Trump knew about whistleblower grievance earlier than Ukraine support launched

Thursday, 28 Nov, 2019

In an interview with former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly posted Tuesday, President Trump said he did not order his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to go to Ukraine in order to dig up damaging information on his political rivals.

The new reporting was viewed by progressives and analysts as further evidence that Giuliani and Trump were pursuing corrupt ends in Ukraine while publicly claiming to be fighting corruption.

US President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, called the president this week to reassure him he was joking when he told media outlets he had "insurance" if Trump turned on him in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of an impeachment inquiry into the president, Giuliani's lawyer said on Wednesday.

In January and February, at the same time he was looking around for political dirt for Trump in Ukraine, Giuliani was also in talks to represent the country's Ministry of Justice in its top prosecutor's attempt to recover assets he considered to be Ukrainian property.

"I like Joe Biden, I like him a lot, I think he's a fine man", Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. "Also since he's been absent from Ukraine for many years I never thought he had useful information about all the crimes Democrats were committing there in 2016". He played down the discussions in an interview with The Times, contending that a Ukrainian official approached him this year wanting to hire him personally.

Giuliani has said he doesn't charge Trump for legal services.

"The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done exclusively as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven", Giuliani tweeted earlier this month.

"There's nothing illegal about it", Giuliani told the Times in early May.

"Well, you have to ask that to Rudy, but Rudy, I don't, I don't even know", said Mr. Trump.

Trump was asked what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine. He said there had been no change in Trump and Giuliani's relationship.

Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives. He added that Giuliani "possibly saw something".

The Times reports it interviewed Giuiani and examined several documents, one of which was "a proposal signed in February by Mr. Giuliani", which "called for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to pay his firm $300,000".

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY have expanded their investigation following the arrest of two associates of Rudy Giuliani, and are probing the former NY mayor's consulting firm, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Giuliani told the publication that he had never served as a lobbyist or agent of a foreign government. A few months later, a new United States attorney general was selected.

"I have yet to find anybody that's actually seen the subpoenas", Giuliani's attorney, Robert Costello, told CNBC.

He said that he was told it would be "impossible" for him to get the meeting without paying and that he continued to refuse.