The Dec. 7 meeting between Giuliani and ex-Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko at Washington was founded from the lobbying firm of Bob Livingston, a former GOP congressman that State Department official Catherine Croft testified last week had predicted her multiple occasions in 2018 to advocate that the dismissal of U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Officially, the assembly concerned”that the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the U.S.’s help to our nation, such as weapons to cancel aggression,” Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party said in the time on its site.
But former Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko, that U.S. prosecutors allege led a plot to oust Yovanovitch, stated in an interview with BuzzFeed News, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) along with NBC News that the assembly ended up generating a second outcome — Giuliani extended an invitation for him to meet and talk former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, along with his job for Ukrainian gas firm Burisma.
Lutsenko has made and retracted several promises since 2017 which were supposedly supposed to curry favor with the Trump government. However, if substantiated, Lutsenko’s assertion would add still another title to the listing of top Ukrainian officials that played a part in assisting Giuliani’s off-the-books investigation. That effort saw him meet with former and current Ukrainian prosecutors who supplied him with unverified allegations between the Bidens, Yovanovitch, along with allegations of”Ukrainian hindrance” from the 2016 election.
A spokeswoman for Tymoshenko denied she had spoken anything linked to this Bidens with Giuliani at the assembly, or that he’d requested her to put him in contact Lutsenko.
Asked by a reporter in Ukraine’s parliament when she’d joined Giuliani and Lutsenko, Tymoshenko stated, “That’s not correct.”
Giuliani did not respond to requests for comment on his interview with Tymoshenko.
Lutsenko’s claim also deepens concerns about Livingston’s participation from the Trump Circle’s Ukraine push.
On Friday, a source with knowledge of this issue affirmed that federal prosecutors from New York that are exploring the activities of Giuliani partners Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will also be looking into if Livingston was connected with Giuliani regarding ousting Yovanovitch. The source said Livingston isn’t a target of this investigation.
Livingston told NBC News that he did not know about the assembly with Tymoshenko, who at the time was the frontrunner to become Ukraine’s next president until it was finished. Asked what the assembly was around, Livingston explained, “that I was not there. I hear [Giuliani] hustled for company, but that has been hand”
He also founded the Livingston Group in 1999 shortly after leaving Congress.
“It wasn’t clear to me in the time — now — whose direction at whose cost Mr. Livingston was looking for the elimination of Amb. Yovanovitch,” she explained.
Amb. Yovanovitch was remembered from Ukraine in May following a chorus of criticism from conservative characters who echoed grievances put forward by Allied officials that had run afoul of the embassy’s anti-corruption agenda.
An analysis from BuzzFeed News and OCCRP in July found that Giuliani partners Parnas and Fruman lobbied at least one congressman, former Rep. Pete Sessions, in May last year to discount Yovanovitch. Sessions, who afterward received campaign contributions from both guys, wrote a personal letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that month advocating the ambassador’s ouster. Sessions has returned the cash.
Filings with the Justice Department reveal that beginning in April 2018, the Livingston Group started work for 2 entities with hyperlinks to Ukraine, but not straight for Tymoshenko. 1 customer, a Ukrainian metals business association named UKRMETALURGROM compensated the company $20,000 month between April and July.
Livingston called and emailed Croft as a portion of this UKRMETALURGROM contract May 17, 2018, to talk about U.S. steel tariffs and the coming visit with a Ukrainian financial officer, Justice Department filings reveal.
Oleksandr Kalenkov, president of UKRMETALURGROM, stated the Livingston Group was hired only to lobby on steel tariffs and the job had nothing to do with Tymoshenko.
“I’ve not personally contacted Amb. Yovanovitch on this problem and there were no discussions, no contacts seeing Yovanovitch through me, between Livingston and that I, certainly not,” Kalenkov explained.
The December meeting with Giuliani was organized as a member of Livingston Group’s calling for ITBC LLC, a Maryland-registered firm setup only six months before. While formally employed for the Maryland firm, the Livingston Group’s filings demonstrate that before July this year it represented pursuits linked to Tymoshenko from the USA.
Seeing his firm’s contracts with ITBC LLC and UKRMETALURGROM, Livingston said, “There is no connection between them both.”
The Livingston Group’s contract with ITBC LCC would be to signify”a set of men encouraging reform in Ukraine,” the lobbyist reported on the U.S. Justice Department’s branch that manages foreign lobbying. “They consider Mrs. Tymoshenko is best suited to direct Ukraine in its continuing struggle with Russian economic and military aggression”
Contacted by telephone, Sergei Krasnitski, the Ukrainian-American registered representative of ITBC LLC, declined to say who owned the organization.
“I was not aware there was a meeting [between Giuliani and Tymoshenko,” he explained. “In the event, the Livingston team filed that there was a meeting then it has to be authentic.”
The assembly with Giuliani was only 1 event arranged under the ITBC LLC contract from the Livingston Group for Tymoshenko’s trip to the U.S., based on lobbying filings.
However, the scheduled meeting did not occur, based on Bob McEwan, a lobbyist contracted from the Livingston Group who put up the assembly since Tymoshenko did not show up.
He stated the meeting was rescheduled and Tymoshenko satisfied with Giuliani afterward inside her trip, which Meese wasn’t present for this session. Her Fatherland party outdated the makeup session with Giuliani two weeks later, on Dec. 7.
Also present in the meeting have been two other high heeled Fatherland party giants, Deputy Chairman Hryhoriy Nemyria, along with a Parliament committee chairman, Serhiy Vlasenko. Calls to the two of them were known to the celebration spokeswoman, who declined to comment.
The job achieved by Livingston is only one of many U.S. lobbying contracts lately linked to Tymoshenko which were completed with the participation of little-known businesses, some established overseas.
ITBC LLC, the company behind one of those Livingston contracts, in August last year additionally hired Naomi Decter Munson, a Washington, D.C.-based media adviser for $15,000 per month.
Contacted by colleagues, Decter Munson stated she worked for”several weeks for several businessmen that had been encouraging Yulia Tymoshenko” however she fired them once they rejected her thoughts on how best to get media exposure.
Until early this season, Tymoshenko was likewise being represented by yet another lobbyist, Wiley Rein. Wiley Rein said in Justice Department filings it functioned for Tymoshenko’s husband Oleksandr, in addition to a British firm named Aveiro LP, that was subsequently owned by 2 firms in Belize, a tiny Central American country called a sanctuary for corporate secrecy.
Justice Department filings demonstrate that Wiley Rein additionally coordinated encounters for Tymoshenko during her December trip to the U.S. with congressmen, diplomats, and journalists. The lobbying company revealed in March this year that Tymoshenko was the beneficiary of the work.
The figures also demonstrate that the company received close to $130,000 final year by half a dozen firms based in places such as Florida, the UK, and Belize for consulting and legal fees associated with the contract.
Wiley Rein didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Yulia Tymoshenko functioned as Ukraine’s prime minister from January to September 2005 and from December 2007 to 2010. She had been in the middle of her third failed campaign for president once she met with Giuliani in 2018.
While she was originally the frontrunner, Tymoshenko came in third in the first round of voting. Zelenskiy’s July telephone call with President Donald Trump, where Trump pushed Zelenskiy to consent to research the Bidens, ignited the existing House impeachment question.
Part of the stint was through Tymoshenko’s first term as prime minister.
In 2011, Tymoshenko was convicted of abuse of office charges to get a deal between the state electricity company, Naftogaz, and Russia in 2009. The fees had been seen from the West as politically motivated and also she had her certainty after 2014 protests ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.