Rudy Giuliani was subpoenaed on Monday for a series of documents as House Democrats pursue an impeachment inquiry. In seeking the documents by an October 15 deadline, three Democratic committee chairmen cited comments that Giuliani made in a recent interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“During an interview on CNN, Chris Cuomo asked you, ‘So did you ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?’ You responded, ‘Of course I did,'” the committee chairman wrote in their letter to Giuliani. “In addition to this stark admission, you stated more recently that you are in possession of other evidence — in the form of text messages, phone records and other communications — indicating that you are not alone and that other Trump administration officials may have been involved in this scheme.”
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Cuomo interviewed Giuliani on Sept. 19, in an exchange that quickly went viral for the way that Giuliani rattled off a series of unsubstantiated claims against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Giuliani has defended his actions, and insists that the State Department was aware of his efforts in Ukraine. On Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show last week, he displayed text messages on an iPad and read some of them on the air. He was trying to bolster his claim that he was not acting as a rogue emissary of the president’s but had been in consultation with State Department officials.
The three chairmen – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) from House Intelligence, Rep. Elijiah Cummings (D-Md.) from House Oversight and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) from House Foreign Affairs – are seeking documents and communications “in order to determine the full extent of this effort by the president and his administration to press Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election.”
They also warned Giuliani that his failure to comply with the subpoena “shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president.”
The Democrats are seeking a wide range of documents going back to January 20, 2017, the day Trump took office. They also are seeking documents and depositions with three of Giuliani’s associates – Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and Semyon “Sam” Kislin.
Giuliani tweeted, “I have received a subpoena signed only by Democrat Chairs who have prejudged this case. It raises significant issues concerning legitimacy and constitutional and legal issues including, inter alia, attorney client and other privileges. It will be given appropriate consideration.”
But if Giuliani were to assert some kind of privilege, one factor will be what he has said in media appearances and whether that waives the ability to withhold certain information, former FBI lawyer Jim Baker said on CNN.
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