NYT: Giuliani sought business from Ukraine while pursuing political dirt

Rudy Giuliani privately sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian officials while trying to get dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The report comes as President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer continues to face questions about his work for Trump following the release of a whistleblower complaint at the center of impeachment proceedings involving the President and Ukraine. The complaint alleges the President abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the 2020 election and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Giuliani and other lawyers made repeated attempts to make Ukrainian officials their clients, the Times reported, citing documents they reviewed. One proposal signed by Guiliani in February involved the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice. The former New York mayor would have helped the Ukraine government find stolen money in return for a payment to his firm of $300,000.

In another proposal from February, The Times reports Guiliani would represent former Ukraine Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko to advise “on Ukrainian claims for the recovery of sums of money in various financial institutions outside Ukraine” if he paid $200,000 to Guiliani Partners and Joseph E. diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a legal team associated with Trump.

An updated proposal, signed by Giuliani, included directions on how to wire money to his firm and did not mention Lutsenko, the Times reports, but instead asked for $300,000 from the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and the Republic of Ukraine.

The Times also reports there are other draft agreements involving Toensing and diGenova but do not mention Giuliani.

Giuliani told the Times in an interview that a Ukrainian official approached him trying to hire him personally, but that he dismissed the suggestion. He said he spent a month considering a different deal with the Ukrainian government but that it never came to fruition.

Several witnesses have testified to House impeachment investigators about Giuliani’s involvement. During his public testimony, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told lawmakers that there was a quid pro quo for Ukraine to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents, which came from Giuliani at the “express direction of the President.” Trump repeatedly told diplomats to talk to Giuliani regarding Ukraine.

Giuliani told the Times that Lutsenko pitched the idea of hiring him to help deliver information about corruption in Ukraine to US authorities, but Giuliani said he concluded it would be a potential conflict of interest for him to represent Ukraine that way as he was working for Trump for free.

The Washington Post reported similar business proposals by Guiliani to Ukranian officials on Wednesday. He negotiated to represent Ukraine’s top prosecutor for nearly $200,000 while he worked with the prosecutor to get dirt on the Bidens, the Post said, citing people familiar with the negotiations. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.

CNN previously reported that federal prosecutors investigating associates of Giuliani have launched an investigation that could include criminal charges ranging from conspiracy, obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations and money laundering, according to a subpoena sent to at least one witness and seen by CNN.

CNN’s Kara Scannell, Vicky Ward and Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.