Federal officials should end their fruitless probe of allegations that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia because “the crimes now have all been committed by the government,” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“I believe that Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions, my good friend, and [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein, who I don’t know, I believe they should in the interest of justice end this investigation,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“There’s been too much government misconduct. The crimes now have all been committed by the government,” said Giuliani, who joined the president’s outside counsel team earlier this week.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion allegations has been fraught from its outset with concerns about anti-Trump bias and pro-Hillary Clinton bias within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI.
Although no concrete evidence of collusion has been found, Mueller’s team has shown even greater apparent interest in whether Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice for firing former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.
But Comey’s conduct came under scrutiny after he admitted that he asked a friend to leak to the news media memos detailing his personal conversations with Trump prior to his firing because he thought doing so would spur the appointment of a special counsel. Shortly after the leak, Rosenstein appointed Mueller.
Because four of the seven memos contained classified information, Giuliani insisted that Comey, whom he called a “disgraceful liar,” should be prosecuted.
“I have never, ever … leaked a damn thing” as a U.S. attorney, Giuliani said. “I would have considered resigning if I ever did that.”
Dozens of questions that Mueller hopes to ask Trump during an interview that were leaked to The New York Times concerned four main topics: Trump’s firing of Comey, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Sessions, and Trump campaign officials’ contact with Russian interests.
Giuliani told Hannity that Trump fired Comey “because Comey would not — among other things — say that he wasn’t a target of the investigation. He’s entitled to that. Hillary Clinton got that and he couldn’t get that. So he fired him and he said, ‘I’m free of this guy.'”
“You can’t blame the president for feeling, ‘I am not being treated the same way [Clinton was],” Giuliani said.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, reacted to Giuliani’s claims regarding “too much government misconduct,” saying, “I think my impression is that he’s got it right.”
“My frustration is that we’ve gone a year and there’s no — there’s no criminal activity” on Trump’s part, Biggs (above, far right) said on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.” “And this is just — that [the] Mueller investigation is not objective, and that really resonates with me because it’s not objective. It’s biased, and they’re trying to use these questions and this interview is going to be a trapfest for … Mueller against the president.”
“It gets to the whole thing — they just want to go after President Trump,” Biggs said.
Giuliani spoke to Hannity after the president’s legal team experienced its latest shakeup, with Ty Cobb’s departure and Emmet Flood’s arrival. Flood worked on former President Bill Clinton’s legal team during his impeachment proceedings and also served as a special counsel during former President George W. Bush’s administration.
“I think we have seen in the last 24 hours since the release of these proposed questions from Mueller and now with this Rudy interview on ‘Hannity’ — I think we’ve seen a dramatic change in this case,” Washington Examiner senior political columnist and Fox News contributor Byron York told host Laura Ingraham.
“I mean, it’s become much more confrontational. The lawyers, John Dowd and Ty Cobb, who were counseling a more conciliatory approach toward Mueller, they are now gone,” York (above, far left) noted. “And we’ve just had the president’s lawyer go on TV for an hour. I mean, you didn’t see Dowd and Cobb doing that.”
Attorney Harmeet Dhillon, Republican National Committeewoman for California, told Ingraham that Trump’s legal team is “signaling here” by “picking somebody with impeachment experience” that “the scales have fallen from the eyes of the White House lawyers, and they realize that the stakes are about impeachment here.”
“When you see the questions and the Mueller leak, the questions are clearly not about any crime that the president may have committed. It’s clearly doing some free research for the Democrats with respect to a potential impeachment trial. It could not be clearer,” Dhillon (above, second from right) said. “And I’m glad, as a supporter of the president and a lawyer, to see that they have finally woken up.”
Noting that Giuliani’s interview “was amazing” and “very encouraging to me,” Dhillon said it was refreshing to see that the Trump team is “smartening up and girding for battle.”
“I mean, [Mueller team members] are not people you can trust at their face value. We have seen the crimes. We have seen the deception. And we have seen the absolute unethical conduct that’s been committed against this president so far,” Dhillon said.
But Giuliani raised eyebrows when he appeared to contradict Trump’s April 6 claim that he did not know about the $130,000 payment his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump more than 10 years ago.
Giuliani claimed that Cohen’s payment was a “perfectly legal” one and wasn’t made with campaign funds.
“Sorry, I’m giving you a fact now that you don’t know. It’s not campaign money. No campaign finance violation,” Giuliani said, noting that it was “funneled through a law firm, and then the president repaid it.”
York said that Giuliani raised “real questions” with that new information. “Rudy just gave us a completely different version of this,” York said.
Giuliani later clarified, telling Fox News that Trump repaid Cohen “over several months” through placing the lawyer on a “retainer of $35,000 when he was doing no work for the president.”
“I said, ‘That’s how he’s repaying it, with a little profit and a little margin for paying taxes,'” Giuliani said, noting that Trump “didn’t know about the specifics of [the payment], as far as I know, but he did know about the general arrangement that Michael would take care of things like this. Like I take care of things like this for my clients. I don’t burden them with every single thing that comes along.”