Three House panels investigating Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to push the Ukrainian government to fabricate damaging information about Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden threatened to subpoena the State Department if it refused to comply with an earlier request for information, a Monday letter shows.
The letter, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accuses the State Department of withholding documents and other information that the committees sent as part of a wide-ranging investigation into Giuliani’s role in pressuring Kyiv for information on the business dealings of Biden’s son.
Giuliani has admitted to asking the Ukrainian government for damaging information on Biden’s elder and younger, and for documents that would help discredit the prosecution of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
“If press reports are accurate, such corrupt use of presidential power for the President’s personal political interest—and not for the national interest—is a betrayal of the President’s oath of office and cannot go unchecked,” the letter reads.
The House Foreign Affairs, Oversight, and Intelligence Committees opened the investigation into Giuliani’s attempts to get information from Kyiv on Sept. 9. The same day, the Intelligence Community Inspector General approached Congress with information that a whistleblower from within the intelligence community had filed a complaint, and that the Trump administration had blocked the IG from forwarding it to Congress.
The original letters sought records relating to any potential investigations of Hunter Biden and of the Ukraine-based corruption allegations that played a role in bringing down Manafort, as well as information about a July 25 phone call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump.
The panels sent a similar request to White House counsel Pat Cipollone. The Monday letter does not address the status of that request.
The State Department may have played a key role in the scandal, after U.S. envoy for the Ukraine crisis Kurt Volker reportedly helped arrange a meeting between Giuliani and a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Giuliani reportedly debriefed State Department officials about the contents of his meetings.
“Seeking to enlist a foreign actor to interfere with an American election undermines our sovereignty, democracy, and the Constitution, which the President is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend,” the Monday letter reads. “Yet the President and his personal attorney now appear to be openly engaging in precisely this type of abuse of power involving the Ukrainian government ahead of the 2020 election.”
Read the letter here: