Bill Taylor And Burisma
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, who provided key testimony to the Democrats’ controversial impeachment inquiry yesterday, has evidenced a close relationship with the Atlantic Council think tank, even writing Ukraine policy pieces with the organization’s director and analysis articles published by the Council.
The Atlantic Council is funded by and works in partnership with Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
In addition to a direct relationship with the Atlantic Council, Taylor for the last nine years also served as a senior adviser to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), which has co-hosted events with the Atlantic Council and has participated in events co-hosted jointly by the Atlantic Council and Burisma.
Another senior adviser to the USUBC is David J. Kramer, a long-time adviser to late Senator John McCain. Kramer played a central role in disseminating the anti-Trump dossier to the news media and Obama administration. Taylor participated in events and initiatives organized by Kramer.
In his testimony to the Democrats secretive impeachment inquiry yesterday, Taylor said that he “understood” from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “was dependent on a public announcement of the investigations.” Taylor was referring to the announcement of an investigation that included Burisma, as well as alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Taylor’s testimony was characterized by CNN as “explosive” and was similarly hyped by other news media outlets despite it not being unusual for the U.S. to condition aspects of relations on participation in ongoing American investigations involving the foreign country in question.
Still, Taylor conceded that there was no quid pro quo.
In the leaked pre-written full opening statement, Taylor alluded to work he said he did for a “small Ukrainian non- governmental organization” but he omitted the name of the organization.
“In the intervening 10 years, I have stayed engaged with Ukraine, visiting frequently since 2013 as a board member of a small Ukrainian non- governmental organization supporting good governance and reform,” he said.
The name of the organization is the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), where Taylor served for nine years as senior advisor. The USUBC has co-hosted or participated in scores of events with the Atlantic Council. Taylor has also authored numerous analysis pieces published by the Atlantic Council itself and has co-authored opeds written together with the Atlantic Council’s director.
Burisma is a key financial backer of the Atlantic Council. In 2017, Burisma and the Atlantic Council signed a cooperative agreement to develop transatlantic programs with Burisma’s financial support reportedly to focus “on European and international energy security.” Burisma specifically finances the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.
The links may be particularly instructive after this journalist reported last week that itinerary for a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council for ten Congressional aides reveals that a staffer on Rep. Adam Schiff’s House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a meeting during the trip with Taylor. The pre-planned trip took place after the whistleblower officially filed his August 12 complaint and reportedly after a Schiff aide was contacted by the whistleblower.
Thomas Eager, a staffer on Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee, took the trip to Ukraine in August billed as a bipartisan “Ukraine Study Trip” in which ten Congressional staffers participated.
Eager is also currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Congressional Fellowship, a bipartisan program that says it “educates congressional staff on current events in the Eurasia region.” The pre-planned Ukraine trip was part of the fellowship program.
A closer look at the itinerary for the August 24 to August 31 trip shows that the delegation’s first meeting upon arrival in Ukraine was with Taylor.
Spokespeople for Schiff’s office did not reply to multiple Breitbart News requests for comment on Eager’s meeting with Taylor.
The dates of the pre-planned trip are instructive. Eager’s visit to Ukraine sponsored by the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council began 12 days after the whistleblower officially filed his August 12 complaint.
Schiff and his office have offered seemingly conflicting statements on the timeline of the California Congressman’s initial contact with the whistleblower.
Speaking on September 17, Schiff told MSNBC, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”
Schiff’s spokesperson, Patrick Boland, was quoted on October 2 saying, “At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance.” Boland said Schiff’s committee received the complaint the night before it publicly released the document.
On October 2, however, the New York Times reported that Schiff received some of the contents of the complaint through an unnamed House Intelligence Committee aide initially contacted by the whistleblower, described as a CIA officer.
The Times reported the aide “shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff.” The referenced officer refers to the whistleblower.
The newspaper also reported: “By the time the whistle-blower filed his complaint, Mr. Schiff and his staff knew at least vaguely what it contained.”