Giuliani pursued financial deals in Ukraine while seeking probes for Trump: reports

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe Horowitz: 'Very concerned' about FBI leaks to Giuliani MORE pursued hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial deals in Ukraine while simultaneously asking for investigations for the president, according to Wednesday reports.

Giuliani started negotiations to take on Ukraine’s then-top prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko and the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice as clients earlier this year, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported.

One alleged proposal suggested taking on Lutsenko as a client at the same time Giuliani had been working with the prosecutor to push for investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE’s family and the 2016 election. 

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Lutsenko was supposed to pay $200,000 for Giuliani and husband-and-wife legal team Joseph E. diGenova and Victoria Toensing “to advise on Ukrainian claims for the recovery of sums of money in various financial institutions outside Ukraine," the newspapers reported. 

The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and the Republic from Ukraine were instructed to pay Giuliani’s firm $300,000 in another proposal on company letterhead signed by Giuliani but not the Ukrainian justice minister, the Times reported.

A March update indicated the ministry of justice would hire diGenova and Toensing but said the General Prosecutor’s office led by Lutsenko would give $300,000 to Giuliani Partners, according to the newspapers. Later updates did not mention Giuliani’s name.

Giuliani has repeatedly denied having business dealings in Ukraine and says none of these deals were completed. He told the Times that the Ukrainian official had asked to hire him, which he rejected. But Giuliani said he considered a different deal with the Ukrainian government before scrapping those plans. 

“I thought that would be too complicated,” Giuliani told the Times. “I never received a penny.”

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The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice said Wednesday that it did not enter contracts or pay Giuliani, according to the Times.

A spokeswoman for Lutsenko referred the Times to an interview he gave confirming Giuliani’s aides had asked him to bring on a lobbying company. DiGenova’s and Toensing’s law firm said in a statement to the newspapers that the firm “agreed to represent Ukrainian whistleblowers.”

Giuliani’s interactions with Ukraine are at the center of the president’s impeachment inquiry, as several officials have accused the lawyer of running a shadow campaign to pressure the Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election. 

An ongoing federal investigation into the former New York mayor follows the arrest of two associates who are charged with using foreign money to influence the U.S. government and reportedly assisted with his pressure campaign.  

Prosecutors and the FBI are investigating whether Giuliani was working for the Ukrainian government when he pushed for former U.S. Ambassador Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchThe State Department: Nonpartisan service on behalf of America Nunes: 'Sickening' that Schiff obtained his phone records Inventing the 'Deep State' and draining the real one MORE’s removal, which Lutsenko reportedly supported, according to the Times.