Updated Dec 8, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Matt Gaetz calls Giuliani's Ukraine trip "weird"

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said on ABC's "This Week" that Rudy Giuliani's trip to Ukraine to dig up information that he hopes will undercut the impeachment proceedings is "weird," but added that he's glad Giuliani has expressed an interest in coming before Congress to "explain his role."

"It is weird that he's over there, and I am grateful that very soon after I made those comments on CNN, the president put out a statement that said that Rudy Giuliani does want to come into Congress and explain his role, explain what he's been up to. And I believe that the president urging Mayor Giuliani to provide that clarity to the Congress will be helpful in resolving what seems to be odd having him over there at this time."
— Matt Gaetz

Why it matters: Allegations that Giuliani led a shadow campaign on behalf of Trump to pressure Ukraine to investigate the president's political rivals are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. In addition to impeachment scrutiny, Giuliani is also reportedly under criminal investigation in New York as a result of his overseas dealings, raising questions about the wisdom of the decision to continue his activities in Ukraine.

Context: Giuliani traveled to Ukraine and Hungary last week to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutors who have promoted unsubstantiated claims about Joe Biden and his son, helping to set off the Trump-Ukraine scandal.

  • Giuliani is using the trip to produce a documentary series with One America News, a pro-Trump media outlet.
  • On Saturday, Trump claimed he did not know what his personal lawyer was doing in Ukraine, but said that Giuliani will “make a report” of his findings to submit to Attorney General William Barr and Congress, Politico reports.
  • “He has a lot of good information,” Trump said. “I have not spoken to him about that information yet.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation" said Giuliani should turn over any information he has to Congress so it can "be evaluated in a neutral manner."

  • "If he's getting relevant information that comes forth from Ukraine, I think it's important for us to look at it," Meadows said.

The big picture: Trump has denied sending Giuliani to Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents, but he did ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Giuliani on the Biden investigation during their July 25 phone call.

  • Giuliani has publicly said that he investigated 2016 Ukrainian election meddling and corruption on behalf of the president, telling reporters at various points that Trump was aware of what he was doing.

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