He was once called “America’s mayor.” But in the last few years Rudy Giuliani has fallen farther than an Edith Wharton heroine. To the towering pile of incriminating and/or embarrassing things he’s done, much of it at the behest of his client Donald Trump (and sometimes involving the MyPillow Guy), add this: There is now audio of him doing what many suspected was real, namely that he tried to badger Ukrainian officials into investigating loony conspiracy theories involving Joe Biden.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) June 7, 2021
The audio, which was obtained by CNN, hails from July 2019, mere months after the nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, took office. In a phonecall between he, U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker, and Zelensky senior advisor Andriy Yermak, Giuliani can be heard aggressively insisting that Yermak’s boss look into possible corruption into Biden, when he was still just a presidential candidate.
“All we need from the President [Zelensky] is to say, I’m gonna put an honest prosecutor in charge, he’s gonna investigate and dig up the evidence, that presently exists and is there any other evidence about involvement of the 2016 election, and then the Biden thing has to be run out,” Giuliani can be heard saying. “Somebody in Ukraine’s gotta take that seriously.”
Throughout the call, Giuliani laid out convoluted conspiracy theories, some of which Volker himself informed him had come from sources that were “simply not credible.” He also accused Biden, when he was vice president under Barack Obama, of corrupt activity involving Zelensky’s predecessor, Petro Poroshenko — claims that have no basis in fact.
At one point Giuliani suggested that making a public statement about a Biden investigation “would clear the air really well.” He added, “And I think it would make it possible for me to come and make it possible, I think, for me to talk to the President [Trump] to see what I can do about making sure that whatever misunderstandings are put aside … I kinda think that this could be a good thing for having a much better relationship.”
The call, which lasted some 40 minutes, occurred shortly before Trump’s own infamous chat with Zelensky himself, which led to his first of two impeachments. The audio undermines the claim that there was “no quid pro quo” that would swap a Biden investigation for U.S. support. Partial transcripts had been made available earlier this year, but this is the first time that audio has gone public.
In the meantime, Giuliani is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. The feds even raided his Manhattan home in April, taking him from the city’s former mayor to one of its potential crooks.