It turns out Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is under investigation by federal prosecutors.
Giuliani has been skating dangerously close to the edge for a while now, what with two associates of his, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, being arrested as they appeared to be trying to flee the country and Giuliani himself being hit by subpoenas over his Ukraine antics. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that prosecutors are trolling through Giuliani’s bank records, finances, and Ukraine meetings.
In an absolutely hilarious bit of symmetry, Giuliani is now being investigated by the very office — the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York — that he used to head.
This doesn’t appear to have arisen just because of Trump’s infamous quid pro quo phone call with Ukraine’s president or the arrests of Parnas and Fruman. Rather, Giuliani has been under investigation since August of this year, before news of the phone call broke. The Journal wasn’t able to determine the full scope of the investigation, however.
When asked for a comment about his Ukraine dealings, Giuliani told the Journal that prosecutors “can look at my Ukraine business all they want.” Of course, that stands in contradiction to his refusal, thus far, to even say if he’d comply with a subpoena from the House of Representatives over that Ukraine business. Tuesday is the deadline for Giuliani to comply.
The Wall Street Journal’s reporting also unearthed that Giuliani has been working as Trump’s attorney for free since April 2018. That’s the exact timeframe when a former Republican congressman, not identified in the Parnas or Fruman indictments, began a lobbying push to force the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, out. Giuliani may be doing this all for free out of the goodness of his heart, or he may be doing it that way because he can’t formally represent Trump. He is still listed as a member of “good standing” with the Washington, D.C., bar, but his license is inactive, which means he cannot practice, or hold himself out as licensed to practice, in D.C.
Giuliani has been engaging in shadow diplomacy, sidelining actual diplomats so he could pursue Trump’s personal interests instead. That may all be catching up with him now. Should Giuliani ultimately be arrested, charged, and convicted, he’ll join Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in prison. That’s quite the pattern for someone who always brags that he’s draining the swamp.