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

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse Judiciary Committee postpones hearing with Barr amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Pelosi rejects calls to shutter Capitol: 'We are the captains of this ship' MORE (D-N.Y.) is demanding answers from Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAppeals court sides with Trump on federal execution policy Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report Decentralized leadership raises questions about Trump coronavirus response MORE about a Justice Department "intake process" that will review information on Ukraine from President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE's attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump: Tough times but progress being made Giuliani touts experimental coronavirus treatment in private conversations with Trump Trump team picks fight with Twitter, TV networks over political speech 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 backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' Graham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets 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."

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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 BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics 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. 

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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.