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The government asked for Giuliani’s advice on Romania



What Giuliani didn’t mention in the letter was that he was writing it on behalf of the Freeh Group, a consulting firm founded by former FBI director Louis Freeh that paid the former mayor a guardian to work on the Romania project. In 2018, Giuliani refused to divulge the amount and his letter is the only Romanian work he has done that is known to the public. Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, a Romanian real estate mogul who was sentenced to seven years in prison in a real estate fraud case, hired Freeh in 2016 to review the evidence against him. The Freeh Group found “numerous factual and legal deficiencies” in the legal case that led to his conviction. A spokesman for the Romanian President told POLITICO that Iohannis never replied to the letter.

Popoviciu also hired Hunter Biden, the son of then Vice President Joe Biden, in 2015 to end the fraud investigation against him. Hunter Biden reportedly stopped working for Popoviciu when Giuliani joined in 2018. Giuliani has harshly criticized Hunter Biden for his ties to foreign companies, including in Ukraine and China.

Popoviciu and his business associates owned Pizza Hut and KFC franchises and foreign hotel chains in Romania. The controversy revolves around land that was bought at a bargain price in the north of Bucharest and has become a top shopping mall, offices, and luxury car showrooms. The new US embassy was also built on this land. Popoviciu, who once lived in New Jersey, was living in London at the time of his 2017 arrest warrant, but soon surrendered and has since fought against extradition to Romania.

When POLITICO called Popoviciu and texted him on Tuesday morning about Giuliani’s Romanian work, he replied: “I don’t know about his interest in Romania. I met him there when he was invited to a lecture by a private group [sic]but never kept direct contact. ”

Giuliani didn’t say much publicly about his work in Romania other than telling The Guardian when asked if his letter was related to Popovicius’ case: “Overall situation not a single case. The letter speaks for itself. You have to get the rest from my customer. “He also told POLITICO in 2018 that his letter was” based on a report I reviewed from Freeh “and that the Freeh Group” pays my fee “.

Giuliani’s activities in Romania have caught the attention of federal investigators who have been scrutinizing his work abroad. This means that Giuliani’s probe has taken a wider lens than previously known. If Giuliani’s Romanian work was solely aimed at influencing government officials there and not aimed at the American audience, he would not have been required to disclose the work to the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

A DOJ spokesman declined to comment. Robert Costello, a lawyer for Giuliani, asked for comment on the story and said in a text message, “I don’t know. We don’t have such information. “Giuliani did not respond to a request for comment. Freeh and a representative of his current company, AlixPartners, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Giuliani’s investigation is reportedly focused on his ties to billionaire Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash, whom the US government has charged with violating anti-corruption laws. Firtash has been in Vienna for years and is fighting against extradition. The Giuliani investigation is also reportedly focusing on whether his efforts to oust former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch were on behalf of Trump or at the behest of Ukrainian officials who wanted her to go. Giuliani had planned a trip to Ukraine in 2019, which he later canceled, where he hoped to meet with the Ukrainian president-elect to investigate Hunter Biden’s work for a scandal-ridden Ukrainian energy company.

Ukraine and Romania aren’t the only countries outside of the US where Giuliani has done business. The former mayor was a partner in a law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani, which had an office in Kazakhstan. According to the Wall Street Journal, Giuliani’s consulting firm also worked with a state-owned energy company in Qatar and signed a law enforcement training contract for the Bahraini Ministry of the Interior in 2019.

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