President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was reportedly pursuing a six-figure business deal with a Ukrainian prosecutor, even as the men worked together to dig up dirt on Trump's rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
The New York Times and the Washington Post reported Wednesday that in February, Giuliani looked into a deal with Ukraine's former top prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, whom he had been urging to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, and the debunked conspiracy theory about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Giuliani was seeking to represent Lutsenko for at least $200,000, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.
The draft proposal said Giuliani would represent Lutsenko “to advise on Ukrainian claims for the recovery of sums of money in various financial institutions outside Ukraine,” according to documents obtained by The Times.
In a separate February proposal, Giuliani sought to represent the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice for $300,000 to help the department recover money it alleged was stolen, The Times reported.
The Times added that one potential deal went so far that Giuliani prepared and signed a retainer agreement on his company letterhead.
Giuliani told The Times that Ukrainian officials had approached him with offers to hire him earlier this year, but that he rejected both proposals and never accepted any money.
“I thought that would be too complicated,” he said. “I never received a penny.”
Federal prosecutors in the US have been investigating Giuliani and two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, for wire fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent, The Post reported.
Giuliani has not been accused or charged with any crimes, but Parnas and Fruman have both been indicted on campaign finance violation charges and have pleaded not guilty.
The news comes amid a congressional impeachment inquiry into Trump, who has been accused of trying to leverage US military aid in exchange for the Ukrainian government's promise to investigate the Bidens.
Last week's public impeachment hearings involved testimony from a number of current and former government officials who described Trump's pressure campaign on Ukraine to deliver political dirt.