Giuliani Should Comply with Federal Ethics Laws Due to Assigned Role in U.S. Ukraine Diplomacy

Rudy Giuliani speaking at a podium
Former New York City Rudy Giuliani travels with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to introduce him at this Clive, Iowa apperance. 9/13/2016 Photo by John Pemble via Creative Commons.

Rudy Giuliani has been tasked with conducting U.S. foreign policy while retaining unknown private clients, and should be subject to the conflict of interest and other ethics laws that apply to federal employees.

A new letter sent by Campaign Legal Center to the State Department’s Inspector General requests an investigation into Giuliani and his potential violations of ethics laws.

According to the letter, Giuliani’s assigned role and diplomatic responsibilities rendered him an employee for purposes of federal ethics laws. President Donald Trump identified Giuliani as an official envoy to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Senior State Department officials understood that the president had given Giuliani formal responsibilities on U.S.-Ukraine relations, and deferred to him on substantial diplomatic matters. And Giuliani himself stated publicly that he acted with the support of the president and State Department.

Giuliani was assigned a central role in pushing Ukraine to publicly commit to investigations into Joe Biden and Burisma, a Ukrainian firm that employed Biden’s son Hunter — and into matters pertaining to the Democratic National Committee — which were understood to be necessary preconditions for the release of U.S. taxpayer-funded security aid to Ukraine and for President Zelensky receiving the in-person White House meeting that he sought.

These facts are central to this week’s public impeachment hearings.

Read the full letter here.


This post was written by Sheely Edwards, a 2019 CLC Hinckley intern, and student at the University of Utah.