Summary List Placement
Federal investigators are now looking into whether current and former Ukrainian government officials — some appearing to act on behalf of Russian state interests — used then-President Donald Trump’s personal attorney to spread disinformation ahead of the 2020 election, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Prosecutors in Brooklyn are said to be examining whether the officials passed false corruption claims involving Joe Biden to Rudy Giuliani, who is the subject of a separate federal criminal inquiry from prosecutors in Manhattan.
Giuliani traveled to Ukraine in 2019, where he has been accused of helping to orchestrate the firing of US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. The FBI is looking into whether the former New York City mayor broke any laws by working with Ukrainian officials on that effort.
One subject of the newly reported investigation, according to The Times, is Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s parliament. The Trump administration had been warned by US intelligence officials that Derkach “was seeking to spread disinformation,” The Times reported.
In September, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Derkach for intervening in the 2020 election, declaring that he “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services.”
Federal prosecutors could bring charges that Ukrainian officials failed to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires disclosing efforts to lobby in the US on behalf of a foreign government.
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