Over the past few weeks it’s become clear why Donald Trump has allowed Rudy Giuliani to serve as his primary criminal defense attorney, and his primary spokesman in the Ukraine scandal. The reason: Trump and Rudy have been criminal co-conspirators in the scandal all along, and if Trump alienates motormouth Rudy by benching or firing him, Rudy could respond by spilling all the beans. But something changed yesterday: Trump hired someone else who’s not going tolerate any of this.
Yesterday, various media outlets reported that Donald Trump tried to hire Trey Gowdy of all people as his new criminal defense attorney, and Gowdy turned him down, but (according to CNN) Gowdy agreed to come on board as an informal outside legal counsel. There are a million reasons to scoff here. Gowdy spent his career in the House promoting deranged phony scandals about Hillary Clinton, and she ultimately mopped the floor with him. But don’t discount this move.
Trey Gowdy sucks in general, but he’s a former federal prosecutor. He knows his way around the law on at least some level. And unlike Rudy Giuliani, best anyone can tell, Gowdy doesn’t actually believe the deranged lies he’s promoted about the opposition over the years. In addition, Gowdy isn’t suffering from whatever cognitive failings that have turned Rudy’s brain into mush.
The upshot is that, at least in bottom of the barrel terms, Trey Gowdy is the adult you hire when a rabid infant like Rudy Giuliani has failed you. It’s difficult to imagine that Gowdy would agree to join this sinking ship, even in an informal capacity, if Rudy is running the show. Donald Trump has a consistent habit of getting rid of an underling by interviewing and/or hiring a replacement, and then letting the current underling find his own way to the door. You have to wonder if Gowdy’s arrival means Rudy is finally getting the axe. We’ll see.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report