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Rudy Giuliani From Prince to Minion to Villain Page 1
From a hard nose prosecutor, to America’s mayor, to a right wing conspiracy nut and now a criminal suspect 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. You have to question were their allegiance are to America or to Russia, more and more it looks like their allegiance is to Russia and not to America.
Rudolph William Louis Giuliani (/ˌdʒuːliˈɑːni/, Italian: [dʒuˈljaːni]; born May 28, 1944) is an American politician, attorney, businessman, and public speaker who served as the 107th Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001. He currently acts as an attorney to President Donald Trump. Politically a Democrat, then an Independent in the 1970s, and a Republican since the 1980s, Giuliani served as United States Associate Attorney General from 1981 to 1983.That year he became the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, holding the position until 1989. When Giuliani took office as Mayor of New York City, he appointed a new police commissioner, William Bratton, who applied the broken windows theory of urban decay, which holds that minor disorders and violations create a permissive atmosphere that leads to further and more serious crimes that can threaten the safety of a city; to prevent major crime, the theory holds, the police should enforce seemingly minor "quality-of-life" laws such as those outlawing public drinking, littering, and jay-walking.Within several years, Giuliani was widely credited for making major improvements in the city's quality of life and lowering the rate of violent crimes. While Giuliani was still Mayor, he ran for the United States Senate in 2000; however, he withdrew from the race upon learning of his prostate cancer diagnosis. Giuliani was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2001, and was given an honorary knighthood in 2002 by Queen Elizabeth II for his leadership in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Full Story
VoxHow did America's Mayor wind up at the center of Trump's impeachment scandal?
MSNBC’s Morning Joe rolls Giuliani’s ‘greatest hits package of being cognitively impaired’ after Rudy questions Biden’s witsBy Travis GettysRudy Giuliani suggested Joe Biden was cognitively impaired, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough laughed in astonishment. The former New York City mayor has become infamous for his rambling and incoherent TV appearances, and the “Morning Joe” host rolled a supercut of some of Giuliani’s lowlights as a surrogate for President Donald Trump. “I don’t understand it!” Scarborough said. “I just don’t understand why Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani and all these people who have a greatest hits package of being cognitively impaired would point to anybody else and suggest they’re cognitively impaired. We’ve been saying this for a long time. Donald Trump can’t attack Joe Biden on this issue, because for every clip they find, we can find 10 clips that make them look even more concerning.” “Who is this someone continuing to say let’s use this cognitive approach?” he added. “Because whoever it, is they are hurting the president’s campaign because it only draws attention to his own deficits that are all on tape.”
Salon also confirms Giuliani was linked to Lev Parnas by a lawyer who shared his client in a money-laundering probeBy Roger SollenbergerFormer New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox News host Ed Henry — inaccurately — on Wednesday that more Black people kill police officers in America than police officers kill Black people. Giuliani made the false claim in response to Henry's questions about the progressive "defund the police" movement. "That's a terrible, terrible overreaction to what's been created as almost a hysterical reaction to a single incident," Giuliani claimed. "And not just a single incident — some instances of police wrongdoing where they actually are unjustified in the use of force." "As the president pointed out, and as we all know logically, 99% — if not more — of police contact with the public is appropriate," said President Donald Trump's personal attorney, who advises municipalities in developing countries on how to set up emergency management systems, an operation which many legal experts view as a vehicle for corruption. "Either no use of force — or in many cases, the use of force saved their lives," Giuliani elaborated.
By Jordan Valinsky, CNN BusinessNew York (CNN Business) Piers Morgan's live interview with Rudy Giuliani on Thursday devolved into a heated argument, that at times turned very personal, on ITV's "Good Morning Britain." Both men have been strong supporters of President Donald Trump: Morgan often writes favorable op-eds about Trump. Giuliani is the president's personal lawyer. But their views diverged Thursday. The interview went south four minutes into the 13-minute long interview when Morgan asked Giuliani about Trump's "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet in reference to the nationwide protests against police brutality. (The controversial tweet was hidden by Twitter for violating its rules against glorifying violence.) Morgan pushed Giuliani to explain why Trump used the quote, to which an increasingly agitated Giuliani replied: "It isn't inflammatory, it's accurate."
