Former Ukrainian prosecutor says he was fired for not investigating Hunter Biden
Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka said in an interview published on Wednesday that he believes he was fired from his position last year for refusing to investigate President Biden’s son Hunter Biden at the request of Rudy Giuliani and former President Trump. Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Ryaboshapka said a recently published transcript of a phone call between Giuliani and Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, was proof that he had been fired for political reasons.
“It reveals an important detail,” Ryaboshapka told BuzzFeed. “Yermak promised Giuliani to open an investigation into Hunter Biden.”
“I didn’t know about the essence of the call. I didn’t know Yermak promised to help Giuliani,” he added.
In February, Time magazine obtained a transcript of a phone call between Giuliani and Yermak in which Giuliani demanded an investigation be opened that would help Trump win a second term in office.
"Let these investigations go forward,” Giuliani said to Yermak. “Get someone to investigate this.”
“Zelensky asked me several times if there are violations of the law in this case started by [former prosecutor general Yuriy] Lutsenko, violations by Hunter Biden,” Ryaboshapka said regarding the requested investigation. “We looked at 15 or 16 cases. We reviewed all of them and didn’t find anything that could be a violation of the law.”
"Mr. Riaboshapka's statements may be caused by internal political circumstances in Ukraine and have nothing to do with the foreign policy of the state," Zelensky's office told BuzzFeed in response to the former prosecutor's remarks.
"The Office of the President is interested in developing a strong system of independent law enforcement agencies in Ukraine."
Last week, federal authorities raided Giuliani's apartment as part of an investigation into his dealings with Ukraine and to determine whether he had failed to register as a foreign agent by lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of Ukraine.
Part of the investigation reportedly has to do with the firing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee who was not liked by Zelensky.
Giuliani claimed on Monday that federal prosecutors were attempting to "frame" him by using the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
"They are trying to frame me," Giuliani said to Fox News. "They are trying to find something they can make into a crime, some technical violation, some mistake I made."
Justice Department prosecutors are requesting that a federal judge appoint an outside lawyer to review the records obtained in a search of Rudy Giuliani’s apartment last week to help dispel allegations that former President Trump’s ex-personal attorney is being treated unfairly.
Manhattan prosecutors in a letter to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken unsealed in court Tuesday requested the designation of a “special master” to look over the documents obtained as part of a probe into Giuliani’s contacts with Ukrainian officials while he served as Trump’s lawyer.
Prosecutors in their Tuesday letter cited a similar appointment by a judge in the case against another of Trump’s previous personal attorneys, Michael Cohen.
According to The Washington Post, federal prosecutors cited in their argument for a court-appointed special master “the unusually sensitive privilege issues that the Warrants may implicate.”
Additionally, they argued that such an appointment would be important both to the fairness and “the perception of fairness” in the investigation into Giuliani.
FBI agents last week conducted a search of Giuliani’s New York City apartment and office, seizing electronic devices to aid in the ongoing investigation into whether the former New York mayor illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian oligarchs.
Days later, The Wall Street Journal reported that federal investigators in the search sought to obtain evidence related to or with associates who pushed for the firing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Among those reportedly included in the warrants were former Ukrainian prosecutors general Viktor Shokin and Yuriy Lutsenko, former Ukrainian prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Giuliani has repeatedly pushed back against the federal investigation into him, claiming in a Fox News interview Monday that federal prosecutors were attempting to "frame" him using the Foreign Agents Registration Act due to his support for Trump.
"They are trying to find something they can make into a crime, some technical violation, some mistake I made,” he argued.
"There is no way on Earth that they could have anyone telling the truth that I was acting as a foreign agent," he continued, "nor do they have any evidence that I tried to influence the government on behalf of clients."
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is telling associates he had no idea his Justice Department seized phone records of two top Democratic congressional critics of then-President Donald Trump. In the hours since The New York Times broke the news on Thursday that prosecutors subpoenaed Apple metadata from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former Attorney General Sessions has privately told people that he wasn’t aware of, nor was he briefed on, the reported data seizures while he led the Trump DOJ. This week’s revelations were a surprise to him, according to a source familiar with the matter, and another person close to Sessions.
The FBI says that Brian Mock went to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 unsure of what he would face, but as he shared on social media just days later, he was prepared to fully commit to whatever came his way — even death. “I went to the Capitol not knowing what to expect but said goodbye to my 4 children, not sure if I was going to come home,” Mock wrote on Facebook on Jan. 8, according to federal documents charging Mock with multiple crimes. “I was at peace with that knowledge.” Mock, 43, is one of the latest people to be arrested for crimes related to the siege on the U.S. Capitol, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
Donald Trump called Joe Biden a “mental retard” during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama. Biden went on to beat Trump by more than 7m in the popular vote and by 306-232 in the electoral college, a result Trump deemed a landslide when it was in his favor against Clinton in 2016.