Last week, CNN's Chris Cuomo played host to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who went off on a half-intelligible rant about former Vice President Joe Biden and tried to paint him as corrupt for fighting to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor.
"For us it's about whether or not people in power are telling you the truth, and Rudy Giuliani was not telling you the truth on things that matter," said Cuomo. "So we wanted to check the holes in the president's theory several times on this show. It's not just about the Biden family, it about other things that Rudy Giuliani's calling out and we went to the source."
"December 16th, 2018 there is a finding by a court in the Ukraine that a man named Teleshenco, something like that, that he produced a phony affidavit that was given to the American authorities and an FBI agent named Greenwood and they found him guilty of that. Nobody reports that," said Giuliani in a prior clip.
"If you're going to put somebody at the center of your theory, know their name, okay?" said Cuomo. "The man's name is Serhiy Leshchenko, a former member of that country's parliament. We spoke exclusively with him tonight and we covered a lot of turf, including what Mr. Giuliani just left out."
"This was a decision of administrative court in Ukraine, which was never in active status because we went it appeal court, which stopped and then cancelled the decision of the administrative court and for today there is no decision stating that I violated any law in sense of intervention in America elections or something like that," Leschenko told Cuomo.
"He did appeal. He of won. Then there was another level of review and he won," said Cuomo. "Mr. Giuliani did know this? Either he was ignorant or he knew that what he was making the crux of the complicity here was a false allegation. You can decide which it is, but there is no judicial decision that says that Leshchenko did anything wrong. Then there's the central question that the right has been pushing about the 2016 election and who it was that really interfered."
"Several people in the Ukraine knew about a tremendous amount of collusion between Ukrainian officials and Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee," said Giuliani in another clip.
"You were a member of parliament during this period. Do you know about collusion between members of your government at that time and the Clinton campaign in order to hurt Donald Trump and help her?"
"Not at all," said Leschenko. "It's just a conspiracy of Mr. Giuliani, which he constructed and maybe he believed in. And in reality, this collusion does not exist, did not exist."
Cuomo also asked Leschenko about the central claim of Trump and Giuliani: that Biden tried to remove the prosecutor to stop an investigation into his son Hunter's shares in a Ukrainian energy firm.
"Just to be clear, you're saying that Mr. Shokin, the prosecutor that the United States and others wanted to push out, actually didn't want to look at this investigation, he wasn't running after Mr. Biden, Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden's son," said Cuomo. "You're saying he was being pressured to investigate him, not that he was applying pressure to investigate him?"
"Mr. Shokin was very weak as a prosecutor," said Leschenko. "He did not deliver investigation. The reason why Ukrainian society, members of parliament, we campaign to resign him from this position. We started to collect signatures in Ukrainian parliament. We collected more than 120 signatures to impeach and procedure of his resignation. It was issue for the whole society to have transparent and unbiased prosecutor general."
"So just to review," said Cuomo. "Giuliani says this man and others were trying to hurt Trump in the 2016 campaign. Leshchenko says, no, I was trying to root out corruption in my country. Giuliani says, oh, yeah, then why were you convicted of making it up about Manafort? Giuliani's making that up. That case went away and you just heard it from the man who is there and you can Google it and you'll find the procedural history on the case. And then Giuliani says, yeah, but look, Biden wanted to get rid of this prosecutor who was coming after his kid. That makes sense to all of us, right? That would make sense. Except this guy, they wanted him out, his own party, 298 — or 89 votes in the parliament to get him out. Western democracies wanting had him out, the U.N. wanted him out because he wouldn't take up cases. No evidence he took up cases against Hunter Biden."