When Lev Parnas ditched his Trump-connected lawyer over the weekend and announced that he’s turning over Ukraine scandal documents to the House impeachment inquiry, it was equal parts bad news for Donald Trump and for Rudy Giuliani. While the documents turned over by Parnas will help House Democrats with their impeachment effort, the SDNY will undoubtedly use those same documents in its criminal case against Giuliani.
That meant it was Rudy Giuliani’s move. For weeks, Rudy has been sitting around without legal representation, periodically tweeting bizarre things, and presumably waiting for another shoe to drop. But now that Lev Parnas is turning over the kind of evidence that’ll make it way too easy for the SDNY to get a conviction against Rudy in court, Rudy is suddenly hiring a trio of lawyers and publicly stating his revised legal position. One of the lawyers’ names in particular stands out.
Rudy tweeted today that his new lawyers are Robert Costello, Eric Creizman, and Melissa Madrigal. Here’s the kicker. Michael Cohen has previously accused Robert Costello of having dangled a Trump pardon at him in exchange for not testifying against Trump. Costello denies this. But really, this is way too on-the-nose. At a time when Rudy’s life is over unless Trump pardons him, Rudy is hiring the Trump-connected attorney who allegedly offered Cohen a pardon.
Rudy Giuliani is clearly playing for a pardon, which makes sense, as he has no other way out. Except this isn’t the brightest strategy, because even if Rudy is pardoned on federal charges, New York State will no doubt immediately nail him on state-level charges that Trump can’t pardon. Also, Michael Cohen never got his pardon – so there’s not necessarily any reason to believe that Rudy will get his pardon either. If Trump were to pardon Rudy, who is obviously guilty, it would erase what little is left of Trump’s remaining political muscle.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report