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Rudy Giuliani from Prince to Minion to Villain to Russian Asset Page 3

From a hard nose prosecutor, to America’s mayor, to a right wing conspiracy nut, to a criminal suspect and a Russian asset the rise and fall of Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani along with Trump are using Russian talking points to promote Russia’s version of interference in the 2016 election. It now appears that Rudy Giuliani is a Russian asset; the question is Rudy Giuliani a useful idiot or a willing asset. You have to question are their allegiance to America or to Russia, more and more it looks like their allegiance is to Russia and not to America.

Karl Baker The News Journal

Two men indicted on campaign finance charges of funneling foreign money into American politics, among other counts, were the same individuals who reportedly helped President Donald Trump's private attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in his quest last spring to dig up damaging information on Joe Biden. They did so, in part, by seeking political connections with a Ukrainian billionaire who today faces separate money laundering claims in Delaware brought by another prominent conservative attorney.

The claims land just as Democrats in the House of Representatives conduct an impeachment inquiry into a July phone call Trump made with Ukraine's president. During their conversation, Trump asked for the "favor" of an investigation into Biden's work in Ukraine while he was vice president – a time when Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board of Burisma, a prominent energy company there.

While the allegations behind the complex web of narratives involve some the biggest players in American politics, the small state of Delaware, a frequent conduit in the global movement of money, plays an outsized role. In the indictment from last week, authorities say Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – two Americans born in the Soviet Union – used bank accounts attached to Delaware-registered Global Energy Producers LLC and other sources to "buy" potential influence with unnamed members of Congress and "the candidates' governments."

The shell company – which defendants falsely claimed was an energy firm, according to prosecutors – was formed in Delaware in April 2018 by an individual named John Gelety, according to documents from the Delaware Department of State. more...

By Kara Scannell, CNN

(CNN) An attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, has turned over photos, dozens of text messages and thousands of pages of documents to House impeachment investigators in an effort to win his client an audience with lawmakers. Joseph A. Bondy, Parnas' New York attorney, traveled to Washington, DC, over the weekend to hand-deliver the contents of an iPhone 11 to Democratic staff on the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, according to a series of Bondy's tweets. "After our trip to DC, we worked through the night providing a trove of Lev Parnas' WhatsApp messages, text messages & images—not under protective order—to #HPSCI, detailing interactions with a number of individuals relevant to the impeachment inquiry. #LetLevSpeak #LevRemembers," according to Bondy's tweet.

  After our trip to DC, we worked through the night providing a trove of Lev Parnas' WhatsApp messages, text messages & images—not under protective order—to #HPSCI, detailing interactions with a number of individuals relevant to the impeachment inquiry. #LetLevSpeak #LevRemembers pic.twitter.com/HdHaCyZXIm
  — Joseph A. Bondy (@josephabondy) January 13, 2020

Parnas has also provided investigators with documents, recordings, photos, text messages on What's App, an encrypted messaging platform, and materials from a Samsung phone, according to Bondy. Material from two other devices, an iPad and another iPhone, are also expected to be shared with them.

By Marshall Cohen, CNN

(CNN) Armed with never-before-seen phone records, Democrats on Tuesday accused President Donald Trump's allies of coordinating with a conservative journalist to peddle "false narratives" about Trump's opponents as part of his multi-pronged pressure campaign on Ukraine. The House Intelligence Committee's impeachment report -- which was made public Tuesday -- says the committee's top Repubican, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, was linked to that effort. The records, according to Intelligence Committee member Rep. Eric Swalwell, were subpoenaed from third-parties.

"Mr. Solomon was not working alone," the report said of conservative journalist John Solomon's articles throughout 2019 that spread Trump-backed conspiracies about Ukraine. "As further described below, there was a coordinated effort by associates of President Trump to push these false narratives publicly, as evidenced by public statements, phone records, and contractual agreements." The phone records, which are labeled in the report's endnotes as coming from AT&T, show a web of communications between Solomon, Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Ukrainian American businessman Lev Parnas, Nunes and the White House's budget office. CNN is owned by AT&T.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, one of Giuliani’s earliest contacts in Ukraine, was given a dismissal notice last week
by Igor Derysh

A Ukrainian prosecutor who aided Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s search for damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden was among hundreds of prosecutors fired in a sweeping anti-corruption purge. Kostiantyn Kulyk, one of Giuliani’s earliest contacts in Ukraine, was given a dismissal notice last week after failing to show up for an exam that was part of a review process for prosecutors held over from the previous administration, The Washington Post reported. More than 500 prosecutors have been fired as part of the review.

