The president’s personal lawyer has been working closely with “an active Russian agent” trying to smear the president’s chief political rival.
That’s the conclusion of the U.S. Treasury Department, which sanctioned on Thursday one of Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian allies for interference in the upcoming U.S. elections. Andriy Derkach worked closely with Giuliani—and with the Trump-friendly cable network, OANN—to push accusations of political misconduct against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Derkach, a member of Kyiv’s parliament and son of a former KGB officer, has also been supplying documents to Republicans on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is conducting an election-eve investigation into the Bidens.
Derkach—described by the Treasury Department as “an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services”—stands accused of orchestrating a “covert influence campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives” about the Bidens via “edited audio tapes and other unsupported information,” which launched “corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States designed to culminate prior to election day.”
As The Daily Beast previously reported, Derkach has been cozying up to team Trump for months—meeting with Giuliani in Kyiv in December of last year to push the conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election. (That’s “a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services,” Fiona Hill, Trump’s former top aide for Russia policy, told Congress.)
Nevertheless, Trump’s media allies have been quick to run with Derkach’s claims. [Continue reading…]