Alexandra Chalupa

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Alexandra Chalupa
Born1976/1977 (age 42–44)[1]
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma mater
OccupationLawyer
Spouse(s)Jeff Roof
Children3
Parents

Alexandra (Ali) Chalupa is an American who was co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC's) Ethnic Council. She is also the founder of the political consulting firm Chalupa & Associates, LLC.[2]

Chalupa is a pro-Ukrainian activist. Prominent supporters of President Donald Trump have, without evidence, promoted the theory that Chalupa's past activities were part of a conspiracy between the DNC and the Ukrainian government to undermine Trump's campaign and, later, to frame the Russian government for the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 US presidential campaign.[3]

Early life[edit]

Chalupa was born in Davis, California, to Tanya and Leo M. Chalupa, both Ukrainian immigrants.[4][1][5][6] Tanya was born in a United Nations refugee camp in Heidenheim, Germany after World War II.[5] Tanya's and Leo's parents brought them to the United States as children seeking asylum from the Soviet Union, and they grew up in the Bronx, New York.[5] As a couple, they moved to California, where Leo earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA and became a professor at UC Davis.[5]

When Chalupa was 2–1/2, her life was saved by a child car seat when her parent's car spun out of control and crashed while traversing the Alps in Italy.[1][5] The incident led her mother to single-handedly wage a successful 2-year lobbying campaign in the California legislature for a mandatory child safety seat law that passed in 1982.[1][5]

Chalupa attended Davis Senior High School, pursued peace and conflict studies at UC Berkeley, and received her law degree from UC Davis.[4]

Career[edit]

Paul Manafort and Donald Trump[edit]

2016 Presidential Election[edit]

In 2014, Chalupa began to research the Ukraine crisis for a pro bono client unrelated to the DNC.[6] The research included Paul Manafort, his work for Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, and his connections to pro-Russian oligarchs.[6] After Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015, she expanded her research to include Trump and his ties to Russia.[6]

She began warning Ukrainian-American community leaders in January 2016 that Manafort was Russian president Vladimir Putin’s "political brain for manipulating U.S. foreign policy and elections."[6] She also shared her concerns with a senior DNC official, saying that a connection between the Trump campaign and Russia would likely mean Manafort would become involved in the election.[6] Near the end of March, she visited the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C., to organize an event in June highlighting female Ukrainian leaders.[6] While there, she shared her concerns with Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and his aide Oksana Shulyar.[6]

Manafort joined the Trump campaign a few days later as its convention manager.[7][6] The day after the campaign announced[8] Manafort's joining, Chalupa briefed the DNC's communications staff on Manafort's and Trump's ties to Russia.[6] A week later, Chalupa met with a foreign policy legislative assistant to Representative Marcy Kaptur in a failed attempt to start a congressional investigation into Manafort's activities.[6]

After the election, Chalupa assisted the Clinton campaign with their efforts to force vote recounts in some states.[9]

Ukrainian embassy[edit]

The Ukrainian embassy assisted Chalupa with her research, though the extent and nature of the assistance are in dispute.[6][2][10] According to Politico, the DNC encouraged Chalupa to ask the Ukrainian embassy to arrange a call with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort, Trump, and their connections to Russia, but the embassy declined.[6]

Andrii Telizhenko, a Ukrainian political officer who worked under Shulyar at the time, told Politico that she asked him to pass on to Chalupa any information he came across about connections between Trump, Manafort, and Russia.[6] He claimed the embassy was coordinating with Chalupa and the Clinton campaign on investigating Manafort.[6][11] In 2018, Telizhenko told the Ukrainian news site Strana.UA that Poroshenko worked with Chalupa to discredit Trump.[11] He began repeating the story in 2019 to U.S. right-wing media, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and House Intelligence Committee minority chair Devin Nunes.[11][12] Both the embassy and Chalupa disputed the allegations.[11][4] Ambassador Chaly denied any wrongdoing and called Telizhenko a liar.[13]

Chalupa denied that the DNC asked her to collect information from the embassy.[10]

Intimidation campaign[edit]

In late April 2016, Chalupa began receiving daily administrative alerts from Yahoo! warning her that state actors were attempting to break into her email account.[14][6] After two weeks of daily alerts, she informed the DNC about the hacking attempts.[14][6] That email[15] became public when WikiLeaks published stolen DNC emails in July.[14][6] The alerts continued into 2017.[6]

In June 2016, someone broke into and searched her car, but left everything behind.[6] She became convinced it was Russia-linked when two more family cars were broken into and ransacked but nothing was stolen.[6] A few days later, a woman "wearing white flowers in her hair" tried to break into Chalupa's home.[6] She mentioned the incident to Shulyar, who told her it resembled intimidation campaigns used against foreigners in Russia.[6]

