Giuliani, the personal attorney for President Donald Trump, reversed course after Democrats blasted the former New York City mayor for what they viewed as an attempt to court foreign help to stymy the former vice president's run for the Democratic ticket. Giuliani said he believes that the incoming president is being advised, in particular, by Serhiy Leshchenko, an opposition parliament member who helped uncover the off-the-books payments made to Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
But in a Friday night interview with Fox News, Giuliani said he won't go to Ukraine, "in order to remove any political suggestion". "And if I wanted to meddle in that election-which I don't-I could have held this for a year and dropped it right before the convention", Giuliani said.
Giuliani had said last week that he would travel to Kiev in coming days to urge the government to investigate the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's recently concluded probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US election, and the involvement of former Vice President Joe Biden's son in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
The other regards the involvement of Hunter Biden, son of the 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden, in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.
Giuliani had previously told CNN that a "well-regarded investigator" he's known for years put him in touch last November with current and former Ukrainian officials, who he says he's interviewed over Skype and in person.
Democrats, however, were quick to accuse Giuliani of meddling in the next U.S. presidential election, just 18 months away, by asking a foreign government to investigate a political rival.
"The president of the United States is saying it's perfectly OK for him - and he's said this before - to go to the attorney general and get [the Department of Justice] to open an investigation of his rivals. I don't think it is".
Giuliani also told the Times he thought there would be "nothing illegal" about the trip. Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe argued that Trump is "all but certain to abuse his powers as president to undermine the campaign of whoever his opponent turns out to be".
"Somebody could say it's improper", he said.
"We have come to a very sorry state when it is considered OK for an American politician, never mind an attorney for the president, to go and seek foreign intervention in American politics", Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY told reporters Friday.
Speaking about the "Ukrainian collusion with Democrats" Giuliani specifically pointed to an alleged January 2016 meeting at the White House during which, Obama administration officials reportedly asked Ukrainian officials to revisit an investigation into payments to American citizens from Ukraine's Russia-backed Party of Regions. "I mean, you're asking me a question I just haven't thought of".
"I think from the very beginning this has been politically motivated", he said.