Prosecutors investigate whether Ukrainians meddled in 2020 election
Mr Telizhenko and Mr Artemenko joined Mr Giuliani in Washington at the end of November 2019 at the Washington studios of the conservative cable network One America News to record a series which the network said exposed the corruption of the Biden family and attacked the “impeachment hoax” as well as Mr. Mueller’s investigation.
Ahead of the December 2019 trip, Mr. Artemenko signed a deal with Mr. Giuliani to help locate witnesses who would defend Mr. Trump, according to three people familiar with the contract, which Mr. Giuliani also signed. Mr. Artemenko was not paid for the work. Mr. Artemenko’s company subsequently signed a lobbying contract to briefly represent Mr. Derkach in Washington.
In December 2019, Mr Giuliani and a team from the network traveled to Budapest and Kiev to film interviews with current and former Ukrainian officials who claimed to have incriminating information about the Bidens and other Democrats.
Among those interviewed were Mr Derkach and two other men – another MP and a recently sacked Ukrainian prosecutor – who were also sanctioned in January by the Treasury Department. The department described the two men, along with Mr. Telizhenko, as members of Mr. Derkach’s inner circle and accused them of promoting “disinformation narratives” to influence the 2020 presidential election.
It is not known if Mr. Telizhenko is at the center of the Brooklyn criminal investigation.
In an interview Thursday, Mr Telizhenko dismissed the Treasury Department’s accusations, saying he had never met Mr Derkach before Mr Artemenko arranged the meeting despite his objections. “I said, ‘This is not a good meeting,'” Telizhenko told Giuliani, adding that Mr. Derkach “was already toxic in Ukraine” because “everyone knew he was pro-Russian ”.
About two months after the trip, Mr. Derkach traveled to New York and recorded a podcast with Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Telizhenko said, who added that he later provided a voiceover translation for the interview.
In May 2020, after Mr Biden became the alleged Democratic presidential candidate, Mr Derkach publicly released the first in a series of audio recordings of private phone calls between Mr Biden, while he was vice-president, and Petro O. Poroshenko, who was president of Ukraine.