Rudy Giuliani won’t face criminal charges in foreign lobbying case
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday rejected Rudy Giuliani’s bid to avoid prosecution on charges filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which has prompted the former New York City mayor to try to distance himself from his high-risk business dealings.
U.S. District Judge Mary Jacobson also turned down his request in a lawsuit filed by a former aide about documents relating to the prosecution of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney.
The ruling was an important victory for Giuliani and another of Trump’s allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who are being investigated both as part of Cohen’s federal probe and by a grand jury in New York.
Giuliani had asked for dismissal of both cases against him, saying that prosecutors were “an instrument of political harassment and political prosecution.”
At the heart of both cases is Giuliani’s role as Trump’s unofficial representative during his presidential bid, when he pressed officials to investigate ties between Russia and Trump’s presidential team, according to people familiar with the matter.
Those reports and Giuliani’s involvement have dogged the former mayor and prompted him to distance himself from Trump’s team. Trump had called Giuliani as he announced his re-election campaign in May, and called him during news conferences.
In the Cohen case, Giuliani was ordered to forfeit tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees that he never paid, after winning at trial in April 2018. But in the foreign lobbying case, Giuliani’s lawyers asked that Cohen be allowed to avoid prosecution, claiming that, under the law, prosecutors couldn’t use the material to prove his guilt.
Cohen has been charged with eight counts of tax evasion and bank and bank fraud in relation to hush-money payments he made to former porn actress Stormy Daniels and others in an attempt to avoid the president’s 2005 speechmaking at the Republican National Convention. Giuliani and Trump both denied any wrongdoing.
In Manhattan federal court, Giuliani’s lawyers said that Trump’s campaign had donated the money used to pay him to Cohen. His lawyers also said that because they believe the money was campaign-related, Giuliani should not be criminally liable, under the law that requires anyone who makes campaign contributions to a candidate to report them.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Michael J. Bromwich, argued that he had received “