Ten Democrats sent a letter to Horowitz’s office to determine whether Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, had “improper communications” with top-level Department of Justice officials.
Ten Democrats signed off on the letter (pdf), led by ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and expressed concerns “that Mr. Giuliani’s interactions with senior DOJ officials may have unduly influenced or created conflicts of interests with regard to DOJ activities.” According to the letter, “At a minimum, Mr. Giuliani’s access creates an appearance of impropriety that could undermine trust in the agency.”
“If his contacts do not violate one or more of these provisions, further internal guidance may be needed to ensure that DOJ delivers ‘fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans,'” they added.
Nine other Democrats on Judiciary Committee, including Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Cory Booker (N.J.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.), signed the letter.
The Democratic senators included reports that made references to Giuliani’s contacts with Justice Department officials.
“These reports suggest that Mr. Giuliani has used his relationship with the President, including his representation of the President as a private citizen, to gain improper access to attorneys and investigators in the agency, particularly political appointees who serve at the President’s pleasure,” they wrote. They said that some federal laws and regulations were put in place to prevent conflicts of interest.
Late last year, Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was concerned about leaks from FBI field offices to Giuliani.
“We are investigating those contacts. We’ve issued a couple of public summaries so far about people we’ve found violated FBI policy. We have other investigations ongoing,” Horowitz said in a public hearing.
Meanwhile, Giuliani emerged as a central figure during the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. In a July 25 phone call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to speak with Giuliani and “look into” corruption allegations surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden.
Democrats’ call for an expanded investigation comes after the Justice Department sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday, informing him that Attorney General William Barr “has not discussed matters relating to Ukraine with Rudolph Giuliani” before adding that the department “remains vigilant against the significant threat of disinformation.”
“As always, the Department will reject information it finds to be non-credible while continuing to discharge its duty to pursue all meritorious leads and investigations,” the letter added