Although two of Rudy Giuliani‘s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are currently in jail on campaign finance charges, Donald Trump still appears to hold a high opinion of his personal lawyer. During a phone interview with Fox News Friday morning, Trump continued to sing Giuliani’s praises, calling him a “great crime-fighter,” Newsweek reports.
At one point during the call, host Brian Kilmeade asked Trump why he decided to involve Giuliani — who lacks foreign policy experience — in his Ukraine dealings.
“Rudy is a great crime-fighter. Rudy is the best mayor in the history of New York City. Rudy Giuliani is a very legendary figure in our country,” Trump responded.
The president continued to praise Giuliani and listed his work experience.
“Rudy was the U.S. Attorney. He also worked at the Justice Department. Believe me, this kind of crap wouldn’t have happened in the Justice Department if Rudy Giuliani was the Attorney General.”
Kilmeade highlighted that Giuliani’s associates — Parnas and Fruman — are currently in jail for attempting to move foreign money to U.S. politicians, and suggested that Trump had Giuliani and the State Department working against each other. In response, Trump pivoted the conversation to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Giuliani is one of the key players in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of the impeachment probe into Trump, which was sparked by Trump’s alleged leveraging of foreign aid to pressure Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky into digging up dirt on Joe Biden — a mission Giuliani reportedly helped spearhead. Per the National Post, multiple impeachment witnesses reportedly voiced concern with Giuliani’s alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine.
Asked if he's concerned with the criminal investigation into his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, President Trump replies: "I don't think so, because I think Rudy is a great gentleman. He's been a great crime fighter, he looks for corruption wherever he goes" pic.twitter.com/loSIVNr13a— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 25, 2019
As The Inquisitr reported, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland recently testified that Trump directed him to work with Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into a quid pro quo, contradicting Trump’s claim that there was no quid pro quo. Joyce White Vance, an American lawyer and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, believes that the scheme was a “vintage mob operation,” with Trump at the head of the plan and Giuliani acting as his “lieutenant,” per Newsweek.
Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman believes that Giuliani could be indicted by New York State prosecutors along with Parnas and Fruman for extortion and conspiracy. Shugerman thinks that Trump’s alleged pressure campaign on Ukraine meets the federal definition of bribery, and also said that the president’s withholding of aid from Ukraine might be covered in New York extortion law.