Over the three years that Donald Trump has been president, his so-called “personal attorney” Rudy Giuliani has served as an unofficial Secretary of State even though he was never confirmed by the Senate to that post, probably because a confirmation hearing would have exposed all the unsavory characters the former New York City mayor has done business with since leaving elected office.
Consider that the Ukraine scandal which resulted in Trump becoming only the third president in U.S history to be impeached was due almost entirely on Giuliani trying to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
But now it looks like karma is finally starting to catch up with Rudy.
Salon reports that a watchdog group has filed a criminal complaint arguing that Giuliani violated federal law by running a shadow foreign policy with Ukraine:
“Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which was once led by Giuliani, to launch an investigation after Trump admitted last week that he directed the attorney to go to Ukraine and pressure leaders to pursue baseless allegations against his political rivals. The effort came as Trump directed a freeze on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine appropriated by Congress, an order which violated federal law, according to the Government Accountability Office.”
This would make yet another criminal investigation of Giuliani by the SDNY, which is already examining his connections with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom have been charged by federal authorities for illegally steering foreign money to Republican political campaigns. The two men are also facing other charges and reports are that SDNY prosecutors are also looking closely at any role Giuliani may have played in Parnas and Fruman’s illegal scheme to bankroll Republican candidates.
Specifically, CREW’s complaint alleges that Giuliani:
“(Manipulated) federal funds and federal programs to advance a partisan agenda, including prohibiting anyone from causing anyone else to make a contribution of anything of value to a candidate by denying or threatening to deny any federal payment or benefit of a program authorized by Congress.”
And while SDNY is actively working on the Ukraine case, there are also likely investigations underway by officials in New York, including Attorney General Tish James, who has made it clear in past statements that she will not hesitate to look into the dealings of Trump and any of his associates or colleagues. Since much of the illegal foreign money was moved through financial institutions that have headquarters in New York, AG James has jurisdiction, as does Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. Neither Trump or U.S. Attorney General William Barr hold any sway over James or Vance, meaning they cannot try to shut down active criminal cases or pardon anyone charged with state crimes.
When all is said and done, don’t be surprised if both Trump and Giuliani rue the day they met each other.