Oct 8, 2019

Lindsey Graham invites Giuliani to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee

Rudy Giuliani and Lindsey Graham. Photos: Roy Rochlin; Pier Marco Tacca via Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted Tuesday that he would offer Rudy Giuliani a chance to testify before the committee about his "concerns" — which have not been substantiated — that Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating his son.

"Have heard on numerous occasions disturbing allegations by @RudyGiuliani about corruption in Ukraine and the many improprieties surrounding the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Given the House of Representatives’ behavior, it is time for the Senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine. Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to inform the committee of his concerns."

Why it matters: Giuliani is at the center of an alleged pressure campaign by President Trump and his allies to push the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden, which has resulted in a formal impeachment inquiry being opened in the House.

  • House Democrats have subpoenaed Giuliani for documents related to his interactions with Ukrainian officials, but have not yet asked him to testify — citing his combative, falsehood-laden appearances on cable news.
  • Giuliani has not yet indicated whether he will comply with the subpoena, but has accused House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) of being "illegitimate."
  • "I haven't made up my mind," Giuliani told The Daily Beast on Monday. "But one of the issues is, do you acknowledge an illicit committee?"

Worth noting: In 2016, three Republican senators signed a bipartisan letter to the government of Ukraine urging it to "press ahead with urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General’s office and judiciary" — echoing the policy pushed by Biden, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to oust Shokin for not doing enough to battle corruption.

  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), one of the GOP senators who signed the letter, reiterated on Monday that Shokin was widely known as an ineffective prosecutor, and that Hunter and Joe Biden's involvement in Ukraine had nothing to do with the message.

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

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Trump threatens to deploy military amid national unrest

President Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden Monday evening that he is "mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military" to stop violent protests across the country, decrying "professional anarchists, looters, criminals, antifa and others" whose actions have "gripped" the nation.

The backdrop: Trump's announcement came as police clashed with protesters just outside of the White House, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot," and other slogans. Flash bangs used outside the White House could be heard from the Rose Garden.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.