Rudy Giuliani, one of the most active proponents of former President Trump’s Big Lie, is in discussions with the Jan. 6 Select Committee about testifying, according to the New York Times.
The Times notes that it’s unclear what Giuliani might provide and that negotiations are in flux as the former president continues to attack the committee’s investigation in a series of rants.
Giuliani’s lawyer, however, reportedly signaled to the committee that he plans to take a less confrontational approach towards its requests compared to others in Trump’s inner circle who are defying the panel’s subpoenas.
The committee’s discussions with Giuliani — who was subpoenaed by the panel alongside other key players in Trump’s orbit last month — could potentially signal his desire to avoid a costly legal battle. Additionally, Giuliani’s engagement with the committee could make it harder for the House to refer him for criminal contempt.
According to the Times, Giuliani is still debating whether to give investigators an informal interview or a formal deposition. Giuliani reportedly hasn’t determined how much information he might seek to shield from the committee by using claims of executive privilege or attorney-client privilege with the former president.
An aide for the committee told the Times that it had allowed Giuliani, who was scheduled to appear for a deposition last week, to reschedule it at “his request.” The aide said the committee was pressing Giuliani to “cooperate fully,” according to the Times.
Giuliani weighing cooperating with the committee contrasts former Trump White House aides Mark Meadows and Steve Bannon. Last year, the House voted to refer former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for criminal prosecution for contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the committee. Similarly, nine Republicans joined Democrats to hold Bannon in contempt last year for refusing to provide information to investigators.
Among his fruitless efforts to push the Big Lie, Giuliani spearheaded a scheme to put forward illegitimate electors from seven states that Trump lost. Additionally, six weeks after Election Day, Trump reportedly directed Giuliani to ask the Department of Homeland Security if it could legally seize voting machines in key swing states — but Giuliani reportedly opposed the idea. However, Giuliani reportedly asked the prosecutor in Antrim County, Michigan to hand over his county’s voting machines to Trump’s team in the aftermath of the 2020 election.