Giuliani: Trump Should Investigate Biden After Expected Senate Acquittal While predicting "total vindication," the president's personal attorney criticized Republican senators who have questioned Trump's actions, saying they don't "understand the facts."

Giuliani Says Trump Should '100%' Investigate Biden After Expected Senate Acquittal

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Tomorrow, the Senate will vote on two articles of impeachment against President Trump. Today NPR sat down in New York City with a man very much in the middle of the Ukraine scandal - the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas was in New York for the interview. He is now in our studio here.

Hey, Ryan.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Hi there.

KELLY: All right, so Giuliani's specific role in the Ukraine scandal, if I can boil it down to a sentence, has been pushing the Ukrainian government to investigate Democrats. The Senate votes tomorrow on these two articles of impeachment against the president. What does Giuliani have to say about that?

LUCAS: Well, we sat down with him this morning at his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Our colleague, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, led this interview. And we asked Giuliani about whether he views what, at this point, is pretty certain to be a Senate vote to acquit the president - whether he views that as vindication. And here's what Giuliani said.

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RUDY GIULIANI: Absolutely - it's a total vindication. Some of the senators know why they're doing it. Some of the senators are doing it because the president is completely innocent. He did exactly the right thing, exactly what an American president should do.

LUCAS: Now, not all Republican senators view an acquittal in quite that same light. Senator Lamar Alexander, for example, has described the president's actions as inappropriate...

KELLY: Right.

LUCAS: ...And has said that he hopes that Trump won't do something similar in the future. Giuliani - he pushed back on the notion that the president acted inappropriately at all.

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GIULIANI: No, Lamar is wrong. And Lamar is a good friend of mine. And he's a fine man, except he doesn't know all the facts. (Laughter) He only knows half the facts.

KELLY: Ryan, Giuliani's sounding very confident there that he has all the facts. But with the trial drawing to a close tomorrow, is Giuliani - is he moving on?

LUCAS: Not at all, not at all - the Senate may be ready to have Ukraine in the rearview mirror, but Giuliani says he is not done. He says he's going to keep on investigating. Here's a bit of an exchange that he had with Steve about that.

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GIULIANI: Am I still investigating? Yes, I'm still...

STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: Are you still seeking more information?

GIULIANI: I get more information.

INSKEEP: And...

GIULIANI: A lot of it comes to me.

INSKEEP: Are you doing that on the authority of the president?

GIULIANI: Well, he hasn't told me not to do it. He hasn't told me not to do it.

KELLY: Wow.

LUCAS: The president never told him not to do it. Now, we asked the White House about this - whether the president wants Giuliani to continue investigating Biden. The White House has not responded. Giuliani recently launched a podcast of his own. He's using that to present what he says is the evidence that he's gathered. Now, he claims that this is a clear-cut page - a clear-cut case of wrongdoing by Biden. I asked him in that case whether he's provided his information to the Justice Department so that it could look into his allegations and what he's collected. And here's how he answered that.

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GIULIANI: I can't answer that. I'm not - I would - it would be privileged material. I can't tell you if I did or didn't do something with the Justice Department. The Justice Department would not be happy if I answered that question.

LUCAS: Now, I asked the Justice Department about that. It declined to comment. But during the impeachment inquiry, U.S. officials who testified in House hearings said that they had no knowledge - no knowledge - of an official Justice Department request to help Ukraine for investigating the Bidens.

KELLY: Separate from the Bidens, separate from President Trump, does Giuliani seem worried about his own potential legal troubles? A couple of his associates in the Ukraine affair - Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman - they have been indicted - a separate matter. But still, is Giuliani worried?

LUCAS: He is not. Parnas and Fruman, of course, are two individuals who helped Giuliani gather information in Ukraine. Parnas has turned over some of the materials that he gathered, some of the - his communications and whatnot to Congress. Those were cited in the impeachment trial. Parnas has said that he wants to tell the truth. He hasn't ruled out possibly cooperating with federal prosecutors in Manhattan. And it's those same prosecutors who are scrutinizing Giuliani. Now, Giuliani says, no, he's not worried about Parnas. He says Parnas doesn't know anything. And Giuliani says that he, himself, hasn't done anything wrong. And Giuliani says that he hasn't been contacted by prosecutors at this point. He says he's offered to sit down with them and answer any questions they might have. But he says they haven't taken up - taken him up on it thus far.

KELLY: Fascinating.

Thank you, Ryan.

LUCAS: Thank you.

KELLY: NPR's Ryan Lucas - he was in New York today for that interview with President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Lots more of that conversation with Steve Inskeep; we'll have it on tomorrow's Morning Edition.

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