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Politics How Giuliani and Barr set out to defend Trump

01:41  09 december  2019
01:41  09 december  2019 Source:   politico.com

Giuliani: Lawyers are telling me to sue Fox News host for libel

  Giuliani: Lawyers are telling me to sue Fox News host for libel Rudy Giuliani said that his lawyers brought up the idea of suing Fox News anchor Steve Hilton after he called on the President Trump to sever ties with his personal attorney. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Hilton, the host of The Next Revolution, attacked the former New York City mayor after reports surfaced that he pursued personal business deals in Ukraine while he was there trying to start foreign investigations into targets that Trump wanted investigated. Hilton also referred to Giuliani as "an unmitigated and ...

The work of Rudy Giuliani , Trump ’s personal lawyer and a key outside adviser dating back to the 2016 campaign, all but imploded when a whistleblower complaint about the president’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian leaders set off an impeachment investigation. Attorney General Bill Barr ’s efforts have

Trump urged Zelenskiy to work with Barr and Giuliani to collect dirt on Biden, a “He also had his own emissaries in Ukraine who were meeting with officials, setting up meetings for him How much of it did he discuss with Trump ? Why didn’t Barr recuse himself from any involvement — especially after

Amid President Donald Trump’s years-long quest to undermine the Russia investigation and claim “total exoneration,” a tale of two lawyers has emerged.

a group of people looking at a laptop: President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.© Drew Angerer/Getty Images President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

The first — a former New York City mayor-turned fixer for various foreign potentates and, ultimately, for the president of the United States — took the outside lane, attempting to exonerate his client with a backchannel pressure campaign on Ukraine that would ostensibly clear Trump, and Moscow, of wrongdoing in 2016.

The second, a veteran corporate attorney who’s now served two Republican presidents as attorney general, has taken an inside track, defending Trump in the courts, congressional testimony, press conferences and speeches—and at times within his own department.

Opinions | New revelations about Barr and Giuliani strengthen case against Trump

  Opinions | New revelations about Barr and Giuliani strengthen case against Trump Even as Trump is getting impeached, his two accomplices are keeping the corrupt plot going.One of the strongest arguments made by experts testifying against President Trump is that he poses a present and continuing threat to our democracy. By adopting the stance that extorting a foreign leader into helping him rig the election was perfectly fine, Trump has confirmed he’ll keep using the levers of government to continue to corrupt it on his behalf.

President Trump 's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani says it's his right to travel to Ukraine to " defend " his client -- to try to push for investigations that he He said there's "nothing illegal" about his effort to pursue probes in Ukraine, since he is not trying to carry out foreign policy initiatives on behalf of the

Giuliani and Trump ? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that

The work of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and a key outside adviser dating back to the 2016 campaign, all but imploded when a whistleblower complaint about the president’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian leaders set off an impeachment investigation.

Attorney General Bill Barr’s efforts have arguably been more successful—at least, that is, in pleasing his boss.

Barr’s presentation of the special counsel’s investigation as essentially clearing Trump of wrongdoing generated favorable headlines for the president and obscured key findings from Robert Mueller’s 448-page report. The review he ordered of the intelligence community’s conduct in the Russia probe may not yield the bombshells imagined by the president and his defenders, but it has fed a steady drip of stories in the conservative press touting damning revelations to come.

Trump: Giuliani 'wants to go before Congress' about Ukraine trip

  Trump: Giuliani 'wants to go before Congress' about Ukraine trip Trump added that Giuliani will “make a report” of his findings to submit to Attorney General William Barr and Congress. “He has a lot of good information,” Trump said. “I have not spoken to him about that information yet.” © Alex Brandon/AP Photo President Donald Trump. Giuliani, who is reported to have traveled to Ukraine this week to continue his quest to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, has come under fire during the impeachment hearings for carrying out a shadow diplomacy to aid Trump's re-election.

President Donald Trump repeatedly encouraged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Attorney “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do

Trump urged Zelenskiy to work with Barr and Giuliani to collect dirt on Biden, a “He also had his own emissaries in Ukraine who were meeting with officials, setting up meetings for him How much of it did he discuss with Trump ? Why didn’t Barr recuse himself from any involvement — especially after

Even the long-awaited Justice Department Inspector General report due out Monday that is expected to debunk several conspiracy theories about the FBI’s Russia probe has served Barr’s interests in a way — generating cable chyrons announcing a criminal inquiry, albeit into the conduct of a low-level FBI lawyer.

And there is likely to be plenty of grist in the IG report to feed ongoing accusations that, as Barr himself has mused, the Russia investigation was tarnished by corrupt origins.

“Rudy has gone into legal grey areas and potentially beyond in his quest to help Trump,” said Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, which is investigating Giuliani’s work for foreign clients. “Whereas Barr hasn’t committed any crimes. He is a historically terrible attorney general, but he’s not a criminal.”

