‘The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant…’
(Liberty Headlines) Attorney General William Barr said Monday the Justice Department is taking information that President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is gathering in Ukraine about former Vice President Joe Biden—the one-time 2020 Democratic front-runner—and his son Hunter.
However, he said the DOJ would proceed with extreme caution when it came to examining any information from Ukrainian sources.
The announcement comes as the FBI continues to reel from the abuse of the FISA process under former Director James Comey that resulted in a chain of subsequent scandals based on discredited information found in the Steele Dossier and other fabricated reports.
“We had established an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the department and its intelligence community partners, so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility,” Barr said.
“And that is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine, including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide.”
Since Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings in Ukraine and China first were revisited nearly a year ago with the publication of Peter Schweizer’s Secret Empires, additional scandals have enmeshed the Biden family’s business dealings.
Both of his living children and three siblings have been implicated in quid-pro-quo deals that took advantage of his status as a powerful senator and later the second-in-command to President Barack Obama.
Shortly after the book’s publication, Giuliani began ratcheting up his investigation into the past administration’s Ukraine scandals. Those efforts culminated in a July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and the newly elected Ukraine leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Partisan House Democrats used the call to initiate a whistleblower complaint and file articles of impeachment, alleging abuse of power.
Trump was acquitted last week and has been emboldened by the failed effort, which yielded a significant boost in his approval rating.
The attorney general’s comments at an unrelated news conference in Washington come a day after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said Barr told him the department had “created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified.”
“The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant,” Barr said.
“But as I did say to Senator Graham, we have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from the Ukraine, he continued. “There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine, a lot of cross currents. And we can’t take anything we received from Ukraine at face value.”
Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, has said he has a document that relates to Hunter Biden, along with a memo allegedly from a Democratic Party official documenting communications with a reporter.
FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich said the agency was “taking information as we would in any case” and that federal agents would “will evaluate it appropriately.”
Bowdich would not answer when asked whether Joe or Hunter Biden were under investigation by the FBI.
Hours after Barr’s comments, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding that the attorney general answer a series of questions about Giuliani’s information.
Nadler sent 11 questions about the process, who would be involved and whether it would be shared with the White House.
“Any official relationship between Mr. Giuliani and the Department raises serious questions about conflicts of interest—both for the Department, generally, and for you, specifically,” Nadler wrote to Barr.
Nadler’s letter notes that one of Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas, has claimed Barr was briefed on efforts to pressure the Ukraine government to investigate Democrats. Parnas is charged with illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. political campaigns.
The Justice Department said last year that Parnas’ claims were “100% false.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press