Updated Feb 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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.

  • Graham also said on "Face the Nation" that while he intends to look into potential conflicts of interest involving Joe and Hunter Biden's activities in Ukraine, he's "not going to be the Republican Christopher Steele" — referring to the British operative whose dossier about the Trump campaign played a leading role in the 2016 Russia investigation.
  • Graham said that any information coming from Ukraine could be Russian disinformation, which is why Giuliani should turn it over to the Justice Department for vetting. The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The exchange:

GRAHAM: "We're going to make sure Hunter Biden's conflict of interest is explored because this is legitimate. How could Joe Biden really fight corruption when his son's sitting on the Burisma board?
MARGARET BRENNAN: "Can you clarify, you said you talked to Attorney General Barr this morning. Has the Department of Justice been ordered to investigate the Bidens?"
GRAHAM: "No, the Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy. He told me that they've created a process that Rudy could give information, and they would see if it's verified. Rudy Giuliani is a well-known man. He's a crime fighter. He's loyal to the president. He's a good lawyer."

The big picture: Almost immediately after Trump's acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial last week, Republicans turned to investigating the unsubstantiated corruption allegations against the Bidens.

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

Go deeper ... Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden actually did in Ukraine

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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.

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Why it matters: The announcement came roughly one hour after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment. Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden over unsubstantiated corruption claims is ultimately what sparked his impeachment.

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Joe Biden: "I don't know what happened" to Lindsey Graham

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The big picture: Graham advocates for further reviews of Hunter Biden's business activities during the Obama administration. Attorney General Bill Bar confirmed the Justice Department received information on the Bidens from the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Graham called it a significant development and Hunter Biden's conflict of interest "legitimate."