16:15 GMT21 October 2020
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    US President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has notified several US House committees he "will not participate" in their impeachment inquiry, including cooperating with a subpoena issued late last month.

    In the Tuesday letter from Giuliani's counsel, Jon A. Sale, the former New York mayor tells the chairmen of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and two other House committees that "Mr. Giuliani will not participate" in their impeachment inquiry into Trump "because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless and illegitimate" probe.

    "By way of this response, Mr. Giuliani adopts all the positions set forth in Mr. Cipollone's October 8, 2019, letter on behalf of President Donald J. Trump," the letter continues. "In addition, the subpoena is overbroad, unduly burdensome, and seeks documents beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry. Moreover, documents sought in the subpoena are protected by attorney-client, attorney work-product, and executive privileges."

    On October 9, Pat A. Cipollone, White House counsel, wrote a letter rejecting another subpoena sent to the White House by the trio of House committees accusing them of violating Trump's civil rights and seeking to "overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen," Sputnik reported at the time.

    Giuliani was sent the subpoena by the House Intelligence Committee on September 30, following consultation with the Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, and Judiciary committees.

    "The committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression, as well as any efforts to cover up these matters," the document noted. "Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the President in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President."

    Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the scandal, which hinges around a July 20 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy, in which Trump pushed Zelenskyy to investigate former US Vice President Joe Biden's past actions in Ukraine. Biden is a leading candidate in the Democratic presidential primary race and could emerge as Trump's major challenger in the November 2020 elections.

    The phone call notes that Giuliani has served as Trump's emissary to Kiev for months, trying to open an investigation in why Biden forced Kiev's hand in 2016, getting them to fire their prosecutor general in the midst of an investigation into Burisma, a gas company doing business in Ukraine on whose board Joe Biden's son, Hunter, sat. The then-VP boasted afterward that he'd threatened to withhold "a billion dollars" in loans if they didn't fire the chief prosecutor.


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    impeachment, Ukraine, US House Intelligence Committee, subpoena, Rudy Giuliani
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