Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has announced plans to visit Ukraine as soon as this week in an effort to push for probes that could help Trump.
Giuliani made the announcement in a Thursday interview with The New York Times, saying that he plans to urge the newly-elected Ukrainian president to look into the origin of the federal Russia probe as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s son’s involvement in a Ukrainian-owned gas company, The Hill reports.
Both Giuliani and Trump hope that these inquires will help the President in his re-election bid. The President’s attorney defended the decision, which comes after the conclusion of the special counsel’s two-year investigation about possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, saying that this did not represent election meddling.
“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do. There’s nothing illegal about it,” Giuliani said on Thursday.
“Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy — I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government,” he continued.
The Ukrainian probes were opened by the country’s outgoing president, Petro Poroshenko. The president-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky has indicated his intention to replace the prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, who has met with Giuliani on multiple occasions to discuss the matters.
The meeting between Giuliani and Zelensky has not been confirmed yet, but should it take place, the lawyer said he would tell the incoming president “what I know about the people that are surrounding him, and how important it is to do a full, complete and fair investigation.”
Giuliani added that he has the support of President Trump, although he failed to clarify whether Trump has been briefed about the possible meeting with Zelensky.
Last week, the President’s attorney called for an investigation into Biden after it was reported that in 2016 he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t remove a top prosecutor who was looking into a gas company where Biden’s son was a board member.