It’s not yet clear how Barr will characterize Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which is due out Monday amid reports that the attorney general disagrees with some of its findings. The risk, for Barr, is that Horowitz and the broader review led by U.S. Attorney John Durham won’t produce the kind of narrative-shifting revelations Trump wants — assuming Durham ever produces any findings at all.

'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture

  'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of President Donald Trump's top allies, said the recent trip by the president's attorney to Ukraine was "weird" and "odd."However, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told ABC's "This Week" it was promising to hear that Trump said Giuliani wants to speak to Congress about his latest trip to Ukraine.

Barr Defends Actions as ‘What the Department Normally Does’. Attorney General William P. Barr “Mr. Barr , now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Democrats skipped over the fact that Mr. Mueller accused Mr. Trump of no crime and instead focused

Trump said Giuliani had not yet told him what information he has gathered, though the president said he's heard it was plentiful. WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump indicated Saturday that his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani wants to take the information he has gathered from his investigations

Barr still seems confident in his relationship with Trump, however, which has likely been bolstered by the attorney general’s public denunciations of the so-called “resistance.” In a recent speech to the conservative Federalist Society, Barr described the term used by some opposed to Trump as “a very dangerous and indeed incendiary notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic.”

The attorney general also laid some ground rules with the president early on in his tenure, he told New York Magazine for a recent profile.

“Right from the very beginning, the president made clear to me, and we discussed, that he will not get into the business of talking about, or asking me, either to pursue, or not to pursue, cases,” Barr said. “He leaves that up to my judgment.”

To that end, perhaps, Barr has been careful to distance himself from the Ukraine scandal — and from Giuliani.

On the morning the White House published the transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, the Justice Department denied that Barr had ever talked to the president about his efforts to pressure Zelensky into investigating Democrats.

Rudy Giuliani hoping to submit his Ukraine report to Congress, AG Barr this week

  Rudy Giuliani hoping to submit his Ukraine report to Congress, AG Barr this week Rudy Giuliani said he will transmit a "report" based on his recent visit to Ukraine to Attorney General William Barr and Republicans in Congress by the end of this week. © The New York Times via Redux, FILE Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer, arrives to an event for Sports and Fitness Day, at the White House in Washington, May 30, 2018. "I should probably have it ready on Wednesday or Thursday," Giuliani said Monday morning while appearing on "War Room: Impeachment," a radio show hosted by Steve Bannon and Jason Miller. "I don't exactly know when it'll be made public, but it should be ready by then.

As Donald Trump faces impeachment hearings, Attorney General William Barr is exercising the full force Much more powerful than Giuliani , William Barr is exercising the Justice Department’s full force to As the Durham probe, the ongoing impeachment drama, and the presidential campaign play out in the “I told him how well I knew Bob Mueller and … the Barrs and Muellers were good friends and

Trump said Giuliani had not yet told him what information he has gathered, though the president said he's heard it was plentiful. “He's going to make a Trump is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into announcing investigations into the Bidens while the White House held back

"The president has not spoken with the attorney general about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son. The president has not asked the attorney general to contact Ukraine — on this or any other matter," spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement released at the same time as the Zelensky call record, which showed Trump offering to have Barr call the Ukrainian president.

"The attorney general has not communicated with Ukraine — on this or any other subject. Nor has the attorney general discussed this matter, or anything relating to Ukraine, with Rudy Giuliani,” Kupec said.

The Justice Department again distanced Barr from the Ukraine caper after Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, claimed that military aid to the Ukrainian government had been withheld in part to verify “whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice.”

“If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us,” a DOJ spokesperson said at the time.

It’s unclear if Barr himself has directly crossed paths with Giuliani, but at least one senior Trump appointee at the Justice Department earlier this summer met with the former New York mayor to hear his pitch for leniency in the case of one of his foreign clients, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez, according to the Washington Post. Lopez is a Venezuelan energy executive under scrutiny for possible money laundering and bribery.

Giuliani says Trump has asked him to brief Justice Department and GOP senators on his Ukraine findings

  Giuliani says Trump has asked him to brief Justice Department and GOP senators on his Ukraine findings The president’s lawyer also said that he has unsuccessfully sought to learn why he is under investigation in the Southern District of New York, the office he led as U.S. attorney in the 1980s. “They are refusing to tell us why they are investigating,” he said. Giuliani said he want to present evidence that he is innocent to prosecutors, but has not been given the chance. He said that his former office is pursuing the “most unfair, vindictive investigation they have ever conducted.” “I believe that the leaks and the investigation is intended to intimidate me as the president’s lawyer,” Giuliani said.

