Rudy sheds light on Trump's legal strategy – and has some fun, too
On Wednesday evening, in a crisp and crackling conversation with Sean Hannity on his Fox News program, President Trump's lead attorney, Rudy Giuliani, made news in both what he said about the president's legal strategy and how he delivered the news. It was reminiscent of Giuliani at his combative best when he served two terms as the Republican mayor of New York City (1994-2002), and regularly had to contend with the famously aggressive take-no-prisoners local media that were always looking for material to make tabloid headlines.
Earlier on Wednesday, speaking with reporters on the White House South Lawn for Sports and Fitness Day, Giuliani, according to POLITICO, said:
President Donald Trump is unlikely to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the completion of the special counsel investigation[.] ...
"There's no doubt he's complained about him, there's no doubt he has some grievances," Giuliani said. "He's not going to fire him before this is over[.] ... Nor do I think he should."
After the investigation concludes, [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions and others might want to leave of their own volition, Giuliani said.
He later added that he also does not think Trump will fire special counsel Robert Mueller or deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
Rudy Giuliani and Sean Hannity on Hannity, May 30, 2018.
Appearing live on Hannity later on Wednesday, Giuliani, who is frequently on TV representing his new client, the president, provided additional new insights into the POTUS' legal team's plans to defend their client as the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller grinds on slowly to its finish. Among the topics touched on with new clarity were the validity of the Mueller investigation itself, the disagreements about whether the FBI's tactics in 2016 entailed spying, the perception that the Trump team is planning a major PR campaign as part of its defense, and the question of whether or not President Trump will testify under oath.
Along the way, Giuliani volunteered some zingers, including a certain to be controversial reference to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), one of President Trump's most vocal nemeses, as "sweetheart." It was not a long interview, and the transcript below, provided by Fox News, with corrections and minor editing by the author, is an informative and entertaining read. A video of the Hannity-Giuliani interview segment is embedded below, following the transcript:
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Well, the fact is that this investigation [by Special Counsel Mueller] never should have taken place in the first place. If we consider the counterintelligence investigation, the spying, the spygate – all appropriate descriptions.
Here's what I want to know. I want to see the documents which [Rep.] Trey Gowdy [R-SC] has never seen, which is outrageous. And I'm not going to let my client testify, the President of the United States, even if he wants to, without those documents being produced and [examined by] myself and Jay Sekulow and Jane and Marty [Raskin]. We're going to go over it with a fine toothed comb.
Only if and when we find that this was handled appropriately – and there's some evidence on which they can base this phony investigation – will we have him testify. But if there is no evidence, which I assume there is no evidence, then – I mean, he shouldn't testify. The whole thing should be squashed. I mean, it should be ended immediately.
And we'll challenge Mueller to write whatever you got, take your best punch with all your 13 Democrats there. You couldn't find a Republican?
SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF HANNITY: Andrew Weissmann.
GIULIANI: How about an independent?
Rudy Giuliani on Hannity, May 30, 2018.
GIULIANI: How about guys with ethical issues at the Justice Department? I know that. Because I was a high-ranking official in the Justice Department.
So, you got a group there that's a lynching mob, so let them do their job and, boy, we're ready to knock the heck out of you with our report, which will be authoritative. It will be backed up. It will be backed up with law and facts. And we'll let the American people decide this.
You know, some people have criticized my strategy, which is the president's, of to some extent playing to the American people. If this were a regular case, I wouldn't be doing it. But the people who will decide this are the people of the United States in the 2018 election.
And they – boy, they are switching fast and the Democrats are running for cover. You don't hear them say the word "impeachment" anymore. I challenge Maxine Waters to say "impeachment."
HANNITY: Say it.
GIULIANI: Say it. Say "impeachment," sweetheart. Just say it!
GIULIANI: And you know what's going to happen? You're going to go down. Not maybe you [Rep. Waters], because they vote for you, I don't know why, but they vote for you.
But your colleagues are going to go down. And this is the change that we brought about by engaging and not letting them get away with the unethical behavior that has outraged Judge Ellis, Judge Wood. You know what she did, she threw Avenatti, the television star of the left wing CNN and MSNBC, she threw him out of court.
He doesn't belong in a New York court. He's not ethical enough. You know why? He's a big liar and he wanted to debate me. Like heck he's going to debate me. He should go debate in some gin mill. (LAUGHS.)
HANNITY: You said it earlier and you're confirming here tonight that if Mr. Mueller tries to subpoena the president, we will fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. Mark Levin has said the Constitution is on the president's side. Judge Ellis' comments – going back to a 2005 tax case with Ukraine and Paul Manafort to put the screws to the president so that Manafort sings or composes, suborning perjury, and the hopes that they can prosecute or impeach the president.
GIULIANI: Sean, I have no fear of it, nor does the president. The president has done nothing wrong. Read my lips: nothing wrong.
None of these people, Manafort, Cohen, they're not going to lie. They [the prosecutors] can go pound sand. They're not going to lie.
HANNITY: What about the spying and the FISA court abuse? You lie to a judge, wow, good luck to you.
GIULIANI: You've got to go to jail for that. I mean, it's one thing to lie even in a criminal case, another thing to lie in a counterintelligence probe.
And also, the FISA judges really rely even more than a criminal court –
HANNITY: Rod Rosenstein signed the final FISA application. Sally Yates signed one.
GIULIANI: I mean, so what? So what? (LAUGHS.) It's not worth the paper it's written on.
HANNITY: The bulk of it was Hillary Clinton bought and paid for foreign intelligence-built Russian lies, and they never corroborated it.
GIULIANI: I'll follow up on what Rush [Limbaugh] said. Of course, if it wasn't spying, they should have come to the Trump campaign. They could have come to me. My goodness, I was the FBI man of the year that year. They could have come to me and they could have told me, and I could have briefed the president or they could have briefed the president.
HANNITY: And that would have been in the spring of 2016. The president never met Carter Page, ever – to this day he never met Carter Page.
GIULIANI: He hasn't met most of these people. He hasn't met most of those people that they alleged – and they haven't alleged collusion on the part of anybody. Even those Russians, the phony indictment they have with the Russians who will never come here for trial, they colluded with each other, Russians colluding. Oh, wow, that's big news. Russians have been colluding since the Soviet Union to interfere in our elections.
Thank you, Sean. Thank you for being a patriot.
HANNITY: Thank you.
GIULIANI: We really appreciate it. And the president appreciates it, if I may say.
HANNITY: It's about the truth and it's the biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal, everything we talk about with FISA, fixing the Hillary investigation, spying on a campaign.
GIULIANI: Don't think that he [President Trump] has any reluctance to be interviewed. He's ready and willing and able to be interviewed. And he'll knock them out. It's me and his lawyers that don't want to see the president set up for perjury.
HANNITY: I wouldn't allow, if I were the lawyer, this president to go anywhere near any special counsel that hires a guy like Andrew Weissmann ever.
HANNITY: My two cents.
GIULIANI: I hear you, I hear you.
HANNITY: All right, sir. Thank you.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.