CNS has dutifully regurgitated the claims of Republican congressmen, particularly Devin Nunes, trying to build a Ukranian conspiracy theory around a woman named Alexandra Chalupa:
- Nov. 11: Susan Jones quoted Rep. Ron Johnson dropping Chalupa's name as an example of "connections between Democrats" and Ukraine.
- Nov. 12: Jones cited as one witness Republicans would like to call at the hearings "Alexandra Chalupa, former Democratic National Committee staffer, who has admitted to providing anti-Trump dirt to the DNC and the Clinton campaign."
- Nov. 13: Melanie Arter copied-and-pasted transcript of Nunes asking one witness about Chalupa, who he claimed "admitted to Politico that she worked with officials at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C., to dig up dirt on the Trump campaign, which she passed on to the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign."
- Nov. 15: Jones quoted Nunes ranting that "Democrats on this committee ignore Ukrainian election meddling, even though (DNC operative Alexandra) Chalupa publicly admitted to the Democrats' scheme."
- Nov. 21: Jones served up another rant from Nunes huffing that Democrats "got caught covering up for Alexandra Chalupa, a Democratic National Committee operative who colluded with Ukrainian officials to smear the Trump Campaign by improperly redacting her name from deposition transcripts and refusing to let Americans hear her testimony as a witness in these proceedings."
- Nov. 22: Jones repeated a letter by House Republicans requesting records on alleged Obama White House meetings with Demomcratic and Ukranian officials including "Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the DNC, who reportedly worked with Ukrainian government officials to undermine the Trump campaign."
As that 2017 Politico article explained, Chalupa played a key role in helping to expose Trump adviser and campaign manager Paul Manafort's work in Ukraine. She stopped working for the DNC in mid-2016, but continued to pass along information about Manafort to other journalists. Chalupa has since said that the Ukranian government did not engage in a Russian-like interference campaign, and that efforts to attack her like the Republicans are doing originally began with Russia.
Given that Manafort was later convicted and sent to prison for bank and tax fraud regarding the millions of dollars he was paid for his work in Ukraine, Chalupa's work could hardly be called "anti-Trump dirt" -- no, more like in-depth reporting. CNS won't tell its readers that, of course, since keeping the allegations vague makes her sound more sinister than she is.
Jones uncritically repeated another GOP talking point in a Nov. 14 article, this time copying-and-pasting testimony from Republican Rep. John Radcliffe emphasizing that Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky (whose first name Jones once again failed to use in her article) has denied feeling pressure in that notorious phone call with Trump:
I think everyone knows that House Democrats have made up their mind to impeach one president. The question that we've just learned is, whether or not they're prepared to impeach two.
Because to be clear, if House Democrats impeach President Trump for a quid pro quo involving military aid, they have to call President Zelensky a liar. If they impeach him for abusing his power or pressuring or making threats or demands, they have to call President Zelensky a liar to do it. If they impeach President Trump for blackmail or extortion or making threats or demands, they have to call President Trump (he meant President Zelensky) a liar to do it.
But as an actual journalist reported, Zelensky's words are more nuanced than CNS and the GOP are portraying:
Zelensky ran for the presidency on an anti-corruption platform, and won in a landslide. Admitting to giving in to pressure — or admitting to pressuring independent members of his government to conduct investigations — would mean not only losing bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress but also destroying his credibility among Ukrainians.
After the Sept. 25 meeting with Trump, Zelensky met with Ukrainian journalists, who immediately asked him for clarification. He said that for him, it was simple: He didn’t want his words to be interpreted to mean that Ukraine would interfere in another country’s elections. Still speaking Ukrainian, he added: “That’s why I said, ‘No one canpressure me. And no one will pressure me.’ ”
In both colloquial Ukrainian and in colloquial Russian, “he pressured me” does not mean merely “I felt pressured.” Instead, it implies you’ve actually been compelled to do something. In Ukrainian politics, “pressure” (tysk) means not just applying pressure; it usually means that the person being pressured cooperated. In Zelensky’s statement to Ukrainian journalists that “no one can pressure me,” he was not commenting on Trump’s action; he was clarifying his own response.
If Zelensky had wanted to convey that there truly was no pressure involved, he could have said, “No one tried to pressure me.”
But CNS won't tell you that either, because it undermines the pro-Trump agenda its impeachment coverage is centered around.