The news outlet got ahold of a call between Kurt Volker, US special ambassador for Ukraine negotiations between 2017 and 2019; Andriy Yermak, a senior Ukraine government official; and Mr Giuliani.
The conservation took place in July 2019, before the conversation between President Zelensky and Mr Trump that led to the first impeachment of his presidency.
Mr Giulani is heard on the call asking over and over again for Mr Zelensky’s government to launch a probe into the conspiracy theories surrounding Joe Biden.
These include general corruption from the Biden team and the idea Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election to hinder Donald Trump’s campaign. These theories have been adopted by supporters of Mr Trump who believe the 2020 election was fraudulent, despite all evidence to the contrary.
“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,” Mr Giuliani said, as reported by CNN. “... Somebody in Ukraine’s gotta take that seriously.”
These comments go against Mr Trump denying the existence of a “quid pro quo” between him and his Ukrainian counterpart during the initial impeachment. CNN reports the recording shows how the Trump administration attempted to repeatedly push the president to launching an investigation into his predecessor President Petro Poroshenko, who was considered an ally of the Obama administration as they defended Ukrainian sovereignty following Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014.
It is believed that Mr Giuliani pressured Mr Zelensky to make a public announcement of an investigation into Mr Biden, promising them access to Mr Trump and the potential for a visit to the United States in return.
“That would clear the air really well,” Giuliani said, as reported by CNN. “And I think it would make it possible for me to come and make it possible, I think, for me to talk to the President (Trump) to see what I can do about making sure that whatever misunderstandings are put aside ... I kinda think that this could be a good thing for having a much better relationship.”
At the moment, Giuliani is under federal investigation for his involvement with Ukraine. The FBI raided his Manhattan home and office in April, and investigators are looking into whether Mr Giuliani broke any foreign lobbying laws. It is unclear if this call is part of the investigation.
CNN reached out to Giuliani, but he did not comment. He has previously denied any wrong doing in Ukraine.
The Independent reached out to Giuliani’s legal counsel for comment.
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