Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani reportedly privately sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian officials while trying to get dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son for his boss.
Mr Giuliani is facing questions about his work for the US President after a whistleblower complaint about the President and Ukraine triggered impeachment proceedings. The complaint alleges Mr Tump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the 2020 election and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Giuliani and other lawyers made repeated attempts to make Ukrainian officials their clients, The New YorkTimes reported, citing documents. One proposal signed by Mr Giuliani in February involved the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. The former New York mayor would have helped the Ukraine government find stolen money in return for a payment to his firm of $300,000.
In another proposal from February, the Times reports Mr Guiliani would represent former Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko to advise “on Ukrainian claims for the recovery of sums of money in various financial institutions outside Ukraine” if he paid $200,000 to Guiliani Partners and Joseph E. diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a legal team associated with Mr Trump.
An updated proposal, signed by Mr Giuliani, included directions on how to wire money to his firm and did not mention Mr Lutsenko, the Times reports, but instead asked for $300,000 from the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and the Republic of Ukraine.
The Times also reports there are other draft agreements involving Ms Toensing and Mr diGenova but do not mention Mr Giuliani.
Mr Giuliani told the Times a Ukrainian official approached him trying to hire him personally, but that he dismissed the suggestion. He said he spent a month considering a different deal with the Ukrainian government but that it never came to fruition.
Several witnesses have testified to House impeachment investigators about Mr Giuliani’s involvement. During his public testimony, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told lawmakers there was a quid pro quo for Ukraine to announce investigations into Mr Trump’s political opponents, which came from Mr Giuliani at the “express direction of the President”. Mr Trump repeatedly told diplomats to talk to Mr Giuliani regarding Ukraine.
Mr Giuliani told the Times that Mr Lutsenko pitched the idea of hiring him to help deliver information about corruption in Ukraine to US authorities, but Mr Giuliani said he concluded it would be a potential conflict of interest for him to represent Ukraine that way as he was working for Mr Trump for free.
The Washington Post reported similar business proposals by Mr Guiliani to Ukranian officials on Wednesday (local time). He negotiated to represent Ukraine’s top prosecutor for nearly $200,000 while he worked with the prosecutor to get dirt on the Bidens, the Post said, citing people familiar with the negotiations. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.
CNN previously reported that federal prosecutors investigating associates of Mr Giuliani have launched an investigation that could include criminal charges ranging from conspiracy, obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations and money laundering, according to a subpoena sent to at least one witness and seen by CNN.
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