Rudy Giuliani gave his first interview on Thursday following the FBI searches of his home and office, telling Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the DOJ had “spied on me.”
During a sprawling interview, the former lawyer to the former president spun a yarn in which the DOJ was engaged in a multi-year, politically motivated prosecution. Prosecutors are reportedly actually zeroing in on allegations that the Trump attorney may have violated foreign lobbying laws as he pushed for dirt on President Biden while working with Ukrainian oligarchs.
Giuliani said twice during the show, however, that he had a way out: since exiting the New York City mayoralty in 2001, he had inserted into his contracts with various foreign businessmen and governments a provision that declared that, whatever he was doing for them, it wasn’t lobbying.
“I never, ever represented a foreign national,” Giuliani said. “In fact, I have in my contracts a refusal to do it because from the time I got out of being mayor, I did not want to lobby.”
Giuliani added that “I’ve had contracts in countries like Ukraine, in the contract there is a clause that says I will not engage in lobbying or foreign representation.”
“I don’t do it because I felt it would be too compromising,” the former mayor said.
The Washington Post reported Thursday evening that FBI agents with the agency’s counterintelligence division gave both Giuliani and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) defensive briefings in 2019 about a Russian disinformation campaign targeting Biden.
Giuliani, who served as Trump’s lawyer during the Mueller investigation, first impeachment trial, and attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, went on to accuse the DOJ of ginning up a political prosecution against him.
“In the middle of the impeachment defense, they invaded, without telling me, my iCloud,” Giuliani told Carlson. “They took documents that are privileged, and then they unilaterally decided what they could read and not read.”
“So the prosecutors, the Justice Department, they spied on me.”
The DOJ told my lawyer they secretly went into my iCloud account in 2019.
Who else are they spying on? You?
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) April 30, 2021
If that doesn’t kill the prosecution, Giuliani said, “we might as well be in East Berlin before the wall fell. This is tactics only known in a dictatorship. ”
Rudy was channelling Tucker, who opened his hour with a monologue that likened President Biden’s Wednesday night address to Congress to Woodrow Wilson’s invocation of the Espionage Act against opponents of World War I. Carlson helpfully described that engagement as the “Iraq of its day.”
“If you disagree with Joe Biden or the afternoon panel on MSNBC that represents him, you are a white supremacist,” Carlson said, before citing both the Derek Chauvin trial and Giuliani as examples of the country’s supposedly budding authoritarianism.
“The only remaining principle in this country is that you can’t oppose the people in charge,” Carlson said. “Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani just learned that lesson the hard way yesterday, when federal agents raided his home and took his files.”
The former mayor added that, after being awoken at 6 a.m. on Tuesday by FBI agents with a search warrant, he noticed that they refused to take two hard drives that he claimed belonged to Hunter Biden.
“The warrant required them to take it, and they said, no, no, no,” Giuliani said, echoing earlier remarks from his attorney Bob Costello.
Giuliani added that prosecutors appear to be focused on the potential foreign lobbying violation.
“The search warrant is for one single failure to file for representing a Ukrainian national or official that I never represented,” Giuliani said. “I never represented a Ukrainian national or official before the United States government.”