SPONSORED:

Nadler demands answers from Barr on 'new channel' for receiving Ukraine info from Giuliani

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerThis week: Congress races to wrap work for the year Top Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE (D-N.Y.) is demanding answers from Attorney General William BarrBill BarrNew DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Five federal inmates scheduled for execution before Inauguration Day MORE about a Justice Department "intake process" that will review information on Ukraine from President TrumpDonald John TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump MORE's attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiArizona certifies Biden's victory over Trump Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Trump campaign loses appeal over Pennsylvania race MORE

In a letter sent to the attorney general, Nadler called on Barr to provide a "complete explanation" regarding his decision to sidestep standard practice and set up another channel for information coming out of Ukraine. He asked the attorney general to answer 11 questions related to the arrangement by Feb. 25. 

"As you know, the Department has formal, established channels by which to receive information and begin investigations," Nadler wrote. "This new channel to Mr. Giuliani would seem to be a significant departure from those traditional channels."
 
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump should attend Biden inauguration 'if' Biden wins Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Georgia governor rejects Trump's call to 'overrule' elections officials with emergency powers MORE (R-S.C.) first revealed on Sunday that Barr had "created a process" to receive and verify information on Ukraine coming from Giuliani. Barr confirmed Graham's comments a day later, saying during a press conference that the Justice Department has an “open door” to any individual with information on Ukraine. 

“There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine, a lot of crosscurrents, and we can’t take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value,” Barr said, adding that the department established "an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized."

ADVERTISEMENT

Barr maintained that the process would assess the provenance and credibility of all information it receives, including from Giuliani. Giuliani's efforts to push Ukrainian officials to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race MORE and his son Hunter Biden over unfounded allegations of corruption became central to the impeachment proceedings. 

Nadler said in the letter that the potential communications between Giuliani and the Justice Department raised serious questions of a conflict of interest. He noted that two of Giuliani's associates — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — face campaign finance violation charges and that Parnas has alleged that Barr “had to have known everything” about Giuliani's Ukraine pressure campaign. 

The New York congressman also asked whether Barr has discussed the so-called intake process with President Trump. 

"Whether or not you are in league with Giuliani and his associates, DOJ guidelines and regulations exits to protect you and the Department from even the appearance of a conflict of interest or any impropriety," Nadler said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Revelations about Trump's and Giuliani's efforts to push Ukraine for investigations into his political rivals helped spur the House impeachment inquiry last September. The Senate voted to acquit Trump of the impeachment articles last week after blocking a motion to hear new witnesses and documents. 

Giuliani has frequently promoted the allegations that Joe Biden engaged in corruption as vice president while working to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the board. There is no evidence that the Bidens engaged in any malfeasance.