By Nina dos Santos, CNNLondon (CNN) When Republican lawmakers this week abruptly canceled a plan to subpoena a former Ukrainian official in their investigations into the energy firm that hired former Vice President Joe Biden's son, they said it was to allow more time for senators to receive additional briefings. But a Ukrainian magazine editor has told CNN that the target of the subpoena, Andrii Telizhenko, once offered him money to lobby US senators on behalf of pro-Russian media outlets. A former Ukrainian diplomat, Telizhenko is an ally of Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and has been an enthusiastic proponent of the debunked theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, interfered in the 2016 US elections. Telizhenko has also backed Republican claims that Trump's Democratic rival, Joe Biden, shut down an investigation into the Ukrainian gas company Burisma when his son, Hunter, served on its board. Biden has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee called off a vote to subpoena Telizhenko earlier this week, amid accusations from Democrats that the investigation was calculated to damage Biden's presidential bid. Questions also swirled about Telizhenko's reliability as a witness -- the New York Times reported that the FBI had briefed the committee leadership with concerns that he could be spreading Russian disinformation. Telizhenko says he's the victim of a smear campaign and flatly denied to CNN he was a "Russian agent." In a development that could raise more questions about Telizhenko's reliability, Vladislav Davidzon, who runs a magazine called the Odessa Review, has told CNN that Telizhenko offered him $5,000 in 2018 to approach prominent Republicans to speak out against efforts by Kiev to curb the influence of two TV stations. CNN has reviewed a series of messages between the two men that came against the backdrop of an attempt by Ukrainian lawmakers to censure two channels, 112 and News One, for allegedly broadcasting Russian propaganda in the years following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014. In October 2018, the same month that lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution to sanction the two stations, Telizhenko wrote to Davidzon, asking: "Have a question do you or your father have contacts with US Senators? I really need a favour for witch (sic) I can pay up to 5k." Davidzon, 35, is the son of influential US-based Russian language media owner Gregory Davidzon -- once dubbed "The Kingmaker of Little Russia" in a 2012 profile by The New York Times. After expressing concerns about how the new Ukrainian proposals could shut the broadcasters down, Telizhenko then says: "My question is is it possible to get an official comment on a Senators (Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham for example) website next week about this situation of censorship in Ukraine? Really important for me and need fast." Davidzon replies: "Ok. I have a bit of time. But not sure what I can do." Davidzon told CNN that he considered the offer of money to target senators like Graham was "improper" and never reached out to any US lawmakers as a result.
By Bruce GoldingHe wanted to be “America’s mayor” a whole lot longer. Rudy Giuliani secretly asked then-New York Gov. George Pataki to cancel New York City’s 2001 mayoral election so he could remain in office following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a new book reveals. The bombshell disclosure is contained in Pataki’s upcoming memoir of 9/11, “Beyond the Great Divide: How A Nation Became A Neighborhood.” In an excerpt obtained by The Post, Pataki recalls how he attended a press conference with Giuliani and then-Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at Manhattan’s Pier 92 on Sept. 24, 2001. As they began leaving, Giuliani — who a day before had been hailed as “America’s mayor” by Oprah Winfrey during a Yankee Stadium prayer service — asked Pataki for a “private meeting” and they walked into a small room to talk. Following an exchange of the “usual formalities,” Giuliani “dropped a bomb,” Pataki writes. “Governor, you have extraordinary powers to extend my term in office,” Giuliani said. Pataki’s “heart sank,” he writes, noting that he initially backed the idea of repealing term limits so Giuliani, a fellow Republican, could seek a third term, but quickly realized it was a “bad idea both as a matter of principle and politically.” He also describes Giuliani’s implicit request as a desperation move following an “off-the-radar public relations campaign” in which Giuliani’s team tried, but failed, to “influence lawmakers through the media.”
