One of President Donald Trump’s attorneys, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, declared on Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia is no longer “legitimate.”
Giuliani said on CNN’s State of the Union that he believed the investigation was legitimate when he joined the president’s legal defense team just last month. But he cited the revelation the FBI used a confidential informant during the investigation as a reason why the probe is now tainted.
“I did [think the probe was legitimate] when I came in, but now I see Spygate,” Giuliani said, using Trump’s misleading term to describe the FBI’s use of an informant who spoke with three Trump campaign officials in 2016 during the counter-intelligence investigation into Russian election meddling.
“Either it’s evidence or not. And if it’s not, it goes along with what they found already, which is no collusion with the Russians,” Giuliani said, referring to a Republican-authored report from the House Intelligence Committee.
The Democratic participants in a meeting with top Justice Department officials on Thursday said there was “no evidence” that the U.S. government sent a “spy” into the Trump campaign. And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on ABC’s This Week that he has “seen no evidence” that the informant was seeking information about the Trump campaign—rather, he said, the FBI was looking into “individuals with a history of links to Russia that were concerning.” He said the government’s actions were appropriate.
“When individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counter-intelligence investigations, should look at people like that,” Rubio added.
In a separate interview on Fox News Sunday, Giuliani listed conditions that would need to be met before he allows Trump to be interview by Mueller’s team—and cast doubt on the prospects of it happening at all.
“We sure as heck are not going to testify unless this is all straightened out, unless we learn the basis of that Russia investigation—they’re not going to tell us because the basis is going to turn out, when it’s spread to Trump, to be unethical or illegal,” he said. “Gee, maybe they should wake up and realize the president is innocent. That’s why he wants to testify. And because of them, we don’t want him to testify because they’re not fair. They have rigged this investigation against him.”
On CNN, Giuliani said he and the other lawyers representing Trump are confident that the president could answer questions about potential collusion between Trump associates and Russian operatives “because there has been none.”
But he said he is “not as comfortable” with questions about obstruction of justice, a key aspect of Mueller’s investigation which centers around Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.
“There’s no proof of collusion, so stop the investigation,” Giuliani said. He said the president would not fire Mueller because that would “play into the hands” of his opponents.
Trump has tweeted several times about the Mueller investigation throughout the Memorial Day weekend, dubbing it “rigged” against him. He also suggested that the “crooked highest levels of the FBI or ‘Justice’” never informed him about Russia’s intentions to weaponize his presidential campaign. NBC News reported in December that, in fact, top FBI officials briefed him about it during the summer of 2016, shortly after he clinched the Republican presidential nomination.