Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said taxpayer-funded State Department employees helped his recent effort to dig up dirt on political foes.
If Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is to be believed, the U.S. State Department aided his efforts to pressure a foreign government to dig up dirt on Trump's political enemies, according to a report from ABC News on Thursday.
Giuliani claimed the State Department put Ukrainian official Andriy Yermak "in contact with me." Giuliani insisted it was the State Department that helped him reach out to Yermak, "Not the other way around."
Giuliani alleges that he told Yermak, a close ally of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, that the Ukrainian government "should not be cowered [out of] fully investigating serious possible crimes like bribery, extortion, fraud, money laundering and illegal interference in 2016 election."
If Giuliani's claim is true, it amounts to him receiving aid from taxpayer-funded Trump officials to collude with a foreign government.
Giuliani was trying to persuade Ukrainian prosecutors to dig up dirt to use against both the Democratic National Committee and former Vice President Joe Biden. The entire effort was intended to help Trump's 2020 election effort, according to a May report from the New York Times.
Later that month, Giuliani was forced to cancel a planned trip to the Ukraine where he had planned on more collusion.
"This is the first instance of which I am aware in which a private lawyer for the president of the United States has, in his own words, 'meddled' in a foreign criminal investigation of a third party in order to politically benefit the president," Tim Meyer, an international law expert at Vanderbilt University, told the Washington Post in May. "Mr. Giuliani's actions undermine the long-standing U.S. foreign policy of promoting the rule of law in Ukraine generally and in the Ukrainian general prosecutor’s office specifically."
The State Department has not commented on Giuliani's recent statements, thus far refusing to confirm his account.
Giuliani has a long history of questionable claims since he started working for Trump.
In August 2018, Giuliani asserted that "truth isn't truth" after being asked if Trump refused to testify before Robert Mueller because Trump is a habitual liar.
That same month, Giuliani denied reports that Trump had conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey about dropping an investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's disgraced national security adviser. In fact, Trump pleaded with Comey to stop investigating Flynn, one of several instances where Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
Giuliani made so many unhinged statements on television that at one point he insisted he was not drunk when speaking to reporters.
In the 2016 election, the Trump campaign welcomed the help of Russian criminals. In 2020, Trump's personal lawyer, allegedly aided by Trump's State Department, is seeking out foreign agents to interfere with the election.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.