By Kara Scannell and Erica Orden, CNNNew York (CNN) Federal prosecutors are weighing new charges against associates of Rudy Giuliani in connection with a company that paid him $500,000, according to people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors with the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York are considering whether to charge Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and at least one of his business partners with misleading potential investors for Fraud Guarantee, the Florida-based company that paid Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, these people say. Parnas co-founded Fraud Guarantee with the idea of providing insurance to companies to protect against fraud. The scrutiny of Fraud Guarantee brings the investigation closer to Giuliani, Trump's vocal defender, and raises questions about what role the former mayor played, if any, in the marketing of the company. A lawyer for Giuliani said his client never had any conversations about investor pitches or marketing with Parnas or his business partner David Correia. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan for months have been investigating Giuliani's actions, including his efforts to oust Marie Yovanovitch, then-US ambassador to Ukraine, and push for an investigation into the son of Trump's political rival Joe Biden. Giuliani has not been accused of wrongdoing. Yovanovitch was recalled early from her position in April 2019. In the case of Fraud Guarantee, investigators have focused on the marketing pitch, specifically examining whether the men duped investors about the value of the company and how they intended to use the proceeds, the people familiar with the investigation say. FBI agents and prosecutors interviewed investors who were pitched on the company, and through subpoenas have obtained text messages and other documents related to the effort. One person with knowledge of the company has said the men spent proceeds from investors on pricey personal expenses. The new charges, if they are brought, would significantly increase the legal pressure on Parnas and Correia. Those men, plus Igor Fruman, another Parnas business associate, and Andrey Kukushkin, an associate in a marijuana venture, have been charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors with campaign finance violations relating to donations they made to US candidates. All four have pleaded not guilty.
By Vicky Ward, CNNNew York (CNN) Stored in devices seized from Lev Parnas by law enforcement, there's a 34-second cell phone video of Rudy Giuliani relishing a bullfight. There are also photos of Donald Trump's personal attorney posing with two matadors, a flamenco dancer twirling her skirt and an image of the father of Venezuela's opposition leader beside a tray of hors d'oeuvres on the lawn of a Spanish castle. The videos and photographs of Giuliani's trip to Spain, obtained exclusively by CNN, show the efforts Parnas went through to document and save a trove of information. They have aided a slow-drip campaign by Parnas' legal team to keep the indicted Giuliani associate in the limelight as he builds a defense for his indictment, and could plague Giuliani—and ultimately the President—well after impeachment has passed. Last week, Parnas and his attorney Joseph Bondy made a show of traveling to Washington and walking up to the US Senate, with cameras in tow. The two knew full well that Parnas could be turned away from the impeachment trial because he was wearing an ankle bracelet, an electronic device that violates the Senate chamber rules. The stunt came days after Parnas' lawyer released an 83-minute recording from an April 2018 Trump International Hotel fundraiser where President Donald Trump discusses firing former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, with Parnas and his estranged business partner Igor Fruman.
MORE TO COMEMembers of Trump’s Ukraine team ensnared in the scandal appear to have been the biggest casualties in the Giuliani-led crusade.By Asawin Suebsaeng White House Reporter, Erin Banco National Security ReporterPresident Trump may have been acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday. But some of his allies and most prominent lieutenants are in no mood to let the Ukraine impeachment scandal go. Rudy Giuliani—Trump’s personal attorney whose Biden-related digging and controversial shadow-diplomacy led directly to this president’s impeachment—is very much in the category of Trumpworld’s unrepentant. Giuliani, for one, is planning on “ramping up” his investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden. “It’s a matter of the fair administration of justice for real,” he told The Daily Beast. Giuliani did not go into details regarding what these continued private probes would entail, but the former New York mayor wasn’t alone in his enthusiasm. In Giuliani’s quest to uncover dirt on, or provoke a Ukrainian announcement of an investigation into, the then-frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, he openly collaborated with the fervently pro-Trump cable outlet One America News Network. In recent months, OAN launched a series with Giuliani in an effort to exonerate the president and implicate the Bidens in misconduct and “corruption,” with some accusations being entirely baseless and conspiracy-theory minded. This endeavor—which included a high-profile joint trip to European countries at the height of the impeachment probe, a jaunt that freaked out various senior officials in Trump’s national-security apparatus—did not end up saving the president from being impeached.
