Giuliani storms back into Ukraine probe with Biden project

WASHINGTON — Rudy Giuliani is working on a new documentary on Hunter Biden, as President Trump’s personal attorney reemerges as the central figure behind efforts to continue to investigate Democrats’ ties to Ukraine, three Republican sources familiar with the project told Yahoo News. 

Giuliani and his production team, led by veteran California Republican fixer Tim Yale, have been conducting interviews for the documentary, according to two of the people familiar with the effort. They have also approached potential investors in the film, showing them trailers with footage of former Vice President Joe Biden and actors portraying Hunter Biden and Ukrainian officials, according to one of those sources. 

Giuliani did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Yale, Giuliani’s partner on the documentary, also didn’t return requests for comment.  

Just a few months ago, in the midst of the impeachment proceedings, Giuliani had become politically toxic for Trump, and some Republicans were urging Trump to dump him. But since Trump’s acquittal last week in the Senate, Giuliani is attempting to retake the reins of the Ukraine investigation — conducting interviews and promising to deliver evidence to the Justice Department. 

It is unclear what wrongdoing Giuliani hopes to prove. Hunter Biden was a paid board member of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company with a history of corruption, while his father, Joe, served as vice president and was involved in efforts to pressure Ukraine to fight corruption. Though Hunter Biden, who had no prior experience in the energy sector, has been widely criticized for creating the appearance of a conflict of interest, there has been no evidence that his father took any action to benefit his son.

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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
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump talks with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. (L) and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani during a campaign rally at Crown Arena 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
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)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Republican presidental nominee Donald Trump (R) and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (L) arrive at September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attended the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Republican presidental nominee Donald Trump (C) and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani arrive at September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum on September 11, 2016 in New York City. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attended the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani introduces Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before a rally at the Travis County Exposition Center on August 23, 2016 in Austin, Texas. / AFP / SUZANNE CORDEIRO (Photo credit should read SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani greets Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump just after introducing him at a rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. (Photo by Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times/Getty Images)
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, left, welcomes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on stage during a campaign rally on August 18, 2016, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - JULY 14: (L-R) Donald Trump, Joe Torre, Ali Torre, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Billy Crystal attend the 2008 Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club on July 14, 2008 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Rick Odell/Getty Images)
BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY - JULY 14: (L-R) Rudolph W. Giuliani, Donald Trump, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, Joe Torre, and Billy Crystal attend the 2008 Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club on July 14, 2008 in Briarcliff Manor, New York. (Photo by Rick Odell/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 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)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: This 13 September 1999 file photo shows New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (L) with Donald Trump (R) during the NYC2000 fashion show in New York City. Trump announced 07 October that he plans to form an exploratory committee to help him decide whether to seek the Reform Party nomination for president. (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (L) jokes with Donald Trump (R) as they take a walk down the runway during the NYC2000 fashion show in Times Square 13 September, 1999, in New York City. The show which featured more than 90 clothing designs as well as a performance by singer Trisha Yearwood was held in conjunction with the Seventh on Sixth Fashion Week Spring 2000 Collections. AFP PHOTO Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
BRONX, NY - OCTOBER 15: Real estate magnate Donald Trump talks with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani while current mayor Michael Bloomberg (far R) eats popcorn before the start of game 6 of the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox on October 15, 2003 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Giuliani appeared on Fox News over the past weekend, promising documents that would prove accusations of wrongdoing against Hunter Biden. He has also said he is planning to reveal more documents in public when Senate Republicans begin holding public hearings in their investigation of the Bidens, said one person familiar with the effort. 

A lawyer representing Hunter Biden did not respond to a request for comment.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, one of the three Republican senators overseeing the broad effort to investigate the Bidens, said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Trump’s Justice Department “created a process that Rudy could give information [to them] and they would see if it’s verified.” 

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Justice Department had an open door for information regarding Ukraine, including any evidence Giuliani provides, but cast doubt on the veracity of all intelligence coming out of Ukraine. “We can’t take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value,” he told reporters. 

It’s unclear how close Giuliani still is with Trump or the White House. Some Republicans have given him broad credit for helping carry Trump to acquittal, but a source close to the administration noted that Giuliani has created more problems for Trump than he’s fixed.

Following his acquittal, Trump thanked dozens of lawmakers in his hourlong victory speech at the White House last Thursday, but he notably left out Giuliani while handing out praise.

A White House aide declined to comment on Giuliani’s activities, saying those questions should be directed to Giuliani. 

Pressed by Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo Sunday, Giuliani declined to say precisely if the Trump administration or Trump’s supporters would be launching their own investigation of the Bidens and Ukraine, or whether he supported the ongoing Senate investigation outright. 

But the new documentary is the latest, and starkest, example that Giuliani is leading the way on the renewed effort. He also produced a separate program on Ukraine on the pro-Trump network One America News that aired in December. And he’s been touting his podcast, including an interview with the former Ukrainian diplomat who touched off allegations of corruption against Hunter Biden, Andrii Telizhenko. 

One of the sources, who watched trailers put together to pitch the film, described it as more of a satirical mockumentary, and less serious than Giuliani and Trump’s previous effort to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. 

Giuliani’s earlier bid to investigate the Biden family, which witnesses in the House impeachment probe said was directed by Trump, led to the House charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both Trump and Giuliani have repeatedly denied they tried to coerce an investigation of the Bidens — disputing sworn testimony from government witnesses. 

Two days after the Republican-led Senate acquitted Trump on both charges, the White House removed one witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and his twin brother from the National Security Council. The president also recalled another witness, Gordon Sondland, who gave some of the most stunning testimony of the impeachment probe, from his post as U.S. ambassador to the European Union. 

In the meantime, the Republican pursuit of the Bidens appears to be continuing full speed, even as Joe Biden’s presidential prospects are dimming after a fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Yahoo News reported last week that agencies including the Treasury Department were rapidly turning over documents to Senate Republicans investigating Hunter Biden.

Similarly, Giuliani’s efforts to investigate the Bidens appear to be moving forward. He approached potential investors for the new documentary last month, offering a trip to Ukraine with him and his production team, according to one of the sources familiar with the project. Giuliani jettisoned his old team, including operatives Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, months ago, after they were indicted for funneling foreign money to Republicans. 

Giuliani already has some competition, however. Former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo is out with a documentary called “The Ukraine Hoax,” which repeats many of the same allegations leveled at Hunter Biden for his work with Burisma. 

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