New Audio Shows Aggressive Giuliani Trying To Pressure Ukraine For Biden Investigation
Newly released audio files show Rudy Giuliani repeatedly suggesting Ukraine could have a "better relationship" with the United States if the country's president opened an investigation into Joe Biden and his son in 2019.
CNN said Monday it had received audio from the July 2019 phone call between Giuliani and US diplomat Kurt Volker and Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. The audio shows how aggressively Giuliani, who served as President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, tried to secure the Ukrainian leader's support for a fake investigation into then-Democratic presidential candidate Biden.
“All we need from President [Zelensky] is to say, 'I'm going to put an honest prosecutor in charge, he'll examine and dig up the evidence that currently exists and whether there is any other evidence of participation in the 2016 election? ', and then the Biden thing has to come to an end, "said Giuliani." ... Somebody in Ukraine has to take that seriously. "
Listen to the audio here on CNN.
The 40-minute call came just days before the discussion in which Trump urged his Ukrainian counterpart to "do us a favor" by announcing an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who were on the board of directors of a Ukrainian energy company. The call with Zelenskyi became central to the first House vote to indict Trump for attempting to pressure Ukraine to tarnish its political rival in exchange for releasing US military aid.
Some details of the call came out after Time Magazine released a transcript earlier this year, but CNN's audio highlights the extent of Giuliani's print campaign. BuzzFeed News also released transcripts in April.
"That would clean the air really well," Giuliani said at one point to Yermak about the announcement of an investigation. Zelenskyi had hoped for a diplomatic visit to the United States, which Giuliani said could be accelerated with the support of the Ukrainians.
"And I think it would allow me to come and make it possible for me to speak to the President [Trump] to see what I can do to make sure that all misunderstandings are put aside ... I think somehow that this could be a good thing to have a much better relationship, ”Giuliani says in the call.
Despite the end of Trump's presidency, Giuliani remained at the center of the federal investigation. The New York Times reported last month that prosecutors are investigating whether Ukraine interfered in part in the 2020 presidential election by spreading misinformation about the lawyer (Giuliani was not accused of wrongdoing, but he was a key spokesman for Trump's attacks on Biden and his son during the campaign).
A separate investigation at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan looks into Giuliani's work for Trump to see if he was campaigning to remove Marie Yovanovitch from her post as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine in 2019 because Kiev wanted to fire her . This investigation intensified after the FBI issued search warrants to Giuliani's home and office in April.
Giuliani was also not accused of misconduct in this investigation and has denied any inappropriateness.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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