BUDSThe relationship—stretching from New York to London to Kyiv—long predated Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to discredit the evidence that played a key role in Manafort’s downfall.By Betsy SwanThe web of connections between Donald Trump’s convicted campaign manager and an indicted man who tried to dig up dirt on his political rival runs tighter and longer than previously understood. Rudy Giuliani ally Igor Fruman and ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort have been friendly for years, two sources familiar with their relationship tell The Daily Beast. And that relationship — stretching from New York to London to Kyiv — long predated Rudy Giuliani’s wide-ranging attempts to discredit the evidence that played a key role in kicking off Manafort's political downfall and eventual incarceration. Joseph Bondy, the lawyer for Fruman associate Lev Parnas, said Manafort and Fruman were friendly for years before their respective indictments. A friend of Manafort’s, who spoke anonymously to discuss non-public matters, confirmed that Fruman and Manafort have known each other for years. He said Fruman invited Manafort to the opening party for Buddha-Bar in Kyiv many years ago, and that the two men have discussed business. Buddha-Bar opened in the summer of 2008. Bondy said the pair also spent time together in London and New York.
The billionaire oligarch is “at the dead center of the greatest corruption operation in Ukraine’s history,” said a former senior U.S. diplomat.By Tom Winter, Ken Dilanian and Dan De LuceIn September, one month before Lev Parnas was indicted on campaign finance charges, his wife received wire transfers from a bank account in Russia. The sum was $1 million, and the source was a lawyer for Dmytro Firtash, according to a court filing by U.S. prosecutors. Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who made a fortune in the natural gas trade, is perhaps the most enigmatic figure in the scandal that has played a key role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment.A billionaire with alleged ties to the Russian mob, Firtash is facing bribery-related charges in the U.S. and fighting extradition from Vienna. He once attempted to buy and redevelop the famous Drake Hotel in New York with the now-incarcerated Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. And he’s seen by Ukrainian anti-corruption activists and Western governments as a corrupt instrument of Russia.Exactly why the money was sent to the wife of Parnas — the former Trump donor and Rudy Giuliani associate who has since turned on the president — is unclear. But Firtash provided key documents that Giuliani used to further his discredited claim that former Vice President Joe Biden engaged in wrongdoing in Ukraine.
Lev Parnas’s feverish text messages show his wide reach among Ukraine’s oligarchs and political eliteBy Robyn Dixon, David L. Stern and Natalie GryvnyakKYIV — Lev Parnas, the Ukrainian American businessman at the heart of the Trump impeachment, adopted a tone of hearty bonhomie when exchanging messages with Ukraine’s political elite, calling them “my brother” or “my friend,” or telling them “I missed you” or “I embrace you.” The Florida businessman whose family moved to the United States from the Soviet Union when he was a child, has said he was part of a multipronged effort led by former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R), to help President Trump’s reelection campaign and damage a political opponent, former vice president Joe Biden. Parnas has said he and his associate, Igor Fruman, used their deep knowledge of a Ukrainian government known for functioning on secret inside deals — a reputation it is trying to change — to support Giuliani’s efforts. The two face federal charges over alleged campaign finance violations.
Lev Parnas told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that he didn't do anything "without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president."By Phil HelselLev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who has been implicated in an alleged attempt to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, says, "President Trump knew exactly what was going on." "He was aware of all my movements. I wouldn't do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president. I have no intent, I have no reason to speak to any of these officials," Parnas, who faces campaign finance charges, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview that aired Wednesday night."I mean, they have no reason to speak to me. Why would President Zelenskiy's inner circle or Minister Avakov or all these people or President Poroshenko meet with me? Who am I? They were told to meet with me. And that's the secret that they're trying to keep. I was on the ground doing their work," Parnas said. Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected president in April, defeating incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Arsen Avakov is Ukraine's interior minister.
