Secretary Perry and Rudy Giuliani Entangled In Ukraine Gas Company Scheme

Photo: Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call

The Associated Press reported yesterday that at the same time as Rudy Giuliani was attempting to push the new Ukrainian President to find dirt on Vice President Biden, he was also pushing on behalf of clients to get a friendlier management team of U.S. businessmen installed at the top of the ‘”massive” Ukrainian state-owned gas company, Naftogaz.  Coincidentally, Energy Secretary Rick Perry was also lobbying the company to change its top management, which is why he asked President Trump to make the infamous call with President Zelensky, and also urging the company to choose new leaders from a slate of candidates that included one of Perry’s own past political donors.

Why This Matters:  The Trump administration’s corrupt relationship with the oil and gas industry is laid bare by this scandal — it explains why it has been so hard to take meaningful steps to move away from fossil fuels and address the climate crisis.  The AP alleges that a cabal of three Republican donor businessmen touted their connections to Giuliani and Trump while they too were trying to get the government to put new management at the top of Naftogaz.  Their goal, according to AP, was to get Naftogaz to buy U.S. natural gas from suppliers controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.  The group of businessmen seeking the inside deals with Naftogaz appears also “to have had inside knowledge” of the Trump team’s plans to replace the U.S. Ambassador months before it happened.  It turns out the system is rigged under President Trump and his cronies — the election system AND the energy industry are rigged in his and his friends’ favor.

Perry Claims Ignorance Of President’s Request About Biden

Perry confirmed that he asked the President to make the call to President Zelenskiy, but claimed as “God is my witness” not to know about the President’s request about dirt on the Bidens.  Perry claimed to the AP that his only interest in Ukraine was to lessen the hold Russia has on the country by lessening their dependence on Russian gas, which has long been U.S. policy.  Perry was the stand-in for the Vice President at the  Zelensky’s inauguration after Pence canceled his planned trip, and Perry declined last week to say whether he was on the call he urged the President to make to Zelensky.  According to The Washington Post’s Energy 202, Ukraine has plenty of its own natural gas supplies, but it does import a great deal of coal from the U.S., which Perry has touted in the past.

Perry also claimed no plans to leave the Trump administration despite earlier reports to the contrary.

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