A Cautionary Tale From Ukraine On Prosecutors And Power

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As special counsel Robert Mueller announced his first indictments of Paul Manafort and others in the Russia election hacking probe, it seems a good time to examine what can happen when a prosecutor is weaponized to attack political and business adversaries.

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Judging from his first major moves, it is now obvious Mr. Mueller is not looking for any U.S. “collusion” with Russia, as he is tasked to do. There is plenty of evidence the Democrats, Hillary Clinton in particular, colluded with Russia in a pay-for-play deal worth over $100 million dollars so Russia could obtain control over a large percentage of our nuclear production capability. Only paid-for setups with Russian attorneys during an election campaign count as collusion for Mueller’s team, if they can even define what the word means for them.

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To see what it looks like when a country’s main prosecutorial office is deputized to go after the business and political interests of one’s economic enemies, to abuse the law to put people in jail as political enemies of the state, look no further than Ukraine, where trumped-up prosecutions come from the highest level, and where seizing businesses, extorting protection money, and shaking down political opponents are routine.

We wrote recently about the case of Ukrainian MP Sergei Rbalka, who has been targeted by the state’s General Prosecutor’s office in order to extract revenge for the stakeholder, oligarch Gennadiy Butkevich. The prosecution seeks to destroy Mr. Rbalka’s business and put him in jail, allegedly for the crime of selling snacks to pro-Russian rebels in Donbass. Dmytro Sus, the former deputy head of investigations for major economic crimes in the General Prosecutor’s office, said in a one-on-one interview of being pressured by the government to falsify evidence, plant money and drugs, videotape Mr. Rbalka’s liaisons with women, and generally just find something to put the lawmaker in jail.

There has been more information to come to light in this case.

Vladimir Evdokimov, the former deputy minister of internal affairs of Yuriy Lutsenko, is a top aide of Mr. Butkevich and a main organizer of the prosecution of Mr. Rbalka by the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Security Service of Ukraine.

Figures in the General Prosecutor’s Office, the head of the investigation department for major economic crimes, are said to be supporting the campaign against Mr. Rbalka, as are figures in the secret police.

It seems clear that the effort against Mr. Rbalka is wide and deep within Ukrainian law enforcement. Are we facing the same dynamic here in the United States?

Tucker Carlson recently argued on his Fox News show that the apparent corruption of our FBI is truly frightening. He is spot on, for when the weapons of the state are available to corrupt politicians only interested in power and money, we pass a point of no return as a country. One wonders about the holdovers from the Obama administration who remain within our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, doing far more than just “unmasking” possible political opponents, as already has been brought to light.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a monumental task ahead of him to ensure our legal system is not hijacked by the “Never Trump” and “Resistance” movements. The American people may have elected Donald Trump as president a year ago, but we have a very long way to go to restore trust in our institutions after the Obama presidency. Robert Mueller is not helping in the process.

Originally posted at The Washington Times

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