Director of National Intelligence nominee James Clapper testifies during the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on his nomination on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The REAL Collusion During the 2016 Election Occurred Between the Hillary Clinton Controlled DNC and Ukrainian Political Operatives
Original Story: Last week, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced he had opened a criminal investigation into alleged interference into the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Ukrainian political operators are alleged to have leaked (to the U.S. media) information contained in a “black ledger file” curiously found in former pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s otherwise empty bank vault. The ledger showed that a $12.7 million cash payment had been made from Yanukovych to Paul Manafort, who had once worked closely with him. The purpose of the leak was to damage Manafort and the Trump campaign and to help Hillary Clinton win the presidency. Once this information was made public, Manafort was forced to resign from the campaign and shortly afterward, his legal woes began.
Part 1 Summary: A pro-Western Ukrainian-American lawyer and activist named Alexandra Chalupa stands at the center of this story. She hated Manafort for his role in the re-election of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2010 and his subsequent work for the pro-Russian party in Ukraine.
She had worked both as a DNC staffer and consultant from 2004 through 2016. Prior to that, she had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Additionally, she had worked for other Democratic politicians including several Clinton campaign officials. She was well-connected in Washington as well as in Ukrainian diplomatic circles.
In the spring of 2016, she worked feverishly to destroy Paul Manafort and to promote the theory that Trump was colluding with the Russians to win the presidency. Chalupa’s smear campaign involved journalists and diplomats as well as contacts inside the DNC.
The New York Times published an article on August 19, 2016 which reported the alleged $12.7 million payment to Manafort. This forced him to resign from the Trump campaign. Prior to that, Chalupa had emailed the following message to a DNC colleague.
I spoke to a delegation of 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine last Wednesday at the Library of Congress…they put me on the program specifically to speak about Paul Manafort and I invited Michael Isikoff who I’ve been working with for the past few weeks and connected him to the Ukrainians. More offline tomorrow since there is a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in the next few weeks.
(Chalupa’s email account had been hacked, she believed by Russia, which is why she did not want to include sensitive information in an email.)
** The information contained in these posts comes from Dan Bongino’s book “Spygate,” a January 2017 investigation by Politico writers Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern, and a report by The Hill’s John Solomon of an interview with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.
At a 2017 briefing, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said:
If you’re looking for an example of a campaign coordinating with a foreign country or a foreign source, look no further than the DNC, who actually coordinated opposition research with the Ukrainian Embassy.
In 2016, the Ukrainian government was convinced of two things. First they believed that a pro-Ukraine Hillary Clinton administration would benefit their country far more than a pro-Russian Trump administration would. And second, they were sure that Clinton would win the election.
Politico writers Kenneth Vogel and David Stern interviewed Alexandra Chalupa for their January 2017 article. She told them she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. She also said that Ukrainian government officials gave her information to pass along to the DNC. She later denied both of these statements.
Recall that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had previously bailed out the DNC financially and essentially controlled it.
(After reading the Politico story, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-OH) grew concerned about Chalupa’s activities and wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who did not respond.
Grassley wrote: Chalupa’s actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the US voting population, but US government officials.
Grassley also wanted to know why she hadn’t been required to register under FARA. He also questioned why other Clinton confidantes such as Sidney Blumenthal, John Kornblum and Tony Podesta hadn’t either, especially when Mueller had brought charges against Paul Manafort for his failure to register as a foreign agent.)
Chalupa also told Politico that the embassy worked directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions. Unsurprisingly, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Valeriy Chaly, and one of his top aides, Oksana Shulyar,” vehemently denied working with reporters or with Chalupa on anything related to Trump or Manafort, explaining “we were stormed by many reporters to comment on this subject, but our clear and adamant position was not to give any comment [and] not to interfere into the campaign affairs.””
But Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy under Shulyar, said she instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. “Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa,” recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa,” he said, adding “Oksana was keeping it all quiet,” but “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”
Chalupa confirmed that, a week after Manafort’s hiring was announced, she discussed the possibility of a congressional investigation with a foreign policy legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who co-chairs the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. But, Chalupa said, “It didn’t go anywhere.”
Another important character in this story is Ukrainian Parliamentarian Serhiy Leshchenko who revealed the black ledger. Dan Bongino points out that at the same time, this same story appears in Christopher Steele’s dossier. This led people to see the dossier as confirmation that the story of the “black ledger found in the empty bank vault” was legitimate. It also implies coordination between Chalupa, Steele, Leshchenko, Fusion GPS and the DNC.
Leshchenko spoke to the Financial Times after revealing the black ledger. “A Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy. For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is a pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.”
Separately, Ukrainian billionaire and longtime contributor to the Clinton Foundation Victor Pinchuk, was doing his best to promote a Clinton victory. Pinchuk serves on the International Advisory Board of a Washington-based think tank called the Atlantic Council. This group is “connected to Ukrainian interests through its “Ukraine in Europe Initiative,” which is designed to galvanize international support for an independent Ukraine within secure borders whose people will determine their own future.”
Also serving on the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council is James Clapper, who served as Obama’s Director of National Intelligence.
Funnily enough, Bongino discovered that the Chief Technology Officer of “the only company that investigated the hacking of the DNC’s servers and quickly determined it was the Russians, is a nonresident senior fellow in cybersecurity” at the Atlantic Council. His name is Dmitri Alperovitch.
**Parts 3 and 4 will discuss the activities of Victor Pinchuk and the Atlantic Council in 2016.