Scott Brady Checked In on Investigations into All of Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian Oligarchs

In Lev Parnas’ letter to James Comer laying out how Rudy Giuliani was shopping for Hunter Biden dirt just like the laptop he eventually got, he described reaching out to three different Ukrainian Oligarchs for help getting dirt on Joe Biden.

First, Ihor Kolomoyskyi:

I was tasked in April 2019 to go to Ukraine and get in contact with Zelenskyy. Yet my attempts to contact him were consistently blocked by Ihor Kolomoyskyi, a Ukrainian oligarch who was backing Zelenskyy financially. Eventually I flew to Israel, where Kolomoyskyi was living in exile, and explained Giuliani and Trump’s stance on the matter and why we needed Zelenskyy to commence an investigation into the Bidens. Giuliani had also instructed me to tell Kolomoyskyi that he would help with his legal problems in the U.S. if he would help us with Zelenskyy.


On May 13th, Ukrainian officials got confirmation from the U.S. that Mike Pence would not attend Zelenskyy’s inauguration, which caused turmoil inside the Ukrainian government. They didn’t want their people to realize that the U.S. were essentially pulling out of its promise to provide aid. When Kolomoyskyi found out, he returned to Ukraine, and was furious about the situation. He went to the media, calling Fruman and me grifters, stating that we were trying to force Zelenskyy to do unethical things, and threatening our lives. On his end, Giuliani then began sending bullying and threatening messages to Zelenskyy on Twitter and disparaging him on FOX News. He would question Zelenskyy’s power as president, he would insist that Zelenskyy arrest Kolomoyskyi immediately, and repeat that Zelenskyy’s inner circle was comprised of Trump’s enemies, among other such statements. [my emphasis]

Then, Dmitry Firtash:

The problem was that Firtash would prove nearly impossible to contact. He was also facing a serious extradition case to the U.S. for a number of bribery, racketeering and other charges since 2014. Solomon and Giuliani put together a package of documents regarding confidential information in Firtash’s case, and had me travel to Vienna in June 2019 to meet with Firtash, letting him know that Giuliani and our whole team were serious and that we could help him if he helped us. From June until the time of my arrest in October 2019, we had ongoing communications with Firtash.

In a meeting with the BLT Team, Solomon relayed to Giuliani that he had information that Robert Mueller’s lead prosecutor Andrew Weissman offered Firtash a deal to cancel his extradition if he would testify against Trump and Putin. Firtash didn’t want to get involved with the Biden versus Trump situation, but was open to helping us with Mueller’s investigations into Trump. Thereafter, as I became an interpreter between Firtash’s new legal team and Firtash, most of the conversations in which I participated were potentially privileged; however, I believe this information may be made available to the House Oversight Committee through a Congressional subpoena.

But the true purpose of dangling this carrot in front of Firtash was to get him to use his contacts to pressure Zlochevsky to cooperate with the BLT Team. Eventually, Giuliani proposed a $1 million contract to represent Firtash. Later, similar to the Lutsenko situation, he took it back and had Firtash sign a contract with Victoria Toensing. Giuliani, however, would continue to oversee everything and remain in charge of matters related to Firtash. Then later Giuliani and Toensing had several phone calls that I was privy to with Bill Barr, leading to an unofficial meeting in the lobby at the Trump International Hotel, and then an official meeting at the Department of Justice.  [my emphasis]

Finally, Mykola Zlochevsky:

Giuliani continued the simultaneous efforts to reach Zlochevsky through Firtash and Pruss. I specifically recall that Giuliani told me to tell Pruss to pressure Zlochevsky by saying that he could be “an enemy or a friend of Trump.” At a meeting of the BLT Team, Giuliani and Solomon came up with a series of 12-14 questions about the Bidens that we would propose to Zlochevsky. Eventually, we managed to get Zlochevsky’s answers back. But his answers gave us nothing – because there was nothing. On reading Zlochevsky’s reply, Giuliani turned red and yelled, “What is this shit? This is bullshit. Make sure nobody sees this. Bury this.”

I will remind you that Zlochevsky’s answers are in the report that the House Oversight Committee published.

Parnas described that Rudy explicitly traded legal relief for Kolomoyskyi and Firtash in the letter. He told Politico in 2020 that Zlochevsky had offered up dirt if Rudy could curry favor at DOJ for him.

[T]he Burisma founder had the allegedly derogatory information and was willing to give it to Giuliani if he could help the oligarch curry favor with the Justice Department.

Three Oligarchs, three discussions about intervening with DOJ.

That’s important background to Scott Brady’s discussion of his interactions with other US Attorneys in his role purportedly “vetting” information he didn’t (at least as he described with the FD-1023 involving Zlochevsky) vet all that thoroughly.

