Giuliani defends White House calls after Intel report reveals contacts

Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiBiden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' Trump claims he asked Ukraine to do US a 'favor,' not him The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE on Wednesday defended his extensive contacts with the White House that were revealed in a House Intelligence Committee report released a day earlier.

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"The mere fact I had numerous calls with the White House does not establish any specific topic. Remember, I’m the President’s attorney," Giuliani, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE's personal attorney, tweeted early Wednesday.

"They’ve already taken away @realDonaldTrump’s right to call witnesses, cross-examine, confront his accusers, or be represented by counsel at hearings," he added, chastising Democrats over their handling of impeachment proceedings. "Now he can’t talk to his counsel on the telephone?" 

 

The Intelligence panel on Tuesday released a 300-page report laying out the committee's findings after numerous public and private hearings in the impeachment inquiry into Trump. 

The report contained phone records that showed Giuliani in regular contact with the White House, an unidentified number and a number associated with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Aug. 8 as administration officials attempted to finalize a meeting between Trump and the Ukrainian president.

The records do not reveal the contents of the calls or specify who was reached, but they raise additional questions about Giuliani's involvement in the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine, which are the focus of the impeachment inquiry.

Trump, who is in London for NATO meetings, dodged a question about why Giuliani was in touch with the OMB.

"I really don't know," he told reporters during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "You'd have to ask him. Sounds like something that's not so complicated."

Democratic lawmakers allege that Trump conditioned a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his willingness to announce investigations into the president's political rivals, specifically former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE. Democrats have also suggested millions of dollars of security aid for Ukraine was withheld as part of the scheme.

Several current and former administration officials who testified publicly before the House Intelligence Committee last month said they were frustrated by the OMB placing a hold on the aid for Ukraine, which was intended to combat Russian aggression. But none of the witnesses were able to say definitively why the aid was frozen.

The funding was released in mid-September after a whistleblower complaint had been filed raising concerns about Trump's interactions with Ukraine.

Giuliani has admitted to going to Ukraine on behalf of his client but has denied any wrongdoing.

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will hold its first hearing in the impeachment inquiry with constitutional law experts who will outline the basis for impeachable offenses.