As the House moves closer to impeaching President Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has been increasingly outspoken in public about his role in the Ukrainian scandal at the center of the inquiry.
In a series of interviews and tweets, Giuliani repeatedly boasted about pushing for the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, a career foreign service official who he felt was impeding his work digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
The articles of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee last week and are set to be voted on by the House Wednesday allege that Trump used his power to pressure Ukraine into investigating Biden, the leading Democrat to challenge Trump’s reelection.
In an interview with the New Yorker conducted in November and published this week, Giuliani said that removing Yovanovitch was key to moving forward with the investigation into the Bidens. He assembled a dossier on Yovanovitch and the Bidens, which he passed along to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way,” Giuliani said. “She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.”
In an interview Monday evening with the New York Times, Giuliani claimed again that he passed information to Trump intended to prod him to remove Yovanovitch.
“I just gave them the facts,” said Giuliani. “I mean, did I think she should be recalled? I thought she should have been fired. If I was attorney general, I would have kicked her out. I mean — secretary of state.”
Giuliani continued to attack Yovanovitch in a series of tweets, stating he had acquired evidence that she had lied in her testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, a critical part of the impeachment process.
“Yovanovitch needed to be removed for many reasons most critical she was denying visas to Ukrainians who wanted to come to US and explain Dem corruption in Ukraine,” wrote Giuliani. “She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that’s not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion. Recently acquired documentary evidence shows she perjured herself before Schiffless Committee. Also her embassy stopped a Ukrainian audit of over $5 billion in aid funding put in question in 2017 by Ukrainian auditors. Enough for now more to come, plenty more.”
On Monday evening, Giuliani told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that he forced Yovanovitch out. “Of course I did,” he said, adding, “I didn’t need her out of the way. I forced her out because she’s corrupt.”
On Tuesday morning, Giuliani told NBC News that he would present his “findings” about Yovanovitch and Biden to the Justice Department “all in good time.” In addition to his claims about Biden, Giuliani has been instrumental in spreading the idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election on the side of the Democrats. Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Russia expert, testified last month that this claim, which contradicts the unanimous conclusions of American intelligence and law enforcement authorities, was a “fictional narrative.”
“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did,” said Hill. “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
Trump disparaged Yovanovitch in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, referring to her as “the woman” and saying, “She’s going to go through some things,” according to a memo on the call released by the White House.
Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified that the effort to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of the Biden family was at the “express direction of the president.”
“Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky,” Sondland said. “Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president.”
Neither Giuliani nor Pompeo testified during the House’s investigation, at the direction of the White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began to make the case on Tuesday that the Senate would not be calling live witnesses for the impeachment trial, which will likely take place in January if the House passes articles of impeachment this week.
Read more from Yahoo News: