On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee issued a report outlining in detail the criminal actions it says that Donald Trump committed, which lead to one of the articles of impeachment against him for abuse of power.
But also on Monday, The New Yorker magazine published its own report in which Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani appears to frankly admit to a key aspect of the impeachment case against Trump — the sudden and unexplained firing of now-former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
The committee’s report, available online via the House of Representatives, alleges that Trump abused his executive powers to “harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and influence the 2020 United States Presidential election to his advantage,” by pressuring the government of Ukraine to announce an investigation into Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. Trump also demanded an announcement of an investigation into the controversial claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
One of the ways that Trump abused his executive power was by summarily firing Yovanovitch, “whom he knew would have stood in the way of his corrupt scheme,” the report states.
In the New Yorker account by reporter Adam Entous, Giuliani — who has admitted working in Ukraine on Trump’s behalf to get the investigation of Biden announced — flatly confirms the report’s allegation about Yovanovitch’s dismissal.
“I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way,” Giuliani told Entous last month, the reporter states in the article. “She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.”
Though the ambassador was indeed fired by Trump on May 20, the same day that new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was inaugurated, Giuliani ended up botching the scheme to force the investigations, according to the New Yorker article. Trump then made the July 25 phone call to Zelensky that is now at the core of the impeachment proceedings.
In that call, Trump asked Zelensky for “a favor,” which consisted of opening the two “bogus investigations,” according to the Judiciary Committee report.
When the content of that call became public and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the opening of an impeachment inquiry against Trump, two Giuliani associates — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — were arrested by federal agents, and Giuliani himself became the target of an FBI criminal investigation, according to the New Yorker account.
The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee has invited Giuliani to testify about his Ukraine-related activities, though it’s unclear whether he will do so.