Prosecutors are scouring Rudy Giuliani's bank records and business dealings in Ukraine as part of a widening criminal investigation
- Federal prosecutors are diving deep into Rudy Giuliani's finances and consulting work in Ukraine as part of a broadening criminal investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- The investigation is focused on an alleged conspiracy involving two of Giuliani's associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested last week and are accused of concealing the funneling of hundreds of thousands of dollars of foreign money into US political campaigns.
- Prosecutors are reportedly examining Giuliani's role in pushing for the ouster of the US's former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, as well as his work for the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko.
- Giuliani is pivotal in Yovanovitch's abrupt dismissal, and he is also a central figure in President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, a whistleblower complaint lodged in August alleges.
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Federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York are sifting through the bank records and foreign business dealings of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The scrutiny comes as part of a broadening criminal investigation into an alleged conspiracy involving two of Giuliani's Ukrainian associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. The two men were arrested and charged last week with violating campaign finance law connected to hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to US political campaigns.
The indictment accuses Parnas and Fruman of trying to conceal the source of the payments and funneling foreign money into domestic
In addition to examining Giuliani's finances, The Journal reported that federal prosecutors have interviewed witnesses about the former New York mayor since at least August about his potential role in the alleged conspiracy involving Parnas and Fruman.
Giuliani told The Journal he hadn't done anything wrong and had not been informed of any investigation, adding, "They can look at my Ukraine business all they want."
Giuliani has represented Trump since last spring. He is a key player in efforts to urge the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, related to the latter's work for the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.
Prosecutors are also looking into Giuliani's own involvement in pushing for Yovanovitch's abrupt removal from her role, as well as his previous consulting work in Ukraine, The Journal reported.
The New York Times first reported last week that prosecutors are looking at whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying laws connected to his push for Yovanovitch's ouster.
Giuliani's role in Yovanovitch's removal was detailed at length in a whistleblower complaint filed in August by an intelligence official. The complaint mentions Giuliani 31 times and describes him as a "central figure" in Trump's efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens and help discredit the Russia probe.
Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May, while Giuliani was urging Ukrainian government officials to investigate baseless claims of corruption against Biden and his son.
Yovanovitch testified to Congress last week that she was removed from her position based on "unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives."
"I do not know Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me," she said. But people associated with Giuliani "may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine."
Yovanovitch also said she was told by a top State Department official that the president had pushed for her removal even though the State Department believed she had "done nothing wrong." According to The New York Times, Yovanovitch testified that John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told her earlier this year that "this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause."
Instead, Sullivan reportedly told Yovanovitch that Trump had "lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador." She was also said to have testified that there'd been "a concerted campaign against me" and that the department "had been under pressure from the president to remove me since the summer of 2018."
Giuliani's consulting work in Ukraine, meanwhile, began more than a decade ago after he shuttered his 2008 Republican presidential campaign. The Journal reported that prosecutors are scrutinizing his work and financial dealings with the boxer Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv.
Klitschko reportedly negotiated a contract for Giuliani's management consulting firm, Giuliani Security & Safety, to restore order to Kyiv after violent protests broke out in the city in 2014 against Viktor Yanukovych, a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was the president of Ukraine at the time. But Giuliani's fee was too steep, The Journal reported, and the contract never came to fruition.
Giuliani's firm finally got a contract with administrators in the city of Kharkiv in May 2017. The Journal, citing a person familiar with the negotiations, reported that the contract was paid by Pavel Fuks, a Kharkiv native who made a fortune in Russian real estate.
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