Giuliani in Ukraine with conservative news outlet in effort to discredit impeachment probe


Oleksii Liskonih/iStock(WASHINGTON) —  As impeachment drama marches forward in Washington, D.C., focusing on a call between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Kyiv.The president’s personal attorney is meeting with current and former Ukrainian officials who have served as key sources for his questionable theories about Ukrainian corruption and election meddling as part of a documentary series by far-right network One America News Network (OAN) that is intended to discredit the impeachment process.OAN previously confirmed to ABC News that Giuliani is in Europe conducting interviews as part of their investigative documentary series, which seeks to debunk what it describes as “the impeachment hoax” and offer proof of Ukrainian corruption and 2016 election meddling, according to a spokesperson for the network.Among those with whom Giuliani has met is pro-Russian Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach, a former member of the Party of Regions, the political party of Ukraine’s toppled pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. In recent weeks, Derkach has held a series of press conferences pushing unsupported theories attacking ousted U.S. Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch and leveling allegations without proof that Hunter Biden received corrupt payments. At the press conferences, Derkach has presented dubious documents that he has also frequently misrepresented.Derkach posted photos Thursday with Giuliani in Kyiv, and according to Derkach, the two discussed creating an anti-corruption group in Ukraine’s parliament to investigate alleged misuse of American taxpayer money in Ukraine.”Rudolf Giuliani landed in Kyiv. We straightway met with him about the question of creating an inter-parliamentary group ‘Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption,"” Derkach wrote in a length post on Facebook. “Unfortunately our country finds itself in the center of scandals relating to international corruption.”Derkach added that he believed Giuliani’s participation in creating the anti-corruption group would be “very useful for us. In particular, he can help with including in this group international experts, analysts, journalists and all those who are able to realise the tasks of the group and to benefit the strategic relations between Ukraine and the U.S.”Allegations put forth by Giuliani — including a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election and accusations of malpractice by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden — helped formed the contours of an impeachment report issued this week by the House Intelligence Committee. In addition to his meeting with Derkach, Giuliani met with former Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko as part of the project, according to a spokesperson for Lutsenko. Removed from his post as the country’s top law enforcement official earlier this year, Lutsenko has been one of Giuliani’s key sources of information about Ukraine.Giuliani’s quest to concoct damaging narratives in Ukraine eventually played a major role in triggering the impeachment process, after Trump sought to push Ukraine’s leadership into announcing investigations into the conspiracies.In a previous episode of the OAN series that aired within the last few weeks, Giuliani said Trump had blessed his efforts in Ukraine, even as the White House continues to face scrutiny for holding up military aid to Kyiv in exchange for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s support of politically beneficial investigations, including one targeting a prospective 2020 rival, Joe Biden.”The president of the United States, I can tell you this, is asking for this,” Giuliani told OAN.Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C, Democrats are moving swiftly in the impeachment of Trump. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday morning, within hours of news breaking that Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine, that she would ask relevant committee chairmen to begin drafting articles of impeachment.”The facts are uncontested,” Pelosi said. “The president abused his power for his own political benefit.” Democrats in Congress issued a subpoena to Giuliani for documents and communication records related to his work in Ukraine. Giuliani has thus far refused to cooperate or provide the records. He is also the subject of an investigation in the Southern District of New York for his contacts with two Soviet-born associates with ties to Ukraine, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, sources have told ABC News.Giuliani’s work on matters related to Ukraine and his business dealings with two Soviet-born associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, is the subject of an on going investigation by prosecutors out of the Southern District of New York, sources have previously told ABC News.As ABC News has previously reported, the House Intelligence Committee is in possession of audio and video recordings and photographs provided to the committee by Parnas. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.