Trump indicated Giuliani wants to take the information he has gathered from his investigations in Ukraine to the US attorney general and Congress. In this handout photo provided by Adriii Derkach's press office, Rudy Giuliani , an attorney for U.S President Donald Trump , left, meets with Ukrainian

WASHINGTON — When President Trump nominated William P. Barr as attorney general a year How wrong they were. Mr. Barr has eagerly embraced the most divisive and disputed aspects of the “It’s embedded in department culture to set those partisan views aside when doing your work and

The revelation of that encounter led to still more DOJ distancing — a department spokesman said that top officials wouldn’t have taken the meeting with Giuliani had they known at the time of an active investigation from the Southern District of New York into two Giuliani associates who have since been indicted on campaign finance charges. The men, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, acted as intermediaries for Giuliani in Ukraine and at one point reportedly tried to recruit a top Ukrainian energy official to wage a takeover of the country’s state-owned oil and gas company, Naftogaz.

While Barr was airing his doubts about the Russia probe in media interviews, Giuliani was working outside official channels with foreign nationals to find evidence that would “be very, very helpful to my client,” as he told the New York Times in May, referring to Trump.

a man wearing a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his home March 25, 2019 in McLean, Virginia. Stopping short of exonerating President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, Barr released a summary report of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, saying there was no collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian intelligence. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: U.S. Attorney General William Barr leaves his home March 25, 2019 in McLean, Virginia. Stopping short of exonerating President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, Barr released a summary report of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, saying there was no collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian intelligence. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He primarily sought the State Department’s help, coordinating regularly with the U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker in an effort to pressure Zelensky into investigating the Bidens and 2016 election interference.

'This is a coup attempt': Giuliani says he believes in 'deep state'

  'This is a coup attempt': Giuliani says he believes in 'deep state' President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that he believes there is an internal effort in the State Department to have Trump removed from office. © Provided by Washington ExaminerIn a Thursday interview with Sinclair’s Eric Bolling, the 75-year-old former New York City mayor was asked if he believes in the existence of a “deep state” conspiracy. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Giuliani was also forced to defend one of his own remarks. After the first presidential debate on Monday, after which Trump praised himself for On Friday, he urged his supporters to “check out sex tape” of Machado, although no such video exists. Hours later, reporters unearthed an explicit video in

President Trump said that Rudy Giuliani , his personal attorney, will deliver a report to Congress and Attorney General William Barr about information he uncovered during his latest trip to Ukraine.

But Giuliani apparently spurned the advice of State Department officials, who suggested that any wrongdoing by Americans be pursued through official Justice Department channels. “What is proper and what happens frequently is the United States goes to Ukraine and asks for their help to pursue an investigation of violations of American law," the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, told impeachment investigators. “That’s what we have a mutual legal assistance treaty, an MLAT, for. But this is different.”

Giuliani has now been sidelined from formally working to defend Trump from impeachment, but his Ukraine sleuthing goes on. He traveled to Budapest and Kyiv last week with a far-right news outlet, where he met with several of the figures at the center of the impeachment proceedings including Lutsenko and former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin—all while under a federal criminal investigation by Barr’s Justice Department.

“I hear he’s found plenty,” Trump told reporters Saturday when asked about Giuliani’s trip. The president added that his personal attorney, a former top Reagan-era Justice Department official, was “one of the great crime fighters of the last 50 years” with plans to roll out his findings to Congress, Barr and the DOJ.

Trump allies who have embraced Barr, meanwhile, would more than welcome Giuliani exiting stage left. The challenge is that Trump perceives Giuliani — “my Rudy,” as he calls him — as a peer dating back to their days gracing the New York tabloids together.

“I think there’s a level of celebrity involved,” said a person who has worked for the president who isn’t pleased with how Giuliani’s efforts have upended the Trump agenda. “And it’s probably not helpful.”

Even Sondland, Giuliani’s collaborator on the Ukraine caper, privately groused to other State Department officials: “Every time Rudy gets involved he goes and f---s everything up.”

Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit

  Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit "Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Lindsey Graham says.In an interview airing on Face the Nation Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said that Giuliani, who is serving as the president’s personal attorney, could appear before his committee separately from the impending Senate impeachment trial.

In so doing, Trump ’s attorney general and his personal lawyer — whose roles Trump views as one and the same — have helpfully strengthened the case Two new investigative reports demonstrate that Barr and Giuliani are, in effect, continuing to carry out elements of the very same corrupt scheme for

Jon Sale, a former personal attorney and longtime friend to Giuliani, bemoaned the criticism of the former New York mayor. “Everyone wants to blame Rudy for all the world’s woes,” he said.

***

Compared with Giuliani, Barr has arguably had far more success in shielding Trump — a campaign that began even before he took the attorney general job, when he wrote an unsolicited 20-page legal brief attacking the Mueller probe as a “fatally misconceived” assault on presidential power.

