Public optics for Rudy Giuliani continued to get worse on Wednesday after the New York Times and Washington Post both reported that President Donald Trump's personal attorney earlier this year sought hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business opportunities in Ukraine from the same government officials he was working with to uncover dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Post reported that Giuliani negotiated a contract earlier this year to represent Yuri Lutsenko, then Ukraine's top prosecutor, for at least $200,000. The negotiations came at the same time Giuliani was working with Lutsenko to dig up damaging information on Biden for the benefit of Trump.
"The agreements were never executed, and there is no indication that Giuliani was ultimately paid by Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials," the Post noted. "But the negotiations proceeded far enough that legal agreements were drafted under which Giuliani's company would have received more than $200,000 to work for the Ukrainians."
According to the Times, Giuliani and lawyers close to him were engaged in a months-long effort to take on "various Ukrainian officials or their agencies as clients."
The Times reviewed "a proposal signed in February by Mr. Giuliani," which "called for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice to pay his firm $300,000."
"In return, Mr. Giuliani would help the government recover money it believed had been stolen and stashed overseas," the Times reported. "The Times could not determine whether the documents it reviewed comprise the entirety of the efforts by Mr. Giuliani and other lawyers to represent Ukrainian government officials."
Giuliani downplayed the talks in an interview with the Times and said he "never received a penny" from Ukrainian officials.
The new reporting was viewed by progressives and analysts as further evidence that Giuliani and Trump were pursuing corrupt ends in Ukraine while publicly claiming to be fighting corruption.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) November 27, 2019
Rudy Giuliani sought a payments of $200,000 from the recently dismissed prosecutor general of Ukraine earlier this year.
So, Mr. President, about that corruption in Ukraine you said you were so worried about... https://t.co/tOQMu56ue4
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) November 27, 2019
Reflecting on the new revelations, Post columnist Paul Waldman wrote:
Why would Giuliani be simultaneously pursuing what former national security official Fiona Hill called a “domestic political errand” on Trump’s behalf — pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation that would smear former vice president Joe Biden — while simultaneously looking to cash in himself?
The better question is, why wouldn't he?
"Trumplandia is just a massive criminal enterprise," tweeted Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic.