Rudy Giuliani defended himself on Glenn Beck’s show this week as a second week of impeachment inquiry testimonies revealed his backdoor dealings in Ukraine. Giuliani’s promotion of debunked conspiracy theories disseminated by Russian intelligence agencies about Ukraine and the 2016 electionhas been credited with taking President Donald Trump down the road that led to the impeachment inquiry.
Beck began his segment with Giuliani by dismissing the impeachment hearings as a prescripted “table read”—the term for a group of actors sitting together and reading through a script. Beck said that the “main villain” of the Democrats’ narrative seems to be shaping up to be Giuliani. Beck also identified who he believes the anonymous whistleblower to be, charging that “his fingerprints are all over a deep state throwing of the election.”
Giuliani, who has been acting as a personal lawyer to Trump, said his actions in Ukraine were those of a defense lawyer seeking evidence to clear his client by proving that somebody else committed the crime. He charged that for three or four years, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine “deliberately interfered with the ability to develop this story.”
Giuliani spooled out his theory that the Ukrainian government colluded with the Democratic Party to try to prevent Trump’s election. According to Russia expert Fiona Hill, who recently served on the White House National Security Council and testified on Thursday before the House Intelligence Committee, the theory embraced by Giuliani is part of a disinformation campaign propagated by Russian intelligence agencies.
Giuliani said he got information about criminality, corruption, and “Biden bribery” from “a well-respected lawyer who had a source” and contended that, at the time he learned of it, he couldn’t take his information to the FBI or Justice Department prior to the confirmation of current Attorney General William Barr because they could not be trusted. He told Beck that his clients helped him find people that could corroborate his source, and then, he said, “I went to John Solomon.”
Solomon is a conservative reporter whose stories for The Hill launched Giuliani’s theories into circulation. Vox reported this week that “Solomon’s ‘journalism,’ particularly on the subject of Ukraine, has been proven to be false, repeatedly.” The Hill announced on Monday that it is “reviewing and updating” Solomon’s work, which had previously been reclassified from “news” to “opinion.”
Giuliani described himself as “entirely convinced”—albeit without evidence—that “this whole episode is just one chapter in at least a three- or four-chapter plan” to prevent Trump from being president, and then, “should he become president, the insurance policy to remove him.”
Giuliani also claimed, “I have sitting in my hands”what he called “unequivocal proof of a money-laundering transaction” that went from Ukraine to Latvia to Cyprus to New York or Pennsylvania “with$3 million in laundered money going into the Biden account.” He said the “only reason” this “straight-out violation” of money-laundering laws is not being prosecuted is “the name Biden.”
He also described one other “fact” to Beck as “infuriating.” He said that “there are several prosecutors sitting in Kyiv right now that want to come to the U.S. to testify” but “they are not being given visas by our State Department.” Beck expressed surprise, noting that the State Department is run by Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo.
Giuliani did not explain—at least in the portion of the interview made public to those not paying for Beck’s BlazeTV—why Trump’s State Department would stand in the way of his ability to make his case, but his interview with Beck came after a week of stories suggesting that perhaps Trump and other Republicans were preparing to throw Giuliani under the bus, prompting him to “joke” that he has “very, very good insurance.”
Giuliani’s conspiracy theories about Ukraine, and congressional Republicans’ role in spreading them, were criticized Thursday by former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, who said in her opening statement:
Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country and that perhaps, somehow for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves. The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies confirmed in bipartisan congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.
As Republicans and Democrats have agreed for decades, Ukraine is a valued partner of the United States. It plays an important role in our national security. As I told the committee last month, I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary and that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked us in 2016. These fictions are harmful even if they’re deployed for purely domestic political purposes.