Report: Giuliani’s Ukraine Dealings Tied To Senior Russian Mafia Figure
Beginning at least as early as July, Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash — described by the Justice Department as an “upper-echelon” associate of Russian organized crime — has worked alongside President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in a quest to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Firtash is currently residing in Vienna, Austria, where he continues to fight extradition to the U.S. to face bribery charges, Politico reported. The oligarch’s legal troubles have led him to seek favors in Washington, which apparently includes cozying up to the president’s attorney.
In July, Firtash swapped out his own attorney for a legal power couple from Washington: Joe diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing.
DiGenova and Toensing’s work for Firtash came at the same time the pair had jumped into Giuliani’s quagmire that is the Biden-Ukraine scandal, Politico noted, making use of “John Solomon, the conservative columnist at the Hill who has been writing frequently about Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine and about Marie Yovanovitch, the veteran ambassador who was abruptly recalled in May amid attacks on her from Trump allies.”
Evidence that the conservative attorneys’ representation of Firtash clearly intersected with their PR for Giuliani came last month when the Ukrainian prosecutor general fired in 2016 at Biden’s urging submitted an affidavit on Firtash’s behalf to an Austrian court.
In that document, Viktor Shokin claimed “that Biden improperly pressured the government of Ukraine to prevent Firtash from entering Ukraine — from which he could not be legally extradited — and links those claims to his previous allegations about the motivations behind Biden’s role in his firing.”
Firtash is accused of “bribing Indian officials as part of a racketeering scheme aimed at gaining approval for a titanium mining project in that country,” Politico reported. He allegedly told a “U.S. ambassador of his consultations with the notorious Russian mob boss Semion Mogilevich, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable.”
The mob-connected Ukrainian also has ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Politico reported that Firtash and Manafort worked “on an abortive effort in 2008 to redevelop a New York hotel for $895 million,” and Firtash also “played a role in Manafort’s 2005 hiring as a consultant to the Party of Regions, the pro-Russian political party of which Firtash was a major backer.”
"The Giuliani team does not understand Ukraine. If it did, members of his team would not be representing Dmytro Firtash, perhaps the most odious oligarch in Ukraine,” John Herbst, the ambassador to Ukraine under George W. Bush, told Politico. “Shokin’s defense of Firtash underscores that he was never and is not today a fighter against corruption.”