Lawyer: Giuliani associate ‘being cooperative’ with House impeachment probe
The House Intelligence Committee and one of Rudy Giuliani’s associates have reached “an understanding” for now to avoid a closed-door deposition over any knowledge he may have of Giuliani’s efforts to push the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, according to the associate’s attorney.
The committee had scheduled a deposition with Semyon Kislin, the Giuliani associate, for Monday, sending a letter earlier this month demanding a wide range of information related to President Donald Trump’s personal attorney’s efforts to push for an investigation into the Bidens and what he may know about the freezing of US aid for Ukraine. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden in Ukraine.
Kislin’s attorney Jeffrey Dannenberg told CNN his client was “being cooperative” with the House panel but had no knowledge to advance the inquiry.
Kislin was one of three Giuliani associates that received requests for documents and testimony from House Democrats. The other two, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted last week on charges of funneling foreign money into US elections, and were served with subpoenas last week by the House Intelligence Committee to turn over documents. But it had been unclear why Kislin had not been issued a subpoena.
On Monday, Dannenberg told CNN that he reached an agreement with the House committee so that Kislin did not have to appear for the scheduled deposition. Dannenberg said his client was being responsive to the committee, and that Kislin “has no such information” to share with House investigators relevant to the impeachment inquiry.
“Following an understanding reached with counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Kislin will not be appearing for an interview or deposition today,” Dannenberg said. “Mr. Kislin is not refusing to cooperate with the Committee’s requests. I continue to communicate with the Committee’s counsel to satisfy the Committee that Mr. Kislin has no knowledge of any matters relevant to the pending impeachment inquiry.”
A spokesperson for the House Intelligence Committee did not respond to a request for comment on Kislin.
Parnas and Fruman have been of high interest to Democrats in part because they worked with Giuliani to remove former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from her post earlier this year. It’s unclear what information Kislin could have about that effort.
Kislin is a longtime aide to Giuliani. His website says he was on Giuliani’s Council of Economic Advisers when Giuliani was mayor of New York.
The committees requested he provide documents related to Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens, and Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden; to the freezing of US aid to Ukraine and any communications with former Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican who consulted with Parnas and Fruman.