The man the Treasury Department has called “a Russian agent who has been active for over a decade,” met with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to unearth former Vice President Joe Biden.
Andrii Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, and three other individuals linked to Russia were nominated Thursday by the Treasury’s Office for the Control of Foreign Assets for attempting to influence the US electoral process.
“Andrii Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulations and deceptions to try to influence elections in the United States and other parts of the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Last November, Derkach appeared with Giuliani as part of a One America News (OAN) “investigation”
Giuliani appears in front of the camera sitting at a table with Derkach for an interview with OAN reporter Chanel Rion in what Giuliani calls their first meeting, which, according to OAN, lasted more than three hours.
“This interview is conducted by OAN … an American network, a news organization,” Giuliani explains in the OAN piece. “My role, you should understand, I don’t represent the government, I am President Trump’s private lawyer, so my role in everything, going back a year, before I met you, (referring to Derkach), is to try to get the facts about Ukrainian collusion, Ukrainian corruption, which interfered in the 2017 and 2016 elections “.
Giuliani goes on to say: “My goal here is just a simple goal and that is to individually defend the President of the United States from the original false allegations of Russian collusion and now from the false allegations regarding his conversations with President Zelenskiy”, referring to the appeal between Trump and the Ukrainian president, who had now become the focus of the impeachment investigation.
But, in his bid to defend Trump against allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, Giuliani, knowingly or unknowingly, met with someone the Trump administration would later designate a Russian agent who was actively trying to influence the 2020 election.
The OAN documentary claims that Derkach has provided Giuliani and OAN with access to hundreds of pages of documents relating to former vice president, his son, Hunter Biden, and the allegations about Burisma, the energy company of which Hunter Biden was a member. of the board.
Giuliani, in a statement to ABC News, said that Derkach had provided him with information on “unaccounted for foreign aid”, but that “all the other information he gave us we had already obtained months before from other witnesses and documents”.
Giuliani said in a statement to the New York Times, and confirmed by ABC News, that he has “no reason to believe” [Derkach] is a Russian agent. I haven’t seen anything that says he was a Russian agent. There is nothing he gave me that seemed to come from Russia. “
Authorities say Derkach released a series of heavily edited audio recordings last spring designed to interfere with the US presidential run. Some of those tapes were an apparent attempt to smear the Bidens.
“Derkach has directly or indirectly engaged, sponsored, covertly or otherwise complicit in foreign interference in an attempt to undermine the upcoming 2020 US presidential election,” a Treasury Department news release said.
Under the designation of the Treasury, Americans are prohibited from transacting with Derkach, and any property in his possession under US jurisdiction is blocked.
The Justice Department also filed allegations of computer fraud and conspiracy on Thursday against three Russian citizens allegedly involved in electoral interference operations linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA). The IRA had previously been charged in the Special Advisor’s investigation into Russian election interference led by Robert Mueller.