New York’s current mayor blasts one of his predecessors over comments made in a magazine interview.By DAVID COHENNew York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday accused one of his predecessors, Rudy Giuliani, of sinking to a new low with what he called a “particularly dangerous” “anti-Semitic rant.” De Blasio was responding to an interview in New York magazine in which Giuliani, now President Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, accused George Soros — a mega-donor to liberal causes — of acting as a shadowy puppet master. “I know Rudy Giuliani is determined to set new lows in pathetic, spineless behavior these days — but this anti-Semitic rant is particularly dangerous,” de Blasio tweeted Tuesday. “The attacks our Jewish communities have endured are fueled by this kind of loathsome hate. He’s an absolute disgrace.”The magazine interview published Monday featured Giuliani making multiple accusations about Soros’ ability to control people and events, including various diplomats and FBI agents. “Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him,” Giuliani told Olivia Nuzzi. “Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DA’s in the United States. He’s a horrible human being.”
Asked if the comments were made in jest, Giuliani told NBC News, "I'm more Jewish than half my friends."
By Allan Smith and Dareh Gregorian
Rudy Giuliani says he's "more of a Jew" than liberal billionaire George Soros, who survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary as a teen. In a remarkable interview with New York magazine, Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer, painted Soros as a puppet master who has secretly been pulling the strings in Ukraine. Soros is a frequent target of conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the world."Don’t tell me I’m anti-Semitic if I oppose him," Giuliani said. "Soros is hardly a Jew. I’m more of a Jew than Soros is. I probably know more about — he doesn’t go to church, he doesn’t go to religion — synagogue. He doesn’t belong to a synagogue, he doesn’t support Israel, he’s an enemy of Israel. He’s elected eight anarchist DAs in the United States. He’s a horrible human being."
By Emma TuckerThe president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is facing backlash after falsely stating on his Facebook page that he is a “former attorney general of the United States.” In reality, Giuliani served as U.S. associate attorney general under President Ronald Regan from 1981 to 1983. In 1975, he was named associate deputy attorney general and chief of staff to the deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice. On Tuesday, Giuliani urged Twitter users to “connect” with him on Facebook, writing, “More to come on my investigation, soon!” The page also describes Giuliani as a “government official” who served as New York City mayor and Trump’s personal attorney. Giuliani told New York Daily News reporter Chris Sommerfeldt in a response by text to the false claim on his page, “If it says AG it was a mistake should be AAG. Will change it.”
Rudolph Giuliani said in an interview that he briefed the president “a couple of times” about Marie Yovanovitch, the envoy to Ukraine, setting her recall in motion.By Kenneth P. VogelWASHINGTON — Rudolph W. Giuliani said on Monday that he provided President Trump with detailed information this year about how the United States ambassador to Ukraine was, in Mr. Giuliani’s view, impeding investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump, setting in motion the ambassador’s recall from her post.In an interview, Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, described how he passed along to Mr. Trump “a couple of times” accounts about how the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, had frustrated efforts that could be politically helpful to Mr. Trump. They included investigations involving former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ukrainians who disseminated documents that damaged Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.The president in turn connected Mr. Giuliani with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who asked for more information, Mr. Giuliani said. Within weeks, Ms. Yovanovitch was recalled as ambassador at the end of April and was told that Mr. Trump had lost trust in her.
'I needed Yovanovitch out of the way': Rudy Giuliani made a dangerous admission about his role in ousting a former US ambassadorby Sonam ShethRudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who's now President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, confirmed in detail to The New Yorker his role in engineering the ouster of Marie Yovanovitch as the US's ambassador to Ukraine. Giuliani told The New Yorker's Adam Entous that he viewed Yovanovitch as an obstacle as he attempted to obtain politically damaging information about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine ahead of the 2020 election."I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way," Giuliani said. "She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody." To that end, Giuliani compiled a dossier of conspiracy theories about the Bidens and Yovanovitch that he sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this year and was later shared with the FBI and The New Yorker.Giuliani also began speaking out against Yovanovitch on news outlets like Fox News, while directing John Solomon, a self-described investigative journalist who traffics in conspiracy theories, to publish op-ed articles smearing Yovanovitch in The Hill.