Kulyk has denied meeting Giuliani, but his former associates say he prepared a seven-page dossier, which was passed along to Giuliani, according to The Post. The former prosecutor later appeared in a report by The Hill’s John Solomon, to whom Giuliani fed dubious claims to fuel the debunked narrative that Biden had a prosecutor terminated while he was investigating a Ukrainian firm that employed his son. Kulyk also helped fuel what former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch described as a Giuliani-led smear campaign to get her fired. The prosecutor told Solomon that Yovanovitch blocked him and other officials from getting a visa to travel to the U.S. to share information about his findings.

Giuliani told The Blaze host Glenn Beck last month that he used Solomon to push the claims in the U.S. Senior State Department official George Kent also testified last month that Solomon’s reporting, “if not entirely made up in full cloth,” was filled with “non-truths and non-sequiturs.” Kulyk was just one Ukrainian prosecutor with whom Giuliani dealt. Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko, who was fired from his position earlier this year and is now under a criminal investigation for corruption, fed Giuliani and Solomon false information about Biden and Yovanovitch. He has since retracted his claims and acknowledged that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.

Documents obtained by media outlets last week showed that Giuliani was negotiating a contract with Lutsenko, which would have paid Giuliani upwards of $500,000 to represent him even as he was purportedly representing President Donald Trump in his search for damaging information on his opponents. The draft contracts included proposed payments to Trump-allied attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing. A separate draft agreement called for Toensing to be paid $25,000 a month to represent former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Shokin is the prosecutor at the heart of Trump’s conspiracy theory about Biden. During the Obama years, Biden pressed for Ukraine to fire Shokin, because multiple western countries complained that he was not pursuing corruption investigations. Trump and his allies have claimed that Biden pushed for Shokin’s firing while the prosecutor was investigating Burisma, a company whose board included his son. But that investigation, which was not connected to Biden, had already been shut down at the time of Shokin’s firing.

Ukraine only skims the surface of the former mayor's influence in the administration.
By Dareh Gregorian

All roads lead to Rudy.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, is in the news constantly for his role in the impeachment inquiry. But while Giuliani's efforts to have Ukraine launch investigations politically beneficial to Trump are much discussed, it's not the only way he and his associates have woven themselves into the fabric of Trump's world.

Asked in a text Wednesday by NBC News about how his circle has been able to be so influential in the Trump administration, Giuliani responded, "I don't know."

Here's a look at Giuliani's key players and how they intersect with Trump:

Giuliani's ties to Ukraine go back to at least 2008 when he did consulting work for Vitaly Klitschko, a former boxer who is now mayor of Kyiv. While he's had other business dealings there over the years, Giuliani said he started focusing on Ukraine's alleged role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as a way of countering special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference.

This year, Giuliani seized on unfounded allegations that Ukraine had scuttled an investigation into Hunter Biden at the behest of his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential rival. Giuliani said his investigative efforts had the president's blessing, which has been confirmed by multiple witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.

But Giuliani had some help with his efforts.

Parnas, a Trump donor, told the New Yorker earlier this year that he became "good friends" with Giuliani after the 2016 election. The friendship was lucrative for Giuliani, who told Reuters that Parnas' company Fraud Guarantee paid his consulting company Giuliani Partners $500,000 for business and legal advice last year.

By Daniel Politi

Rudy Giuliani seems to have a penchant for talking about insurance while dismissing the possibility that President Donald Trump would ever turn on him. The latest instance came Saturday, when Giuliani sat down with Fox News for an interview and at one point refused to give a straight answer to the question of whether he had spoken to Trump in recent days. “You can assume that I talk to him early and often,” he said. Giuliani then went on to dismiss those who speculate that he is on the outs with the president, saying the two have a “very, very good relationship.”