Months later, the newly minted DOJ leader outmaneuvered Mueller, his friend and former underling during the Bush years, when he took advantage of the special counsel’s narrow interpretation of his mandate to clear the president of wrongdoing before the special counsel’s report was made public.

Then, after the document’s release, Barr’s Justice Department worked to stymie House investigators in their efforts to obtain documents and testimony from Mueller’s witnesses. Democrats ended up stuck in protracted court battles that could be moot by the time they’re over — either because Trump is no longer in office, or because the Senate will have already voted against conviction.

Barr’s DOJ has taken other steps widely seen as benefiting Trump. The department’s Office of Legal Counsel determined that the whistleblower complaint that helped trigger the impeachment inquiry did not have to be shared with the congressional intelligence committees, despite the Intelligence Community inspector general’s conclusion that it rose to the level of an “urgent concern” requiring notification to lawmakers.

And the Justice Department in September also declined to pursue a criminal investigation into potential campaign finance violations by Trump and his associates related to their demands for dirt on Biden.

Some legal experts say that decision reeked of politics.

“You’d normally think, yes, that professional prosecutors would feel an obligation to look into these situations,” said Philip Allen Lacovara, a former Watergate counsel. “But the leadership, including the attorney general, deputy attorney general, and the head of the criminal division all seem to be quite comfortable with ring-fencing the president on any of these activities.”

Still, Honig noted, Barr has decidedly less influence over the Ukraine investigation. Whereas Barr was able to release his own summary of Mueller’s findings before the full report was made public, preemptively shaping the narrative around the probe’s conclusions, he doesn’t have any authority over Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“But he’s certainly done all that he can do to help the president in this case,” Honig said, “including by causing a diversion with the IG report in an attempt to give Trump and his supporters a counterpunch.”

The IG report is likely to present a mixed picture at best. Horowitz has reportedly concluded that the FBI had a proper legal and factual basis for opening an investigation into certain Trump campaign staffers’ Russia ties, and did not act out of bias when they opened the investigations. The findings will apparently fault some agents for acting sloppily, but will debunk a central conspiracy theory pushed by Trump and his allies that the FBI tried to entrap his campaign and derail his candidacy.

Ahead of the report’s release, however, Barr’s dissatisfaction with that finding leaked to the Washington Post, preemptively casting doubt on Horowitz’s conclusions and spurring the president and his allies to look elsewhere for a friendly narrative.

“If the Obama-appointed Horowitz doesn't conclude on the basic issues which we all know to be established fact, premeditated fraud on the FISA court repeatedly, then at the end of the day the AG is signaling that the Durham report is where all the action will be on everything,” Fox News host Sean Hannity, a close Trump ally, said last Monday, referring to prosecutor John Durham.

That’s a theme Trump himself picked up on over the weekend. He told reporters outside the White House on Saturday he was “looking forward” to the IG report but then quickly pivoted to Durham, the U.S. attorney from the district of Connecticut whom Barr appointed earlier this year to examine the intelligence community’s actions in 2016. Barr has also traveled with Durham internationally to personally conduct interviews and collect information from foreign allies related to the intelligence about Trump’s Russia ties that flowed to the FBI in 2016.

“I look forward very much to seeing what happens with the Durham report, maybe even more importantly, because it’s a horrible thing that took place and it should never happen to another president,” Trump said Saturday.

The timing of the IG report’s release has also irked some of the former officials Horowitz interviewed, who told POLITICO that the standard review period afforded in an IG investigation seemed rushed so that it would be released in the middle of the impeachment proceedings.

Witnesses were unable to provide written feedback or take notes on the report, they said, because the IG didn’t wait for the full report to be declassified before calling them in to review it. As a result, the witnesses were also asked to sign non-disclosure agreements even if the portions of the report that mentioned them contained no classified information.

The IG report’s public arrival Monday will indeed coincide with a critical House Judiciary Committee hearing to study the evidence Democrats have uncovered on the Ukraine scandal. But Barr’s defenders deny that he has been mounting a political agenda. “He’s not looking for anything,” said Sale, the longtime Giuliani friend. “He’s going to just do his job. And Durham is nobody’s lackey.”

“We need more John Durhams,” added the person who used to work for the president.

But Trump’s critics argue that one year into his tenure as attorney general, Barr — whose $30,000 Justice Department holiday party was held at the Trump Hotel this weekend — has yet to accomplish any significant initiatives for the department, choosing instead to give politically charged speeches and take a hands-on approach to the investigations most important to Trump.

“Maybe I’m just too cynical,” said Lacovara. “But I’ve seen nothing to indicate they are upholding the traditions of the DOJ as the representative of the United States as distinct from representation of the president.”

Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit .
"Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Lindsey Graham says.In an interview airing on Face the Nation Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said that Giuliani, who is serving as the president’s personal attorney, could appear before his committee separately from the impending Senate impeachment trial.

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