents from the State Department on the full scope of the Department’s policy in Ukraine, including the firing of former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, any effort to leverage trade negotiations with China to obtain dirt on Hunter Biden and the activities of relevant individuals.

Wyden’s request is designed to ensure a complete and accurate record of the State Department’s activities. While the State Department refused to comply with subpoenas issued for documents during the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have indicated the Department is poised to produce documents responsive to their inquiry into Ukraine and Hunter Biden.

“As the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee, I am concerned that, in the absence of additional information concerning similar activities during the Trump Administration, the Department’s production of information requested by the Senate Committees could create an incomplete and biased record of the State Department’s activities related to Ukraine,” Wyden wrote.

Text of the letter is available here and as follows:

February 11, 2020

The Honorable Michael Pompeo

Secretary, United States Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

A November 6, 2019, letter from the Chairmen of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, as well as a November 21, 2019, letter from the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (together the “Senate Committees”) requested certain information about Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, several of his associates and related companies, the Ukranian energy firm Burisma and a U.S. firm representing it, and U.S. government policies in Ukraine during the Obama Administration. Staff for the Chairmen have represented that they expect a voluminous production of records from the State Department in the coming days.

As the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Finance Committee, I am concerned that, in the absence of additional information concerning similar activities during the Trump Administration, the Department’s production of information requested by the Senate Committees could create an incomplete and biased record of the State Department’s activities related to Ukraine.

Accordingly, I request that any production to the Senate Committees include additional records related to Ukraine activities and policy under both administrations. To that end, please provide the following information concurrently with any production to the Senate Committees, including, but not limited to any records generated after January 20, 2017:

  1. All State Department records related to Rudy Guiliani, Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, Dmitry Firtash, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Cofer Black, Andrii Telizhenko, Serhiy Leshchenko, Mykola Zlochevsky, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, Kostiantyn Kulyk, Viktor Shokin, and Yuriy Lutsenko.   
  2. When the Ukrainian Parliament voted overwhelmingly to remove Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, the decision was welcomed by the international community, and the United States’ policy toward Shokin was “widely understood internationally to be the right policy.”   Furthermore, this policy had bipartisan support in Congress.   Please provide any records related to support by Congress and the international community for the removal of Shokin, including, but not limited to, any such documents related to the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, European Union, International Monetary Fund, or the World Bank.
  3. Speaking to reporters at the White House on October 3, 2019, President Trump told reporters “China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” referencing the unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing by Vice President and Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Several days later, Michael Pillsbury, an informal White House adviser on China, told the Financial Times that he had gotten “quite a bit of background on Hunter Biden from the Chinese” on a recent visit to Beijing. Please provide any State Department records relating to or referencing Hunter Biden’s activities in China, including, in particular, any records generated as part of on-going trade negotiations with China. 
  4. The requests made in the Senate Committees’ original letter are not restricted by date and a complete response therefore should include records created during the current administration.  However, for the avoidance of doubt, I am specifically requesting any records relevant to the individuals and companies identified in the Senate Committees’ requests generated after January 20, 2017.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

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