Less than a year after Rudy Giuliani , the former mayor of New York, had the first page in the Romanian press after a letter addressed directly to the President of Romania , Bloomberg Businessweek entered in the backdrop of the international consulting business of the person who is Donald Trump’s personal advocate.
This article appeared in NewMoney’s 65th issue (May 13-26, 2019)
In November 2017, when Rudy Giuliani went to the Ukrainian city of Kharkov (one hour away from the Russian border) for a business meeting with Mayor Hennadiy Kernes, an unprecedented scene awaited him. In a big cage in the anteroom, he met with a “Privet!” (“Hello!” In Russian) even the petter of the mayor, parrot Johnny. In the same antechamber there was a diverse group of visitors. They were waiting silently to enter the office of Mayor Kernes, who for nine years led the second largest city in the country.
APPLICANT AND CONSULTANT. Giuliani was in Ukraine for the second time in less than a year as Kernes’ security adviser. At the same time, Giuliani was and still is a cyber security advisor to the President of America, Donald Trump, which is why a Ukrainian television has even marked the moment – “The Visit of a Trump’s Counselor.” In both visits, Giuliani also met with the acting Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko.
Mayor Kernes (59) is in a wheelchair in April 2014. While doing jogging somewhere on the outskirts of the city, an unknown shot him. Prior to the assassination attempt, the mayor had been very active on his Instagram account, where he exhibited his opulence – expensive holidays, clocks and even pictures from a meeting with Chechen leader Ramzan Ahmatovici Kadirov, an ally of the Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin . In 2017, Kadirov was sanctioned by the US for murder, torture and other human rights abuses. Kernes is also very close to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, forced by Kyiv Maidan in 2014 to flee to Russia.
Kernes quickly explained his collaboration with Giuliani – he wants to use the vast experience of the former mayor of New York. Giuliani advised him, for example, to set up an emergency service similar to 911. “Giuliani also met with President Poroshenko, who offered his support to complete the idea,” confesses Kernes. But how did a politician like Giuliani become the councilor of a mayor in eastern Ukraine? Kernes did not pay Giuliani, instead there is a one-year contract whose value is not public and which was largely funded by Ukrainian-Russian businessman Pavel Fuks.
In 2015, Fuks returned to Ukraine after 20 years in Moscow, where he has made wealth from real estate and banking. In the mid-2000s, the same Fuks had talks with the current US president to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, but they did not agree. At age 47, Fuks lives in Kiev, guarded by bodyguards, as well as Kernes. He says he hired Giuliani to give something back to his hometown. “Giuliani’s firm offers lobbying services and its asset is on security issues. He is a star, “he adds.
Collaboration in Ukraine is just a small piece of the global consulting business that Giuliani continued in parallel with Trump’s supporter in the Republican electoral campaign. He was followed by his adviser, as well as his personal attorney in the investigation by the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, on the interference of Russia in the 2016 elections.
Following the verdict of General Prosecutor William Barr, according to which there is no evidence that Trump had any understanding with the Kremlin, Giuliani has overcome his name a victory that heavily hangs in his global consultant portfolio.
Known and appreciated for taking action as a prosecutor against New York Mafia, but also for managing New York after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Giuliani is actively looking for clients like Kernes to advise on security issues. He made millions of dollars – 9.5 in 2017 and 5 in 2018, according to information in the context of the divorce of his third wife, Judith Nathan.
CONFLICT OF INTERESTS OR NOT? At age 74, Giuliani still prefers to remain in the spotlight as “what he does is extremely exciting,” he says. In addition to working in Ukraine, he has lectured and advised over the last two years in countries such as Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Turkey and Uruguay.
In the context of Donald Trump’s unusual mandate at the White House, Giuliani’s role is even more out of the ordinary. His foreign contracts prompted seven democratic senators to ask the Ministry of Justice in September 2018 to check whether the former mayor should disclose his activities covered by the Law on the Registration of Foreign Agents (FARA). This normative act obliges the registration of individuals or organizations working as agents of foreign interests “in a political or quasi-political space”.
“As President Trump’s personal attorney, Mr. Giuliani communicates privately with the president and his staff on a regular basis,” wrote senators to the Ministry of Justice. “Without further analysis, it is impossible to know whether Mr. Giuliani is lobbying the US government for his foreign clients.”
Giuliani has always denied that he would do so, saying that most of his work is consulting for various countries of the world. Most often, contracts involve the delivery of security plans designed to improve crime rates, counseling on terrorism issues, or critical infrastructure issues. In Ukraine, he advised only on security issues, but he did not promote Kernes’ interests in the US, Giuliani said.
There is no conflict of interest between working so closely with the Trump Administration and working with foreign clients, says Giuliani, “I do not ask the President for any favor for them, nor do I represent these clients before the US government. I do not do trafficking because I have no reason to. I make a lot of money as a lawyer and a security consultant. ”
However, the issue of a conflict of interest floats in the air, as the former editorial promotes ideas that resonate with the Trump’s foreign policy. “In order to have peace and stability in the Middle East, a major shift in the theocratic dictatorship in Iran is needed. It must come to an end quickly, “Giuliani told Warsaw, in front of hundreds of people flying Iranian flags, at an action by the National Resistance Council for Iran (NCRI, based in Paris), supported by the Iranian People’s Mujahedin Organization (Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK).
