Rudy Giuliani was brought onto President Trump’s legal team recently and has claimed that he will be reaching out to Special Counsel Mueller in hopes of soon ending the investigation into Trump’s conduct in regards to Russian meddling in the election.
That claim was met with general skepticism and amusement including by members of the Mueller team of investigators, according to sources.
As the former New York City mayor’s remarks made their way to Mueller’s investigators, they were said to be “amused,” according to one person with direct knowledge of the matter. Mueller’s team has signaled that its probe of Russia’s possible meddling in the 2016 presidential election is exploring new avenues presented by at least two cooperating witnesses and that there is little Giuliani can do to force Mueller’s hand, these people add.
“If Rudy comes to Mueller trying to negotiate anything short of a presidential guilty plea, he will likely be met by deaf ears,” said a lawyer who follows the case from Washington.
The year-long investigation has produced several indictments of Trump aides, but for crimes that have little to do with possible Russian meddling, or even obstruction of justice, another area Mueller is investigating as an outgrowth of the Comey firing. Trump’s legal team, meanwhile, is in turmoil. His lead attorney, John Dowd, recently resigned after finding it difficult to work for the volatile president, who didn’t heed his advice. Dowd is the only lawyer on the Trump team who examined every document the White House surrendered to Mueller, according to a personal familiar with the situation. Trump has faced rejections by a number of high-powered litigators to join the team.
But with the addition of Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and famed prosecutor of mob and Wall Street transgressions when he was U.S. attorney for the Southern District in the 1980s, Trump may be able to regain momentum. Giuliani is well known in legal circles and has become a staunch supporter of the president. He is also said to have a good relationship with Mueller, with whom he worked at the Justice Department. He will be joined by two other former prosecutors to help with ending the probe: Jane and Marty Raskin.
Still, legal experts were skeptical about Giuliani’s immediate impact.
“He hasn’t seen a courtroom in 30 years, except for his divorces and a stint as juror,” one white-collar attorney said.
Why It Matters
A criminal investigation is not something that can be negotiated to an end. The President is anxious to have the Special Counsel’s probe ended and that is understandable. A number of his close associates are in legal hot water – Paul Manafort faces 305 years in prison and Mike Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI. And his son and son-in-law are reportedly in Mueller’s sights, their claims of innocence notwithstanding. Even if Donald Trump is exonerated personally, he still is under threat of impeachment for the actions of those within his transition team and administration.
In other words, Trump is in jeopardy both legally and politically. Ending the probe prematurely will not end his political jeopardy.
Americans, Rudy Giuliani included, will have to wait patiently for the Special Counsel to conclude his investigation and come out with whatever evidence he has gathered. To end it before it’s natural conclusion would be a mockery of our legal system and set a terrible precedent for future presidents who may want to end a probe into their conduct.
The person under investigation should never have the ability to simply call off the investigation. Nor should his friend be able to negotiate its end. Our founders fought a war and sacrificed everything to ensure Americans have a President, rather than a King who is above the law. The investigation must be allowed to continue to its natural conclusion, regardless of its findings.