Giuliani lobbied DOJ on behalf of wealthy Venezuelan who hosted him during Ukraine meeting: report

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 attorney 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 lobbied the Department of Justice on behalf of a Venezuelan energy executive after he hosted Giuliani in Madrid, according to The Washington Post.

During the trip to Spain — where Giuliani met with Andriy Yermak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in pursuit of information on 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 son Hunter — Giuliani met with Alejandro Betancourt Lopez, a previously unidentified client.


Betancourt is an executive with the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, which is the subject of a Justice Department investigation into $1.2 billion in alleged money laundering. He himself has not been charged in the case, but is referred to as an uncharged co-conspirator, according to the Post, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Giuliani first told the Post of the Madrid visit in September, saying he told Yermak, “I was already going to be in Madrid for something else the first weekend in August, so why don’t we just meet there?”

Giuliani has claimed there is no conflict between his work for foreign clients and his representation of the president because he represents Trump pro bono.

“My other clients are paying me for the work I do for them. Nobody is paying me for a single thing I’m doing for Donald J. Trump,” he told the Post earlier this year.

A month after the meeting, Giuliani and several other attorneys for Betancourt met with Brian Benczkowski, head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, according to the Post, citing people familiar with the meeting.

At the same time, federal prosecutors in Manhattan were investigating two of Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and would later indict them on campaign finance charges.

“When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani’s associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known,” department spokesperson Peter Carr said at the time.

While Giuliani’s representation of Betancourt was not previously disclosed, a former National Security Council official told the House in a closed-door deposition that she had been told Parnas and Fruman had ties to lobbying in Venezuela.

“I was told that by the directors working on the Western Hemisphere. I didn’t have a chance to look into this in any way," she said, according to a transcript. "I was told that the same individuals who had been indicted had been interested at different points in energy investments in Venezuela and that this was quite well-known."

Giuliani texted the Post: “This is attorney client privilege so I will withstand whatever malicious lies or spin you put on it.”

The Hill has reached out to Giuliani for comment.