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National News

Giuliani Says Trump Asked him to Brief DOJ and GOP Senators on Ukraine

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Giuliani Says Trump Asked him to Brief DOJ and GOP Senators on Ukraine

2019-12-11 13:09:44

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Rudy Giuliani (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

It appears Rudy Giuliani is trying to legitimize his weekend trip to Ukraine. He was reportedly there on Donald Trump's blessing and was trying to dig up proof of the conspiracy theories he is pushing of the president's opponents, theories that prompted him to ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate in return for military aid and a White House visit.  

With two articles of impeachment announced on Tuesday, a search for information proving the opposite appears to show Trump and his allies may feel he could be on the losing end of this. The two articles detail abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

On that same day the two articles of impeachment were released and one day before they will be debated in the House, Giuliani said Trump asked him to brief the Justice Department and Republican senators on what he dug up on the trip to Ukraine. With it being assumed the House will impeach Trump, it will then move to a Senate trial. The president's survival will depend on Republican senators. 

"He wants me to do it," said Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, said on Tuesday. "I'm working on pulling it together and hope to have it done by the end of the week." That is expected to be too late for the House vote, but it seems Trump and allies are more concerned about the Senate trial at this point.

But the targets of this information, may not want it. There were Republicans, and even Trump allies, who spoke out against Giuliani's visit. Additionally, Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said recently he has no plans to call Giuliani as a witness in the Senate trial. It's also been reported that Attorney General William Barr told Trump that Giuliani was a liability. 

Despite Trump talking to reporters on Saturday and saying his attorney would be making a report to share with Barr and Congress, two White House officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Trump did not tell Giuliani to go to Ukraine and that his advisers were upset about the trip.

At the same time, Giuliani is himself the subject of an investigation. Federal prosecutors in New York are examining his ties to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. They were recently indicted on unrelated campaign finance violations. Parnas's attorney has been sharing some information on how his client factors into the Ukraine scandal but has said he won't share more unless his client gets immunity. 

Giuliani also said on Tuesday that he has not been able to find out why he is under investigation by the Southern District of New York, the same office he led when he was a U.S. attorney in the 1980s, before his time as the New York City mayor.

"They are refusing to tell us why they are investigating," he said. He wants to provide evidence of his innocence but hasn't had the chance. He said the office is pursuing the "most unfair, vindictive investigation they have ever conducted." 

"I believe that the leaks and the investigation is intended to intimidate me as the president's lawyer," added Giuliani. "I am fully confident that I did not commit any crimes of any kind. They're going after the wrong guy. The more they try to intimidate me, the more I think, I better go get additional evidence."

He returned from his trip to Ukraine, Hungary, and Vienna on Saturday and said he was looking for documents and witnesses to corroborate his claims about 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, as well as the theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. 

He claims to have new documents and additional witnesses to back those claims up but did not provide more details. He had initially said he was there to film a documentary and did take conservative media network One America News with him.

In Kyiv, Giuliani met with Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach who told The Post that he gave the attorney documents on allegations that relate to inefficient expenditure of U.S. government money on Ukraine projects and other matters.  

Giuliani said he also wanted to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shoken, but he's repeatedly not healthy enough to make the trip. Biden, as vice president, pushed for Shoken to be let go, and Giuliani is pushing the theory that this was done to help his son Hunter who was working for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that Shoken was investigating.

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