The scandal surrounding President Donald Trump’s communications with Ukrainian leadership is continuing to prove fast-developing. Now, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has responded to the release of a mostly unredacted complaint from a whistleblower in the intelligence community who, among other things, revealed Giuliani’s own apparent role in a scheme set in motion to try and get Ukrainian authorities to try and dig up dirt on the Bidens to help Trump’s re-election bid. Giuliani claims that he only interacted with Ukrainians like their presidential adviser Andrey Yermak at the direction of the State Department, and, allegedly, he has the text messages to prove it.
The problem is that fingerpointing with a “He did it first!” isn’t a really solid legal defense. It’s not as though everyone who works at the State Department is some kind of saint — many were appointed by Trump. The State Department’s Special Representative for Ukraine — a man named Kurt Volker — was appointed by a Trump appointee, now former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Still, Giuliani told CNN that he has “no knowledge of any of that crap” in the whistleblower complaint and, in direct response to claims that at least a couple of officials had to clean up the mess of contradicting and destabilizing messages Giuliani helped leave behind, he added:
‘At no time did either one of them say they wanted to contain damage. At no time did the State Department in communication with me ever relay any of that information you’re talking about… I spoke to the State Department during the course of this situation, I told you, at least 10 times, and I met with them… I should be as sympathetic as a whistleblower. I did my job and now all these people are torturing me.’
He added that he has a “nice little trail of text messages” and that he’s “going to use them to protect myself if and when I need them.” He produced one of these messages for CNN; in the communication, Volker wrote about setting up a “call together” including the former New York City mayor and the Zelensky adviser.
When exactly did it become Giuliani’s job as personal lawyer for Trump to help intervene in foreign relations?
He also met with Yermak in Madrid in what’s been billed as a follow-up to a phone conversation Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shortly prior in which the president talked up the possibility of Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr helping with a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens.
Giuliani has claimed that he’s only been acting in his capacity as a lawyer trying to build up a legal defense for his client — but he admitted recently (although it was already clear) that he directly asked Ukrainian authorities to investigate the Bidens. That kind of global meddling is not in the job description of an average private lawyer, although now that it’s all spilled out into the open, it does constitute the basis on which House Democrats are pressing forward with an impeachment inquiry.
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