13:06 GMT13 August 2020
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    The former New York City mayor-turned Trump attorney took a fact-finding trip to Ukraine earlier this month, looking for evidence about alleged pay-to-play behaviour by the Biden family in Ukraine during the Obama presidency. The Ukraine-Biden scandal is at the heart of the Democrats’ effort to impeach the president.

    Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has accused his Democratic opponents of seeking to “execute him,” saying he could only wish them “luck,” as many other powerful groups have already tried that.

    “They wanna put [Attorney General William] Barr in prison and they wanna execute me,” Giuliani said, speaking at the Student Action Summit, an event sponsored by conservative nonprofit Turning Point USA, on Thursday.

     “The Mafia tried that, and the FARC –the Mafia, the FARC, and the word you can’t say, Islamic extremist terrorists, have all taken out contracts of one kind or another to kill me, and my answer is ‘good luck’. I just get angrier and I go after you more,” Giuliani added.

    Accusing the Democrats of using the impeachment process to try to move the United States toward a “dictatorship,” the former mayor suggested that “the whole impeachment process just trashed the constitution. No right to counsel, no right to call witness, no right to confrontation, no right to even have your lawyer there and investigate all the lawyers.”

    During his tenure as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the mid-1980s, Giuliani’s high-profile efforts to prosecute New York’s so-called Five Families led some Mafia leaders to consider assassinating him, with the Colombo and Gambino crime family leaders as well as John Gotti suggesting a contract be put out on him. According to Giuliani, the Sicilian mafia also sought to have him killed after he became mayor of New York in the mid-1990s.

    © AP Photo / Richard Drew
    U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani, right, with Ronald Goldstock, left, director of the State Organized Crime Task Force, and trial lawyer Barry Slotnick before speaking at the New York Post Forum on Organized Crime in New York, March 13, 1986.

    This isn’t the first time Giuliani has accused opponents of trying to have him killed, and it remains unclear if he is speaking figuratively. Last month, he told Fox News that he expected his enemies to “try to kill” him over his work investigating alleged illegal activity by the Biden family. After the interview, Giuliani issued a cryptic tweet about having an “insurance policy” of files in his safe “about the Biden Family’s 4 decade monetizing of his office” which would be released immediately if he were to “disappear.”

    Impeachment Battle

    Last week, Giuliani said President Trump had asked him to brief the Justice Department and Republican lawmakers about the findings of his recent fact-finding trip to Ukraine. He has not presented any information publicly since then. During the trip, Giuliani sought to find new information about the former vice president’s son’s work for a Ukrainian energy company, and Ukraine’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

    The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The Senate, where the president’s Republican allies enjoy a majority of seats, is expected to start an impeachment trial in the coming weeks. For Trump to be removed from office, the Senate would need to find him guilty by a two-thirds majority, something most observers say is extremely unlikely.

    House Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his powers as president to try to force Ukraine to reopen an investigation into the alleged illegal activities of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Hunter was given a seat on the executive board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2014, shortly after the victory of a US and EU-backed coup d’état in Kiev. Republicans claim the scheme is evidence of the Bidens selling access to the Obama White House. The Biden family denies the claims. Ukraine’s prosecutor began an investigation into Hunter Biden in 2016, but was fired by then-President Petro Poroshenko during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev. Biden later bragged about putting pressure on Poroshenko to have the prosecutor fired, but said this was unrelated to the investigation into his son. Trump is accused of attempting to withhold nearly $400 million in US military aid to try to pressure current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to restart the Biden probe.


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