Brady described checking in with the Chicago US Attorney, where the Dmitry Firtash investigation is. He described discussing the PrivatBank investigation into Kolomoyskyi with the US Attorney for Cleveland; the PrivatBank investigation out of Cleveland has gone on to seize a number of properties around the US, starting in August 2020 (though the US Attorney’s Office for MDFL filed those 2020 seizures).

Q What other U.S. attorney’s offices did you have contact with?

A Northern District of Illinois, and Northern District of Ohio.

Q And did you give briefings to the Northern District of Illinois and the Northern District of Ohio?

A No. As part of our initial tasking and Mr. Donoghue’s role as kind of quarterback or air traffic controller for all Ukraine investigations, there was an investigation in the Northern District of Illinois. So I spoke with the U.S. District Attorney, talked with him about what we were tasked with doing, what I believed the scope of that to be, asked him if that intersected at all with his case and investigation. He said: No. And so we had no further interaction. The Northern District of Ohio had a — it’s public an investigation into PrivatBank and Mr. Kolomoisky for a series of activities that were occurring in the Northern District of Ohio and elsewhere. There was some interaction with PrivatBank in this case. And so I wanted to, again, do the same thing, talk with the U.S. attorney, say: Here’s what we’re looking at. Here’s where PrivatBank plays a role in this. And does this intersect with yours? And we determined that it did not. And so, didn’t have any followup communications with them

Q And did you provide any sort of report or product to the PADAG regarding this information?

A This information, meaning ND Illinois and ND Ohio?

Q Correct. Correct.

A I don’t know that it would have been written, but I certainly would have apprised him, that yes, I talked with ND Illinois, you know, no intersection. Talked with, you know, Justin in the Northern District of Ohio. We talked about PrivatBank. Theirs is separate from what we’re looking at. As I mentioned, all of our work with SDNY, EDNY and the District of Delaware was summarized in our final report and recommendations to Mr. Donoghue. I think we sent that in September.

Q And did you have an understanding whether the Northern District of Illinois or the Northern District of Ohio had grand jury investigations regarding the information you were passing along?

A They did. That’s why I spoke with them.

Q And, for the FBI, I know we’ve spoken about the FBI Pittsburgh Field Office, the Baltimore Field Office, the Washington Field Office. Were there any other field offices that your office communicated with regarding your task?

A New York. The New York Field Office, which supported both EDNY and SDNY.

As a reminder, Brady effectively quizzed both SDNY and Delaware about where their investigations into Rudy and Hunter Biden. He told Geoffrey Berman he was wrong in the former and obtained interrogatories about the Hunter Biden investigation from David Weiss’ prosecutors.

These other conversations would have given him visibility into the investigations into the Oligarch who refused to help Rudy, Kolomoyskyi, and the one, Firtash, who was offering dirt when Parnas was arrested.

Unlike the vetting he purported to do — which he reported to Richard Donoghue in September 2020 — the results of Brady’s discussions with those US Attorneys did not get committed to a written report.

As to his interaction with DC, where — if we’re to believe Chuck Grassley — a kleptocracy investigation into Zlochevksy opened in 2016 had just been shut down in December 2019, even as Republicans defended Trump by raising the grave risk of Hunter Biden’s association with Zlochevsky, Brady described interacting just with the FBI Field Office, not the US Attorney’s Office. And even there, just to obtain the 2017 FD-1023 that made one reference to Hunter Biden.

And did you have any communications with the Washington Field Office of the FBI?

A Yes.

Q And how many communications did you have with the Washington Field Office?

A They were limited. So headquarters versus Washington Field Office, our interaction with the Washington Field Office related to the underlying 1023 that predated this one that we looked at and then gave rise to our request to reinterview the CHS in the June 2020 1023.

Q And so did the underlying 1023, did that come from the Washington Field Office? Was that why there was interaction?

A Yes.

Q Who did you interact with at the WFO?

A I don’t remember. It would have been my AUSAs, I think, that were interacting with AUSAs and Pittsburgh special agents that were interacting with special agents from WFO.

Q Were there any other interactions that occurred between your office and the WFO?

A Not that I recall.

You can be an enemy or a friend of Donald Trump, Parnas claims Rudy told Zlochevsky.

And less than a month after Rudy obtained dirt from an alleged Russian agent, Andrii Derkach, the guy representing the President seemed to be able to deliver on such promises.

