Lindsey Graham must be getting whiplash from all the breaking news developments coming from all sides the past four days. This is the second time in two days that he’s run out on a news conference. Even Donald Trump didn’t know Graham had flown the coop as he bellowed out from the Rose Garden, “Lindsey Graham! Where is Lindsey Graham?” Apparently Graham decided to skedaddle after Lev Parnas’ attorney told the Daily Beast that Rudy Giuliani said he delivered a letter to Graham calling for sanctions on government officials — including one that headed up Burisma. This makes Senator Graham part of Guiliani’s shadow operation in Ukraine, or at the very least, complicit. Daily Beast:
Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Lev Parnas, an indicted Florida businessman involved in the U.S.-Ukraine saga, told The Daily Beast that Giuliani showed his client the letter and told him he delivered it to Sen. Graham (the letter misspelled the South Carolina Republican’s first name as “Lingsey”). Bondy said Giuliani also showed Parnas a second, similar letter addressed to Sigal Mandelker, who at the time was a top official at the Treasury Department.
The letters, which The Daily Beast reviewed, claim that an eclectic mix of Ukrainian political figures and businesspeople were part of an alleged “organized crime syndicate.” The letters claim that the individuals were “actively involved in the siphoning of funds appropriated by the American government for aid to Ukraine.” And they claim that the alleged crime syndicate used those funds to buy black-market military parts from a Russian company under U.S. sanctions. All the while, they say, Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general (Giuliani ally Yuriy Lutsenko) couldn’t fight the crime because then President Petro Poroshenko wouldn’t let him take the case to court. […]
The letter-writer introduces himself in the letter addressed to Mandelker as a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen named Michael Guralnik who graduated from the Soviet Military Academy and was “a 10-year veteran of the Soviet Army.” The letter to Graham, meanwhile, also bears Guralnik’s name but contains no introduction. It arrived a month before Giuliani tried to help former Ukrainian top prosecutor Viktor Shokin travel to the U.S. and meet with Graham, Bondy said. A few weeks before the date of the Guralnik letter, Giuliani sent Graham a letter of his own asking his staff to help three unnamed Ukrainians get visas so they could come to the U.S. and share information about the Bidens. The State Department did not give Shokin a visa.
Wow. Lindsey Graham has totally turned on his old friend, Joe Biden, whom he said at one time was “one of the finest men who has ever lived.” That Lindsey Graham is gone. The one that called Donald Trump by his rightful name, “xenophobic bigot” is also gone. The guy we have now is a convert to the Cult of Trump — strike that, he’s beyond a convert, he’s a High Priest.
Two of the individuals that these letters sought to sanction are Mykola Zlochevskiy, the head of Burisma, where Hunter Biden was a board member and Valeriya Gontareva, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine. Gontareva is hailed as a genuine reformer for taking on oligarch and alleged contract killer, Ihor Kolomoisky. For her troubles, Gontareva’s home was vandalized, a coffin with her likeness in it was left outside the Central Bank offices, and she was hit by a car and hospitalized in August, 2019. In September her house burned to the ground. But her name is on a list in a letter that Giuliani delivered to Lindsey Graham, so that Graham could encourage lawmakers to sanction her and the others — while digging up non-existent dirt on Joe Biden. Is this even possible?
The watchdog group in Washington, CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Washington, said, “Rudy Giuliani is incredibly deeply involved with some seriously shady business in Ukraine and we need more information, not only on his activities, but his activities and those of his associates on behalf of or benefiting Donald Trump.” One of those associates is Lindsey Graham. It is little wonder that Graham doesn’t want John Bolton to testify about Ukraine, when his own hands may be a lot dirtier than we know, with respect to that topic. If John McCain was still here, he wouldn’t recognize his old chum Lindsey Graham.