Giuliani's attempt to dig up dirt on Trump challengers triggers congressional probe


Trump has threatened to withhold vital aid to Ukraine while Giuliani has been pressuring them for dirt on Joe Biden.

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is being investigated by three congressional committees for his attempts to contact a foreign government to seek help attacking Trump's Democratic political rivals.

"The leaders of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees demanded information from the White House and State Department regarding Giuliani's contacts with Ukraine and a decision to hit pause on more than $250 million in security assistance already appropriated by Congress," Politico reported on Monday.

House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff and House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings wrote a letter addressed to White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raising their concerns.

Giuliani "appear[s] to have acted outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically-motivated investigations," they write.

The statement is in reference to reports that Giuliani has been pushing the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. The operation is reminiscent of the Trump campaign's contact with Russian operatives during the 2016 election seeking dirt to attack former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Vice President Biden is one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates, and along with several other frontrunners, has been polling ahead of Trump.

In the letter, Cummings noted that Trump has threatened to withhold over $250 million in security assistance to Ukraine that was appropriated by Congress. It then states that if Trump is attempting to withhold the money for Ukraine in exchange for aiding Giuliani's crusade, "this would represent a staggering abuse of power" and "a betrayal of the public trust."

The chairs note that the action would be a "boon to Moscow," as Ukraine has been fending off attempts by Russia to increase its influence in the region.

The committees are seeking records from the White House and State Department regarding Trump's actions with regard to Giuliani, Ukraine, and related issues.

Trump has already demonstrated that he is willing to have federal agencies, like NOAA, divert themselves from their stated mission to prop up his personal crusades.

Congress is now attempting to see if, in concert with Giuliani, the State Department has been drawn into the pro-Trump crusade.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.