Chalupa began receiving death threats in the second half of 2016.[6]

FEC complaints[edit]

The conservative watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed a complaint against Chalupa and the DNC with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in August 2017.[16] The complaint[17] alleges that the research assistance the Ukrainian embassy provided to her during the 2016 election campaign was an illegal campaign contribution to the DNC because of her work for them at the time.[16]

The pro-Trump super PAC Committee to Defend the President filed a similar FEC complaint against the DNC in September 2019, alleging that the DNC ordered Chalupa to investigate Manafort and Trump.[18] Like the 2017 complaint, it is largely a mischaracterization of the 2017 Politico article[6] detailing her research efforts.[18]

Calls for DOJ investigation[edit]

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) on two occasions to investigate alleged coordination between Chalupa and the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2016 election.[19] In July 2017, he sent a letter[20] in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.[19] Grassley and Senator Ron Johnson sent a second letter[21] in September 2019 in their capacities as the chairs of the Senate Finance and Homeland Security Committees.[19] Both letters cite the 2017 Politico article[6] as evidence.[19]

Impeachment Inquiry[edit]

During the US Congress' 2019 Impeachment Inquiry hearings, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes several times cited Alexandra Chalupa as a fact witness that committee chairman Adam Schiff refused to bring before the committee. Chalupa responded that she would welcome the opportunity to testify and push back against the Republican narrative about her involvement with Ukrainian officials.[2]

There is no evidence that Ukrainian embassy officials helped Chalupa in any significant way or that the DNC used any information obtained by Chalupa to aid Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign against Trump.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "She fought the good fight". Tulare Advance-Register. 100 (291). UPI. November 29, 1982. p. 8. Retrieved December 1, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ a b c Bertrand, Natasha; Cheney, Kyle (November 12, 2019). "'I'm on a mission to testify': Dem Ukraine activist eager for impeachment cameo". Politico. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Thomson-DeVeaux, Amelia (2019-11-20). "Why Do Republicans Keep Talking About Someone Named Alexandra Chalupa?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2019-11-27.
  4. ^ a b c McBride, Jessica (October 21, 2019). "Alexandra Chalupa: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Chalupa, Andrea (November 28, 2018). "Gaslit Nation Featurette: Pass a Law". Gaslit Nation. Gaslit Nation. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Vogel, Kenneth P.; Stern, David (January 11, 2017). "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire". Politico. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  7. ^ Muller III, Robert S. (March 2019). "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election Volume I" (PDF). pp. 134–135. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Donald J. Trump Announces Campaign Convention Manager Paul J. Manafort". DonaldJTrump.com (Press release). March 29, 2016. Archived from the original on March 30, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2018 – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ Swaine, Jon (November 23, 2016). "Hillary Clinton urged to call for election vote recount in battleground states". The Guardian. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Beavers, Olivia (November 15, 2019). "Yovanovitch says John Solomon's columns were used to push false allegations". The Hill. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d Broderick, Ryan (November 4, 2019). "How A Viral Article On Facebook Convinced Trump's Inner Circle They Had Found Their Very Own Ukrainian "Whistleblower"". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  12. ^ Swan, Betsy (November 5, 2019). "Source for 'Ukraine Collusion' Allegations Met Devin Nunes". Daily Beast. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  13. ^ Grytsenko, Oksana (October 18, 2019). "3 Ukrainian lawmakers doing Trump's dirty work in scandal". Kyiv Post. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Isikoff, Michael (July 25, 2016). "Exclusive: Suspected Russian hack of DNC widens — includes personal email of staffer researching Manafort". Yahoo! News. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  15. ^ Chalupa, Alexandra; Miranda, Luis (May 3, 2016). "FW: You saw this, right?". WikiLeaks. Archived from the original on July 25, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2019 – via Internet Archive.
  16. ^ a b Singman, Brooke (September 26, 2017). "Watchdog files FEC complaint over alleged DNC-Ukraine meeting on Trump oppo". Fox News. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  17. ^ Whitaker, Matthew G. (August 9, 2017). "FEC Complaint" (PDF). Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 28, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2019 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^ a b Keiper, Andrew (September 30, 2019). "Pro-Trump super PAC files FEC complaint against DNC over Ukraine outreach". Fox News. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d Kessler, Glenn (October 8, 2019). "The GOP theory that Ukraine 'set up' Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  20. ^ Grassley, Charles E. (September 30, 2017). "Grassley Raises Further Concerns over Foreign Agent Registration". United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  21. ^ Grassley, Charles E.; Johnson, Ron (September 27, 2019). "Grassley, Johnson Renew Inquiry into DOJ Actions on Reported Election Meddling". United States Senate. Retrieved October 14, 2019.