‘CRIMES AGAINST THE SYSTEM’
Rudy Giuliani Used to Be Tough on Obstruction of Justice. Now He Defends It.
Today he’s the mouthpiece for a president who almost certainly contrived to concoct false information for the FBI.
Rudy Giuliani once pronounced obstruction of justice and perjury to be twin threats to the rule of law.
“Crimes against the system,” he termed them during his days as a federal prosecutor.
Of the myriad cases where he lodged obstruction of justice charges, one is particularly worth citing as the present day Giuliani calls for investigating the investigators who produced the Mueller report. That 1985 case involved Dr. Elliot Gross, who was then the chief medical examiner in New York City.
After the press charged that Gross had filed false autopsy reports in a number of police brutality cases, Giuliani announced that he was launching an obstruction of justice investigation.
He told reporters at the time that this crime against the system may have been committed if “false information was supplied by anybody.” He added that he would examine in particular if the medical examiner "submitted false or misleading information which would have ended up in the hands of the FBI."
"There's a man's reputation involved and there's the quality and administration of justice involved, so it has to be considered a very serious investigation that's given a lot of priority," he said.
Eight months later, Giuliani announced that he had concluded the investigation without recommending federal charges.
"As far as we're concerned the matter is closed and should be closed," Giuliani said. "There is no evidence to support a charge against him."
He repeated with a slightly different emphasis, "There's no evidence that we know of that would permit us to prove these charges. And this absolutely closes the investigation."
But before he closed the investigation, he had opened it, just as the Mueller investigation was opened before it was closed.
Robert Mueller also recognized a man's reputation was involved and there was the quality and administration of justice involved, so it had to be considered a very serious investigation that's given a lot of priority.
The Giuliani of back then would have howled in outrage if anybody had spoken of him the way the Giuliani of present days is speaking of Mueller.
And, the present-day Giuliani does this even though the definition of obstruction of justice offered by Giuliani back then would seem to apply to the man he presently serves as a personal lawyer.
Trump almost certainly contrived to concoct false information for the FBI.
The Giuliani of back then remained enamored with the obstruction of justice charge and often made it an add-on, as in a 1987 case against Bess Myerson, a former Miss America turned city cultural affairs commissioner. Giuliani lodged conspiracy and bribery charges against Myerson and two co-defendants for allegedly fixing her boyfriend's divorce case by hiring the judge's daughter. Myerson was further charged with obstructing justice by seeking to impede the investigation.
The jury found all three not guilty of all charges. Giuliani told the press that in bringing the case he had only been doing as his sworn duty required.
"The jury concluded there was insufficient evidence." Giuliani said after the acquittal. "This case was a case that should have been tried, should have been brought to a jury. Obviously, we're disappointed with the result."
He had better luck in numerous other public corruption cases, and notably in Wall Street prosecutions, often pairing obstruction of justice with perjury. He complained that the sentences he was able to secure for these two “crimes against the system” were too lenient to serve as a deterrent. He proposed a one-to-two year minimum penalty.
"This is not just an isolated problem," Giuliani said. "Many of these people believe there's no additional penalty if they lie under oath while being questioned."
That from the man who has gone on to represent the Liar-in-Chief.
A 1985 case that makes Giuliani’s present-day service of Trump seem like destiny began with a discovery: Three of the men painting the U.S. Attorney’s office over which he reigned were undocumented immigrants. He had the trio arrested and turned over to immigration authorities for prompt deportation to their native lands, two to Guyana, the third to India.
He also lodged obstruction of justice charges against the contracting firm and the husband and wife team who ran it. The couple was alleged to have to sought to influence the testimony of employees who were called before a grand jury.
The husband pleaded guilty in exchange for a suspended two-year sentence and one month in a halfway house. He was working for the Port Authority with an office in the North Tower of the World Trade on 9/11. His remains were recovered in the lobby.
The attack remade Giuliani as America's mayor. He was in truth an outgoing bully who viewed no crime to be more serious than obstruction of Giuliani.
The illusion was fading by the 15th anniversary of the attack, and Giuliani was a suck-up supreme when he escorted Trump to the ceremony at Ground Zero. Never mind that Trump had told shameless lies about the friends he lost and the things he saw on 9/11 and what he did afterwards. Those falsehoods proved no obstruction for Giuliani.
And now Giuliani is the president’s lawyer, slamming Mueller for doing his sworn duty.