- The Washington Times - Monday, September 30, 2019

Two top Republican senators on Monday asked the Justice Department to investigate claims that Democrats worked with Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on President Trump ahead of the 2016 election.

GOP Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa sent a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr asking for more information about whether Ukrainian officials sought to undermine Mr. Trump’s campaign. They also want to know more about 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s interactions with Ukrainian officials.

“Ukrainian efforts abetted by a U.S. political party to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored,” the senators wrote. “Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempted to undermine our Democrat processes.”

The letter comes just days after the Justice Department revealed U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating whether Ukraine was involved in any efforts to meddle in the 2016 election. Mr. Durham was handpicked by the attorney general to look into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

In the letter, the senators say Alexandra Chalupa, a Democratic consultant, coordinated with Ukrainian officials to find opposition research on Mr. Trump in 2016.



Ms. Chalupa is Ukrainian-American and worked as a Democratic consultant for over a decade. She has denied reports that she sought to find damaging information on Mr. Trump.

“During the 2016 US election, I was a part-time consultant for the DNC running an ethnic engagement program,” Ms. Chalupa said in a July statement to CNN. “I was not an opposition researcher for the DNC, and the DNC never asked me to go to the Ukrainian Embassy to collect information.”

The senators cite media reports saying Ms. Chalupa was tasked with finding evidence of ties between Mr. Trump and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russia.

“In May 2016, Chalupa emailed a DNC official stating that she met with 68 Ukrainian investigative journalists about Manafort and there would be ‘a lot more coming down the pipe,’” the senators wrote citing a report in The Hill.

At the very least, the senators say, Ms. Chalupa should have been required to register as a foreign lobbyist.

The senators asked Mr. Barr to respond by Oct. 14.

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