Artemenko had a close-up view of Giuliani’s work with Ukrainian officials and agents – activity that appears to be a key part of the FBI’s investigation into the former mayor. His comments about helping the FBI come as the Bureau seized documents from Giuliani himself and another lawyer, Victoria Toensing, who also worked on the Ukrainian project.
FBI agents requested permission to search Giuliani’s apartment last summer, but DOJ headquarters officials have not given the green light to the move due to rules limiting certain steps in the preparation of cases. elections. On Wednesday, FBI agents raided Giuliani’s apartment and separately picked up Toensing’s phone.
Artemenko first caught the attention of the United States when the New York Times reported that he had handed Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen a draft Ukraine-Russia peace plan. The plan would have leased Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula to Russia for a period of up to 100 years. The senior Ukrainian prosecutor said the plan appeared to be treason and that in 2017 then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko deprived Artemenko of his citizenship, as RFE / RL reported.
In the years that followed, Artemenko remained connected to Trump World and went into business with Erik Prince. He also registered as a lobbyist for Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian politician who was later sanctioned by the US government for election interference. When Artemenko ditched Derkach as a client, he told POLITICO he “is cooperating fully with US law enforcement,” but did not say what matters.
Artemenko also featured prominently in a documentary series Giuliani edited with pro-Trump television channel One America News. The network presented Giuliani’s documentary as a way to debunk the “impeachment narrative” about Trump and Ukraine. In one episode, Artemenko accused American diplomats in Ukraine of corruption.
“They serve the Democrats,” he said. “They serve Mr. Soros.”
The FBI investigation into Giuliani appears to be focused on his Ukraine-related work. As personal attorney for then-President Donald Trump, Giuliani struggled to find incriminating evidence about then-candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Along with that effort, Trump officials have signaled to the Ukrainian president that the United States will refuse military aid unless there is an announcement that Ukraine is investigating Biden’s son. News of this development sparked Trump’s first impeachment.
During his efforts to find compromising information about Hunter Biden, Giuliani has worked with a host of US and Ukrainian agents who have since found themselves in legal trouble. The US Treasury Department sanctioned Andrii Telizhenko and Andrii Derkach, a former Ukrainian diplomat and member of the Ukrainian parliament, respectively. The Treasury accused the two men of meddling in the US elections. The Justice Ministry has charged two of Giuliani’s former associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with financial crimes.