New York City mayor-turned-President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, says he’d “love” to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, which starts this week — if he also gets to run down what he’s discovered about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, whom Giuliani says he investigated thoroughy on a recent trip to Ukraine.
Giuliani appeared on “The Cats Roundtable” Sunday morning in New York, according to the New York Post, where he made his declaration.
“I would love to see a trial. I’d love to be a witness – because I’m a potential witness in the trial – and explain to everyone the corruption that I found in Ukraine, that far out-surpasses any that I’ve ever seen before, involving Joe Biden and a lot of other Democrats,” he said.
Giuliani went to Ukraine late last year to conduct what he called an in-depth investigation into Democrats’ connections to the Eastern European nation, including whether the Democratic National Committee conspired with Ukrainian officials to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and whether former Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian investigators to abandon a probe into an oil and gas company called Burisma that had his son, Hunter, on its board of directors.
Giuliani portrayed the trip as a “crime-fighting” endeavor, meant to root out corruption in the Ukrainian government, but what he discovered, he said back in December of last year, could have an impact on Trump’s impeachment trial.
“In reviewing my notes, it seems to me that a large-scale joint investigation into Ukraine and the US would uncover and recover billions stolen by crooks, from both countries, at the highest levels,” Giuliani tweeted back in early December. “This would be the most effective way to bring our two countries together.”
Democrats have a competing theory about Giuliani that says the former prosecutor and New York mayor was key to a plan that had President Donald Trump withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in aid in order to pressure Ukrainian prosecutors to investigate the Bidens’ dealings, in the hopes that information gathered would hobble Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Last week, Democrats and left-leaning activists seized on documents and interviews starring Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who is seeking to ink a deal with Federal prosecutors over allegations that he violated campaign finance laws, and says he has information connecting Giuliani and Trump to a plot to influence Ukraine’s government. Parnas says that “the president and Giuliani paved the way for him to contact and meet with top Ukrainian officials last spring,” according to the New York Post.
The White House denied Parnas’ claims in a harshly worded statement released last week: “These allegations are being made by a man who is currently out on bail for federal crimes and is desperate to reduce his exposure to prison,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said. “The facts haven’t changed — the president did nothing wrong and this impeachment, which was manufactured and carried out by the Democrats has been a sham from the start.”
Giuliani called Parnas “a very sad situation.”
Democrats have said they want witnesses at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, which begins this week, but despite being central to the allegations Democrats made against Trump during the impeachment inquiry, Giuliani has never been on their list, probably because they anticpate that any testimony Giuliani would give would ultimately benefit the president. Instead, the Democrats want former national security advisor John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to answer questions, in the hopes they’d provide information that could plug holes in the Democrats’ case against Trump.
If the Senate ultimately decides to call witnesses — something it can do by a majority vote at any time following opening statements — Republicans have said they will call not just Giuliani, but also Joe and Hunter Biden, and the whistleblower, whose initial claims gave rise to Democrats’ case.