Rudy And The Chucklefux Were Shaking Down ALLLLL The Oligarchs, ALLEGEDLY
Rudy Giuliani has lost his damn mind! The New York Times has finally confirmed what we've suspected all along -- that Giuliani sent Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to persuade Ukrainian oligarchs to dig up dirt on Joe Biden to make their American legal problems go away. First he ran the play with Dmitry Firtash, who's facing extradition to the US on federal bribery charges. Then he twisted the arm of Ukraine's then-president Petro Poroshenko, who actually agreed to open investigations of the Bidens and the bullshit theories about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election. And then when Poroshenko lost his reelection bid, Rudy sent Parnas and Fruman to offer the Firtash deal to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who was close to President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy and facing possible bank fraud charges of his own in the US. All with the blessing of the president of the United States. HO. LEE. SHIT.
The Firtash Scheme
Giuliani had been working with Parnas and Fruman, the two Soviet-born chucklefucks, since the fall of 2018 to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, Trump's likely opponent in the 2020 presidential election. Then-House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes allegedly joined the effort to smear an American citizen in early 2019, a fact he conveniently forgot to mention during last week's hearings when he was busy accusing Adam Schiff of colluding with the whistleblower. CNN reports that attorneys Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova were part of this effort at least as early as March 2019, which is long before Parnas and Fruman were dispatched to Vienna to offer their legal services to the Ukrainian energy magnate.
Firtash acknowledges meeting in June with the chucklefucks, who he knew were emissaries of Donald Trump's personal lawyer. He also admits to fronting them cash for their stupid natural gas scheme, but claims that he only did so in hopes that it might help his extradition case. (Really? Uh, okay.)
"They said, 'We may help you, we are offering to you good lawyers in D.C. who might represent you and deliver this message to the U.S. D.O.J.," Mr. Firtash recalled, referring to the Justice Department.
Firtash also agreed to fire Lanny Davis, who had been representing him in his US extradition case, and hire Toensing and diGenova. Rudy Giuliani, who had previously attacked Davis for taking money from someone tied to Russian mobsters, considered representing Firtash himself. But that was a conflict so glaring even Rudy could spot it, so he contented himself with putting his hairball cronies on the job.
Parnas's lawyer Joseph Bondy says that dirt on the Bidens was always mentioned "as part of any potential resolution to his extradition matter," although Toensing insists that she and her husband "took the Firtash case for only one reason: They believe that Mr. Firtash is innocent of the charges brought against him."
(INSERT BIGGEST EYE ROLL EVER.)
For his part, Firtash told the Times that he never wanted to involve himself in US politics, perish the very thought, saying, "Without my will and desire, I was sucked into this internal U.S. fight."
(INSERT SECOND BIGGEST EYE ROLL EVER.)
But Parnas's lawyer Joseph Bondy tells a different story: "Per Giuliani's instructions, [my client] informed Mr. Firtash that Toensing and diGenova were interested in collecting information on the Bidens." Which was no skin off Dmitry Firtash's nose, since Joe Biden had advocated that Ukraine cut Firtash out as the middleman in its gas purchases, which would deprive the oligarch of billions in excess profits. Like George Kent said, "you can't promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people."
And while Firtash claims he never assisted with Giuliani and the hairballs' (and Devin Nunes's) Biden smear, he was the one who got corrupt former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to come to Vienna and give a deposition accusing Biden of getting him fired to protect Hunter Biden's business interests. The sweetener for Firtash was Shokin's contention that "Mr. Biden had been instrumental in blocking Mr. Firtash's return to political life in Ukraine — an assertion that Mr. Firtash believes speaks to the political nature of the case against him."
(EYES BROKEN FROM ROLLING SO HARD.)
Firtash has the hairballs on a $30,000 per month retainer, totaling $1.2 million to date, which includes Parnas's "referral fee." Which doesn't entire jibe with Toensing's descriptions of Parnas as her "interpreter" or as performing some kind of legal research on the case, both of which would likely involve attorney-client privilege. A simple referral from a non-lawyer would not involve privileged communications.
(Yes, it's very hard to follow. Here's a picture. Just keep in mind that, this was basically a scam to trade Biden dirt to get Firtash a walk on bribery charges. And when that didn't work, it morphed into extorting Zelenskyy for the Biden investigations.)
