Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, was subpoenaed by House Democrats yesterday (September 30th) as part of the impeachment inquiry over Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son, Hunter Biden. Giuliani was at the center of that effort, and the subpoena from the chairmen of three House committees requests his, quote, "text messages, phone records and other communications" that are possible evidence in the probe. The chairmen referred to Giuliani's numerous recent TV appearances, saying he, quote, "admitted on national television that, while serving as the president’s personal attorney, he asked the government of Ukraine to target" Biden. That came as there were other developments yesterday:
Pompeo Listened In on Ukraine Call:The Wall Street Journal reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listened in on the July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump pushed him to investigate the Bidens and that's at the center of the impeachment probe. Pompeo had previously denied during an ABC News interview that he had firsthand knowledge about what Trump and Zelenskiy had discussed.
Trump Asked Australian PM to Help Barr in Investigation of Russia Probe's Origins:The New York Times reported that Trump recently asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other foreign leaders to help Attorney General William Barr with an investigation into the origins of the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election that was carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump and his allies have charged the probe was politically-motivated and that Democrats were behind it, with the president repeatedly calling it a "witch hunt." The Washington Post later reported that Barr had also sought foreign help with the probe from British intelligence officials and from Italian officials who he traveled to Italy last week to meet.
Trump Says 'Trying to Find Out' When Asked About Whistleblower: Trump said yesterday when asked by reporters if he knows who the whistleblower is who came forward about the July call with Ukraine's president: "we're trying to find out about a whistleblower" and accusing the person of misrepresenting the call. Afterward, the whistleblower's attorney said in a statement that the person, quote, "is entitled to anonymity. Law and policy support this, and the individual is not to be retaliated against. Doing so is a violation of federal law."
Inspector General Says Whistleblower Had First-Hand Knowledge:The intelligence community inspector general pushed back yesterday against efforts by Trump and his high-profile supporters to discredit the whistleblower by charging it was all hearsay, meaning the information the whistleblower reported was told to him or her and not observed firsthand. Inspector General Michael Atkinson's office said instead: "The whistleblower stated on the form that he or she possessed both firsthand and other information," and Atkinson determined that the whistleblower had, quote, "direct knowledge of certain alleged conduct." The person wasn't a "direct witness" to the July phone call, according to the office, but the IG, quote, "determined that other information obtained during the ICIG's preliminary review supported the complainant's allegations." The office also said claims that have been made that whistleblower rules were changed just before the whistleblower submitted his or her report are untrue.