“I’ve seen things written like he’s going to throw me under the bus. When they say that, I say he isn’t, but I have insurance,” Giuliani went on to say. “This is ridiculous. We are very good friends. He knows what I did was in order to defend him, not to dig up dirt on [former Vice President Joe] Biden.”

By Dave Goldiner - New York Daily News

Hey Rudy, he’s a real American hero — and he’s from Brooklyn! Rudy Giuliani slammed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as a traitor over reports that the White House official discussed the presidential lawyer’s activities with Ukrainian counterparts in their mother tongue. “(Vindman was) giving advice to two countries,” Giuliani tweeted. “I thought he worked for US.”

Schiff is thanking him for his secret testimony and for giving advice to two countries. I thought he worked for US. Schiff is using this to cover-up major Pay-for-Play Dem scandal. Ukraine corruption was not only one. Corrupt media is enabling this phony. The truth will emerge. https://t.co/co3SenQ07V
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 31, 2019

Vindman, who was was born in Ukraine and came to Brighton Beach with his family as a toddler, is the White House’s top expert on Ukraine, so it’s not surprising that he interacted with Ukrainian counterparts in any language. Full Story

By Andrew Kaczynski

(CNN) - Photos from a trip to London in June 2019 show President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and a now-indicted associate Lev Parnas having a VIP experience at two baseball games between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The trip also included Giuliani speaking at a luncheon for a Ukrainian charity group connected to Parnas and Igor Fruman, another recently indicted associate. Photos posted on social media show Parnas attended the charity event, as well as an official from a public relations firm that has worked with the Ukrainian government along with a former spokesman and associate of Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Firtash, who resides in Vienna, is fighting extradition to the US on unrelated bribery charges, which he denies. It is unclear if Fruman also appeared at the event.

The photos from the overseas visit further show the extent of Giuliani's involvement with the pair and how his links to Parnas and Fruman and their charity brought him into contact with Ukrainian-connected individuals at a time he was seeking to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden. The visit, according to tweets from Giuliani that included geotags of his location, lasted several days. Giuliani tweeted on June 26 he was "getting ready to fly to London" for the baseball games. His tweets were geotagged in London on June 28, and are geotagged back in New York on July 2. Parnas and Fruman, who allegedly aided Giuliani's efforts to dig up political dirt on Biden, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court Wednesday to charges that they funneled foreign money to US campaigns.

The two were arrested earlier this month attempting to leave the country and were indicted on four counts, including conspiracy to violate the ban on foreign donations to federal and state elections, making false statements and falsifying records to the Federal Election Commission. Giuliani told CNN in an email he did "not recall meeting anyone associated with Firtash" and that "part of the trip" was paid for by a podcast that has yet to launch. He added the trip "included two meetings with an unrelated client, a luncheon speech and three 45-minute interviews we submitted and haven't yet been used." Giuliani declined to provide any other details on the podcast --- such as which individuals or company are backing it financially -- other than a claim that he also did interviews for it during a July trip to Albania." "Busy days and all completely innocent," he said. "I'd be interested to see how this is twisted." Full Story

By Erica Orden and Evan Perez, CNN

(CNN) - Federal prosecutors in New York have subpoenaed the brother of one of the recently indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani, according to two people familiar with the matter, as they escalate their investigation in the campaign-finance case. The subpoena to Steven Fruman is the latest indication of prosecutors' actions since the rushed arrest two weeks ago of his brother, Igor Fruman, and another defendant, Lev Parnas, at a Washington-area airport.

Since then, investigators have doled out multiple subpoenas and conducted several property searches, in one case blowing the door off a safe to access the contents, sources tell CNN. Federal prosecutors told a judge this week that they are sifting through data from more than 50 bank accounts. In addition, they've put a filter team in place as they examine communications obtained via search warrant and subpoena, sensitive to material that could be subject to attorney-client privilege because Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, counted Parnas as a client.

