George Conway, who is married to senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, said Thursday that President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office “without delay” if it turns out he pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden.
The conservative attorney, a frequent critic of the president, was referring to a report in British newspaper The Independent that Trump allegedly told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden if he wanted to improve relations with the U.S.
Three House committees launched an investigation last week to determine if the president, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and possibly others pressured the “government of Ukraine to assist the president’s reelection campaign,” the committees said in a statement. The panels have demanded a transcript of the July phone call.
It’s possible the call is linked to a secret complaint from a whistleblower in the intelligence community reportedly concerning Trump and a troubling “promise” to a foreign leader. The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Thursday that at least part of the complaint involved Ukraine.
Giuliani said in a CNN interview Thursday with Chris Cuomo that “of course” he recently pressed Ukrainian officials to investigative Biden.
“So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden?” Cuomo asked.
“Of course I did,” Giuliani answered. But then he clarified: “I didn’t ask them to look into Joe Biden. I asked them to look into the allegations that related to my client [Trump], which tangentially involved Joe Biden.”
Giuliani said Trump had “every right” to tell Zelensky to investigate corruption — though he insisted he didn’t know if the president did so.
Trump has been calling for an investigation into Biden’s connections to Ukraine since a Times report in May. According to the newspaper, the former vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees in 2016 until Ukraine removed a prosecutor Biden had accused of doing nothing to fight corruption in the nation. But the prosecutor, who was removed, had been investigating an energy company whose board members included Biden’s son, the Times reported.
If the report in The Independent is true, pressure by Trump on the Ukrainian leader would mean a U.S. president essentially invited a foreign power to investigate an American citizen, which would benefit the president’s reelection campaign.
In June Trump said he didn’t see anything wrong with accepting negative information about a political rival from a foreign power. “It’s not an interference,” the president told George Stephanopoulus on ABC. “They have the information! I think I’d take it.”