WASHINGTON (AP) – Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, admitted that he wanted the dismissal of the US ambassador to Ukraine because he was impeding investigations that could politically benefit Trump.
In an interview with the New York Times, Giuliani acknowledges that he was directly involved in the efforts to fire Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and says Trump was aware of such efforts.
The interview, published on Tuesday, occurs at a time when the US Congress is preparing to put President Trump on political trial based on accusations that he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate his rivals.RELATED
Giuliani said that "a couple of times" he gave Trump information about how Yovanovitch thwarted efforts that could help Trump, including some to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump, meanwhile, passed the information to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Giuliani revealed. Within a matter of weeks, Yovanovitch was informed that Trump had lost confidence in her and was dismissed as an ambassador.
Trump insists that he did not commit any illegality and was only pressuring Ukraine to fight corruption there.
Giuliano said that last year he told Trump that Yovanovitch was obstructing investigations in Ukraine that could serve Trump politically.
"There are several reasons to get her out of there," Giuliani told the Times. He said Trump and Pompeo "depended" on that information that led to the dismissal of Yovanovitch last April.
"I simply told them the reality," Giuliani said. “I mean, did I think she should be taken out? I thought she should be fired. If I were secretary of justice, I say secretary of state, that's what I would have done. ”
Various statements offered in the investigations for a possible Trump impeachment showed that the assertions about Yovanovitch had been taken out of context or lacked foundation.
In the interview with the Times, Giuliani described himself as someone directly involved in the efforts to derail Yovanovitch's diplomatic career. He acknowledged that he told Trump and Pompeo that Yovanovitch was blocking the granting of visas to Ukrainian prosecutors to travel to the United States and present evidence that would be harmful to Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who was a member of the board of directors of a company of Ukrainian gas.
"I think I told the president a couple of times, I reported to the president, what I knew about the decisions to deny visas," Giuliani said.