NEW YORK (AP) — Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, said Tuesday that the president asked him to brief the Justice Department and Republican senators on the findings of his recent trip to Ukraine.
Giuliani indicated he would aim to do so by week’s end but did not provide details. He would not discuss the contents of his findings.
Giuliani’s trip last week prompted concern from many White House officials, some of whom blame the lawyer for ensnaring Trump in the Ukraine affair that has led to articles of impeachment.
As special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation wound down earlier this year, Giuliani began pushing the belief — one previously only held on the fringes of the conservative movement — that Ukraine may have also attempted to interfere in the 2016 election. There is no evidence that happened.
The former New York City mayor also wanted to bring attention to the work that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter did in Ukraine and urged Trump to demand Kiev investigate his possible political foe. That pressure was at the heart of the articles of impeachment introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Even as impeachment swirled, Giuliani stunned Washington by traveling to Ukraine this month to further his probe. The surprise journey drew condemnation from Democrats and some scorn from Republicans and White House aides, many of whom believed the sojourn to Kiev drew unwanted scrutiny ahead of the impeachment vote. Trump, though, appeared to praise the trip when talking to reporters in recent days.
“He says he has a lot of good information,” Trump said Saturday. “I hear he has found plenty.”
But the venue for Giuliani’s debriefing is uncertain. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a staunch Trump ally, has said he had no plans for Giuliani to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has launched an inquiry into Joe Biden and his communications with Ukrainian officials.
Meanwhile, Giuliani has alienated many in Trump’s orbit, including Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom have told West Wing aides that the attention-seeking former mayor had become a liability to Trump.
But while Trump has at times grown frustrated with Giuliani’s faux pas, he has told people close to him that he appreciates the former mayor’s willingness to defend him on television and his aggressive pursuit of corruption. He has also repeatedly told reporters that the former prosecutor was the nation’s greatest crime fighter.
Giuliani returned Saturday from a trip that took him to Ukraine, Hungary and Austria, where he said he was looking for documents and witnesses to support unproven claims he has made about Hunter Biden and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election.
He was accompanied by correspondents from the conservative One America News Network, which is producing a documentary about his work.
Giuliani outlined the details of his trip hours after House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment against Trump, declaring his actions toward Ukraine “betrayed the nation” as they pushed toward historic proceedings that are certain to help define his presidency and shape the 2020 election.
The specific charges aimed at removing the 45th president of the U.S.: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, flanked by the chairmen of impeachment inquiry committees at the U.S. Capitol, said they were upholding their solemn oath to defend the Constitution. Trump responded angrily on Twitter: “WITCH HUNT!”