Giuliani’s Ukraine Team: In Search of Influence, Dirt and Money

Mr. Kolomoisky said in interviews in the Ukrainian news media that Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman traveled to see him in Israel in April, ostensibly to talk about their plans to sell gas to Ukraine. But, he said, the two men then pushed him to arrange a meeting between Mr. Giuliani and Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr. Giuliani had been seeking to press Mr. Zelensky to agree to investigate the Bidens and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election, and had been working with Mr. Parnas to lay the groundwork for the effort, as The Times first reported in May.

Upon returning to Ukraine, Mr. Kolomoisky threatened in May to expose Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman. Mr. Giuliani, in turn, posted on Twitter that the oligarch had “defamed” Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, “and I have advised them to press charges.” He also warned Mr. Zelensky not to surround himself with allies of Mr. Kolomoisky.

Mr. Parnas, Mr. Fruman and Mr. Giuliani were frequently spotted together over the past year at the Trump International hotel in Washington, and were overheard discussing politics and energy projects, including a methane initiative in Uzbekistan. Mr. Giuliani and his associates were to be paid at least $100,000 for the project, on which Mr. Parnas offered advice.

The project did not pan out, Mr. Giuliani said.

Mr. Parnas said in an interview last month that he and Mr. Fruman were self-financing their efforts on behalf of Mr. Giuliani’s political work in Ukraine and that those “have nothing to do with our business.”

He added, “My only business with Giuliani was a long time ago,” and involved an insurance company that Mr. Parnas suggested he owned that Mr. Giuliani “offered some advice on.”

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Giuliani at first seemed to acknowledge having advised Fraud Guarantee in 2018, then backtracked.

“I can’t acknowledge it’s Fraud Guarantee, I don’t think,” he said.

“I can acknowledge I gave them substantial business advice,” he said, adding that one of his companies trains institutional customers in security work, including “how to investigate crimes, from murder to terrorism to fraud.” He said that “most of it is subdivisions of government, but every once in a while it is a private enterprise.”