Rudy Thinks he has an “Out” Clause

Rudy may not be a very good lawyer...

“Rudy Giuliani” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I am beginning to think that Rudy Giuliani may not be a very good lawyer. Or, at best, that if he ever was one, he has forgotten how to be one.

To wit, via TMP (Rudy Accuses Federal Prosecutors Of ‘Spying’ In New Tucker Carlson Meltdown Interview):

Giuliani said twice during the show, however, that he had a way out: since exiting the New York City mayoralty in 2001, he had inserted into his contracts with various foreign businessmen and governments a provision that declared that, whatever he was doing for them, it wasn’t lobbying.

“I never, ever represented a foreign national,” Giuliani said. “In fact, I have in my contracts a refusal to do it because from the time I got out of being mayor, I did not want to lobby.”

Giuliani added that “I’ve had contracts in countries like Ukraine, in the contract there is a clause that says I will not engage in lobbying or foreign representation.”

“I don’t do it because I felt it would be too compromising,” the former mayor said.


But, and I stress that I am not a lawyer, that isn’t how it works. The operative issue is what he did, not that his contracts say might something to the order of “I am not doing a crime.” Just because you write it down doesn’t make it so. In terms of whether he “lobbied” boils down to whether he took money from an entity and then trying to represent their interests to the US government. He can put in the contract that he was paid to do the macarena, but that’s not really the issue.

Look, I don’t even know what the feds are after and it likely goes beyond illegal lobbying, but I was just struck by that statements quoted above. They are utterly cartoonish (but, then again, Rudy has been cartoonish for some time now).

There was also this bit from the interview that is just, well, nuts (or, at least, not very smart):

The former mayor added that, after being awoken at 6 a.m. on Tuesday by FBI agents with a search warrant, he noticed that they refused to take two hard drives that he claimed belonged to Hunter Biden.

“The warrant required them to take it, and they said, no, no, no,” Giuliani said, echoing earlier remarks from his attorney Bob Costello.

First, if there was some corrupt intent on part of the FBI, taking such hard drives makes one heck of a lot more sense than leaving them behind.

Second, and not to give anybody any ideas, but if you are going to birth a conspiracy theory about the FBI raid and alleged Hunter Biden hard drives, the better play would be to assert that the raid was an excuse to steal the drives and to destroy evidence against Hunter Biden. Not that the FBI wouldn’t take the evidence.

The story is, as they say, developing.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. RWB says:

    There is no proof there were any hard drives left behind; it is just a story Giuliani is telling to troll the FBI and the left. This story will be used as some kind of distraction at his trial. Classic Trump/Giuliani. Why is everyone taking his word for it? How stupid are we?

  2. Jax says:

    If I hadn’t just dealt with 4-5 years of Trump/Giuliani ridiculousness at the highest level of government, I would almost feel bad for just how badly the old man is embarrassing himself.

    Carry on, Rudy. πŸ™‚

  3. CSK says:

    In the 1990 novel The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille, there’s a sardonic portrait of a nasty, overzealous Manhattan prosecutor that I’ve always been sure was intended to be a thinly veiled replica of Giuliani.

  4. Kathy says:

    You know how many idiot mobsters are in prison, because they didn’t think to add a “no organized crime” clause tot heir contracts?

  5. grumpy realist says:

    It makes you wonder if Giuliani sent in a ringer to take the Bar exam….

  6. Joe says:

    This is the same logic as β€œit says Four Seasons right there on the sign.” I have to say his fall from grace has been pruriently entertaining.

  7. CSK says:

    Michael Cohen says that since Trump and Giuliani never liked each other that Giuliani will be more than happy to throw Trump (and Don Jr., Ivanka, and Jared)to the wolves in order to save his own skin.

  8. @RWB: To be clear, I don’t believe him. (And to be fair I did call the whole anecdote “nuts”).

    My point was that as a lie intended to distract, it isn’t even a very good one.

  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I’m pretty sure it’s fewer than one might imagine.

  10. RWB says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Sorry, I did not mean to cast aspersions. Your discussion gave less credence to the story than most. You do imply that it is a flawed narrative. Everyone discusses it from the perspective of why the FBI would do that. It just fascinates me that, given the reliability of the source, no one seems to just come out and say that the incident never happened. It will be woven into the stop the steal QAnon mythos.

  11. dazedandconfused says:

    Another irony, not that any more irony is needed or anything, but it may be an insight to the abject panic which is bouncing off the walls within Rudy’s belfry.

    What launched Rudy’s career was a remarkable taking-down of organized crime in NYC when he was the prosecutor. He got enormous credit for that and it’s fair to say it was the wave he surfed for everything that came after. How did he do it? Not by Sherlockian brilliance, no sir, Rudy just happened to be there when great technological strides in bugging technology came on line. IOW, it was accomplished entirely with spying. And he knows it.

  12. @RWB: No worries. The only place I have even seen the story is via the clip from Tucker–so I am not even sure how seriously it is being taken elsewhere.

    I fear you are correct: it will become part of the mythos in some corners.