WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said that his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, plans to prepare a report for the U.S. Justice Department and Congress about allegations of misconduct the former New York mayor says he uncovered during a recent trip to Ukraine.
Trump said Giuliani, a central figure in the impeachment investigation into whether Trump pressured Ukraine into a politically motivated investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, hadn’t briefed him on his findings.
But, the president said, “I hear he found plenty.”
“He’s going to make a report, I think to the attorney general and to Congress,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Saturday as he departed for a fund-raising trip to Florida. “He says he has a lot of good information. I have not spoken to him about that information yet.”
On Sunday, Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who’s one of Trump’s biggest congressional cheerleaders, termed Giuliani’s trip to Ukraine “weird.”
Giuliani has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims about interactions between the Obama White House and Ukrainian officials. Multiple administration officials testified during the impeachment proceedings that they were worried Giuliani was pursuing politically motivated conspiracy theories and conducting a shadow foreign policy on behalf of Trump and at the expense of U.S. interests.
Still, Giuliani traveled to Ukraine with the conservative One America News Network in what he described as an effort “to bring before the American people” information he said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “covered up.”
Busy on Twitter
It’s unclear if Giuliani did so with the blessing of or on the orders of the president, who has previously denied asking his lawyer to travel to Ukraine.
“It’s weird that he’s over there,” Gaetz said on ABC’s “This Week.” It “seems to be odd having him over there at this time.”
In a series of Twitter posts during his travels this month, Giuliani alleged that billions of dollars were “stolen by crooks, from both countries, at the highest levels.”
That included a tweet in which Giuliani wrote that the “Accounts Chamber in Ukraine found an alleged misuse of $5.3B in U.S. funds during the Obama administration.” He subsequently tweeted that “much of the $5.3B in US Aid Ukraine reported as misused was given to the embassy’s favored NGO’s.”
But the Accounting Chamber of Ukraine said that the $5.3 billion came from multiple countries, that the funds to nongovernmental organizations represented only a small percentage of the aid, and that the issue was improper accounting rather than misuse of funds, according to CNN.
The president’s lawyer also tweeted without substantiation that the “Obama embassy,” led by then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, urged Ukrainian police not to investigate the matter.
Giuliani was accompanied in Kyiv by Andriy Telizhenko, a Ukrainian who worked at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in 2016 and is the source of unsubstantiated allegations that his country interfered with the 2016 U.S. election.
Top Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian billionaire who has ties to Zelenskiy, said they didn’t plan to meet with Giuliani on his trip.