I’ll say this much about Rudy Giuliani: He’s certainly not the type of guy who would lawyer up and shut up.
Which is interesting when you consider he’s, you know, a lawyer.
The latest Rudy-related news to come out of Ukraine doesn’t have anything to do with him doing business for the president there, surprisingly. Instead, it comes from a Wall Street Journal article that alleges he had financial dealings with Ukrainian energy companies which may have violated federal lobbying laws.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that prosecutors in Manhattan are looking into whether he violated campaign finance laws and failed to register as a foreign agent.
Reuters could confirm neither claim.
How much of this is political is always a question when it involves Giuliani, particularly given the fact that he’s President Donald Trump’s legal counsel and one of his most vocal defenders.
If this was something designed to get Rudy to lay low for a bit, however, I’d say at this point it’s pretty much a failure.
That’s at least my takeaway from Giuliani’s back-and-forth Saturday with Fox News’ Ed Henry — a heated exchange which included some lines for the ages.
Take when Henry brought up The WSJ report, which claimed Giuliani was going to “profit personally from a Ukrainian natural-gas business.” This is usually when people get very serious and reserved and give measured answers.
Giuliani broke out in laughter.
“You’re laughing it off,” Henry said.
“I’m laughing it off because it is not true!” Giuliani said. “It is completely false! I have no financial interest in the Ukraine. I’m not going to financially profit from anything that I know of in the Ukraine. If they know of it, I would probably have to disclose it to my hopefully soon-to-be ex-wife, ’cause she would get half of it.”
The former New York City mayor is currently involved in a nasty divorce with his wife Judith — which is being covered with some degree of relish, of course, by The New York Times.
Once you get past the unsurprisingly Timesian detail given to unsavory aspects of the case they’d never dream of publicizing if this were, say, Ben Affleck (“In caustic legal proceedings this summer, the separated couple has battled over things as prosaic as her kitchen renovations and as rarefied as his splurges — $7,131 on fountain pens and another $12,012 on cigars” — all the news that’s fit to print!), you get to the pertinent part, which is that much of the fight has to deal with Giuliani’s income.
Ukrainian money, if it existed, would be part of that fight. We’d also no doubt have heard about which vintage fountain pens the money went toward, because The Times is nothing if not serious about these sorts of frivolous things when it comes to Rudy.
And as for that fear of indictment?
“Oh, wow, how long have you known me, Ed?” Giuliani said in response to the question.
“Do you think I’m afraid? Do you think I get afraid? I did the right thing. I represented my client in a very, very effective way. I was so effective that I’ve discovered a pattern of corruption that the Washington press has been covering up for three or four years.”
“You should have jumped all over this in 2015 when this awful conflict was mentioned and it was hidden and suppressed by the Washington press,” he added.
“The reality is, I’m embarrassing you because you didn’t do your job, and I’m also going to bring out a pay-for-play scheme in the Obama administration that will be devastating to the Democrat Party.”
Oh, and as for the media jumping all over him? Yeah, he’s not afraid of that either.
“I expected, the moment I heard Biden’s name, I told my colleagues, they’re going to try to kill me,” he said. “Because they’re going to kill the messenger. But dammit, the mafia couldn’t kill me, your colleagues are not going to kill me.”
Giuliani, of course, made his name as a prosecutor who went after the mob — and won — at a time when mob bosses could openly ply their trade with near impunity. When you’ve taken down a guy called Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor the establishment media is probably high on your list of fears.
Of course, Giuliani’s foreign adventures could well be misadventures; we wouldn’t want to take a position either way, although this certainly sounds like a confident guy.
We will take this position, though: Rudy Giuliani is pretty much the must-see TV political junkies need in 2019.
He’s the only guy who could blast the left, Joe Biden, the mafia, Ed Henry and his ex-wife in one interview.
You’ve got to give the man credit for that.
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