Rudy Giuliani was once dubbed a human hand grenade by John Bolton. Now he is flinging himself at Trumpworld in a bid to defend himself against an increasingly serious federal criminal investigation.
The former lawyer to the president is claiming in a new court filing that not only is he being politically persecuted by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, but so is former President Trump. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also caught up in the mess, Giuliani claims, as well as the former U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh.
“The SDNY simply chose to treat a distinguished lawyer as if he was the head of a drug cartel or a terrorist, in order to create maximum prejudicial coverage of both Giuliani, and his most well-known client – the former President of the United States,” reads the court filing, which protests against a government offer to have a special master sift through the results of search warrants executed on Giuliani’s home and office last month.
Giuliani bear-hugs Trump in the filing, saying that for much of the time that he was under investigation he was communicating and working with the former president and his Department of Justice.
“This is the second time this prosecutor’s office has conducted a search of the office and home of an attorney for President Trump,” Giuliani attorney Bob Costello notes, referring to the April 2018 searches on Michael Cohen. He adds that “such high profile and heavily publicized searches such as those of President Trump’s attorneys will just continue to erode and finally extinguish citizen reliance that communications for legal advice are really seriously protected.”
The SDNY investigation is not just an attack on Giuliani, the former NYC mayor argues. It’s a bid to go after Trump and a swath of the former administration.
Giuliani goes on to argue that an earlier search on his iCloud might not have been a “search for the truth” but rather an effort “to trash a well-respected attorney’s reputation particularly as an attorney for President Trump.”
While going through that information, Giuliani said, prosecutors kept mum, leaving both “the President and his counsel in the dark for 18 months while Giuliani cooperated with another office of the United States Attorney.”
To understand what he’s referring to, it’s necessary to revisit the sprawling Ukraine affair. From 2018 to 2020, Giuliani tried to dig up or coerce the Ukrainian government into manufacturing dirt on the Bidens in a bid to smear the Democratic frontrunner before the 2020 election.
The Trump administration routed Giuliani through various offices, including the State Department and, towards the end of Trump’s first impeachment, through the Justice Department. Attorney General Bill Barr split that “intake process” between the Western District of Pennsylvania, which dealt with Giuliani directly, and the Eastern District of New York, which was assigned a “coordinating” role over Ukraine-related investigations.
Giuliani claims that that portion of the smear campaign, pushed by then-President Trump, constituted “cooperation with the Pittsburgh US Attorney.”
Pompeo gets the same treatment. Prosecutors accessed Giuliani’s iCloud reportedly as part of a probe into whether the Trump attorney was illegally acting on behalf of a Ukrainian official. It’s exactly that conduct, however, which Giuliani highlights in the filing as being related to Pompeo.
“It was premature and unwarranted for the Government to seize Giuliani’s [iCloud information] because Giuliani had already cooperated with the US State Department (“State”) through Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, in March 2019 concerning Ukraine,” the filing reads.
Giuliani goes on to state that he himself is a model citizen, declaring that he’s been “nothing but cooperative with the Government” on everything Ukraine-related.
“Giuliani cooperated about matters involving the Ukraine, initially with the State Department in March of 2019 by delivering information and documents on the Ukraine directly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” the filing reads.
Giuliani claims in the filing that he briefed federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh on an unspecified Ukraine-related matter. The New York Times reported last year that Giuliani fed then-U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott Brady dirt on Hunter Biden.
He and Costello “flew to Pittsburgh at their own cost, where they were met by agents of the FBI and transported to FBI headquarters in Pittsburgh,” the filing claims. From there, he said, he met with the U.S. Attorney and his deputies, as well as the head of the Pittsburgh FBI field office and his deputies to brief them.
“During his presentation, and at the end of it, the Mayor and his counsel answered every question they were asked, to the apparent satisfaction of all of the Government officials in the room,” Giuliani claims.
He goes on to suggest that if prosecutors wanted information, they could have just taken it from the Pittsburgh U.S. Attorneys Office.
“It is simply inexplicable why the US Attorney’s office did not either accept the cooperation offered to the Government and materials provided to the Western District of Pennsylvania,” the filing reads.
Read the letter here: