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Graham says he will invite Rudy Giuliani to speak to Senate Judiciary Committee on Ukraine

Updated 2:51 PM ET, Tue October 8, 2019

Washington (CNN) - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on Tuesday that he plans to invite Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, to speak to the committee about Ukraine.

In a series of tweets, Graham, a South Carolina Republican, wrote, "Have heard on numerous occasions disturbing allegations by @RudyGiuliani about corruption in Ukraine and the many improprieties surrounding the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin."

"Given the House of Representatives' behavior, it is time for the Senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine," he wrote, adding, "Therefore I will offer to Mr. Giuliani the opportunity to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee to inform the committee of his concerns."

A Judiciary Committee spokesman said that the format for Giuliani's potential appearance has not yet been determined, in response to a question from CNN asking if Giuliani would testify in an open session.

In response to a request for comment on Graham's announcement, Giuliani told CNN, "Love Lindsey, but I am still a lawyer and I will have to deal with privilege."

But Giuliani added, "Given the nature of his invitation about my concerns I might be able to do it without discussing privileged information."

House Democrats are pursuing an impeachment investigation into the President and his contacts with Ukraine, triggered by a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump attempted to "solicit interference from a foreign country" in the 2020 election and labeling Giuliani as a "central figure" in the controversy.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, released a statement following Graham's announcement saying that she would "welcome the opportunity" to question Giuliani "under oath about his role in seeking the Ukrainian government's assistance to investigate one of the president's political rivals."

"Democratic members have plenty of questions for Mr. Giuliani and this would give us an opportunity to help separate fact from fiction for the American people," Feinstein said in the statement.

House Democrats have subpoenaed Giuliani for documents related to Ukraine as part of their impeachment inquiry.

Graham, a former critic turned Trump ally, has emerged as a fierce defender of the President over the Ukraine matter.

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.


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