Updated Feb 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats demand answers on DOJ's "intake process" for Giuliani

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed Monday that the Justice Department "established an intake process" for information Rudy Giuliani gathered about the Bidens in Ukraine.

The latest: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Barr Monday afternoon demanding answers as to why the department is receiving information from Giuliani outside of normal channels, especially in light of reports that he is under investigation by the Southern District of New York.

  • "Whether or not you are in league with Mr. Giuliani and his associates, DOJ guidelines and regulations exist to protect you and the Department from even the appearance of a conflict of interest or any impropriety," Nadler wrote, referring to allegations by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that Barr was involved in the scheme to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
  • "Given your creation of a new “intake process” for Mr. Giuliani, it is all the more important that you provide a complete explanation for your decision to sidestep standard Department practice," he added.

Between the lines: While Hunter Biden’s role with Ukrainian gas company Burisma raised conflict-of-interest concerns in 2014, there is no evidence Joe Biden committed "corruption" in the country, as some Trump allies allege.

What Barr is saying:

  • The DOJ "has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant."
  • "We have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from Ukraine. There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine. There are a lot of cross currents. And we can't take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value."

Watch Barr's statement:

The big picture: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that he intends to look into potential conflicts of interest involving the Biden family's business interests in Ukraine — and hinted that the Justice Department had opened a process for receiving information from Giuliani.

  • Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) announced last week a review of "potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration."

This story has been updated with details from Nadler's letter.

Go deeper

Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.

Lindsey Graham says DOJ is receiving Ukraine information from Giuliani

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he spoke to Attorney General Bill Barr on Sunday and that the Department of Justice has "created a process" to receive and verify information that Rudy Giuliani gathered about the Bidens in Ukraine.

Why it matters: The House impeached President Trump for allegedly abusing his power to coerce Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Graham's suggestion that the Justice Department may now be receiving information on the Bidens from the president's lawyer — whose activities in Ukraine helped set off the impeachment inquiry — would be a significant development.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Senators to meet with Zelensky weeks after impeachment acquittal

Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images.

A bipartisan group of senators that includes Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) announced in a statement Wednesday that they will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Friday.

Why it matters: The meeting will come less than two weeks after President Trump was acquitted of impeachment charges that alleged he withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Zelensky into investigating his political rivals.

Go deeperArrowFeb 12, 2020 - World