On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani secretly traveled to Madrid in recent weeks to meet with a top aide of new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to go fishing for dirt on Democrats.
One of the key focuses of Giuliani's phone calls and in-person meetings was to try to dig up evidence that former Vice President Joe Biden acted improperly to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating an energy company his son was invested in — which has been broadly discredited as conspiracy theories. He also tried to hunt for proof that Ukrainian officials colluded with Democrats to hurt Trump's campaign in 2016, a claim which is not supported by evidence.
Giuliani claims that he took these meetings in his capacity as a private citizen, and not on behalf of the Trump campaign.
A few months ago, Giuliani made plans to travel directly to the Ukraine for a similar meeting. Faced with media scrutiny and backlash, he called it off and bizarrely claimed that George Soros had set a "trap" for him. Subsequent reports suggested that he set up a backchannel with Ukrainian officials.