President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThree Democrats call for investigation into Sidney Powell to move 'swiftly' Fox News bans Rudy Giuliani from appearing: report Alabama official dismisses Lindell claim that 100K votes were flipped from Trump to Biden: 'It's not possible' 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 BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place 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.
“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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe as well as the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report 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.
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 BarrBill BarrTrump pushes back on book claims, says he spent 'virtually no time' discussing election with Lee, Graham Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Barr-Durham investigation again fails to produce a main event MORE in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over Mueller's unredacted report and the underlying evidence.