All is not well in the relationship between the ex president’s lawyer and his liege.
Rudy Giuliani’s advisors are pressuring former President Donald Trump to take money from his $250 million election defense fund to pay his ex-lawyer, who is currently under criminal scrutiny.
The pressure campaign was published by the New York Times on Tuesday, following the FBI’s search of Giuliani’s home and office room last week.
Despite knowledge of an investigation into Giuliani’s Ukrainian affairs, the newspaper reported that Giuliani’s allies are unhappy that the Trump lawyer did not secure a pre-emptive pardon from the now-former president.
According to reports, Trump had a falling out with Giuliani during his last days in office, and is refusing to pay the former New York mayor’s legal bills.
Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who led Trump’s campaign to reverse the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, is seeking reimbursement for his efforts and he has retained attorneys to defend him in the federal court.
As part of the probe into whether the 76-year-old worked as an unregistered federal agent and influenced the Trump administration on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, his Manhattan home and office were searched last week, and his computer equipment and phones were confiscated.
A case against two Soviet-born men who aided Giuliani in attempting to unearth incriminating material in Ukraine against Hunter Biden, who was on the board of an energy firm there, sparked the probe.
Giuliani sent The New York Post photographs that purported to show Hunter Biden with drug paraphernalia, as well as records and emails, during the final stages of the 2020 presidential cycle.
The information’s veracity and how Giuliani obtained it were quickly questioned, and he said that the media has been after him ever since.
“This is totally done because they want to destroy my credibility because I have that entire hard drive,” he told Fox News Sean Hannity Monday night.
Giuliani is now facing court action from voting system firms Dominion and Smartmatic, alleging that he made misleading statements about the machines tossing votes from Trump to now-President Joe Biden.
“I want to know what the GOP did with the quarter of $1 billion that they collected for the election legal fight,” tweeted Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner on Sunday.
Giuliani had assigned Kerik to his position.
Kerik responded with a tweet on Tuesday, saying he ‘AGREED!’ that Giuliani ‘did more for the president than all of them combined,’ referring to the Republican National Committee and its chairwoman, Ronna Romney McDaniel.
‘The day after the election, they walked and never looked back. They abandoned Trump, Giuliani and the people of Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia,’ Kerik argued.
Kerik made similar complaints behind closed doors, implying that Giuliani should get a portion of the funds collected.
Trump recoiled at the $20,000-per-day fee proposed by Giuliani’s assistant for the ex-election-related mayor’s work.
Giuliani was reimbursed for more than $200,000 in expenses by Trump.
Andrew Giuliani, who served in the Trump White House, has confirmed that his father should be paid.
“I think all those Americans that donated after November 3, they were donating for the legal defense fund. My father ran the legal team at that point. So I think it’s very easy to make a very strong case for the fact that he and all the lawyers that worked on there should be indemnified,” the younger Giuliani said.
“I would find it highly irregular if the president’s lead counsel did not get indemnified,” he added.
Renato Mariotti, an American attorney, legal commentator, acting fill-in anchor for WGN-TV and former federal prosecutor, wrote an opinion piece in Politico called “Giuliani’s Legal Trouble Is Trump’s Too”, and adequately lays out a case that we are seeing signs of legal problems for former President Donald Trump.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, has attempted to downplay the danger he faces, claiming that whatever evidence is found on his phones shows that “the president and I…are innocent.”
Giuliani faces a lengthy court struggle, and his only defense would almost certainly pit him against his most high profile client.
If Trump refuses to willingly defend his one-time lawyer, Giuliani may have no alternative but to spill the tea on Donald Trump, which would be devastating for him.
The lesson here is in the story of Michael Cohen, a former Trump legal fixer who turned on his employer after pleading guilty to election finance violations and fraud.
Despite Cohen’s claim that Trump was aware of the abuses, the president was shielded from prosecution while president by Department of Justice rules while in office.
Now that Trump is a civilian, such rules no longer apply to him, and he must be cautious with his own liability in the future.
There is no doubt that the execution of a search warrant at Giuliani’s home is a significant move forward in the ongoing case against him.
A search warrant cannot be obtained based on a hunch or mere speculation by federal prosecutors. They had to show a federal court that there was reasonable cause to conclude that a federal crime had been committed and that proof of the federal crime was found in Giuliani’s apartment and mobile devices. It’s noteworthy that a judge believed they meet that criterion.
As a result, investigators are likely to still have much of the proof they need. It is normal to procure any of a subject’s emails or electronic records from such outlets such as cooperators, subpoenas, or previous search warrants before requesting a search warrant for the subject’s electronic devices.
The evidence would be used to convince a court that such messages would be discovered on the devices as well. Even if investigators had some correspondence before receiving electronic devices, the devices themselves can contain additional data, such as deleted messages, metadata, and location data.
Despite the intense internal investigation that this matter will face within the Justice Department, we should be certain that the evidence was solid and substantial in this case.
Owing to the nuances of attorney-client confidentiality, any criminal prosecution of an attorney is a delicate matter, and the DOJ takes particular precautions when interviewing a criminal defense attorney to ensure that the agency does not appear to be prosecuting enemies.
Obtaining a search warrant for the former president’s personal lawyer’s home and computers would obviously draw even more attention from senior department leadership.