Sen. Kamala Harris on Thursday suggested disbarring President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and said she was asking the inspector general of the State Department to investigate whether department officials helped Giuliani engage in official business with Ukraine.
“We need to know if the personal lawyer of the president, Giuliani, was using government resources for political gain,” Harris told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. “And frankly, if there were any members of the State Department who were facilitating Rudy Giuliani’s private conversations on behalf of the president, there should be accountability and consequence for that.”
The California Democrat who is running for her party’s presidentrial nomination, made the remarks as details of correspondence between Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine have unfolded, including Trump’s pressing Zelensky to investigate another Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Giuliani was in contact with Ukrainian officials on Trump’s behalf, according to a whistleblower complaint describing the interaction and a readout of a July phone call between the two presidents.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and Giuliani has said repeatedly that nothing he’d done was illegal. Since reports of the phone call have been publicized, Giuliani has taken to cable news to defend himself and his client in rambling — and at times contradictory — tirades.
Giuliani told CNN on Thursday that the whistleblower account was “total nonsense” and he had “no knowledge of any of that crap.”
“Rudy Giuliani really ought to stop talking and get a lawyer because, I mean, he is incriminating himself,” Harris said Thursday.
She also suggested earlier Thursday night on MSNBC: “The New York bar association needs to investigate Giuliani and probably disbar him.”
Speaking with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Thursday, Giuliani laughed at Harris’ remarks and called her a “phony.” He repeated past claims that the State Department requested he meet with Zelensky’s aide and that the interaction was legitimate.
“What they’re really trying to do is to intimidate me and to discredit me because I’m doing such an effective job of showing what phonies they are,” Giuliani said.
Harris also denounced Trump’s response to the reports. The president said on Thursday that he wanted to find out who gave the information to the whistleblower, adding that in the “old days,” “spies and treason” were handled a “little differently.”
“He sounds like a criminal,” Harris said on Thursday. “Who snitched? Who gave up the goods? Let’s find out who gave up the goods on us and make sure there’s a consequence and it’s serious, and let that be a lesson to everybody else. And it sounds like it’s straight out of some bad drama.”
Reports of the exchange between Trump and Zelensky have prompted deep concern among intelligence officials and led to calls for impeachment from previously skittish Democrats. Harris had already called for Trump’s impeachment in the light of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine