The man whom the Treasury Department called “an active Russian agent for over a decade” met with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to tarnish former Vice President Joe Biden.
Andrii Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, and three other Russia-related individuals were designated by the Treasury Department for foreign wealth control on Thursday to attempt to influence the US election process.
“Andrii Derkach and other Russian agents are using manipulation and deception to influence elections in the US and elsewhere in the world,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
Last November, Derkach appeared with Giuliani on an “investigation”
Giuliani appears in front of the camera at a table with Derkach to conduct an interview with OAN reporter Chanel Rion, which Giuliani describes as the first meeting that lasted more than three hours, according to the OAN.
“This interview is being conducted by OAN … an American network, a journalistic organization,” explains Giuliani in the OAN article. “My role, you should understand, I do not represent the government, I am President Trump’s private attorney, so my role, which I traced back over a year before I met you (regarding Derkach), is it to try to get the facts about Ukrainian collusion, Ukrainian corruption that intervened in the 2017 elections to 2016. “
Giuliani continues: “My aim here is just a simple aim, which is to defend the President of the United States individually against the original false allegations of the Russian collusion and now against the false allegations regarding his talks with President Zelenskiy.” referring to the call between Trump and the Ukrainian President, which until then had been the focus of the impeachment investigation.
In an effort to defend Trump against allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, however, Giuliani wittily or unknowingly met someone the Trump administration later referred to as a Russian agent who was actively trying to influence the 2020 election.
The OAN documentation said Derkach gave Giuliani and OAN access to hundreds of pages of documents relating to the former Vice President, his son Hunter Biden, and allegations about Burisma, the energy company that Hunter Biden served as a board member.
Giuliani said in a statement to ABC News that Derkach had provided him with information about “undocumented foreign aid” but “any other information he gave us we had received months earlier from other witnesses and documents.”
Giuliani said in a statement to the New York Times and confirmed by ABC News that he “had no reason to believe [Derkach] is a Russian agent. I didn’t see anything that said he was a Russian agent. He didn’t give me anything that seemed to come from Russia at all. “
Authorities said Derkach released a series of heavily edited audio recordings last spring intended to disrupt the U.S. president’s race. Some of these shots were an obvious attempt to smear the Bidens.
“Derkach has participated, directly or indirectly, in foreign interference, sponsored, concealed or otherwise made complicit in order to undermine the upcoming 2020 US presidential election,” said a Treasury Department press release.
Called the Treasury, Americans are prohibited from conducting transactions with Derkach and any property he owns that is under US jurisdiction will be blocked.
The Justice Department on Thursday brought fraud and conspiracy charges against three Russian nationals allegedly involved in election interference operations involving the Internet Research Agency (IRA). The IRA was previously indicted in the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian electoral disruption led by Robert Mueller.