Trump associate spouts stream of wild conspiracy theories on Fox channel after impeachment hearing

Joe diGenova falsely claims George Soros 'controls' parts of US government in bizarre defence of US president

Tom Embury-Dennis
Thursday 14 November 2019 13:51
Former Donald Trump lawyer promotes baseless George Soros conspiracy theory

An associate of Donald Trump has claimed without providing evidence that large swathes of the US government are being “controlled” by billionaire philanthropist George Soros.

Joe diGenova, a former US prosecutor, touted a series of false and misleading conspiracy theories on Wednesday in an attempt to cast doubt on the motive of a top State Department official who testified to Congress during the first public impeachment hearing into Mr Trump.

It came in response to an unfounded suggestion by Lou Dobbs, a Fox Business News presenter who is fiercely loyal to the US president, that George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, wanted to protect Mr Soros from any investigations by the Ukrainian authorities. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr Soros.

“Well there’s no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department,” Mr DiGenova told Mr Dobbs.

“He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas, who work for NGOs, work with NGOs. That was very evident in Ukraine, and Kent was part of that.”

The false accusations play into a common antisemitic trope touted by the far-right and much of the Republican Party that Mr Soros, a left-leaning Jewish businessman, controls governments across the Western world.

“He ran it, Soros ran it,” Mr diGenova continued in reference to the State Department. “He corrupted FBI officials, he corrupted foreign service officers, and the bottom line is this: George Soros wants to run Ukraine, and he is doing everything he can to use every lever of the United States government to make that happen, for business interest, not for good government business.”

The outburst came after Mr Kent and William Taylor, the chief diplomat in Ukraine, provided explosive testimony about attempts by Mr Trump and associates to force the Ukrainian leader into announcing an investigation into Joe Biden, a potential Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.

Mr Taylor told a packed House intelligence committee hearing room how an aide of his said they had overheard a phone call between Mr Trump and EU ambassador Gordon Sondland in which the president asked about his requested Ukrainian investigations into political rivals.

Mr DiGenova, who has previously accused FBI officials of attempting to “frame” Mr Trump, was briefly hired by the president earlier this year to serve on his legal team fighting Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

Mr Trump reversed his decision days later due to a potential conflict of interest.

Mr Soros' philanthropic organisation Open Societies Foundations and the State Department have been contacted for comment.

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