President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani said in a video posted Friday that senators should move to dismiss Democrats’ articles of impeachment because they do not allege anything for which the president can be removed.
As Mr. Trump’s trial entered its fifth day, Mr. Giuliani said Democrats should finish their “entirely partisan picture” of why they believe Mr. Trump abused his power vis-a-vis Ukraine and then obstructed Congress.
He also thinks Republicans should respond with an opening statement “as to why this didn’t happen and why this is totally unjustified.”
But then, “there should be a vote, a motion should be made to dismiss the articles of impeachment for failure to state an impeachable offense, similar to [dismissing] an indictment for failure to state a crime,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I believe that that is the correct outcome.”
Mr. Giuliani opined on the case against Mr. Trump in Volume 1 of his podcast titled “Common Sense,” after Thomas Paine’s famous pamphlet ahead of the American Revolution.
He said the president can only be impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors and that Democrats’ articles do not cite a specific offense. He said as a longtime lawyer, he is familiar with the criminal statutes.
“There is no crime there called ‘abuse of power,’” Mr. Giuliani said. “It’s a nebulous term, it’s a debatable thing — it’s more of a theory, than it is a charge that’s defined.”
Mr. Giuliani, who rose to fame as a federal prosecutor and New York City mayor, said he will use his podcast to reveal the “somewhat startling” information he dug up in his capacity as Mr. Trump’s attorney.
In particular, Mr. Giuliani has been investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, a frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic primary, and his son’s business ties to Ukraine for months.
The issue is at the heart of Mr. Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial. Mr. Trump stands accused of improperly withholding military aid to Ukraine unless the country’s leaders agreed to open up an investigation into the Bidens.
In 2018, Mr. Biden had boasted about threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees unless Ukraine agreed to fire the country’s top prosecutor, who had reportedly been looking into corruption at an energy company where Hunter Biden held a lucrative seat on the board.
Mr. Biden and his team have consistently said he did nothing wrong. The push to oust the prosecutor was in line with U.S. policy at the time and the investigation into the company, Burisma, had been dormant by the time Mr. Biden was advocating for the ouster.
Rep. Sylvia Garcia, one of the House impeachment managers, on Thursday pushed back on the notion that Mr. Biden was trying to oust Viktor Shokin to protect his son.
“It would actually increase chances of a Burisma investigation,” the Texas Democrat said, also noting that the push was in line with Obama administration policy.
Yet Mr. Giuliani is indicating he will not back away from the type of sleuthing that led to Mr. Trump being impeached.
Appearing on “Fox and Friends,” he teased that he had additional information forthcoming that could be damaging to Mr. Biden and said he hopes the ex-vice president will ultimately be placed under investigation.
“I started investigating Biden two years ago when he was thinking about running for president,” Mr. Giuliani said on the cable TV program. “I never thought he would run. Looked to me like he couldn’t cross the street, much less run.”
Mr. Giuliani didn’t answer directly when asked if Mr. Trump wants him to continue with his investigative efforts.
“Would you like me to give it up?” he asked host Brian Kilmeade. “Should I give it up, Brian?”
“I’m scared of them attacking me,” he said, cowering sarcastically. “They’re a bunch of phonies — I did my job as an attorney. I did it well, I did it honorably, and I did the country a service in bringing out this corruption that everybody else is afraid to touch.”
Mr. Giuliani’s new podcast is essentially a YouTube video series on a dedicated website.
Seated before a microphone, he stressed that what’s going on is extremely rare — Mr. Trump is only the third president to be impeached — and that Democrats are seeking to oust Mr. Trump less than a year before the presidential election.
He said the founders were worried that members of Congress would oust a president over “political jealousy,” so Alexander Hamilton is “not having a restful period right now.”
“They’ve alleged things that are not impeachable offenses. The Senate should make that clear,” Mr. Giuliani said. “And hopefully, it will act as a deterrent so another president does not have to go through this and this does not become a new part of the political leverage that we have.”
Mr. Trump has made similar arguments in refusing to turn over documents or acquiesce to Democratic demands for testimony from his current and former aides. He says the demands will undermine executive privileges and harm future presidents.
For now, the president is following his trial closely and tweeting about developments as Democrats wrap up their case. He says Democrats have dithered, putting his defense team in a lousy television slot.
“Looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.,” he tweeted Friday.