Donald Trump is moving to distance himself from personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as the former New York mayor reportedly comes under criminal investigation, saying he does not know if Giuliani is still acting as his lawyer.
On Friday, ABC News reported that the relationship between Giuliani and two men charged Thursday with violating federal campaign finance laws is now the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested at Washington’s Dulles Airport as they prepared to board a flight out of the country with one-way tickets, the report noted, leading to speculation that they may have been fleeing the country.
Both men are now named as witnesses in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, having been subpoenaed by House committees. Reports indicated that they served as “fixers” for Giuliani, who was tasked by Trump to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter.
Trump immediately denied knowing the men, who were major Republican donors and are accused of making straw donations to a number of candidates and super PACs, including those supporting Donald Trump.
Though photographs show President Trump together with the men, he claimed not to have known either of them.
“I don’t know those gentleman. That is possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody — I have a picture with everybody here,” Trump said, via ABC News. “But somebody said there may be a picture with — at a fundraiser or somewhere so, but I have pictures with everybody. I don’t know if there’s anybody I don’t have pictures with. I don’t know them.”
But the men reportedly claimed they knew Trump. As The Inquisitr reported, they bragged about a close relationship with Trump and were frequent guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Trump is now distancing himself from Giuliani as well. Though the former New York mayor has been one of the most fervent defenders of Trump, dispatched to make appearances on television over the course of the Russia investigation as his personal lawyer, on Friday the president said he does not know what relationship currently exists between them.
As Talking Points Memo reported, Trump appeared to be at a loss for words when asked by a reporter if Giuliani was still working for him.
“Well, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney, yeah, sure.”