Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the Department of Justice will accept and review information gathered by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has been investigating the Bidens in Ukraine.
But Barr stressed that anything Giuliani might provide would be treated with skepticism.
“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” said Barr, who spoke at a press conference scheduled to announce espionage charges against four Chinese military members accused of hacking credit ratings agency Equifax.
“We have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from Ukraine. There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine. There are a lot of cross currents. And we can’t take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value,” Barr said.
Barr’s acknowledgement appeared to confirm recent claims made by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who said that Barr told him the DOJ was receiving information from Giuliani.
“He told me that they have created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified,” Graham said Sunday in a CBS interview.
Giuliani’s alleged shadow foreign policy efforts in Ukraine became a central feature of House Democrats’ impeachment case against Trump.
The president was impeached Dec. 18 on articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, both related to pressuring Ukraine’s president to announce investigations into Trump’s political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Democrats accused Trump of trying to cheat in the 2020 presidential election by coercing a foreign ally to smear his possible opponent with the stain of a criminal probe while withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Kyiv. They also argued that Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to hand over any documents in the House’s probe, and by pressuring potential witnesses not to comply.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him on both charges last week.
Giuliani had worked with multiple associates as part of his investigation — including Lev Parnas, who was arrested in October on campaign finance charges and has since shared thousands of documents with Congress related to his work in Ukraine.
Barr, at the press conference Monday, said that anything coming out of Ukraine would be “carefully scrutinized” by the DOJ and its partners in the intelligence community.
“And that is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine,” Barr said, “including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide.”