Rudy Giuliani bemoans "Spygate" while implying it produced damaging information

In an interview Giuliani says Mueller's investigation is "illegitimate" because basis for it came from "Spygate"

Published May 27, 2018 3:04PM (EDT)

 (Reuters/Mike Segar)
(Reuters/Mike Segar)

Rudy Giuliani has developed a peculiar habit of going on TV and implicating his client in a vast conspiracy. The latest iteration of this pattern happened on Sunday, when Giuliani went on CNN's "Meet the Press" to discuss the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign.

The legitimacy of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe has come into question after President Trump ordered an investigation into its origins. Trump and his lawyers have contrived a theory that the genesis of Mueller's investigation was unscrupulous because it was born out of "Spygate"— the co-opted name of an alleged informant operation conducted during the 2016 election.

CNN's Dana Bash led off the interview Sunday by asking Giuliani about the perception that this counter investigation would interfere with Mueller's efforts to snuff out what exactly happened in 2016. Giuliani insisted that Trump had the authority to initiate this investigation.

"The White House has every right to know and the president has every right to know, as the commander in chief," he said.

Giuliani then made the dubious claim that Mueller's investigation "was over and it revealed nothing new." The inaccuracy of this statement is twofold. While the special counsel's office has not yet released evidence that directly links the Trump campaign to the hacked emails dumped by WikiLeaks, there has been plenty of circumstantial evidence that suggests a willingness on the part of the Trump campaign to accept campaign help from foreign entities. Moreover, Mueller's investigation has not concluded and his office has not yet provided a full, detailed report of his findings.

Nevertheless, Giuliani has placed plenty of weight on the fact that no damning, administration-ending evidence has come to light.

"The Democrats have revealed nothing new. To us, that means [the investigation is] exculpatory because the new [information] would be something turned up that was a surprise," Giuliani rambled.

"The investigation was rigged," he continued. "It should have never even started. There is no evidence of conclusion."

Bash asked Giuliani if he thought the Muller investigation was legitimate.

"Not anymore," he answered. "I did when I came in. Now, I see Spygate."

At this point in the interview, Giuliani was rather impressive in his attempt to parrot Trump's claims made on Twitter. But a follow-up question from Bash derailed Giuliani's campaign to gaslight CNN viewers.

Bash pointed out that any counter-intelligence operation on the Trump campaign occurred before Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel, so even if the actions behind "Spygate" were corrupt in some way, it would not and could not have tainted Mueller's probe.

"But it has to inform the decision to appoint Mueller," Giuliani responded, trying to explain the complicated thread connecting the informant and the special counsel.

By admitting this, Giuliani disclosed that information deriving from "Spygate" helped substantiate Mueller's mandate to investigate the Trump campaign. The interview on CNN's "State of the Union" was just the latest meltdown from the former New York City mayor turned Trump attorney. Giuliani's inability to properly represent his client may be more of an indictment on Trump, who has adopted the bizarre strategy to delegitimize the Mueller's investigation at every turn.

Giuliani undoubtedly understands the stakes of this case. In the interview, Giuliani suggested the results of the investigation could determine the fate of Trump's presidency.

"Eventually the decision here is going to be impeach [versus] not impeach. Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, are going to be informed a lot by their constituents. So our jury... is the American people," he said.

Bill Kristol, the conservative pundit and editor at large for The Weekly Standard, described this as an "amazing admission" because it implies that Mueller has found possible impeachable offenses.

Overall, Giuliani's latest appearance on TV only proves that the president and his attorneys do not have a sound legal strategy at all. There only play since Giuliani joined the team has been to misdirect and obfuscate the American people. It's a strange tactic for an administration that maintains its innocence and insists no collusion ever took place. Nevertheless, Trump appears to be doubling down on this strategy. The president has used the phrase "witch hunt" 15 times on Twitter in the month of May, a significant increase considering he had only used it 46 times in the previous 12 months.

Trump appears more and more desperate as stories pertaining to the Trump campaign continue to trickle out to the public. News broke last week that Donald Trump Jr. had met with foreign nationals seeking to help the Trump campaign defeat Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sen. Chris Coons recently alleged that Trump Jr. lied before Congress when he testified last year that he was not aware of foreign governments, other than Russia, attempting to aid Trump. Allies of the Trump administration have held firm in their belief that none of this information implicates any crimes committed.

Regardless, at this rate, Mueller may not even have to produce any incriminating evidence when it's all set and done. Giuliani may just cough it all up involuntarily on national television.

By Taylor Link

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