Rudy Giuliani never seems to be one who’s at a loss for words, and now House Democrats are demanding he tell all by sharing key documents with lawmakers as part of its impeachment probe.
On Monday, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to Giuliani as part of its impeachment inquiry into Giuliani’s client Donald Trump, Politico reports.
Lawmakers, according to the news site, want Trump’s personal lawyer to turn over all “text messages, phone records, and other communications” that could explain how what seems to be a demand for quid-pro-quo came to be made by Trump to the president of Ukraine during a July phone call.
And as the Los Angeles Times reports, House Democratic leadership in the impeachment probe have no plans to take no for an answer from Giuliani:
“Our inquiry includes an investigation of 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 [chairmen], Rep. Adam B. Schiff [(D-Calif.)], who heads the Intelligence Committee; Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), who leads the Foreign Affairs Committee; and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who heads the Oversight Committee, wrote in a letter to Giuliani.
If Giuliani does not comply, the chairmen warned, it would “constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” and perhaps become fodder for articles of impeachment against Trump.
At issue is a July phone call Trump made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During the call, transcripts of which the White House released last week, Trump appeared to demand help from Zelensky in digging up dirt on Trump Democratic rival Joe Biden in return for Trump releasing millions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine.
As the Los Angeles Times explains, Trump kept Giuliani’s name in his mouth during the call:
Trump repeatedly cited Giuliani’s role during a 30-minute phone call on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky, according to a reconstructed transcript released by the White House last week.
When Zelensky asked to buy U.S. anti-tank weapons to help fend off Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, Trump responded by asking for a “favor.”
He urged Zelensky to “look into” Biden, a potential opponent in the 2020 election whose son previously served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. He also complained about CrowdStrike, a California-based cybersecurity company that worked with Democrats in the 2016 campaign and is the subject of conspiracy theories involving Ukraine.
In both cases, Trump said Giuliani would call Zelensky or his aides to discuss his requests. “Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy,” Trump said, according to the White House account.
House Democrats have set an Oct. 15 deadline for Giuliani to comply with their request. Whether he will do so is the question. As Politico reports:
In a statement to Politico, Giuliani said: “I have received a Committee subpoena from three Committees of the House. It raises substantial constitutional and legal issues as well as attorney-client and other privileges. These and other issues must all be considered before a proper decision can be made.”
As for Trump, on Monday, he was raging on Twitter about the Intelligence Committee chair, Schiff, saying he should be arrested for treason.
And the president continued to be on the hunt for who dropped dime on him, telling reporters, per Politico,
“we’re trying to find out” the identity of the whistleblower, even though he or she is entitled to anonymity under federal law.
That suggestion has opened Trump up to allegations of witness intimidation.