While long ridiculed over his own representational performance, Rudy Giuliani attacked the Republican Counsel Steve Castor for spreading “Democrat lies” and demanded an apology for saying that he had business interests in Ukraine. [For the full disclosure, Castor is a graduate of George Washington Law School] . Of course, Giuliani’s conduct in Ukraine has become a full-fledge scandal and he maintained a number of highly dubious associations including his now indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman who were arrested at an airport trying to leave the country (not long after meeting with Giuliani). Fruman and Parnas were pursuing business deals in Ukraine but it is not clear if Giuliani was part of those efforts. Giuliani is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors over his dealings in Ukraine. Giuliani has made a mess of this entire matter and one way to clarify such facts would be to appear for testimony.
Castor scored points yesterday in the hearing in building the Republican narrative and timeline. Today he is likely to be more aggressive with the two witnesses Fiona Hill and David Holmes.
Giuliani tweeted: “Republican lawyer doesn’t do his own research and preparation, and is instead picking up Democrat lies, shame. Allow me to inform him: I have NO financial interests in Ukraine, NONE! I would appreciate his apology.
Giuliani’s name came up (reportedly through his associates) in efforts to gain control or influence over the energy company Naftogaz. That may have been what Castor was thinking in briefly referencing business dealings of Giuliani in questioning Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
Giuliani, who has declined to testify, also commented on the testimony of Sondland and said that “I came into this at Volker’s request,” referring to former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker.
Once again, it is bizarre for the Democrats to rush to a vote on this thin record supporting the narrowest impeachment in history. Witnesses like Giuliani should be called to testify under subpoena with other critical witnesses like John Bolton. They have at best a conflicted record on Trump’s demand for investigations, a record that now includes two conversations where Trump denied a quid pro quo. Yet, after a handful of witnesses, they are expected to wrap up and send this over to the House Judiciary Committee for a few hearings and then a vote. That would leave a record that is a scintilla of the evidentiary foundation marshaled in the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts. It raises the question of whether the Democrats are just going through the motions in presenting an impeachment designed to collapse in the Senate.