A senior Capitol Hill workers member who’s a longtime voice on Russia coverage is underneath congressional investigation over his frequent journeys to Ukraine’s warfare zones and offering what he mentioned was $30,000 in sniper gear to its army, paperwork present.

The workers member, Kyle Parker, is the senior Senate adviser for the U.S. Fee on Safety and Cooperation in Europe, generally known as the Helsinki Fee. The fee is led by members of Congress and staffed by congressional aides. It’s influential on issues of democracy and safety and has been vocal in supporting Ukraine.

A confidential report by the fee’s director and normal counsel, which The New York Occasions reviewed, mentioned that the tools switch may make Mr. Parker an unregistered international agent. It mentioned that Mr. Parker had traveled Ukraine’s entrance strains sporting camouflage and Ukrainian army insignia and had employed a Ukrainian official for a U.S. authorities fellowship over the objections of congressional ethics and safety officers.

And it raised the chance that he was “wittingly or unwittingly being focused and exploited by a international intelligence service,” citing unspecified “counterintelligence points” that ought to be referred to the F.B.I.

A consultant for Mr. Parker mentioned he had achieved nothing improper. He mentioned Mr. Parker was the goal of a “marketing campaign of retaliation” for making accusations of misconduct towards the report’s authors.

The report so troubled the fee’s chairman, Consultant Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina, that he advisable Mr. Parker be fired to guard nationwide safety, data present. He cited “severe alleged improper acts involving Ukrainian and different international people.”

“I urgently advocate you safe his fast resignation or termination,” Mr. Wilson, a supporter of Ukraine, wrote in a Nov. 1 letter to the fee’s Democratic co-chairman, Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland. Mr. Parker’s consultant mentioned he had not been requested to resign, and had no plans to.

Mr. Parker remains on the commission pending what three U.S. officers described as a broad investigation into workers conduct, together with the accusations within the report and accusations from Mr. Parker towards the fee’s government director, Steven Schrage, and counsel, Michael Geffroy, who wrote the report.

The investigation is being led by an outdoor regulation agency, mentioned the officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to explain the persevering with inquiry. It’s unclear whether or not Congress referred issues to the F.B.I., because the report advisable.

The misconduct investigation has disrupted the Helsinki Fee at a dangerous time for Ukraine and its relationship with Congress. The nation has suffered setbacks in its warfare with Russia and is determined for more cash and weapons. Republicans are threatening to dam $60 billion in extra assist.

In his letter, Mr. Wilson warned that scandal on the fee may jeopardize “future Ukraine assist.”

The Helsinki Fee is a key pro-Ukraine voice, each on Capitol Hill and in Europe. Mr. Parker is certainly one of its longest-serving aides. He’s recognized in foreign-policy circles as a driving power behind a 2012 human rights regulation, the Magnitsky Act, impressed by the demise of the Russian anticorruption crusader Sergei L. Magnitsky.

The report raises the prospect that Mr. Parker’s strident help for Ukraine crossed moral or authorized strains and that he, a U.S. authorities worker, may need been functioning as an agent of Ukraine. By way of his consultant, Mr. Parker denied that.

Representatives for Mr. Cardin and Mr. Wilson referred inquiries to the Workplace of the Home Employment Counsel, which didn’t reply to messages.

Mr. Parker is certainly one of many Individuals who poured into Ukraine after Russia’s 2022 invasion. Some supplied cash and provides or fought alongside Ukrainian troopers. Others were dishonest, incompetent or preoccupied with internecine squabbles.

In lectures, podcasts and social media posts, Mr. Parker mentioned he had traveled to Ukraine at least seven times because the invasion started in February 2022, together with to fight zones, describing himself as “probably the most well-traveled American official in wartime Ukraine.”

Social media images from these journeys present him sporting camouflage and the insignia of Ukrainian models. In one picture, he wears a provincial army administration’s patch. In one other, he wears camouflage and a Ukrainian drone unit patch. In one other, he says he’s “plotting the liberation” of Luhansk with a Ukrainian official.

One video obtained by The Occasions exhibits him reducing up a Russian hat and urinating on it.

“Mr. Parker’s unofficial journey and media selling himself as a international army interlocutor elevate additional authorized and moral issues amid reported Ukrainian army corruption,” the report mentioned.

Mr. Parker’s consultant offered written solutions to questions on behalf of Mr. Parker on the situation that he not be recognized. He mentioned that “American and Ukrainian safety consultants” had suggested Mr. Parker to put on camouflage close to the entrance and that he had by no means worn the insignia of the army models that he was accompanying.

He mentioned the urination was “a private expression of rage and grief” after witnessing proof of Russian brutality.

Mr. Parker’s consultant mentioned these weren’t official journeys. However Mr. Parker has publicly spoken as in the event that they have been. A few of those that traveled with him mentioned they believed that he was on government business. The fee revealed {a photograph} of him within the besieged metropolis of Kherson.

In an April 2023 lecture on the College of Maine, Mr. Parker mentioned that, after the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv earlier than Russia’s invasion, he was motivated to go to Ukraine to assist advise American policymakers.

“We now have virtually no eyes on the bottom, no presence,” he mentioned, based on a recording by The Bangor Day by day Information, which covered the event and offered audio to The Occasions. “So, you understand, I really feel like that makes the journey much more necessary, to have the ability to say, ‘Hey, right here’s what I’ve seen.’”

It isn’t unlawful to go to Ukraine’s entrance strains, regardless of State Department warnings towards doing so.

“I don’t reply to the State Division,” he added. “We’re an unbiased company.”

He instructed congressional officers that least a few of his travels have been to steer household he has in Ukraine to depart, based on two U.S. officers with direct data of the inquiry. Mr. Parker’s consultant mentioned he had helped household evacuate.

Mr. Parker has mentioned he drove to the entrance strains. American officers not often go to the entrance, and solely with heavy safety.

William B. Taylor Jr., a former high U.S. envoy in Ukraine, mentioned such expeditions have been notably dangerous. “If you happen to’re within the authorities or have some propaganda worth to the Russians,” he mentioned, “the advantages should be very, very excessive.”

As workers director when the warfare broke out in 2022, Mr. Parker mentioned the fee was on “warfare footing” and now not needed to observe guidelines about reporting journey or contacting international officers, the report mentioned. Mr. Parker’s consultant denied this.

The report mentioned Mr. Parker employed a Ukrainian Parliament aide as a fee fellow, regardless of “workers safety, ethics and authorized objections.”

The report didn’t identify the aide. The Occasions recognized him as Andrii Bondarenko, who mentioned in messages that he had held an unpaid place for a couple of month in late 2022..

“The thought was to grasp how Congress works,” he mentioned. Mr. Bondarenko mentioned he at the moment served within the Ukrainian army.

Mr. Parker’s lecture in Maine raised alarm on the fee.

The report relied on public accounts of the occasion, throughout which Mr. Parker described acquiring tools for Ukrainian snipers.

Within the recording, he mentioned a relative in Ukraine had given him $30,000 raised by veterans and volunteers, which he had used to purchase vary finders from Amazon and ballistic wind gauges from a Philadelphia-area producer.

He mentioned he delivered them to Kharkiv on Easter weekend 2022 to “guys who’re going to take it up with the snipers within the entrance.” Vary fingers are specialised binoculars or monoculars. Wind gauges assist calculate climate variables to line up photographs.

Exporting such tools isn’t essentially restricted, although delivering subtle fashions might be. Mr. Parker mentioned he adopted export legal guidelines.

“You by no means go into wartime Ukraine with an empty suitcase,” he mentioned.

Aishvarya Kavi and Rebecca Davis O’Brien contributed reporting.




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