Federal Prosecutors Probe Giuliani’s Links to Ukrainian Energy Projects
Associates told others that Giuliani stood to profit from natural-gas project pitched alongside campaign for investigations of Joe Biden
Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating whether Rudy Giuliani stood to personally profit from a Ukrainian natural-gas business pushed by two associates who also aided his efforts there to launch investigations that could benefit President Trump, people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, pitched their new company, and plans for a Poland-to-Ukraine pipeline carrying U.S. natural gas, in meetings with Ukrainian officials and energy executives this year, saying the project had the support of the Trump administration, according to people briefed on the meetings. In many of the same meetings, the two men also pushed for assistance on investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and alleged interference by Ukraine in the 2016 U.S. election, some of the people said.
In conversations that continued into this summer, Messrs. Parnas and Fruman told Ukrainian officials and others that Mr. Giuliani was a partner in the pipeline venture, which was a project of their company, Global Energy Producers, one of the people said. Another person said the men considered Mr. Giuliani a prospective investor in their company more broadly, but said the pitch was unsophisticated and exaggerated.
In an interview Friday, Mr. Giuliani vehemently denied any involvement in the energy company or the pipeline pitch. “I have no personal interest in any business in Ukraine, including that business,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had no indication if prosecutors were looking into the matter. “If they really want to know if I’m a partner, why don’t they ask me?”
The Ukrainians understood the pipeline to be “part of the essential package” Mr. Giuliani and his associates were pushing, often mentioned immediately after the demand for investigations, said Kenneth F. McCallion, a New York lawyer who represents a number of Ukrainian individuals who learned of the pipeline deal, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who left office in 2010.