An exclusive recording of a conversation between Rudolph Giuliani, adviser to former US President Donald Trump, with Andriy Yermak (at that time senior adviser to the Office of the President) and former US special envoy on Ukraine Kurt Volker was published in the United States. The recording is dated July 2019. It was published by the American television channel CNN.
As the channel notes, the recording of the conversation indicates that Giuliani put pressure on Ukraine, demanding that Kyiv open proceedings on corruption charges against US presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Giuliani also demanded to admit the guilt of Kyiv for allegedly meddling in the US presidential elections in 2016 in order to do Trump an ill turn. The conversation preceded President Trump's scandalous conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and was part of Trump's 2019 impeachment attempt, when the latter was accused of trying to sabotage Biden's election campaign.
For about 40 minutes of the conversation, Giuliani repeatedly demanded to start proceedings against the Bidens and to admit the guilt of Kyiv. At the same time, he promised Ukraine various preferences. For instance, he said that Kyiv's fulfillment of this requirement could improve relations between the United States and Ukraine, as well as contribute to inviting Zelenskyy to Washington.
For his part, Yermak, after repeated attempts to redirect the conversation to a diplomatic path, said that Zelenskyy would take heed of Giuliani's demands. The channel notes that Yermak's response satisfied both Giuliani and Volker.
Giuliani himself flatly refused to comment on the publication of the recording.
Context. During the presidential race in 2020, US President Donald Trump repeatedly mentioned the corruption scandal in Ukraine around Burisma and Hunter Biden. In July 2019, he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to conduct an investigation on Burisma. But when the story went public, it nearly led Trump to be impeached.
With the advent of Joseph Biden to power in the United States, several criminal proceedings were opened against Trump's personal adviser and lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, who on his behalf promoted the idea of an investigation in Ukraine.
On May 28, it became known that the Brooklyn Attorney's Office initiated an investigation into the possible meddling of Ukraine in the 2020 elections in the United States.
Giuliani does not admit the charges against him and calls the actions of US law enforcement agencies "political persecution."