Giuliani's ties to Ukraine go back to at least 2008 when he did consulting work for Vitaly Klitschko, a former boxer who is now mayor of Kyiv. While he's had other business dealings there over the years, Giuliani said he started focusing on Ukraine's alleged role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as a way of countering special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference.
Parnas, a Trump donor, told the New Yorker earlier this year that he became "good friends" with Giuliani after the 2016 election. The friendship was lucrative for Giuliani, who told Reuters that Parnas' company Fraud Guarantee paid his consulting company Giuliani Partners $500,000 for business and legal advice last year.
Parnas, who was born in Ukraine, told the New Yorker he volunteered to help Giuliani's efforts there. "Because of my Ukrainian background and my contacts there, I became like Rudy's assistant, his investigator," he told the magazine.
Parnas and Fruman, his business partner in another company called Global Energy Producers, had already been agitating against U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Federal prosecutors said they raised money for a congressman in 2018, later identified to NBC News as former Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, in order to push for his help in getting rid of the ambassador.
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DiGenova is a longtime friend of Giuliani's who was the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., while Giuliani was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. DiGenova and his attorney wife, Victoria Toensing, have their own Washington-based law firm, diGenova & Toensing, and are fixtures on Fox News, where they've been staunch defenders of the president.
Trump announced they were joining his legal team in March of last year, but had to pull back the offer because of conflicts of interest involving the Mueller probe. "However, those conflicts do not prevent them from assisting the president in other legal matters," Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said at the time.
As the New York Times and Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the couple, along with Giuliani Partners, had been in negotiations to represent Lutsenko earlier this year.
Giuliani has strong ties to the Turkish government and represented a Turkish-Iranian banker, Reza Zarrab, who was jailed in March 2016 on money laundering charges. Zarrab, who had an office in Trump Tower Istanbul, was close friends with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and had politically damaging information involving a government-run Turkish bank, Halkbank.
In February 2017, Giuliani met with Erdogan in Turkey about the case, and he later met with Trump and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Zarrab as well. He had company at both meetings.
Mukasey, a former prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, worked with Giuliani at a New York City law firm, and the pair remained close over the years even after Mukasey became then-President George W. Bush's attorney general.
Mukasey teamed with Giuliani on the Zarrab case, but their addition to Zarrab's legal team did not sit well with New York prosecutors or the judge presiding over the case. The judge, Richard Berman, accused the men of having conflicts of interest — Mukasey's law firm had represented eight of the banks that were victimized by Zarrab, as had Giuliani's firm. Giuliani's law firm had also served as an "agent" of Turkey, Berman found — but he allowed them to stay on the case because Zarrab had "voluntarily and knowingly" waived the issue.
How far they went to do so became clear recently. While NBC News first reported Mukasey and Giuliani's meeting with Erdogan in 2017, the Washington Post last month reported that Mukasey and Giuliani had also met with Trump in the Oval Office about Zarrab that same year. Trump called Tillerson in to meet with them as well. "The president says, 'Guys, give Rex your pitch,'" a source familiar with the meeting told the paper.
They suggested swapping Zarrab for an American pastor who was in Turkish custody. Tillerson considered the request inappropriate, and later complained to Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, who told him to ignore it, the Post reported.
Zarrab wound up pleading guilty and giving testimony in a related case that was devastating to Erdogan and Halkbank. Federal prosecutors in New York charged Halkbank last month in a multibillion-dollar scheme to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran, and Zarrab is expected to be the star witness at trial.
Kerik, an Army veteran, is a former New York City police officer who once worked on Giuliani's security detail when he was mayor. Giuliani gave Kerik the top job in the city jail system, and in 2000 named him police commissioner. The pair worked side-by-side on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
In 2010, Kerik would be sentenced to four years in prison for offenses including failure to pay taxes and lying to the White House during his scuttled nomination to be Homeland Security chief.
Since his release, he's become an advocate for prison reform. Like diGenova and Toensing, he's also a frequent presence and Trump advocate on Fox News.
Kerik started acting as an adviser in the Gallagher case earlier this year. He helped set up a legal team that included Timothy Parlatore, who's worked for Kerik in the past, and another Giuliani friend: Marc Mukasey.
Mukasey, the son of Michael Mukasey, is a former federal prosecutor who worked with Giuliani at two law firms. Mukasey left the firm Greenberg Traurig earlier this year to start his own firm and quickly landed high-powered clients, representing members of the Trump family and the Trump Foundation in a civil case that had been brought by the New York State Attorney General's office. That case officially settled in early November.
Kerik, Parlatore and Mukasey scored a huge victory over the summer when Gallagher was acquitted of the most serious charges against him. Gallagher was convicted of posing for a picture with the corpse, and the court ordered him to be dropped in rank from chief to petty officer first class. The legal team vowed to fight the rank reduction, too.
Trump became a vocal advocate for Gallagher, both restoring his rank and ordering the Pentagon to drop a planned disciplinary hearing against him that could have resulted in his expulsion from the elite unit.
Kerik celebrated the developments with a picture of him, Mukasey and Gallagher. His "prayers have been answered," Kerik wrote.