Giuliani says he won't comply with subpoenas from Democrats

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump: Tough times but progress being made Giuliani touts experimental coronavirus treatment in private conversations with Trump Trump team picks fight with Twitter, TV networks over political speech MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license MORE's personal attorney, told lawmakers on Tuesday that he won't comply with a congressional subpoena for documents and communications related to House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Giuliani's attorney, Jon Sale, wrote to the House Intelligence Committee that Giuliani would not comply with the subpoena. Sale cited a White House letter stating that it would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, which it claimed was invalid.

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Sale's letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill, argues that the subpoena is "overbroad, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry." Sale also asserted that certain documents in the subpoena fall under attorney-client privilege, an argument some legal experts expressed skepticism about.

An official working on the impeachment inquiry said Democrats will consider Trump and his personal attorney to be obstructing their probe if Giuliani refuses to testify.

“Witnesses do not get to choose whether to comply with a duly-authorized subpoena, or to pick their investigators—not in the justice system, not in the Congress, and not in our democracy," the official said in a written statement.

"If Rudy Giuliani and the President truly have nothing to hide about their actions, Giuliani will comply—otherwise, we will be forced to consider this as additional evidence of obstruction, and may infer that the evidence withheld would substantiate the accusations of President Trump’s misconduct and efforts to cover it up. Nobody is above the law, not a president, and not his shadow envoy to Ukraine.” 

Giuliani hired Sale, a former Watergate prosecutor, to assist him in responding to the subpoena. Sale told The Hill on Tuesday his work for Giuliani is completed, and he is no longer representing him as a result.

House Democrats sent Giuliani a subpoena on Sept. 30 seeking documents related to his work in Ukraine, which is at the heart of an ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump. Giuliani has been at the center of efforts to find and circulate potentially damaging allegations about former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSteyer endorses Biden for president Sanders 2020 press secretary: Democratic leadership interested in 'corporate status quo' or 'they're planning to replace Joe' Biden joins calls to release racial breakdowns of coronavirus cases, deaths MORE, one of Trump's chief political rivals.

Giuliani said at the time that he had received the subpoena and would consider it, but he criticized the Democratic lawmakers who signed it as having "prejudged" the case.

He released a statement on Twitter later on Tuesday, saying he would not "participate in an illegitimate, unconstitutional, and baseless 'impeachment inquiry.'" He also confirmed that Sale was no longer representing him.

Spokespeople for the three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Giuliani's decision not to comply.

Giuliani was expected to attend the Tuesday afternoon American League Championship Series game between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.

If he does not comply, House Democrats could move to hold him in contempt. While it is unlikely that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrOvernight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 COVID-19 is no excuse for Attorney General Barr to skirt the rule of law Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening MORE would hold Giuliani in criminal contempt, the House could have the sergeant at arms arrest him for inherent contempt.

--Updated at 3:58 p.m.

 

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