Clown Giuliani

A few highlights from Jeffrey Toobin’s long piece on Giuliani at the New Yorker:

He reflected on the tumultuous six months he has spent thus far representing Trump in the investigation led by Robert Mueller, the special counsel. Giuliani’s work has involved countless television appearances—often featuring false or misleading claims—as well as frequent phone calls with the President and months of negotiations with Mueller about the possibility of Trump testifying.

Good to know where we are at the outset.

Like Trump, he characterizes the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt” and the prosecutors as “thugs.” He has, in effect, become the legal auxiliary to Trump’s Twitter feed, peddling the same chaotic mixture of non sequiturs, exaggerations, half-truths, and falsehoods. Giuliani, like the President, is not seeking converts but comforting the converted.

And he cheerfully lies.

Giuliani’s behavior has provoked disgust among some of his former fellow-prosecutors. “He has totally sold out to Trump,” John S. Martin, a predecessor to Giuliani as U.S. Attorney who later became a federal judge, said. “He’s making arguments that don’t hold up. I always thought of Rudy as a good lawyer, and he’s not looking anything like a good lawyer today.” Preet Bharara, who served as U.S. Attorney from 2009 until 2017, when he was fired by Trump, told me, “His blatant misrepresentations on television make me sad. It’s sad because I looked up to him at one point, and this bespeaks a sort of cravenness to a particularly hyperbolic client and an unnecessary suspension of honor and truth that’s beneath him. I would not send Rudy at this point in his career into court.”

If it were really beneath him he wouldn’t be doing it.

This spring, Giuliani met with Mueller and his staff, and Giuliani pressed the special counsel about whether he believed that a sitting President could be criminally indicted. According to a 1973 opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, a President should not be subject to indictment while in office because it “would interfere with the President’s unique official duties, most of which cannot be performed by anyone else.” (A 2000 legal opinion from the Justice Department reached a similar conclusion.) Giuliani recalled Mueller saying, “Well, we’re going to reserve our thinking on that.” Giuliani told me that after “two days, with a lot of going back and forth,” Mueller’s team affirmed that it wouldn’t indict, regardless of the result of the investigation. (Mueller’s spokesman declined to comment.)

This apparent concession has shaped Giuliani’s defense of Trump ever since. He now knew that there would never be a courtroom test of the President’s actions; the only risk to Trump was that Mueller’s report could lead Congress to impeach the President, a process that is political as much as it is legal. With impeachment, Giuliani explained to me, “the thing that will decide that the most is public opinion,” and the perception of Mueller is as important as that of Trump. “If Mueller remains the white knight, it becomes more likely that Congress might at some point turn on Trump,” he told me. As a result, Giuliani has set out to destroy Mueller’s reputation.

Which remains striking and repulsive no matter how familiar with it we already are. To save the evil and criminal Donald Trump from richly deserved justice, former prosecutor and mayor Giuliani sets out to destroy Robert Mueller’s reputation. It makes me want to puke.

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