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Ukrainian journalist throws down gauntlet after Giuliani smear: ‘I express my readiness to testify’

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Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Leshchenko displays papers from secret ledgers belonging to Party of Regions of former Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, August 19, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

A Ukrainian journalist said on Sunday that he would be willing to testify to Congress against President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

After Giuliani unleashed a bizarre rant on CNN accusing Democrats of trying to get help from Ukraine in the 2016 election, Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Leshchenko wrote an op-ed exposing the accusation as a lie.

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In his op-ed, Leshchenko explains:

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Manafort revelations would become fodder for the U.S. elections in 2020. President Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the mouthpiece of this campaign, is not only attempting to rehabilitate Manafort but is also working to undermine U.S. relations with Ukraine, which has been confronting Russian aggression on its own for more than five years. Giuliani and his associates are trying to drag our newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into a conflict between two foreign political parties, drastically limiting Ukraine’s room for maneuver in respect to the United States, perhaps its most important international partner.

[…]

Giuliani’s entire approach is built on disinformation and the manipulation of facts. Giuliani has developed a conspiracy theory in which he depicts my revelations about Manafort as an intervention in the 2016 U.S. election in favor of the Democratic Party. In his May interview on Fox, Giuliani even claimed that I was convicted of a corresponding crime.

The facts do not support this allegation. Here’s the truth: The administrative court — which has long had a reputation as the most corrupt in Ukraine — ruled in December 2018 that I had acted illegally by disclosing the payments to Manafort. We appealed, and the verdict was suspended. And in the summer of this year, we won the appeal and the court’s decision was completely annulled. The appeal concluded that all the charges against me were unfounded, and even obliged my opponents to reimburse me for $100 in legal costs.

Additionally, Leshchenko wrote that he would be willing to testify to Congress. He followed up the op-ed with a tweet reiterating his desire to appear before Congress.


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