The Department of Justice has been receiving information from Rudy Giuliani that he obtained in Ukraine regarding the Biden family, according to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, and Giuliani is submitting the dirt via some kind “process” set up by Attorney General William Barr.
In a Saturday night interview on Fox News, Giuliani claimed to have a “smoking gun” regarding alleged corrupt acts by Hunter Biden in the course of his work for a Ukrainian energy company. “Lindsey, get started,” Trump’s attorney even said, addressing the senator directly on air. Then on Sunday morning, with Graham scheduled to appear on Face the Nation, President Trump tweeted about Graham’s interview and said, “Will tell [Lindsey Graham] he must start up Judiciary and not stop until the job is done. Clean up D.C. now, last chance!”
Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan said Trump’s tweet sounded like “marching orders” when she brought it up at the top of Graham’s interview. Indeed, it wasn’t clear how much of what Graham ultimately said on the show was him speaking to, or performing for, the president watching at home.
Brennan asked Graham whether he was still offering Giuliani an open invitation to share his alleged Biden dirt with the Judiciary Committee, as Graham had said in December. After voicing his concern that any information obtained in Ukraine could be Russian disinformation and should be properly vetted, Graham acknowledged that he had spoken with Barr that morning, and then announced that “the Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from [Giuliani.]”
[“Barr] told me that they’ve created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified,” he continued.
A Justice Department spokesperson later declined to comment on that process when asked on Sunday. Graham said that the DOJ had not been officially ordered to investigate the Biden family, though he repeatedly endorsed the need to investigate them, while also warning that it should probably be considered Russian bullshit.
“Rudy Giuliani is a well known man,” Graham said. “He’s a crime fighter. He’s loyal to the president. He’s a good lawyer. But what I’m trying to say — to the president and anybody else, [is] that the Russians are still up to it.”
Brennan pressed Graham about the (plainly obvious) appearance of impropriety, noting that “when you’re talking about being asked to do these things in a channel being open between Rudy Giuliani and the Justice Department, this sounds a lot like this is in some ways a taxpayer funded oppo-research operation against Joe Biden.”
“Isn’t this exactly what was at the heart of the impeachment probe to begin with?” she asked.
“No, not at all,” Graham replied — before insisting that politically damaging dirt from Ukraine was a bipartisan problem.
The news of the Giuliani-DOJ pipeline also came less than two days after President Trump’s post-impeachment retaliation campaign got officially underway against his perceived enemies in and outside of his administration.