Three Democratic-led House committees said Monday that they had opened “a wide-ranging investigation” into reported efforts by President Donald Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to pressure the government of Ukraine to help Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.
The chairmen of the House’s intelligence, oversight and foreign affairs committees wrote to the White House and State Department asking for records related to efforts to “manipulate the Ukrainian justice system.”
“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,” their statement read.
Their efforts were aimed at discrediting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
Republicans have raised questions about decisions Biden has made regarding Ukraine while he was vice president, CBC writes. Giuliani and other Republicans have claimed that Biden’s son benefited financially during that time as his father had a say in the U.S. administration’s Ukraine policy.
Both Biden and Hunter have maintained that the former vice president did not know that the younger Biden served on the Burisma board.
The outlet informs that Giuliani has met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s lawyer, prompting accusations by Democrats that the meeting was inappropriate as Giuliani does not serve in a State Department or White House capacity.
President Trump’s lawyer acknowledged the effort could be interpreted as “improper” but stressed that it was not illegal. He was reportedly seeking to have Ukraine investigate whether Ukrainian officials tried to harm Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The House probes into the Ukrainian efforts are just some of the many Democrats are seeking to open as they have come back from recess.