Giuliani sought private meeting with Ukrainian president, documents show

Rudy Giuliani wrote a letter requesting a private meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky, then the president-elect of Ukraine, with President Donald Trump's "knowledge and consent," according to records released by House Democrats Tuesday.

The letter was part of the evidence turned over to the House impeachment investigators by lawyers for Lev Parnas, the Giuliani associate who is awaiting trial on campaign finances charges. It bolsters Democrats' argument that Giuliani was doing Trump's bidding by trying to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

Trump has previously tried to distance himself from his attorney's effort, saying in November that "I didn't direct him."

The records turned over by Parnas' attorneys also appear to show that former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was being closely monitored by a Republican congressional candidate, her physical movements tracked in real time along with her computer and phone use.

A statement from Intelligence chair Adam Schiff and other top Democrats said the information would be forwarded to the Senate along with the articles of impeachment. "All of this new evidence confirms what we already know: the President and his associates pressured Ukrainian officials to announce investigations that would benefit the President politically," the statement said.

The letter, written on Giuliani's letterhead, was dated May 10, 2018.

"Dear President-Elect Zelensky: I am private counsel to President Donald J. Trump. Just to be precise, I represent him as a private citizen, not as President of the United States. This is quite common under American law because the duties and privileges of a President and a private citizen are not the same. Separate representation is not the same," the unusual letter begins.

He congratulated on Zelensky on his election win, and then requested a sit-down with him to discuss a "specific request."

"In my capacity as personal counsel to President Trump and with his knowledge and consent, I request a meeting with you on this upcoming Monday May 13th or Tuesday May 14th. I will need no more than a half-hour of your time and I will be accompanied by my colleague Victoria Toensing, a distinguished American attorney who is very familiar with this matter,' the letter says.

The subject of the "specific request" isn't mentioned. Trump, in a July 25 phone call, asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as a well as a conspiracy involving Democrats and the 2016 election. That call led the House to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

Parnas texted the letter to a Zelensky associate. The response was redacted in the release.

Giuliani then texts Parnas, saying "This guy is canceling meeting I think?"

The former New York City mayor didn't take the rejection well.

"I am going to say I have been informed the people advising the PRES ELECT are no friends of the President. At least one was involved in delivering fraudulent evident falsely accusing the campaign and made horrible statements about his desire to defeat him," Giuliani wrote, according to the records.

“I am advised that the PRES ELECT is in the hands of people who are avowed enemies of the President.”

Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other documents released by the Democrats include text exchanges between Parnas and Giuliani where they discussed efforts to get a visa for former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to come to the United States. Shokin was the prosecutor who Joe Biden helped get removed because of corruption allegations, and who accused the former vice president's son of wrongdoing.

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Rudy Giuliani and President Donald Trump through the years
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Rudy Giuliani and President Donald Trump through the years
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump embraces former New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani at a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, U.S., September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during a meeting with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump stands with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani before their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during a meeting with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump stands with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani before their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump greets former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani before their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani shakes hands with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrive to speak to police gathered at Fraternal Order of Police lodge during a campaign event in Statesville, North Carolina, U.S., August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (2nd L) arrive for ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (L) and his son Eric Trumo (R) through the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 16, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani shakes hands with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., August 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani visit the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani visit Allegra Print and Imaging in Fayetteville, North Carolina August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani visit Allegra Print and Imaging in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani greets Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump at the Trask Coliseum at University of North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani sits with his wife Judith (R) and Donald Trump Jr. at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (L), Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (C) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) stand together during a memorial service at the National 9/11 Memorial September 11, 2016 in New York. The United States on Sunday commemorated the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. / AFP / Bryan R. Smith (Photo credit should read BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)
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UNITED STATES - MAY 04: Mayor Rudy Giuliani is flanked by CBS President Leslie Moonves (left) and Donald Trump at news conference at the GM Building, where CBS announced that Bryant Gumbel will be the host of its new morning news program, 'This Morning.' Show, to be launched Nov. 1, will broadcast from Trump's International Plaza Building., (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 04: Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump at news conference at the GM Building, where CBS announced that Bryant Gumbel will be the host of its new morning news program, 'This Morning.' Show, to be launched Nov. 1, will broadcast from Trump's International Plaza Building., (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 04: Mayor Rudy Giuliani considers a question as Donald Trump looks on at news conference at the GM Building, where CBS announced that Bryant Gumbel will be the host of its new morning news program, 'This Morning.' Show, to be launched Nov. 1, will broadcast from Trump's International Plaza Building., (Photo by Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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They "declined his visa today," Parnas wrote. "I can revive it," Giuliani replied. "It's going to work. I have no 1 on it."

The documents also include disturbing WhatsApp exchanges between Parnas and Robert Hyde, a GOP candidate for Congress in Connecticut, where they appear to be discussing Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was removed from her post at Giuliani's urging.

The exchanges, in March 2019, don't name the ambassador, but include links to stories about her, and are from the period of time when Giuliani and his associates were trying to get Yovanovitch fired. The messages suggest they’d learned that the president had already decided once to remove her but may have changed his mind.

Hyde's messages indicate Yovanovitch's physical movements were being tracked in real time, along with her computer and phone use.

"She under heavy protection outside Kiev," Parnas is told in one exchange. "They are moving her tomorrow," the person says in another message.

Hyde then sends an "update" saying "she will not be moved" and "special security unit upgraded force on the compound." He tells Parnas on March 27, "we have a person on the inside."

She also appeared to be the subject of discussion between Giuliani and Parnas a month later. "He fired her again," Giuliani wrote. "I pray it happens this time. I'll call you tomorrow my brother," Parnas responded.

Yovanovitch was recalled from her post on May 20. Attorneys for the former ambassador did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hyde also did not immediately respond.

The documents also included Parnas' handwritten notes on stationary from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Vienna. The notes are undated, but the first says to get Zelensky "to announce that the Biden case will be investigated." It ends with asterisks around the name "Rudy."

They also detailed plans involving Dmytro Firtash, a former business associate of Paul Manafort — Trump's former campaign manager — and a Ukrainian oligarch who had Parnas on his payroll. The plans included removing Firtash’s spokesperson Lanny Davis and replacing him with Victoria Toensing and Joe di Genova, two of the President’s most ardent defenders on Fox News.

The notes say, “get rid of Lanny Davis (nicely!)”.

The notes then appear to reference efforts to get Firtash out of his legal troubles saying “Firtash toxic” and then “cut deal or get dismissed.”

Firtash was indicted in 2014 for what federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Illinois allege was his role in bribing Indian officials in order to get a lucrative mining deal to sell titanium to Boeing. He was arrested in Vienna in March 2014, released on $174 million bail, and has been contesting his extradition to the U.S. ever since.

Firtash was a major backer of Ukraine's Party of Regions, the pro-Russia party for which Manafort as a political consultant worked for many years, according to the federal criminal complaint against Firtash and a February 2006 State Department cable posted by WikiLeaks in 2010.

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