In a never-before-heard 2019 recording, Rudy Giuliani can be heard pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate baseless conspiracies about Joe Biden, according to a report from CNN, which obtained audio of the call.
During the call, Giuliani — who at the time was former president Donald Trump’s lawyer — tells Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that they needed Zelensky to say an inquiry into Biden has begun.
“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… Somebody in Ukraine’s gotta take that seriously,” said Giuliani, who is currently under federal investigation for his actions regarding Ukraine. When the call took place, Russian troops were working to control Crimea, an area of Ukraine the country invaded in 2014 and annexed.
Exclusive audio obtained by CNN shows how former Pres. Trump's longtime adviser Rudy Giuliani relentlessly pressured and coaxed the Ukrainian government in 2019 to investigate baseless conspiracies about then-candidate Joe Biden. @mchancecnn reports. https://t.co/BGXIngcuE5 pic.twitter.com/XF1jg3Mms7
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) June 7, 2021
Giuliani also said a public announcement would make possible a meeting between Trump and Zelensky, who had reportedly sought a White House invite. “I think [an investigation] would make it possible… for me to talk to the President [Trump] to see what I can do about making sure that whatever misunderstandings are put aside,” Giuliani said. “I kinda think that this could be a good thing for having a much better relationship.”
The former president’s personal lawyer also discussed an unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukraine, and not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He also mentioned another false conspiracy theory claiming Soros interfered with the election.
“I got information from a reliable investigator, international investigator, that there was a certain amount of activity in Ukraine during the 2016 election.. to produce dirt on then-candidate Trump and Paul Manafort,” Giuliani said. “Another one was involved with [George] Soros … Soros apparently is behind a lot of this.”
No evidence has come to light to show Guiliani’s claims are even remotely true. Giuliani’s call came ahead of Trump’s July 2019 infamous conversation with Zelensky when he urged the Ukrainian president “to do us a favor” and investigate Biden and his son, Hunter. That call then led to Trump’s first impeachment by the House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Trump was later acquitted by the Senate.
The new audio confirms that the oft-repeated denials from Trump and his allies claiming “there was no quid pro quo” on the table during the former president’s call with Zelensky were a lie.