September 29, 2019


Rudy Giuliani: Ukraine sources detail attempt to construct case against Biden (Ed Pilkington in New York and Andrew Roth in Kyiv,  29 Sep 2019, The Guardian)

By his own account, Giuliani's fixation with the country began last November when, he told Fox News, he was approached by a "very significant distinguished investigator". He has not named the investigator, though the whistleblower's complaint and other sources have illuminated close ties between the former mayor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who until last month was Ukraine's chief prosecutor, and Lutsenko's predecessor, Viktor Shokin.

As the complaint sets out, Giuliani met Lutsenko at least twice: in New York in January and in Warsaw the following month. The timing of those encounters could be important in the rapidly unfolding impeachment inquiry in Washington, as they came at a key moment for Lutsenko.

The prosecutor was facing growing criticism in Kyiv over stalled investigations into corruption. In November 2018, when Giuliani says he began to focus on the country, Lutsenko offered to resign after a young anti-corruption activist, Kateryna Handziuk, died from a sulphuric acid attack.

Lutsenko stayed in office. But the Guardian has learned that he began seeking a lifeline to the US, in the hope it might save him as difficulties back home intensified.

That lifeline was Giuliani.

"[Lutsenko] strongly needed some political ally, he believed that Giuliani could convey specific messages to Trump, and he created this message to become more interesting to the American establishment," said a law enforcement source familiar with the Giuliani-Lutsenko connection.

That Giuliani might have been fed information by Ukraine's then-top prosecutor that was adulterated to make it more appealing to Trump is a startling potential twist in the developing scandal.

According to the Guardian's source, Lutsenko appeared in conversation with Giuliani to have invented a "don't prosecute" list he claimed was given to him by the then US ambassador to Kyiv, Marie Yovanovitch - news of which apparently made its way up to Trump.

Yovanovitch was abruptly removed in May after Giuliani pressed for changes in the embassy. Giuliani has since claimed without evidence that the "don't prosecute" list was part of a liberal anti-Trump conspiracy that included Yovanovitch and was bankrolled by the philanthropist George Soros.

The US state department has dismissed the claim as an "outright fabrication".

As the transcript showed, everyone knows how to play Donald and his minions.

Posted by at September 29, 2019 6:49 AM