We’ve reached the stage of the Ukraine scandal where President Donald Trump starts dumping people, or at least seems to be considering it. POLITICO is reporting that an array of top figures in the president’s inner circles have been clamoring against his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani for some time now, urging the president to fire him because of Giuliani’s lightning rod of a public profile — and that’s putting it lightly. Now, Giuliani is facing another major drag on his reputation after two of his associates were arrested this week on charges of a plot to violate federal campaign finance laws, and he himself is reportedly under federal investigation too.
As POLITICO puts it:
‘For weeks, prominent Republican advisers have been privately imploring President Donald Trump to sideline Rudy Giuliani after a barrage of inconsistent, combative and occasionally cringe-inducing media interviews, according to three people familiar with the conversations.’
One person described as “a former campaign official who remains close to Trump’s team” put it bluntly:
‘Rudy Giuliani needs to stop talking.’
And perhaps even more bluntly, one person the same publication describes as a “former senior administration official” asserted when asked what Trump plans for responding to impeachment should be:
‘Hopefully Rudy will be on the space shuttle.’
Publicly, Trump has shown an inclination that he’s leaning towards dumping Giuliani in much the same way he eventually broke ties with Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer who’s now serving a three year jail sentence in part for crimes investigated by the same U.S. Attorney’s office now reportedly investigating Giuliani.
Asked Friday whether Giuliani was still his personal attorney, Trump told reporters:
‘Well, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney.’
That’s a Trumpian set up for a complete dump if there ever was one, although after the fact Giuliani himself did tell reporters that yes, he’s still representing the president in legal matters — although it might not be quite that simple. POLITICO notes that “one Republican suggested Giuliani would not leave even if Trump wanted him to.”
Either way, much of the damage has already been done. Giuliani is the one who served as a key middle-man in Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens, a scheme that has now sparked an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats. As scrutiny of his behavior has piled up, Giuliani has insisted that — wait for it — he was “representing the president of the United States,” which is no small confirmed implication. Giuliani’s maneuvering has left the president again exposed to investigation.
Giuliani himself has been subpoenaed by House Democrats, who, of course, he insists are only doing the devil’s work. The Trump White House recently released a rambling letter insisting that they would not comply at all with any parts of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry meant to probe the depths of the Ukraine scandal. Trump and his cronies have denounced Democrats as “do nothing,” but they’ve passed hundreds of bills that Republicans in the Senate have simply ignored.
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