This morning's hearings with James Comey should give Roger Stone lots of worries. But let's not forget about Rudy Giuliani, Trump campaign adviser and now cybersecurity liaison for the Trump Administration. (Really.) Rudy has his own history with the Russians and Ukrainians. Yet compared to the numerous other Trump campaign and administration officials, Giuliani has received little attention. At most, he was mentioned briefly when rumors were swirling that he might be Trump's pick for Secretary of State. Since that appointment fizzled, Giuliani seems to have slipped under the Russian-probe radar.
To date, no evidence has surfaced tying Giuliani to the hacking of the 2016 election by the Russians. What does exist are nearly ten years worth of Giuliani's law firms representing Russian and Ukrainian clients. One firm even maintained two offices in Kazakhstan, a former member of the U.S.S.R. In the U.S., he partnered with a firm that represented Russian and Ukrainian clients in a real estate venture. And in a strange twist of fate, Giuliani represented a Ukrainian politician that opposed another of Trump's adviser's clients, Paul Manafort's Victor Yanukovych.
Giuliani Partners LLC was established in 2002 as a management and security consulting firm. In 2008, they started to focus on oil and gas by partnering with Triglobal Strategic Ventures. In 2005, Giuliani joined Bracewell Giuliani, LLP of Houston, TX and worked at both firms. Bracewell opened offices in Kazakhstan in 1997 to meet their oil and gas clients' demands, well before Giuliani became a partner in the firm. They represented many of the major American oil companies, and Bracewell Giuliani eventually played a pivotal role in Kazakhstan's economic growth by developing their stock exchange and banking system. Giuliani left Bracewell Giuliani in 2016.
Triglobal Strategic Ventures (TGSV)
Founded in 2003, TGSV is an international venture capital firm specializing in business consulting for firms in Russia and the Ukraine. Their offices are located in Moscow, Kiev, Zurich, London and New York City. Their Russian client list includes TransNeft, an oil transport company that maintains the largest oil pipeline in the world, Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK), RosBusinessConsulting and private investor Sistenna. Adrey Dobyshev, a TGSV partner is listed as a board member of MMK. Additional clients include KAZ Energy, a Kazakhstan oil company that partners with foreign oil companies to include secretary of state Rex Tillerson's Exxon Mobil, and SCM Holdings, a Ukrainian diversified business dealing in metals, mining, energy, fiance, media, real estate and anything else they can make money on.
TGSV's New York City office president Vitaly Pruss stated that,
In 2008, Giuliani Partners teamed up with TGSV managing partner, Jeffrey Berman, through his company Berman Enterprises to create Berman Enterprises Opportunity Fund. This fund assisted wealthy foreign clients in investing in American real estate, specifically in New York City and Miami, FL.
Giuliani meetings with Russian and Ukrainian clients
According to the TGSV website, Giuliani was present at the following venues:
- 2004 - Giuliani met with Yuri Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow and Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister. Reportedly other Russian businessmen and politicians were present.
- 2004 - visited Magnitogorsk, Russia and the MMK Iron and Steel plant represented by TGSV. There he met with MMK board chairman, Victor Rashnikov and other executives.
- 2005 - executives of MMK visited New York and D.C. meeting with Giuliani and former president Bill Clinton. For photos click here.
- 2006 - Giuliani attended the 10th annual International Russian Economic Forum hosted by Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Lenexpo Exhibition in St. Petersburg, Russia from July 13th to the 15th.
- 2008 - visited Kiev, Ukraine to support Vitali Klitschko for mayor of Kiev. Giuliani visited the National Technical University Kiev Polytechnic Institute. For photos click here.
- 2008 - Klitschko visited New York City and held a press conference with Giuliani at the television studios of NASDAQ. For photos click here and here.
- 2015 - Giuliani met with Klitschko again in New York City. Klitschko was then mayor of Kiev and leader of the UDAR Party in Ukraine. The meeting took place at Bracewell Giuliani, LLP (another law firm). Reportedly, they "discussed the economic situation in Ukraine and Kiev in particular, focusing on anti-corruption measures." For photos click here.
Klitschko is currently mayor of Kiev, Ukraine. He is also the leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance Reform Party (UDAR). He led protests against Paul Manafort's client, Victor
Yanukovych and called for an end to his criminal reign. Klitschko is even in favor of Ukraine joining the European Union. He hired Giuliani to assist in reforming Ukraine's corrupt political and business environment. Giuliani stated,
"My team and I will be advising Vital Klitschko and hist team on how to turn Kiev around by reforming government. He understands that reform and transparency are critical to attracting international business and sustainable economic development for his city."
On the surface, none of these business relations appear to involve any criminal actions. However, with the amount of Trump campaign and administrative officials having suspicious ties to Russians and Ukrainians and the Russian hacking with the intent to get Trump elected, we should better scrutinize Giuliani's contacts as well. One of many searing questions is, Did the 2008 Giuliani Partner's merger with Berman Enterprises (helping wealthy foreign clients buy real estate in New York City and Miami) facilitate any Russian or Ukrainian oligarchs in buying Trump real estate?
Guiliani's heavy-handed and racist law enforcement policies, his ties to the New York FBI offices (source of much anti-Clinton sentiment in the Bureau), and his links with ex-con Bernie Kurik prove Rudy was never a proponent of transparent and ethical government.
Giuliani and Trump are made for each other. The media should keep their eyes on the former mayor and follow the money, as it's not clear the FBI, certainly in New York City, will.