Ukraine Stopped Helping Mueller After Trump Supplied Weapons To Fight Russia
In December 2018, the Trump administration approved the sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, as the country continued its conflict with Russian forces, and by early April, prosecutors in Ukraine ended cooperation with former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
The New York Times reported in May that Ukrainian officials made no secret that their intention was to avoid angering President Donald Trump, who they knew harbored a deep disdain for the Russia investigation.
“In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials,” Volodymyr Ariev, a member of Parliament who was an ally of then-President Petro Poroshenko,told The Times. “We shouldn’t spoil relations with the administration.”
Ukrainian prosecutors were looking into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — who is currently serving a prison sentence in the U.S. on multiple charges related to the Mueller investigation — for a number of issues, including possibly money laundering and receiving secret political payoffs.
All four investigations opened by prosecutor Serhiy Horbatyuk were ordered frozen, essentially ending his ability to glean new information related to the cases and in turn share them with Mueller.
Though The Times uncovered no pressure from the Trump administration for the investigations into Manafort to be called off in order for follow-through on the missile sale, the situation reveals a country that is desperate for U.S. assistance and wary of jeopardizing that help by upsetting the U.S. president.
Image: President Donald J. Trump and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)