Conspiracy theories related to the Trump–Ukraine scandal
Since 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his allies have promoted several conspiracy theories related to the Trump–Ukraine scandal. One such theory seeks to blame Ukraine, instead of Russia (as supported by all reliable sources), for interference in the 2016 United States presidential election. Also among the conspiracy theories are accusations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, and several elements of the right-wing Russia investigation origins counter-narrative. American intelligence believes that Russia engaged in a yearslong campaign to frame Ukraine for the 2016 election interference, that the Kremlin is the prime mover behind promotion of the fictitious alternative narratives, and that these are harmful to the United States. FBI director Christopher A. Wray stated to ABC News that "We have no information that indicates that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election" and that "as far as the  election itself goes, we think Russia represents the most significant threat."
On August 18, 2020, the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee released its final report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, finding that while he was Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort worked with a close associate who was a Russian intelligence officer "on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election" and to direct such suspicions toward Ukraine.
According to FBI witness interview notes released in October 2019, upon hearing news of a hack of a Democratic National Committee server in June 2016, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort speculated that Ukraine rather than Russia was culpable, a narrative that was also promoted by Konstantin Kilimnik, thought to be a Russian intelligence asset for whom Manafort was working along with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
The Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded in August 2020 that during the campaign Manafort actively worked with Kilimnik, whom the report called a "Russian intelligence officer," to deflect interference suspicions from Russia onto Ukraine, characterizing Manafort's activities as a "grave counterintelligence threat."
The New Yorker found that reporting of the conspiracy in the right-wing media was initiated by Peter Schweizer, a former Breitbart News contributor and president of the Government Accountability Institute, "a self-styled corruption watchdog group chaired and funded by conservative mega-donor Rebekah Mercer" and founded by Steve Bannon.
Adoption by Trump
President Trump had long felt that the conclusion of the United States Intelligence Community and the Mueller Report – that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 election to benefit him – might undermine the legitimacy of his election as president. He and his allies – most notably his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani – promoted the alternative narrative that the Ukrainian government had interfered to benefit Hillary Clinton, in coordination with Democrats, the digital forensics company CrowdStrike and the FBI, alleging that the Russian government had been framed. The New York Times reported in November 2019 that American intelligence determined Russia conducted a yearslong campaign to frame Ukraine for the 2016 election interference. Contrary to Trump's allegations, it is the consensus judgment of the American intelligence community and the Senate Intelligence Committee that it was Russia, not Ukraine, that interfered in the 2016 elections.
Trump also falsely asserted that CrowdStrike, a publicly owned American company, was owned by an unnamed wealthy Ukrainian oligarch. The conspiracy theory claimed that the company — which had investigated a hack of a Democratic National Committee (DNC) server — had planted evidence on the server to implicate Russia, and that the FBI had failed to take possession of the server to verify that claim. Although the FBI did not take possession of the server, CrowdStrike had provided the FBI with an exact disk image and traffic logs of the server to conduct its own analysis, which led the Mueller Report to concur with the intelligence community that the server had been hacked by Russian intelligence. Two weeks prior to taking office, Trump was briefed by top American intelligence officials that American, British and Dutch intelligence had attributed the DNC hack to Russia by hacking into Russian intelligence networks and observing stolen DNC emails there. Trump was also told at that meeting that a Russian mole the CIA had cultivated for decades and who had reached the highest levels of the Kremlin told the CIA that Putin personally ordered and orchestrated the Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump also asserted without evidence that Ukraine was in possession of the DNC server, as well as Hillary Clinton's deleted emails. Trump and Giuliani asserted Ukraine's involvement also included the Trump–Russia dossier, which was echoed by congressman Devin Nunes, a staunch Trump defender, during an impeachment inquiry hearing in September 2019. One former senior White House official said Trump explicitly stated Ukraine was culpable because "Putin told me." The conspiracy theory later evolved to include baseless allegations of corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in their activities in Ukraine. In November 2019, Trump ally senator Rand Paul extended the conspiracy theory by asserting without evidence that the anonymous whistleblower who had triggered the Trump-Ukraine scandal "is a material witness to the possible corruption of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden," adding, "[the whistleblower] might have traveled with Joe Biden to Ukraine for all we know." Bloomberg News reported in January 2020 that American intelligence and law enforcement were examining whether Russia was involved in promoting disinformation to undermine Biden as part of a campaign to disrupt the 2020 election. In August 2020, CNN reported that intelligence officials had briefed senators, representatives and both the Biden and Trump campaigns with information "indicating Russia is behind an ongoing disinformation push targeting" Biden.
