Analysts say an indictment is likely as prosecutors focus on Giulianis work for Trump and himself in Ukraine
When the former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani emerged as one of Donald Trumps most bareknuckle defenders during the Russia investigation, attacking his former colleagues in the justice department, people asked: What happened to Rudy?
Now, as federal prosecutors tighten a net of criminal investigations around Giuliani, the question has become: What is going to happen to Rudy?
The poignancy of Giulianis downfall from national hero and presidential candidate to the subject of multiple federal criminal investigations has been often remarked in the past year.
The net tightened again last week when it emerged a grand jury had issued a broad subpoena for documents relating to Giulianis international consulting business as part of an investigation of alleged crimes including money laundering, wire fraud, campaign finance violations, making false statements, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
We who admired him for so long expected much more from Rudy Giuliani and his legacy, Ken Frydman, a former Giuliani press secretary, wrote in a New York Times opinion piece last month. Americas Mayor, as Rudy was called after September 11, is today President Trumps bumbling personal lawyer and henchman, his apologist and defender of the indefensible.
Giuliani has denied wrongdoing and scoffed at the notion he is in any legal jeopardy particularly from federal prosecutors in the southern district of New York, an office he once led as a star US attorney during Ronald Reagans first term. There Giuliani built a reputation for taking on mob bosses and aggressively prosecuting the kind of criminal activity he now stands accused of.
Me ending up in jail? Giuliani told the celebrity gossip site TMZ at a Washington airport on Monday. Fifty years of being a lawyer, 50 years of ethical, dedicated practice of the law, probably have prosecuted more criminals of a high level than any US attorney in history. I think I follow the law very carefully. I think the people pursuing me are desperate, sad, angry, disappointing liars. Theyre hurting their country. And Im ashamed of them.
But in no version of events does Giuliani appear not to be in big trouble.
The immediate source of his current problems is the work he did in Ukraine over the last two years for himself and on behalf of Trump, who instructed the Ukrainian president to speak to Giuliani in a 25 July phone call.
Giuliani wanted the Ukrainians to announce an investigation of Joe Biden, Trumps chief political rival, according to US officials who testified in the impeachment hearings. In pursuit of his errand, Giuliani contacted current and former Ukrainian prosecutors, multiple Ukrainian presidential administrations and multiple Ukrainian oligarchs, according to testimony.
Prosecutors are investigating whether Giuliani offered the oligarchs help with their problems with the US justice department in exchange for help with his project to harm Biden, a charge Giuliani has denied.