It’s an allegation of a quid pro quo, but not the one you’ve been hearing about. This one involves Rudy Giuliani, his two indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and a Ukrainian energy oligarch with ties to Russia.
Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian magnate who is facing charges of racketeering and bribery within the United States, claims that Parnas and Fruman, as part of their efforts to find political dirt on Joe Biden, reached out to him with a proposition: if Firtash were to help them, they would help him in return with his legal situation.
According to a report from the New York Times, Firtash said that Parnas and Fruman told him to hire two lawyers with ties to President Donald Trump. Though Firtash claims he wasn’t a direct funding source for the two, the $1.2 million he paid to those lawyers included a finder’s fee to Parnas. Some allege that fee was a means to help fund the efforts to research Biden further in Ukraine.
Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash gives an interview to the NYT. He says Giuliani, via Parnas and Fruman, offered him help with his US legal problems if he hired pro-Trump lawyers Toensing and diGenova and helped with Giuliani's shadow Ukraine campaign. https://t.co/PCBbhLmwvS
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) November 25, 2019
As a result, Firtash received incredible service from his two lawyers, who ended up meeting with the Department of Justice and Attorney General William Barr in order to argue on his behalf in Washington.
Parnas’s lawyer confirmed the account made by Firtash.
The tit for tat raises serious ethical questions, and could become a legal problem for Giuliani or even Trump, if evidence proves he knew about the arrangement. “The president’s lawyer seems to be trading on the president’s supervisory authority over the Justice Department, and that is deeply disturbing,” Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney under President George W. Bush, told the Times.
Firtash was indicted five years ago for federal bribery charges and other matters in a U.S. District Court in Chicago. His name recently came up, as Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) brought up questions about Firtash during testimony from Dr. Fiona Hill during last week’s impeachment inquiry proceedings.
Krishnamoorthi explained why Firtash mattered to ABC 7 in Chicago.
“He’s a pro-Russian Ukrainian, and he has, unfortunately, some questionable ties as well. That’s why we have to be worried about Rudy Giuliani running our foreign policy in Ukraine,” Krishnamoorthi said.