This has been one of the more curious occurrences in the entire Ukraine mess to be sure. Right in the middle of the impeachment hearings, Rudy Giuliani seemed to simply disappear. Shortly after that, thanks to a Facebook post from a Ukranian diplomat, it turned out that Rudy had gone back to Ukraine on his own. The optics of that development weren’t great, to say the least. But now he’s apparently going to be issuing some sort of report to the Justice Department and members of Congress, at least according to the President. (WaPo)
President Trump said his personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani planned to issue a report to the Justice Department and Congress detailing what he’d learned from his investigations in Ukraine.
Trump claimed not to know what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine this week or what he found out while there, but he asserted that Giuliani says “he has a lot of good information.”
“He’s going to make a report, I think to the attorney general and to Congress,” Trump told reporters Saturday outside the White House. “He says he has a lot of good information. I have not spoken to him about that information yet.”
If Rudy is still digging into all the Burisma allegations, his curiosity is understandable. The idea that Hunter Biden just “happened” to land a position on their board, collecting a lavish income, despite having no experience in the energy industry, is incredible. And it happened at a time when his father was not only the Vice President of the United States but the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine. The fact that the MSM has exhibited zero interest in this story is another mystery of its own.
But even with all of that said, this entire story of Rudy’s recent trip fails every political optics test. While the House is in the middle of drawing up charges relating to alleged Trump administration misdeeds in dealing with Ukraine, the President’s personal lawyer is over there on a fact-finding mission? Guliani has no official position with the State Department nor any other department in the federal government.
Rudy has been accused by the President’s detractors of running a “shadow foreign policy” in Ukraine on Trump’s behalf. While the White House is denying this, it hardly seems like the ideal time for Giuliani to be taking a trip like that.
And then there are the President’s recent answers to questions about the trip. He first said he didn’t even know where Rudy had gone. And now that he knows, he’s saying they haven’t spoken about it and he doesn’t know what sort of “information” his lawyer has brought back. I’m one of the people who generally tries to give Trump the benefit of the doubt until evidence emerges to conclude otherwise, but… c’mon, man. Even I’m having a hard time swallowing that one.
For all of this to be true, we’d have to believe that Rudy thought this trip up on his own and snuck off without even telling Trump. Then he undertook a private investigation into one of the questions central to the ongoing impeachment hearings. And he never even rang up the White House for any sort of instructions or to update the boss on what he’d been doing?
These are the sort of unforced errors that continue to feed ammunition to the Democrats. And Rudy is looking like more of a liability to Trump these days than any sort of savior. He might want to hold on to that insurance policy he was “only joking about.” He may need it before the year is out.