President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told Fox News he will not comply with a congressional subpoena to turn over all documents related to the July 25 phone call between Trump and his Ukraine counterpart — a call central to a House impeachment inquiry — as the deadline for cooperating expires Tuesday.
Giuliani’s own attorney, Jon Sale, whom he retained to represent him in matters relating to impeachment, said his client would not abide by the subpoena “because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless and illegitimate “impeachment inquiry,” according to a letter sent Tuesday to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“The subpoena is overbroad, unduly burdensome and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry. Moreover, documents sought in the subpoena are protected by attorney-client, attorney work-product, and executive privileges,” Sale wrote.
Giuliani told Fox News he is parting ways with Sale, a former Watergate prosecutor, stating that unless Congress tries to enforce the subpoena, he won’t need a lawyer.
The three House committees conducting depositions this week to move the impeachment inquiry forward allege that Giuliani “pressed the Ukrainian government to pursue two politically motivated investigations” against the former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for foreign aid.
In addition, the House also subpoenaed the Pentagon and the White House Office of Management and Budget, as well as Vice President Pence, for documents that explain why military aid to Ukraine was withheld in the days leading up to the July 25 call.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he will comply with the subpoena, despite protests from the White House. Pence, meanwhile, has rebuffed Congress’ efforts.
George Kent, a senior State Department official who worked in Ukraine in 2015 and 2018, overlapping with both the Obama and Trump administrations, was deposed on Capitol Hill Tuesday for more than six hours behind closed doors, as House committees sought to determine what information he had about potential Ukrainian investigations.
Congressional Democrats are in their fourth week of impeachment hearings against Trump, which center around whether he attempted to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Biden family for possible corruption in exchange for the release of that frozen U.S. military aid.
During the July call, Trump said: “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”
Trump’s reference to Biden and his son relates to the former vice president’s insistence that Ukraine fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden was on the board. Biden has maintained that corruption concerns centering on Shokin prompted his intervention.