GOP-led Senate Committee Found No Evidence Ukraine Interfered on Hillary Clinton's Behalf in 2016 Election: Report

The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee investigated and dismissed claims that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election in order to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a report from Politico.

In Monday's article, Politico claims that "people with direct knowledge of the inquiry" relayed that the committee "found no evidence" of Ukraine engaging in an effort to help Clinton win the election.

Conspiratorial allegations that Ukraine, rather than Russia, meddled in the election were brought up several times during the recent public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Some have claimed that the allegations are part of a Russian disinformation campaign, designed to deflect attention from Russian meddling in the election.

Fiona Hill, Trump's former Russia expert on the National Security Council, described the suggestion as a "fictional narrative" in her impeachment inquiry testimony.

Several Republicans have spoken in support of the theory. Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) claimed without evidence that former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko "actively worked" with Clinton in a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet the Press.

Senator Richard Burr
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has been Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee since 2015. Gabriella Demczuk/Getty

A central figure in the conspiracy claims is former Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa. A January 2017 Politico article revealed that Chalupa raised early concerns about former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's close connections with Russia before he joined the campaign. However, the information Chalupa is thought to have shared was publicly available. The article stopped short of claiming anything in support of the conspiracy, saying there was "little evidence" of a "top down" effort to harm the Trump campaign.

The Senate investigation is believed to have focused on an unfounded claim that Chalupa worked with the Clinton campaign and the Ukrainian government to "dig up dirt" on Trump ahead of the election. The investigation was said have ended after an interview with Chalupa revealed no significant evidence in support of the allegation.

Chalupa has denied the allegation. She supports the notion that the claim is a Russian disinformation effort, recently bristling at Kennedy's remarks on social media.

"Why is anyone shocked at this point that Team Putin-Trump peddles Kremlin propaganda & policies? All roads really do lead to Putin, who is trying to build a global mafia empire & destroy the U.S. and our allies. This is the most corrupt administration in U.S. history," tweeted Chalupa on Sunday.

In the aftermath of the election, Russian meddling claims were investigated, and the Senate Intelligence Committee later issued a bipartisan report finding that the country had indeed interfered in the election, with the intent of helping Trump take office.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) vowed to thoroughly investigate allegations of collusion by "either campaign" in 2017. The investigation of alleged Democratic collusion with Ukraine appears to have been fruitless, if the report is true.

Newsweek reached out to Burr for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

GOP-led Senate Committee Found No Evidence Ukraine Interfered on Hillary Clinton's Behalf in 2016 Election: Report | News