‘He Didn’t Demand It’: Giuliani Claims Trump Is ‘Innocent’ Because He Was ‘Cordial’ During Call With Ukraine
After avoiding the spotlight for several days, President Donal Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani emerged from his self-imposed gag order by writing an op-ed published Tuesday to attack the House’s impeachment investigation, calling it “unprecedented.”
Giuliani, who is facing a possible indictment over his shady dealings with Ukraine, claims Trump’s interactions with Ukraine were “innocent” because he “didn’t demand” an investigation into the Bidens, adding that “his words were cordial.”
“The conversation my client, President Donald J. Trump, had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 was innocent. During a congratulatory call, the newly elected Mr. Zelensky brought up the need to ‘drain the swamp’ in his country. Rooting out corruption was one of Mr. Zelensky’s campaign pledges, and Mr. Trump asked him to investigate allegations of corruption at the highest levels of both governments. It was a matter of serious mutual concern,” Giuliani wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
“Moreover, Mr. Trump requested that Ukraine root out corruption; he didn’t demand it. His words were cordial, agreeable and free of any element of threat or coercion. Mr. Trump offered nothing in return to Ukraine for cleaning up corruption.”
He also claimed that House Democrats are unfairly targeting his client.
“The manner in which Rep. Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are conducting this impeachment investigation is unprecedented, constitutionally questionable, and an affront to American fair play,” Giuliani wrote.
House Democrats launched their impeachment probe in September over concerns that Trump leveraged $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to pressure Kyiv to publicly launch an inquiry into former Biden and 2016 election meddling. Several witnesses have testified privately that they were uncomfortable with Trump’s request and that they believed there was a quid pro quo surrounding the president’s dealings with Ukraine.
Giuliani’s op-ed comes a day before the House holds its first public hearings in the inquiry.