Nov 23, 2019

CEO of Ukrainian state gas firm willing to talk to investigators in Giuliani probe

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Andriy Kobolyev, the CEO of Ukraine's state-owned gas company, Naftogaz, says he is prepared to talk to investigators as part of a federal probe into Rudy Giuliani's finances, he told TIME Friday.

The big picture: Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are looking into whether Giuliani stood to profit from a Ukrainian natural gas business backed by his foreign-born associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who allegedly helped his push for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.

The sit-down "could shed light on recent allegations from U.S. and Ukrainian energy executives that Parnas and Fruman" tried to leverage their relationships with Giuliani and the Trump administration "to replace the leadership of Naftogaz, which had resisted their efforts to land a lucrative gas deal in Ukraine," TIME notes.

What he's saying: “I will with a high likelihood be invited to testify in this case ... If I am called, I would be willing to come and testify,” Kobolyev said.

  • Asked whether he would to provide information about Giuliani, Parnas or Fruman, the CEO added, “Both. Everything is connected.”

Go deeper ...

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:45 p.m. ET: 5,763,122 — Total deaths: 358,235 — Total recoveries — 2,389,735Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:45 p.m. ET: 1,715,811 — Total deaths: 101,337 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Education: Science fairs are going virtual, and some online elements may become permanent.
  6. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  7. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."