Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, is facing an investigation by federal prosecutors into whether his involvement with Ukraine violated federal lobbying laws, The New York Times reported on Friday.
Citing two people familiar with the inquiry, the paper builds on CNN’s previous reporting on Thursday that Giuliani’s financial dealings with two associates indicted on campaign finance-related charges were under scrutiny by investigators overseeing the case. Law enforcement officials briefed on the matter told CNN that the FBI and prosecutors in Manhattan are examining Giuliani’s involvement in the broader flow of money that has become the focus of alleged violations that are at the center of the charges against Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
Both people familiar with the inquiry told the Times that the investigation into Giuliani was tied to that of Fruman and Parnas. One of the people told the Times that investigators are looking into Giuliani’s attempts to subvert Marie Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine.
A spokeswoman for Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney in Manhattan, declined to comment to the Times.
Giuliani told the Times that he did not know of any investigations into him, and that he stood by his efforts in Ukraine as appropriate. He asserted that any alleged federal lobbying disclosure violations were baseless because his efforts to disseminate information on Yovanovitch were on behalf of Trump, not Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.
“Look, you can try to contort anything into anything, but if they have any degree of objectivity or fairness, it would be kind of ridiculous to say I was doing it on Lutsenko’s behalf when I was representing the President of the United States,” Giuliani told the Times.
Parnas and Fruman have emerged as major figures in the ongoing impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives because of their relationship with Giuliani. Parnas was Giuliani’s fixer in Ukraine, introducing him to current and former officials as far back as 2018, CNN has reported.