The pro-Trump lawyer couple that helped Rudy Giuliani look for political dirt in Ukraine is also representing the conservative journalist that first published some of that dirt, Politico reported Thursday.
John Solomon, until recently an op-ed columnist and executive vice president at The Hill, has been represented by Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing “for years,” he told Politico.
“John Solomon has been a client of our firm for a very long time,” diGenova confirmed to Politico.
The tie between the lawyers and the journalist adds to an increasingly incestuous picture of the effort to obtain and publish damaging information about President Donald Trump’s political rivals.
The New York Times reported in May that diGenova and Victoria Toensing were helping Giuliani look for political dirt in Ukraine that could help Trump in 2020. Also helping: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the Giuliani associates who’ve since been charged with a federal campaign finance conspiracy.
In July, diGenova and Toensing joined the legal team of Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash. Firtash has lived in Vienna, Austria, for years, fighting extradition to the United State on bribery charges. DiGenova and Toensing in turn hired Parnas as an interpreter.
Bloomberg reported recently that Firtash paid the couple $1 million, and that Firtash’s team’s dirt-digging operation was part of an effort “to get Rudy Giuliani’s help in the oligarch’s legal case,” in the publication’s words. DiGenova and Toensing discussed Firtash’s case in a rare meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr after being hired as his lawyers, according to The Washington Post.
Soon after the lawyer couple started representing Firtash, Solomon published a juicy story in The Hill: Andrew Weissman, a top lawyer on Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, had reportedly offered Firtash a deal if the Ukrainian provided information relevant to the investigation. Solomon published quotes from memos written by Firtash’s legal team.
“The complete dropping of the proceedings … was doubtless on the table,” one memo from Firtash’s team stated, as quoted by Solomon. (When the Washington Post recently reported on the same assertion from Firtash’s team, this time made formally in Viennese court, the Justice Department denied that dropping the Firtash case was ever on the table.)
Within a day of Solomon’s story, Giuliani amplified the story in a Fox News interview, saying Firtash had “more honor” than Weissman because the Ukrainian did not take the deal.
In September, Solomon was the first to publish an affidavit prepared at Firtash’s legal team’s request by Viktor Shokin, the former prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden, along with other western leaders, pressured Ukraine to oust Shokin, who appeared to be slow-walking investigations into corruption. But Giuliani and his allies have since spun Biden’s actions into a political attack, accusing him of pushing for Shokin’s ouster because his son Hunter Biden sat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company at the time.
DiGenova hyped Solomon’s affidavit scoop during a Fox News interview hours after it was published.
The “official records that are now available are going to really shoot a hole in [Democrats’] ship,” he said, failing to mention that the records, first reported by a client, came from the case of another client.