Former New York City mayor and head of President Donald Trump’s legal team Rudy Giuliani cast doubt on an exclusive Thursday morning report from NBC News that claimed Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen had been wiretapped by federal authorities.
According to NBC, citing people familiar with legal proceedings involving Cohen, “At least one phone call between a phone line associated with Cohen and the White House was intercepted.”
The NBC source claimed Cohen’s phone lines were wiretapped in the weeks leading up to the FBI’s raid on Cohen’s home, hotel room and office in early April.
Giuliani told The Daily Beast he doesn’t believe it.
“Us lawyers have talked about it, we don’t believe it’s true,” he said.
“We think it’s going to turn out to be untrue because it would be totally illegal. You can’t wiretap a lawyer, you certainly can’t wiretap his client who’s not involved in the investigation.”
“No one has suggested that Trump was involved in that investigation,” Giuliani continued. “So they’re going to wiretap the lawyer, his client, and his client the president of the United States? I don’t think so, not if they want to stay out of jail. Disclosing a wiretap is a federal felony. I never took ‘em home when I was a U.S. attorney.”
Renato Mariotti, another former federal prosecutor, told the Daily Beast that it’s not strictly illegal for a lawyer’s phones to be tapped but said it is highly unusual.
“I don’t personally recall a time it was done,” he said. “I was a federal prosecutor for over nine years in Chicago, which is one of the biggest U.S. Attorneys offices in the country, and I don’t personally know of a time when an attorney’s phone was wiretapped. But there’s no reason why it can’t be.”
Giuliani told The Daily Beast he first heard of the wiretap news from the NBC report, and Cohen himself was unaware of it.
“Cohen didn’t know about it, so it has to be the FBI, the independent counsel, or the Justice Department,” Giuliani said.
“Nobody else would know about it.”
The former mayor pointed to the report as more evidence that the Justice Department’s investigation into the president and Michael Cohen is “out of control”
“Anybody who says that I’m exaggerating when I say that this is an out-of-control investigation and they’re acting like storm troopers — give me a break, baby! They prove it every day,” he said.
Giuliani also told the Daily Beast that he’s becoming more and more reluctant to allow the president to have a sit down interview with special counsel Robert Mueller about the investigation.
“Right now, the odds are against it,” he said. “Look at all of the bad faith we’re seeing here. And whether this wiretap story is true or not true, it’s bad faith to leak it. We should find out about this with a notification from the Justice Department, they’re wiretapping the President of the United States, they’re wiretapping a man talking to his lawyer and then they want us to cooperate? We’re not suckers.”
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