Washington — Three congressional committees on Monday demanded President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, turn over documents related to his attempts to pressure the Ukrainian government to dig up and disseminate dirt on the president's domestic political rivals.
The subpoena by the Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence committees in the House represents the latest move by investigators in the Democratic-led chamber — now operating under the umbrella of an impeachment inquiry — to investigate efforts made by Mr. Trump and Giuliani to ensure that Kiev launched a criminal investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
"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," the chairmen of the three committees wrote in a letter to Giuliani. "A growing public record, including your own statements, indicates that the President, you, and others appear to have pressed the Ukrainian government to pursue two politically-motivated investigations."
Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
The chairmen — Eliot Engel, Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff, respectively— gave Giuliani an October 15 deadline to provide them documents related to his efforts to have the Ukrainian government led by President Volodymyr Zelensky probe Hunter Biden's work on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. They also requested records related to Giuliani's attempts to investigate fringe theories about the origins of Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The chairmen, who also requested documents from three of Giuliani's business associates, said their latest subpoena is a "key" element in their intensifying impeachment inquiry, which was announced last week by Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the revelation that Mr. Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens during a call in late July.
The stunning development, corroborated by both a White House memorandum of the call and a whistleblower complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community, has set of an extraordinary series of events in Washington that could lead House Democrats to file articles of impeachment against the president.
Along with denouncing the call between Mr. Trump and Zelensky, the whistleblower in the complaint detailed what amounted to a rogue diplomatic campaign by Giuliani to communicate with top aides to the Ukrainian leader to convey Mr. Trump's political requests. The State Department has confirmed that some of its top officials, including the former U.S. envoy to Ukraine, facilitated Giuliani's efforts, but the agency denied that Mr. Trump's personal attorney spoke "on behalf" of the U.S. government.
During an interview, Giuliani said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was aware of his unorthodox diplomatic efforts. But Giuliani said the State Department was trying to down play its role in his outreach to Ukraine.
"The State Department is running away from me," he said.