Andrii Artemenko made a star turn in Rudy Giuliani’s controversial Ukraine documentary and once tried to pitch the Trump administration on a plan for peace between Moscow and Kyiv. Now, he says, he’s told the FBI what he knows about the former mayor.
Artemenko, a former Ukrainian parliamentarian, told POLITICO that he has shared what he knows about Giuliani with federal investigators. He added that the FBI reached out to him last year and declined to share further details on his communication with law enforcement.
A DOJ spokesperson declined to comment. The FBI also declined to comment.
Artemenko had a close-up view of Giuliani’s work with Ukrainian officials and operatives — activity which appears to be a key focus of the FBI investigation into the former mayor. His comments about helping the FBI come as the Bureau has seized materials from Giuliani himself and from another lawyer, Victoria Toensing, who also worked on the Ukraine project.
FBI agents sought permission to search Giuliani’s apartment last summer, but officials at DOJ headquarters didn’t green-light the move because of rules limiting some steps in the lead-up to elections. On Wednesday, FBI agents raided Giuliani’s apartment and, separately, took Toensing’s phone.
Artemenko first drew major attention in the U.S. when The New York Times reported he gave Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen a draft of a peace plan between Ukraine and Russia. The plan reportedly would have leased Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula to Russia for up to 100 years. Ukraine’s top prosecutor said the plan appeared to be treasonous, and in 2017, then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stripped Artemenko of his citizenship, as RFE/RL reported.
In the years since then, Artemenko stayed connected to Trump World and went into business with Erik Prince. He also registered as a lobbyist for Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian politician who the U.S. government later sanctioned for election interference. When Artemenko dropped Derkach as a client, he told POLITICO he was “fully cooperating with U.S. law enforcement,” but didn’t specify on what matters.
Artemenko also featured prominently in a documentary series that Giuliani put together with the pro-Trump TV channel One America News. The network billed Giuliani’s documentary as a way to debunk the “impeachment narrative” about Trump and Ukraine. On one episode, Artemenko accused American diplomats in Ukraine of corruption.
“They serve to the Democrats,” he said. “They serve to the Mr. Soros.”
The FBI’s investigation of Giuliani appears to focus on his Ukraine-related work. As personal lawyer to then-President Donald Trump, Giuliani worked to try to find incriminating material about then-candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. In tandem with that effort, Trump officials signaled to Ukraine’s president that the U.S. would withhold military aid unless there was an announcement that Ukraine was investigating Biden’s son. News of that development set off the first Trump impeachment.
Over the course of his efforts to find compromising material on Hunter Biden, Giuliani worked with a host of American and Ukrainian operatives who have since found themselves in legal trouble. The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned Andrii Telizhenko and Andrii Derkach, a former Ukrainian diplomat and member of Ukraine’s parliament, respectively. Treasury accused both men of meddling in the U.S. election. The Justice Department has charged two of Giuliani’s erstwhile associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, with financial crimes.