Rudy Giuliani was planning to fly to Vienna, Austria, Thursday night, the same city where his two associates were headed to before they were arrested the night before, according to interviews he gave to The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal.
Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, shared his travel plans with Elaina Plott of The Atlantic the day before an indictment unsealed on Thursday revealing that two of his associates, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, were detained at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday evening. The men — both central to the impeachment inquiry in the House — were arrested and indicted on criminal charges for allegedly funneling foreign money into US elections.
Fruman and Parnas were booked on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, to connect to another flight, according to a law enforcement source. Giuliani told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday the men were heading to Vienna and that he wasn’t scheduled to meet the two until they returned to Washington — meaning, by Giuliani’s account, the three of them would’ve been in the same city at the same time but would not be seeing one another.
The Atlantic reported that Giuliani said he “can’t comment on it at this time” about the circumstances of his planned trip after multiple attempts to contact him Thursday.
Giuliani had lunch with Fruman and Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington hours before the two were arrested, the Journal reported. Giuliani declined to comment to CNN on the report.
News of Giuliani’s planned travel to Vienna comes amid escalating scrutiny of the former New York City mayor after a whistleblower complaint released last month labeled him as a central figure in Trump’s efforts “to solicit interference” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the upcoming 2020 election.
A transcript of July phone conversation released by the White House on Wednesday shows Trump repeatedly pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
US officials were concerned, the whistleblower said, with Giuliani and his contacts with Ukrainian officials. The whistleblower alleges that US officials believed Giuliani was a conduit for messages between the President and officials in Kyiv and that he was at the helm of a problematic “circumvention of national security decision making processes.”
Speaking to CNN last month, Giuliani said he has “no knowledge of any of that crap” in the complaint.