U.S. Senators ask PGO chief Lutsenko to explain NYT allegations
Three U.S. Senators have appealed to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko with a request to clarify the information in an article appearing on May 2, 2018 in The New York Times about efforts by Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) to block the criminal investigation into the "Black Ledger case" involving disgraced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions. According to the ledger, former head of Donald Trumps 2016 U.S. presidential campaign Paul Manafort received payments from Party of Regions.
"Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko in an interview with the British edition of Reuters, called for closer cooperation between the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on the Paul Manafort case. Three U.S. Senators from the Democratic Party then asked Lutsenko to clarify the NYT's information about blocking the Manafort investigation. The senators, of course, are unfamiliar with position of the PGO on this matter, as well as with PGO's response to the NYT publication, dated April 20, 2018, which was included in the NYT article," PGO Spokeswoman Larysa Sarhan said on her Facebook page on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, the Kyiv-based Ukrayinska Pravda e-zine reported that an open letter from Senator Robert Menendez, Patrick Leahy and Richard Durbin, addressed to PGO chief Lutsenko was posted on the U.S. Senate's website. The letter seeks to clarify information in the NYT article about PGO attempts to block the investigations in Ukraine involving Manafort.
"We are concerned about information that your department has taken steps that hamper the investigation headed by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller," the senators' letter says.
The senators in their letter say bilateral cooperation in legal matters between the United States and Ukraine should be expanded.
"The joint investigation of the Manafort case matters not only to Mueller's investigation, but also to expose the corruption schemes during the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych," the letter says.
The letter asks Lutsenko to confirm or deny allegations made in the NYT's article.
On Friday, May 4, the PGO on its Facebook page posted its 3-page response, dated April 20, 2018, to questions asked by NYT journalists. The response was not included in the NYT's article, which was published on May 2, 2018.