According to The New York
Times, federal prosecutors
are looking into whether Ukraine
interfered in the 2020 presidential election
, in part by passing misinformation
through Rudy Giuliani
, President Donald Trump
's personal attorney at the time.
The New York Times, which broke the story first, reported that prosecutors in the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn opened a criminal investigation
into the matter during the final months of Trump's presidency. At the heart of the investigation, investigators are attempting to determine whether current and former Ukrainian officials spread allegations of corruption against then-candidate Joe Biden
during the 2020 campaign.
It is unclear whether any Ukrainians will face charges as a result of the investigation.
During his reelection campaign, Giuliani was one of Trump's spokespeople, and the former New York mayor frequently accused Biden and his son Hunter of corruption, with the accusations becoming central to Trump's campaign.
The investigation is separate from the one being conducted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan
, which is looking into Giuliani's work
for the Trump administration
and whether he lobbied to have Marie Yovanovitch removed from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2019 because officials in Kyiv wanted her fired. The FBI
executed search warrants at Giuliani's home and office in April
, seizing his computers and cell phones.
Giuliani has not been charged with any wrongdoing in that investigation and has denied any impropriety, according to the New York Times, and he is also not the subject of the Brooklyn investigation.
Ukraine is a recurring flashpoint in the 2020 presidential campaign and a cloud over Trump's presidency; he was impeached for the first time for attempting to pressure the country into investigating the Bidens in exchange for the release of US military
The New York Times reported on Thursday that US intelligence officials warned Trump that a Ukrainian official was attempting to disseminate disinformation
through Giuliani during the impeachment
proceedings, though Giuliani claimed he was not informed of the effort personally.