Congress Just Obtained Evidence Giuliani Ran ‘Shadow Takedown’ In Ukraine
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, ran a “shadow shakedown” in Ukraine, according to evidence former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker provided to lawmakers during more than eight hours of closed-door testimony Thursday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told reporters following the deposition.
According to Swalwell, who attended the marathon deposition on Capitol Hill, Volker provided evidence that President Donald Trump, through his attorney Rudy Giuliani and other State Department officials, withheld aid to the country and asked Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joe Biden as well as matters related to the 2016 election, NBC News reports.
“We saw further evidence that there was a shadow shakedown going on, and that the lead, the lead deputy for the president was Rudy Giuliani. You had an experienced diplomat working for free, special envoy Mr. Volker, who, in many ways, was a front for work that was being done on the side parallel to his efforts by Rudy Giuliani,” Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee said. Volker testified to members of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees.
Democrats on the intelligence panel later released text messages that showed Volker and another U.S. ambassador working to persuade the Ukrainians to commit to probing Trump’s opponents.
“We have evidence of text messages between State Department officials expressing concern as early as May that there was a Giuliani-Biden thing going on that had concerned a State Department official,” Swalwell said. “We have evidence that a State Department official was concerned that there was a linkage between security assistance to Ukraine, and as he described, a domestic political campaign.”
Democrats learned a lot, Swalwell said, that will advance their impeachment inquiry.
“You have more and more evidence that the president of the United States was improperly using his office, using our taxpayer dollars to leverage help from an ally, in our upcoming 2020 election,” Swalwell said.
Swalwell’s takeaway came in stark contrast to that of his Republican colleagues.
“The facts we learned today undercut the salacious narrative that [House Intelligence Chairman] Adam Schiff is using to sell his impeachment ambitions,” Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Devin Nunes of California said in a joint statement following the deposition, according to NBC News. “We hope the American people get to read the transcript of today’s testimony and see the truth.”
Jordan said that nothing that Volker said “comports with any of the Democrats’ impeachment narrative” and he criticized Schiff’s handling of the deposition saying that Schiff wouldn’t allow State Department counsel to participate in Volker’s interview.