So the Democrats were pestering the Ukrainians to collude with them to steal the election from Trump...
It's funny how false 'narratives' can flip.
John Solomon at the The Hill has a doozy about how Democratic Party operatives were pestering the Ukrainians something fierce in mid-2016 to come collude with them to steal the election from Donald Trump. That's not Solomon's assessment, it's what named Ukrainian officials are saying. He writes:
In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine’s embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country's president to help.
In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.
Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort’s Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign, the ambassador said.
Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist, and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.
They didn't know who the heck she was, they just didn't want her bothering them.
And they would have had good reason, too. Unlike, say, the Russians, or for that matter the western Europeans, the Ukrainians couldn't take it for granted that Hillary Clinton would win. They would have had a national interest in polite relations with whoever won the election, whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. They weren't hearing from Trump's people but they sure as heck were hearing from the Democrats - and probably felt very nervous about whether the pesterings were actually political blackmail. Consequences to be had if Ukraine didn't play ball with them - and they would have known that for Hillary, it was always pay to play - or hell to pay.
Which would explain why they seem to have yielded on one front - in the release of indicting documents on the business dealings of Paul Manafort, something that at the time was claimed to have been documents supposedly found in the wake of the last regime change in that country, which Manafort would have been on the wrong side of. Since then, a Ukrainian court found otherwise, and Solomon writes:
The fresh statement comes several months after a Ukrainian court ruled that the country’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), closely aligned with the U.S. embassy in Kiev, and a parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko wrongly interfered in the 2016 American election by releasing documents related to Manafort.
Which would have been something they'd now have an interest in revealing, given their fragile status with Russia threatening them, which necessitates having friends. No wonder they revealed the information to Solomon.
What we have here is an astonishingly flipped narrative, with Clinton trying to collude with a wary Ukraine to steal the election from Donald Trump. And sure enough, that narrative with Trump supposedly colluding with Russia to steal the election from Hillary Clinton followed shortly after.
Manafort seems to have been a particular loser in this, with charges coming to light only because of the pressure from the Clinton camp. While he was no angel, that ought to be grounds for vacating the whole case against him based on campaign misconduct. If we don't want more of this from Democrats, a case is there for it.