In April 2018, when former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling was ramping up, Rudy Giuliani agreed to work for President Donald Trump free of charge. Months later, Giuliani made hundreds of thousands of dollars working with shady businessmen — businessmen who have since been accused of funneling foreign money to Republican candidates in violation of campaign finance law, businessmen who were instrumental in Giuliani’s efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens.
According one former Trump administration official, this kind of thing isn’t surprising because, since gaining this access to the White House, Giuliani has “put this shit” in Trump’s head for his own benefit.
During the heat of the Mueller investigation, Mr. Giuliani frequently visited the White House, usually meeting with the president weekly, sometimes alone, and often in the evenings in the residence without other White House officials present, former administration officials said.
Meetings would start out discussing the Mueller probe and then veer into other subjects, like Ukraine, one of the former officials said. Mr. Giuliani often brought lists of requests for the president, according to the former official, and sought out meetings at the State Department and other agencies on behalf of clients.
“[President Trump] trusts Rudy, and Rudy just kept putting this shit in his head,” one of the above-referenced former Trump administration officials was quoted by the Journal.
Giuliani has leveraged his relationship with the president to benefit his own interests, lobbying a foreign client to sign with his consulting firm and garnering at least one highly sought after meeting with Attorney General William Barr on behalf on another client.
Even his most recent excursion to Ukraine, during which Giuliani filmed a series of interviews with current and former Ukrainian government officials, doesn’t seem particularly well-suited to help President Trump in his impeachment battle with congressional Democrats.
While back in Ukraine, Giuliani teamed with right-wing news organization One America News to produce a television special which they claimed “debunks the impeachment hoax and exposes Biden family corruption in Ukraine.” But the efforts reportedly left many Ukrainians shocked, as Giuliani paraded in a sordid list of “witnesses” that appeared to be nothing more than a laundry list of corrupt or otherwise extremely impeachable public figures – including one former parliamentarian who was expelled from the country after proposing Crimea be rented to Russia.
“Indeed, Giuliani’s choice of guest stars in his would-be reality show, and his wider cast of sources, caused shock among many in Kyiv’s establishment who know their questionable backgrounds in considerable detail,” the Daily Beast reported of the trip.
Giuliani’s decision to return to Ukraine seemed counter-productive to those close to him. His efforts to oust former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and subsequent efforts to secure a Ukrainian government probe of the Bidens are central to the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. These activities have also led to a federal criminal investigation into Giuliani’s own conduct.
But none of that has stopped President Trump, who recently referred to Giuliani as “one of the greatest and most famous crime-fighters anywhere in the entire world,” from touting things to come. The president told reporters Giuliani will soon be reporting his findings to Congress and to Attorney General Barr.
Trump on Giuliani's latest visit to Ukraine: "He’s going to make a report, I think to the attorney general and to Congress. He says he has a lot of good information."
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) December 7, 2019
And the president asked about those findings on Saturday, upon Giuliani’s return from Ukraine, according to the Journal.
“‘What did you get?’” Trump asked Giuliani by phone. “More than you can imagine,” Giuliani answered.
As the House Judiciary Committee prepared to vote on its articles of impeachment on Friday morning, Giuliani was spotted entering the White House.
President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was spotted at the White House this morning ahead of a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on Articles of Impeachment. pic.twitter.com/4BX0XM3rv5
— Maegan Vazquez (@maeganvaz) December 13, 2019
[Image via DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images]