By: Col. Lawrence Sellin (Ret.) | CCNS
Eric Ciaramella, the National Security Council Director for Ukraine, is widely assumed to be Rep. Adam Schiff’s so-called whistleblower regarding President Trump’s July 25, 2019 phone call (a call that Ciaramella was not even on) with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. That “whistleblower” complaint began a series of events leading to President Trump’s impeachment and acquittal in late 2019 and early 2020.
It so happens that Ciaramella chaired a series of meetings at the White House and Old Executive Office Building, many with links to the radical leftist billionaire, George Soros, whose fingerprints can be found on everything from the collapse of national currencies to the election of equally radical prosecutors across the U.S. who are allowing our cities to be destroyed right before our eyes, and to the repeated efforts to remove the duly elected President Trump from office.
Criminal or unethical intent of the meeting attendees described below are in no way assumed or implied, but investigating Eric Ciaramella’s perhaps operational activities while a member of the otherwise think tank-like National Security Council is worthwhile.
During the first week of December 2015, Donald Trump began to establish a substantial lead over his Republican primary opponents.
Vice President Joseph Biden traveled to Ukraine to announce, on December 7th, a $190 million program to “fight corruption in law enforcement and reform the justice sector,” but behind the scenes, there was an apparent explicit link between a $1 billion loan guarantee and the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who had been investigating the energy company Burisma, which had as a paid board member Biden’s son Hunter.
At the time, the problem raised about the alleged Latvia-Ukraine-Cyprus money-laundering investigation, which had been ongoing up until December 2015, was that it would potentially involve the Bidens.
It is not unreasonable to assume that a decision was taken to shift the emphasis of the investigation away from the Bidens and in the direction of Paul Manafort and the Trump campaign.
According to White House visitor logs, on January 19, 2016, Eric Ciaramella chaired a meeting of FBI, Department of Justice, and Department of State personnel, which reportedly had two main objectives:
- To coerce the Ukrainians to drop the Burisma probe, which involved Vice President Joseph Biden’s son Hunter, and allow the FBI to take over the investigation.
- To reopen a closed 2014 FBI investigation that focused heavily on GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort, whose firm had long been tied to Trump through his partner and Trump pal, Roger Stone.
The obvious purpose was to contain the investigation of Biden’s son and ramp up the investigation of Paul Manafort.
Again, according to White House logs, the attendees at the January 19, 2016 meeting in Room 230A of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building were:
Eric Ciaramella – National Security Council Director for Ukraine
Liz Zentos – National Security Council Director for Eastern Europe
David G. Sakvarelidze – Deputy General Prosecutor of Ukraine
Anna E. Iemelianova (Yemelianova) – Legal Specialist, US Embassy Kyiv, and US Department of Justice’s Anti-Corruption Program.
Nazar A. Kholodnitsky, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor
Catherine L. Newcombe – an attorney in the Criminal Division, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, with the U.S. Department of Justice
Svitlana V. Pardus – Operations, Department of Justice, U.S. Embassy, Ukraine.
Artem S. Sytnyk – Director of the National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine
Andriy G. Telizhenko, a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington DC
Jeffrey W. Cole – Resident Legal Advisor at U.S. Embassy Ukraine, presumed to be FBI
Just two weeks after that meeting, on February 2, 2016, according to White House logs, Eric Ciaramella chaired a meeting in Room 374 of the Eisenhower Executive Office, which seems to be a planning session to re-open an investigation of Paul Manafort (Note: one of the crimes of which Manafort was accused was money laundering, an area normally covered by the Department of the Treasury). The attendees were:
Jose Borrayo – Acting Section Chief, Office of Special Measures, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Julia Friedlander – Senior Policy Advisor for Europe, Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Michael Lieberman – Deputy Assistant Secretary, Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Scott Rembrandt – Anti-Money Laundering Task Force, Assistant Director/Director, Office of Strategic Policy, Department of the Treasury.
Justin Rowland – Special Agent (financial crimes), Federal Bureau of Investigation.
It appears that Paul Manafort became a vehicle by which the Obama Deep State operatives could link Trump to nefarious activities involving Russians, which eventually evolved into the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.
It is also no secret that George Soros operates through Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to influence national policies throughout the world.
