GOP pays Rudy Giuliani Associates in Ukraine
As the Justice Department’s investigation into Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian relations continues, the Republican Party ignores the controversy and spends tens of thousands of dollars on a curious couple: a husband-and-wife team of his associates who have played a key role in its so-called efforts. meddle in the 2020 presidential election.
The Republican National Committee paid $ 20,000 last month to DiGenova & Toensing LLP, a law firm run by two longtime GOP insiders who are married: Joe DiGenova and Victoria Toensing.
According to campaign funding report that the RNC filed on Friday, the $ 20,000 was for “legal and compliance services,” and it was released on July 12, just days after the DC Court of Appeals suspended Giuliani’s license for practice law in the city.
The RNC has never paid the company before, according to Federal Election Commission records. And while Toensing is an influential GOP lawyer with close ties to Washington, her cabinet has not engaged in much official political work. The RNC’s single check for $ 20,000 actually exceeded the store’s combined total of political payments since 2006, federal records show.
It is of course perfectly legal for the RNC to remunerate this law firm. But it comes at a time when the GOP and former President Donald Trump appear to have almost abandoned Giuliani, as well as anyone else involved in the former New York mayor’s alleged foreign influence agenda.
This regime would henceforth be at the center of a Giuliani investigation underway, and the probe would have swept Toensing and DiGenova.
Toensing, a former senior Justice Department official herself, was the subject of a search warrant in April when federal agents seized her phone during a raid on her DC home. A previous “secret warrant” reportedly picked up other communications via iCloud accounts belonging to Giuliani and Toensing.
“They went through this information for a year and a half without telling us or Victoria Toensing,” Giuliani’s lawyer Mark Costello told The Daily Beast after the raids.
Lawyers for Toensing initially resisted government efforts to review evidence through a “special master,” littering prosecutors with complaints about solicitor-client privilege. These negotiations may have saved Giuliani time. But in a court deposit last week, Toensing suddenly gave up on the process.
Toensing and DiGenova also play a role in Giuliani’s post-election court challenges, and they were at the heart of efforts to get Ukraine to open an investigation into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Specifically, the lawyers represented Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who offered to help Giuliani take down the Bidens.
Firtash, who lives in Austria as he escapes extradition to the United States for corruption, is said to have collaborated in 2019 with Giuliani and former partner Lev Parnas to dig up the dirt on then-candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Toensing and DiGenova reportedly joined the effort this spring, with Firtash hire them in june. In doing so, they replaced former lawyer Lanny Davis, who had registered as a foreign agent for the work.
The following month, the husband and wife team met then Attorney General Bill Barr in an attempt to quash the indictment against Firtash. For their problem, Firstash paid Toensing and DiGenova up to $ 1 million. In September 2019, about a month before Parnas’ arrest for campaign finance, a lawyer for Firtash wired $ 1 million into a bank account belonging to Parnas ‘wife, which Parnas’ lawyer claimed at the time to be a mortgage.
Giuliani, meanwhile, claims he worked for Trump for free, which may be part of why Giuliani says he’s broke.
The former mayor has defended himself on several legal fronts, from civil lawsuits related to his post-election litigation efforts to the federal inquiry into his work with foreign clients in Turkey and Ukraine. And the accompanying financial pressure has created divisions between Giuliani’s camp and the entourage of former President Trump, with The New York Times report in May that Giuliani’s allies pressured the Trump campaign to draw on its war chest on behalf of its old friend.
While Toensing is apparently raking with the GOP, she herself hasn’t been much in financial aid for the party. In total, Toensing has donated $ 1,025 since Trump’s election, according to FEC records, and she has never given to Trump himself. In early January, she donated $ 250 to the Senate Conservatives Fund. The group repaid the money a week later, according to federal records.
The Daily Beast contacted the RNC, DiGenova, Toensing and a spokesperson for Giuliani for this article, but received no comment from anyone.