The Poroshenko Scheme
There's very strong circumstantial evidence that the Trump administration has been exerting improper political influence on Ukraine's leaders since the moment that demented loon was sworn in. As the Washington Post reported, after Rudy dropped by to chat up the Ukrainian president and prosecutor general on June 7, 2017, the case against Paul Manafort was transferred back to the prosecutor general from the independent anti-corruption bureau on June 15, and on June 20, VOILÀ, Poroshenko got his White House meeting.
Similarly, in 2018 the Ukrainians suddenly decided to quit cooperating with the Mueller investigation and let Manafort's buddy Konstantin Kilimnik hop across the border to Russia, never to be heard from again -- right about the time the US greenlighted the deal to sell Javelins to Ukraine. Heckuva coincidence!
And now the Times reports that Poroshenko was "poised to announce the investigations Mr. Giuliani sought" in the spring of 2019. Anyway, please, tell us more about how Donald Trump had to hold up congressionally allocated aid because THE UKRAINIANS are hopelessly corrupt!
But then ... Poroshenko lost his re-election bid in a landslide to the anti-corruption candidate Zelenskyy, which scrambled Rudy's plans!
The Kolomoisky Scheme
Don't worry, Rudy's always got another trick up his batwings. Two days after the Ukrainian election, the chucklefucks jetted off to Tel Aviv to meet with Ihor Kolomoisky, an oligarch who had backed Zelenskyy's presidential bid. Luckily, Kolomoisky appeared to have some American legal problems of his own. The FBI has refused to comment on reports that Kolomoisky is being investigated for laundering money into the Cleveland real estate market, but if he were facing problems with the DOJ, then the Firtash scheme would work just as well with him. Convenient!
Kolomoisky is a rather more colorful character than Firtash, though.
In an interview, Mr. Kolomoisky said the two men came "under the made-up pretext of dealing liquefied natural gas," but as soon as it became clear that what they really wanted was a meeting between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Zelensky, he abruptly sent them on their way. The exchange, he said, went like this:
"I say, 'Did you see a sign on the door that says, 'Meetings with Zelensky arranged here'?
"They said, 'No.'
"I said, 'Well then, you've ended up in the wrong place.'"
Which is hilarious, but let's not pretend that Kolomoisky is a nice guy. He's a dangerous man, who reportedly commissioned contract killings of his enemies, and who's made no bones that he thinks Ukraine ought to do whatever investigations Trump wants and that Ukraine's future is with Russia, not the West, telling the New York Times:
If [Democratic American politicians] get smart with us, we'll go to Russia. Russian tanks will be stationed near Krakow and Warsaw. Your NATO will be soiling its pants and buying Pampers.
None of which bothered Rudy, until Kolomoisky gave his guys the brush off, after which he told a Ukrainian journalist that Zelenskyy "must cleanse himself from hangers-on from his past and from criminal oligarchs — Ihor Kolomoisky and others."
Whaddaya Got To Say For Yourself, Roodles?
"Where do you think you get information about crime?" Giuliani told the Times, when asked why he was going to criminals for evidence for his Ukrainium One Biden smear.
But Chuck Rosenberg, a former United States attorney, called the ploy "crass and ethically suspect," adding, "it is even worse if Mr. Giuliani, either directly or through emissaries acting on his behalf, intimated that pending criminal cases can be 'fixed' at the Justice Department. The president's lawyer seems to be trading on the president's supervisory authority over the Justice Department, and that is deeply disturbing."
But the plan got an enthusiastic thumbs up from corrupt Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.
"In their conversations, he said, Mr. Parnas made no secret that he was helping Mr. Firtash with his legal case. And while Mr. Kolomoisky insisted that neither Mr. Parnas nor Mr. Fruman had mentioned his own legal travails, he added:
Had they, I would have said: 'Let's watch Firtash and train on Firtash. When Firtash comes back here, and everything is O.K., I will be your next client.'"
With that kind of endorsement, how can you lose! And let's be entirely clear here that Donald Trump, the US president, was calling all the shots. As Parnas's lawyer Bondy told the Times, "Mr. Parnas reasonably believed Giuliani's directions reflected the interests and wishes of the president, given Parnas having witnessed and in several instances overheard Mr. Giuliani speaking with the president." He added that Parnas "is remorseful for involving himself and Mr. Firtash in the president's self-interested political plot."
Sorry is cheap. Testimony is priceless.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.