Attorney General Bill Barr on Monday confirmed that the Justice Department is currently assessing information about Ukraine provided by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who says the info contains a “smoking gun.”
“The Justice Department has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr told reporters. “But as I did say to Senator [Lindsey] Graham … we have to be very careful … with respect to any information coming from the Ukraine.”
Barr said reliable information is difficult to find because there are “a lot of agendas” in Ukraine and “a lot of cross currents.”
“We can’t take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value,” Barr said. “For that reason, we had established an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the department” to assess its credibility.
He added: “And you know, that is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine, including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said there are three witnesses who are ready to “name names” in an investigation into Hunter Biden and corruption in Ukraine, where the former vice president’s son once held a lucrative job on the board of national energy company, Burisma.
In an interview with Jesse Watters on Fox News’ “Watters’ World,” Giuliani said he’s found “the smoking gun.”
Watters asked Giuliani “if he had any documentation regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine” before adding that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) “will be investigating that,” Fox reported.
“Lindsey, get started,” Giuliani said, laughing, before declaring he had “what I used to call when I was U.S. attorney, the smoking gun.”
“We’ve got the documents, Lindsey,” Giuliani declared. “This is a money laundering transaction. … It’s about $14.6 million. It’s a notice from the Latvian government to the Ukrainian government that Hunter Biden is under investigation for corruption.”
“I’ll simplify it. $14.8 million goes from Ukraine to a company in Latvia, disguised as a loan. Then it goes from Latvia to another company disguised as another loan, in Cyprus. And then it goes to the U.S. where we lose track of it because when [former Ukraine prosecutor Viktor] Shokin gets it, just about the day he’s fired, there’s no money in here for Devon Archer and Hunter Biden. Everybody else, their money is listed,” Giuliani said.
Hunter Biden was paid more than $80,000 a month to serve as a “ceremonial figure” by the Ukrainian company Burisma, which hired him “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name,” according to a report published in October.
Reuters News Agency interviewed more than a dozen people for the report, including executives and former prosecutors in Ukraine, to “paint a picture of a director who provided advice on legal issues, corporate finance and strategy during a five-year term on the board, which ended in April of this year.”
Burisma Holdings is one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies. By the end of Biden’s term, the company had paid $3.4 million to Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, a company headed by Hunter Biden’s business partner Devon Archer. From Reuters:
Specifically, the records show 18 months in which two payments of $83,333 per month were paid to Rosemont Seneca Bohai for ‘consulting services.’ The two sources said that one of those monthly payments was intended for Biden and one for Archer. Reuters was not able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents or how much money Hunter Biden received.
Giuliani said he also has information on former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort.
“I could take it back to January of 2016,” Giuliani said. “A possibility the whistle-blower was there, NSC meeting – NSC, Obama, and Biden representatives tell Ukrainian officials, ‘Get me dirt on [former Trump campaign head Paul] Manafort.’ I have three witnesses there.”
Giuliani named three people: “Andrei Teleschenko, Constantine Kulyuk, Nazar Kholodnitskiy … three witnesses are willing to get on the witness stand and say that in January 2016, members of Obama’s NSC violated the law Mueller was investigating Trump for violating. They asked foreigners for dirty information on an American citizen who was going to be involved in a political campaign.”
“There’s no doubt who was at that meeting,” Giuliani said, adding, “The ‘Manafort black book’ was intended to blow the Trump campaign up.”