- Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal probe into alleged Ukrainian intervention in the 2020 election.
- Some Ukranian officials are suspected of using Rudy Giuliani to spread disinformation.
- The apparent goal was to help former President Donald Trump win reelection.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Federal investigators are now looking into whether current and former Ukrainian government officials — some appearing to act on behalf of Russian state interests — used former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney to spread disinformation ahead of the 2020 election, The New York Times reported Thursday.
Prosecutors in Brooklyn are examining whether the officials passed false corruption claims involving President Joe Biden to Rudy Giuliani, who is himself the subject of a separate federal criminal probe from prosecutors in Manhattan.
Giuliani traveled to Ukraine in 2019, where he allegedly helped orchestrate the firing of US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. The FBI is currently looking into whether the former New York City mayor broke any laws by working with Ukrainian officials on that effort.
One subject of the newly reported investigation, according to The Times, is Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine’s parliament. The Trump administration had been warned by US intelligence officials that Derkach “was seeking to spread disinformation,” The Times reported.
In September 2020, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Derkach for intervening in the 2020 election, declaring that he “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services.”
Federal prosecutors could bring charges that Ukrainian officials failed to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires disclosing efforts to lobby in the United States on behalf of a foreign government.
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