John Brian Silverio / Flickr Rudy Guiliani...
John Brian Silverio / Flickr

Rudy Giuliani must have opened up a big can of spinach and downed it like Popeye because he fearlessly declared, “I can handle Mueller and my ex.” He also revealed that he’s working pro bono for Donald Trump. Well, at least Rudy’s getting paid what he’s worth, that’s something. Daily Beast:

“He’s been my friend for 29, 30 years. I’m not going to take a penny from him,” he said. “I’m doing this because of my friendship, and my loyalty to what a great president he is. Look at North Korea! And the other fact is that this is maybe the most outrageous investigation of a president I’ve ever seen.”

And Giuliani wants us to know that he stands ready to defend all presidents, even ones he doesn’t like. He’s that much of a jurist.

“I didn’t like President Obama and, despite my political differences, I did like President Clinton. But I would have represented either one of them in this situation.”

His former law partner, Mark Makasey, explains how Giuliani is a champion of good and any problems that arise are due to the forces of evil aligned against him.

“What’s going on is Rudy is lawyering his tail off for the president, very professionally, and there are personal and professional forces out there that don’t want to see him succeed.”

General of the “professional forces” is probably Michael Avenatti, who has characterized Rudy as everything from “an absolute pig” to “dazed and confused.”

“Dazed and Confused Rudy has lost his mind. His attacks on @JoeBiden are absolutely baseless – just like his attacks on women. Joe is anything but “dumb.” I finally agree with Dazed Rudy on one thing though, the most compelling nominee in 2020 would be someone new. #Basta,” Avenatti said in a tweet early Saturday morning.

So what does this juggernaut of jurisprudence have in store to bowl over the opposition and bring Mueller to his knees? Sigh. Yes, the Inspector General’s report, which Giuliani has been cherry picking and pitching on Sean Hannity’s show like snake oil, the cure all for everything that ails Donald Trump. It’s going to make the FBI probe go away, which will render Cohen flipping moot, bla bla. Here’s the preamble:

“It is highly critical of Comey,” he said. “To the extent that it affects Comey’s credibility, you’d have to believe Comey in order to assume that Trump did some kind of obstruction of justice. I think this would be very helpful.”

There are other factors involved in proving obstruction of justice besides the veracity of James Coney but whatever. As usual, Giuliani is cobbling something together for Fox News to impress the base, so it just has to “sound smart,” and even more importantly, like a tough guy. But his call to suspend Robert Mueller on Sean Hannity’s show Thursday was beyond even Rudy’s usual careless hyperbole. New Yorker:

For months now, Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill and in the news media have been preparing to use a report by Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department, about the F.B.I.’s handling of the 2016 Hillary Clinton e-mail inquiry, as a pretext to go after, and, if possible, derail the Mueller investigation. Just hours after the report was released, Giuliani went on the attack. “I believe Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein have a chance to redeem themselves, and that chance comes about tomorrow,” he told Hannity. “Tomorrow, Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in, impartial people, to investigate these people like Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.”

Shades of “butter emails.” Here we go with a call to put someone in jail for writing a text. But it goes deeper than that in both cases — the subliminal message is that one should be incarcerated merely for opposing Trump in the first place.

Clearly, Strzok didn’t like Trump, and when the existence of the texts became public, last year, Mueller removed him from his team. The lengthy inspector general’s report, most of which is devoted to other matters, says that the Strzok-Page texts “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” Crucially, however, the report also includes some detailed exculpatory remarks about the duo. (Page resigned from the F.B.I., last month. Strzok is still employed by the agency, but he is facing an internal disciplinary process.)

Although the report was highly critical of James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., for the manner in which he announced that the Clinton e-mail investigation had ended, and later, announced that it had been reopened, it concluded that the investigation itself was carried out professionally and free of political bias.

Rudy, however, told Hannity that Page and Strzok started the Trump Russia investigation, which is absurd and the call to suspend Mueller is, in the final analysis, completely outrageous.

To be sure, Giuliani is a loudmouth, and in recent weeks he’s uttered many provocative statements. But in calling on the Justice Department to suspend Mueller and dismantle his investigation, he went beyond anything he has said before. The question now is whether senior G.O.P. politicians, particularly Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, will stand up for Mueller in the face of these incendiary attacks. Unless they do, Trump may well be encouraged to go ahead and order the suspension or firing of Mueller—a course of action that he has clearly been itching to follow for a long time. On Friday morning, he tweeted, “FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who headed the Clinton & Russia investigations, texted to his lover Lisa Page, in the IG Report, that ‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from becoming President. Doesn’t get any lower than that!”

As usual, Trump is focused on a petty resentment and the avenging of same, and Rudy gets on TV and megaphones it. That’s SOP. With Giuliani representing Trump we have seen a smooth segue from heated and frequently absurd political bickering on Fox News to a narrative which is not only factually devoid and confusing, it is pure propaganda laced with sedition.

Rudy Giuliani is an entertainer. He has zero credibility as a lawyer or political advisor, outside of Trump’s immediate presence, but unfortunately he’s doing a lot of damage. Don’t hold your breath waiting for GOP leaders to do anything about it.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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