Rick Perry Accused Of Role In Pushing Ukrainian Gas Company To Appoint A Donor To Its Board

I have been writing on the deepening questions concerning the business deals of Hunter Biden during the Obama Administration — and the failure of media to fully pursue the story. At the same time, I have also supported the investigation into President Donald Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president as a possible impeachable offense. The fact is that corruption is rampant in this city and neither party can credibly claim to be against such corruption. This weekend, a new controversy has arisen over Ukrainian dealings by figures tied to the GOP. At issue are efforts to push for the appointment of Republican allies to the controlling board of Ukraine’s state gas company, Naftogaz, including former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry who allegedly pressured the country to appoint one of his political donors.

The reports indicate that Republican figures touted connections to Rudy Giuliani and Trump to try to secure the lucrative positions. That would allow windfall contracts to be steered to allies. The problem is that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to reformer Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Perry reportedly pushed one of his donors, an oil magnate Harry Sargeant III, for an appointment. Trump has claimed that it was Perry who pushed him to make the controversial call to Zelenskiy and said that Perry was trying to get him involved in “something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant.”

Perry insists that his pushing the Texas businessman was completely understandable: “We get asked for our recommendations about people who are experts in areas, various areas. Folks who have expertise in particular areas. Obviously having been the governor of the state of Texas, I know a lot of people in the energy industry.”

Notably, two recently arrested Giuliani aides were also part of the effort: Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

Sargeant, his wife and corporate entities have reportedly donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the last 20 years. Sargeant reportedly told Naftogaz senior executive, Andrew Favorov, that they needed to replace the company CEO and that his effort to take a key position on the company had the support to Trump.

Concerns over the effort were reportedly to embassy officials, including Suriya Jayanti, a State Department foreign service officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

The problem with the Ukraine it seems is not finding corruption but finding any political figures unconnected to it. It is like the corruption version of degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

56 thoughts on “Rick Perry Accused Of Role In Pushing Ukrainian Gas Company To Appoint A Donor To Its Board”

  1. Fr Richard John Neuhaus in 1997 on agnosticism, truth and the end of American democracy quoting Pope John Paul II in “Centesimus Annus”, 1991


    JPII: Authentic democracy is possible only in a state ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the “subjectivity” of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility. [Neuhaus: Then comes the vital passage.] Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and skeptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that the truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” (John Paul II)

    Neuhaus: The importance of this paragraph, and its pertinence to our American situation, can hardly be overestimated. The dogmatic insistence upon agnosticism in public discourse and decision making has created what I have called “the naked public square.” People who, like the Founders, hold certain truths to be self-evident are today “considered unreliable from a democratic point of view.” In a usurpation of power that indeed threatens a “thinly disguised totalitarianism,” the courts have presumed to declare that the separation of church and state means the separation of religion and religiously grounded morality from public life, which means the separation of the deepest convictions of the people from politics, which means the end of democracy and, in fact, the end of politics.

    As sympathetic as we may be to some of the determined critics of liberalism, we do well to remind ourselves that all temporal orders short of the Kingdom of God are profoundly unsatisfactory. When we survey the depredations and ravages of our social, political, and religious circumstance, it is tempting to look for someone or something to blame. It is easy to say, “Liberalism made us do it.” But liberalism is freedom, and what we do with freedom is charged to our account. For American Christians, and for catholics in particular, there is nothing that has been done wrong that could not have been done differently. Amidst the depredations and ravages of an American experiment that once exalted the human spirit, and may do so again, Centesimus Annus invites us to reappropriate and rebuild the liberal tradition.

    Richard John Neuhaus is Editor in Chief of First Things . This article is adapted from a paper delivered at a conference sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center marking the fifth anniversary of Centesimus Annus.

  2. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-six weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – I have witnessed several fights with Darren or JT and the opponent never wins. Wave the white flag now.

  3. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-six weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – playing the victim card are we?

  4. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-eight citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-six weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – I would posit that you are incapable of taking instruction.

  5. As Mr. Perry – and others of your readers have pointed out – Mr. Sargent is in the energy business and is the kind of person who belongs on the board of a natural gas company, not a lawyer or politician. That he donated to somebody’s campaign is irrelevant.

  6. Gee, wouldn’t Hunter Biden be a good fit for this job. He already has experience in this line of work with another Ukrainian company.