It may be that Eric Ciaramella was acting as a coordinator of some Soros-linked efforts in Ukraine in parallel with U.S. government activities, in particular through the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
On March 16, 2016, Eric Ciaramella chaired a meeting of the following interconnected individuals and groups in Room 230B of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
- Gina Lentine, Program Associate, Europe & Eurasia at Freedom House ( reportedly Soros-funded), where she was responsible for media support and civil society programming in Ukraine. Prior to that, Lentine was Program Coordinator, Eurasia Program for Soros’ Open Society Foundations, where she monitored civil society and NGO development in Ukraine.
- Alim Aliiev, a Ukrainian and program director of Crimean House, was a co-founder of the Crimean Tatar Cultural Center in Lviv, which was funded by the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation.
- Maria Dahle, based in Norway, is Director of Human Rights House, which is Soros affiliated and funded.
- Florian Irminger, from Switzerland, was Head of Advocacy at Human Rights House. He was also Treasurer for the Centre for Civil and Political Rights, which had a partnership with Soros’ Open Society Foundation and ran the joint “Conference on Corruption and its Impact on Human Rights in the Post-Soviet World” in Bern, Switzerland, 26-27 November 2014. On October 31, 2019, Irminger received a Soros Open Societies Foundation New Executives Fund grant ($25,000 to $250,000).
- Zoryan Kis, a Project Coordinator at Freedom House in Ukraine, received a $113,000 Soros grant to support LGBT activities.
- Tetiana Pechonchyk is chairperson of the ZMINA Human Rights Centre in Ukraine. ZMINA is funded by the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation and Freedom House (listed on the ZMINA website). Pechonchyk is connected to the Human Rights House.
- Matthew Schaaf is Freedom House’s Project Director Ukraine and writes for the Soros-funded Open Democracy.
- Olga Skrypnyk is a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group and ZMINA, the latter which is funded by Soros and Freedom House.
March 30, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met David K. Meyer, Foreign Service Officer specializing in relationships with strategic partners including foreign government representatives, domestic and international non-governmental organizations (NGO). The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room suggesting a requirement for secrecy.
April 11, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met with:
- Zselyke Csaky, Freedom House, Research Director for Europe and Eurasia and works on Nations in Transit, Freedom House’s annual survey of democracy from Central Europe to Central Asia.
- Robert G. Herman, Non-Resident Senior Democracy Fellow at Freedom House specializing in emergency assistance to frontline activists and organizations that have come under threat, and multilateral initiatives.
- Nate Schenkkan, Director for Special Research at Freedom House.
April 15, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met Sara E. Silverstein, assistant professor of history and human rights (for migrants) at the University of Connecticut, and Timothy D. Snyder, a historian specializing in the history of Central and Eastern Europe at Yale University.
May 6, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met among others:
- Benjamin L. Schmitt, European Energy Security Advisor, U.S. Department of State.
- Marguerite B. Rivard, Joint Duty Assignment as EUCOM Branch Chief at US Department of Defense, Office of the Under Secretary for Defense Intelligence (Russian, Ukrainian linguist).
- Nathan F. Peeters, Department of Homeland Security
The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room suggesting a requirement for secrecy.
June 1, 2016 – Victoria Nuland has a telephone conversation with George Soros and Yevhen Bystrystky, CEO of the International Renaissance Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO founded by George Soros.
June 2, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met Yevhen Bystrystky, CEO of the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation, and Jeffrey L. Goldstein, senior policy analyst for Eurasia at George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
June 9, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met, among others:
- Matthew Q. Edwards, Department of Commerce.
- Alex J. Grohovsky International Economist, Department of the Treasury conducted political and economic analysis on a portfolio covering Ukraine.
- Jonathan Katz, Director for Ukraine, USAID.
- Michael A. Lally, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Department of Commerce.
- Matthew A. Murray, Senior Advisor, Governance and Rule of Law, USAID, who implemented development assistance programs to address risks posed by systemic corruption in critical nations and conflict zones.
- Elizabeth I. Urbanas, Director Europe and Eurasia, Department of Energy.
- John Vansandt, Senior Policy Advisor and Crisis Coordinator, USAID.
The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room suggesting a requirement for secrecy.
