The Chickens Come Home to Roost for ‘Treasonous Traitor’ Rudy
Giuliani bought time as Justice closed in ahead of and just after the election. With today's raids of his home and office, it looks like his time is nearly up.
The man once known as “America’s mayor” now appears to be on the brink of a federal indictment for, among other things, selling out his country by actively aiding and abetting Russia’s campaign to undermine American democracy in the 2020 election.
In addition to the far-reaching investigation of Rudy Giuliani and several of his cohorts by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, culminating in the raid on his home and office on Wednesday to seize his electronic devices, a recent U.S. intelligence report all but identified Giuliani by name as one of the lead facilitators of the Russian intelligence effort to tarnish then-candidate Joe Biden’s reputation and to influence the 2020 election again in Trump’s favor. One very notable passage in the report stated, “A key element of Moscow’s strategy this election cycle was its use of people linked to Russian intelligence to launder influence narratives… through US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals” tied to Trump.
The clear implication is that Giuliani has been at the top of the list of White House insiders knowingly spreading Kremlin disinformation designed to call into question the legitimacy of the 2020 election and our country’s entire democratic electoral system.
Giuliani has also been directly linked with Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who–according to the U.S. Treasury Department and various U.S. intelligence agencies–has been an active Russian agent for over a decade. Although Trump White House officials and Giuliani himself were repeatedly warned by the FBI that Derkach was a Russian agent and that Giuliani should avoid dealing with him, Giuliani continued to coordinate with Derkach to dig up dirt on Biden that could be used to smear him in the 2020 presidential election. In November 2020, Giuliani even went so far as to appear with Derkash as part of a One America News "investigation" into Biden that aired in December, the same week the House of Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against the outgoing president. Giuliani announced on air at the start of the OAN show that he was there to meet with Derkach “to get the facts” about Ukrainian collusion and interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In other words, Giuliani was on TV to lend credibility to one of Russia’s favorite disinformation projects, which was to divert attention from Russian interference in the 2016 election by falsely shifting the blame to Ukraine.
Former Senator Claire McCaskill got it just right when she told Brian Williams that Giuliani was a “treasonous traitor” who was working directly with a hostile foreign power–Russia–to undermine our democracy.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of Giuliani had been put on hold during the later stages of the 2020 election campaign, during which time the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (which Rudy long ago led) was holding off making any final decision on the Giuliani investigation–whether to indict him or not, and if so, on what charges–until after the election. Since Giuliani was Trump’s personal lawyer, any indictment of him just before the election would have been perceived as politically motivated. Then, during the transition period, federal prosecutors continued to hold off taking any action against Giuliani because Giuliani was continuing to dominate the news cycles by perpetuating the myth that the election had been “stolen” from Trump through massive voter fraud and shadowy left-wing conspiracy. The optics would not have looked good if the news cameras showed FBI agents jumping on stage to handcuff Giuliani while he was holding one of his post-election press conferences.
Giuliani’s “free hall pass” ran out, however, when President Biden was sworn in on January 20, 2021. It then took some time for Attorney General Merrick Garland to be confirmed, and his team at the Justice Department now have a full plate of investigations and potential indictments that they are reviewing. Near the top of the pile, however, is the Giuliani investigation, especially now that the U.S. Intelligence Community has confirmed that Giuliani disregarded warnings about his continued dealings with known Russian operatives. Two of Giuliani’s former Soviet-born operatives–Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman–have already been indicted, in part, for their connection with their efforts to assist Giuliani in digging up dirt in Ukraine on Biden and his son Hunter.
Giuliani, who has denied any wrongdoing, thus appears vulnerable to a wide range of federal crimes, including violations of the federal election and lobbying laws, as well as money laundering. Although both Parnas and Fruman pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to go to trial as soon as the COVID-19 crisis permits, their lawyers are also intensely talking to federal prosecutors about a possible deal, and the primary subject of these discussions is what credible evidence can these two accomplices deliver about Giuliani.
An important piece of the puzzle that Parnas and Furman can provide to federal prosecutors relates to the details that these two can provide about Giuliani’s dealings with Derkach and Konstantin Kilimnik, the Russian agent who was Paul Manafort’s right-hand man while Manafort was chairman of the Trump Campaign in 2016. Even after Manafort’s indictment and arrest, there have been reports that Giuliani visited Manafort while he was still under house arrest in order to ensure that there was a seamless handoff of Manafort’s Russian contacts and connections to Giuliani so that Trump’s “back channel” communications with the Kremlin would be uninterrupted.
In short, Giuliani–like Manafort before him–appears to have been more than willing to enter into a criminal conspiracy against the United States by assisting Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 election and then to attack the legitimacy of that election with bogus claims of election fraud. Although treason prosecutions have been few and far between throughout our country’s history, Giuliani’s shameful conduct may qualify him for such treatment.