KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- As Rudy Giuliani pushed Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump's main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.
Their aims were profit, not politics.
Four sources interviewed by The Associated Press say a circle of Republican businessmen touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at Ukraine's state gas company, Naftogaz. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies.
The effort to install a new management would soon be taken up by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who pressed Ukraine's president to fire the Naftogaz's supervisory board and replace them from a list he provided.
Perry and Giuliani deny any wrongdoing.