Since the Ukraine scandal began to unfold in mid-September, Donald Trump has repeatedly denied he played any role in the attempt by his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to get Ukrainian prosecutors to open a criminal investigation in exchange for military aid and a White House meeting, which would convey tremendous amount of legitimacy to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and send a clear message to Russia that the United States was on the side of Zelensky’s government.
But as it turns out, Giuliani, as he so often does, has now shot Trump’s defense to hell with remarks he made in an interview with Adam Entous of The New Yorker.
Entous reports that he had a long conversation with Giuliani last month in which the former New York City mayor confessed that he insisted that the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie , be removed from her post so he could more easily try to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden without any objections from Yovanovitch:
“(Giuliani) saw Yovanovitch as an obstacle, hindering his attempt to dig up dirt against his client’s rival in advance of the 2020 election. ‘I believed that I needed Yovanovitch out of the way,’ he said. ‘She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.’ Giuliani compiled a dossier on the Bidens and Yovanovitch, which he sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and which was shared with the F.B.I. and with me. John Solomon, a journalist, had interviewed Lutsenko for the Washington-based publication The Hill. Giuliani promoted the project. ‘I said, John, let’s make this as prominent as possible,’ Giuliani told me. ‘I’ll go on TV. You go on TV. You do columns.'”
As Business Insider notes, Giuliani’s admission is a serious problem for Trump as impeachment
“The former New York City mayor’s comments are a remarkable admission given that Yovanovitch’s ouster is one of the central threads of the impeachment inquiry into Trump. Perhaps more importantly, however, Giuliani himself is the focus of criminal investigation related to his dealings with Yovanovitch because they may have violated foreign lobbying laws.”
Yovanovitch may wind up being a key witness when impeachment moves to the Senate for a trial. Giuliani may also be called to testify, and if he repeats what he told Adam Entous, it could wind up convincing a few moderate Republican senators to vote for Trump’s conviction. Granted, it probably wouldn’t be enough to remove Trump from office, but it would badly damage him as he seeks reelection next year.
Rudy should have kept his mouth shut. Since he couldn’t, he just made Trump’s already shaky defense look utterly ridiculous.