Three House Committees on Monday announced they would be launching investigations into reports that President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani may have attempted to pressure the government of Ukraine to assist with the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.
Chairmen Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) of the Committee on Oversight and Reform sent letters to the White House and State Department demanding all records which may pertain to Trump or Giuliani attempting to influence Ukraine’s legal system in a manner that may benefit Trump’s campaign.
The investigations stem from reports that Giuliani had been lobbying Ukrainian government officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in order to damage Biden’s chances at winning the Democratic presidential primary.
The New York Times last month reported that Giuliani had spoken with top representatives of newly seated Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, imploring that administration to ramp up inquiries into whether there was any improper overlap between Hunter Biden’s role as a board member for a Ukrainian gas company and Joe Biden’s diplomatic efforts in the region.
“A growing public record indicates that, for nearly two years, the President and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appear to have acted outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically-motivated investigations under the guise of anti-corruption activity,” Engel wrote. “As the 2020 election draws closer, President Trump and his personal attorney appear to have increased pressure on the Ukrainian government and its justice system in service of President Trump’s reelection campaign, and the White House and the State Department may be abetting this scheme.”
The letter also cited a tweet Giuliani sent last month accusing Biden of using his vice presidency to enrich his son.
“The Politico coverup article doesn’t mention the bribery of Ukraine Pres. by then VP Biden to get the case against his son dismissed. Nor does it explain the Chinese pay-off of $1.5 billion to Biden’s useless fund. Joe took his son on AFII to get the investment. It stinks!!,” he tweeted.
The letters also noted that the Trump Administration recently threatened to withhold more than $250 million in security assistance already appropriated by Congress, which Ukraine desperately needs because the country’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity are under assault from Russia and its proxies.”
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