Warren knocks Giuliani over Ukraine trip: He 'should just back off'

Warren knocks Giuliani over Ukraine trip: He 'should just back off'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' Warren enters crucial debate with big momentum MORE (D-Mass.) slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Sunday shows — Officials rush to Trump's defense on Syria, sanctions Cruz: 'Of course' it's not appropriate to ask China to investigate Bidens MORE on Friday over the lawyer's planned trip to Ukraine to promote investigations that he said will help Trump.

"It is highly unethical for the president’s personal lawyer to go meet with officials from a foreign government to see if they can influence, somehow, the upcoming presidential election," Warren said of the reported trip.

“Rudy Giuliani should just back off," she added.

Giuliani told The New York Times on Thursday that he intends to ask Ukraine's president-elect to investigate the origin of the federal Russia probe, as well as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Schiff: Whistleblower testimony might not be necessary Trump warns Democrats will lose House seats over impeachment MORE's past interactions with the country.

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The Hill reported details of Biden's relationship with Ukraine last month. 

"We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” the former New York City mayor told the Times.

“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.”

According to the newspaper, Giuliani hopes to find information that will lessen the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, as well as the credibility of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter He who must not be named: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper Schiff should consider using RICO framework to organize impeachment MORE. He also hopes to find information that will hurt Biden's campaign.

Such investigations were previously launched by current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, but he lost a recent election to political newcomer Volodymyr Zelensky, who is set to enter office June 3.

Biden reportedly threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine in U.S. loan guarantees in 2016 unless the country got rid of a prosecutor, who was later voted out. His son, Hunter Biden, also served on the board of a company that the prosecutor had been investigating, the Times reported.

The trip follows the conclusion of the Mueller probe, which reviewed whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Mueller's report did not establish that Trump's campaign coordinated or conspired with Russia, but did detail extensive contacts between Trump associates and Russian figures.

Warren is among more than 20 Democrats competing for the party's 2020 presidential nomination and her campaign has seen a bit of momentum in recent weeks.