Rudy Giuliani, once known as “America’s Mayor,” is now facing the possibility of criminal charges, according to a report Thursday by Bloomberg. According to the publication, the criminal investigation that Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer now faces “presents a serious threat” to his presidency.
According to the report, Giuliani is being investigated by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, the same office he led as a crusading United States Attorney from 1983 to 1989. Among the charges the 75-year-old former New York City mayor may be facing are possible counts of bribing foreign officials, conspiracy, campaign finance violation charges, and failure to register as a foreign agent, Bloomberg reported.
Giuliani has been seen as a key player in a push to force the government of Ukraine to launch an investigation of Joe Biden, Trump’s potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential election. Two of Giuliani’s close associates who allegedly acted as his “fixers” in the push for the Ukraine investigations, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested in October. The pair now face their own campaign finance violation charges. Prosecutors say that they funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from an unnamed Russian businessman into a pro-Trump SuperPAC.
If Giuliani is charged with similar crimes, he could “expose Trump to a new level of legal and political jeopardy,” according to the Bloomberg report.
But even though Parnas and Fruman were believed to be working for Giuliani on Trump’s behalf, Bloomberg reported that it’s still unknown whether the charges against the former mayor are also related to his work as the president’s personal attorney.
Assuming the investigation indeed relates to Giuliani’s work in Ukraine, he appears to have already admitted that he was working on Trump’s behalf.
In a November 6 statement posted to Twitter, Giuliani said that his Ukraine “investigation” into “collusion and corruption,” was carried out “solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges.”
What Giuliani meant by “false charges” was not specified, though he appears to be referring to the accusations that Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia in its attack on the election that year. Both Trump and Giuliani have advocated a theory — described as a “conspiracy theory” in a recent Daily Beast report — that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.
In the “conspiracy theory,” Ukraine supposedly colluded with Democrat Hillary Clinton, rather than with Trump.
The top-ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, attempted to use the theory as a defense of Trump during Wednesday’s public impeachment hearings.
Giuliani was a strong believer in the theory and fed it to Trump, The Daily Beast reported. He does, however, appear to have recently backed off from his advocacy of the theory, according to the Beast report.