During his final hours in office, former President Donald Trump was focused on the task of determining who should benefit from his clemency power. He ultimately extended it to a roster of more than a hundred people, many of whom were former associates or were well-connected in political circles.
In December, a Trump administration official commenting on then President Trump’s priorities during his dwindling days in office reportedly described Trump discussing passing out pardons “like Christmas gifts.”
But notably absent from the long list of allies and wealthy individuals ultimately pardoned by the outgoing president was his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
“I am not getting a pardon. So stop reporting it you bunch of liars. Is that clear?” Giuliani said during an episode of his radio show in January after the New York Times reported that the former New York City mayor had discussed nabbing a potential pre-emptive pardon from Trump.
But now, months later and with effectively no power to free his ally from the grips of an intensifying criminal probe, the ex-president is coming to Giuliani’s defense after learning that FBI agents executed search warrants at Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment and office as they investigate his dealings in Ukraine during his presidency. Sort of.
“Rudy Giuliani is a great patriot. He does these things — he just loves this country, and they raid his apartment,” Trump told Fox Business in an interview. “It’s, like, so unfair and such a double — it’s like a double standard like I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before.”
Trump’s weak defense of his associate, who also played a critical role in mounting an unsuccessful effort to help him overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, appeared to echo sentiments offered by Giuliani, who issued a statement through his lawyer late Wednesday denying any wrongdoing.
In the Wednesday statement, Giuliani called the search warrant a “corrupt double standard” on the part of the Justice Department, which, he postulated, had ignored “blatant crimes” by Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and President Biden.
Giuliani’s role in trying to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into then-candidate Biden and his family ahead of the 2020 election played a crucial role in Trump’s first impeachment trial.
But Trump said Thursday he had no idea what investigators might be searching for.
“I don’t know what they’re looking for, what they’re doing. They say it had to do with filings of various papers, lobbying filings,” Trump said, going on to distract from the probe by reverting to well-trod and debunked claims about illegal foreign lobbying by President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“It’s a very, very unfair situation,” Trump said. “You have to understand Rudy. Rudy loves this country so much. It is so terrible when you see things that are going on in our country, with the corruption and the problems. And then they go after Rudy Giuliani. It’s very sad, actually.”