Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office

The former Trump attorney is facing legal threats on multiple fronts after spearheading a campaign to illegitimately overturn 2020 election

Andrew Naughtie
Wednesday 06 July 2022 17:00 BST
Giuliani says Trump should have pardoned himself

Disgraced lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who played a key role in the long chain of events leading to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, has mused that Donald Trump should have pardoned himself before leaving office.

Speaking on his personal podcast, Mr Giuliani remarked that it appears the ex-president is likely to face charges because of what has been uncovered by the committee investigating the riot.

He then explained that Mr Trump should “probably” have taken preventative measures to avoid this situation “not because he committed a crime – don’t you understand me? – but because these people are criminals. They frame people.”

Last week, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified under oath that Mr Giuliani himself sought a pardon from Mr Trump after the riot, but Giuliani has since denied that claim. In a statement, he said: “I told my client, President Trump, that if I was offered a pardon, I would turn it down.”

Addressing this in another rambling segment on the podcast, the lawyer also claimed that the committee is essentially trying to frame him instead of letting him keep his discussions with his client confidential.

“I have been questioned by them also. I have not leaked what I said to them. They leaked incorrectly some of what I said to them, because they’re unethical. Because some of them are un-American, because some of them have no regard for attorney client privilege. None. They want me to testify to conversations I had with the president of the United States as his attorney. And they want the decision to be made by [Jan 6 committee chair] Bennie Thompson, the non-lawyer. They are destroying our Constitution.”

This is a misleading rendering of what’s going on. The decision of what is covered by “executive privilege” is made by the sitting president, not by the committee. Additionally, Mr Giuliani’s discussions with Mr Trump may not be universally covered by attorney-client privilege as the principle does not apply to discussions in which the attorney and client discuss committing a crime or fraud, as the two men are alleged to have done with their “stop the steal” machinations.

Aside from the problems posed by the January 6 committee and the Justice Department’s parallel investigation into the Trump team’s election subversion effort, Mr Giuliani is also facing a gargantuan lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems. The organization’s machines were at the centre of various conspiracy theories by Mr Giuliani and others.

Mr Giulian has been the subject of many headlines recently, as he reported an “assault” after a heckler patted him on the back at a campaign appearance last week. When CCTV footage showed how mild the interaction was, sitting New York mayor Eric Adams suggested that his predecessor be investigated for falsely reporting a crime.

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