Giuliani ‘would only help impeachment probe with Trump’s permission’
Mr Trump’s personal lawyer claimed the president ‘was framed by the Democrats’.
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said he would co-operate with the Congress impeachment inquiry only if the president gave him permission.
“If he decides that he wants me to testify, of course I’ll testify,” Mr Giuliani said during a series of television appearances where impeachment dominated the discussions.
But it is not clear whether Adam Schiff, whose House Intelligence Committee is taking the lead on the impeachment investigation, wants to hear sworn evidence from Mr Giuliani.
Central to the Democratic-led inquiry is Mr Giuliani’s effort to have Ukraine conduct a corruption probe into 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings with a Ukrainian energy company.
Mr Trump echoed that request in a July call with Ukraine’s president that has led to the impeachment drive examining whether Mr Trump linked US aid to Ukraine in exchange for that probe.
There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.
For now, Democrat Mr Schiff is working to strike a deal with the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint forms the heart of the proceedings against the 45th president.
The whistleblower told us:— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 27, 2019
- Trump pressured Ukraine to manufacture dirt on Biden. Confirmed.
- Military aid to Ukraine was held up for unknown reasons. Also right.
- Call records were hidden away in a classified system. Yup.
No wonder the IG found the whistleblower credible.
For Mr Trump, the developments pose a threat like none he has encountered before, even from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections.
The release last week of a rough transcript of Mr Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the whistleblower’s complaint have put the Republican president’s own words and actions under heightened scrutiny.
Democrats are waiting to see how the White House responds to congressional demands for evidence and documents.
“If they’re going to obstruct, then they’re going to increase the likelihood that Congress may feel it necessary to move forward with an article on obstruction,” said Mr Schiff. He said the committee is expecting an agreement for the whistleblower’s evidence “very soon”.
While Mr Trump was at his club in Sterling, Virginia, his former homeland security adviser suggested Mr Giuliani would be doing the president a disservice by repeating the false story that Ukraine, and not Russia, meddled in the 2016 US elections.
Counterfactual, prejudiced, and politically biased House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, pushed impeachment twice on national TV this morning, without identifying a single thing @realdonaldtrump did wrong. Schiff is unfit to lead!— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 29, 2019
“I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again,” said Tom Bossert, who was also an adviser to President George W Bush.
“That conspiracy theory has got to go, they have to stop with that, it cannot continue to be repeated.”
During his TV appearances, Mr Giuliani not only repeated the allegations but also brandished what he said were affidavits that support them and claimed Mr Trump “was framed by the Democrats”.
The US president, in his July 25 conversation with Mr Zelenskiy, made a brief and cryptic reference to CrowdStrike, a security firm hired by the Democratic National Committee.
The DNC’s network had been hacked and emails were stolen that were subsequently published by WikiLeaks.
CrowdStrike detected, stopped and analysed the hack five months before the 2016 election and determined that Russian agents were responsible.
Its findings were confirmed by FBI investigators, but conspiracy theorists dispute that and claim the hack is evidence that Mr Trump is being persecuted by “the deep state”.