FBI Criminal Probe Of Rudy Giuliani Expands With New Interview

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As part of the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation into longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, authorities have interviewed former Ukrainian legislator Andrii Artemenko, according to Artemenko himself.

Authorities have been looking into Giuliani on the suspicion that he covertly lobbied then-President Donald Trump on behalf of foreign interests. Specifically, he may have been ferrying the wishes of certain interests in Ukraine to Trump when successfully pushing for the firing of Marie Yovanovitch from her post as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. Federal law requires lobbyists to the U.S. government for foreign interests to disclose their connections. Artemenko “told POLITICO that he has shared what he knows about Giuliani with federal investigators,” according to POLITICO, and he adds that the FBI apparently “reached out” last year, as the publication puts it.

Artemenko has been one of the many figures involved in efforts by Trump and his allies including Giuliani to get damaging information about the Bidens out of Ukraine. Among other examples, he was featured in a documentary that Giuliani put together with the far-right media outlet One America News, which the network described as a counter to the “narrative” driving Trump’s first impeachment. Trump was impeached the first time after the discovery that he, with the help of figures including Giuliani, had been attempting to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens.

Artemenko was once a registered lobbyist on behalf of Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach, who has been sanctioned by the Treasury Department over election interference efforts and characterized by those same authorities as a longtime Russian agent. Giuliani met with Derkach on a couple of occasions, and the former New York City mayor even hosted Derkach in New York for a taping of his podcast. During that podcast taping, Derkach falsely claimed that “billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine were misused or went missing while Joe Biden was handling the Obama administration’s Ukraine portfolio,” as summarized by The Washington Post.

Russian intelligence services have spread lies about the Bidens — with help from duped Trump allies — in an attempt to damage the now president’s standing. Federal authorities are clearly serious about their Giuliani investigation. This week, they raided his Manhattan apartment and office, where they seized a slew of materials.