President Trump is at once distancing himself from Rudy Giuliani’s latest dirt-digging mission to Ukraine and hyping up the findings.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Saturday, Trump claimed not to know what his personal lawyer was doing in Ukraine this week or what he found while there, but he said he’s heard “he found plenty.”
Giuliani, whose back-channel mission to find damaging information on Trump’s political opponents is at the center of an impeachment inquiry, will be releasing a report with findings from his recent trip to Ukraine, Trump said.
“He’s going to make a report, I think to the attorney general and to Congress,” Trump said. “He says he has a lot of good information.” The president added that Giuliani has not yet briefed him on the exact findings.
The former mayor of New York has met with a slew of former Ukrainian officials in recent months as part of a crusade to substantiate corruption allegations against former vice president Joe Biden that have already widely been debunked. His campaign against Biden and other Trump critics is at the center of the impeachment inquiry against Trump, with House Democrats saying Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals in exchange for military aid.
Giuliani said he traveled to Ukraine this month to counter the impeachment inquiry and “bring before the American people” information that he claims House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “covered up.”
While in Kyiv, Giuliani tweeted that he allegedly found a misuse of $5.3 billion in U.S. funds during the Obama administration, adding that former Vice President Joe Biden was the alleged “point man.” Giuliani claimed that the Obama embassy urged Ukrainian police not to investigate.
In another tweet, Giuliani implied that until a corruption probe in Ukraine is resolved, “it will be a major obstacle to the U.S. assisting Ukraine with its anti-corruption reforms.”
Giuliani’s allegations come as the House Judiciary Committee is beginning to draft articles of impeachment against Trump and hoping to hold a vote before Christmas. On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the constitutional grounds for impeaching Trump.
Trump reminded reporters Saturday that “nothing came out of the conversation” he had on the July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Trump asked Zelensky to “do us a favor,” and investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company.
“Nothing came out of the conversation, except for the relationship with Ukraine,” Trump said. “And the people see that it’s just a continuation of this three-year witch hunt.”