The House Intelligence Committee on Monday issued a subpoena to Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, as part of House Democrats’ rapidly intensifying impeachment inquiry.
The committees demanded details about Giuliani’s interactions with Trump administration officials stemming from his influence campaign in the eastern European nation and his alleged role as a intermediary between the American and Ukrainian governments.
“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote to Giuliani. Monday’s letter was co-signed by Reps. Eliot Engel and Elijah Cummings, who chair the Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, respectively.
The committees are investigating whether Trump compromised U.S. national security when he asked Zelensky for a “favor,” as described in a White House readout of a July 25 phone call between the two presidents, involving an investigation of Biden. Top Democrats have said Trump violated his oath of office and abused his power to extort a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 presidential election on his behalf, and the allegations recently convinced Speaker Nancy Pelosi to formalize an impeachment inquiry.
Schiff, Engel and Cummings cited Giuliani’s recent acknowledgment that he asked the Ukrainian government to probe Biden and his son Hunter, demanding that Giuliani produce “text messages, phone records, and other communications” that could reveal the involvement of senior Trump administration officials.
The three committees and their chairmen have been thrust to the forefront of the House’s investigation into a whistleblower complaint centering on Trump’s phone call with Zelensky. The issue has united the House Democratic Caucus in outrage, prompting nearly every Democrat to support the resulting impeachment inquiry.
The complaint, which was initially withheld from Congress at the Justice Department’s behest, alleges that White House officials sought to “lock down” information relating to Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders on a highly classified server. It also states that officials were “deeply disturbed” about Trump’s conduct, which they believed could constitute evidence that he abused his power and his office.
The intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, deemed the complaint “urgent” and “credible.” Atkinson will brief members of the Intelligence Committee behind closed doors on Friday.
Lawmakers are also examining Trump’s decision to freeze critical military aid to Ukraine around the same time as his phone call with Zelensky. Last week, the chairs of the House Budget and Appropriations committees demanded information from the White House as it seeks to establish a timeline for “when, why, and how the president and [the Office of Management and Budget] withheld this funding.”