Three House Democratic committees have subpoenaed Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani for documents related to his bid to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens – in part by citing his own TV interviews and documents he himself revealed.
The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform panels announced the subpoena Monday as they examine Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden and his family. Giuliani assisted in that effort.
The panel’s cite Giuliani’s contentious prime timer interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN last week, where at one point Giuliani admitted ‘of course’ he asked Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.
‘In addition to this stark admission, you stated more recently that you are in possession of evidence—in the form of text messages, phone records, and other communications—indicating that you were not acting alone and that other Trump Administration officials may have been involved in this scheme,’ the chairmen wrote.
That referenced Giuliani’s own claims on Twitter as well as his appearance on Fox News’ Laura Ingraham show, where he brandished a tablet containing some of his texts to make the case that he wasn’t freelancing and had State Department buy-in.
The chairmen are demanding he turn over the documents by October 15.
FILE – In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Washington. Giuliani says he’d only cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry if his client agreed. Central to the investigation is the effort by Giuliani to have Ukraine conduct a corruption probe into Joe Biden and his son’s dealings with a Ukrainian energy company. Trump echoed that request in a July 2019 call with Ukraine’s president. The House Intelligence Committee is leading the inquiry, and Chairman Adam Schiff hasn’t decided if he wants to hear from Giuliani. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
The Democrats have also requested information from three of Giuliani’s associates.
Among them was a letter to Semyon ‘Sam’ Kislin, a Ukrainian immigrant who served on Giuliani’s economic development corporation when he was mayor of New York who also has Trump business ties.
‘Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the President or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President,” three Democratic chairmen wrote.
They cite ‘credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the President in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President.’
The three chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff of Intelligence, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Oversight, and Rep. Eliot Engel of Foreign Affairs, cite Giuliani’s ‘own comments.’ He has been a constant presence on Cable TV and other interviews since the Ukraine story broke open.
The lawmakers cited claims by Giuliani in a series of TV interviews over the past week
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, U.S. September 20, 2019. Committees are seeking documents related to his mission to seek information from Ukraine
President Trump again Monday called his phone call with the President of Ukraine where he urged him to get in touch with Giuliani ‘perfect’
Giuliani has repeatedly pushed unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to keep it from probing a company tied to his son
UP TO HERE: ‘If (Trump) decides that he wants me to testify of course I’ll testify – even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman,’ Giuliani said.
The committees are investigating the matter, which was a subject of a whistleblower’s complaint, as part of an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Giuliani has been vocally defending Trump from a whistle-blower’s charge that he abused his office by pushing the president of Ukraine to assist his 2020 reelection campaign.
He has brandished text messages from former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker that he says shows he undertook his own efforts in Ukraine at the request of the nation’s diplomats.
Volker suddenly announced his resignation Friday.
The subpoena seeks documents from the former New York Mayor – and does not at present compel him to testify before congressional panels.
Giuliani gave different answers during an interview Sunday, saying he would leave the decision up to his client – Trump.
Trump told DailyMail.com he wouldn’t object to Giuliani speaking to Congress.
‘I wouldn’t cooperate with (House Intelligence Committee Chairman) Adam Schiff. I think Adam Schiff should be removed,’ Giuliani told ABC’s ‘This Week.’
‘So that’s your answer? You’re not going to cooperate?’ host George Stephanopoulos responded.
‘I didn’t say that. I said I will consider it,’ Giuliani responding, saying he would consult his client.
‘If (Trump) decides that he wants me to testify of course I’ll testify — even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman,’ Giuliani said.
Both Trump and Giuliani have acknowledged the efforts to influence Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Hunter Biden’s membership on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either of the Bidens.
A secret complaint from the whistleblower, whose name is not publicly known, detailed a July phone call between Trump and Zelensky in which Trump urged the probe. It also revealed White House efforts to keep the conversation private.
The subpoena comes as Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that Senate rules would require him to take up any articles of impeachment against Trump if approved by the House, swatting down talk that that the GOP-controlled chamber could dodge the matter entirely.
“I would have no choice but to take it up,” McConnell said on CNBC. But he cautioned, “How long you’re on it is a whole different matter.”
If the House approves articles of impeachment – not introduced at this point – they would be sent to the Senate for trial. McConnell suggested he does not have the 67 votes to change the rules. But the Kentucky Republican, the Senate’s chief strategist, left open what he means by taking up the issue.
SMOKING TABLET: Rudy Giuliani claims he has 15 texts which will show his Ukraine activities were fully coordinated with the State Department
Rudy Giuliani reiterated previous claims that the State Department asked him to reach out to Ukraine to inquire about Ukrainian investigations, including into Joe and Hunter Biden, in an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox
LET’S TALK AGAIN: Giuliani shared his texts with U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker
Those tricky procedural questions could affect Trump’s political future and next year’s presidential and congressional election. Democrats have launched a coordinated political, messaging and polling strategy aimed at keeping any backlash in closely divided districts from toppling their House majority.
House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday that the panel would hear from the still-secret whistleblower “very soon,” but that no date had been set and other details remained to be worked out.
Polling showed some movement in public sentiment. A one-day NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted Sept. 25 found that about half of Americans – 49% – approve of the House formally starting an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
There remains a stark partisan divide on the issue, with 88% of Democrats approving and 93% of Republicans disapproving of the inquiry. But the findings suggest movement: Earlier polls conducted throughout Trump’s presidency have consistently found a majority saying he should not be impeached.
Republicans were split over how and whether to defend Trump’s own words contained in a phone transcript and his actions, described by a whistleblower’s report – both of which were made public by the White House.
The result has been a rainbow of approaches, led by Trump, who stormed on Twitter that the whistleblower was “fake” and suggested the people leading the probe should be arrested and charged with treason.
“The Fake Whistleblower complaint is not holding up,” he tweeted Monday morning.
Trump has insisted his call was “perfect.”
“He didn’t even know that it was wrong,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, describing her own phone call from Trump in which the president suggested the documents would exonerate him.
Giuliani brandished images of the tweets during a Thursday night appearance on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox. He also tweeted out a picture of a text exchange he says he had with Volker, who serves as the special envoy for Ukraine.
Giuliani tweeted an image of a tweet, purportedly with Volker, dated July 19. ‘Mr Mayor – really enjoyed breakfast this morning. As discussed, connecting you here with Andrew Yermak, who is very close to President Zelensky,’ the tweet said. ‘I suggest we schedule a call together on Monday – maybe 10am or 11am Washington time? Kurt.’
Giuliani met Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, in Madrid in mid-August. He says the State Department asked him to go.