Rudy Giuliani reportedly testified to the January 6th Committee on Friday for nine hours. Given that he’s under active DOJ criminal investigation, he’d have to be a complete idiot to testify like this without first having cut a plea deal with the DOJ.
So has Rudy cut a plea deal with the DOJ, or is he merely being an idiot? We’ll find out eventually. It is interesting that the supposed tussle between the committee and the DOJ just happened to surface right when Giuliani was deciding whether to go through with testifying.
Spoiler alert: there is no tussle. Not really. The committee will give the DOJ all of its transcripts at the appropriate time. This is just common sense. When the leak happened about the committee supposedly refusing to give the DOJ its transcripts, I was wondering who leaked that non-story, and why.
Now you have to wonder if the committee leaked that story specifically to give Giuliani a false sense of security so he’d go ahead and testify. Rudy is precisely dumb enough to have seen that leak, and mistakenly thought it meant the DOJ would never see his committee testimony.
So is that what happened here? Or did Giuliani indeed cut a deal with the DOJ? Given his age and health, it’s difficult to imagine he’d take anything less than immunity. Given his senility, it’s kind of hard to imagine the DOJ would give him even conditional immunity.
But again, we’ll find out eventually. In the meantime here’s what we do know. Nine hours of testimony suggests Rudy gave cooperative answers to most of all of the questions. If he were repeatedly invoking (real or imaginary) privilege or the 5th, it would have gone much quicker.
And if Rudy’s testimony were non-cooperative, the committee would likely have leaked to the media by now that it plans to hold him in contempt, as it’s done with others who have given non-cooperative testimony.
Keep in mind that in this kind of probe, where the committee already knows much of most of what really happened, there’s no such thing as a witness lying and getting away with it. That’s a good way to go to prison for perjury. If Rudy is that dumb, he’ll go down for it.
What’s nice is that the committee can (and will) take the footage of the most coherent and incriminating moments from Rudy’s nine hours of closed door testimony, and air it during the televised hearings. No need to give Rudy a live public platform for peddling the crazy stuff.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report