House Democrats voted to formally open an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump last week over the president’s alleged attempts to unearth politically damaging material on the Biden family, using contacts in Ukraine. But despite the investigation, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has continued to meet with Ukrainian contacts to discuss investigating Trump’s opponents.
According to NBC News, former Ukrainian diplomat Andriy Telizhenko met with Giuliani in his Manhattan office last Tuesday. Telizhenko says that the meeting wasn’t focused on Trump’s request to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, and that the pair met to chat about politics and Ukraine.
“We discussed what’s happening in Ukraine, political updates, what the new (Ukrainian presidential) team is up to, what are the reforms going to be,” Telizhenko said. “We’re friends now. He respects our country.”
It’s not the first time that the two have met. Telizhenko has also had meetings in New York with Giuliani in May, August, and September.
Giuliani is at the center of the impeachment inquiry after allegedly acting on Trump’s behalf in order to liase with the Ukrainian government. He and his team have been under scrutiny from Congress and the media for their reported part in the scandal, with Democrats accusing Trump and his associates of brokering a backroom deal with Ukraine. But rather than lying low, Giuliani and Trump’s team have been continuing their attempts to investigate Trump’s political opponents, according to NBC.
Several current and former U.S. officials have said that Trump and his associates pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to open the investigation into the Bidens. Reportedly, Trump threatened to withhold aid to the country unless they worked to help his cause.
Ukrainian lawmaker Oleg Voloshin said that some parliamentarians in the country are creating their own committee to look into what they say is an attempt to smear former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. These parliamentarians also want to use the committee to investigate the Bidens.
“Ukraine was involved in like the biggest scandal in recent U.S. political history, let alone Ukrainian. Definitely most of my colleagues here pretend it doesn’t exist,” he said. “It started here, and it should finish here,” Voloshin said.
Giuliani has asserted that the impeachment inquiry is congressional Democrats’ attempt to cover up their role in trying to smear Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Where are our civil libertarians? Do they not see beyond their partisanship the damage this lawless attempt to remove our duly elected President does to America, a nation of laws and not of men?— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 4, 2019
Hopefully they will remember their noble philosophy. Our citizens surely will. pic.twitter.com/pigwsIzX4t
“Dems covering up because it’s bigger than you think,” the former New York mayor said of the aforementioned claims.
Trump has continued to defend his embattled lawyer, calling him a “great crimefighter.”