Talking Points Memo breaks an exclusive in the impeachment probe with news that Bud Cummins, a former U.S. attorney in Little Rock and Donald Trump’s Arkansas campaign manager in 2016, attempted to promote widely discredited Trump theories about Ukraine, including that the real story is Hunter Biden’s payment as employee for Ukraine gas company.
In Trump world (but nowhere else credible), Russia didn’t help elect Trump. Ukraine conspired to help Hillary.
As far back as October 2018, a former U.S. attorney acting on behalf of Ukrainian interests tried to get federal law enforcement to bite on bogus political dirt about the Bidens and on whether Paul Manafort’s notorious Black Ledger was a forgery.
Bud Cummins, a former U.S. attorney in Arkansas, emailed the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York relaying a request for a meeting with U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of New York that Trump has tried to push as a counter-narrative to his extortion of Ukaine for political advantage.
A letter from Rudy Giuliani gave TPM the angle to ask Cummins and he admitted his involvement Sunday morning. Rudy’s letter touted that a U.S. attorney had tried to get the FBI to investigate Biden matters in Ukraine. That was Cummins.
Does Cummins have any real dirt? Doesn’t sound like it. He said he’d gotten his info from intermediaries for a dirty former Ukraine prosecutor.
“The information I gave to them was a request to meet with Lutsenko,” Cummins said, adding that he had a brief phone call with Berman and sent three follow-up emails after the information was sent.
Speaking over the phone Sunday morning, Cummins expressed to TPM a mixture of dismay that Berman broke off contact and mild embarrassment at having dealt with Ukrainians whose motivations he admitted he did not understand. Cummins added that when he sent the email to Berman he “wasn’t advocating for the legitimacy of any of this.”
“At the time, I didn’t know a whole lot about Ukraine. I didn’t make any real attempt to vet this.” He added “I didn’t care, that wasn’t my job” in a discussion of what may have been motivating Lutsenko.
Facts? Who needs them? In brief: Cummins didn’t really know anything except that he was supposed to help Trump. (And through that connection, people like Ted Suhl and, who knows, maybe Jeremy Hutchinson. You’ll remember that Cummins has proclaimed Hutchinson was unfairly prosecuted and raised money for his defense before he pleaded guilty in a massive public corruption case.
What’s next? Will Cummins go to Trump to wangle a pardon for the then-senator who gave Donald Trump his first legislative endorsement in Arkansas? You could see where Trump might be sympathetic to an operator like Jon Woods, who’s already volunteered to raise a volunteer federal prisoner work gang to build his wall.
UPDATE: Perhaps coincidentally, Cummins has issued a news release through a PR firm announcing that his law firm intends to investigate the role of U.S. banks in money-raising by investors in a Russian bank. The whereabouts of brothers who ran this allegedly fraudulent scam are currently unknown. He joins another firm representing investors who say they lost $43 million.