Rudy Giuliani: The former light figure in the twilight

Ex-Mayor of New York
How Rudy Giuliani suddenly became Trump’s dubious puller


Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is Donald Trump’s attorney

© Saul Loeb / AFP

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani plays a central role in the Ukraine affair. Therefore, the former mayor of New York is now also in the focus of the Democrats, who are threatening Trump with impeachment proceedings.

The Ukraine affair is not just Donald Trump’s affair. It is also Rudy Giuliani’s affair. For months before the US president’s ominous phone call with Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj, Trump’s private lawyer had been working intensively on potentially incriminating material from Ukraine about ex-Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s potential challenger in the 2020 election.

The role of Giuliani will therefore also be at the center of the congressional investigation into a possible impeachment proceedings against Trump for abuse of office, which the US Democrats have started. Several committees of the opposition-controlled House of Representatives requested the 75-year-old Trump intimate in a legally binding form to hand them over his documents on the Ukraine affair by October 15 at the latest.

The committees examined “the extent to which President Trump has endangered national security by urging Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 election,” wrote the Democratic Chair of the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, in a letter to Giuliani. The investigation also follows up “credible allegations” against Giuliani, according to which he acted as “agent” for Trump to advance his “personal political interests through an abuse of office”.

Donald Trump lobte Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine-Telefonat

In the phone call with Selenskyj on July 25, Trump had touted his private lawyer as a “very competent guy”. According to the minutes of the conversation published by the White House, Trump urged that the Ukrainian authorities short-circuit with Giuliani and US Attorney General Bill Barr in the desired investigation into Biden.

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Involuntarily and incompetently: Rudy Giuliani railed against Donald Trump on Twitter

Giuliani’s suspicion, which had been in contact with Ukrainian representatives for months, was that Biden had tried, as Vice President, to protect his son from Ukrainian corruption investigations. Hunter Biden used to work for the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. To date, Trump and Giuliani have not provided any evidence for their suspicions.

Just a few days after the phone call, Giuliani met with Selenskyj advisor Andrej Jermak in Madrid – it was again about the Bidens. Giuliani asserts to this day, however, that everything was clean both in his contacts in the Ukraine and in Trump. The president was obliged by the constitution to investigate the corruption allegations against the Bidens, he claims.

According to the anonymous informant who started the Ukraine affair, Giuliani’s secondary foreign policy was followed with irritation by numerous government employees. They were “deeply concerned” that Giuliani had circumvented the official “decision-making process on national security,” the informant reported. Giuliani assures, however, that his Ukraine activities were carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Giuliani once sharpened his profile after the attacks in New York

In any case, in the twilight of the Ukraine affair, the times seem forever when Giuliani was revered as a figure of light. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the then New York mayor excelled as a level-headed crisis manager. The talk queen Oprah Winfrey ennobled him as “Mayor of America”.

Today, however, Giuliani is a figure who attracts a lot of ridicule – not least because of his often erratic television appearances. Giuliani has been a stimulus for Trump opponents since he vehemently worked for today’s president in the 2016 election campaign.

Giuliani then hoped to be rewarded with the post of Foreign Minister. The fact that Trump refused him the job apparently did not cause any deeper damage in their relationship. In April 2018, Trump hired the former prosecutor as his private attorney.

In this role, Giuliani challenged the investigations by special investigator Robert Mueller into the Russia contacts of Trump’s former campaign team. The fact that these investigations had no major consequences for the president should have further strengthened the bond between Trump and Giuliani.

However, the fact that the Ukraine affair Trump is likely to break into impeachment proceedings instead could possibly put a lot of strain on this bond. A government official quoted by the Washington Post said that Giuliani was responsible for the whole Ukraine mess: “Rudy – he did it all.”

fin / Daniel Jahn
AFP

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