Giuliani traveling to Ukraine to push for probes that could be 'very helpful' to Trump

President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiPelosi hasn't returned calls to Facebook's Zuckerberg after edited video controversy: report Giuliani evokes Joseph McCarthy in criticism of Pelosi House Democrats considering probe into Giuliani's overseas political work: report MORE says he plans to travel to Ukraine in the coming days in an attempt to push for investigations that he says could benefit the president.

Giuliani told The New York Times in a Thursday interview that he plans to ask the country's president-elect to look into the origin of the federal Russia probe as well as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe Biden'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Hickenlooper laughs off lack of recognition by security guard at Democratic debate MORE's past influence on the country. Giuliani's comments to the Times come after The Hill relayed key details on the issue last month.

"We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” the Trump lawyer asserted.

ADVERTISEMENT

“There’s nothing illegal about it,” he added. “Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy — I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

The Times reported that the meeting's goal is to try to undermine the credibility of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE's probe as well as the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortREAD: Hannity, Manafort messages released by judge Manafort, Hannity talk Trump, Mueller in previously undisclosed messages FBI, warned early and often that Manafort file might be fake, used it anyway MORE. Trump's allies are also reportedly seeking information that could hurt Biden, who has led recent polls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Such inquiries were previously launched by the administration of current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who lost a recent reelection bid to political newcomer Volodymyr Zelensky. The new Ukrainian president will take office June 3. 

Giuliani last week called for an investigation into Biden for his previous actions in Ukraine after a New York Times report on the former vice president's dealings with the country.

In 2016, Biden reportedly threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees unless the country removed a top prosecutor, who was later voted out. Biden’s younger son, Hunter Biden, was a board member of an energy company that the prosecutor had been looking into, according to the newspaper. 

Giuliani's trip comes after Mueller earlier this year concluded his probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, though he detailed extensive contacts between Trump associates and Russian figures.

Democrats are pushing for an unredacted version of the Mueller report, over which Trump has exerted executive privilege. The House Judiciary Committee voted this week to hold Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Attorney General Barr plays bagpipes at conference The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? MORE in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over Mueller's unredacted report and the underlying evidence.