Rudy Giuliani is at it again.
Donald Trump’s personal attorney traveled Wednesday to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, to meet with former prosecutors who promoted discredited claims about former vice president Joe Biden — a matter at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment drive against President Trump.
The former Ukrainian officials have all faced corruption allegations, and Giuliani, Trump’s outspoken personal attorney, has been accused of a variety of infractions, notably an effort to convince Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation of Biden and his son who formerly served on the board of a Ukrainian company.
Giuliani arrived in Kyiv from Budapest, where he dined Tuesday with the U.S. ambassador and met with another ousted Ukrainian prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who now lives in Hungary because he faces allegations of abuse of power in his homeland.
“It was Mr. Giuliani’s earlier interactions with some of the same Ukrainian characters that set the stage for the impeachment inquiry in the first place, and also led to an investigation by federal prosecutors into whether Mr. Giuliani violated federal lobbying laws,” reports the New York Times.
Giuliani shrugged off a suggestion that his latest trip and interactions with the Ukrainians are personally risky when he’s being scrutinized by impeachment investigators and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY).
“If S.D.N.Y. leaks and Democrats’ threats stopped me, then I should find a new profession,” Giuliani texted on Wednesday.
The Times reports that some State Department officials are concerned about Giuliani’s continued efforts to engage the Ukrainians:
“One department official, speaking [anonymously], called it ‘shocking’ that, in the face of scrutiny of his prior efforts related to Ukraine, Mr. Giuliani was traveling internationally in continued pursuit of information from Ukrainians.”
Giuliani’s unannounced trip is ostensibly to “prepare more episodes of a documentary series for a conservative television outlet [OAN, or One America News] promoting his pro-Trump, anti-impeachment narrative,” the Times says.
In the latest episode of the series, which aired Tuesday night, three former Ukraine officials contended that in a July phone call, Trump was justified in asking Ukraine’s President Zelensky call to investigate the Bidens.
Those three included Andrii Telizhenko, who also met with Giuliani in Budapest on Tuesday.
Telizhenko claims that when he was working in the Ukrainian embassy to the U.S., “he was instructed to help a Democratic operative gather incriminating information about [former Trump campaign manager Paul] Manafort. The Ukrainian Embassy has denied his account,” the Times says.