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Delaware native denies he worked for Trump to dig up dirt on Biden

Karl Baker
The News Journal

A Washington, D.C., attorney and Wilmington native, who once represented former New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon, has denied reports that he worked with Rudy Giuliani to look for information in Ukraine that could damage Joe Biden. 

Joseph diGenova appears on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sunday, Feb. 22, 1998, in Washington.

Responding to a report from Fox News, Joseph diGenova told WBAL in Baltimore that he and Victoria Toensing – his wife and legal partner – had not worked for the president in a capacity that was "off the books," or otherwise outside of official Trump Administration business, as the cable network had reported.    

DiGenova said Giuliani had asked him to represent Ukrainian citizens and government officials who wanted to speak with U.S. investigators about claims of impropriety involving Biden and his son, Hunter.

DiGenova never ultimately spoke with those Ukrainian individuals, as a planned trip to the country was canceled, he said, 

"We were never representing the president of the United States," he told WBAL. "Mr. Giuliani was."

Giuliani and Trump have claimed in recent months that Biden, while vice president, pressured Ukraine to fire its prosecutor general in order to protect his son. No evidence has emerged to support such claims.

Then Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin holds a press conference in Kiev on November 2, 2015.

While Biden hasn't directly addressed the unsubstantiated allegation, others have said the Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was corrupt and Biden's pressure for his ouster was appropriate. 

DELAWARE CONNECTION: As Trump-Biden Ukraine controversy swirls, legal battles fought in First State

DiGenova said Shokin has "provided a sworn statement to an Austrian court" explaining why he was fired. 

When contacted by the News Journal on Tuesday, diGenova said he could not comment because he was in meetings in Vienna, Austria.

On Monday, Giuliani was subpoenaed by House Democrats for documents related to his dealings with Ukrainian officials.

Family members gather for a road-naming ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and his sister Valerie Biden Owens  in 2016  in the village of Sojevo, Kosovo.

In early 2018, Trump appointed diGenova and Toensing to the legal team defending him against the special counsel's Russia investigation. 

The couple did not join the president's team, citing a conflict of interest. 

Neither the president nor Trump attorney Jay Sekulow specified the conflict at the time but their firm has represented other clients in the special counsel’s investigation, including former Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis.

Contact Karl Baker at kbaker@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2329. Follow him on Twitter @kbaker6.

FAMILY FEUD:My brother went to work for Trump. Shame on him.