Perry delegation talking points stressed pushing Ukraine to deal with 'corruption'

Perry delegation talking points stressed pushing Ukraine to deal with 'corruption'
© Camille Fine

A delegation led by former Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryTop National Security Council aide moved to Energy Department role Overnight Energy: Green groups to sue over Trump rollback of Obama water rules | GOP climate plan faces pushback from right | Bezos launches B climate initiative Rick Perry to rejoin dental insurance company as chief strategy officer MORE to Ukraine last May planned to urge local leaders to make the right choices regarding "corruption," according to talking points and other documents released by the Energy Department on Tuesday.  

One talking point stated that the U.S. would work with Ukraine if the European nation made "the hard choices" on combatting corruption.

”The United States and the European Union stands ready to work with you to ensure that change and reform can be implemented. But you must be committed to make the hard choices on corruption and good governance reforms,” the talking point stated.

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That talking point was listed for both a reception and lunch for international delegates as well as for a meeting between Energy Department Chief of Staff Brian McCormack and Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWhistleblower retaliation: Stop confusing unlawful attacks with politics Congress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment Senate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony MORE (R-Wis.).

Perry’s dealings with Ukraine have come into question following revelations that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company where former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE’s son Hunter served on its board.

The talking points repeatedly mention the topic of corruption, weaving back and forth between specific reforms requested of Ukraine’s natural gas market, and those more broadly aimed at improving democracy. 

Another talking point listed for a meeting with the then-chief of the Ukrainian parliament said that it was “crucial” that an unbundling plan “does not increase avenues for corruption.”

Talking points for a meeting with Ukraine’s foreign minister say that a “transparent, rules-based, and competitive energy market is essential to Ukraine’s sovereignty and energy security.”

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The Energy Department on Tuesday provided the documents in response to a request from watchdog group American Oversight.

The Hill has reached out to the department for comment. 

Perry, who resigned from the department in November, told The Wall Street Journal last year that Trump directed him to discuss Ukrainian corruption concerns with Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiHouse panel says key witness isn't cooperating in probe into Yovanovitch surveillance Pennsylvania Democrat says US Attorney's Office should prioritize opioids rather than 'Russian propaganda' from Giuliani Bill Barr is trying his best to be Trump's Roy Cohn MORE, the president's personal attorney.

Perry also refused to comply with a subpoena during the House’s impeachment inquiry into Trump. 

Tuesday night’s release precedes two other Energy Department releases to American Oversight that are expected during the coming months