Ukraine was key player in Democrat attempts to attack Trump in 2016

Lee Smith:
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Given all the focus on nefarious Russia, you could be forgiven for missing the fact that Ukraine was always at the center of the Trump-Russia affair.

Viewed in this light, the Trump-Ukraine quid pro quo bribery narrative must compete with another explanation: Trump's determination to get to the bottom of an underhanded years-long campaign arrayed against him. One of the first things he did after the Mueller report debunked the collusion narrative was to call the Ukranian president and ask him to help do just that.

The impeachment battle is not just about congressional probes and alleged presidential strong-arming, but about the Russiagate narrative. Anti-Trump forces in the government and media are working to vindicate their previous efforts and discredit a forthcoming Justice Department inquiry into the origins of Russiagate by again connecting Trump and a foreign power to a U.S. election.

I’ve covered the Trump-Russia story for three years. Even before these operations emerged publicly after Trump’s 2016 victory, I doubted the pre-election whisper campaign circulating throughout the Washington press corps that held Trump was clandestinely cooperating with Moscow.

First, the idea that Trump had for many years been a Russian ally, even an agent, was hard to believe given that there had been no mention of this during a long career lived entirely in the spotlight. I was especially skeptical of this claim because Trump’s business concerns were based largely in the most media-saturated city in the world, and because they involved industries – especially real estate and casinos – that attract the attention of legal authorities.

Second, candidate Trump’s proposed policies toward Russia were similar to those of the Obama administration – and would prove tougher after he was elected – making it hard to see how he was secretly beholden to Moscow.

I was not surprised when the special counsel concluded the story was false. Neither was it surprising, given the amount of money, time, and prestige spent on pushing collusion, to see Russiagate rebooted two weeks ago in the form of a whistleblower’s complaint.
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Although the details are different – no mention this time of hookers and golden showers – the whistleblower’s central claim closely resembles the thesis laid out in the anti-Trump dossier compiled by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, which the FBI used as its roadmap to collusion: That Trump took or solicited dirt on his Democratic opponent from a foreign power in exchange for favors to that country’s government.

Once again, much of the media seem to be treating every allegation against Trump as probable fact, while dismissing any questions and concerns as conspiracy theories.
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Recent interviews with senior sources on Capitol Hill and newly acquired documents show that Ukraine was and continues to be central to the effort to take down Trump.

That’s why Trump’s most urgent request of the Ukrainian president was to assist Attorney General William Barr in his investigation of the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.

“Our country has been through a lot,” Trump told President Zelensky. “They say a lot of it started with Ukraine.”

This assertion was not wrong. And yet for all of the foreigners, including Ukrainians, who played roles in Russiagate, this is a story about Americans with the sort of scruples, ambitions, and labyrinthine connections found in a Dostoevsky novel.
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There is much more.

The Ukraine connection began with a Democrat activist named Chalupa who approached the Ukraine embassy in DC looking for dirt on Trump.  As Smith notes, "Keep that in mind when Democrats and their media allies routinely suggest it is treasonous to seek foreign aid during an election."

It is a long piece but worth exploring in full.  The bad faith of the Democrats is palpable.

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