Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released a summary of the 16,000-plus pages that the Department of State produced to the Committee last week reiterating the baselessness of the Senate Republicans’ dirty campaign against the President’s political rival. The records demonstrate a consistent U.S. policy toward Ukraine during Vice President Biden’s tenure focused on fighting corruption and point to the Russian origins of the disinformation that underpinned that Senate Republicans’ conspiracy theory.
Chairman Engel made the following statement:
“After the Committee reviewed the State Department documents produced last week, I started to wonder how Senate Republicans could possibly weave such an innocuous stack of paper into a conspiracy theory. As this morning’s Senate report clearly indicates, they couldn’t. If anything, the State Department records are embarrassing for the Trump Administration, because they’re a reminder of days when the State Department, along with Vice President Biden’s leadership, exercised a clear, consistent policy to fight corruption, free from the nepotism, conflicts of interests, and nefarious foreign actors we’ve seen so often with Donald Trump.
“The 16,000 pages the State Department finally turned over to the Committee show three years of the Obama Administration working to fight corruption in Ukraine, from embassy staff all the way up to former Vice President Biden. They show a lobbying campaign that tried unsuccessfully to rehabilitate the image of the corrupt oligarch who headed Burisma when the Obama Administration stood firm. And they show where and when this entire political hit job against the former Vice President originated: a small city in Russian-controlled Crimea nearly five years ago. What they don’t show is anything approaching wrongdoing by the former Vice President.
“Senate Republicans have wasted most of this year trying to breathe new life into this conspiracy theory. Mike Pompeo directed the State Department to support the effort, producing stacks of paper, apparently rushed to the Senate so quickly that the Department didn’t even bother to redact sensitive and unrelated information—a departure from the heavy-handed redacting we’ve come to expect from the Department during this administration. But the lie that started with Vladimir Putin and his internet trolls is still a lie. The goal of Russian propaganda may be to cloud reality so much that we just stop caring about what’s true and what’s fake. But facts still matter.”
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