The chairman of the House Oversight Committee James Comer (R-Ky) has written to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and USAID Administrator Samantha Power to demand a full accounting of the $113 billion in taxpayer funds the Brandon regime has provided to the corrupt regime in Kiev.
While National Security spokesman John Kirby claimed not to have seen “any signs” of corruption in Ukraine, Comer pointed out these claims “came one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired several top Ukrainian officials amid a corruption scandal.” Providing US taxpayer funds in a war zone “comes with an inherent risk of fraud, waste, and abuse,” Comer wrote, noting that “unrealistic timelines and expectations that prioritize spending quickly lead to increased corruption.”
DoD, State and USAID must now produice all documents related to US aid to Ukraine by March 8, 2023. The letter was signed by republican Representatives including Jim Jordan, Nancy Mace, Andy Biggs, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Anna Paulina Luna.
Dear Secretary Austin, Secretary Blinken, and Administrator Power:
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is conducting oversight of the federal government’s administration of U.S. taxpayer-funded assistance to Ukraine. Since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly a year ago, Congress has provided more than $113 billion for security, humanitarian, economic, and governance assistance. It is critical that government agencies administering these funds ensure they are used for their intended purposes to prevent and reduce the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. The Committee seeks documents and information to understand how the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of State (State), and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) are conducting oversight of these funds.
On January 25, 2023, U.S. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, John Kirby claimed, “We have not seen any signs that our budgetary assistance has fallen prey to any kind of corruption in Ukraine,” and that all direct budgetary assistance, “goes through the World Bank.” Mr. Kirby continued, “I would go so far as to say the same on the security assistance side as well.” These claims came one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired several top Ukrainian officials amid a corruption scandal. Ukrainian government officials allegedly engaged in bribery, used government vehicles for personal use, and purchased inflated food supplies for Ukrainian forces. In response, President Zelensky named a new Minister of Defense. Based on Mr. Kirby’s remarks, however, the U.S. National Security Council appears unaware of this corruption scandal, heightening concerns that U.S. agencies are not conducting oversight of taxpayer assistance to Ukraine.
Providing security and humanitarian assistance for warfighting and reconstruction purposes comes with an inherent risk of fraud, waste, and abuse. The United States must identify these risks and develop oversight mechanisms to mitigate them. We learned from efforts in Afghanistan that the World Bank does not always have effective monitoring and accounting of funds, and often lacks transparency. We also learned that unrealistic timelines and expectations that prioritize spending quickly lead to increased corruption and reduced effectiveness of programs. As the United States continues to filter assistance through multilateral organizations with pressure to spend funds quickly, we must ensure proper protections are in place to prevent the misuse of funds.
To assist the Committee’s investigation into what is being done to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer funded assistance to Ukraine, please provide the following documents and information, covering the period February 24, 2022, to the present, as soon as possible, but no later than, March 8, 2023:
1. All documents and communications regarding strategies for end-use monitoring of weapons, equipment, direct budgeting assistance, and any other form of economic or security assistance for the Ukrainian people;
- All documents and communications regarding any anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine, including but not limited to any documents and communications detailing plans to condition assistance on Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts and how the U.S. is assisting Ukraine in developing an anti-corruption strategy;
- All documents and communications regarding how much money has been disbursed for Ukrainian assistance and how much remains in the spending pipeline;
- All documents and communications regarding any economic assistance programs for the Ukrainian government;
- All documents and communications regarding funds given to multilateral organizations for the purpose of Ukrainian assistance and any information regarding any oversight mechanisms with respect to those organizations;
- All documents and communications regarding any benchmarks for success of programs funded by assistance to Ukraine; and
- All documents and communications regarding any conditions imposed on funds provided as assistance to Ukraine.
The Committee on Oversight and Accountability is the principal oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Committee on Oversight and Accountability
Signatories: Jim Jordan, Clay Higgins, Jake LaTurner, Kelly Armstrong, Nancy Mace, Lisa McClain, Virginia Foxx, Andy Biggs, Byron Donalds, Scott Perry, Tim Burchett, Pete Sessions, William R. Timmons, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Russell Fry, Chuck Edwards, Eric Burlison, Lauren Boebert, Anna Paulina Luna , Nick Langworthy