Entanglements continue as Austria reopened the extradition case for Firtash in July 2019 as well as the hiring of lawyers associated with Trump/Giuliani.
Ukrainian oligarch Dimtry Firtash tells NYT one of Giuliani's associates (Parnas and Fruman) described offering Firtash help with his DOJ problems — if he hired two lawyers close to Trump who were already working with Giuliani on his dirt-digging mission. https://t.co/zOh577euw1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 25, 2019
… interviews with the two Ukrainian oligarchs — Dmitry Firtash and Ihor Kolomoisky — as well as with several other people with knowledge of Mr. Giuliani’s dealings, point to a new dimension in his exertions on behalf of his client, Mr. Trump. Taken together, they depict a strategy clearly aimed at leveraging information from politically powerful but legally vulnerable foreign citizens.
Andrew Prokop has some questions about DoJ’s involvement or lack thereof.
This new story calls attention again to a strange omission in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry that I’ve been puzzling over: Trump’s Justice Department. (thread) https://t.co/Xp7nNc5gJM
— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) November 25, 2019
On the 7/25 call, Trump not only repeatedly told Zelensky to call Bill Barr about investigations, he *specifically* told Zelensky to “do” something with Barr *about the Bidens.*
Getting to the bottom of whether this happened seems kinda important.
Now NYT reports that, as part of dirt-digging effort, Giuliani encouraged indicted Ukrainian oligarch Firtash to hire Trump-friendly lawyers diGenova and Toensing.
Deal reportedly: help with Biden dirt, in exchange for help with Firtash’s case before DOJ
DiGenova and Toensing then met with AG Barr about Firtash’s case, in August, shortly after Trump’s call with Zelensky .
One has to wonder: did Biden come up in this meeting?
So week or so after Trump tells Zelensky to talk with Barr and Giuliani, Barr met with Toensing and DiGenovo who Giuliani got $1.2 million Firtash contract. https://t.co/WpmxImUi6N
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) November 25, 2019
Months ago, a DOJ official gave a rather careful statement to the NYT saying that Barr had not spoken with
(1) Ukraine’s government on any topic,
(2) Giuliani on “anything relating to Ukraine,” or
(3) Trump regarding Ukraine investigating the Bidens
Seems like it would be important for Democrats to get that denial from Barr under oath — as well as to ask him some follow-up questions on circumstances not covered by that language.
DOJ is involved in the scandal in other ways as well.
Barr and top DOJ officials Jeffrey Rosen, John Demers, Steven Engel, and Brian Benczkowski were all involved in conversations over how to handle the whistleblower complaint.
Benczkowski is also said to have made the decision to clear Trump with any campaign finance offense related to the Zelensky call.
Yet the House impeachment inquiry has called ZERO witnesses from DOJ.
Unless I’m missing something, they didn’t even *ask* anyone from DOJ to give a deposition.
They appear to be studiously avoiding this angle of the scandal, and I find it very strange.
Perhaps worth noting that oversight of DOJ resides with the House Judiciary Committee, which has not been involved in this phase of the inquiry (re: Ukraine)
Is this about turf? A decision to limit the inquiry’s focus? Or will Judiciary look into these questions eventually?
Good questions about how the House judiciary might eventually get involved.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the case targeting Firtash was opened in 2014. He is suspected of bribery, being accused of paying US$18.5 million to Indian officials for mining titanium ore, which they then planned to sell in the United States. In the same year, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, he was detained, but soon he was released from custody on a record EUR 125 million bail. If Firtash is found guilty in the United States, he is facing up to 50 years in prison and confiscation of all property.
Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/10619229-austrian-justice-minister-authorizes-firtash-s-extradition-to-u-s-media.html