Rudy Giuliani is in hot water over his Ukrainian shenanigans.
Three Democratically-controlled House committees launched an investigation Monday into the former New York mayor’s alleged attempts to strong-arm the Ukrainian government into helping President Trump’s reelection campaign.
Reps. Eliot Engel of New York, Adam Schiff of California and Elijah Cummings of Maryland — the chairmen of the House foreign affairs, intelligence and oversight panels, respectively — fired off letters to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding a laundry list of records and informing the administration they’re launching a “wide-ranging” inquiry into attempts by Trump, Giuliani and “possibly others” to “improperly pressure” Ukrainian politicians.
"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,” the chairmen 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.”
Specifically, the chairmen said they’re probing alleged attempts by Giuliani to convince Ukrainian officials to prosecute people in the country who provided former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team with “key evidence” against Paul Manafort, Trump’s since-criminally convicted ex-campaign chairman.
“That investigation aims to undercut the Mueller Report’s overwhelming evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to support Trump’s campaign,” the chairmen wrote.
The committees are also looking into efforts by Giuliani and Trump to push Ukrainian prosecutors to launch investigations into ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, according to the chairmen.
Giuliani maintains that Hunter Biden illegally made millions from his work with a Ukrainian gas company owned by an oligarch in the country.
The ex-mayor, who serves as Trump’s media attack dog and personal attorney, has also suggested Joe Biden used his vice president pulpit to convince Ukrainian prosecutors to drop an investigation into his son.
Giuliani had plans to travel to Ukraine earlier this year and initially said he was going to encourage the country’s newly-elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to follow up on his Biden allegations.
He ended up canceling that trip amid outrage from Congress.
Giuliani welcomed Monday’s investigative announcement as an opportunity to revisit his claims about Biden, who is the early front-runner in the Democratic primary race for president.
“Good,” he texted the Daily News. “Maybe this will get you to cover Biden Family making millions from crooked Ukraine oligarch ... when Sleepy Joe was acting for US ... Sleepy says he didn’t know. He’s either lying (criminal) or didn’t know (mentally completely incompetent).”
Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden’s 2020 bid, praised the House committees for opening an investigation and pointed to a Washington Post editorial labeling Giuliani’s claims about the ex-veep as “bogus on its face.”
“This is beneath us as Americans, and it reinforces a truth that Trump and his allies have made patently clear for months: He is terrified of facing Joe Biden,” Bates said.
In their letters to Cipollone and Pompeo, Engel, Schiff and Cummings cited reports that Trump recently threatened to withhold more than $250 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine that it “desperately needs” to stave off Russia’s occupation of Crimea.
The chairmen said they need to get to the bottom of whether Trump is trying to hold back the aid to get Ukraine to launch investigations into Biden and ex-Manafort associates. They wrote that Trump on a recent phone call with Zelensky brought up the investigations and told the Ukrainian leader that their launch would “improve” interactions “between Ukraine and the USA.”
“If the President is trying to pressure Ukraine into choosing between defending itself from Russian aggression without U.S. assistance or leveraging its judicial system to serve the ends of the Trump campaign, this would represent a staggering abuse of power, a boon to Moscow, and a betrayal of public trust,” the chairmen said.
Representatives for Cipollone and Pompeo did not return requests for comment.