As outlined in a new report from The Daily Beast, former President Donald Trump appears to be largely leaving his former lawyer and longtime ally Rudy Giuliani on his own amid an ongoing federal criminal investigation into whether Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, violated laws governing foreign lobbying. In short, federal authorities have been investigating whether Giuliani was covertly ferrying certain foreign interests’ wishes to Trump when advocating for the removal (when Trump was in office) of Marie Yovanovitch from her role as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. As part of the investigation, feds recently raided Giuliani’s office and apartment in Manhattan.
According to The Daily Beast, “pleas” from Giuliani’s circles that Trump hasn’t acted on include a request for the former president to “issue a strong verbal or written statement saying Giuliani’s work during the Trump-Ukraine saga was done on behalf of then-President Trump—and therefore not part of an illegal foreign lobbying effort.” The publication adds that there’s also been a request for Trump to “sign on to a legal motion to have federal investigators throw out any seized communications that Giuliani and his lawyers argue are covered by attorney-client privilege,” and furthermore, Trump and his team have faced requests for financial assistance covering Giuliani’s legal expenses, but there’s been no action there.
Giuliani originally advocated for the removal of Yovanovitch from her post amid the effort from then-President Trump and his allies to get damaging information on the Bidens out of Ukraine. That effort culminated in Trump’s first impeachment after the then-president and his co-conspirators tried to bribe Ukraine into investigating the Bidens. According to The Daily Beast, a number of the former president’s allies “still blame Giuliani and his Ukraine shenanigans for getting Trump impeached the first time.” Notably, Giuliani was also prominently involved in the effort to get Biden’s election win overturned — although, no matter any damaging political implications there, Trump certainly has not personally abandoned the lie that the election was somehow rigged.
Notably, The Daily Beast says that Trump “himself has argued behind closed doors that he wouldn’t want to say Giuliani was doing all of the Ukraine work—which included a trans-Atlantic dirt-digging expedition on the Biden family that led to Trump’s first impeachment—on Trump’s behalf.” Trump infamously employed the same approach to scrutinized activity in which his former lawyer Michael Cohen was involved — the then-president tried to insist that he didn’t have much to do with a hush money scheme targeting women with whom he’d had affairs.
Troublingly for Giuliani, former Justice Department official David H. Laufman told The Daily Beast that “[nothing] Donald Trump may say publicly to help Giuliani is likely to get into evidence” in the event of criminal proceedings against Giuliani. In other words, the problems keep growing for Rudy.