The New York mayor turned Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made a largely fruitless visit to Mar-a-Lago to plead for help paying “ballooning” legal fees arising from work for the former president, CNN reported.
Citing unnamed sources, the network said Giuliani met Donald Trump at his Florida resort in April. Trump, “who is notoriously strict about dipping into his own coffers, didn’t seem very interested” and only “verbally agreed” to help pay some bills and to support fundraisers for his ally, according to CNN.
One source said “Trump only agreed to cover a small fee from a data vendor hosting Giuliani’s records”, a payment CNN said was made.
Giuliani may have had reason to hope for more. Last year, a biographer, Andrew Kirtzman, reported that when Giuliani experienced problems with drinking and depression stoked by his failed presidential run in 2008, Trump gave him refuge at Mar-a-Lago, including the use of private tunnels to avoid press attention.
Giuliani now faces proliferating legal difficulties and expenses arising from work including searching for dirt on Trump’s political enemies, which stoked Trump’s first impeachment, and challenging election results in states lost to Joe Biden.
Giuliani’s own attorney, Adam Katz, this week told a judge in a case brought by a voting machines company, Smartmatic: “These are a lot of bills that he’s not paying. I think this is very humbling for Mr Giuliani.” The former mayor has put his New York apartment up for sale.
In Georgia on Monday, Giuliani was indicted on 13 counts, including under anti-racketeering “Rico” laws he famously used to target mobsters when he was the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan.
Speaking to Newsmax, Giuliani lamented “a ridiculous application of the racketeering statute”, saying: “There’s probably no one that knows it better than I do.”
Ken Frydman, a former Giuliani press secretary, told the New York Post: “You couldn’t invent such irony.” But plenty of observers were happy to delight in it in public.
Under the headline “Wiseguys Rejoice at Seeing NYC Mafia Buster Rudy Giuliani Indicted on Trump Rico Charge”, the Messenger spoke to lawyers who have represented figures in organised crime.
Murray Richman, a “veteran mob lawyer”, said he had discussed Giuliani’s charge with “several of my clients”.
“You can quote me to say, ‘They’re fucking thrilled,’” Richman said.
Jeffrey Lichtman, who represented John Gotti Jr, said: “All of my clients who had the misfortune of being prosecuted by him are laughing now. As am I … It’s not just an ironic result but it’s a just result. He was a horribly dishonest prosecutor and the wheel of karma is about to crush him.”
Ron Kuby, who represented Stephen “Sigmund the Sea Monster” Sergio, said: “It is just delightful to watch the guy who expanded Rico prosecutions well beyond their original intent, and did so grasping for the biggest headlines … be indicted by the very law that he championed.”
Speaking to CNN, an unnamed source noted that Trump’s reluctance to help Giuliani may prove unwise.
“It’s not a smart idea,” the source said, noting how Trump’s relationship with a previous lawyer, Michael Cohen, deteriorated to the point that Cohen “flipped”, testifying against Trump in Congress and in court.
On social media, Cohen told Giuliani: “I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was you. He didn’t pay you for your previous services (not that you accomplished anything other than make an asshole out of yourself). You have a better chance to raise the money from your ex-wives. I warned you!!!”
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