Giuliani Just Inadvertently Stepped Into a Legal Nightmare. Here’s Why He Could Face Indictment
As the FBI investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia reaches boiling point, one notorious Trump supporter with strong ties to Russia has evaded scrutiny: Former New York mayor and disgraced birther propagandist Rudy Giuliani. But now that he has surfaced to join the Trump legal team, he could be have inadvertently walked into a legal sand trap.
Giuliani said Thursday that he will join President Trump’s legal team and hopes to bring an end to the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election meddling in “a week or two.”
“I’m going to join the legal team to try to bring this to a resolution,” Giuliani told reporters. “The country deserves it,” he added.
But Mr. Giuliani could have a more powerful reason than his so-called “love” for the country to end the Russia investigation.
Remember when he went on Fox News and bragged that he knew in advance about new emails pertaining to the Clinton server investigation? Well, that stunt may come back to haunt him.
Shortly before the election Giuliani told Fox News:
“Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it,” Giuliani said. He added that he had expected the news to come out weeks before.
Last year, on May 3rd to be exact, then-FBI Director James Comey told senators during testimony that the agency was looking into communications between Russian operatives and members of Donald Trump’s team, including Rudy Giuliani.
Comey said he didn’t yet know whether anyone in the FBI had leaked information about the investigation to Giuliani, but it was a matter that he was “very very interested in.”
Less than a week later, on May 9th, Comey was fired by President Trump.
Giuliani has strong connections to the Russian regime and was very active in the campaign, praising Vladimir Putin and demonizing Hillary Clinton as Russia perpetrated an unprecedented attack on U.S. democracy.
As we reported before, records show Mr. Giuliani has had ties dating to at least 2004 to TriGlobal, a company that has provided image consulting to Russian oligarchs and clients with deep Kremlin ties. They have included Transneft, Russia’s state-owned oil pipeline giant, which is the target of Western sanctions imposed after President Vladimir V. Putin annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine.
According to The New York Times:
TriGlobal’s advisory board includes Ara Abramyan, listed on the company’s website as a “very close Advisor to the Russian Government’s inner circle including the President and the Prime Minister.” The company’s founding partners are Andrey Drobyshev, who has strong relations with the Kremlin, and Vitaly Pruss, whose website profile says that he has focused on “international image development and PR for Russian & Ukrainian companies” and that from 2008 to 2011, he worked “closely with Giuliani Partners LLC.”
Jeffrey Berman, one of TriGlobal’s managing partners, is also vice president of Berman Enterprises, a family-run company that worked with Giuliani Partners in 2008 to form a commercial and residential real estate investment vehicle called the Berman Opportunity Fund which targets Russian investors.
Before the election, the company arranged to have Giuliani come to Moscow to meet with the foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, as well as other prominent Russian politicians and business executives. That year, Mr. Giuliani visited Magnitogorsk, Russia, “for a series of meetings with Viktor Rashnikov,” a Russian billionaire who is the chairman of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works.
During the presidential campaign, Giuliani worked closely with Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign over his contacts with Russian officials.
We get it, Rudy. You have a powerful reason to try to end the investigation.