Giuliani says that since 2008 he has been working with the MEK, a group that at that time the United States foreign ministry has classified her as a terrorist (in 2012, she removed it from this category).
Over the years, MEK has collaborated with several recognized American politicians, including the current presidential advisor for national security, John Bolton. The support that Giuliani offers is at sight. In January 2017, along with several former senior US officials, he signed a letter inviting President Trump to open the dialogue with the NCRI.
“It is quite inadequate that Giuliani continue to publicly associate with MEK,” says Suzanne Maloney, an Iranian expert at the Brookings Institution, arguing that the organization remains controversial. In addition, his anti-Iraqi rhetoric did not prevent him from working for Reza Zarrab, accused of orchestrating $ 1 billion in money laundering to help Iran avoid sanctions imposed by the US.
Dan Pickard, a partner at Wiley Rein LLP, a law firm in Washington, and a FARA specialist, did not want to refer specifically to the Giuliani case. However, Dan Pickard is of the opinion that if someone is paid by a foreign political group to support a speech in the United States that can influence certain policies, it should be labeled a foreign agent.
Giuliani says he is not paid directly by MEK, but by an American organization of Iranian dissidents. “Is the Organization of the Iranian-American Communities, which is allied with MEK?” Asked Bloomberg Businessweek reporter. “I do not remember the exact name. But there is no difference if you work for an Israeli-American group that has strong views on Israel, “he argues, trying to compare.
In February 2017, Rudy Giuliani went to Turkey, where he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, hoping to help the Turkish-Iranian Reza Zarrab, arrested in the US on the charge that he had washed money in favor of Iran through a own company. Giuliani admits he tried to negotiate a deal for Zarrab, who pleaded guilty and became a witness in a federal file that targeted a banker.
Some shocked Giuliani’s involvement in this case. “I see a rupture between the old Rudy and the current Rudy, am astonished that he has been hired to be a bridge between President Trump and his Turkish counterpart in an attempt to resolve this case in some way,” says Judge Richard Berman, who also worked on this file.
As a rule, lawyers are exempted from applying for a foreign agent, but the exception may not apply, Ben Freeman, a specialist in intervention operations at the Center for International Policies in Washington. Quite irritated, Giuliani claims he is not the Turkish government, “but one man in detention and trying to get an exchange of prisoners with the Turkish government.”
Giuliani was promoted internationally as a New York super-officer who dramatically reduced the rate of crime in the US metropolis using the “broken windows” strategy. He was, however, strongly criticized for the brutality with which the New York police acted, especially against the African Americans. These critics scattered quickly when he made a discourse between the ruins of the Twin Towers still smoking. He was then appreciated by a whole world for the courage and cold blood he showed in those moments.
In fact, immediately after completing his mayoral mandate, he sought to capitalize this fame as quickly as possible. At the beginning of 2001, while Giuliani was in full divorce from his second wife, Donna Hanover, his lawyer said all his fortune was $ 7,000.
He founded several companies – Giuliani Partners LLC, a consulting firm for governments and companies, Giuliani Security & Safety LLC and Giuliani Capital Advisors LLC, an investment bank sold in 2007 to Macquarie Group Ltd In a few years, Giuliani made a fortune of several million dollars. In 2002, Mexico City drew $ 4.3 million from its budget to find out from Giuliani how you can fight crime as effectively as possible.
In 2004, the former president arrived for the first time in Ukraine. Then he went to Russia, where he met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (it is not known whether he paid his own move). He also made a conference circuit, the commission being between 100,000 and 200,000 dollars per lecture. When in 2007 he filed his candidacy for the Republican presidential election, he had $ 11 million in revenue from commissions for talks last year and a half, according to federal data.
Since completing his mayoral mandate, he has supported over 1,000 speeches in 80 countries, he says. He convinced clients all over the world, from mayors to presidents, that what worked in New York works anywhere. In Brazil, in February last year, signed a $ 1.6 million contract with Giuliani Security & Safety to improve border security. The contract is now under investigation by a team of Brazilian prosecutors. The consulting activity helped Giuliani gain access to a global network of politicians who have lectured him especially since Donald Trump became president of the United States.
With the lifestyle that Giuliani now has, foreign customers may be more needed than ever. When he started working as Trump’s personal attorney in April last year, he agreed to do it pro bono. He gave up his position as chairman at law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, where he had annual income between $ 4 million and $ 6 million.
By Mimi Noel
He has more than ten years of experience in journalism. He started at the Rompres national press agency, and in 2006 joined the team dealing with the Romanian edition of the US BusinessWeek. In 2007, he completed the team of journalists who started the Money Express business magazine. The covered areas ranged from retail to FMCG, pharmaceuticals, investment funds, mergers and acquisitions, IT & C. He interviewed the most prominent Romanian businessmen, local entrepreneurs and well-known foreign businessmen, such as Microchip executive Steve Sanghi, or former Sony executive director Michael Schulhof. Mimi Noel has been working as an Account Manager at AMICOM since 2012. At NewMoney, he is dealing with international issues.
Original article in Romanian newmoney.ro – Translated by Nejat Society