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.

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