The release of the whistleblower complaint Thursday and the Ukraine communications memo Wednesday night has placed the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani at the center of the controversy suddenly engulfing the White House. But while political and legal experts have roundly condemned Giuliani’s conduct, the former New York City mayor still believes that he will be vindicated in the end.
For months, Giuliani had been lobbying the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, seemingly in his capacity as a private citizen. But recently, Giuliani changed his tune, claiming that the U.S. State Department specifically asked him to meet with Ukrainian officials instead of having federal authorities investigate the corruption allegations he’s levied against the Biden family.
Appearing on Fox News Tuesday night, Giuliani told host Laura Ingraham that the State Department tapped him for the task because “the FBI’s performance since this entire investigation including up to this moment is flawed.”
It appears that, despite the constant news coverage about the situation, Giuliani hasn’t lost any confidence that he will not only be completely exculpated of any wrongdoing, but also crowned as a paragon of justice.
Speaking to The Atlantic’s Elaina Plott Thursday, an exasperated Giuliani said “morons” have no idea what they are yelling about.
“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani said to Plott. “I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government.”
“Anything I did should be praised,” he added.
When Plott told Giuliani that just hours earlier two White House officials told her Giuliani was entirely to blame for the latest scandal, Giuliani dismissed their statements.
“They’re a bunch of cowards. I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “The president knows they’re a bunch of cowards.”
Giuliani also addressed the allegations contained in the whistleblower complaint that government officials had “spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to ‘contain the damage’ to U.S. national security.”
“If they were so concerned about my activities, why did they ask for my help? Why did they send me a bunch of friendly text messages reaching out for my help, thanking me for my help?” Giuliani said.
Though he’s yet to provide evidence that his work in Ukraine was sanctioned by the government, Giuliani said he had plans to ensure the aforementioned “friendly text messages” were released publicly “in a longer story.”
While Giuliani told Plott he was “not acting as a lawyer” when trying to root-out possible government corruption, a few hours later he was informed that Democrats planned to subpoena him, he offered a rather different defense of his actions.
“Suppose I was representing Hillary Clinton, there would be a civil liberties revolt about intimidating a lawyer in the performance of his duties. That’s ok, I fully expected it,” Giuliani tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Even that retort received pushback.
But you literally just said you weren't acting as a lawyer when you did all this. Literally. In a phone call this afternoon. https://t.co/L2OEnMWDnD
— Andrew Fleischman (@ASFleischman) September 26, 2019
And as counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway’s husband George Conway pointed out, Giuliani’s claim that he’s been acting as Donald Trump’s lawyer raises additional ethics questions, particularly since he’s agreed to work for the president free of charge.
“When Trump began looking for lawyers in early 2017—and was rejected by all the big firms because they thought he was unstable and didn’t pay his bills, he was asking if the firms would represent him pro bono,” Conway commented Thursday. “I was told that he was told this was ethically impermissible—that the firms had to charge their standard rates for governmental work. Which raises the question—what’s Rudy’s deal, and is it permissible? (Not that Rudy’s incompetent ‘work’ has positive value for a client.)”
[image via Fox News screengrab]