Notes of Rudolph Giuliani's interviews with two former Ukrainian prosecutors include one's allegation that then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned him against investigating energy firm Burisma Holdings “as it was not in the interest of Joe and/or Hunter Biden.”
The prosecutor was later fired, under what President Trump says was pressure from Vice President Biden. His son Hunter had a lucrative role on the Burisma board.
The notes were published by a Ukrainian news site, and their authenticity was confirmed by Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, and by a second source who has seen the originals and who declined to be identified. But RealClearInvestigations could not confirm the prosecutors' assertions as presented in the notes.
The documents are embedded in the Google-translated article linked to here and can be viewed by scrolling down the page.
Contacted by text message, Giuliani told RCI that the notes were “prepared by George Boyle, retired NYPD detective,” but he declined to say anything further about them. Boyle is listed as director of investigations at Giuliani’s security firm.
The notes, evidently from interviews Giuliani conducted in January, are likely to figure in any Trump impeachment proceedings, but have not been publicly released in the United States. They made it to the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General, which passed them on to the FBI. They have now been distributed to congressional committees, according to the inspector general in a cover letter to Capitol Hill leaders.
Giuliani has promised blockbuster revelations from his independent investigation into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The five pages of typewritten, printed-out notes – not transcripts –together with the IG’s cover letter to lawmakers, were posted this week on a Ukrainian website, The Babel. They appear to memorialize two conversations: one on Jan. 23, when Giuliani spoke by phone with the former general prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin; the other is from two days later, when Shokin’s successor, then-General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, met Giuliani in New York.
In addition to the fired Shokin's claim that President Poroshenko warned him not to investigate Burisma because it was not in the Bidens’ interest, the notes say, the prosecutor also said he “was warned to stop” by the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt.
The State Department declined to explain this assertion about Pyatt, who was ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 to 2016 and now is Ambassador to Greece. The Biden presidential campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Recounting Shokin’s version of events, the notes say he “was called into Mr. Poroshenko’s office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.” Poroshenko later told Shokin that “he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden,” the Giuliani interview notes say.
Trump has claimed that Vice President Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin because he was investigating his son's employer.
“I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair,” the president said, referring to Shokin in his July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky. That call triggered the current impeachment crisis after a CIA whistleblower alleged that Trump had pressured the Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden in return for military aid.
A Politico investigation in 2017 found that officials in Poroshenko’s government helped Hillary Clinton allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, notably Paul Manafort, who before joining the Trump campaign was a political consultant for ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Poroshenko’s administration insisted at the time that Ukraine stayed neutral in the race.