US prosecutors turn to possible bribery charges in investigation over Ukrainian natural gas company
- New York (CNN) - Federal prosecutors investigating associates of Rudy Giuliani have focused on a Ukrainian state-owned natural gas company, a move that suggests authorities are exploring whether any laws prohibiting the payment of bribes to foreign officials has been violated.
- New York federal prosecutors have interviewed two senior executives at Naftogaz, the Ukrainian state-run energy company, and requested interviews with at least two others who are believed to have some knowledge of the alleged scheme by Giuliani's associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to replace Naftogaz's chief executive in hopes of bettering their business prospects.
- The questions connected to Naftogaz suggest prosecutors -- who have been investigating Parnas, Fruman and Giuliani as part of a broad inquiry that includes potential foreign lobbying violations -- are also looking at whether yet another law was violated, legal experts say.
Justice Department watchdog investigating possible FBI leaks to Giuliani in 2016
- Washington (CNN) - The Justice Department inspector general continues to investigate potential leaks by FBI officials in New York to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani before the 2016 election.
- Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing, and is broader than just Giuliani, but suggested his team was struggling to prove that there were illegal leaks.
- That was shortly before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was reopening the criminal probe into Clinton's email server, which didn't lead to any criminal charges.
- Horowitz replied, "we were very concerned about that," and he noted that he mentioned some of those potentially improper contacts in the report he put out last year reviewing the Clinton email probe.
- But Horowitz hinted that his team was struggling to prove that there were illegal leaks.
Takeaways from the Senate hearing with Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz
- Washington (CNN) - Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz spoke extensively on Wednesday about his findings on Crossfire Hurricane, the counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump campaign associates were coordinating with the Russian government to sway the presidential election.
- Horowitz defended his conclusion that there had been no political bias in launching the investigation back in 2016 -- rebutting Attorney General William Barr -- but criticized the FBI's handling of the probe in no uncertain terms.
- During the hearing, Horowitz also confirmed reports from CNN and other news outlets that his office asked Barr and Durham to share any evidence that could assist his review into the origins of the Russia investigation.
- But Horowitz said he had looked for bias only in a few specific areas, and his team did not examine the Mueller investigation, which Trump has accused of being plagued by political motivations.
How Rudy Giuliani escorted Donald Trump to the brink of impeachment
- Three years on, Giuliani never got the job he believed he had coming – "a bitter disappointment" his now-estranged wife says – but in his five decades as a public figure, he has never been more prominent in national affairs.
- The forces that have returned Giuliani to the stage at age 75 are the same ones that made him a star federal prosecutor as a young man, a memorable mayor of New York in the 1990s and a scorched-earth advocate for Trump in 2016: his relentless drive to put himself at the centre of public life and his very high regard for his own virtuousness.
- On October 25, 2016, exactly two weeks until election day, Giuliani appeared on Fox and Friends, and was asked what the Trump campaign would do with the remaining time.