NEW YORK: Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer who is deeply implicated in the unfolding impeachment scandal around the US president’s attempts to solicit the help of Ukraine in his bid for re-election, suggested on Sunday he may not cooperate with the congressional committee leading the inquiry in its present form.
The former mayor of New York set out a belligerent stance towards Democrats in Congress by telling ABC’ s This Week he would not co-operate with Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee.
Giuliani accused Schiff of being guided by partisan politics rather than a search for the truth, a talking point that is becoming a key line of defense for Trump and his beleaguered lawyer.
“I wouldn’t cooperate with Adam Schiff,” Giuliani said. “I think Adam Schiff should be removed. If they remove Adam Schiff, if they put a neutral person who hasn’t prejudged the case…”
Later, Giuliani changed his line slightly to say that he would “consider” cooperating, and would certainly testify if Trump asked him to.
Asked if Giuliani would testify, Schiff told NBC’s Meet the Press he did not “want to commit myself to that at this point”.
“We certainly need to do a lot of work to find out what Giuliani has been doing in Ukraine,” he said, adding: “So we are going to need to get to the bottom of it whether it will be productive to bring him in, we are going to make that decision down the road.”
A slew of Trump surrogates were rolled out on the Sunday political talk shows to defend the president. In a belligerent performance on CNN’s State of the Union, the Ohio Republican Jim Jordan laid out another key White House talking point: that the whistleblower who ignited the current furor was politically biased.
“This individual had no firsthand knowledge, he heard something from somebody, and he has a political bias,” said Jordan, the ranking Republican on the House oversight committee which is also likely to hold impeachment hearings. In fact, the whistleblower cites numerous eyewitnesses in his or her account of Trump’s attempt to coerce Ukraine to dish up dirt on his political rival, former vice-president Joe Biden.