Rudy Opens Mouth Again & Fills In Details About His Role In Trump’s Corruption

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Ukraine, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

NY Times:

Rudolph W. Giuliani said on Monday that he provided President Trump with detailed information this year about how the United States ambassador to Ukraine was, in Mr. Giuliani’s view, impeding investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump, setting in motion the ambassador’s recall from her post.

In an interview, Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, described how he passed along to Mr. Trump “a couple of times” accounts about how the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, had frustrated efforts that could be politically helpful to Mr. Trump. They included investigations involving former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Ukrainians who disseminated documents that damaged Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The president in turn connected Mr. Giuliani with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who asked for more information, Mr. Giuliani said. Within weeks, Ms. Yovanovitch was recalled as ambassador at the end of April and was told that Mr. Trump had lost trust in her.

The circumstances of Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster after a smear campaign engineered in part by Mr. Giuliani were documented during testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, where she was a key witness in impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump. Mr. Giuliani has made no secret of his role in flagging concerns about Ms. Yovanovitch to Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Giuliani’s account, in an interview with The New York Times on Monday evening, provided additional detail about the president’s knowledge of and involvement in one element of a pressure campaign against Ukraine.

Mr. Giuliani’s interview came as the House prepared for a vote on Wednesday to impeach Mr. Trump. The articles of impeachment put forward by Democrats accuse the president of abusing the power of his office to push Ukraine to help him politically and of obstructing Congress by blocking testimony from key officials. Over several weeks of testimony, Democrats assembled a case that Mr. Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine and denied its president an Oval Office meeting as he sought a commitment from the Ukrainians for the investigations promoted by Mr. Giuliani.

In conversations in the first months of the year with the president, Mr. Giuliani, by his account, cast Ms. Yovanovitch as impeding not only investigations in Ukraine that could benefit Mr. Trump, but also Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to gather evidence to defend him — and target his rivals — in the United States.

“There’s a lot of reasons to move her,” Mr. Giuliani said, asserting that his briefings of Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo most likely played a role in their decision to recall Ms. Yovanovitch.

“I think my information did,” he said. “I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. But they relied on it.”

He added that he did not recommend that Mr. Trump or Mr. Pompeo recall Ms. Yovanovitch. “I just gave them the facts,” he said. “I mean, did I think she should be recalled? I thought she should have been fired.” He said, “If I was attorney general, I would have kicked her out. I mean — secretary of state.”

Is this a strategy? Or can he not help but just brag about his power and influence? It has to be the second one. Rudy wants to be relevant. So, just repeating: Donald Trump’s personal attorney made it clear that he forced a sitting ambassador from office because she stood in the way of bringing pro-Russian officials who had been removed from office for corruption to America so that they could more effectively interfere in the 2020 election. This isn’t conjecture. This doesn’t require any leaps of deduction. This is what he’s bragging about.