Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and a former New York City mayor, recently teamed up with One America News (OAN) and its White House correspondent, Chanel Rion, for a so-called “investigative special” that promised to “destroy” the Democratic case for impeaching Trump.
But Sergii Leshchenko, a journalist and an ex-member of Ukraine’s parliament, argued in an op-ed for the Kyiv Post that most of the interviewees Giuliani used could not be trusted and had strong ties to the Russian government.
Leshchenko writes, “As a journalist who has been covering Ukrainian politics for 20 years, I maintain that (former prosecutor general Yuri) Lutsenko and the rest of Rudy Giuliani’s interlocutors in Ukraine are not in the least trustworthy. Moreover, most of them have long had contacts with Moscow, which seeks to shift responsibility for interference in the 2016 U.S. elections from Russia to Ukraine. This scenario is actively supported by part of the corrupt Ukrainian establishment.”
Watch a preview for the OAN report below:
Teaming up with OAN — the right-wing cable news outlet that is even more aggressively pro-Trump than Fox News — Giuliani pushed the debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the United States’ 2016 presidential election. And the main person Giuliani has used to promote that theory is Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch accused of bribery in the United States.
“Firtash is useful for Giuliani in helping him advance the conspiracy theory,” Leshchenko asserted in his op-ed. “For example, lawmakers Oleh Voloshyn and Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, both of whom are close to Firtash, are trying to start a ‘parliamentary inquiry’ into ex-Vice President Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine.”
Another Giuliani source Leshchenko considers problematic is Viktor Shokin, a former prosecutor general in Ukraine. Giuliani used Shokin on Firtash’s recommendation.
“Giuliani’s strategy to promote his conspiracy theory looks like political schizophrenia,” Leshchenko writes. “But his actions also gave Russia great opportunities to advance its interests.”
Giuliani has previously accused Leshchenko himself of working with the Democrats to interfere in the 2016 election, and allegations the journalist vehemently denies.