© Aaron Schwartz
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyTell our troops: 'Your sacrifice wasn't in vain' Sunday shows preview: Bombing in Kabul delivers blow to evacuation effort; US orders strikes on ISIS-K White House seeks to regain control on Afghanistan MORE (D-Conn.) said on Tuesday that he believed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was feeling pressure from Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story Juan Williams: The toxic legacy of Trump's corruption MORE to investigate the Bidens.
Murphy added that Zelensky "did not contradict the facts I laid out in my question, and instead simply relayed his desire to say clear of becoming enmeshed in American politics. To me, this was confirmation that Zelensky was indeed feeling the pressure I described."
Murphy's letter comes a day after Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes Internal poll shows Barnes with 29-point lead in Wisconsin Democratic Senate primary Wisconsin Democratic Senate candidate facing 4 felony charges MORE (R-Wis.), who Murphy went on the trip to Ukraine with, sent his own letter in response to a request for information from Republicans on the committees involved in the House inquiry.
But Murphy, in his seven-page letter, said he learned in May that Giuliani was "running a shadow foreign policy operation in Ukraine," including trying to get the Ukraine government to probe former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
"My concern was raised even higher when I began to hear from people who had spoken to Zelensky that he was very confused by Giuliani's requests, and worried about the possible consequences of rebuffing Trump's demands," Murphy added.
In addition to bringing up Giuliani with Zelensky, Murphy says he also brought up Trump's personal lawyer with Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine and a witness in the impeachment inquiry.
Taylor, according to Murphy, called Giuliani's efforts "a problem" and said that Zelensky's team was confused about whose directive they should be following—Giuliani's or the State Department's.
Murphy, describing his interactions with Taylor in his letter, characterized the Trump official as "clearly dismayed by Giulaini's efforts and gave the impression that he had little input into this back channel of communications to Zelensky."He, however, did specifically take issue of Johnson's criticism of Lt. Col. Alexander VindmanAlexander VindmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Ex-Trump adviser Bolton defends Milley: 'His patriotism is unquestioned' MORE, who the president has lashed out at as a "Never Trumper."
"The next day, I pulled Taylor aside to tell him that I planned to raise the Giuliani issue with Zelensky, and advise the new president to stay clear of internal U.S. politics. Taylor's response was to encourage me to raise this issue with Zelensky," Murphy added.
The House is currently investigating whether or not Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country opening an investigation into the Bidens.
Murphy noted in his letter that he was not trying to contradict Johnson but provide "additional information and important context."
Murphy said the accusations against Vindman marked the "most disturbing element" of the GOP senator's letter.
"The most disturbing element of senator Johnson's letter was his assertion that certain administration staffers, most notably Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, may be actively working to 'sabotage' the president's foreign agenda, despite having no actual evidence of such sabotage," Murphy wrote.