State Department officials, led by former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, may have illegally monitored the social media accounts of 13 prominent conservative critics as the Burisma scandal involving Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden was first unfolding.
Materials obtained by investigative journalist John Solomon revealed that officials had openly expressed alarm that the Burisma story, when it emerged in the spring of 2019, might become the dominating election storyline for many news cycles.
They also feared the release of a related story that Yovanovitch had worked under the direction of the Obama administration and a so-called anti-corruption group backed by globalist billionaire George Soros to deliver to Ukrainian leaders a list of individuals whom prosecutors were not allowed to investigate for corruption.
The newly obtained e-mail reveals, those working with Yovanovitch to control the narrative began monitoring media reports on the potential scandals using a platform called CrowdTangle.
That resulted in State Department officials effectively creating an “enemies list” by designating certain high-profile figures to monitor.
Among those on the list were:
- Sean Hannity,
- Laura Ingraham
- Lou Dobbs
- Dan Bongino
- Donald Trump Jr.
- Rudy Giuliani
Solomon, himself, who had led the way in much of the investigative reporting, was also on the list.
After the State Department recently was obliged to hand over emails as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, an April 1, 2019 email titled “Ukraine Twitter Report” caught the attention of Solomon.
“We are barred by law from actively monitoring the accounts of American citizens in aggregate—and particularly from identifying and monitoring individual, selected accounts,” the email warned, explaining why the department was deleting its CrowdTangle list.
During her testimony at President Donald Trump’s House impeachment hearing, Yovanovitch acknowledged that her embassy had pursued the monitoring and asked the State Department for support in it.
However, she testified that the program had ended not due to its illegality but because it was low on the State Department’s priorities list.
“What we were told is that the folks in Washington were too busy to do this, etc, etc.,” Yovanovitch said.
Yovanovitch also admitted that she had more than a passing personal interest in the reporting.
“So we, you know, we’re interested in, you know, kind of keeping track of the story so that we would know what was going on,” she testified. “Because, I mean, there’s an interest, obviously, I had an interest since I was being directly attacked”
That included received a “finished product” from the State Department analysts who had helped mine the social accounts.
But more significantly, other emails in the recently released tranche of FOIA documents obtained by Judicial Watch admitted that they were seeking ways to counter the factually accurate accusations of corruption involving the Bidens and the embassy’s own interactions with Ukrainian prosecutors.
The revelation that the search terms included not only variations of Yovanovitch’s name but also the name “Soros” signaled that the embassy officials might have been anxious about getting linked to the shadowy left-wing mega-donor.
George Kent, who was Yovanovitch’s top deputy in Kiev, warned officials to “get up to ramming speed” on the reporting by Solomon and others that appeared in The Hill.
Kent—who ironically had been a vocal critic of Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board, telling Obama officials that it was undermining foreign policy efforts and supporting Russian interference—would also later testify as one of Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff’s star witnesses in the Trump impeachment.
“This story is being set up to both snowball and slow burn with now four separate storylines having been put into play the past week,” warned Kent.
The emails raise questions as to whether Yovanovitch, at the very least, may have perjured herself under oath before Congress.
Additionally, Solomon said that the emails, alongside a report from the Senate that detailed the Biden family’s corruption should provide “fodder” for the Trump campaign in making the argument that deep-state officials in his own administration were actively seeking to undermine his re-election campaign while saving its own skin.
Kent’s name, in fact, has come up in other recent analyses comparing Ukraine’s 2014 Orange Revolution and other State-backed “color revolutions” in foreign countries with the ongoing domestic riots driven by groups like Black Lives Matter.
Some have signaled that the anti-Trump leftist resistance may be getting its support from the deep-state coup veterans like Kent.