Exclusive: New audio of 2019 phone call reveals how Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate baseless Biden conspiracies
June 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 22.9%. 2 min read.
LANSING, MI - DECEMBER 02: U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani waits to testify before the Michigan House Oversight Committee on December 2, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Guiliani and the president's legal team are claiming widespread voter fraud in Michigan and other closely contested states in the November 3 presidential election. The hearing will not change results of the vote in Michigan, which has already been certified. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Never-before-heard audio, obtained exclusively by CNN, shows how former President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Rudy Giuliani relentlessly pressured and coaxed the Ukrainian government in 2019 to investigate baseless conspiracies about then-candidate Joe Biden.
(CNN)Never-before-heard audio, obtained exclusively by CNN, shows how former President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Rudy Giuliani relentlessly pressured and coaxed the Ukrainian government in 2019 to investigate baseless conspiracies about then-candidate Joe Biden.
The audio is of a July 2019 phone call between Giuliani, US diplomat Kurt Volker, and Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During the roughly 40-minute call, Giuliani repeatedly told Yermak that Zelensky should publicly announce investigations into possible corruption by Biden in Ukraine, and into claims that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to hurt Trump.
"All we need from the President [Zelensky] is to say, I'm gonna put an honest prosecutor in charge, he's gonna investigate and dig up the evidence, that presently exists and is there any other evidence about involvement of the 2016 election, and then the Biden thing has to be run out," Giuliani said, according to the audio.
Giuliani even said the US-Ukraine diplomatic relationship would improve if Zelensky launched the probes.
This was Giuliani's first opportunity to make his pitch about the Biden investigation to Zelensky's inner circle, which was desperate to get to know Trump's team and to firm up US military support for Ukraine's ongoing war against Russian proxies in the east.
Giuliani pushed many of these theories even after Volker had warned him that the Ukrainian officials who were feeding him information were not trustworthy, and said the corruption claims against Biden were "simply not credible," according to Volker's testimony in the House impeachment inquiry.
"I got information from a reliable investigator, international investigator, that there was a certain amount of activity in Ukraine during the 2016 election," Giuliani said to Yermak during the call, pushing the false claim that US embassy officials tried to "produce dirt on then-candidate Trump and Paul Manafort. "
Giuliani also told Yermak, "I'm not telling (Zelensky) what to say," even though he very clearly said on a few occasions that Zelensky should announce the specific probes that Trump wanted.
"I'm sure that Zelensky will say that," Yermak said, referring to the requests from Giuliani and Volker that Zelensky should mention the investigations during his upcoming call with Trump.