Rudy Giuliani, Who Cracked Down On Minor Crime As NYC Mayor, Says Trump’s Alleged Felonies ‘Not A Big Crime’

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Rudy Giuliani was notorious for cracking down on crime during his tenure as New York City mayor, instituting harsh policies against things like prostitution and skipping subway tolls in an effort to clean up the city and to repair its image as being ridden with crime.

Giuliani, in his capacity as legal counsel to President Trump, defended the president this week after Trump appeared to be implicated in felony campaign violations that have already sent his former lawyer to prison. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Giuliani said that Trump is innocent — and that the charges are no big deal, anyway.

“Nobody got killed, nobody got robbed… This was not a big crime,” Giuliani said, adding, “I think in two weeks they’ll start with parking tickets that haven’t been paid.”

As his critics have pointed out, that is sharply different from the view Giuliani took as Mayor of New York City. He was a proponent of what became known as the “broken windows” philosophy, which states that visible signs of crime — like broken windows in a neighborhood — can actually encourage more crime. As a result, New York began cracking down hard on crime, great and small.

As the National Bureau of Economic Research noted, misdemeanor arrests rose by 70 percent in New York through the 1990s. Crime also dropped during this period, but there is contention over whether Giuliani’s heavy-handed tactics were the cause. Crime had been steadily falling before Giuliani took office, and some experts say that a strengthening economy was likely a larger factor in bringing crime down.

Rudy Giuliani’s current client could be facing some legal trouble. At Michael Cohen’s sentencing, he confirmed that Trump was the “Individual-1” referred to in his guilty plea, a person who, as Cohen claims, orchestrated the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump. A number of legal experts — and Trump’s opponents — said that this directly implicates him in felonies, and that he faces the real possibility of indictment once he leaves office.

Meanwhile, Giuliani and Trump have another potential storm to contend with. The Russia investigation will reportedly be wrapping up sometime in the coming weeks, and it will likely reveal whether Trump had any direct contact with Russia during the 2016 campaign — or if he committed obstruction of justice in actions to stymie the investigation.