This led Trump to pressure Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into the matters, which triggered the Trump–Ukraine scandal, which in turn led to the opening of an impeachment inquiry into Trump. During an October 16, 2019, press meeting in the Oval Office, Trump asked about the DNC server eight times in rapid succession, which "they say, is held by a company whose primary ownership, individual, is from Ukraine." His staff had repeatedly attempted to persuade Trump that the conspiracy theory had no merit, including his former homeland security advisor Tom Bossert, who later remarked, "the DNC server and that conspiracy theory has got to go...If he continues to focus on that white whale, it's going to bring him down."
During November 2019 hearings for the impeachment inquiry, Fiona Hill — until August 2019 the top Russia expert on the National Security Council — criticized Republicans for promulgating a "fictional narrative":
Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.
As Trump and other Republicans used the hearings to promote the Ukraine interference conspiracy theory, Russian president Vladimir Putin remarked, "We see what is going on there in the U.S. now. Thank God nobody is accusing us anymore of interfering in the U.S. elections. Now they're accusing Ukraine." During the weeks leading to Hill's testimony, American intelligence officials had briefed senators and their staffs about a yearslong campaign by Russia to frame Ukraine for the 2016 election interference.
Propagators among Republican members of Congress
Republican representatives and senators who have promoted the idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election despite conclusions that there is no evidence of this from the Senate Intelligence Committee and U.S. intelligence agencies include the following:
- Devin Nunes (R-CA)
- Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
- Matt Gaetz (R-Florida)
- Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
- Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
- John Kennedy (R-LA)
- Richard Burr (R-NC)
- Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Ted Cruz (R-TX)
- Ron Johnson (R-WI)
- John Barrasso (R-WY)
In response to these statements by Republican senators, as well as making other unsubstantiated claims including about the Mueller investigation, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on December 10, 2019 that the Senate GOP is becoming the "conspiracy caucus". Schumer said that Trump, Attorney General William Barr and GOP lawmakers should stop "pushing baseless conspiracy theories and instead work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the FBI and the Intelligence Community have the full support and resources necessary to stop Putin and any other foreign adversary from interfering in the 2020 elections." On December 20, 2019, former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), an ardent critic of President Trump, published an opinion piece in The Washington Post admonishing House and Senate Republicans for “attempting to shift blame with the promotion of bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories”, and asked them to administer impartial justice in the upcoming Impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
Statements by Cabinet-level officials
Appearing to support conspiracy theories
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
On November 26, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to grant legitimacy to the notion that Ukraine, rather than or in addition to Russia, was behind interference in the 2016 United States elections. He had been asked by a reporter "Do you believe that the U.S. and Ukraine should investigate the theory that it was Ukraine and not Russia that hacked the DNC emails in 2016?" Pompeo responded "Any time there is information that indicates any country has messed with American elections, we not only have a right but a duty to make sure we chase that down," adding, "to protect our elections, America should leave no stone unturned." This is despite Pompeo's former role personally briefing President Trump as CIA director that Russia was behind the interference, as well as his May 2017 testimony to the Senate.
Attorney General William Barr
On December 10, 2019, the day following the publication of a Justice Department inspector general report on the origins of the Mueller investigation, Barr claimed in an interview with NBC news that the Russia investigation was "completely baseless" and said he believed the FBI's investigation was conducted in "bad faith". Unlike FBI Director Christopher Wray's remarks the day prior, Barr refused to refute the conspiracy theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. Barr again asserted the FBI investigation was opened "without any basis" in April 2020.
Denying conspiracy theories
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray
On December 9, 2019, following the release of the DoJ inspector general's report into the origins of the FBI-Mueller Russia investigation, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray was interviewed by ABC News. In the interview, Wray pushed back on the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election, stating "We have no information that indicates that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election" and "as far as the  election itself goes, we think Russia represents the most significant threat." Wray added, "there's all kinds of people saying all kinds of things out there. I think it's important for the American people to be thoughtful consumers of information and to think about the sources of it and to think about the support and predication for what they hear."
