With a federal investigation into Rudy Giuliani intensifying in recent weeks, advisers to the former New York City mayor have been pushing for former President Donald Trump to foot the mounting bill for Giuliani’s legal defense team as compensation for his contributions to several unsuccessful lawsuits to overturn the 2020 election, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, which was sourced only to several people “familiar with the discussions,” Giuliani’s camp has turned up the pressure on Trump aides since federal investigators last week executed a search warrant on Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and seized several of his electronic devices.
The investigation into Giuliani reportedly stems from Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine that placed him at the center of systematic efforts to oust former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Just before Trump’s first impeachment investigation in 2019, Giuliani’s conduct in Ukraine came into focus during the prosecution of his former associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Parnas later cooperated with House investigators, sharing thousands of files and implicating Giuliani in Yovanovitch’s termination.
While authorities began the probe in late 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan had reportedly sought to execute such a warrant on Giuliani, only to be thwarted by senior political appointees inside the Justice Department.
Giuliani has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he is the victim of a prosecution that he says is corrupt and politically motivated.
Further complicating Giuliani’s newfound need for some of Trump’s cash — much of which raised by the ex-president based on the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him — is that Giuliani had initially asked the Trump campaign for a reported astronomical $20,000 per day to lead the campaign’s legal efforts to overturn the results of the election. The request reportedly left Trump incensed, causing him to instruct his aides not to pay any of the legal fees Giuliani sought to recoup for his work. Trump even “demanded that he personally approve any reimbursements for the expenses Giuliani incurred while traveling on the president’s behalf to challenge election results in key states,” according to the Washington Post.
The Times reported that Trump did eventually reimburse Giuliani for “more than $200,000 in expenses” before leaving office, but the report said Trump did not pay his former attorney a fee for his actual legal services.
Giuliani’s legal troubles are not confined to fighting off the current federal probe. He is also facing a billion-dollar defamation lawsuits from Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic for repeatedly making public claims that the companies’ helped Democrats steal the election from Trump.
“Some of Mr. Giuliani’s supporters have blamed Mr. Trump’s aides — and not the former president — for the standoff. However, people close to Mr. Trump said he has stridently refused to pay Mr. Giuliani,” the Times report stated.
An anonymous source “close to Mr. Giuliani” also told the Times that Trump should be wary about refusing to pay the attorney who represented his interests in the post-election lawsuits because a significant portion of his war chest was raised by soliciting it from his supporters for that purpose.
[Image via DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images]
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