Update: This may be an entirely minor point, or maybe not. In John Paul Mac Isaac’s book, he describes a moment where he prints out a bunch of documents while waiting for the FBI to arrive the first time. Among the things he claims to print out are emails mention Kolomoyskyi. There are only two, at least transliterated that way. One, a polling report. And the other a discussion about how to answer questions from James Risen. Here’s how Vadym responded:

Do I get it right that they are asking wether Igor Kolomoyskyi ever started and then sold a company to NZ?
This is a well spread absurdity! that keep being repeated.
We may use this opportunity to stay firmly that that person does not have and never had any relationship to Buri[s]ma.
Similarly, he suggests Hunter was in email threads with Zlochevsky — who doesn’t show up on these.
33 replies
  1. Maureen A Donnelly says:

    So much of what is happening now happened then. I first learned the name Firtash because of Allison Gills’s drill down into the Mueller investigations (i’d love another episode of MSW with you as a guest). Why is Victoria still walking about given her play in the games? There are so many skanky characters from the Crossfire Hurricane days still out there making news. White collar crime plays differently. I’m very grateful to the hard work you are doing to keep us informed of the phuckery on steroids. It’s like doing work for a dissertation or a major review. Enjoy the weekend while Rome burns and Big Jim is sniffing pics of dicks.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username, email address, AND URL each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is the second time within two days you have added an “s” to “(twitter)” in the URL field. Last time I revised it without notice; this time I need to bring this to your attention because we don’t have time for this and a future comment system update will simply block typos like this from publishing. /~Rayne]

    • Namaste_MF says:

      From the first link, a very simple thing is to ask Pence why he didn’t go to Ukraine, right?

      Pull the obvious, public, threads.

    • obsessed says:

      I would dearly love to hear the thoughts of the legal experts here about Abbe Lowell, lawyer to a wide range of notorious figures across the political spectrum (Hunter, Menéndez, Kushner, Abramoff, Rove, Keating, Edwards … ):

      How do you imagine his personality? Does he see himself as a master chess player, able to ignore his own political leanings and moral compass in service to the ideal that even the most guilty are entitled to good representation? Or is he just interested in increasing his (reported $100M) net worth? Is he really as good as his impressive record of acquittals and non-indictments would indicate? How close is he cutting it in terms of representing so many people who are enemies of each other? How close is he cutting it in terms of his own legality? If you were a guilty politician and had your choice of any attorney, how high would Lowell (and Terwilliger) be on your wish list?

      • scroogemcduck says:

        He’s a professional. He wants to do best by his client, within the bounds of professional ethics, and he’s very good at his job.

  2. Patrick G. says:

    Great work as always Marcy! Quick question: is the Solomon mentioned in the testimony John Solomon, the “journalist”?

  3. Upisdown says:

    I wasn’t sure what “the BLT Team” was, so I went back and re-read the Parnas letter. (It is full of amazing stuff, especially when you consider how the current debate centers around the semantics of what constitutes authority to bring charges.)

    If anyone is not up to speed on that term, here’s the juicy “BLT” part:

    Arriving back in the States, I began a series of regular meetings at the Trump International Hotel with Giuliani and what I later called the “BLT Team,” because we always met at the BLT Steak restaurant in the hotel. The BLT Team included Toensing, DiGenova, and John Solomon, an investigative reporter who was then working for The Hill and had many contacts at FOX News and the State Department, as well as having Trump on his speed dial. Solomon gave us information at the meetings that he said various sources had shared with him about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine. Giuliani tasked me with traveling to Ukraine throughout March, April, and May 2019 to interview different people who had promised to give us information and evidence including records of bribes, bank records, and incriminating tapes.

      • bmaz says:

        There was one here, and it was actually very good, if a little pricy. Not sure it is still around though. looks like it closed well before Covid even.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      John Solomon an “investigative reporter”–right up there with Woodward and Bernstein! Ida B. Wells, even!

      Seriously, upisdown, thank you for the backstory on this. It is even dirtier and more crime-adjacent than I imagined.

      • Upisdown says:

        Thanks go to EW for linking the Parnas letter. It gets much worse than the sample I quoted. Open her link and search the document for “BLT”. You will find the involvement of Devin Nunes, Ron Johnson, and Fox News in this sordid story.

    • dadidoc1 says:

      This seems to imply that John Solomon was working as an embedded ‘journalist’ in a criminal conspiracy.

    • ernesto1581 says:

      and the ten-page letter ends with:

      “”The truth is that everyone, from Giuliani and the BLT Team to Devin Nunes and his colleagues, to the people at FOX News, knew that these allegations against the Bidens were false. There has never been any factual evidence, only conspiracy theories spread by people who knew exactly what they were doing.”

      just in case you had any doubt.

  4. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Every time I see the BLT acronym, I stop to wonder, isn’t that the moniker for a famous serial killer? Then I remember: that was BTK. But the similarities really are telling.

