World Ukraine Probes Alleged Spying on U.S. Diplomat and Burisma Hack
Burisma targeted by Russia-linked phishing attack, raising election-meddling fears
It’s unclear if the hackers found any informationIn July, President Trump asked Ukraine’s government to investigate Burisma to find damaging information on the Biden family, allegedly threatening to withhold military aid to the country if the prime minister did not announce an investigation. That request is at the center of the president’s ongoing impeachment proceedings, and has made Burisma a tempting target for anyone seeking to meddle in US politics.
Video by Reuters
(Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian police opened criminal investigations into the alleged illegal surveillance of a former U.S. ambassador by people linked to President Donald Trump and aagainst a company mentioned in his impeachment proceedings.
The probe into the possible monitoring of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch follows the release of records from U.S. House committees that suggest that Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was keeping tabs on the diplomat’s whereabouts when she was stationed in Ukraine.
U.S. Spy Agencies Tracking Russian Hack of Biden-Linked Burisma
U.S. spy agencies are tracking a Russian hacking attack against a Ukrainian gas company linked to the impeachment of President Donald Trump, including whether it was done to find damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden’s family, according to a senior U.S. official. © Bloomberg Joe Biden The U.S. is reviewing evidence of the hack at Burisma Holdings first disclosed by researchers at security company Area 1, according to Shelby Pierson, the election threats executive for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
“Our goal is to investigate whether there actually was a violation of Ukrainian and international law,” Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on its website Thursday. “Or whether it is just bravado and fake information in an informal conversation between two U.S. citizens.”
Parnas worked with Giulianion the Bidens in Ukraine and said in an interview on Wednesday the effort was to ensure Trump would win another four-year term.
Ukrainian authorities also opened an investigation into a Russian hacking attack against Burisma Holdings, a company that employed the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, has alleged that the elder Biden, when he was vice president, derailed an investigation into Burisma to protect his son Hunter.
Trump might raise Burisma hacking with Putin -White House
U.S. President Donald Trump may discuss the reported hacking of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma the next time he talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters at the White House on Thursday. © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images Kellyanne Conway, counselor to US President Donald Trump, speaks to the press at the White House in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2020.
Ukraine recommended the U.S. take part in both investigations. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov requested “all the information and materials from the FBI about persons who may be involved in a possible criminal offense” in the surveillance case.
Avakov faces a conflict of interest in pursuing an investigation into the surveillance of Yovanovitch. Documents disclosed to the House Intelligence Committee showed he was in frequent communication with Parnas from April onward, including a message inviting Parnas to his ministry. Parnas sought out Avakov’s help as he and Giuliani were pushing for Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma.
Just before he began texting with Avakov, Parnas was exchanging texts with Robert F. Hyde, a candidate for U.S. Congress this year, about Yovanovitch’s movements in Ukraine.
Russian hackers reportedly hit Ukrainian gas firm at heart of Trump impeachment
The attacks had the earmarks of the 2016 hack on the DNC.The hacking attempts began in November, the newspaper reported, citing security experts, as impeachment talk was gearing up in the US. It wasn't immediately clear whether the hackers found anything, but experts told the newspaper that they may have been after the same kind of information Trump was after he sought the investigation into the Bidens.
“She’s under heavy protection outside Kiev,” Hyde texted Parnas. “They are moving her tomorrow.”
Parnas said in an interview on MSNBC that he didn’t believe Hyde actually had anyone monitoring Yovanovitch’s movements.
Artem Shevchenko, a spokesman for Avakov, declined to comment on the texts.
Yovanovitch was removed as ambassador to Ukraine last May. She testified in impeachment hearings that she was a casualty of an effort orchestrated by Giuliani and his associates.
Ukrainian authorities also called for the establishment of an international investigation group including representatives of the FBI to look into the hacking attack against Burisma.
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