A filter team is a separate set of prosecutors who are assigned to examine evidence and set aside material that is privileged. Since the October 9 arrests, federal agents visited the New York home of Steven Fruman and served him with a subpoena from Manhattan federal prosecutors, the people familiar with the matter said. Attorneys for Steven and Igor Fruman declined to comment. A spokesman for the Manhattan US Attorney's office also declined to comment. Full Story

“The problem is we need some money,” Giuliani says to unidentified man during accidental call to NBC News writer.
By Rich Schapiro

Late in the evening on Oct. 16, Rudy Giuliani made a phone call to this reporter. The fact that Giuliani was reaching out wasn’t remarkable. He and the reporter had spoken earlier that night for a story about his ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group. But this call, it would soon become clear, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter. The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; the reporter was asleep. The next morning, a message exactly three minutes long was sitting in his voicemail. In the recording, the words tumbling out of Giuliani’s mouth were not directed at the reporter. He was speaking to someone else, someone in the same room. Giuliani can be heard discussing overseas dealings and lamenting the need for cash, though it's difficult to discern the full context of the conversation. The call appeared to be one of the most unfortunate of faux pas: what is known, in casual parlance, as a butt dial. And it wasn’t the first time it had happened. “You know,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ‘cause he didn’t do any due diligence.”

It wasn’t clear who Charles is, or who may have been implicated in a fraud. In fact, much of the message’s first minute is difficult to comprehend, in part because the voice of the other man in the conversation is muffled and barely intelligible. But then Giuliani says something that’s crystal clear. "Let's get back to business." He goes on. "I gotta get you to get on Bahrain." Giuliani is well-connected in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Last December, he visited the Persian Gulf nation and had a one-on-one meeting with King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa in the royal palace. “King receives high-level U.S. delegation,” read the headline of the state-run Bahrain News Agency blurb about the visit. Giuliani runs a security consulting company, but it’s not clear why he would have a meeting with Bahrain’s king. Was he acting in his capacity as a consultant? As Trump’s lawyer? Or as an international fixer running a shadow foreign policy for the president? In May, Giuliani told the Daily Beast his firm had signed a deal with Bahrain to advise its police force on counter-terrorism measures. But the Bahrain News Agency account of the meeting suggested Giuliani was viewed more like an ambassador than a security consultant. “HM the King praised the longstanding Bahraini-U.S. relations, noting keenness of the two countries to constantly develop them,” it said. The voicemail yielded no details about the meeting. But Giuliani can be heard telling the man that he’s “got to call Robert again tomorrow.” Full Story

By Katelyn Polantz, Scott Glover, and Vicky Ward, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Long before they burst onto the national scene with their high-profile arrests at Dulles International Airport earlier this month, Soviet-born businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were already turning heads in Republican fundraising circles. "They seemed like hustlers -- but not in a bad way. In a good way," one high-ranking Republican operative familiar with the pair told CNN. But a CNN review of campaign contributions and court filings, as well as interviews with nearly a dozen people with knowledge of Parnas and Fruman's interactions, tell a different story. The pair raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars and jetted around the world touting their connections to Giuliani and the Trump administration while pushing for business and favors, even claiming to arrange a Fox News interview, right up until the day they were arrested for conspiracy and campaign-finance related charges. At one point, they pushed a Ukrainian businessman to pay them to bring Trump administration officials to Ukraine. At another time, they convinced a Florida-based businessman to loan them $100,000 so they could connect him with Giuliani and other prominent conservatives. And in a third instance, they attempted to influence the management board of a Ukrainian gas company. "They presented themselves as successful businesspeople with business interests across the country and in Europe," said the GOP source, who requested anonymity, citing the ongoing criminal probe into the men. "They just said they loved the President and what he's doing." When the pair made a $325,000 donation to a pro-Trump super PAC in May 2018, they were subjected to standard vetting designed to detect any problems or conflicts with major donors, the source said.
"They didn't find any reason why we shouldn't take their money," said the Republican with knowledge of the matter. "So we did." more...

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