Donald Trump is said to have pushed for Rick Perry and others to deal with Rudy Giuliani in dealing with Ukraine as early as May, according to reports.
Sources told CNN that on May 23 the president asked the energy Secretary and two other senior State Department officials to speak with his personal lawyer after they tried to arrange for him to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
One alleges POTUS needed Giuliani’s assurances before meeting with Zelensky, reportedly believing Ukraine to still be corrupt.
The person said: ‘If they can satisfy Rudy, they can satisfy the President.’
Perry, the US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, and the State Department’s special representative to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, are all said to have met with Trump on May 23.
The trio had returned from Zelensky’s inauguration and sources say they were planning to tell the president he was someone to be trusted and to meet with.
But in hoping to set up the meeting sources say it became clear they would need to speak with Giuliani about the plans.
Donald Trump, pictured, is said to have pushed for Rick Perry and others to deal with Rudy Giuliani in dealing with Ukraine as early as May, according to reports
Sources told CNN that on May 23 the president asked the energy Secretary Rick Perry, left, and two other senior State Department officials to speak with his personal lawyer Giuliani, right, after they tried to arrange for him to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Speaking to the House last week Volker said: ‘The President was very skeptical. In the course of that conversation, he referenced conversations with Mayor Giuliani.
‘He was clearly receiving other information from other sources, including Mayor Giuliani, that was more negative, causing him to retain this negative view of a corrupt Ukraine.’
Two months later the Office of Management and Budget said it would look into whether Ukraine should get the $400 million set aside by congress.
If they can satisfy Rudy, they can satisfy the President
Source familiar with the May 23 meeting
An Energy Department spokesperson confirmed Perry had spoken with Giuliani.
When asked of chats with Perry, Giuliani told CNN: ‘Did Henry Kissinger ever call me about Ukraine. What about Colin Powell.’
The claims appear to show how important private citizen Giuliani was in getting access to the president in matters involving Ukraine.
The whistleblower who prompted the impeachment probe has already has already alleged that the former mayor of New York strayed away from policy advised by US diplomats when speaking on Ukraine.
And the Associated Press reported Monday that a circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted their connections to Trump and Giuliani as they sought to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s state-owned gas company last spring.
Nancy Pelosi formally launched the impeachment inquiry last month after Trump’s call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Nancy Pelosi formally launched the impeachment inquiry last month after revelations Trump pressured Ukraine’s president in a July 25 phone call to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
It was reported Tuesday Giuliani will not cooperate with the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment investigation.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham, a fellow Republican, said on Tuesday he would invite Giuliani to testify before his committee. The Washington Post reported that he is ‘very interested’ in accepting the offer but that there were a lot of legal issues to consider.
House Democrats have already subpoenaed Sondland after he failed to show up at a scheduled deposition Tuesday morning.
Three House committees are demanding that Sondland appear at a deposition October 16. They are also demanding that he produce documents, including communications from his personal device that have been turned over to the State Department but not to Congress.
Sondland, a major donor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was one of a handful of US diplomats on a text message chain between July and September that goes to the heart of the investigation.
The messages involving Giuliani show them coordinating to pressure Kiev into investigating Biden, as Ukraine sought US military aid and access.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said investigators have learned that Sondland has text messages or emails on a personal device that are ‘deeply relevant’ to the probe, but that State is withholding them.
Rick Perry, the US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, left, and the State Department’s special representative to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, right are all said to have met with Trump on May 23
Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he would ‘love’ to send Sondland, but that the Democrats proceedings are ‘totally compromised.’ The White House says the administration will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, calling it ‘illegitimate.’
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are welcoming an invitation for Giuliani to testify about corruption in Ukraine.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s senior Democrat, said she wants to question Giuliani under oath about his role in seeking the Ukrainian government’s assistance to investigate one of the president’s political rivals.
She said Democrats ‘have plenty of questions for Mr. Giuliani and this would give us an opportunity to help separate fact from fiction for the American people.’
Fellow California Sen. Kamala Harris, a committee member and presidential candidate, tweeted to Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham: ‘Good. I have questions.’
Graham, a Trump ally, said he wants testimony about the firing of a former Ukrainian prosecutor widely seen as corrupt.