Giuliani seeks to distance himself from Sondland

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDOJ releases memos backing Trump immunity claims ahead of impeachment vote Giuliani to Trump after Ukraine trip: I got 'more than you can imagine' Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' MORE, the personal attorney for President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE, sought to defend his involvement in the Ukraine controversy as Sondland testified about his role. 

"I came into this at [former Ukraine special envoy Kurt] Volker’s request. Sondland is speculating based on VERY little contact. I never met him and had very few calls with him, mostly with Volker," Giuliani said on Twitter during the hearing.

"Volker testified I answered their questions and described them as my opinions, NOT demands. I.E., no quid pro quo!" he added.

Sondland repeatedly referenced Giuliani during his testimony. He told lawmakers that Trump directed him and other officials to "talk to Rudy" about certain Ukraine matters and that he understood Giuliani to be relaying the president's interests. 

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"If I had known of all of Mr. Giuliani’s dealings or of his associations with individuals now under criminal indictment, I would not have acquiesced to his participation," Sondland said.

He added that Giuliani's requests amounted to a quid pro quo tying a White House meeting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to demands that Zelensky announce investigations into Trump's political rivals.

While Giuliani pointed to Volker's testimony as a defense of his actions, even Volker expressed concerns about Giuliani's role in the administration and noted he had raised a "conspiracy theory."

Giuliani has been at the center of the ongoing impeachment inquiry and has been open about his efforts to pursue damaging information that might be useful to Trump. He has asserted that State Department officials were aware of his activities.

Two of his associates — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — have been indicted on charges of campaign finance law violations. Giuliani is reportedly under investigation in the Southern District of New York.