President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani offered a new defense on Wednesday of his efforts to secure a Ukrainian investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, saying he had done so to defend Trump “against false charges.”
That differed from what Giuliani told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in a Sept. 24 interview.
“You know who I did it at the request of? The State Department,” Giuliani said of his entreaties for an investigation into the Bidens. “I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the State Department called me and asked me to do it. And then I reported every conversation back to them. Laura, I’m a pretty good lawyer, just a country lawyer, but it’s all here, right here. The first call from the State Department.”
The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 6, 2019
Further calling Giuliani’s latest explanation into question, the former New York mayor began pressuring officials in Kiev in the spring, months before Trump held a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. A partial summary of the call released by the White House showed that Trump himself requested that Zelensky look into the Bidens. It remains unclear what “false charges” Giuliani meant, given that his efforts to obtain dirt on the Bidens predated Trump’s call with Zelensky.
Attorney George Conway, an ardent Trump critic and the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, took issue with Giuliani’s latest defense.
This tweet by itself establishes that @realDonaldTrump committed an impeachable offense. To say that Giuliani’s and Trump’s pursuit of “Ukrainian ... corruption” was “done solely” to protect Trump’s interests establishes that Trump was not acting for the country. https://t.co/BE8VopaNAr— George Conway (@gtconway3d) November 6, 2019
It is not the first time that Giuliani has given mixed signals on his role in the Ukraine matter that now threatens Trump’s presidency. In a Sept. 19 interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Giuliani asserted that he had never asked Ukrainian officials to investigate Biden, one of Trump’s possible political rivals in 2020, only to directly contradict that statement 30 seconds later.
“Of course I did,” Giuliani proclaimed when pressed by Cuomo about such a request.
“You just said you didn’t!” Cuomo responded.
For months, Giuliani, who has refused to comply with a House subpoena in conjunction with the impeachment inquiry, seemed to take pride in the fact that he had not hired a lawyer to represent him. On Wednesday, however, Giuliani announced he had indeed secured legal representation.
I am represented and assisted by Robert Costello and the Pierce Bainbridge firm in particular , Eric Creizman and Melissa Madrigal.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 6, 2019
While it remains unclear whether federal investigators are looking to file charges against Giuliani, two of his former associates involved in the campaign to pressure Ukraine, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have been charged. On Monday, Parnas hired a new lawyer and announced that he had decided to cooperate with House investigators.
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