President Donald Trump has been working to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden since before Volodymyr Zelensky became president.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Rudy Giuliani's friends Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were telling former President Petro Poroshenko to announce the investigation and he would have access to the president and an official state visit to Washington, D.C.
"A late February meeting in Kyiv between Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko took place at the offices of Ukrainian general prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, the people said," The Journal reported. "It came soon after Messrs. Parnas and Fruman met with Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, and Mr. Lutsenko in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid-February, Mr. Giuliani has said."
In March, Lutsenko said he would be investigating the Bidens and 2016 election interference, as Trump's allies demanded. But just two months later, Lutsenko said there was no evidence of wrongdoing. There was no meeting with the White House after all.
At the time, the president was in a race for his political career against Zelensky, a popular comedian in the country.
“He wanted to come to Washington and meet with Trump and then after the state dinner he would have an interview” with a major news outlet, a source told The Journal of Poroshenko. “Then he would say he would investigate meddling in 2016 and the Bidens.”
Poroshenko was hoping to have a high-profile visit with Trump in Washington after the first round of voting began in March, but before the runoff election April 21.
“He needed a Hail Mary and a state visit in Washington and was ready to become Trump’s best friend in order to secure support,” the person told the paper.