On the same day that Donald Trump’s longtime friend and advisor, Roger Stone, was convicted on seven charges of lying to Congress and witness tampering, a new report says that Rudy Giuliani may also be soon looking at criminal charges. Another longtime friend who now serves as Trump’s lawyer, Giuliani is reportedly the target of a federal investigation into a Ukrainian natural gas deal that may have potentially profited him personally.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that at the same time Giuliani was pressing the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were also lobbying for their own company, Global Energy Producers (GEP), to build a natural gas pipeline from Poland to Ukraine.
Parnas and Fruman told Ukranian officials that Giuliani was a partner in GEP, and that the gas pipeline project had the Trump administration’s backing, according to sources who spoke to the WSJ.
The criminal investigation of Giuliani by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York — the same office where Giuliani himself served as U.S. Attorney in the 1980s — was first reported by Bloomberg News on Thursday. Bloomberg called the investigation of Giuliani a “serious threat” to Trump.
According to an analysis by Vanity Fair, the investigation reported by The Wall Street Journal is separate from the probe covered in the earlier Bloomberg report. That investigation is aimed at possible campaign finance and bribery charges.
But Trump’s lawyer is also the target of a third investigation, as CNN reported. While it may not lead to criminal charges, Giuliani has also been targeted in an FBI counterintelligence investigation.
The criminal investigations appear related to Giuliani’s business operations. It is not clear whether his reported attempts to elicit the investigation of Biden figure into the criminal probes.
But according to the CNN report, the counterintelligence investigation of Giuliani has broader aims. That investigation is looking into whether the former New York mayor — who was once known as “America’s Mayor” for his role in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center — was part of a “foreign influence operation.”
The purpose of the “influence operation,” according to CNN, was to take advantage of Giuliani’s Ukraine business ties in order to “make inroads with the White House.”
Parnas and Fruman have already been arrested and indicted on campaign finance charges. Prosecutors say that the pair funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from an unnamed Russian businessman into a Trump campaign SuperPac. The two Giuliani associates allegedly used their company, GEP, to direct the Russian cash into the SuperPac.