Despite repeated claims Ukraine was involved in its own 2016 election meddling campaign, a GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee investigation in the fall of 2017 had turned up nothing to support it, according to Politico.
The investigation reportedly involved a 2017 interview with Democratic consultant Alexandra Chalupa, which resulted in a dead end and no more witnesses were requested to speak on the claims. Chalupa is a Ukrainian-American activist who served as co-chair of the Democratic National Committee's Ethnic Council.
Chalupa's Senate Intelligence Committee interview focused on her statements Ukrainian Embassy officials were "helpful" to her effort to raise alarms on Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort in 2016, according to a source with direct knowledge of the closed-door hearing, Politico reported.
"If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with," Chalupa reportedly said, while adding a caution officials were "very careful" not to get involved in U.S. politics, according to Politico.
Chalupa confirmed to Politico she was interviewed by the Senate Intelligence Committee, while a spokesman for Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., declined to comment, instead pointing to Sen. Mark Warner's, D-Va., recent comments to PBS, Politico reported.
"I take very seriously the responsibility of, what I hear in classified settings needs to stay classified," Warner told PBS's "Firing Line" last month. "But I think it is very clear to me, and this has been testified to by every leader of law enforcement, [and the] intelligence community, that there's been absolutely no validity to this crazy conspiracy theory that Ukraine was behind the 2016 intervention."
The narrative of Ukraine meddling is unfortunate, because it "muddies the waters" in pinning 2016 election meddling on Russia, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, told Politico.
"It has never been mentioned in any of the briefings I've had on the Intelligence Committee," King told the outlet.
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