House Oversight Committee Republicans highlighted potential Ukraine corruption issues as the United States has doled out more than $113 billion in aid to the country.
Led by chairman James Comer (R-KY), oversight Republicans sent a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power voicing concern about granting over $113 billion in aid to Ukraine as issues remain surrounding Ukrainian corruption.
Comer and House Republicans cited National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby, who on January 25 claimed that they have not seen any aid fall to corruption.
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.6 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. [Emphasis added]
Comer and the Republicans also explained that the World Bank, which is distributing aid to Ukraine, has not had the best track record for “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.
This is just the latest instance of Republicans wanting to increase oversight over how American taxpayer dollars are being used in Ukraine. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) led several Republicans on a trip to Ukraine to express their support for the country; they also conducted oversight of military equipment.
“We have strong bipartisan support to give Ukraine everything that it needs to win,” McCaul said.
Power on Thursday said there is no evidence that Ukraine aid is being misused.
“Up until this point, we don’t have any evidence that U.S. assistance is being misused or misspent but, again, the key is not resting on anybody’s goodwill or virtue. It’s checks and balances, the rule of law, the integrity of officials,” Power said in response to a question about Ukraine’s decades of corruption.
A recent report from Transparency International found that Ukraine ranked as the second most corrupt country in Europe, losing only to Russia, which ranked first. Ukraine also ranked as the 116th most corrupt country in the world, although it rose one rank since 2021.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3