    1. Independent Bob – it was reported yesterday on TV that Hunter never went to a Burisma board meeting.

          1. ” … I thought he would show up for the board meetings.”
            The political class aren’t like us: their arrogance is often in inverse proportion to their common sense. You need to read more Shaw:

            “He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”
            ~George Bernard Shaw

      1. telephonic is probably ok. bylaws can say. did he attend telephonically?

        maybe they never asked. see, reporters are usually talking about things they don’t know much about.

  7. Uh, Doofusses, this thread and the one on Erdogen are actually serious, unlike the other excuses for you to play victim again, your poor babies.

  8. Back again to the choice of words, and how things are presented, consider this from a progressive, slamming MSNBC:



    There’s a video clip circulating on Twitter right now that simply has to be seen to be believed, in which a gaggle of MSNBC pundits are seen furiously agreeing with each other that Tulsi Gabbard has incriminated herself by pushing back against Hillary Clinton’s obnoxious claim that she is a Russian asset.

    I refuse to spend any portion of my life researching the name of whatever MSNBC show this was or the panelists it features, but here’s a quick breakdown for posterity:

    “One thing that was interesting about Tulsi Gabbard’s response, I mean she went after Hillary Clinton, she was strong, she said she wasn’t gonna run as a third party candidate–she never denied being a Russian asset,” said a panelist MSNBC identifies as Kimberly Atkins. “That was the one aspect that was missing from her response, which, you know, you would think that would be within the first line or two. It was not there.”

    “When Hillary Clinton says there’s a Russian asset and doesn’t say anybody’s name and Tulsi Gabbard goes ‘How dare you call me a Russian asset?’,” added some talking beanbag chair identified by MSNBC as Jonathan Allen.

    “Wait, so Kimberly’s right, she didn’t say she was a Russian asset,” interjected another super excited panelist, possibly the show’s host but who cares. “To your point, Hillary Clinton didn’t name names, but there’s Congresswoman Gabbard going ‘Me! Me, me! Me!’”

    The panelists are also lying when they claim that Gabbard has not denied being a Russian asset; obviously if you call something a “smear” as Gabbard has consistently been doing you are saying that it is false. But that should not matter. Claiming that an evidence-free conspiratorial McCarthyite smear is true because the target of that smear did not prostrate themselves sufficiently to deny it is disgusting and shameful in and of itself. The burden of proof is always on the party making the claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If an extraordinary claim is made with no evidence at all, the party making that claim should be promptly shamed and dismissed.

    One of the most infuriating things about the Russia hysteria which has polluted western political discourse is the way people keep getting away with side-mouthed insinuations and innuendo, saying things without directly saying them so that when someone responds to what they’re saying they can go “What! Why I never said that, but my my, it’s very interesting that you think I did?” Hillary Clinton knew very well that everyone would understand who she was talking about, but the fact that the target of her smear responded directly is being spun by her flying monkeys as something weird and suspicious instead of something perfectly normal and appropriate.

    As much as I speak out against violence and aggression, on a personal level I find passive aggressiveness to be far more obnoxious than just confronting someone head-on. The appropriate response to someone making cowardly indirect accusations is to directly confront them and call out what they’re really saying and describe what they’re really doing, as Tulsi Gabbard did.

    So let’s say directly what the MSNBC panelists above tried to get away with saying indirectly: MSNBC aired a segment in which panelists falsely claimed that Tulsi Gabbard incriminated herself as a Russian asset by responding to Hillary Clinton’s smear job. They lied, and they will get away with lying, because billionaire-controlled media like MSNBC is designed to manufacture consent for the status quo upon which the empires of billionaires like Brian L Roberts (whose parent company Comcast controls NBC) are built. Call the propagandists what they are, and shame these passive aggressive Red Scare tactics for the brain poison that it is.
    The video is at the link, but the gist is accurately represented above. So again I ask, who chose the word “push” to describe what Rick Perry did??? And why.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – the key to Sullivan was that the NYT did not specifically name Sullivan. I think Hillary is dancing on the edge of Sullivan.

  9. I posted this information here back when this article came out. Of course cabinet members of the US Govt should not be pushing anyone for business positions anywhere, but especially in other countries at the center of much political intrigue.

    More current news on that intrigue involves Fox News contributors who have been attacking Biden – and everyone else not on Trump’s team – but it turns out have been paid $1 million for legal representation by a Ukrainian oligarch (Firtash) being held in Austria for extradition to the US, who also has on his team the ex-prosecutor Shokin, who’s accusatory “affadavit” against Biden was produced in his defense. You starting to get the picture?

