Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been meeting over the last year with a Ukrainian lawmaker at the center of a controversial plan to end his country’s conflict with Russia, pressing him for details about interactions with Trump administration officials.
Andrii Artemenko told POLITICO that FBI agents had peppered him with “assorted questions” over “at least” two interviews about his “meetings, dealings and the questions discussed with various levels of the American political establishment.”
“These included congressmen, senators and representatives of the White House administration,” he added in a telephone conversation on Friday, after a meeting with members of the Mueller team
Artemenko refused to provide any details as to whom he was asked about within the Trump campaign. But the information absolutely sheds new light on the Mueller investigation. Recall that Manafort was thick (“is thick” pending trial) with the Russian-Ukraine relationship, generally representing Ukrainian citizens aligned with Russian interests, how convenient. Manafort would be a good guess as to one person Artemenko has been asked about.
The Mueller investigation’s primary concern with Artemenko’ traces back to his attempts to back-channel a deal to President Donald Trump that would have had his administration drop sanctions (It always goes back to sanctions, doesn’t it?) – against Russia imposed by the Obama White House. In exchange, the Kremlin would have withdrawn its troops from Eastern Ukraine, while a referendum would be held in the country on whether Crimea — the Ukrainian territory Moscow seized in 2014 — would be leased to Russia for 50 or 100 years. Of course, it didin’t help that Artermenko didn’t shuttle the “peace plan” through ambassadors as usually the case, but instead used the Trump method, sending it thrpugh Felix Sater and Michael Cohen, only to end up on Mike Flynn’s desk.
You know, with all these attempts to influence Trump, one might think that certain parties have found success in these attempts, or there wouldn’t be so many.