October 10, 2019
UPDATE: This evening, former Rep. Pete Sessions stated, “[I]f I am ‘Congressman One’ I could not have had any knowledge of the scheme described in the indictment or have involvement or coordination of it.”
The Wall Street Journal and now other publications have indicated that Rep. Sessions is the vague “Congressman One” mentioned in the indictment of two men implicated in an alleged Ukraine oil and gas scheme, as explained in the story below.
“I was first approached by these individuals for a meeting about the strategic need for Ukraine to become energy independent,” Sessions added.
“There was no request in that meeting and I took no action. Over time, I recall that there were a couple additional meetings. Again, at no time did I take any official action after these meetings.”
The Hill noted this evening that Sessions wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in May 2018 calling for the removal of a US ambassador, but he said in the statement that he did so because he had heard that she had been disparaging Trump privately.
The story, filed at 4:33 pm 10/10/19:
Former Texas Governor and current Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been subpoenaed to appear before US House Democrats conducting an impeachment inquiry, while two men who were alleged to have been part of an effort to influence the Ukrainian government — partly in connection with the state oil and gas company — have been indicted, arrested and have now been ordered to produce documents related to a meeting with former Texas US Representative Pete Sessions.
Chairmen of the three House committees conducting an impeachment effort against President Trump wrote a letter delivered to Sec. Perry, stating, “Recently, public reports have raised questions about any role you may have played in conveying or reinforcing the President’s stark message to the Ukrainian President,” and demanded Mr. Perry submit communications documents related to any Energy Department preparations for Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump urged Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
In addition, The Hill reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, the committee chairmen, are also seeking information about Perry’s attendance in leading the U.S. presidential delegation to Zelensky’s inauguration in May.
And the three committees are also demanding any available documentation of Perry’s alleged efforts to urge the president of Ukraine to replace members of the board of state oil and gas company Naftogaz.
And finally, the committees are demanded Perry hand over any information on meetings with President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, who it appears led an effort to influence Ukrainian government officials to investigate Biden, whose son Hunter was on the Naftogaz board.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports Thursday afternoon that two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested at Washington’s Dulles Airport a couple of hours after a meeting with Rudy Giuliani, following indictments of the two men on “criminal charges stemming from their alleged efforts to funnel foreign money into U.S. elections and influence U.S. politics on behalf of at least one Ukrainian politician.”
Parnas and Fruman were the subject of story in The Texas Energy Report on Tuesday noting that Mr. Perry is being pulled into the impeachment effort by Congressional Democrats and refuting news reports that a Florida energy magnate met with the two at a Houston CERAWeek dinner to discuss a plan to change the makeup of the Naftogaz board of directors.
That energy magnate, International Oil Trading Co. CEO Harry Sargeant III, denies meeting with Parmas and Fruman for any such purpose.
Former Trump lawyer John Dowd now represents Parnas and Fruman.
The indictment against the two men makes a reference to “a congressman” which the WSJ says is “identifiable” as former Texas US Representative Pete Sessions, who was sought out by Mr. Parnas in “causing the U.S. government to remove or recall the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.”
The indictment said plans to recall the ambassador, conducted “at least in part, at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.”
The ambassador, Marie Yovanovich, was removed in May.