Ex-Prosecutor Says Rudy Giuliani Did 'Exactly' What He Accused Bidens of Doing: 'Swampy, Pay-to-Play Behavior'

Former Justice Department prosecutor Joseph Moreno on Thursday argued that President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani did "exactly" what he has accused the family of former Vice President Joe Biden of doing.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Giuliani held "talks" to set up a possible deal where his company would represent former Ukraine prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko to recover assets supposedly stolen from Kiev. In return, Giuliani's company would receive at least $200,000 as payment. The negotiations reportedly occurred the same months that Giuliani was probing for dirt on the Bidens.

Unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations told the newspaper of the existence of a February draft retainer agreement. They also claimed that another retainer agreement was drafted in March between Giuliani Partners and the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice that provided for a $300,000 payment if the stolen assets were found.

"Wasn't Giuliani doing what he accused the Bidens of doing?" CNN host Ana Cabrera asked on Thursday. "Shaking down the Ukrainians for personal profit?"

"Exactly," Moreno replied. "It's the same swampy, pay-to-play behavior most Americans cringe at when they see it, regardless of who is accused of it."

Joesph Moreno
Former Justice Department prosecutor Joesph Moreno on Thursday said Rudy Giuliani doing the "exact" thing that he accused the Bidens of. CNN/Screenshot

He explained: "The idea that you're leveraging one relationship with a high-ranking official of the U.S. government in order to benefit either yourself or other clients in a way, it's the kind of thing that while it might approach the line of legality and be terrible optics, terrible ethics and the thing folks hate to see from insiders in Washington."

"If you're saying it doesn't cross the legal line, is that because the deals didn't go through?" the host asked.

"It is important to note if you're a lawyer or a consultant, it's okay to have overseas clients," Moreno said. "It is even okay to have overseas government clients. Depending on what you do for them there are lots of rules about reporting that activity to the U.S. government, registering as a lobbyist or under the Foreign Agents Registration Act."

He went on to assert that the work "can be legal" but "you have to declare it on your taxes accurately and fully."

"You have to be methodical and meticulous about what you're doing," the former prosecutor added, "whether it's appropriate and whether you need to report it to the Justice Department."

In October, the Associated Press reported that a group of Trump and Giuliani associates were in Ukraine last spring during the same time the former New York mayor was pressing Ukraine officials to probe the president's domestic political rivals. The individuals were in the former Soviet republic trying to instal new management at Naftogaz, Ukraine's state gas company, by touting their links to the Trump administration.

Two unnamed people with knowledge of their plans told the publication that the group were attempting to help Trump allies secure substantial contracts.

The revelations surrounding the Giuliani and Trump associates raised questions about whether Republicans were mixing personal profit and politics, just as they had accused the Bidens of doing.

Watch the segment below: