The past week in Trump Land has been a roller coaster of bizarre tales and absurd explanations. Most of which were provided by Donald Trump’s newly minted lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. In a whirlwind tour of Fox News programs, Giuliani tried to offer justifications for Trump’s web of lies related to his affair with Stormy Daniels and the subsequent hush money payoff to suppress news of the incident. But he only made things worse by blurting out admissions to potential criminal activity that hadn’t been raised before.
On Saturday night Giuliani resumed stumping for Trump with a visit to “Judge” Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. And true to form, he only succeeded in stirring up more trouble for his client who is already in a fairly deep legal bog. Giuliani’s wild-eyed raving made little sense and his grasp of the law was laughably off kilter. And if he thought he was advancing the interests of Trump, he was insane as well.
One of the first things out of his mouth was speculation that a case before the Virginia grand jury involving Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, might just be an attempt to “flip” him into providing testimony against Trump. Of course there would nothing to worry about on that account unless there was something to flip. So Giuliani introduced that notion on his own. He followed that up with the false claim that the judge in that case called it a “witch hunt.” He didn’t.
Giuliani went on for awhile about how “Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step up and dismiss this entire investigation.” He asserted that “There is no evidence of collusion with the Russians. Gone. There is no evidence of obstruction of justice.” But there have already been dozens of indictments and five guilty pleas that suggest that the investigation has merit and should continue. And then he launched into a full blown manic episode (video below):
“The President of the United States did not in any way violate the campaign finance law. Every campaign finance expert, Republican and Democrat, will tell that if it was for another purpose, other than just for campaigns, even if it was for campaign purposes, if it was to save his family, to save embarrassment, it’s not a campaign donation.
“And second, even if it was a campaign donation, the President reimbursed it fully with a payment of $35,000 a month that paid for that and other expenses. No need to go beyond that. Case over. That case should be dismissed by the Southern district of New York. At least with regard to President Trump.”
First of all, it is preposterous to say that every campaign finance expert would say that there was no campaign finance violation. Lots of them are saying that there is. Just turn on the TV like your boss does all day long. More to the point, Giuliani asserts that there is no violation even if the funds were used for campaign purposes if it was to “save his family, to save embarrassment.” Is he listening to himself? If it was for campaign purposes it was unambiguously a violation. And Giuliani’s next point asserts that even a campaign donation would have been legal because Trump paid it back. But if it was paid back without disclosing it in his campaign finance reporting, that’s illegal. And as Giuliani says, “No need to go beyond that. Case over.”
It also isn’t especially good lawyering when your counsel says on national TV that “I’m not an expert on the facts.” And repeating a previous slander of the FBI as Nazi Storm Troopers hardly seems like positive messaging. Even if he falsely claims that “the judge basically said that.” He didn’t. And asking for the case in New York to be dismissed, “At least with regard to President Trump,” makes no sense at all. That case is against Michael Cohen, not Trump.
Giuliani appears intent on proving that he’s utterly incapable of handling a parking ticket, much less a case as complex and legally hazardous as this. But one of the most peculiar comments in this interview came when Giuliani attempted to belittle testimony given by Hillary Clinton (who was interviewed by both the FBI and Congress for eleven hours). He stroked his own hand and said:
“Nice nice nice. Poor little Hillary. We gotta be nice to her. No under oath. We’ll take that now.”
Setting aside Giuliani’s embarrassing playacting, if he’s willing to agree to an FBI interview without being under oath, no doubt Robert Mueller would be as well. After all, you don’t have to be under oath to be required to tell the truth. And lying to either the FBI or Congress is crime even without taking an oath. So shut up already and present your client (who says no one wants to talk more than he does) for the interview, and we can get this thing over with. What are you all afraid of?
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.