Distraction using Russian interference investigation
President Trump directed attorney general Bill Barr to "investigate the investigators" who opened the FBI investigation into Russian interference, supposedly for partisan political motives to harm Trump; allied intelligence services are alleged to have been part of the scheme. That FBI investigation led to the Mueller investigation, resulting in convictions of some 2016 Trump campaign associates. In September 2019 it was reported that Barr has been contacting foreign governments to ask for help in this inquiry. He personally traveled to the United Kingdom and Italy to seek information, and at Barr's request Trump phoned the prime minister of Australia to request his cooperation. One British official with knowledge of Barr's requests observed, "it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services."
Barr sought information related to a conspiracy theory that had circulated among Trump allies in conservative media claiming that Joseph Mifsud was a Western intelligence operative who was supposedly directed to entrap Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos in order to establish a false predicate for the FBI to open its investigation. That investigation was initiated after the Australian government notified American authorities in July 2016 that its diplomat Alexander Downer had had a chance encounter with Papadopoulos in May 2016 – two months before the DNC website hacking became known – and that Papadopoulos told him that the Russian government had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of emails.
On October 2, 2019, Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump supporter and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to the leaders of Britain, Australia and Italy, asserting as fact that both Mifsud and Downer had been directed to contact Papadopoulos. Joe Hockey, the Australian ambassador to the United States, sharply rejected Graham's characterization of Downer. A former Italian government official told The Washington Post in October 2019 that during a meeting the previous month, Italian intelligence services told Barr they had "no connections, no activities, no interference" in the matter; Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte later affirmed this. The Washington Post reported on November 22, 2019 that the Justice Department inspector general had aggressively investigated the allegation that Mifsud had been directed to entrap Papadopoulos, but found it was without merit. American law enforcement believes Mifsud is connected to Russian intelligence.
The New York Times reported in December 2019 that Barr's designated investigator John Durham was examining the role of former CIA director John Brennan in assessing Russian interference in 2016, requesting emails, call logs and other documents. Brennan had been a vocal critic of Trump and a target of the president's accusations of improper activities toward him. The Times reported Durham was specifically examining Brennan's views of the Steele dossier and what he said about it to the FBI and other intelligence agencies. Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper had testified to Congress that the CIA and other intelligence agencies did not rely on the dossier in preparing the January 2017 intelligence community assessment of Russian interference, and allies of Brennan said he disagreed with the FBI view that the dossier should be given significant weight, as the CIA characterized it as "internet rumor." Politico reported in July 2019 that after becoming CIA director in 2017, Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo intensely challenged CIA analysts on their findings that Russian interference was designed to help Trump, but he found no evidence to dispute it. The Times reported in February 2020 that Durham was examining whether intelligence community officials, and specifically Brennan, had concealed or manipulated evidence of Russian interference to achieve a desired result. FBI and NSA officials told Durham that his pursuit of this line of inquiry was due to his misunderstanding of how the intelligence community functions.
In fact, CrowdStrike is not owned by a wealthy Ukrainian oligarch, but is a publicly traded company headquartered in California, and the DNC server is actually 140 individual servers, decommissioned and located in the United States, rather than being in Ukraine, as Trump has claimed.
The conspiracy theory additionally falsely asserts that FBI agents were not allowed to examine the server because such action would expose the DNC plot, when in fact (and as documented in the Mueller Report), system images and traffic logs of the DNC servers were provided to the FBI, making it unnecessary for them to actually possess the 140 physical servers.
This conspiracy theory, that originated from a "GRU (Glavnoye razvedyvatel'noye upravleniye; 'Main Intelligence Directorate') persona, 'Guccifer 2.0'", was created "to cast doubt on Russia's culpability in the DNC [intrusion]".
Political quid pro quo
During a White House press briefing on October 17, 2019, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney linked the DNC server conspiracy theory to the Barr inquiry, as well as to a quid pro quo for the withholding of military aid to Ukraine, stating, "Did [Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely. No question about that. But that’s it, and that’s why we held up the money." While the Justice Department had previously indicated that the Barr inquiry was examining whether Ukraine played any role in the opening of the 2016 FBI investigation into Russian interference, a department official declined to comment on whether that included the DNC server theory. The New York Times reported Justice Department officials were confused and angered by Mulvaney's linkage of the DNC server, a possible quid pro quo, with Ukraine and the Barr inquiry. Hours later, Mulvaney released a statement denying he had made any suggestion of a quid pro quo.