    “Associates of a Ukrainian oligarch fighting extradition to the U.S. were working to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden last summer in an effort to get Rudy Giuliani’s help in the oligarch’s legal case, according to three people familiar with the exchanges.

    Dmitry Firtash, charged with conspiracy by the U.S. and living in Vienna, shuffled lawyers in July to add Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, vocal supporters of President Donald Trump who had worked with Giuliani. Around that time, some of Firtash’s associates began to use his broad network of Ukraine contacts to get damaging information on Biden, the people said.

    DiGenova and Toensing have billed Firtash about $1 million for their work, one of the people said. That includes costs for Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate, as a translator and important contact, the person said. Parnas was arrested last week along with several associates and accused of conspiring to violate campaign-finance laws.

    People working on Firtash’s behalf collected a witness statement from Viktor Shokin, a former Ukrainian prosecutor-general. The statement, dated early September, helped Giuliani renew an assertion that he’d been advancing for months — that Biden had tried in 2016 to sway Ukrainian politics to help his son. U.S. and Ukrainian officials have disputed Shokin’s account.

    Shokin, though, had been promised his statement wouldn’t be made public, according to the people. Giuliani went on to cite it repeatedly, waving it around on cable news as evidence of Biden’s alleged corruption. The Hill and other media outlets provided links to it, with Giuliani later suggesting he had a role in making it public. “This is the affidavit I put out,” he said during a Fox News interview this month….”


    1. I posted another piece of information yesterday which furthers throws into light on the bogus campaign, including the affadavit from Shokin, against Joe Biden and Ukrainian corruption:

      “Current GOP Congressman Fitzpatrick (Penn) was an FBI agent working in the Ukraine in 2015 specifically on helping the new government deal with rampant corruption. They helped train personnel on investigative and prosecutorial procedures and tactics. He just stated on the CNN “Smerconish” show that the prosecutor (Shokin) who Joe Biden helped get fired was an obstacle to their efforts and inactive regarding corruption.

      I would guess video of that interview is available if anyone wishes to view it.”

  10. What does the word “pushed” mean above??? and where did it come from??? To wit:

    “Perry reportedly pushed one of his donors. . .” and

    “Perry insists that his pushing the Texas businessman. . .”

    OK, so who chose the word, “pushed.” “Pushed” implies more than suggesting, and maybe it is an appropriate word, and maybe it isn’t. This is why facts are kind of important.
    How many times did Perry mention this? What was the circumstance? Did the people in Ukraine ask for suggestions?

    We do not know any of this, and yet the word “pushed” is chosen???

    Plus, like This is Absurd noted, this “pushee” has experience in the relevant field. It is not like Perry put forth the name of Big Tex Johnson, a donor, and cattleman or something.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. Perry reportedly pushed one of his donors, an oil magnate Harry Sargeant III, for an appointment.

    You studiously ignore a salient part of this claim. Mr. Sargent already works in the oil business. He’s a sensible fit for the board of an oil company.

      1. DBB:

        Hey Einstein, then somebody should tell Naftogaz they aren’t because their verified Twitter feed says:

        Naftogaz of UkraineVerified account

        Official Twitter of Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national oil and gas company. Contact: press@naftogaz.com. Читайте нас українською на @NaftogazUK

        1. Yes, Naftogaz has not 8% of income from domestic production from a little bit of crude oil, about the same pumped in Germany. And most of the income is from pumping natural gas from elsewhere, whence the vast opportunities for corruption.

          Despite the claims it ain’t an oil company anymore than Safeway is a gas station chain.

        2. “Hey, Einstein,…”

          Good call!

          I like D.B. Blooper since he’s from the Pacific Northwest. Judging by his posts, he fell out of a plane, injured (cognitively) and never seen or heard from again.

          1. David, you are clearly the stupidest person we’ve seen in the eight years I’ve been on this blog, as well as the most undeservedly arrogant and unable to admit he is wrong.

            You continually belittle others, yet you fuck up all the time when you make attempts at professing expertise and intelligence, thus crowning yourself a fool at every opportunity. Few people here assign you any credibility, just as they would others of diminished capacity who believe they are on top of the world.

            Your attempts at calling the national oil company of Ukraine as not an oil company is completely absurd and baseless. But you will ridicule and demean others all the time. Nobody would pity your lack of brainpower because you are detestable and unworthy of any notion of respect. Now run along and bother someone else on the internet.

            1. Yes, yes. Naftogaz dabbles a little in crude oil. However, you, once again, completely missed the point.

              As you often do by just Making Stuff Up.

              Too bad being reminded of it so offends a person of your seniority.

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