The irony: several years after the WSJ first reported that Ukraine was the single largest state donor to the Clinton foundation, best known for its “pay to play” access protocol…
… and not long after Joe Biden was caught on tape proudly declaring he got the former “son of a bitch” Ukraine prosecutor fired after threatening to withhold aid, it is…. Rudy Giuliani who is reportedly under investigation for his Ukraine work.
According to a late Friday report by the NYT, federal prosecutors in Manhattan under the US attorney for the southern district of New York — a position that Giuliani himself once held when he effectively destroyed mafia organized crime before becoming mayor of New York – are investigating whether President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine. The investigators are examining Giuliani’s “efforts to undermine the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch” who was recalled in the spring as part of what the NYT states as fact was “Trump’s broader campaign to pressure Ukraine into helping his political prospects”, a “fact” which Trump has repeatedly denied.
The investigation into Giuliani is tied to the case against two of his associates who were arrested this week on campaign finance-related charges, and who were charged with funneling illegal contributions to a congressman whose help they sought in removing Yovanovitch. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested on Wednesday as they tried to board a one-way flight out of the US. The charges included allegations Parnas sought to oust Yovanovitch, in part, “at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials,” An attorney for the two men told Congress last week that they had “assisted Mr Giuliani in connection with his representation of President Trump”.
Appearing on Capitol Hill on Friday, Yovanovitch, who is a holdover from the Obama administration, accused Mr Trump — who has publicly disparaged her — of leading a “concerted campaign” to remove her from the role, which occurred when she was told in May to return home “on the next plane”.
Yovanovitch told lawmakers she had had “only minimal” contact with Mr Giuliani and did not know his motive for attacking her. But she said some of his associates may have been concerned about her support for anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.
“Individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,” Yovanovitch told the House intelligence committee.
Ironically, to this day, it remains unclear what influence the $10 million in Ukraine “donations” to the Clinton Foundation were used to buy.
While the former NYC mayor has denied wrongdoing, he acknowledged that he and the associates worked with Ukrainian prosecutors to collect potentially damaging information about Yovanovitch and former Vice President Joe Biden and his younger son, Hunter Biden.
In response to the news, the FT reported also late on Friday that Giuliani was “unaware of any investigation into his activities in the country by prosecutors in New York.”
“I have no such knowledge of Manhattan prosecutors investigating me,” Mr Giuliani told the Financial Times when asked about the New York Times story.
And while Trump has pushed back aggressively against the heavy scrutiny over his efforts to pressure his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate the Bidens. On Friday, however, he appeared to distance himself somewhat from Mr Giuliani, a decades-old friend. Asked by reporters on the White House South Lawn if Mr Giuliani was still his personal lawyer, Trump replied: “Well, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney.”
Asked if Rudy Giuliani was still his personal attorney, Pres. Trump says, “Well, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney and he has been my attorney. Yeah, sure.” https://t.co/wSQ4Fqb5vl pic.twitter.com/pZieaqyfmC
— ABC News (@ABC) October 11, 2019
Mr Giuliani told the FT that he was still serving in the position. “I do know, however, that I am the president’s lawyer along with Jay Sekulow, my co-counsel,” he said.