“…The [MSM] coverage suggests Giuliani reached out to new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team this summer solely because he wanted to get dirt on possible Trump 2020 challenger Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings in that country.
Politics or law could have been part of Giuliani’s motive, and neither would be illegal.
But there is a missing part of the story that the American public needs in order to assess what really happened: Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department.
Giuliani didn’t initiate it. A senior U.S. diplomat contacted him in July and asked for permission to connect Yermak with him.
Then, Giuliani met in early August with Yermak on neutral ground — in Spain — before reporting back to State everything that occurred at the meeting.
That debriefing occurred Aug. 11 by phone with two senior U.S. diplomats, one with responsibility for Ukraine and the other with responsibility for the European Union, according to electronic communications records I reviewed and interviews I conducted.
When asked on Friday, Giuliani confirmed to me that the State Department asked him to take the Yermak meeting and that he did, in fact, apprise U.S. officials every step of the way.
“I didn’t even know who he [Yermak] really was, but they vouched for him. They actually urged me to talk to him because they said he seemed like an honest broker,” Giuliani told me. “I reported back to them [the two State officials] what my conversations with Yermak were about. All of this was done at the request of the State Department.”
So, rather than just a political opposition research operation, Giuliani’s contacts were part of a diplomatic effort by the State Department to grow trust with the new Ukrainian president, Zelensky, a former television comic making his first foray into politics and diplomacy.
Why would Ukraine want to talk to Giuliani, and why would the State Department be involved in facilitating it?
According to interviews with more than a dozen Ukrainian and U.S. officials, Ukraine’s government under recently departed President Petro Poroshenko and, now, Zelensky has been trying since summer 2018 to hand over evidence about the conduct of Americans they believe might be involved in violations of U.S. law during the Obama years.
The Ukrainians say their efforts to get their allegations to U.S. authorities were thwarted first by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, which failed to issue timely visas allowing them to visit America.
Then the Ukrainians hired a former U.S. attorney — not Giuliani — to hand-deliver the evidence of wrongdoing to the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, but the federal prosecutors never responded.
The U.S. attorney, a respected American, confirmed the Ukrainians’ story to me. The allegations that Ukrainian officials wanted to pass on involved both efforts by the Democratic National Committee to pressure Ukraine to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election as well as Joe Biden’s son’s effort to make money in Ukraine while the former vice president managed U.S.-Ukraine relations, the retired U.S. attorney told me.
Eventually, Giuliani in November 2018 got wind of the Ukrainian allegations and started to investigate.
As President Trump’s highest-profile defense attorney, the former New York City mayor, often known simply as Rudy, believed the Ukrainian’s evidence could assist in his defense against the Russian collusion investigation and former special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report.” (Read more: The Hill, 9/20/2019) (Archive)