According to a new report in The New York Times, President Donald Trump and his prominent ally Rudy Giuliani have discussed the possibility of Trump issuing a preemptive pardon for Giuliani before he leaves office. In other words — even as Giuliani rushes around the country in a frenzied attempt to prove that Trump’s political opponents are the real criminals, he may be privately conscientious of potentially impending criminal proceedings against himself. Although the Times notes that Giuliani’s potential criminal exposure isn’t immediately clear, any further proceedings would add on to the startling fall from Giuliani’s former job as a U.S. Attorney to his present position.
On Tuesday, the Times reported that Giuliani “discussed with the president as recently as last week the possibility of receiving a pre-emptive pardon before Mr. Trump leaves office, according to two people told of the discussion,” adding that which of the individuals brought up the issue wasn’t immediately clear. According to the sources for the Times, the two of them “have also talked previously about a pardon for Mr. Giuliani.” The Times notes that Giuliani, who’s also a former mayor of New York City, “was under investigation as recently as last summer by federal prosecutors in Manhattan for his business dealings in Ukraine and his role in ousting the American ambassador there, a plot that was at the heart of the impeachment of Mr. Trump.”
Giuliani has stuck by Trump throughout his time in the public spotlight as president. He participated in the president’s defense throughout the impeachment proceedings, and, more recently, he joined the campaign’s legal team for a court case against the Pennsylvania election results. That case has not gone well for the campaign; after an earlier lower-court loss, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against the Trump campaign. In the unanimous ruling against the campaign from a three-judge panel on the Third Circuit, Judge Stephanos Bibas — who Trump himself originally nominated! — said that the campaign’s claims “have no merit.”
Giuliani has also participated in public “hearings” that have provided forums for the Trump team to share their ludicrous claims of election fraud. Giuliani has repeatedly claimed that a centrally-planned Democratic conspiracy to perpetrate fraud and steal the election from Trump unfolded during the recent presidential race, but there’s no meaningful evidence for this bonkers claim — to say the least. At a “hearing” in Arizona this week, Giuliani also suggested that officials who sign on to certifications of supposedly fraudulent results could be committing a crime via certifying a supposedly false statement. There’s no meaningful evidence for this claim either.
Recently, Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, a former associate and longtime ally who’d faced criminal proceedings over crimes including lying to the FBI about his communications with a Russian ambassador. Trump’s pardon for Flynn covered “potential legal troubles beyond the charge he had faced of lying to federal investigators,” the Times explains.
Previously, Trump has also commuted the prison sentence of Roger Stone, ensuring that his convicted criminal ally didn’t have to serve a day of his sentence for obstruction of justice.