“A longtime Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist says she’s itching to testify in the House’s public impeachment hearings to beat back Republican assertions that Ukrainian officials used her as a conduit for information in 2016 to damage Donald Trump.
“I’m on a mission to testify,” said Alexandra Chalupa, who Republicans identified as one of nine witnesses they would like to testify publicly when the House begins public impeachment proceedings this week.
Chalupa, founder of the political consulting firm Chalupa & Associates, LLC, and a co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Ethnic Council, has been at the heart of efforts by allies of President Donald Trump to draw an equivalence between Russia’s large-scale hacking and propaganda operation to interfere in the 2016 election with the actions of a small cadre of Ukrainian bureaucrats who allegedly worked with Chalupa to research former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Russia ties.
In 2017, Chalupa told POLITICO reporters that officials at the Ukrainian Embassy were “helpful” to her effort to raise the alarm about Manafort. “If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with,” she said.
But she also downplayed the idea that the embassy was conspiring to interfere in American politics. “There were no documents given, nothing like that,” she said. “They were being very protective and not speaking to the press as much as they should have. I think they were being careful because their situation was that they had to be very, very careful because they could not pick sides. It’s a political issue, and they didn’t want to get involved politically because they couldn’t.”
Andrii Telizhenko, a 29-year-old former political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy who says he was tasked with helping Chalupa dig up dirt on Manafort in 2016, has gone further, claiming there was direct coordination between the DNC and the Ukrainian government.
Telizhenko met with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani earlier this year to discuss “Ukrainian collusion” with Democrats during the election, and Giuliani told Fox News last month that “Telizhenko has direct evidence” of the coordination.
Telizhenko’s claims have not been proved, however. The DNC has said Chalupa conducted the Manafort research on her own, and the so-called black ledger outlining off-the-books payments Manafort received from Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions—and that ultimately forced Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign—was released by an independent Ukrainian government agency and publicized by a Ukrainian member of Parliament.” (Read more: Politico, 11/12/2019) (Archive)