The Oligarch Questions: Dmitry Firtash name bubbles up in impeachment hearing

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Friday, November 22, 2019
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The I-Team has been investigating Ukrainian gas industry tycoon Dmitry Firtash for five years. Firtash, indicted in Chicago on bribery conspiracy charges, was discussed at the final day of impeachment testimony in Washington.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A wealthy Ukrainian industrialist under indictment in Chicago was one of the final topics of conversation in Thursday's impeachment proceeding against President Donald Trump.

His name is Dmitry Firtash and the ABC7 I-Team has been looking into Firtash's Chicago criminal case for five years.

"We have an interesting character in Chicago who's now indicted. His name is Mr. Firtash" stated Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, who represents Chicago's northwest suburbs and is a member of the House Intelligence Committee that wrapped up impeachment testimony against President Trump on Thursday.

Rep. Krishnamoorthi raised Firtash's name during his questioning of former National Security Council official Dr. Fiona Hill.

"Mr. Firtash has been indicted for federal bribery charges and another associate of Mr. Giuliani, right?" the congressman asked.

"I do know Mr. Firtash, that's correct. I know of him from my work, that's correct" Hill said.

Firtash is an oligarch and shadowy Ukrainian gas industry magnate whom federal prosecutors have been trying to extradite to the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago since his indictment five years ago in an allegedly crooked titanium business deal.

Now, Firtash has been connected to President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and two of Giuliani's associates facing separate federal charges.

"The question that we are all asking is whether American foreign policy in Ukraine is potentially being run in their interests and not our own" Krishnamoorthi stated during the questioning of Dr. Hill.

"It certainly appears as if it's being used" she replied. "There is a subversion of American power of attorney policy to push these people's personal interests" Hill said.

After the hearing, the final day of impeachment witness testimony, the I-Team spoke with Krishnamoorthi. "The purpose of my line of questioning was to elicit from her why it is that we're worried about Rudy Giuliani running a shadow foreign policy" he said.

Firtash is "a pro-Russian Ukrainian and he has unfortunately some questionable ties as well" the suburban congressman said.

While the criminal case against Firtash involves an allegedly corrupt business deal in Chicago and India, Firtash has since been linked to the Ukraine investigation via an apparent connection with Giuliani. "That's why we have to be worried about Rudy Giuliani running our foreign policy in Ukraine" Krishnamoorthi told the I-Team.

"We have to move forward because the biggest concern I have, Chuck, coming out of these proceedings, is that we know there might be ongoing wrongdoing today" he told ABC7 investigative reporter Chuck Goudie.

Giuliani has been asked to provide information to the intelligence committee according to Congressman Krishnamoorthi but he says they have been met with "a stone wall" and "obstructionism."

Giuliani has denied a relationship with Firtash and has denied any wrongdoing. As for Firtash himself, he has been under a self-imposed house in arrest in Vienna, Austria-in and out of court there, trying to avoid extradition to Chicago.