At the center of the ongoing scandal surrounding President Donald Trump’s attempts to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens for the usage of the 2020 Trump campaign sits presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who’s worked in and around government for decades at this point. Giving some perspective on his decline, NBC News has spoken with about half a dozen of his former colleagues, the majority of whom denounced Giuliani’s behavior. Some of these former colleagues including from the Justice Department asserted Giuliani could be facing criminal charges, covering issues including violating federal election laws, bribery, and extortion — none of which is particularly low-key.
Jeffrey Harris served as Giuliani’s top assistant when the Trump lawyer worked as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the Reagan era. He shared:
‘This is certainly not the Giuliani that I know. I think the Giuliani that I know would prosecute the Giuliani of today… There’s a whole apparatus of the United States government that’s set up to deal with foreign officials and Rudy Giuliani’s not one of them. To the extent that you could look at this as using government resources for your benefit, there are a number of crimes that this conduct would answer to.’
Giuliani’s former Justice Department colleague Bruce Fein added:
‘He was soliciting a foreign government to help Trump’s 2020 campaign. That’s a problem. Federal election laws make it illegal to solicit anything of value from a foreign government or persons to influence the outcome of an election.’
Giuliani’s involvement includes a meeting he had with an adviser to the Ukrainian president just after Trump used a phone conversation to pressure that same president to investigate the Bidens, but it extends well beyond that too. Besides Trump telling the Ukrainian president directly that Ukrainian authorities should get in touch with Giuliani (and Attorney General Bill Barr), the former New York City mayor also directly pressured Ukrainian authorities to investigate the Bidens. He admitted as much in a recent particularly contentious interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, although it was already clear thanks in part to his own public commentary.
Giuliani has attempted to defend himself via means including pointing to texts from a Trump administration official helping him out in his Ukraine connection efforts. That official — U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker — has now resigned. Just because “well he did it first!” doesn’t mean anything besides the scandal is bigger than previously known.
More recently, NBC reports that when reached via text about the allegations from his former colleagues that he could face criminal charges, Giuliani exclaimed in a reply delivered via text and phone call:
‘Bulls–t. They don’t know what they are talking about. What crimes… Are these guys lawyers or are they morons?.. I did not threaten them. I didn’t tell them what to do. I recommended that it would be a good thing to complete the investigations.’
How completely not reassuring whatsoever.
If Giuliani was charged, he’d join a long list of current and former Trump associates who’ve faced charges.
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