Giuliani's plan had seemed poised to create an unprecedented moment, that of the lawyer of the president of the United States seeking foreign assistance in damaging his political rivals. To Democrats, it was a blatant evocation of Russia's meddling on behalf of Trump when he defeated Hillary Clinton.
"We're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do," Giuliani told the New York Times. "There's nothing illegal about it. Somebody could say it's improper. And this isn't foreign policy — I'm asking them to do an investigation that they're doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I'm going to give them reasons why they shouldn't stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government."