Coons, colleagues call for expanded investigation of Giuliani, Justice Department contact
Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, joined a group of senators in calling on the U.S. Department of Justice inspector general to expand his investigation of Rudy Giuliani’s contacts with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to include troubling contacts elsewhere in the department.
Giuliani is reported to have met on numerous occasions with top Justice officials with authority over matters involving Giuliani’s clients, such as an individual implicated in funneling $10 billion to Iran in defiance of U.S. sanctions and another involved in a scheme to embezzle $1.2 billion from Venezuela’s government-owned oil company and launder it through false real estate and security deals. These incidents add to evidence of Giuliani’s far-reaching effort to use the department to initiate investigations that would benefit President Donald Trump politically, including the push to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We are concerned that Giuliani’s interactions with senior DOJ officials may have unduly influenced or created conflicts of interests with regard to DOJ activities,” the senators wrote. “At a minimum, Mr. Giuliani’s access creates an appearance of impropriety that could undermine trust in the agency. If his contacts do not violate one or more of these provisions, further internal guidance may be needed to ensure that DOJ delivers ‘fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.’”
Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont; Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota; Chris Coons, D-Delaware; Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Cory Booker, D-New Jersey; Kamala Harris, D-California; also joined Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-California, in the request.
The Inspector General’s office is currently investigating whether agents in the FBI’s New York field office improperly leaked information to Giuliani about the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in 2016. At the time, Giuliani was affiliated with the Trump campaign. Giuliani’s leaks may have prompted FBI director James Comey to publicly announce the discovery of additional emails in the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign.
The letter is available at bit.ly/2PblB9b.