WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday defended his use of private lawyer Rudy Giuliani to work on Ukraine as Giuliani’s role comes under increasing scrutiny in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.
A day after public hearings concluded in the House Intelligence Committee, Trump told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” that he directed Giuliani to tackle corruption in Ukraine because of his reputation as a “great crime fighter”.
“Rudy Giuliani is one of the greatest crime fighters of all time,” Trump said of the former New York City mayor. He said Ukraine was known as a corruption country and that Giuliani was the right person for the job.
Trump, assuming the House will approve articles of impeachment against him, said he wants an impeachment trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where he would presumably expect a more favorable outcome.
Trump said that among the witnesses he would like to hear from in a Senate trial would be the whistleblower whose report led to the impeachment inquiry. The whistleblower’s identity remains secret.
“I want a trial,” he said.
Reporting By Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Alex Richardson and Chizu Nomiyama