Giuliani offers to "do what I do best": "I'd love to try the case" against Trump in the Senate

Giuliani bizarrely offers to "do demonstrations" or "give lectures" as Senate Republicans reportedly avoid him

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published January 2, 2020 11:44AM (EST)

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Attorney Rudy Giuliani expressed his willingness to testify at the Senate trial of his client, President Donald Trump’s Senate, and he even offered to “try the case.”

A reporter asked Giuliani if he would be willing to testify as he walked the carpet at the New Year’s Eve gala Tuesday at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

"I would testify. I would do demonstrations. I'd give lectures. I'd give summations," Giuliani replied. "Or I'd do what I do best: I'd try the case. I'd love to try the case."

Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor who is now under investigation by the same office he once lead, bizarrely offered to serve as a prosecutor in the president’s defense.

"I don't know if anybody would have the courage to give me the case, but if you give me the case, I will prosecute it as a racketeering case, which I kind of invented anyway," he said, referring to his use of racketeering laws against the New York mafia in the 1980s.

"It was 30 years ago, but let's see if I can still do it," he added.

It is unclear who Giuliani would prosecute as a member of Trump’s defense team. He told New York Magazine in an interview published last week that he wanted to represent Trump in the trial so he could cross-examine Democrats.

"I'm great at it. It's what I do best as a lawyer. That's what I would be good at," he told the outlet. "Oh, I would love it. I could rip — you know, I hate to sound like a ridiculously boastful lawyer, but cross-examining them would be — I don't know. I could've done it when I was a second-year assistant U.S. attorney. They're a bunch of clowns."

Giuliani has baselessly alleged that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son were involved in an extortion scheme in Ukraine and that Democrats tried to stage an “illegal coup” by colluding with the European nation, echoing a Russian propaganda talking point. There is no evidence to corroborate Giuliani’s claims, even though he first announced that he would travel to Ukraine to find damaging information on Biden that could help Trump’s campaign in May 2019.

Despite Giuliani’s claim that he is willing to testify, Republicans apparently have no appetite to hear from any witnesses, as they plan for a speedy acquittal. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate while negotiations between the parties continue.

Giuliani on Tuesday dodged a question about whether he plans to take any future fact-finding trips to Ukraine. He recently returned from a trip to Ukraine claiming to have ample evidence that exonerates Trump and implicates Democrats.

Trump claimed that Giuliani would file a report to the Department of Justice on his findings. Giuliani claimed that he would brief the Senate on his evidence. But Republicans in the Senate are actively avoiding Giuliani ahead of the expected trial, The Daily Beast reports.

A senior Republican Senate aide told the outlet that he “wouldn’t trust Rudy to represent me in a parking dispute,” urging other Republicans to “avoid” meeting with the president’s attorney. Another aide to a top Senate Republican said their boss had “no interest at all” in meeting Giuliani out of concern that it would be a “waste of time” or worse.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close Trump ally who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, warned that Giuliani should vet his information before presenting it.

“My advice to Giuliani would be to share what he got from Ukraine with the IC [intelligence community] to make sure it’s not Russia propaganda,” Graham told The Daily Beast. “I’m very suspicious of what the Russians are up to all over the world.”

Democrats have said Giuliani is likely to push “Russian propaganda” to defend Trump as he has in the past.

“Rudy Giuliani long ago lost any shred of credibility, especially after the dossier he assembled for the State Department stunningly mirrored Russian propaganda,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the outlet. “Knowing that, anyone that attempts to defend President Trump’s behavior by citing Rudy’s information over our own intelligence agencies is simply irresponsible, uninformed or willing to be that useful idiot the Kremlin desires.”

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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