June 17, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella meets Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Geoffrey R. Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room suggesting a requirement for secrecy.
July 5, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met Jonathan Katz, Director for Ukraine, USAID.
July 13, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met Jonathan Katz, Director for Ukraine, USAID.
August 16, 2016 – Eric Ciaramella met Jonathan Katz, Director for Ukraine, USAID.
There are several peculiar aspects to a meeting chaired by Eric Ciaramella on September 7, 2016, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. All seven invitees signed in between 1:14-1:17 PM for a scheduled 1:30 PM start. Based on the attendees’ expertise, the meeting’s topic was likely Ukraine.
- The meeting appears to have involved at least three employees of the National Security Agency, the intelligence organization responsible for gathering and analyzing electronic surveillance. This meeting occurred over a month before the first FBI-initiated, Trump-Russia collusion hoax FISA warrant was issued.
- The presence of one attendee, the Executive Director of a Soros-funded entity, raises suspicions as to the intended courses of action arising from the meeting, given Eric Ciaramella’s previous meetings with Soros-connected individuals.
- It appears that three attendees were signed-in under names other than their own. The names seem to be altered in roughly the same fashion, in such a way suggesting a deliberate intent to deceive. Based on the type of alteration, it gives the impression that the individuals were either instructed to do so or the logs were changed.
According to White House visitor logs, the names of those at Ciaramella’s meeting are listed as: Michael D. Jarvis, Natalia O. Lassowsky, Bailey S. Holladay, Stefanie L. Stagg, Thomas W. Pucci, Donald M. Camp, and Jessica M. Gray.
Based on available public information, the professional roles of the attendees have been analyzed.
Michael D. Jarvis became Executive Director of the Soros-funded Transparency and Accountability Initiative in June 2016. He was previously with the World Bank Group working on corporate responsibility issues, anti-corruption, private sector roles in development, and multi-stakeholder governance. Jarvis is a specialist in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. George Soros is said to have “extensive business interests in Ukraine,” a country with large oil and gas industries.
Natalia O. Lassowsky is believed to be of Ukrainian extraction and was an employee of the National Security Agency, with whom she holds a patent.
Bailey S. Holladay is a U.S. Air Force-trained, likely Russian, linguist, and presumably, an analyst for the National Security Agency, based on her published associates and areas of expertise.
Stafanie L. Stagg is a name that appears in the Washington DC area, but her affiliation is yet undetermined, presumed to have been with the National Security Agency or an intelligence-related organization in some way dealing with Ukraine, based on the nature of Ciaramella’s meeting. A request for verification has not been answered.
“Thomas W. Pucci” appears to be Thomas J. Pucciarella, presumed National Security Agency employee and son of Donna M. Pucciarella, former head of the Office of Personnel Security at the National Security Agency. He now works in the private sector.
“Donald M. Camp” is likely LTG (ret) Donald M. Campbell, former commander of USA EUR during the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the seizure of Crimea. He also has a background in Cyber and is now an independent consultant for Blackwater Agency/Protection, according to his LinkedIn resume.
“Jessica M. Gray” seems to be Jessica K. Graybill, Associate Professor of Geography and Russian and Eurasian Studies; Director, Russian & Eurasian Studies Program, Colgate University.
Ciaramella’s September 7, 2016, Soros-connected meeting follows two of his previous Soros-connected meetings, according to White House visitor logs.
On December 9, 2015, Ciaramella held a meeting in Room 236 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, which was 59%-funded by Barack Obama’s State Department and the International Renaissance Foundation, a George Soros organization.
Also attending that meeting was Catherine Newcombe, an attorney in the Criminal Division, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, with the U.S. Department of Justice, where, among other duties, she oversaw the Department’s legal assistance programs to Ukraine. The other meeting took place on March 16, 2016, and described above.
With John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russia-collusion hoax apparently nearing an end, and the report released this week by Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley into Hunter and Joe Biden’s potential conflicts of interest regarding Ukraine, Russia, and China, these meetings involving Eric Ciaramella take on new meaning in the ongoing Deep State efforts to overturn the last election. If Joe Biden becomes President and the Democrats take control of the Senate, investigations into how these stories overlap and relate to each other will come to an end.
Colonel Sellin is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security.