House Democrats Subpoena Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Impeachment Probe

September 30, 2019 Updated: September 30, 2019

House Democrats issued a subpoena to Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, on Sept. 30, telling him he has to produce some documents by Oct. 15.

The subpoena (pdf) from the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was sent and published on Monday amid the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions, principally his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A person filed a complaint against Trump earlier this year about the phone call. The person did not directly hear or read about the call but heard about it from other people and said they found the information so concerning they filed a complaint.

Trump’s White House released a transcript of the call on Sept. 25; the complaint was released by Schiff the next day, along with the inspector general of intelligence community’s memo that noted the person who filed the complaint appeared to have “political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate.”

The subpoena letter to Giuliani said that the House Intelligence Committee and other committees are “investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election; and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression; as well as any efforts to cover up these matters.”

“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the President, in a scheme to advance his personal political interests, by abusing the power of the Office of the President.”

trump rips schiff
(L)-Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) delivers opening remarks at a hearing before the House Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington on Sept. 26, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) (R)-President Donald Trump speaks to the media at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 24, 2019. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Citing Giuliani’s own statements and other evidence, Democrats wrote in the letter; that Trump, Giuliani, and others; “appear to have pressed the Ukrainian government to pursue two politically-motivated investigations.” Namely, one into Ukrainians who provided evidence against Trump’s former chairman Paul Manafort. That evidence release was ruled to have interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections by a court in Ukraine; and another into former Vice President Joe Biden, who bragged last year that he got a prosecutor in Ukraine fired—by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid from the country.

Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said that the subpoena requires Giuliani to produce all text messages, phone records, and other communications about the matters.

The subpoena will help the committees “determine the full extent of this effort by the President and his Administration to press Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election,” they wrote.

The subpoena of Giuliani comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was subpoenaed on Sept. 27.

Schiff, Engel, and Cummings said Pompeo should produce documents related to the Ukraine matters. They said Pompeo was first asked to provide the documents on Sept. 9 and was asked again on Sept. 23, but Pompeo ignored both requests.

“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” they wrote.

The committees have also scheduled depositions over the next two weeks for five State Department officials, including Kurt Volker, who recently stepped down as the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine. The depositions are slated to start on Oct. 2.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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