Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, a close ally of President Donald Trump, broke from him Sunday to express concern that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, traveled to Ukraine as House Democrats are poised to move ahead on Trump’s impeachment.
“It’s weird that he’s over there,” Gaetz said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “It would seem odd having him over there at this time.”
The rare rebuke from the congressman came as the House Judiciary Committee, on which he sits, is working to draft articles of impeachment against Trump that it could vote on as soon as this week. Democrats on the panel are wrestling with how broad those charges should be and how quickly they should move, even as lawmakers continue to debate ongoing developments in the scandal, including Giuliani’s presence in Ukraine.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, said he saw nothing wrong with Giuliani’s trip. “If he is finding something that is inappropriate, should he bring that to Congress? Yes,” Meadows said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” a reference to unproven allegations against former vice president Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate. “I don’t know of any role that Rudy Giuliani is playing on behalf of the president of the United States. I think he’s over there as a citizen … He is the president’s personal attorney, but I don’t know that he’s over there on the president’s direction. In fact, I would suggest that he’s not.”
Trump said Saturday that he did not know what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine but that he “has a lot of good information” he would detail in a report to the Justice Department and Congress. “I have not spoken to him about that information yet,” Trump said. “I hear he has found plenty.”
Washington Post writer Jeff Stein contributed to this report.