National Security

Rudy Is On The Legal Hotseat

Written by SK Ashby

The New York Times first reported this afternoon that agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the Manhattan apartment of Trump's former clown show lawyer and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

According to the Times, federal investigators are on the trail of whatever shady business Giuliani was involved in alongside equally shady Ukrainian plutocrats.

The federal authorities have been largely focused on whether Mr. Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who at the same time were helping Mr. Giuliani search for dirt on Mr. Trump’s political rivals, including President Biden, who was then a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. [...]

The United States Attorney’s office in Manhattan and the F.B.I. had for months sought to secure a search warrant for Mr. Giuliani’s phones.

While the warrant is not an explicit accusation of wrongdoing against Mr. Giuliani, it shows that the investigation has entered an aggressive new phase. To obtain a search warrant, investigators need to persuade a judge they have sufficient reason to believe that a crime was committed and that the search would turn up evidence of the crime.

Reading this story, it immediately brought to mind the fact that Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his original national security adviser Michael Flynn were convicted even though Trump's Justice Department used kid gloves and offered them every opportunity to evade responsibility.

It has always seemed fairly clear that Flynn and Manafort among other people could have been charged for more crimes than they were and it wasn't because there was insufficient evidence.

The biggest or at least the most glaring difference between the Biden and Trump-era Justice Departments is that the department is no longer working to conceal crimes committed by the president or his family. More aggressively prosecuting Flynn and Manafort would have opened too many doorways to Trump himself and prosecutors weren't willing to go down that road. But there is no such concern under President Biden.

I feel relatively confident that the Biden-era Justice Department under Attorney General Merrick Garland isn't going to let things slide in the interest of protecting the White House. Biden is not an active threat to national security the way Trump was.

It's a little staggering to look back and reflect on the fact that the former president was implicitly guilty of undermining our own security and stability for four years. And Republicans still love him.