Trump denies telling Giuliani to get Ukraine to investigate political foes


The sources told the paper that another agreement, drafted in March, called for Giuliani Partners to be paid $300,000 from the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice for help locating the purportedly stolen assets.

The New York Times reported that Giuliani was planning a trip to Ukraine to encourage then-president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy to move forward with investigations that could be politically beneficial to Trump's re-election campaign.

Costello declined to comment on what directions Trump had given Giuliani on Ukraine, citing attorney-client privilege.

However, in May the New York Times reported that Giuliani had planned to go to Ukraine that month, to urge the government their to open several investigations that could aid the president. It called on then-Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko to pay the former NY mayor's firm, Giuliani Partners, and two Giuliani-allied lawyers, Joseph E. diGenova and Victoria Toensing, $200,000 total for services.

Spokesman Mark Corallo confirmed those discussions included possible representation of Lutsenko.

USA ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, testified that Trump directed him, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and former Ukraine special envoy Kurt Volker to work closely with Giuliani on Ukraine matters, a request that he viewed with alarm as Giuliani was a private citizen.

Giuliani said he dismissed that suggestion, but considered a separate deal with the Ukrainian government, which the DC paper identified as the Ministry of Justice.

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"I think he's done work in Ukraine for years", Trump said during an interview for former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly's "No Spin News" program.

Although various other proposals circulated between Giuliani and his Ukrainian contacts after that, the agreements never seem to have been carried out. In the interview, he called him "a warrior".

Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the Democratic-led House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against Trump who is accused of abusing his office for personal political gain by pressing Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son, Hunter, a former board member of a Ukrainian energy company. He described that work as related to emergency management consulting, but Fuks said in an interview that he hired Giuliani as "a lobbyist for Kharkiv and Ukraine" to lure American investors.

The meeting with a lawyer for Firtash suggests that Giuliani did, despite his October comments, think Firtash could have relevant information to his efforts and further shows the extent to which he reached out to Ukrainian-connected individuals at the height of his hunt for damaging information on Biden and Democrats.

Though no Ukrainian government official is named in the indictment, people familiar with the matter say the references refer to Lutsenko. Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty.

Sessions has said he is cooperating with the investigation and did not have any knowledge of Parnas and Fruman's alleged scheme.