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Rudy Giuliani is running a backchannel with Ukraine to take down Mueller and Trump’s critics: report

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A new report reveals that Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor currently working as President Donald Trump’s lawyer, has established a backchannel with the Ukrainian government in order to dig up dirt on potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, a pair of political operatives who have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Republican candidates, are instrumental players in Giuliani’s scheme, according to a new report by BuzzFeed News. They have repeatedly met with top political officials in Ukraine and then set up meetings with Giuliani so that the information they obtained could be potentially utilized against Democratic presidential contenders.

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BuzzFeed News cited two examples:

The two men urged prosecutors to investigate allegations against Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. And they pushed for a probe into accusations that Ukrainian officials plotted to rig the 2016 election in Hillary Clinton’s favor by leaking evidence against Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chair, in what became a cornerstone of the special counsel’s inquiry.

BuzzFeed News also cited at least one occasion when their work yielded tangible dividends.

“Prosecutors in Kiev announced in March they would investigate the officials accused of trying to steer the election in Clinton’s favor — a month after meeting with Parnas, Fruman, and Giuliani — and Trump applauded the plan in an interview with Fox News, calling the allegations ‘big’ and ‘incredible,'” BuzzFeed News reported. “The next month, Attorney General William Barr announced he had appointed a federal prosecutor to lead a probe into the origins of the Mueller investigation.”

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Parnas defended himself to BuzzFeed News by saying that “all we were doing was passing along information. Information was coming to us — either I bury it or I pass it on. I felt it was my duty to pass it on.” He also claimed that “we’re American citizens, we love our country, we love our president.”

Giuliani has made no secret about working with Ukrainian politicians in order to achieve Trump’s political goals. In May he announced that he was meeting with the newly elected president, Volodymr Zelensky, to find ways of discrediting the Mueller investigation into Trump.

“We’re not meddling in an election — we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” Giuliani told The New York Times. “There’s nothing illegal about it.”

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“Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy — I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop,” he added. “And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it, because that information will be very, very helpful to my client and may turn out to be helpful to my government.” He had previously circulated a debunked conspiracy theory about Joe Biden and Ukraine, tweeting that “Biden conflicts are too apparent to be ignored and should be investigated quickly and expeditiously. But the more important question is how deep and how high did the alleged Ukraine conspiracy go?” The true story was that former Vice President Joe Biden had exerted pressure on Ukraine to relieve the country’s chief prosecutor because he had failed to do his job investigating corruption, but right-wing propaganda sites tried to spin it as an attempt to protect his son from potential legal trouble.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Three more major NRA leaders are out — as gun group continues downward spiral

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Tuesday, three more members of the National Rifle Association have stepped down making it a total of seven NRA board members to leave in the last several months, CNN reported.

The first three were board members who complained about the money NRA chief Wayne LaPierre used to pay for a Beverly Hills wardrobe. Their responsibilities were cut and they left shortly after.

Professional sports shooter Julie Golob left the board just one week ago before her three-year term was up.

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Minor ‘was forced to lose her virginity’ to Jeffrey Epstein — and abuse continued after plea deal: lawsuit

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Accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is facing further allegations of sexual abuse.

"Three new accusers have sued the estate of Jeffrey Epstein alleging that he abused them with sex toys and forced them to engage in other sex acts, according to court documents reviewed by multiple outlets," Vice News reported Tuesday.

"One woman said she was forced to lose her virginity to him after they met when she was 17. Another said that Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged madam, taught her the 'proper way to give a blow job' to Epstein after they met," Vice reported.

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‘It’s time for decent people to push back against Fox News’ on antifa: columnist

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President Donald Trump and Fox News are turning American values upside down with their fascist propaganda, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch explained on Tuesday.

"It seems like if you were truly sincere about the whole 'Make America Great Again' thing — that is, if it weren’t just a campaign slogan that jibes with your xenophobic branding and can move tens of thousands of red hats at $25 a pop — then one might actually want to celebrate America’s first victory against fascism," Bunch wrote.

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