The Justice Department bluntly distanced itself from President Trump’s personal lawyer on Sunday in a statement saying it wouldn’t have met with Rudy Giuliani to discuss a separate case with one of his clients had it known of New York federal prosecutors’ probe of his business associates, the New York Times reported.
In the weeks leading up to the arrest of Giuliani pals Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the head of the DOJ’s criminal division and attorneys in the Fraud Section met with Giuliani to discuss a bribery case in which he was representing the defendants, according to the Times.
“When Mr. (Brian) Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani’s associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known,” the department spokesperson said in a statement.
Attorney General William Barr was reportedly aware of the Southern District of New York probe into Parnas and Fruman over allegations of campaign finance violations, but the officials who agreed to meet with Giuliani were not, according to the Times.
The two Giuliani pals pleaded not guilty to the charges last week, just as it was revealed that investigators might be conducting a criminal investigation of Giuliani’s business dealings with the duo.