  5. Konny_2022 says:

    OT, re DC criminal case: Trump’s Friday filing in support of the media in their claim for a televised trial is now available at CourtListener:

    He wants a show trial, where he can present all the evidence he hasn’t presented during the past three years, so that the American public can “hear all the evidence regarding an election that President Trump believes was rigged and stolen.”

    The quote is from the last sentence of that filing.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Federal courts are created and maintained at great public expense in order to resolve a plethora of criminal and civil matters. They have no obligation to provide a political platform for a candidate for public office who claims – despite ALL evidence to the contrary – that his election loss was rigged. After all, his acting on his lies and persuading others to do so is why he faces civil and criminal charges in state and federal courts.

    • scroogemcduck says:

      They spelled that wrong. A very stable genius told me that the correct spelling is “RIGGED AND STOLLEN”, with obligatory use of all caps.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      And of course it’s total BS, an attempt to prep a defense that if he really believed the election was stollen [sic], then he lacked mens rea and therefore is not guilty of anything. Not sure if that defense really fits with the other defense Trump has floated – that he’s not guilty because his lawyers told him he could do it.

  6. DinnerAtAntoine’s says:

    Thank you for all this, it’s endlessly fascinating & such hard work which btw no one else seems willing to do.

    But a question I have is that the dirt at issue in the 1023 comes from a supposed informant who says the information comes from Zlochevsky. It seems to me it’s possible this CHS – whom Republicans have variously described as some kind of executive- who might have been the one under pressure to deal disinformation. Just a thought, many thanks.

    • emptywheel says:

      Russia has serially compromised FBI’s lists of informants: in 2010, in 2015, and probably around this time period (at least three of the people they used in the election year interference were one-time FBI informants). Plus, Trump obviously had a way to access this information. So I think it likely RU knew that he was an informant, possibly even that he had informed on Zlochevsky.

      I think there’s a non-zero possibility it’s the same informant that Jonathan Buma ran. That guy was pitched by 2 Ukrainians — Ukrainians who were pitching the same stuff Rudy was — in January 2019. Then in June 2019, the White House asked for his ID:

      On June 26, 2019, I recieved request for any/all known information related to the true name of my most sensitive confidential source, DYNAMO. This request for information originated from the White House/Special Events/Intelligence Agencies national name check program, which was sent to me through the FBI New York Field Office (NYFO). Ostensibly, the purpose or this request was to vet DYNAMO’s attendance at special event, To me this appeared to be an attempt to discover if DYNAMO was an FB recruited source. This was deep concern for me, since DYNAMO had direct access to and had reported on individuals connected to the White House related to the Special Counsel investigation. I later learned DYNAMO had taken ROLLIE and THE ECONOMIST to a special event, during which time ROLLIE gave the same thumb drive with derogatory information on it concerning Burisma to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Pompeo).

      DYNAMO was ultimately shut down in 2022 — Tho Buma complains about it, everything he says is consistent with Buma being shut down for being IDed by Russia.

      Again, this is just a hunch, but one that would explain a lot of things.

  7. zscoreUSA says:

    Shortly after/in midst of this period of time, Buzzfeed reports on 3/19/20 that a US federal grand jury in Cleveland has been investigating Kolomoisky for money laundering billions pilfered from PrivatBank.

    US federal agents (FBI?) went in Feb 2020 to Ukraine and “met with [Prosecutor General] Riaboshapka and investigators from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau”. Riaboshapko will be fired shortly on 3/5/20 by Zelensky’s party in Parliament, only arriving in office 8/29/19.

    Daily Beast originally reported 4/7/19 that Kolomoisky was under FBI investigation in Northern Ohio.

  8. zscoreUSA says:

    Re: update Mac Isaac printing Kolomoisky related emails before FBI interview

    I think that is a good point. Interestingly, Mac Isaac also writes about how horrible Kolomoisky is and how amazing Poroshenko is, a real “reformer” who wants to cleanup corruption. Like Mac Isaac is an international affairs analyst. Interesting in what messaging Mac Isaac is putting out there.

    And interesting that Vadym replied Kolomoisky never had anything to do with Burisma, while Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center reported in 2012 that through investigation Kolomoisky was the true owner of Burisma.

    FWIW, Hunter does not mention Kolomoisky once in Beautiful Things. And describes Zlochevsky as wonky and focused on energy operations.

  9. JAFO_NAL says:

    Oleksandr Dubinsky has been arrested for treason in Ukraine.

    “In October and November 2019, Dubinsky and Derkach gave several press conferences in Kyiv at which they claimed that based on an investigation by Kulyk, they had uncovered corruption and money-laundering schemes related to Burisma, a gas company which had future U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on its board of directors.”

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