Rudy Giuliani gives shifting answers on seeking information from Ukrainian oligarch

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he met with a lawyer for oligarch Dmitry Firtash after originally telling CNN in October that "I have nothing to do with Firtash."

Posted: Nov 28, 2019 2:10 AM
Updated: Nov 28, 2019 2:10 AM

Rudy Giuliani acknowledged this week meeting with a lawyer for a Ukrainian oligarch who he had previously said he had "nothing to do with."

Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, told CNN in a series of text messages that he met a lawyer for oligarch Dmitry Firtash in New York City for two hours during a time he was seeking information useful to President Donald Trump's re-election and seeking to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The acknowledgment is in apparent conflict with what Giuliani told CNN in October, when he said he did not think Firtash had information relevant to any of his efforts.

Giuliani first acknowledged asking for information from meeting with Firtash's original legal team in a story posted by The New York Times on Monday.

"I have nothing to do with Firtash," Giuliani said to CNN in an October email in response to a story on a London trip he took in 2018 with indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. "I don't know why you want to create that false impression. I don't represent him. I never met him. And I am neutral on his case. Also since he's been absent from Ukraine for many years I never thought he had useful information about all the crimes Democrats were committing there in 2016."

CNN previously reported, citing two sources, that Parnas had boasted that his luxurious lifestyle was bankrolled by Firtash including SUVs, bodyguards, and at least six private charter flights. Giuliani was on at least one of those flights, according to documents reviewed by CNN.

The meeting with a lawyer for Firtash suggests that Giuliani did, despite his October comments, think Firtash could have relevant information to his efforts and further shows the extent to which he reached out to Ukrainian-connected individuals at the height of his hunt for damaging information on Biden and Democrats. Firtash, who resides in Vienna, is fighting extradition to the US on unrelated 2013 federal bribery charges which he denies.

Firtash made his fortune selling Russian gas to the Ukrainian government, and the Justice Department previously described him as an "upper-echelon" associate linked to Russian organized crime.

Firtash denies any ties to organized crime and maintains his innocence. A spokesman for Firtash referred the request to his legal team, who declined to comment.

Asked about the discrepancy, Giuliani called CNN's inquiry "horseshit" and "trickery," and said previous responses to CNN were not misleading. Giuliani did acknowledge he didn't know Firtash's lawyer's information would be not useful "until he told me."

"I met with Firtash's lawyer in NYC and reviewed case and concluded he couldn't help my case because he had, at best, hearsay evidence," he told CNN on Tuesday. "I wrote down 'no use to us.' I have never changed that opinion. So how did I Mislead you?"

Giuliani said the two-hour meeting focused on "collusion and corruption" in Ukraine.

"It was about evidence to help me defend my client against false charges and to show the unfairness of Mueller and DOJ in ignoring significant acts of interconnected collusion and corruption in Ukraine. They were out to get Trump not interference in our election if it was for other party," he said.

"The conversation I had was with Firtash's American lawyer, a former colleague of mine, and after a two -hour meeting, I concluded Firtash had no direct knowledge about Ukraine 2016," he added. "He wasn't living there and I didn't have time for gossip. When I said had no contact with Firtash, I might have been thinking about just him and people who claim know him."

Giuliani's two indicted associates, Parnas and Fruman, met with Firtash in late June where they pressured him to hire two Trump-aligned attorneys, Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova, for help with his extradition case, Firtash and a lawyer for Parnas told the New York Times. Parnas said he met with Firtash at Giuliani's direction, which Giuliani denied.

Giuliani again denied misleading CNN when asked why he said he never thought Firtash might have useful information for him.

"I didn't mislead you, I told you my state of mind at the time and I was making clear I never met him," he said. "Figure it out for yourself and what does it matter. No matter what I tell you you will make it somehow suspicious. This is a waste of time for me."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
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Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
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Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
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Simpson154053
Adams147252
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Leake141844
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Hancock127641
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Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
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Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
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