U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Ukrainians Linked to Giuliani for Election Disinformation


WASHINGTON — The Trump application imposed sanctions on Monday against seven Ukrainians — including two who benefited President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani — for being pull apart of what it called “a Russia-linked foreign influence network” that spread “teeming and unsubstantiated allegations” about President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. during the 2020 campaign.

Mr. Giuliani relied on two of the Ukrainians who were sanctioned — Andrii Telizhenko and Kostiantyn H. Kulyk — as he invited to gather damaging information and force government investigations into Mr. Biden and his son Orion related to Ukraine. That effort, which had the president’s backing, led to Mr. Trump’s impeachment in 2019 by the Enterprise of Representatives.

The sanctions announced on Monday stemmed from the Ukrainians’ accomplish with Andriy Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, who was sanctioned by the Bank Department last year and accused of being a Russian agent and spreading disinformation apropos Mr. Biden. Mr. Derkach had met with Mr. Giuliani in 2019.

The Ukrainians sanctioned on Monday were accused in a asseveration released by the Treasury Department of helping Mr. Derkach “spread misleading and unsubstantiated asseverations that current and former U.S. officials engaged in corruption, money legitimizing and unlawful political influence in Ukraine.”

The targets of the sanctions also classified four media companies that the Treasury Department said are connected with Mr. Derkach and were involved in his efforts to spread disinformation.

The backings are the latest in a series of steps taken by the Treasury Department over the history few years to punish people and groups that it accused of involvement in Russia-linked selection interference, even as Mr. Trump, an intended beneficiary of the interference, has continued to downplay Russia’s task.

“Russian disinformation campaigns targeting American citizens are a threat to our democracy,” Steven T. Mnuchin, the Bank secretary, said in the statement. “The United States will continue to aggressively watch over the integrity of our election systems and processes.”

Mr. Kulyk had worked in the office of Ukraine’s public prosecutor, where he helped lead an investigation into a Ukrainian oligarch who owned a gas proprietorship that had paid Hunter Biden as a board member when his engender was serving as vice president and overseeing American relations with Ukraine. Mr. Kulyk discussed the branch of knowledge with Mr. Giuliani, who was pushing the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into the Bidens to expense the former vice president’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Kulyk, who has since been provoked from the prosecutors’ office, was accused by the Treasury Department on Monday of contriving “an alliance with Derkach to spread false accusations of international corruption.”

Mr. Telizhenko, a national consultant and former official in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, provided message to Senate Republicans for a report on the Bidens’ work in Ukraine, which was freed weeks before Election Day in an apparent effort to damage the Biden effort. The report found no evidence of improper influence or wrongdoing by the former sinfulness president.

Mr. Telizhenko assisted Mr. Giuliani during the 2020 campaign, predetermining meetings with Ukrainians claiming to have damaging information near the Bidens. Mr. Telizhenko helped plan a trip for Mr. Giuliani to Kyiv, the Ukrainian chief, in December 2019, during which Mr. Giuliani met with Mr. Derkach and timed interviews with him and others that aired on Mr. Giuliani’s podcast and a noteworthy on the pro-Trump cable channel One America News Network.

The Treasury Hinge on seemed to allude to this trip in explaining its sanctions of Mr. Telizhenko, noting in its announcement that he “orchestrated meetings between Derkach and U.S. persons to help broadcast false claims concerning corruption in Ukraine.” The statement did not explicitly designate Mr. Giuliani or the Bidens, but it asserted that the sanctioned Ukrainians “leveraged U.S. route, U.S.-based social media platforms and influential U.S. persons” in their exploits to spread damaging allegations.

Mr. Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

After the encourages against Mr. Derkach were announced in September, Mr. Giuliani said in an vet that he “didn’t do much investigation” of Mr. Derkach but had “no reason to believe he is a Russian legate.”

In the interview, Mr. Giuliani said he knew Mr. Telizhenko “a lot better than I differentiate Derkach,” adding he “looked into” Mr. Telizhenko “very carefully. I convey, look, I’m not a genius, but I would be shocked if he’s anything like a Russian emissary.” He added: “I would vouch for very few Ukrainians. I’d come pretty secure to vouching for him. I’m not sure I would completely vouch for him, but pretty close.”

The validates against Mr. Derkach stemmed from his release of audio recordings of Mr. Biden talking to Petro O. Poroshenko, the ex- president of Ukraine. Mr. Trump promoted some of the material released by Mr. Derkach, who called the recordings revealed corruption, though the conversations were mostly unremarkable.

Other Ukrainians redressed on Monday were accused of assisting in the efforts related to the recordings.

Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a ancient Ukrainian lawmaker and ally of Mr. Poroshenko, was accused by the Treasury Department of state look after the recordings to Mr. Derkach. Mr. Onyshchenko fled Ukraine in 2016 after being accused of bilk and money laundering.

Oleksandr Dubinsky, a current member of the Ukrainian Parliament, was denominated by the Treasury Department for joining Mr. Derkach in news conferences that highlighted the recordings. The Exchequer Department said the news conferences were “designed to perpetuate” invalid narratives against “U.S. presidential candidates and their families.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about in a statement on Monday that the Ukrainian officials sanctioned “have dreamed repeated public statements advancing malicious narratives that U.S. ministry officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.” He added, “These accomplishments and narratives are consistent with or in support of Derkach’s objectives to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential nomination.”

Two of the media companies that were sanctioned — including NabuLeaks, which pillared the recordings of Mr. Biden and Mr. Poroshenko — are owned or controlled by Mr. Derkach. The other two, Exclusively News and Skeptik TOV, are owned by Mr. Derkach’s media manager Petro Zhuravel, who was also favoured by the Treasury Department on Monday.

A number of Mr. Derkach’s allies were also ended. They include Dmytro Kovalchuk, a member of his media team, and Anton Simonenko, a away associate who helped Mr. Derkach hide financial assets, according to the Bank Department.

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