Giuliani actually admitted it on a phone call.By Alex WardPresident Donald Trump’s entire impeachment mess began over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s family and Democrats with the help of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. But even as an impeachment vote in the House Judiciary Committee loomed, both men continued to coordinate on Giuliani’s Ukraine efforts on behalf of his powerful client.Giuliani recently returned from a trip to Kyiv this month in which he interviewed local officials to learn more about Hunter Biden — Joe’s son — and his time on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. He also wanted to prove the conspiracy theory both he and Trump believe — that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.After landing in New York last Saturday, according to the Wall Street Journal, the president called his attorney while the plane was still taxiing. “What did you get?” Trump asked, according to the Journal’s Friday interview with Giuliani. “More than you can imagine,” the former New York City mayor replied, noting he would be putting his findings in a 20-page report.One almost has to respect (while remaining appalled at) how brazen Giuliani’s admission is here. He’s openly telling the Wall Street Journal that his anti-Biden investigation in Ukraine continues, and that Trump is still interested in knowing about it.
By Jonathan ChaitPresident Trump is facing impeachment primarily for abusing his power for political gain, extorting a foreign country to discredit his political rivals. The secondary aspect of the plot is that the target of his extortion is hardly random. Ukraine is the victim of Russian aggression, and Russia’s continuing incursions into Ukrainian territory is the muscle that gave Trump’s threats leverage. Trump’s domestic interests are one intended beneficiary of his scheme. The other is Vladimir Putin.Trump and his allies insist he has actually pursued a hawkish line in Ukraine. “Mr. Trump didn’t withhold military aid to Ukraine, and even if he had he would have merely been returning to Barack Obama’s policy of denying lethal aid,” argues a Wall Street Journal editorial. “No one has done more to limit Russia’s ability to engage in mischief than President Trump,” insists Representative Matt Gaetz in a Fox News segment retweeted by the president.Meanwhile, federal prosecutors charged yesterday evening that Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump who represented him in Ukraine, was wired $1 million from a Russian bank account weeks before his arrest. Which is to say, Trump’s Ukraine plot appears to have been financed by Russia.Parnas met repeatedly with Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas claims Trump pulled him aside at last year’s White House Hanukkah party and personally directed his activities in Ukraine. That allegation remains unproven. What is proven, though, is that Parnas met with Trump numerous times (there are photographs), was Giuliani’s official business partner, and represented himself to Ukrainians as an agent of both Trump and Giuliani.
By Christian BerthelsenRudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas got $1 million from an account in Russia in September, a month before he was charged with conspiring to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, according to U.S. prosecutors who asked a judge to jail him for understating his income and assets.“The majority of that money appears to have been used on personal expenses and to purchase a home,” prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday. Parnas failed to disclose the payment to the government, prosecutors said.The payment raises provocative new questions about the nature of the work Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman were doing and who they were doing it for. Much about what they did remains unclear.The pair was charged, in part, with working on behalf of one or more Ukrainian government officials to seek the removal of then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
By Marshall CohenWashington (CNN) The Justice Department inspector general continues to investigate potential leaks by FBI officials in New York to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani before the 2016 election. Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing, and is broader than just Giuliani, but suggested his team was struggling to prove that there were illegal leaks.Shortly before the election, Giuliani claimed that he heard about big problems coming soon for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That was shortly before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was reopening the criminal probe into Clinton's email server, which didn't lead to any criminal charges. The polls shifted after Comey's comments, and Clinton has said it was a main reason for her defeat. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont noted on Wednesday that Comey previously confirmed to him that the matter was under investigation, and asked Horowitz for an update about FBI "leaks to Rudolph Giuliani and others."Horowitz replied, "we were very concerned about that," and he noted that he mentioned some of those potentially improper contacts in the report he put out last year reviewing the Clinton email probe.
The president's lawyer went to Ukraine to discredit impeachment with a parallel narrative, but corruption fighters know his "witnesses" have little or no credibility.by Anna NemtsovaKYIV, Ukraine—The witnesses stand, with their right hands raised, as if being sworn in for, well, an impeachment hearing. Only this is not in Congress. The cast of obscure Ukrainians—a group seen at home as odious and discredited—are appearing in a television show with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, in what he casts as an investigation that parallels the process in Congress.It would only be credible in a parallel world. Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat, has been helping Giuliani produce the show for OAN, the One America News Network, a conservative channel now favored by Trump. OAN is publicizing the two-part broadcast this weekend, promising “witnesses who destroy [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s baseless impeachment case against President Trump.”“Watch top Ukrainian officials testify under oath the side of the story Schiff doesn’t want you to hear,” proclaims the YouTube promo for the broadcast.But “top officials” they definitely are not. Indeed, Giuliani’s choice of guest stars in his would-be reality show, and his wider cast of sources, caused shock among many in Kyiv’s establishment who know their questionable backgrounds in considerable detail.
