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 WarrenTrump executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism stirs up controversy Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE (D-Mass.) slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE's personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGraham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Judge orders State Dept. to search for and provide more Ukraine docs DOJ releases memos backing Trump immunity claims ahead of impeachment vote 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 BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications 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 ManafortHow to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump DOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Richard Gates's probation request Former FBI general counsel wants apology from Trump 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.