Houston Energy Company CEO, Former Governor, Others Claimed In Rick Perry Attempts to Sell LNG to Ukraine: TER Texas-Related Summary

September 7, 2019

This is a Texas Energy Report Partial Summary of  late Sunday’s Washington Post Story, “AP sources: Trump allies pressed Ukraine over gas firm”

In Associated Press reporting as recounted by the Washington Post, three out of four sources remain anonymous with regard to this story.

No one has alleged criminal activity in any of these efforts.

Two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III, a heavy Republican donor, approached Ukraine gas company Nafogaz senior executive Andrew Favorov at a Houston energy convention with a plan for Favorov to become their partner in a firm to ship up to 100 shipments per year of LNG to Ukraine, Sargeant allegedly claiming to have regular access to President Trump.

The meeting was described to AP by Dale W. Perry, an American who is a former business partner of Favorov.

A couple of weeks later, on March 24, Trump personal attoreny Rudolph Giuliani and Parnas gathered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington with Healy E. Baumgardner, now listed as CEO of Houston-based energy company 45 Energy Group, described on its website as a “government relations, public affairs and business development practice group.” Baumgardner is a former Trump campaign adviser who once served as deputy communications director for Rudolph Giuliani’s presidential campaign and as a communications official during the George W. Bush administration, to make a business pitch involving gas deals in the former Soviet bloc to a potential investor. This time, according to Giuliani, the deals that were discussed involved Uzbekistan, not Ukraine.

At a meeting in a hotel in Ukraine, Energy Sec. Rick Perry met with state officials and people from the energy sector, including Michael Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-American businessman from Texas, a meeting at which Perry made it clear he wanted the entire board of Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz replaced. As governor of Texas, Perry appointed Bleyzer to a two-year term on a state technologies fund board in 2009. The following year, records show Bleyzer donated $20,000 to Perry’s reelection campaign.

Here’s the point, from the Washington Post: “But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests. It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served five years on the board of another Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.”

See the Washington Post story here. (Subscription required)