Here’s an ‘explainer’ graphic along with this article in Wapo today of the inside track Giuliani and Co tried to influence and usurp the Ukrainian officials. Good to see how and the 3 Amigos course tried to sidestep the usual protocols and how we got here.
“We’ve been tasked with sort of overseeing the Ukraine-U.S. relationship between our contacts at the highest levels of the U.S. government and now the highest levels of the Ukrainian government,” Sondland told an interviewer the day after Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. To House investigators, Sondland was more specific.
“President Trump was skeptical that Ukraine was serious about reforms and anti-corruption, and he directed those of us present at [a May 23] meeting to talk to Mr. Giuliani, his personal attorney, about his concerns,” Sondland said in a prepared statement. “It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the President’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani.”
Giuliani was a steady presence with administration officials, with Sondland testifying that Trump’s personal attorney “was always swirling around somewhere.” His requests of the “amigos” were specific, pressing Sondland and Volker in particular to get Ukrainian leaders to announce investigations — ostensibly because of corruption concerns — into former vice president Joe Biden and the circumstances of 2016 election interference.
What is less recognized is the world of connections that Giuliani was leveraging outside of the government. Over the past few weeks, that web of connections has become more clear, as have the ways in which Giuliani used external allies to guide his requests from the government team with whom Trump connected him.