- List of conspiracy theories
- Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory
- Russia investigation origins counter-narrative
- Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections
- Shane, Scott (October 3, 2019). "How a Fringe Theory About Ukraine Took Root in the White House". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 4, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Jane C. Timm (October 7, 2019). "Trump is pushing a baseless conspiracy about the Bidens and China. Here's what we know". NBC News. Archived from the original on May 3, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- Barnes, Julian E.; Rosenberg, Matthew (November 22, 2019). "Charges of Ukrainian Meddling? A Russian Operation, U.S. Intelligence Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Mindock, Clark (November 21, 2019). "Impeachment witness attacks Trump's 'fictional narrative propagated by Russians'". The Independent. Archived from the original on February 15, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
- "Trump impeachment inquiry: Fiona Hill rebukes Republicans for 'fictional' Ukraine narrative – video". The Guardian. November 21, 2019. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on December 20, 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
- Bump, Philip (November 21, 2019). "Fiona Hill tells Devin Nunes to his face that his Ukraine conspiracy theory is 'harmful'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
- Thomas, Pierre; Bruggeman, Lucien (December 9, 2019). "FBI Director Chris Wray reacts to DOJ watchdog report on Russia investigation: Exclusive". ABC News. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- Demirjian, Karoun; Nakashima, Ellen (August 18, 2020). "Trump's 2016 campaign chair was a 'grave counterintelligence threat,' had repeated contact with Russian intelligence, Senate panel finds". Washington Post.
- Zoe Tillman (November 2, 2019). "Trump's Campaign Was Talking About The Conspiracy Theory That Ukraine Was Involved In The DNC Hack Back In 2016". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
- Blake, Aaron (November 4, 2019). "Surprise: Trump allegedly got his Ukraine conspiracy theory from the Russia-tied criminals on his campaign". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 6, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
- Korte, Gregory; Mider, Zachary (October 3, 2019). "Trump's Story of Hunter Biden's Chinese Venture Is Full of Holes". Bloomberg News. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
- Mayer, Jane (October 4, 2019). "The Invention of the Conspiracy Theory on Biden and Ukraine". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
- Megerian, Chris (April 18, 2019). "Mueller finds no conspiracy, but report shows Trump welcomed Russian help". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Haberman, Maggie; Baker, Peter (September 29, 2019). "Trump Was Repeatedly Warned That Ukraine Conspiracy Theory Was 'Completely Debunked'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Scott Pelley, Why President Trump asked Ukraine to look into a DNC "server" and CrowdStrike; The consensus view of the CIA, NSA, FBI and a Senate investigation is that Russians interfered in the 2016 election. But those findings don't line up with the ever-evolving story President Trump has been telling about Ukraine. Archived March 14, 2020, at the Wayback Machine February 16, 2020 60 Minutes
- "CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. Class A Common Stock (CRWD)". NASDAQ. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
- Murphy, Hannah (June 12, 2019). "Cyber security group CrowdStrike's shares jump nearly 90% after IPO". Financial Times.
- Rizzo, Salvador (October 29, 2019). "Analysis | President Trump's alternate reality on Ukraine". The Washington Post.
- Mueller Report Archived April 19, 2019, at the Wayback Machine, vol. 1, p. 40: "As part of its investigation, the FBI later received images of DNC servers and copies of relevant traffic logs."
- Sanger, David E.; Rosenberg, Matthew (July 18, 2018). "From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Barnes, Julian E.; Goldman, Adam; Sanger, David E. (September 9, 2019). "C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Jane C. Timm (September 25, 2019). "Trump promotes conspiracy theory: Clinton's deleted emails are in Ukraine". NBC News. Archived from the original on May 3, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- "Rick Perry confirms Trump's Ukraine policy passed through Giuliani, recounts a wild call with Rudy". TheWeek.com. October 17, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
- Quinn, Liam (October 21, 2019). "Trump tells 'Hannity' he wants AG Barr to 'find out what is going on' with potential ties between Hillary Clinton, Steele dossier and Ukraine". Fox News.
- Lambe, Jerry (November 5, 2019). "Impeachment Inquiry Transcript Shows Devin Nunes Desperately Trying to Tie Steele Dossier to Ukraine". lawandcrime.com.
