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Giuliani Was Doing Something Else in Ukraine

But President Trump's lawyer says it's not that big a deal
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2019 6:05 PM CST
In this Aug. 1, 2018 file photo, Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, addresses a gathering during a campaign event in Portsmouth, NH.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

(Newser) – Looks like Rudy Giuliani juggled a lot with Ukraine—trying to dig up dirt on President Trump's political enemies while pursuing private business deals worth at least $300,000 with Ukrainian officials. No deals happened, but documents show he signed a retainer agreement on his company letterhead. Asked about it Wednesday, Giuliani said he never earned a dime, and anyway his usual retainer is way more than a few hundred thousand. "It did not come out of my desire to make a lot of money," he told the New York Times. "Originally, I thought I would do it. And then when I thought it over, I thought it would look bad." The 2019 documents evolve over months, showing Giuliani and two other lawyers nearly taking on Ukrainian agencies or officials as clients.

One goal in the deals—and the most contentious—was to lobby for the potential clients to help them convey information about Ukrainian corruption to US officials. Those potential clients included two former Ukrainian top prosecutors, Yuriy Lutsenko and Victor Shokin. All this while Giuliani, acting as President Trump's personal lawyer, tried to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The problem: It's illegal to try to influence the US government for a foreign power without registering as a foreign agent. Federal prosecutors are already investigating Giuliani and two other associates over possible crimes involving their Ukraine activities, including failure to register as a foreign agent, per the Washington Post. (Looks like Trump is distancing himself from Giuliani's work in Ukraine.)

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