White House

Giuliani Considered Taking on Ukraine’s Top Prosecutor as a Client while Pushing for Biden Investigation

Rudy Giuliani speaks at the 2018 Iran Freedom Convention in Washington, U.S., May 5, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani considered accepting Ukraine’s top prosecutor as a client, even as he urged the prosecutor and other Ukrainian officials to investigate former vice president Joe Biden.

An unsigned document from mid-February reviewed by the New York Times laid out a draft proposal for Giuliani “to advise on Ukrainian claims for the recovery of sums of money in various financial institutions outside Ukraine.” It called on then-Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko to pay the former New York mayor’s firm, Giuliani Partners, and two Giuliani-allied lawyers, Joseph E. diGenova and Victoria Toensing, $200,000 total for services.

Several weeks prior, Giuliani and Lutsenko had met to discuss possible investigations into Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company for which Hunter Biden was a board member from 2014 to 2019.

An updated proposal dated February 20, signed by Giuliani, gives specific instructions on how to wire the money to Giuliani Partners. However, this proposal sought $300,000 in compensation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and the Republic of Ukraine, not Lutsenko. The document was not signed by then-Ukrainian justice minister Pavlo Petrenko.

By March, the proposal had been updated to specify that the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice would hire diGenova and Toensing for services, but that Lutsenko’s office would pay Giuliani Partners $300,000.

Although various other proposals circulated between Giuliani and his Ukrainian contacts after that, the agreements never seem to have been carried out.

“No money was ever received and no legal work was ever performed,” said a representative for diGenova and Toensing.

Giuliani’s foreign business dealings have come under increasing scrutiny amid allegations that he was seeking to profit from his access to the White House while simultaneously carrying out the president’s political agenda. Besides working for President Trump, for which he maintains he received no payment, and attempting to work for Ukrainian officials, Giuliani also represented a Venezuelan businessman accused of ties to the Hugo Chavez regime.

Federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas to look into a wide range of Giuliani’s businesses and allies due to suspicions of money laundering, obstruction of justice, and campaign-finance violations. While Giuliani himself is not accused of those offenses, authorities are looking into whether he failed to register as a foreign agent while representing certain clients.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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