- Harris, Shane (December 19, 2019). "Former White House officials say they feared Putin influenced the president's views on Ukraine and 2016 campaign". Washington Post.
- McLeod, Paul (November 5, 2019). "Rand Paul Floated An Unfounded Theory That The Trump Whistleblower Has Ties To Hunter Biden's Work In Ukraine". BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
- Strohm, Chris (January 10, 2020). "U.S. Probes If Russia Is Targeting Biden in 2020 Election Meddling". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
- Zachary Cohen and Manu Raju. "Intel officials tell Congress that Russia is spreading false information about Biden". CNN. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
- "Transcripts; Aired October 16, 2019 - 11:30 ET". cnn.com.
- "President Trump Meeting with Italian President". c-span.org. October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- Nakashima, Ellen (November 22, 2019). "Justice Dept. watchdog finds political bias did not taint top officials running the FBI's Russia probe but documents errors". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 23, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Mayer, Jane (October 4, 2019). "The Invention of the Conspiracy Theory on Biden and Ukraine". newyorker.com. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Miller, Greg; Sonne, Paul; Jaffe, Greg; Birnbaum, Michael (October 4, 2019). "Holding Ukraine hostage: How the president and his allies, chasing 2020 ammunition, fanned a political storm". The Washington Post.
- Joseph, Cameron (November 21, 2019). "Fiona Hill to Blow Up the 'Fictional Narrative' That Ukraine Meddled in the U.S. Election". Vice. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Shear, Michael D. (November 21, 2019). "Impeachment Inquiry Live Updates: Fiona Hill Denounces 'Fictional' Claim of Ukraine Meddling in 2016". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
- Wise, Justin (November 21, 2019). "Putin: 'Thank God' election interference accusations have stopped amid US 'political battles'". TheHill.
- Edmondson, Catie (December 3, 2019). "G.O.P. Senators, Defending Trump, Embrace Debunked Ukraine Theory". The New York Times.
- Volz, Lindsay Wise and Dustin (December 3, 2019). "Senate Republicans Warm to Theory of Ukrainian Election Interference". WSJ.
- Tapper, Jake (December 3, 2019). "GOP-led committee probed possible Ukraine interference in 2016 election and found nothing worth pursuing, sources say". CNN.
- Kilgore, Ed (November 20, 2019). "Nunes to Sondland: Let's Talk About My Conspiracy Theories". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Bump, Philip (November 21, 2019). "Fiona Hill tells Devin Nunes to his face that his Ukraine conspiracy theory is 'harmful'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Wagner, Meg; Rocha, Veronica; Wills, Amanda (November 13, 2019). "Nunes repeated debunked theory about Ukrainian meddling in 2016". CNN.
- Lutz, Eric (July 24, 2019). "Republicans Use Mueller's Silence to Push Conspiracy Theories; Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, and Louie Gohmert leveraged the special counsel's non-responses into conspiracy-minded rants designed to placate the base". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on July 25, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- Basu, Zachary (December 18, 2019). "Nadler accuses GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of spouting "Russian propaganda" on House floor". Axios. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
- "Senators Seek Interviews on Reported Coordination between Ukrainian Officials, DNC Consultant to Aid Clinton in 2016 Elections | Chuck Grassley". www.grassley.senate.gov. December 6, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Levine, Marianne; Everett, Burgess (December 3, 2019). "Folksy John Kennedy gets serious pushback on Ukraine mess". POLITICO. Politico. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Costa, Robert; Demirjian, Karoun (December 3, 2019). "GOP embraces a debunked Ukraine conspiracy to defend Trump from impeachment". Washington Post. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- Perano, Ursula (December 1, 2019). "Sen. John Kennedy doubles down on claims of Ukrainian interference". Axios. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- Knutson, Jacob (December 8, 2019). "Ted Cruz promotes conspiracy that Ukraine "blatantly interfered" in U.S. election". Axios. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- Zilbermints, Regina (December 9, 2019). "Schumer: Senate GOP turning into 'conspiracy caucus'". TheHill. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- Flake, Jeff (December 20, 2019). "Opinion | Jeff Flake: The president is on trial. So are my Senate Republican colleagues". Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 20, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Panetta, Grace (November 26, 2019). "Mike Pompeo says US has a 'duty' to investigate the bogus conspiracy theory at the center of the Ukraine scandal". Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
- "Secretary Michael R. Pompeo Remarks to the Press". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on November 30, 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
- "Hearings | Intelligence Committee". www.intelligence.senate.gov. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- Dilanian, Ken (December 10, 2019). "Barr thinks FBI may have acted in bad faith in probing Trump campaign". NBC News. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- "Attorney General Bill Barr attacks Russia investigation as "completely baseless"". Axios. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
- TUCKER, MICHAEL BALSAMO and ERIC. "Attorney general says federal Russia probe is 'one of the greatest travesties in American history'". chicagotribune.com.