Posting from somewhere in Ukraine, Trump’s lawyer tweets the quid pro quo.By Aaron RuparPresident Donald Trump and his Republican defenders in the House continue to argue there was no “quid pro quo” with Ukraine (despite a White House call summary and testimony from numerous Trump officials indicating otherwise).It took Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, all of two tweets to blast that talking point to smithereens.On Thursday, Giuliani — apparently posting from somewhere in Kiev, where he’s currently traveling as part of his ongoing international effort to dig up dirt on the Bidens — posted tweets explicitly acknowledging a link between ongoing US assistance to Ukraine and investigations into the Biden family.“The conversation about corruption in Ukraine was based on compelling evidence of criminal conduct by then VP Biden, in 2016, that has not been resolved and until it is will be a major obstacle ... to the US assisting Ukraine with its anti-corruption reforms,” Giuliani claimed, despite the fact that no such evidence has emerged.In short, Giuliani tweeted the quid pro quo.
Top administration officials have been tracking Giuliani’s venture through Europe, wondering if he’s going to cause yet another major headache for the president.By Asawin Suebsaeng White House Reporter, Erin Banco National Security ReporterRudy Giuliani’s decision to travel to multiple European countries this week, during the height of an impeachment probe involving his client President Trump, was so startling to senior administration officials and national security brass that they began tracking his movements in an effort to get a read on his objectives abroad.Other officials in the West Wing and numerous Trump associates learned about his latest foreign adventure, which included a stop in Ukraine, by reading the news. Many of them expressed exasperation at the thought of Giuliani—himself reportedly in the crosshairs of federal investigators—continuing to cause headaches for the White House. Others feared he would cause tangible damage to U.S. foreign policy.“I do not see why [any] lawyer would see this as serving the best interests of their client,” said a senior White House official. “Especially now.” Senior U.S. officials in the State Department and in the national security apparatus were concerned that Giuliani was speaking with politicians in both Budapest and Kiev who have interests in domestic American politics. According to five sources with knowledge of the situation, there is renewed fear that the president’s lawyer is still shopping for dirt about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter as well as speaking with foreign officials who, against all evidence, have promoted the idea that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.The concerns about Giuliani’s trip to Kiev were so pronounced that they reached officials close to President Volodymyr Zelensky, who were advised by Americans and politicians in Ukraine not to meet with Giuliani when he was in town, according to an individual familiar with those conversations.The president’s attorney, who has been defiant in the face of criticism for his prior efforts to target the Bidens, was similarly unmoved by the idea that his current expedition was both unseemly and unwise.“I would hope they have more important things to do than intrude on the work being done by a lawyer defending his client against another set of false and contrived charges,” Giuliani told The Daily Beast on Wednesday, while still overseas.
New York Times: Giuliani traveled to Hungary and Ukraine to meet with ex-prosecutors in effort to defend TrumpBy Devan Cole, CNNWashington (CNN)Rudy Giuliani traveled to Hungary and Ukraine this week to meet with several former Ukrainian prosecutors in an effort to defend President Donald Trump against House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The Times, citing conversations with people familiar with the matter, said the President's personal attorney went to Budapest, Hungary, on Tuesday to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, before going to Kyiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday to meet with a number of other former prosecutors in the country, including Viktor Shokin and Kostiantyn H. Kulyk.Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney and a key player in the President's dealings with Ukraine, traveled to speak with the former prosecutors for a documentary series meant to bolster unproven and debunked claims of corruption at the heart of the probe. The ex-prosecutors have "all played some role in promoting claims" about former Vice President Joe Biden, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, the paper said. Those claims have been key to Trump and Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to announce investigations into matters that would benefit the President's 2020 reelection effort, according to House impeachment investigators. When asked about the trip, Giuliani's spokeswoman Christianné Allen said his work was "still confidential."
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