WASHINGTON, D.C. – During the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump in the Senate today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked the House Managers about Rudy Giuliani’s role in U.S. foreign policy.
“As Ambassador Sondland testified, if he and other U.S. officials didn’t talk to Rudy Giuliani, ‘nothing would move forward on Ukraine.’ It is highly unusual for a private individual to be so empowered by a President on matters of foreign policy, and to serve as a go-between for U.S. government officials. How should we factor the President’s use of a private citizen as a conduit for what he was seeking to achieve in Ukraine into our assessment of the President’s actions?” Booker, Menendez and their Senate colleagues, Cardin, Coons, Kaine, Markey, Merkley, Murphy, Shaheen, and Udall asked.
Senator Booker’s question is aimed at highlighting how Mr. Giuliani’s focus was personal and political in nature and influenced President Trump’s approach to U.S. foreign policy.
Senator Booker traveled to Ukraine in 2017 and visited Eastern Ukraine where Russia and its proxies have waged a war against the country. Booker met with several reform-minded officials pursuing good governance efforts with vital U.S. assistance.
As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez travelled to Ukraine in 2014 on an official visit that focused on highlighting how Russian aggression destabilizes Ukraine and creates instability throughout Eastern Europe. Menendez met with top government officials to review U.S. efforts to assist Ukraine in light of the crisis caused by the Russian occupation of eastern territories in Ukraine.