Evidence is mounting of Rudy Giuliani’s illegal lobbying and campaign finance violations, along with his close relationships with two associates arrested this month for conspiracy and campaign finance violations.
Just last week, Giuliani parted ways with his attorney, Jon Sale, a close friend he said he only hired to help him respond to the subpoenas issued by the House Committees running the impeachment inquiry – an inquiry he, along with VP Mike Pence, refuses to participate in, calling it “unconstitutional, baseless and illegitimate.” Giuliani claimed just one week ago that he doesn’t need a lawyer, but rumor has it he’s on the hunt for a criminal defense attorney now.
It is no secret that Giuliani has been running a shadow State Department, seeking foreign dirt on Joe Biden’s son in an effort to help Trump get re-elected in 2020. He’s admitted to it. Numerous witnesses have confirmed it. But what has come to light in recent weeks is that Giuliani has a history of lobbying in foreign countries without registering as a foreign agent. And he has been pursuing discredited conspiracy theories about Ukraine’s (not Russia’s as proven by multiple intelligence agencies) meddling in the 2016 election alongside corrupt Attorney General, William Barr.
At one time, Giuliani seemed incorruptible. After 9/11 as the mayor of New York, he was celebrated as a respectable and compassionate leader when he comforted the people of that city with statements like, “We choose to live our lives in freedom.” Before that in the 80s, when heading the New York Attorney General’s office, he was recognized as a distinguished leader who fought corruption. Fast forward to 18 years later, and he has become a crazy-eyed conspiracy theorist peddling his lies on cable TV and being mocked on Saturday Night Live for his corrupt schemes. No one ever expected that he would be the subject of criminal and counterintelligence investigations by the very same Manhattan federal prosecutors’ office he once led.
Now Giuliani surrounds himself with associates like Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both Soviet-born men who helped Giuliani develop Ukrainian contacts and who have been accused of laundering foreign campaign contributions from a Russian donor into Trump’s 2016 election campaign. The pair, along with Giuliani, lobbied for the removal of US Ambassador in Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch, and were successful in May when Trump ordered her dismissal.
Parnas and Fruman were arrested on October 10 at Dulles Airport just outside D.C. on their way to Vienna with one-way tickets and have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Giuliani was supposed to go to Vienna roughly 24 hours after them, though he claimed he had no planned business with the pair while there.
Fiona Hill, Trump’s former Russia adviser, testified this week that while John Bolton was National Security Adviser, he had grave concerns about Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine and referred to him as “a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”
You know who else might blow everybody up? Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney before Giuliani stepped into the role. Cohen allegedly had contact with Parnas while working with Trump, and could offer information that affects Giuliani’s fate. Remember how Trump called Cohen “a good man?” Well, he’s saying the same thing about Giuliani now. But when the legal temperature gets too hot to ignore, Trump will turn his back on Rudy Colludy, just as he did Cohen. With any luck, Giuliani will talk then.
Or maybe he’ll hop a flight with a one-way ticket before he gets locked up, too.