Two days ago, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he left no doubt about his conclusion of the Mueller report, that exonerated Donald Trump and his campaign of any collusion with the Russians during the 2016 campaign. Democrats descended on him like a pack of hyena’s, calling him a “liar” and “Trump’s personal lawyer.”
Why has AG Barr suddenly become the Democrat Party’s target? Why are Democrat lawmakers pretending they didn’t spend the last two and a half years pushing a manufactured Trump-Russia collusion story, and instead, are focusing on Trump’s AG? Could it be that Democrats know the DNC’s dirty little secret about their collusion with a foreign country to affect the outcome of the election in 2016 is about to be exposed?
Today, John Soloman of The Hill, one of the best and most reliable journalists in America, released a bombshell that points to the DNC soliciting dirt from a foreign country on Trump during the 2016 campaign. Soloman’s report suggests that they even tried to enlist the president of a foreign country to help with their efforts to help Hillary Clinton win the election.
The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.
In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.
In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.
Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.
Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.
“The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement issued by his embassy. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.
“All ideas floated by Alexandra were related to approaching a Member of Congress with a purpose to initiate hearings on Paul Manafort or letting an investigative journalist ask President Poroshenko a question about Mr. Manafort during his public talk in Washington, D.C.,” the ambassador explained.
Reached by phone last week, Chalupa said she was too busy to talk. She did not respond to email and phone messages seeking subsequent comment.
Chaly’s written answers mark the most direct acknowledgment by Ukraine’s government that an American tied to the Democratic Party sought the country’s help in the 2016 election, and they confirm the main points of a January 2017 story by Politico on Chalupa’s efforts.
In that story, the embassy was broadly quoted as denying interference in the election and suggested Chalupa’s main reason for contacting the ambassador’s office was to organize an event celebrating women leaders.
The fresh statement comes several months after a Ukrainian court ruled that the country’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), closely aligned with the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, and a parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko wrongly interfered in the 2016 American election by releasing documents related to Manafort.
The acknowledgment by Kiev’s embassy, plus newly released testimony, suggests the Ukrainian efforts to influence the U.S. election had some intersections in Washington as well.
Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior U.S. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, acknowledged in congressional testimony that, while working for the Clinton-hired research firm Fusion GPS, she researched Trump’s and Manafort’s ties to Russia and learned Leshchenko, the Ukrainian lawmaker, was providing dirt to Fusion.
Fusion also paid British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, whose anti-Trump dossier the FBI used as primary evidence to support its request to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
In addition, I wrote last month that the Obama White House invited Ukrainian law enforcement officials to a meeting in January 2016 as Trump rose in the polls on his improbable path to the presidency. The meeting led to U.S. requests to the Ukrainians to help investigate Manafort, setting in motion a series of events that led to the Ukrainians leaking the documents about Manafort in May 2016.
The DNC’s embassy contacts add a new dimension, though. Chalupa discussed in the 2017 Politico article about her efforts to dig up dirt on Trump and Manafort, including at the Ukrainian embassy.
FEC records show Chalupa’s firm, Chalupa & Associates, was paid $71,918 by the DNC during the 2016 election cycle.
Exactly how the Ukrainian Embassy responded to Chalupa’s inquiries remains in dispute.
Chaly’s statement says the embassy rebuffed her requests for information: “No documents related to Trump campaign or any individuals involved in the campaign have been passed to Ms. Chalupa or the DNC neither from the Embassy nor via the Embassy. No documents exchange was even discussed.”
But Andrii Telizhenko, a former political officer who worked under Chaly from December 2015 through June 2016, told me he was instructed by the ambassador and his top deputy to meet with Chalupa in March 2016 and to gather whatever dirt Ukraine had in its government files about Trump and Manafort.
Telizhenko said that, when he was told by the embassy to arrange the meeting, both Chaly and the ambassador’s top deputy identified Chalupa “as someone working for the DNC and trying to get Clinton elected.”
Over lunch at a Washington restaurant, Chalupa told Telizhenko in stark terms what she hoped the Ukrainians could provide the DNC and the Clinton campaign, according to his account.
“She said the DNC wanted to collect evidence that Trump, his organization and Manafort were Russian assets, working to hurt the U.S. and working with Putin against the U.S. interests. She indicated if we could find the evidence they would introduce it in Congress in September and try to build a case that Trump should be removed from the ballot, from the election,” he recalled.
After the meeting, Telizhenko said he became concerned about the legality of using his country’s assets to help an American political party win a U.S. election. But he proceeded with his assignment.
For the entire story, go The Hill.