There has been talk in recent days about the peculiar disappearance of Donald Trump’s lead Russia attorney, Rudy Giuliani. After a flurry of embarrassing media appearances a few weeks ago, Giuliani has been uncharacteristically quiet. But as of Friday afternoon, the cause for worry was relieved when the New York Times released a new interview.
Let’s just set aside Rudy’s choice of the allegedly failing New York Times as the platform for his latest public pronouncements. After all, there’s nothing unusual about the President’s lawyer fraternizing with “the enemy of the American people” is there? And on Saturday morning Trump tweeted his baseless prediction that the Times was going out of business. Nevertheless, Giuliani saw fit to call the Times when he wanted to unveil some new PR bullcrap. He told the Times that he was issuing new demands that must be met before Trump would interview with special counsel Robert Mueller:
“If they can come to us and show us the basis and that it’s legitimate and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity,”
In other words, if Mueller has the goods on us, we’ll talk. If we’ve successfully hidden our crimes, screw you. Notice that Giuliani isn’t saying that there is nothing to be uncovered. He’s saying that any evidence of crimes that might be uncovered would determine whether Trump would be deposed. That’s about as close as you can get to an admission that incriminating information exists without just pleading guilty. But the Trump camp doesn’t want to show their dirty hands unless the prosecutors already have them nailed.
Even with this new position regarding Trump’s reluctance to come clean, Giuliani betrayed his own bad faith negotiating by conceding that Mueller was unlikely to agree to the interview demands. So Giuliani is just throwing more obstacles in the path of justice, and he’s doing it deliberately. And according to the Times, this obstruction doesn’t stop there:
“The president’s lawyers want Mr. Mueller to explain how the Justice Department gave him the authority to investigate possible obstruction of justice by the president in what began as a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election meddling. […]
“The lawyers also want evidence that the special counsel exhausted every other investigative measure before asking the president to answer questions, and that he is the only person who could provide them with the information they are seeking.”
With regard to the explanation for Mueller’s authority to investigate obstruction of justice, Giuliani could have answered that question by simply reading the Justice Department’s order appointing Mueller. It explicitly grants this investigative authority over the Russian meddling affair and any matters that arose from it. And the demand that all other sources of evidence be exhausted before Trump will talk is just plain loony. It’s like saying that the ringleader of a bank robbery will only testify if prosecutors already know everything. Trump is the ringleader, and his testimony is relevant regardless of what other evidence has been obtained. But then, his avoidance (fear) of testifying is relevant in its own way.
The bottom line here is that Giuliani is just engaging in obvious delaying tactics that have no legal basis. He actually admits it by conceding that the special counsel will reject his impotent demands. It’s a strategy that betrays Trump’s consciousness of guilt. This is not the behavior of someone who is confidant of his innocence. And by floating the existence of evidence that has yet to be uncovered, Giuliani is one again doing harm to his own client. Nice work, Rudy.