After State Department Inspector General Steve Linnick briefed Congress on Wednesday and handed over materials that some Democrats said amounted to a packet of “propaganda” apparently designed to smear former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani proudly told CNN that some of these documents originated with him.
“What Giuliani told me is that he somehow routed this information—this is at the end of March, earlier this year—he says he routed that to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” reporter Michael Warren said on CNN Wednesday night. “He did say that he received a call a couple of days later from Pompeo who said that he had gotten these documents and that he would refer it for investigation.”
“Giuliani telling me he was frustrated he never heard anything back from the State Department thereafter,” Warren added.
The chairs of the House Intelligence, House Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees released a joint statement hours earlier expressing concerns about the “urgent” briefing that they had been summoned to by the State Department. The documents given to lawmakers at that briefing “raise troubling questions about apparent efforts inside and outside the Trump Administration to target specific officials,” the statement said, including former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Biden’s son Hunter.
“The documents provided by the Inspector General included a package of disinformation, debunked conspiracy theories, and baseless allegations in an envelope marked ‘White House’ and containing folders labeled ‘Trump Hotel,’” the statement read. “These documents also reinforce concern that the President and his allies sought to use the machinery of the State Department to further the President’s personal political interests.”
The committee chairmen further noted that the IG “stated that his office interviewed Secretary Pompeo’s Counselor, Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl, who informed the Inspector General that Secretary Pompeo told him the packet ‘came over,’ and that Brechbuhl presumed it was from the White House.”
Giuliani later appeared on Fox News’ Hannity, where he boasted about the Ukrainian documents he had fed to the State Department in the spring.
“And the committees, I guess, they were sitting there figuring out how they can do impeachment based on nothing and what they got shoved down their throats, it’s a complete, total absolutely terrific prosecutorial outline of why Joe Biden is so guilty,” Giuliani exclaimed to Trump-boosting host Sean Hannity. “It’s a joke for me to describe it to you.”
Giuliani also credited conservative columnist John Solomon—who apparently shared his Ukraine stories with Giuliani’s allies before publication—with helping to get his Ukraine-Biden narrative to the forefront.
“Ultimately it was John Solomon, who should get a Pulitzer Prize, by the way, put them all on tape, so it’s all memorialized on videotape,” he declared, referencing Solomon’s interviews with Ukrainian figures. “This is as solid as it can get.”
Earlier this week, Congress subpoenaed Giuliani for records relating to the Ukraine controversy that blew up following a whistleblower's complaint about the infamous July 25 call in which President Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens. The president's attorney has since hired a lawyer to represent him during the congressional investigation.