Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter

Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter

By:  Justine Coleman
The Hill

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday called for an investigation into the Democratic senators who sent a letter in 2018 to the prosecutor general of Ukraine requesting information on investigations into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Paul dodged questions from Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" on whether President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani's interactions with foreign governments to get information on former Vice President Joe Biden bothered him.

"If anything's consistent here, both parties have tried to involve themselves in Ukraine," Paul said.

"If you're going to condemn Trump, you need to condemn the Democratic senators," he added. "It shouldn't just be one-sided."

The 2018 letter Paul referred to was sent by three Democratic senators — Sens. Robert Menendez (N.J.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) — to Ukraine's prosecutor general, asking for the country's assistance in the Mueller investigation. The letter was sent after a New York Times report found the investigations into Manafort in Ukraine had stalled.

Paul asserts the Democratic senators threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine in the letter if the country did not cooperate in the Mueller investigation.

The Kentucky senator said the Democratic senators' sending of the letter needs to be examined.

"That’s a threat and that’s the same kind of stuff they’re accusing Trump of," he said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump after a whistleblower report surfaced concerns about a July call between Trump and the Ukrainian president. In the call, Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to "look into" former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter days after withholding military aid from the country.

During Biden's vice presidency, he pushed for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor, who was looking into a Ukrainian gas company, of which Hunter Biden sat on the board.