Andrey Derkach, the Ukrainian parliamentarian who has claimed to have evidence showing that former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden received $900,000 in lobbying fees from Burisma Holdings, announced on Facebook Thursday that he met with President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani (shown), to discuss the creation of a group to combat corruption in Ukraine.
“We immediately met with [Giuliani] on the creation of the inter-parliamentary group Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption,” wrote Derkach, sharing photos of himself speaking with the former mayor of New York.
Unfortunately, our country has been at the center of scandals over international corruption. Among other things, we are talking about the facts of inefficient use of funds of American taxpayers by representatives of state bodies of Ukraine.
He cited the example of a project named “Support to the reform of criminal justice in Ukraine,” which is being investigated as part of a criminal proceeding that opened in 2016. The American government contributed $4.4 million to the project, but not all of the funds ended up being transferred to the associated entities to which they were designated.
The Ukrainian lawmaker went on to write:
In this regard, together with Rudolf Giuliani, he discussed his participation in the creation of the inter-parliamentary group Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption. In the Verkhovna Rada such a group can be formed as an inter-factional union.
It will be very useful for us to participate in the creation of this group. In particular, he can help with the entry into the group of international experts, analysts, journalists and all those who are able to realize the tasks of the group and benefit the strategic relations of Ukraine and the USA.
Derkach stated that U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), along with White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, have also been invited to join the interparliamentary anti-corruption group.
In October, Derkach held a press conference in which he publicized documents that he said show that Joe Biden was personally paid $900,000 by Burisma for lobbying activities.
Meanwhile, Hunter Biden was serving on the board of Burisma making $50,000-$83,000 a month.
According to Derkach, the money was funneled through the private equity firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, co-founded by Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.
“This was the transfer of Burisma Group's funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services,” Derkach said.
The Ukrainian politician made the case that Joe Biden “actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister [and Burisma founder] Mykola Zlochevsky” by pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire Prosecutor General Victor Shokin on threat of denying the country $1 billion in loan guarantees.
The trip abroad came as Democrats in the House of Representatives conduct an impeachment inquiry into President Trump to determine whether he committed bribery or high crimes when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into Joe and Hunter Biden’s dealings in that country, and whether he pressured Zelensky to cooperate with his investigation on threat of withholding military aid.
Zelensky has repeatedly denied that there was any pressure or quid pro quo. Nevertheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that she had instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Giuliani was in Budapest and Kiev this week to meet with former and current Ukrainian officials for a documentary series.
The president’s attorney is himself on the radar of federal prosecutors. Two of his business associates were arrested in October and indicted on charges of conspiracy, making false statements, and falsification of records for allegedly using straw donations to disguise contributions and exceed donation limits.
People familiar with the matter say prosecutors are seeking to determine whether Giuliani failed to register as a foreign agent.
An investigation into this is reminiscent of one-time Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was sentenced to nearly 7½ years in prison for failing to register as a foreign agent.
Photo of Rudolf Giuliani: AP Images