Artemenko had a close-up shot of Giuliani’s work with Ukrainian officials and activists – an activity that appears to be central to the FBI’s investigation into the former mayor. His comments in support of the FBI when the office seized materials from Giuliani himself and from another lawyer, Victoria Toensing, who was also involved in the Ukraine project.
FBI agents applied for permission to search Giuliani’s apartment last summer, but DOJ headquarters officials did not give the go-ahead for the move as the rules restricted some steps ahead of the election. On Wednesday, FBI agents ransacked Giuliani’s home and separately picked up Toensing’s phone.
Artemenko first attracted a lot of attention in the US when the New York Times reported that he had presented Trump’s attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, with a draft peace plan between Ukraine and Russia. The plan allegedly leased the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula to Russia for up to 100 years. The Supreme Prosecutor of Ukraine said the plan was treacherous, and in 2017 The then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stripped Artemenko of his citizenshipas reported by RFE / RL.
In the years since then, Artemenko has remained associated with Trump World and went into business with Erik Prince. He also registered as a lobbyist for Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian politician who the US government later sanctioned for disrupting the election. When Artemenko dropped Derkach as a client, he told POLITICO that he was “working fully with US law enforcement agencies,” but did not specify what matters.
Artemenko also played a prominent role in a documentary series that’s what Giuliani put together with pro-Trump TV channel One America News. The network billed Giuliani’s documentary to expose the “impeachment narrative” of Trump and Ukraine. In one episode, Artemenko accused American diplomats in Ukraine of corruption.
“You serve the Democrats,” he said. “You serve Lord Soros.”
The FBI’s investigation into Giuliani appears to be centered on his Ukraine-related work. As the personal attorney for then-President Donald Trump, Giuliani attempted to find incriminating material about the son of then-candidate Joe Biden, Hunter Biden. Simultaneously with these efforts, Trump officials signaled to the Ukrainian president that the US would withhold military aid unless it was announced that Ukraine would investigate Biden’s son. The news of this development triggered the first impeachment against Trump.
During his efforts to find compromising material on Hunter Biden, Giuliani worked with a variety of American and Ukrainian activists who have since found themselves in legal trouble. The US Treasury Department has sanctioned Andrii Telizhenko and Andrii Derkach, former Ukrainian diplomat and member of the Ukrainian Parliament. The Treasury Department accused both men of meddling in the US election. The Justice Department has charged two of Giuliani’s former employees, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with financial crimes.