When the whistleblower report and the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine were released, Democrats and the media almost immediately began the narrative juggernaut that Trump was trying to enlist the Ukrainians to help dig up dirt on his political opponent Joe Biden, and how that’s an impeachable offense as well as being morally repugnant, etc. and et. al.
And it was a strange narrative because we’ve known for some time about Hunter Biden’s weird work in Ukraine and other places while his daddy was serving in high government positions. Jim Geraghty at National Review has a complete timeline of those reports and they go back several years.
So Trump wasn’t really out of line in asking the Ukrainians about it (although, as Sen. Ted Cruz suggested, it may not have been a wise topic to bring up. If for no other reason (my words, not the Senator’s) because it gave the Dems something to pretend to freak out about.)
But let’s talk about the freakout that has led to the impeachment inquiry and any number of media types warning those who might think Trump has a responsibility to investigate corruption (that we’ve known about for a while) that they will go down in everlasting infamy should they continue to support this president. Why the full court press about something we all already know?
My best guess is it’s because it’s a red herring for two other things mentioned in the phone call that are actually the same thing: U.S. attorney John Durham adding Ukraine to his investigation into how the Russia collusion investigation began; and Trump’s mention that the hacked DNC server, reviewed by a DNC-aligned tech group called CrowdStrike and pronounced compromised by the Russians, might be in the hands of Ukrainian officials.
That’s important because, as Julie Kelly reports at American Greatness, CrowdStrike was literally the only report produced about the DNC hack, and the actual DNC server was never examined by U.S. Intelligence officials. CrowdStrike’s report, however, redacted in-house, was used by some of those IC officials, to testify before Congress that the Russians were definitively the hackers.
“[The] hack, according to collusion truthers, and the subsequent release of damaging emails exchanged between top Democratic Party officials was central to Vladimir Putin’s scheme to sway the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump,” Kelly writes. “But the evidence to support this widely accepted claim is sketchy at best and appears to be under appropriate scrutiny by prosecutors now examining the origins of the FBI’s pre-election investigation into the Trump campaign for ‘colluding’ with Russia.”
Trump’s exact request regarding the DNC server in his phone call to the Ukrainian president was as follows:
“I would like you to do us a favor,” Trump said. “I would like you to find out what happened with the whole situation with Ukraine, with CrowdStrike. The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.”
Kelly says this is what the Ukraine phone call is really about, and it’s linked to the general investigation into Russia collusion because the CrowdStrike report, as mentioned above, was one of the pieces of “evidence” Dems pointed to that showed Putin tried to use the hacked emails to help Trump win.
They myth of the CrowdStrike report is that the Intelligence Community had some hand in producing that report. Kelly busts that myth, and explains in detail CrowdStrike’s long association with well-known Democratic operatives, Perkins Coie law firm, Hillary Clinton and the whole lot.
CrowdStrike is a cybersecurity firm with strong ties to the Democratic Party. After the DNC server was hacked in early 2016, Perkins Coie, a politically connected law firm, hired CrowdStrike on behalf of the DNC to find out who was behind the intrusion. (Perkins Coie is the same law firm that hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign to dig up Russia-related dirt on Team Trump before the election.)
That isn’t the extent of CrowdStrike’s dubious political ties. Its co-founder, Moscow-born Dmitri Alperovitch, is associated with the Clinton Foundation; in 2015, CrowdStrike received $100 million in funding from Google whose chairman, Eric Schmidt, was a generous supporter of Hillary Clinton. CrowdStrike’s president is Shawn Henry, who headed up the FBI’s cybercrimes division during the Obama Administration when Robert Mueller was director.
And that’s only part of the associations with Democrats Kelly uncovered. Most telling, however, is that CrowdStrike’s report is the “only piece of evidence to support the claim that Putin apparatchiks stole thousands of emails from the Democrats just months before the presidential election. But the document isn’t just part of political lore; it was legitimized both by the FBI and the CIA as the Obama Administration attempted to buttress its phony narrative about a conspiracy between Trump and Putin to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. The server, however, was never inspected by U.S. law enforcement or any other government agency.”
Kelly then presents testimony former FBI Director Jim Comey gave to Congress in June 2017:
Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.): Did the FBI request access to those devices to perform forensics on them?
Comey: [coughs] Yes, we did.
Burr: Were you given access to do the forensics?
Comey: We were not. A highly respected private company got access and shared with us what they saw there.
The CrowdStrike report was later used by then-CIA Director John Brennan in his testimony on Russia collusion, and it shows up in the Mueller report as well.
And now Trump wants to see that server and has requested help from the Ukrainians to find it and turn it over.
While the Biden’s alleged influence peddling is the sexy story, it’s not why we’re having a 24 hour news cycle of all impeachment, all the time. This is about, as it’s been for several years now, the Russia collusion hoax.