Speed Reads

impeachment inquiry

Giuliani's associates allegedly pressed Ukraine's previous president to launch investigations in exchange for a White House visit

Two associates of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani reached out to the previous Ukrainian government as early as February in the hopes of getting Kyiv to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Ukrainian-American businessmen who were clients of Giuliani and allegedly aided him in his quest to investigate the Bidens, reportedly sat down with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the offices of then-Ukranian general prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko. This meeting came after Fruman, Parnas, Giuliani, and Lutsenko met in New York in January and Warsaw, Poland, in February.

At the meeting, Parnas and Fruman allegedly offered a White House visit in exchange for Poroshenko launching the investigation into the Bidens and alleged 2016 election meddling. Poroshenko, who eventually lost his re-election bid to President Volodymyr Zelensky, could have used the White House visit to boost his candidacy, the Journal notes. "[Poroshenko] wanted to come to Washington and meet with Trump and then after the state dinner he would have an interview," one of the sources told the Journal. "Then he would say he would investigate meddling in 2016 and the Bidens."

None of that came to fruition, however, and it turned out to be Zelensky's government that got caught up in the Trump impeachment saga. But the Journal points out that the reports of the Poroshenko meeting, if true, show that Giuliani's associates were in contact with Ukraine's president earlier than previously thought. Giuliani's lawyer said Giuliani was not aware of the meeting, and none of the other parties involved responded to requests for comment. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.