/Ukrainian prosecutor manufactured Biden conspiracy to curry favor with Trump and Giuliani

Ukrainian prosecutor manufactured Biden conspiracy to curry favor with Trump and Giuliani

(FILES) In this file photo Lawyer of the US president Rudy Giuliani looks on before the US president announces his Supreme Court nominee in the East Room of the White House on July 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. - Apparent admissions by Donald Trump's lawyer that the president negotiated a Moscow property deal all through the 2016 election, and that aides may have colluded with Russia, have Washington asking: is Rudy Giuliani going to save Trump or get him impeached? Giuliani, who last year claimed that "truth isn't truth" to explain why Trump shouldn't testify to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia meddling investigation, has confounded political and legal analysts. And his most recent spate of comments to journalists -- some of which gave rise to suspicions of "drunk texting" -- have reportedly frayed his support in the White House. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation”—actual Giuliani quote.

The Ukraine story that Rudy Giuliani has been pushing through the pages of The New York TImes and that Trump and his supporters have been trying to jump-start into a serious scandal is generating some genuine investigation over in Ukraine. But the results of that action aren’t exactly what Giuliani was shooting for, as a Ukrainian lawmaker has accused the top prosecutor at the heart of the story’s anti-Biden claims of simply “manufacturing a conspiracy.”

According to Bloomberg, all the noise Giuliani has been making has drawn attention to the story from Ukrainian officials. But what those officials have found is what was already known before the Times starting acting as a mouthpiece for Giuliani’s latest wild claims: There is no Biden scandal. But there certainly is a Giuliani scandal.

In 2016, then-Vice President Joe Biden went to Ukraine and spoke out against corruption, including calling for the resignation of a particularly notorious prosecutor. According to Giuliani, the reason Biden made this trip was to protect his son Hunter, who was on the board of holding company Burisma, owned by wealthy Ukrainian Mykola Zlochevsky. In the Rudy version, Biden wanted the prosecutor out because he was threatening Zlochevsky, and Zlochevsky was in turn threatening Hunter Biden’s fat board member salary. In reality, the prosecutor was not going after either Zlochevsky or Burisma. In fact, it was the prosecutor’s failure to cooperate with a U.K. case against Zlochevsky that caused Biden to demand his resignation. In other words, Giuliani isn’t just wrong; he has the story completely backwards.

If anything, Biden’s actions could have hurt Zlochevsky or Burisma by bringing in another prosecutor who would choose to conduct an investigation. Which is exactly what happened. Except that investigation found nothing wrong, and Zlochevsky was not charged.

A third prosecutor—the one visited in person by Giuliani—is at the heart of what looks to be a genuine corruption-based scandal. In which Giuliani is the source of the corruption. Giuliani not only made it clear that the U.S. wanted dirt on Biden, but he also connected the prosecutor directly with Donald Trump so that Trump could share his excitement over the idea of setting up Biden. Then the prosecutor drafted a letter to try to generate the scandal that Giuliani requested. Only now that letter itself is being shredded as a genuine hoax.