|ELISE AMENDOLA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS|
Now Ukraine is investigating Hillary campaign and DNC conspiracy with foreign operatives including Ukrainian and others to affect 2016 election. And there's no [FBI Director James] Comey to fix the result. ~ RUDY GIULIANI tweet, April 23, 2019
After growing accustomed to Rudy Giuliani's syphilitic-brained pronouncements, we haven't heard much from him lately. That may have something to do with the fact Donald Trump's personal lawyer and fixer set out to defend the president against the possibility of impeachment and instead helped create the basis for impeachment -- the Ukraine scandal -- all the while hanging out with incredibly sleazy people and doing some self-dealing of his own that have led to three federal investigations against him.
This is but one of the more delicious ironies of the beleaguered Trump's fight to remain in office. Here are two more as a second week of televised impeachment hearings gets underway and support for removing Trump from offices clicks upward:
The Russians know far more about what Giuliani has been up to than do House investigators. Despite claiming to sell cybersecurity advice, he has run Trump's shadow Ukraine policy using open cellphone lines and communications apps that Moscow routinely monitors.
Even though Trump instructed officials to speak directly to Giuliani about anything relating to that shadow policy, Republicans are prepared to throw him under the bus by claiming that he, Mick Mulvaney and others were freelancing without the president's knowledge.
The federal investigations targeting Giuliani concern potential campaign-finance violations and failure to register as a foreign agent, a counterintelligence probe involving his Ukraine business dealings and a criminal investigation into his business relationship with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped him to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and son and lit the fire under the sacking of Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovich.
Parnas and Fruman, who were arrested as they were about to board a flight for Kiev, where they may have planned to meet Giuliani, have been charged with conspiracy, falsification of records, and lying to the Federal Election Commission about their political donations. Parnas is cooperating with the feds.
Trump, who makes a big deal over hiring "the best and most serious people," has had a lot of lousy lawyers, but Giuliani may be the worst, if only for his proclivity to say extraordinarily dumb things like "Truth isn't truth," which he infamously uttered when confronted with Trump's Russia scandal misdeeds on "Meet the Press."
Or explaining that because Trump doesn't believe he obstructed justice, he can plausibly deny obstructing justice.
Or when he said there is no such crime called "collusion," which as has been pointed out is kind of like saying that if you walked into an Apple Store, stuffed an iPhone in your pants and walked out, you're innocent because the criminal code makes no specific reference to "stuffing an iPhone in your pants."
Or like not needing his own lawyers, a comment he made the other day shortly before he hired his own lawyers.
Politics always has been populated by sleazebags, but every generation or so someone like Giuliani comes along who is so vile that he stands out from the pack, which is really saying something considering the lowlifes, con artists and grifters that have long orbited Trump.
The president hired Giuliani to be his personal lawyer in April 2018, ostensibly to help extricate him from the Russia scandal, which has come back to bite Trump in his capacious ass as impeachment investigators look into whether he lied to Robert Mueller. (You think?)
There likely is a second reason Giuliani was hired: In 2017, Trump had begun floating the discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine and not Russia hacked Democratic emails in 2016. Giuliani already had established contacts with malleable Ukrainian officials who were eager to work with him, and he was to begin laying the groundwork for the military aid-for-Bidens dirt extortion plot in December 2018.
The stories of Giuliani's sleazyness are legion, and that is quite an accomplishment since he came into most of our lives on the highest of notes as "America's Mayor," who took charge after the 9/11 disaster.
But from there it has been all downhill.
Giuliani liked to brag that as mayor of New York City, he spent more time at Ground Zero than rescue and clean-up workers, which is false and a lie akin to Trump's claim that he spent a lot of time at Ground Zero and was involved in the cleanup. (In reality, he made a brief appearance a week after the attacks and played no part in the cleanup.)
Actually, Giuliani's administration had failed to address the flaws in the response to the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, which came back in spades on 9/11, and he knowingly sent workers into the toxic hell of the collapsed Twin Towers.
Then there are Giuliani's ample personal shortcomings, including being a serial adulterer who broke the news to his second wife that he was getting a divorce during a televised press conference and is now being sued by his third and current wife for a gadzillion bucks because of another affair.
Had Giuliani been nominated by the Family Values Party aka Republicans and then elected president in 2008, his pal Bernard Kerik would have missed his inauguration.
This is because the former NYC corrections chief, promoted to police commissioner by Giuliani, was doing prison time for just one of his multiple legal entanglements, which included glomming onto $165,000 in free renovations to his Bronx apartment by a construction company with mob ties, shacking up with his mistress in a Manhattan condo reserved for cops with post-9/11 traumas, and that timeless toe stubber, failing to pay taxes on an illegal immigrant nanny whom he was boinking on the side.
None of this had prevented Giuliani from drawing on his vast reservoirs of good judgment and recommending that Kerik become Dubya's first homeland security czar. Dubya wisely demurred.
Giuliani has been a gold medalist in flip-flopping.
He was for gay rights before he was against them. He was for gun control before he hearted the National Rifle Association. He was for forgiving illegal immigrants eking out honest livings in the Big Apple until he wanted to deport them. He was once a hawk on Iran, but then became a dove before reverting to being a hawk.
Giuliani flailed at becoming the GOP presidential nominee again in 2012 and yet again last year, and was on the A-list to become Trump's secretary of state because of being such a big help to him during the 2016 campaign.
This included bragging on a right-wing radio show on October 26, less than two weeks before the election, that he was in contact with FBI agents and had "a surprise or two that you're going to hear about in the next few days" regarding Lock Her Up Hillary's emails.
FBI Director James Comey's hand was then forced, and in an effort to get out ahead of a story that was now certain to be leaked by Republicans, he informed several congressional committees by letter on October 28 of a non-existent development in the Clinton email investigation that, coupled with Russia-Trump . . . uh, collusion, essentially doomed her.
After the election, Giuliani helpfully bragged that he had advised the newbie president about how to impose his patently illegal Muslim ban "legally." But it turned out his conflicts of interest were too enormous even for Trump and the top job at State went to Rex Tillerson.
And now, a year and a half and after Giuliani was brought on board -- 18 months of missteps, outrageous statements and outright lies, including the whopper that he knew nothing about the very extortion attempt he helped engineer -- the fate of this sleazebag is linked to the the biggest sleazebag of them all.