In an indictment for the history books, Rudy Giuliani plays a starring role.
When it was unsealed Tuesday, the indictment of former President Donald Trump listed six co-conspirators. Though they were not charged or named, all signs point to “co-conspirator 1” being the former mayor of New York City turned longtime Trump lawyer.
What You Need To Know
- Though he is not charged or named, all signs point to the “co-conspirator 1” listed in the indictment being former mayor of New York City turned longtime Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani
- If the allegations in the indictment prove true, it would represent a dramatic fall from grace for the man once hailed as “America’s mayor” and praised for leading his city through 9/11
- The indictment portrays Giuliani as spreading lies about the 2020 election, pressuring lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to not certify the results, and helping to orchestrate a fake elector scheme
- “In some ways, the election scandal was right out of the Giuliani playbook. He adopted it as a moral crusade. He would do anything: the ends justify the means,” said Andrew Kirtzman, Giuliani biographer
The indictment describes “co-conspirator 1” as “an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that [Trump’s] 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not.”
If the allegations prove true, it would represent a dramatic fall from grace for the man once hailed as “America’s mayor” and praised for leading his city through one of its darkest days.
“After 9/11, he was considered more popular than the Pope, according to polls. And now he’s broke. He’s out of power. And he is facing a lot of trouble,” said Andrew Kirtzman, who wrote a biography of Giuliani, chronicling his rise and fall.
The indictment includes allegations from key battleground states.
In Arizona, Giuliani is accused of telling the state’s House Speaker he would provide proof of voter fraud, but never did.
The indictment quotes Giuliani as saying, “We don’t have the evidence, but we have lots of theories.”
In Georgia, Giuliani repeatedly shared a video of election workers, arguing, falsely, that it showed them counting illegal ballots. The two workers have since received death threats.
The indictment cites examples from the Michigan and Pennsylvania elections as well, including an instance where he claimed falsely that Pennsylvania received hundreds of thousands more absentee ballots than the state distributed.
The indictment quotes a Trump campaign staffer describing the allegation as “just wrong.”
The special counsel also alleges Giuliani, alongside Trump, directed fraudulent electors to organize in certain states that Trump lost.
On Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, he accuses Giuliani — through his comments at the rally earlier in the day outside the White House — of intensifying “pressure on [Vice President Mike Pence] to fraudulently obstruct the certification” of the electoral college votes.
After the Capitol attack, it says, Giuliani reached out to members of Congress, still urging them to delay certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.
“In some ways, the election scandal was right out of the Giuliani playbook,” Kirtzman said. “He adopted it as a moral crusade. He would do anything: the ends justify the means.”
“If you had to sum up Giuliani’s career in one word, it would be ‘desperation’ … to succeed and to accumulate power,” Kirtzman said. “After the debacle of the 2008 presidential race, his ticket back to relevance was Donald Trump … and right now, you’re seeing the results of it.”
After the indictment was unsealed Tuesday, Giuliani went on Newsmax to rail against Special Counsel Jack Smith.
“Donald Trump is getting indicted for exercising his right of free speech. I think I have to remind these guys he’s an American citizen,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani says he has not received a target letter, but former federal prosecutor Brian Jacobs says a defense attorney would likely see Giuliani as facing a high degree of legal jeopardy.
“Anytime someone is named as a co-conspirator in a federal indictment, it suggests that federal prosecutors have sufficient evidence to charge and convict that person. Or at least they believe they do,” Jacobs said.
So, why not name Giuliani as a defendant alongside Trump?
Jacobs said it may in part be a matter of logistics: lots of defendants on a single indictment can slow things down, delaying a possible trial.
There’s also a possibility that the special counsel is holding out for a potential deal with one or more of the alleged co-conspirators to get them to serve as a witness.