Thumping the Ukraine theme

Ed Pilkington at the Guardian wonders why the hell Giuliani is doing what he’s doing.

Giuliani began thumping the Ukraine theme in April, when he laid out his theory – some would say, conspiracy theory – on Fox News. He accused the former vice-president of using bribery to shield his son from legal peril relating to business activities in the eastern European country.

Specifically, Giuliani alleged that Biden leant on a former Ukraine president to fire a top prosecutor who had been investigating corruption within a gas company on whose board Hunter Biden then served.

A week after Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign, Giuliani blabbed to the New York Times that he had discussed the issue of the Bidens and Ukraine with Trump on “multiple occasions”. He also divulged that he planned to make a trip to Kiev to meet the Ukrainian president.

Under US law, it is categorically illegal for anybody to solicit the help of any foreign national – let alone a government – for a US election. Yet here was Giuliani blithely telling the same newspaper a week later his visit to Kiev was intended to kickstart an investigation into the Bidens that could be helpful in next year’s presidential race.

“There’s nothing illegal about it,” he told the Times. “Somebody could say it’s improper … That information will be very, very helpful to my client.”

Giuliani’s a lawyer – he’s a former prosecutor. He’s a former big name prosecutor in a big name district, and now his client is the US president. You’d think he’d be well familiar with the relevant laws.

Giuliani cancelled his Kiev trip. Instead, he travelled to Madrid in August, where he met a top Ukrainian official whom he “strongly urged” to reopen the investigation into the Bidens.

Perhaps most incendiary of all are suggestions Trump and Giuliani may have tried to encourage the Ukraine government to play ball by invoking US aid to the country.

It sounds like Bugs Bunny playing gangster – “Give us the doit on Biden and we’ll give you 250 million smackeroos.” It sounds like broad comedy but it’s real Giuliani.

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