President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Thursday referred to himself as a "legitimate whistleblower" and said he might need protection to continue informing the public about the unfolding Ukrainian phone call scandal that led this week to an impeachment inquiry.
"Giuliani seems to be completely out of control."
—Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
The former New York City mayor claimed to Fox News host Laura Ingraham Thursday evening that his role in the scandal is misunderstood and that he has provided a service to the public and the White House through his work to expose corruption.
"I actually think they should all congratulate me," said Giuliani.
.@RudyGiuliani: I’m a legitimate whistleblower. I have uncovered corruption that this Washington swamp has been covering up, effectively, for years. And his State Department asked me to do this. So Mike, if you’re unhappy with me, I’m sorry, but I accomplished my mission pic.twitter.com/FMy5zjHZT5— TrumpPatriot (@TrumpPatriotPL) September 27, 2019
The involvement of Giuliani in the scheme to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and Hunter's work with Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019, put him in the spotlight this week as the furor over impeachment took over the news.
Hunter Biden's role with Burisma has been reported on extensively, including in a well-publicized profile of the former vice president's son in The New Yorker published July 1.
Mother Jones writer Ari Berman said Thursday that the scandal is "as bad, it not worse, than Watergate," the crimes and cover-up that ended President Richard Nixon's administration.
In comments to Politico, published Friday, Giuliani suggested he had more information that was vital to the case and even warned that his life could be in danger.
"I'm the real whistleblower," Giuliani told the news outlet. "If I get killed now," he added, "you won't get the rest of the story."
Giuliani's latest comments capped a busy 24 hours for the president's personal attorney, who spent much of Thursday implicating other administration officials in the scandal.
"Rudy Giuliani seems to be completely out of control," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Thursday.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal: "Rudy Giuliani seems to be completely out of control." pic.twitter.com/WuXN089z8Y— The Hill (@thehill) September 26, 2019
According to Giuliani, the reason he first reached out to Ukraine on the matter was due to a request from the U.S. State Department—a public admission that has reportedly upset Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
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On Fox, Giuliani called on State Department officials, and specifically Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative to Ukraine, to come forward about their role in the controversy. The former mayor showed Ingraham text messages from Volker he had on his iPad.
We know @RudyGiuliani is not quite on the level, but if these giant iPad texts are real, then it's further evidence we need to investigate the State Department's role in this mess.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 27, 2019
We have to get to the bottom of this corruption. Who all is helping Trump abuse his power? pic.twitter.com/g4bScGPwul
NBC reported Thursday that Volker's role in the government is part-time and helpful to his day job:
An unpaid volunteer, Volker spends most of his time engaged in outside projects, including his work at a Washington lobbying firm that continued to represent the Government of Ukraine for almost two years after Volker started as special envoy.
State Department staffers told Politico Thursday that they found it hard to believe Giuliani would have acted without the support of Pompeo.
"It's impossible to believe that the secretary wasn't aware of what was happening," an unnamed official said. "If he was kept in the dark, that's even more troubling."
According to Politico, even more administration officials could be implicated:
Some of Trump's top aides have also been drawn into the scandal. The Washington Post reported that Trump asked his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine just days before the July 25 call with Zelensky, and the memo of Trump's call showed the president urging Zelensky to work with Attorney General William Barr to investigate the Bidens.
The president's lawyer appears to be on thin ice, leading some to speculate about what the future holds.
It would be a fitting end to Rudy Giuliani's career for him to flip & give evidence of his boss's corruption and treason in exchange for a reduced sentence.— Marshall Steinbaum (@Econ_Marshall) September 26, 2019
"It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I'm not," Giuliani said. "And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero."