By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Earlier this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham created a buzz in the nation’s capital over claims that the Justice Department has created a special “process” for presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani to turn over any alleged evidence of a nefarious nature has has found regarding Joe and Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine.
In an interview Sunday with CBS Newsâ€™ â€œFace the Nation,â€ on the heels of aÂ claimÂ by Giuliani that he has found â€œsmoking gunâ€ corruption evidence on Hunter Biden that includes three witnesses willing to give sworn testimony, Graham sounded a cautionary note.
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He also claimed that a new process for handling and vetting Giulianiâ€™s evidence had been established with the Justice Department.
â€œThe Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy,â€ GrahamÂ said. â€œ[Attorney General Bill Barr] told me that they have created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if itâ€™s verified.â€
CBS News noted further:
Graham, a key ally of the presidentâ€™s, said he spoke with Barr on Sunday morning, as well as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican. He said they urged him to â€œtake very cautiouslyâ€ information from Ukraine against Republicans and Democrats.
â€œIf Rudy Giuliani has any information coming out of the Ukraine, he needs to turn it over to the Department of Justice because it could be Russian propaganda,â€ Graham said, making a stern plea for Giuliani and all U.S. politicians to be wary of that information because it â€œmay be backed by Russian misinformation.â€
Now, CBS News’ Catherine Herridge, along with Clare Hymes, are reporting that in actually the Justice Department has been looking over “Ukraine” materials now for “several weeks,” according to a source claiming to familiar with the review.
The network reports:
Justice Department officials have been “quietly” reviewing records and documents from Ukraine for “several weeks,” a source familiar with the matter tells CBS News.
The source said staff outside of Main JusticeÂ in Washington have been assigned by Attorney General William Barr to review the Ukraine matter, adding that the review is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh and is separate from U.S. Attorney John Durham’sÂÂ into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe.
The new review includes some material provided by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, but goes beyond matters regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.Â
Following Graham’s comments on Sunday, Barr told reporters that the DoJ has “an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant” and had established an “intake process in the field” for receiving and verifying material from Ukraine.
In addition, he said any information from Giuliani or others would be “carefully scrutinized by the department and its intelligence community partners so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility.”
“We have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from the Ukraine,” Barr said at an unrelatedÂ. “There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine. There are a lot of crosscurrents. And we can’t take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value.”
That aligns with what Graham has been saying for some time regarding Giuliani’s Ukraine evidence.
â€œIâ€™m telling Rudy, you think youâ€™ve got the goods? Donâ€™t give it to me, because what do we know? We know the Russian disinformation campaign was used against President Trump. They hacked into the DNC system, not the Ukrainians, and theyâ€™re on the ground all over the world trying to affect democracy,â€ Graham said again on Sunday.
â€œRudy Giuliani is a well-known man. Heâ€™s a crime fighter. Heâ€™s loyal to the president. Heâ€™s a good lawyer,â€ Graham added. â€œBut what Iâ€™m trying to say to the president and anybody else is, the Russians are still up to it. Deterrence is not working.â€
It’s interesting that the mainstream media continues to cast doubts on the implications of an admission Biden himself made that was captured on video about his threat to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine unless that country fired a prosecutor who was investigating corruption involving a company paying his son $83,000 a month.
It’s also interesting that the same media outlets are portraying Trump’s and Giuliani’s claims of possible Ukrainian-related meddling in the 2016 election on Hillary Clinton’s behalf when one of their own outlets, POLITICO, has already reported it.
In any event, it’s obvious that the Justice Department is interested in what Giuliani has found.
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