The former Ukrainian diplomat at the center of far-fetched Republican claims that Kiev and not Moscow intervened in the 2016 presidential race has been formally sanctioned by the US Treasury Department.
Andrii Telizhenko covers a network of stories that have been echoed with enthusiasm by Trump supporters, including his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who used his alleged evidence to attempt to criticize President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, before the 2020 elections.
The Treasury accused him of “being part of a network of foreign influence linked to Russia” on Monday. Interestingly, the US government has also chosen to officially declare Trump’s beloved Ukraine scandals “false.”
Telizhenko tried to distance himself from former Russian collaborator and well-known Russian agent Andriy Derkach in an interview with the Daily Beast last September after Derkach himself was sanctioned.
“I never liked Derkach, I didn’t know much about his origins,” Telizhenko told the Daily Beast. “The American intelligence services must have found solid evidence on the past of this man. I’m sure anyone who knows Derkach isn’t surprised to hear about the sanctions. “
Telizhenko’s efforts to show that he was not close to the Kremlin’s assets obviously did not deter the US Treasury from pursuing him as well.
Giuliani’s unofficial Ukrainian intelligence operation, which included a ploy to prove it wasn’t Putin who intervened in 2016, ultimately resulted in his client, President Trump, being impeached by the House of Representatives. The Senate voted not to condemn him, but recriminations from Giuliani’s mission to Kiev saw the three men turn around.
Earlier in the year, they had seemed close. Giuliani interviewed Derkach and Telizhenko on his “Common Sense” YouTube video series, which purported to reveal the truth about the Bidens. Telizhenko even recorded a voiceover at Giuliani’s request for the segment with Derkach.
The three, who had met in Ukraine, also appeared in a One America News (OAN) documentary that sought to refute the Trump Russia hoax in 2019.
Telizhenko, who worked at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington for six months in 2015 and 2016, also provided information to other pro-Trump figures. The Daily Beast reported in November 2016 that it had met Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), one of Trump’s most outspoken advocates in Congress.
The former diplomat told the Daily Beast he also provided evidence on the so-called Ukraine scandal for Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) investigation which was purported to be a bombshell that would hurt Joe’s prospects Biden.
The Treasury statement said: “Telizhenko, a former low-level Ukrainian diplomat, orchestrated meetings between Derkach and Americans to help propagate false allegations about corruption in Ukraine.”
Other former Ukrainian government officials Konstantin Kulyk, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and current Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinsky have also been sanctioned for their ties to Derkach and his influence operation in the Kremlin.
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