Amid impeachment inquiry, Giuliani meets with Ukraine officials

 latimes.com  12/04/2019 19:22:00 

Rudolph W. Giuliani, attorney for President Trump, is visiting Ukraine to meet with former government officials.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, attorney for President Trump, is visiting Ukraine to meet with former government officials.

Democrats and Republicans sparred in the House Judiciary Committees first impeachment hearing, battling over whether Trumps pressure on Ukraine to conduct investigations into his political rivals constituted impeachable offenses.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Trumps personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, met with former government officials in what he said was an effort to undermine the impeachment inquiry and continue his crusade to dig up dirt on those same Democratic rivals, according to the New York Times.

Like a good lawyer, I am gathering evidence to defend my client against the false charges being leveled against him, Giuliani wrote the New York Times in a text message on Wednesday.

Giuliani did not respond to requests for comment from the Los Angeles Times. Its unclear whether he briefed Trump, who has been in London since Monday for a two-day NATO summit, about his travel plans.

Giuliani canceled a trip to Ukraine last spring after he was heavily criticized, and State Department officials are tracking his current sojourn with concern due to the ongoing scrutiny, the New York Times reported.

Both impeachment investigators and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York are looking at Giulianis activities with Ukraine, in part to determine whether he violated laws regarding lobbying for a foreign country.

If S.D.N.Y. leaks and Democrats threats stopped me then I should find a new profession, Giuliani told the New York Times.

After a stop in Budapest, Giuliani traveled to Kyiv, Ukraines capital. He met with former Ukrainian prosecutors who have faced allegations of corruption and promoted unfounded claims about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, as well as the 2016 presidential election.

Along for the ride were reporters for conservative television outlet One America News Network, promoting a documentary series that OANN says is Debunking Schiffs Impeachment Narrative with first-hand witnesses.

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Molly OToole is an immigration and security reporter based in the Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C., bureau. Previously, she was a senior reporter at Foreign Policy covering the 2016 election and Trump administration, and a politics reporter at the Atlantics Defense One. She has covered migration and security from Mexico, Central America, West Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf, and South Asia. She is a graduate of Cornell University and NYU, but will always be a Californian.
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