Does Giuliani have rabies?

Jennifer Rubin wonders what the deal is with Giuliani.

For months, I have been suggestingthat cable news networks stop giving air time to Rudolph W. Giuliani, who often makes patently false statements, doesn’t appear to be doing any real lawyering for President Trump and intentionally misstates the law (unless he’s forgotten everything he learned as a prosecutor, in which case he is unfit to represent the president). Now, Trump and his real lawyers might agree that Giuliani should go away.

Why? Well because of this funny new ploy of going on tv to say hey collusion isn’t even a crime anyway so chill.

For more than a year, Trump has insisted the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt” because there was “no collusion”; now Giuliani seems to be saying Trump may have colluded, but that collusion is no big deal. (Query whether Giuliani thereby confessed his client has been obstructing a legitimate investigation.) Putting aside the legalities, Giuliani is hinting that Trump is a liar who perhaps betrayed his country and let a foreign country help determine the outcome of a presidential election.

Moreover, whatever you call it — collusion, conspiracy, coordination — it isillegal to seek something of value from a foreign national during a federal campaign; it is illegal to make use of stolen materials (emails) you know were ill-gotten; and it is illegal to cover up that scheme (by, among other things, drafting a phony story to explain a meeting of conspirators). If Trump did any of those things, he is in deep legal trouble.

Then there’s the part about how he said that meeting doesn’t matter because Trump wasn’t there and also besides there was no such meeting. It’s my impression that good lawyers try not to give two contradictory exculpatory explanations of things.

Trump and his team seem convinced that the only risk here is of impeachment, a political act. Therefore, so long as they keep Trump’s state TV hosts and his low-information cultists on his side, the president will be able to avoid removal, and maybe even impeachment, the thinking goes. Hence, Giuliani is there, like a warm-up comedian, keeping the audience engaged, delighted and wanting more.

The problem with that approach is three-fold. First, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the Justice Department could reverse course and decide that the president is indictable, or file a sealed indictment to be opened when he leaves office. Second, Trump’s children and close relatives are facing their own potential liability for soliciting something of value from the Russians, and possibly lying about their activities. If Trump tries pardoning them, the impeachment train will leave the station. And finally, it just might be that when Mueller finishes his report and Trump has driven the GOP into the ground (with huge losses in the midterms), Republicans do start insisting he go. If Trump lied about collusion and, in fact, approved collaboration with Russia, at the very least, reelection becomes an uphill climb.

Meanwhile, Giuliani is a non-stop warm-up act.

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