- Blake, Aaron. "Christopher Wray, basically: Don't listen to Trump's Ukraine conspiracy theories". Washington Post.
- Prokop, Andrew (September 30, 2019). "Trump and Barr have been urging foreign governments to help them investigate the Mueller probe's origins". Vox. Archived from the original on November 23, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "UK intelligence officials shaken by Trump administration's requests for help with counter-impeachment inquiry". The Independent. November 1, 2019. Archived from the original on November 30, 2019. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
- LaFraniere, Sharon; Mazzetti, Mark; Apuzzo, Matt (December 30, 2017). "How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 17, 2018. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
- Mazzetti, Mark; Goldman, Adam; Benner, Katie (October 6, 2019). "Barr and a Top Prosecutor Cast a Wide Net in Reviewing the Russia Inquiry". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Graham, Lindsey (October 2, 2019). "Letter from Senate Committee on the Judiciary to prime ministers of Australia, Italy and UK" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 20, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
- Zapotosky, Matt; Dawsey, Josh; Harris, Shane; Helderman, Rosalind S. (October 6, 2019). "Barr's review of Russia investigation wins Trump's favor. Those facing scrutiny suspect he's chasing conspiracy theories". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 11, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Momigliano, Anna (October 23, 2019). "Italy Did Not Fuel U.S. Suspicion of Russian Meddling, Prime Minister Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Mazzetti, Mark; Benner, Katie (September 30, 2019). "Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry's Origins". NYTimes.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Horowitz, Jason (October 2, 2019). "First Barr, Now Pompeo: Italy Is Hub of Impeachment Intrigue for Trump Officials". New York Times.
- Giuffrida, Angela (October 2, 2019). "US attorney general 'met Italian officials to discuss Russiagate'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Bump, Philip (October 1, 2019). "Analysis | Government-by-conspiracy-theory rides again". The Washington Post.
- Helderman, Rosalind S. (June 30, 2019). "'The enigma of the entire Mueller probe': Focus on origins of Russian investigation puts spotlight on Maltese professor". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 11, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
- Benner, Katie; Barnes, Julian E. (December 19, 2019). "Durham Is Scrutinizing Ex-C.I.A. Director's Role in Russian Interference Findings". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 22, 2019. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- Bertr, Natasha (July 12, 2019). "'This wasn't just a briefing': Pompeo grilled CIA analysts on Russia findings". POLITICO.
- Lambe, Jerry (December 27, 2019). "Durham's Russia Probe Reportedly Sought Former CIA Director John Brennan's Communications". lawandcrime.com.
- Savage, Charlie; Goldman, Adam; Barnes, Julian E. (February 13, 2020). "Justice Dept. Is Investigating C.I.A. Resistance to Sharing Russia Secrets" – via NYTimes.com.
- Poulsen, Kevin (July 16, 2018). "Trump's 'Missing DNC Server' Is Neither Missing Nor a Server". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on July 17, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- Poulsen, Kevin (September 25, 2019). "The Truth About Trump's Insane Ukraine 'Server' Conspiracy". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on October 11, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Mueller, Robert S., III (March 2019). Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election (PDF) (Report). p. 40. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 19, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019 – via the United States Department of Justice.
As part of its investigation, the FBI later received images of DNC servers and copies of relevant traffic logs.
- Sullivan, Eileen (September 25, 2019). "How CrowdStrike Became Part of Trump's Ukraine Call". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
- Shear, Michael D.; Rogers, Katie (October 17, 2019). "Mulvaney Says, Then Denies, That Trump Held Back Ukraine Aid as Quid Pro Quo". NYTimes.com.