December 1, 2020

State Department revokes visa of Giuliani-linked Ukrainian ally: report

The State Department revoked the visa of a Ukrainian political ally to President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuiliani, The Washington Post reported Monday.  

Ukrainian fixer Andrii Telizhenko’s visa was revoked earlier this year after he assisted Giuliani in efforts last year to dig up information that would damage now-Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight CNN anchor confronts senior Trump campaign adviser after motorcade: Trump’s ‘downplaying the virus’ Biden again tests negative for COVID-19 MORE, U.S. officials told the newspaper. 

His visa was invalidated shortly before the Treasury Department sanctioned another Ukrainian ally to Giuliani lawmaker Andriy Derackh last month, but it was first reported by the Post on Monday 

Telizhenko could not board a Sept. 9 Ukrainian International Airlines flight from Kyiv to New York, a person familiar with his travel plans and a Ukrainian government official told the newspaper. 

Telizhenko traveled with Giuliani last year, including a meeting with Derkach, whose visa was revoked by the State Department earlier this year. Both Ukrainians had reportedly worked with Giuliani regularly as he looked for damaging information about Biden to help Trump’s reelection efforts.

The Ukrainian fixer told the newspaper several times over the last two weeks that he did not know his visa was revoked. Typically, the State Department tells the affected individual when revocations happen.

He provided the newspaper with documentation saying he traveled from Kyiv to New York in September but declined to provide proof of his entry or stay in the U.S. for “security reasons.”

A State Department spokesperson told The Hill that visa records are “confidential” and “therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”

Telizhenko began supporting the narrative that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election instead of Russia as U.S. intelligence has concluded. Giuliani backed up the theory as the president faced special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN’s Toobin warns McCabe is in ‘perilous condition’ with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill’s 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Officials told the Post the moves against Telizhenko and Derkach show the Trump administration is willing to take action against people who further Russia’s goals of increasing polarization in the U.S. ahead of the election.

The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Volodymyr Yelchenko celebrated the actions against Derkach and Telizhenko, telling the Post, “I’m glad the United States has seen them for what they are.”

“They are just ruining our efforts to preserve bipartisan support for Ukraine,” he said. “They’ve tried to torpedo our relationship

Telizhenko has denied being involved in Russian interference and disinformation missions and working with Derkach, who himself denied being a Russian agent.

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