Sen. Lindsey Graham has invited President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his efforts to convince the Ukraine government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
The South Carolina Republican's offer comes as Giuliani appears poised to defy a subpoena to provide documents to the Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee. Giuliani has also indicated he may decline to testify to the House committee, which is run by Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Graham seized on Giuliani's reluctance to testify to the House to seek Giuliani's testimony himself, POLITICO wrote.
"I have heard on numerous occasions disturbing allegations by Rudy Giuliani about corruption in Ukraine and the many improprieties surrounding the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin," Graham said in a statement. "Given the House of Representatives' behavior, it is time for the Senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine."
It was unclear if Graham's invitation was for Giuliani to appear in public or behind closed doors. But a public hearing before lawmakers would give Democratic presidential candidates on the Senate Judiciary Committee – Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) – an opportunity to question him.
Giuliani has spent months pressing Ukraine's leaders to open an investigation into baseless allegations that Biden engineered the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating an energy company with ties to his son, Hunter Biden. The prosecutor, in fact, had been viewed by the international community as an impediment to investigating corruption and Biden's efforts to have him removed were done in coordination with other Western governments.
Trump has echoed Giuliani's allegations about Biden and raised the issue in a July 25 phone call with Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky – a discussion that occurred amid Giuliani's pressure campaign and at a time the White House had quietly placed a hold on military assistance to Ukraine, which was eventually released after news of the hold became public.
Trump has tried to turn the discussion in Washington away from his efforts to pressure Zelensky and toward Biden.
It's unclear if Giuliani will accept Graham's offer to testify. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.