Amid the firestorm over the new revelations about Donald Trump Jr’s contact with a Russian lawyer during the campaign, it’s worth noting that another candidate’s associates engaged in “collusion” with a foreign government: Hillary Clinton’s allies and the Ukrainian government teamed up to coordinate anti-Trump material.
Peter Hasson of The Daily Caller reminded everyone of a Politico report detailing the coordination between the two: Democratic National Committee (DNC) operative Alexandra Chalupa met with Ukrainian government officials for dirt on Paul Manafort, who at the time was rumored to replace Corey Lewandowski as Donald Trump’s campaign manager.
Once Manafort officially became Lewandowski’s replacement, Chalupa shared her opposition research on Manafort with the DNC, and they were ecstatic about it:
The Politico report also notes that the DNC encouraged Chalupa to try to arrange an interview with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to talk about Manafort’s ties to the former pro-Russia president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort previously advised.
The embassy declined to arrange the meeting but was nevertheless “helpful,” Chalupa told Politico. “If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with,” she said, but added that “There were no documents given, nothing like that.”
Chalupa also told Politico that the Ukrainian embassy worked directly with reporters in uncovering dirt on Manafort and Trump.
The Ukrainian government denied the allegations made in the Politico report, but their denial was undercut by former Ukrainian embassy official Andrii Telizhenko admitting “that he was assigned to work with Chalupa” and that “they were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa.”
The DNC simply claimed that Chalupa’s coordination with the Ukrainian government were her actions alone.
This is a more concrete example of collusion with a foreign government during a presidential campaign than Donald Trump, Jr.’s meeting with a Russian government attorney. However, Ed Morrissey notes that at least “the DNC was careful to keep Clinton and her family at arm’s length.”
“If nothing else, the Clinton machine understood the need for firewalls between negative-research efforts and the candidate,” Morrissey writes.
The Trump team clearly did not understand that, and now it’s coming back to bite them in a yuge way. But that doesn’t change the fact that Hillary Clinton allies did the same thing the Democrats are now so outraged about.