One of the Ukrainian oligarchs to come under special counsel Robert Mueller’s scrutiny has ties to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to Mother Jones.
Giuliani told Mother Jones that Pavel Fuks, an oil and real estate magnate, hired his security firm, Giuliani Security & Safety, in 2017 to advise Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million in Ukraine. “He was [a] sponsor of a preliminary study that my firm did of security and emergency management in Kharkiv and some on advice on a planned Holocaust Memorial,” Giuliani said in a text message. However, a Ukrainian magazine, Novoye Vremya, reported last year that Fuks said he retained Giuliani to “create a U.S. office for supporting investment in” Kharkiv. When asked about Fuks’ claim, Giuliani said, “I have no knowledge of that.” He said he did not do any work in the United States for Fuks or Kharkiv.
In November 2017, Giuliani traveled to Kharkiv, located near the Russian border in eastern Ukraine, in connection with the work. That year, he was also photographed with Fuks in New York. But the former mayor minimized their connection, saying that his personal involvement in the project ended in December 2017 and that his firm has no continuing relationship with Fuks.
Giuliani said his work with Fuks did not come “anywhere near a conflict” with his work as an attorney for the president, but as Mother Jones noted, “the connection highlights the complications caused by Giuliani’s work for international clients, among them autocrats and allegedly corrupt officials, as he represents the president.”
In this case, Fuks is one of the foreign individuals picked up by Mueller’s radar as the special counsel investigates whether those individuals somehow funnelled foreign money to Trump’s inaugural funds.
The New York Times reported last week that Fuks is among a dozen Ukrainian businessmen and political officials who attended Trump’s inauguration. During their time in Washington, DC, some of the Ukrainians arranged meetings with Republicans and Trump allies to promote peace plans regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict that were aligned with the Kremlin’s interests.
The presence of the Ukrainians, including Fuks, at exclusive inaugural confabs has drawn Mueller’s interest. Tickets to many of these events required donations of tens of thousands of dollars to the inaugural committee, which could not legally accept foreign money. Mueller is reportedly investigating whether Americans helped Ukrainians and other foreign nationals funnel donations to the inaugural committee and to a political action committee run by Trump allies. Peter Carr, a Mueller spokesman, declined to comment.