Democrats colluded with a foreign government in an attempt to illegally influence the 2016 presidential election outcome. That influence was meant to favor the Hillary Clinton campaign at the expense of the Trump campaign and likely involved many high-ranking components of the Obama administration up to, and including, President Obama himself.
That’s what is being investigated right now by U.S. Attorney John Durham and that is what was being discussed (quite legally mind you) by President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky—the very same conversation panicked Democrats and their far-left media cohorts are now attempting to spin as something nefarious when in fact the only thing nefarious is the personal involvement of many of those same Democrats in a lucrative pay-to-play scheme disguised as foreign aid.
The Justice Department revealed that U.S. Attorney John Durham, picked by Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, is investigating whether Ukraine was involved in any 2016 election efforts.
“A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Wednesday. “While the Attorney General has yet to contact Ukraine in connection with this investigation, certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information to Mr. Durham, which he is evaluating.”
Durham has been Barr’s right hand as the two look into the complicated and classified issues surrounding how an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia — dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — got its start, though the U.S. attorney from Connecticut has been virtually silent since his selection.
The DOJ’s statement comes as the White House released a transcript of the controversial July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump suggests that Ukraine should investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a company owned by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky was being investigated by top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, though it is in dispute how serious that investigation was. Trump also suggested that Ukraine should look into issues surrounding the alleged involvement of some Ukrainians in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Biden boasted in 2018 that, as vice president, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire Shokin, which Trump’s allies have said was because of the investigation, but Democrats have said was part of a U.S. and European effort to oust Shokin as ineffective and a hindrance to Ukraine’s anti-corruption investigations. Ukraine removed Shokin in 2016.
DOJ also made it clear that Trump never told Barr to contact Ukraine about any investigation of Biden, nor did Barr ever discuss these issues with Ukraine or with Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Trump gave Barr “ full and complete authority to declassify information” related to the origins of the Trump-Russia probe in May after Barr had infuriated Democrats when he said “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign and refused to backtrack. Republicans have alleged that foreign intelligence agencies, like those in Western Europe, may have played a role in eavesdropping on or otherwise monitoring Trump campaign associates in 2016.
Durham’s investigation is separate from the one that was just finished by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The DOJ watchdog investigated allegations of abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI, and Horowitz has spoken with Durham, who is handling any criminal referrals from Horowitz’s investigation.