The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has invited President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to come speak to the panel in order to counter the narrative of the House Democrats' impeachment probe.
In a string of tweets sent out Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) invited the former New York City mayor to give testimony "to inform the committee of his concerns" regarding allegations of corruption in Ukraine and the president's efforts to get the country's government to look into them.
"Have heard on numerous occasions disturbing allegations by [Giuliani] about corruption in Ukraine and the many improprieties surrounding the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin," Graham said. "Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to inform the committee of his concerns."
Have heard on numerous occasions disturbing allegations by @RudyGiuliani about corruption in Ukraine and the many i… https://t.co/Jz7qC6inn4— Lindsey Graham (@Lindsey Graham)1570543945.0
@RudyGiuliani Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee… https://t.co/0SIVQ0Df3m— Lindsey Graham (@Lindsey Graham)1570544046.0
In a later tweet, the chairman said that he was "tired of only hearing one side of the story. It's now time to give voice to everything Ukraine. Let the chips fall where they may!"
Unlike the House of Representatives, I’m tired of only hearing one side of the story. It’s now time to give voic… https://t.co/2Cm2LqT0Of— Lindsey Graham (@Lindsey Graham)1570548818.0
Bloomberg reported that this invitation — which occurred as a rift was growing between Graham and Trump on foreign policy in Syria — came after "days of pressure from top Trump allies including Donald Trump Jr. for Graham to act" after the chairman had deferred investigation efforts to the probe being run by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Committee Democrats were eager to respond to the prospect of being able to question Giuliani themselves.
"Good," responded 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), "I have questions."
"I welcome the opportunity to question Rudy Giuliani under oath about his role in seeking the Ukrainian government's assistance to investigate one of the president's political rivals," committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. "Democratic members have plenty of questions for Mr. Giuliani and this would give us an opportunity to help separate fact from fiction for the American people."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reacted to the announcement with a simple "Bring it on."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — though not a member of the Judiciary Committee — said, "We welcome Mr. Giuliani testifying" and said that given his role in the Ukraine matter, "he must testify under oath."
Former Vice President Joe Biden — whose son's employment at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma is at the center of the Ukraine controversy — doesn't seem too enthused at the prospect of Giuliani's testimony. A campaign spokesman told Bloomberg that "bringing forward noted conspiracist and liar Rudy Giuliani would further discredit the reputation of the Senate Judiciary Committee under Senator Graham."
Giuliani is a key figure in the story leading up to President Trump's July 25 phone call with the president of Ukraine. According to testimony provided by a former top U.S. diplomat, Giuliani was central in the efforts to get Ukraine to look into the Burisma matter. House Democrats subpoenaed the former New York City mayor after Nancy Pelosi announced "an official impeachment inquiry" last month.