In an attempt to exonerate President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani has been working with right-wing media outlet One America News Network (OAN) to produce a television special featuring a string of current and former Ukrainian officials defending Trump’s conduct in withholding military aid to Ukraine and seeking investigations of the Bidens.
According to OAN, the special, which will include the officials testifying “under oath” (though without any penalty for lying), is a two-part exclusive event in which Giuliani “debunks the impeachment hoax and exposes Biden family corruption in Ukraine.”
But the sordid list of “witnesses” taking part in the Giuliani-led effort, for the most part, appears to be laundry list of corrupt or otherwise extremely impeachable public figures. Of particular note is a former parliamentarian who was expelled from the country after proposing Crimea be rented to Russia, according to a Saturday report from The Daily Beast.
“Indeed, Giuliani’s choice of guest stars in his would-be reality show, and his wider cast of sources, caused shock among many in Kyiv’s establishment who know their questionable backgrounds in considerable detail,” the report said.
Andrii Artemenko was expelled from Ukraine’s Radical Party and accused of treason by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2017 for meeting with President Trump’s then-personal attorney Michael Cohen, and Russian-American businessman and former Trump associate Felix Sater on January 27 in New York — where a strategy was discussed that would permit Russia to lease Crimea for between 50-100 years.
Ukrainian prosecutors accused Artemenko of conspiring with Russia to commit “subversive acts against Ukraine,” by designing a strategy that would “legitimize the temporary occupation” of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia forcibly and illegally annexed in 2014. Artemenko reportedly told the Daily Beast that he played “the key role” in helping Trump’s investigations.
OAN said in advance that Artemenko would be featured on the first episode of Giuliani’s special, along with the former Ukrainian diplomat at the center of allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Andrii Telizhenko, and attorney and Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine Michaelo Okhendovsky.
Despite the apparent lack of credibility in Giuliani’s efforts, President Donald Trump on Saturday told reporters Giuliani was going to report his findings to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Congress.
Trump on Giuliani's latest visit to Ukraine: "He’s going to make a report, I think to the attorney general and to Congress. He says he has a lot of good information."
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) December 7, 2019
[image via YouTube screengrab]
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