An associate of Rudy Giuliani attempted to ask then-President Trump to grant his personal lawyer a “general pardon” and the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly after the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, according to an advance copy of a new book obtained by the New York Times.
The book, “Giuliani: The Rise and Tragic Fall of America’s Mayor,” by Andrew Kirtzman, also details Giuliani’s associate, Maria Ryan, demanding that he receive financial compensation for his services. Additionally, Ryan, who co-hosts a radio show with Giuliani, reportedly sought tens of thousands of dollars of compensation for herself, the Times reported.
Bernard Kerik, Giuliani’s close adviser who previously served as the New York City police commissioner for part of Giuliani’s mayoral term, reportedly prevented the letter from being delivered to Trump. The Times noted that it is unclear if Giuliani himself was involved in the request for a “general pardon.” Giuliani has repeatedly denied that he sought a pardon in the waning days of Trump’s presidency.
“Dear Mr. President, I tried to call you yesterday to talk about business. The honorable Rudy Giuliani has worked 24/7 on the voter fraud issues. He has led a team of lawyers, data analysts and investigators,” Ryan wrote in the letter, dated Jan. 10, 2021, according to the Times.
Ryan reportedly wrote that Giuliani “needs to be paid for his services” amid facing financial troubles. Ryan claimed that she gave an invoice to Mark Meadows, then-White House chief of staff, through Katherine Friess, a lawyer who works with Kerik.
Ryan pointed to Giuliani’s pro bono services to defend Trump during the Russia probe and the impeachment trial, which she said caused him to lose his job and income, according to the Times.
Ryan then reportedly vouched for Giuliani to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying that although he “rarely asks for anything for himself,” Giuliani is “praying you present him with this on Friday, January 15 or Monday the 19,” according to the Times.
Ryan concluded her letter by asking for Trump to grant Giuliani a “general pardon,” the Times reported.
The book reportedly said the letter was left with Friess. Kerik swiftly intercepted the letter because he was appalled by the requests, Kirtzman wrote, according to the Times. Kerik at the time was assisting Giuliani in his unsuccessful attempts to find substantial evidence of election fraud to overturn the election results.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, denied that his client was aware of the messages from Ryan “if they exist” in an email to the Times.
“The mayor did not authorize or request the notes,” Costello said, according to the Times. “The mayor has been consistent that he never asked for a pardon and told President Trump that if he was offered a pardon, he would decline it because he didn’t do anything wrong.”
The Times’ report comes days after Giuliani appeared before a special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia for its criminal investigation into election interference. Bill Thomas, a Georgia attorney for Giuliani, confirmed to TPM that Giuliani is considered a target in the investigation, which focuses on attempts by Trump and his allies to subvert the election results in the battleground state. Giuliani reportedly spent hours behind closed doors last week taking questions as part of the special grand jury’s investigation.
Giuliani, a key figure in Trump’s election steal plot, was also involved in a scheme to create fake slate of electors in swing states who would falsely declare that Trump won the 2020 election. The fake elector plot in battleground states is being investigated by the grand jury in Fulton County.