Rudy Giuliani and his former firm are in a war of words over Giuliani’s recent claims that it was common for lawyers at the firm to make hush money payments on clients’ behalf without the knowledge of those clients.
Soon after the law firm Greenberg Traurig announced that it was parting ways with Giuliani Thursday, the firm said in a statement to the New York Times that it did not condone the kinds of payments Giuliani described.
Giuliani last week, in various interviews, defended payments President Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen made to silence porn star Stormy Daniels, who has alleged that she slept with Trump. Giuliani, who recently joined the President’s personal legal team, said that Trump didn’t know about the $130,000 payment when Cohen made it, but later reimbursed him for the payment, even as Trump has denied the affair.
“That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds or whatever funds—it doesn’t matter—and the president reimbursed that over the period of several months,” Giuliani said in one Fox News interview
“I represented clients who paid substantially more than that,” Giuliani said in another Fox News interview, before discussing unnamed clients who were in similar scenarios.
The New York Times inquired with Greenberg Traurig — where Giulaini was a partner, but took leave from to represent Trump — about those comments early this week.
The firm responded to the inquiry only after issuing a joint statement with Giuliani announcing that Giuliani was resigning from the firm, citing the long-term time commitment his representation of Trump would require.
“We cannot speak for Mr. Giuliani with respect to what was intended by his remarks,” Greenberg Traurig spokeswoman Jill Perry told the New York Times. “Speaking for ourselves, we would not condone payments of the nature alleged to have been made or otherwise without the knowledge and direction of a client.”
The Times reported that there had been concerns among the firms partners about Giuliani’s comments. Greenberg Traurig was also home to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who became the center of a massive corruption scandal in the mid-aughts.
Giuliani, however, has since pushed back, according to MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, who said she spoke to him over the phone before her Thursday afternoon show. On Thursday’s broadcast, she said that she asked Giuliani about the Times report, and specifically about the firm’s statement.
“Quote, ‘They don’t know what they’re talking about. We do this all the time. They do this all the time for their clients,'” Wallace said Giuliani told her.