Talk of “walls closing in” resumed on the left as the targeted investigations against former President Donald Trump and his allies took aim once more at former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who one analyst suggested may face charges “imminently.”
Like the spectacle of the Jan. 6 committee in Washington, D.C., Fulton County, Georgia has been conducting their own partisan review of the 2020 presidential election courtesy of district attorney Fani Willis and a 23-member grand jury. On Monday, Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, confirmed to The New York Times that the mayor was a target of the investigation and that he would be expected to appear before the grand jury in Atlanta Wednesday.
MSNBC contributor and former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi joined “Deadline: White House” guest host John Heilemann Monday for reaction and argued charges were “imminent, right?”
“He may be facing a midnight train to Georgia, to quote lyrics from Gladys Knight & the Pips,” Figliuzzi awkwardly began. “Look, he’s jammed up here. Your lawyer being told, ‘Hey, your client’s a target,’ it’s really bad. It means that the grand jury and the prosecutors are thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re about to charge you.’ It’s imminent, right?”
“You are under criminal investigation and your name is in the header of the investigation,” he went on. “You’re one of the named subjects and it’s coming, and it’s coming faster than you think.”
Recaps of the grand jury probe attempted to show that Giuliani had attempted to interfere in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election by peddling “conspiracies” of election irregularities and he had embarked on a scheme to send alternative slates of electors to upset the certification on Jan. 6. While visiting various states post-election, the mayor had widely decried the use of Dominion and Smartmatic voting machines for allegedly contributing to an illegitimate result.
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It is expected that much of the questioning of Giuliani will pertain to Trump, for whom the mayor served as a personal attorney, and therefore it is also expected that Giuliani will assert attorney-client privilege or plead the Fifth on Wednesday. As Costello told the Times, “If these people think he’s going to talk about conversation between him and President Trump, they’re delusional.”
Figliuzzi noted those “options are not good. If he claims attorney-client privilege, right, it’s an admission that Trump told him to do this illegal stuff in Georgia. It’s a no-win for him. And all the DA has to say is, ‘Well, ok, that’s very interesting. First, your privilege doesn’t extend to criminality, number one. Number two, we could stay away from what Trump said to you if you think that’s privilege. Let’s just investigate what you did all by yourself with Georgia officials in an attempt to unlawfully overturn the Georgia election. We’re focused on you.'”
“So, it’s really a no-win situation. He’s going to have to plead the Fifth or incriminate himself,” he argued. “It’s not looking good for Rudy right now.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who has also attempted to avoid testifying before the grand jury as a witness, not a target, reportedly failed in his efforts and is expected to appear on Aug. 23. The investigation is seeking to learn more about two phone calls the senator made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger supposedly requesting he reexamine “certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.”
The mayor reacted to the news on “The Rudy Giuliani Show” Monday and stated, “They have now told me that I’m the target–I’m a target of their Atlanta investigation. As I recall correctly, I appeared in Georgia as attorney for Donald J. Trump, so I’m going to be prosecuted for what I did as an attorney.”
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