Since returning home from his pointless and self-incriminating trip to Ukraine earlier this week, Rudy Giuliani has been remarkably quiet, at least by his motormouth standards. This has raised the question of whether he’s gone quiet because he’s been cooking up something, or whether he’s gone quiet because he’s been stunned into silence by some bad new development for him. It’s sure starting to look like it’s the latter.
The first sign of terrible news for Rudy Giuliani came on Wednesday night, when federal prosecutors asked a judge to revoke the bail of Lev Parnas, citing a million dollar payment that Parnas received from Russia in September. This makes clear that Parnas was on Russia’s payroll when he was conspiring with Rudy in Trump’s Ukraine extortion scandal. This is on top of the earlier revelation that Rudy took a half a million dollar payout from Parnas’ company.
Rudy will have a heck of a time convincing anyone that he didn’t know he was taking Kremlin money from Parnas. In addition, if Parnas’ bail is revoked, it should increase the odds that he cuts a plea deal against Rudy. But now things have taken an even uglier turn. On Thursday night CNN reported that federal prosecutors have expanded their criminal case against Parnas, Rudy, and Igor Fruman to include possible charges of bribing foreign officials. Ouch.
This points to even more serious criminal charges against Parnas, after prosecutors revealed in court earlier this month that a superseding indictment against him with additional criminal charges was very likely. The more serious the case against Parnas, the more likely he flips on Rudy. And if the criminal charges against Rudy end up including something as serious as attempted bribery of a foreign official, it’ll make it a whole lot harder for Donald Trump to convince himself that pardoning Rudy is worth the trouble. More charges will also make it easier for New York State to bring a parallel case as insurance against a federal pardon. Rudy is in trouble.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report