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Julian squeezes State Department, White House to grant visa to former Ukrainian employee

His visa was denied for corrupt reasons, officials said.

Juliane asked for a visa around January this year, according to the testimony of George P. Kent, a career diplomat interviewed behind closed doors this week by three House committees investigating Trump's impeachment over his dealings with Ukraine, said one by officials.

"One of the significant aspects of this was that there was no debate anywhere in the Trump administration about this," the official said, referring to the condition of anonymity to describe the closed session. "Since it comes from Giuliani, you can imagine that it was not only the Bureau clerk who made the decision."

In fact, a second clerk stated that the decision to reject the visa was taken by the "political leadership" of the State Department. Giuliani appealed to the White House, but the refusal was not overturned, Kent said, according to officials.

Kent's lawyer declined to comment.

The visa waiver was first reported by CNN on Friday night.

Julianni told The Washington Post in a recent interview that he was upset that Shokin couldn't get a visa, but declined to say if it had anything to do with the effort. "There were people who were helping him," he said. "I Will Not Tell You More Than It."

The revelation is the latest reflection of how Giuliani sought to lead foreign policy in the shadows outside the government, trying to remove traditional politicians ̵

1; including political appointees – from achieving political goals favorable to the president.

Giuliani has figured prominently in a campaign to pressure Ukraine's new president, Vladimir Zelensky, to take action that would undermine Biden, Trump's potential political rival in 2020. These include Trump's efforts, revealed by a whistleblower in a complaint , announced publicly last month, in a phone call in July to force Zelensky to reopen a sleeping investigation into a Ukrainian energy company, Burma, that Biden's son, Hunter Biden, once sat on board.

Shokin aided Julian's efforts, stating in a statement last month that the reason he had been removed as Attorney General – and the reason Biden wanted him – wa s that he was investigating Burma for corruption.

In fact, US and European officials have stated that the investigation into Burmese was unknown at the time of his dismissal and that Shokin did not, in principle, aggressively pursue corruption and needed to be eliminated. [19659002] Giuliani also asked for the removal of US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic, who was recalled in May before completing her tour. Many of her estranged resentment at the State Department and Jovanovic, who is on vacation in Georgetown, testified last week that her departure came as a direct result of the pressure Trump is putting on the State Department.

According to a rough transcript of Trump's call to Zelensky, Trump also pressured the Ukrainian president to find out if Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election – apparently based on the widely-discredited theory pushed by Giuliani that a computer server, belonging to the Democratic Party, is in Ukraine.

Trump hooked up the prospect of hundreds of millions of dollars in military and foreign aid and a White House meeting as a lever in his conversation with Zelensky, according to the signer and documents that have since confirmed the accounts of signalers.

On Thursday, acting White House Mick Mulvain admitted that Trump had withheld nearly $ 400 million in aid as he wanted Ukraine to investigate the Democrats.

"Did you mention [Trump] in the past corruption related to the DNC server?" Mulvani said. – Absolutely, no question about that. But this is the case and that's why we kept the money.

Rumors withdrew later that day, saying there was no "quid pro quo. "

In an interview at the end of September, Giuliani's associate, Lev Parnassus, said he helped connect Giuliani to Shokin late last year after learning that Giuliani was interested in Ukraine. Parnass was arrested last week with business partner Igor Fruman and charged with campaign finance violations.

Parnassus said in an interview with The Post, held before his arrest, that Giuliani had first invited Shokin to come to the United States for a meeting – a plan that stalled when Shockin learned that the United States would not extend his visa . Instead, Giuliani and Shokin spoke via Skype in January.

But Parnassus said that Giuliani was upset when Shokin could not accept his invitation because of a visa.

"He was here before. I've never had a problem with travel. Suddenly he goes, buys a ticket, and our State Department refuses the visa, "Parnassus said. "That's when the problems started. I will not go into what happened after that. But it was generally considered. The country has taken a very serious approach and to this day its visa has not been approved.

Parnassus went on to say that he believed then-ambassador Jovanovic played a role in denying Shokin a visa – and that suffering may have contributed to Giuliani's support for her efforts to remove her from office. In their indictment last week, prosecutors allege that Parnassus stood up for her ouster at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.

"I think so much," he said, asked if the ambassador had played a role in refusing a visa. "This is why I think the ambassador is not there." "It was especially nasty that this man was trying to come here," said an employee. "The department said no.

Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.

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