Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The Apparent Prescience of Rudolph L. Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani has little compunction about lying, and he has demonstrated over the last couple of weeks that he is ignorant about campaign finance law. As a lawyer, he has lost a great deal off his fastball.

But there is something about Rudy. He seems to know.

Early Tuesday, CNN reported

"The agreement with Michael Cohen, as far as I know, is a longstanding agreement that Michael Cohen takes care of situations like this then gets paid for them sometimes," Giuliani said.

"So did Michael Cohen make payments to other women for the President?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"I have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it was necessary, yes," Giuliani replied. "He made payments for the President or he's conducted business for the President, which means he had legal fees, monies laid out and expenditures."

Late Tuesday, Stormy Daniels attorney Michael Avenatti  maintained that $500,000 from eight transactions had been paid to Michael Cohen from 1/17 through 8/17 by a Russian company controlled by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. It is likely that $130,000 of this money became hush money paid to Daniels, and the remainder may have been used to pay off other women.

Few details are certain as of now, but Giuliani's remarks on Sunday appear to be connected to the revelation from Avenatti.

Similarly, on May 3 Giuliani contended “The president of the United States is getting ready to negotiate probably one of our most historic agreements…and we got Kim Jong-un impressed enough to be releasing three prisoners today."  Presidential Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that the ex-mayor does not speak for the Administration and the State Department spokesperson remarked "He (Giuliani) speaks for himself and not on behalf of the administration on foreign policy."

This morning, six days later, President Trump tweeted "I am pleased to inform you that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the air and on his way back from North Korea with the 3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is looking so forward to meeting."

More mysteriously, in an event given insufficient emphasis, Giuliani appeared on Fox and Friends two weeks before the presidential election. According to The New York Times 

“Does Donald Trump plan anything except a series of inspiring rallies?” Mr. Kilmeade asked.

“Yes,” Mr. Giuliani replied.

Another host, Ainsley Earhardt, jumped in.

“What?” she asked.

“Ha-ha-ha,” Mr. Giuliani laughed. “You’ll see.”

Appearing to enjoy his own coy reply, Mr. Giuliani resumed chuckling: “Ha-ha-ha.”

“When will this happen?” Ms. Earhardt asked.

“We got a couple of surprises left,” Mr. Giuliani said, smiling.

This enigmatic reply roused the show’s third host, Steve Doocy.

“October surprises?” he asked.

Mr. Giuliani expanded a bit.

“Well,” he said, “I call them early surprises in the way we’re going to campaign to get our message out, maybe in a little bit of a different way. You’ll see. And I think it’ll be enormously effective. And I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact.”

The Times noted

Three days later, James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., said agents were reviewing emails “that appear to be pertinent” to a closed investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a personal email server while secretary of state.

Two days later, Giuliani added

I got it all from former FBI agents. Tremendous anger within the FBI about the way, number one, Jim Comey's conclusion (to not recommend criminal charges in July) and, number two, the way they believed they were being obstructed by what they regard as a pretty corrupt Obama Justice Department. Cutting off a grand jury investigation, cutting off subpoenas.

We still do not know whether, and to what extent, the then-FBI director was intimidated by anti-Clinton agents in its New York office.   However, it's likely that had Comey not announced that many more emails belonging to H. Clinton aide Huma Abedin had been found on the laptop of her then-husband, Anthony Weiner, Donald J. Trump would not have been elected. And it is extremely likely that Rudolph Giuliani knew what was coming.

So we can laugh all we want at Rudolph Giuliani as he flails about defending Donald Trump and attacking the President's critics.  Nonetheless, he's a guy who, though a failure in all matters surrounding the 9/11 terroristic attacks, masterfully exploited the tragedy for all it was worth.  For that, and knowledge of events yet to occur, he is a character worth taking seriously.

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