Each time Rudy Giuliani steps to the plate and does even more damage to Donald Trump’s legal prospects, it never fails: one cable news pundit or another tries floating the notion that Rudy is somehow helping Trump by muddying the waters. No argument is ever offered for why this might be the case, but we suppose it makes for a more television-friendly narrative than simply pointing out that Rudy is a buffoon and that Trump is stupid for sending him out there. Here’s the thing, though: Robert Mueller clearly wants Rudy out there doing this.
How do we know? Three months ago, back when Rudy Giuliani first announced that he was joining Donald Trump’s legal defense team, he requested a meeting with Robert Mueller. At that point Mueller could have effectively put an end to Rudy’s representation of Trump, simply by refusing to meet with him on the grounds that Rudy is an alleged co-conspirator in Trump’s crimes. In fact Mueller could have gone to a judge and legally barred Trump from using Rudy as his attorney. But none of this happened. It’s since become clear why.
Back in April, Palmer Report explained that Robert Mueller was betting on the idea that Rudy Giuliani would go out there and screw up Donald Trump’s legal standing so badly, it would end up making Mueller’s job easier. The only question was whether that gambit was going to work. Sure enough, Rudy has waived privilege on incriminating tapes of Trump, thus allowing Mueller to use them as evidence against Trump. Rudy also keeps publicly revealing pieces of the Trump-Russia conspiracy, thus making it easier for the public to see that there was in fact a criminal election conspiracy.
We still don’t know if Rudy Giuliani is doing a cartoonishly poor job of representing Donald Trump because he’s just that senile, or because perhaps he’s trying to take Trump down on purpose before the investigation can circle back to Rudy’s own role in the election conspiracy. Nor do we know whether Trump is continuing to let Rudy go out there and sabotage him each day because he mistakenly thinks Rudy’s ineptitude is making him look innocent, or because he’s also too senile to understand what’s going on. But we do know that Giuliani is – wittingly or unwittingly – doing Robert Mueller’s job for him, and Trump has spent the past three months continuing to let it happen.
Rudy Giuliani may be confusing the public about precisely which crimes were involved in the Trump-Russia scandal, but he’s driving home the point that it was in fact a criminal scandal. Robert Mueller outsmarted Donald Trump simply by allowing him to keep Rudy as his attorney, instead of trying to get Rudy booted. Mueller’s gamble continues to pay off for him, and Trump still hasn’t reversed course on his mistake.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report