Nothing Wrong With Accepting Help From Russians, Giuliani Says
(Bloomberg) -- Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer and a former federal prosecutor, said there’s nothing wrong with a U.S. presidential candidate taking information from Russian sources.
“It depends on where it came from,” Giuliani told moderator Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” While in hindsight he’d advise against accepting Russia’s aid “out of an excess of caution,” Giuliani said any political candidate would accept potentially damaging information on an opponent.
Giuliani’s comments across the Sunday morning news shows reflect Trump’s concerted response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which summarized his two-year investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign. Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are debating whether the report’s conclusions warrant initiating impeachment proceedings against Trump.
Giuliani said that Trump’s opponents have falsely accused the president of crimes tantamount to treason, of which he was innocent.
The U.S. Justice Department released a redacted version of the report on Thursday. While detailing a sweeping Russian effort to tip the election outcome toward Trump and away from Democrat Hillary Clinton via social media and the strategic release of documents the special counsel said were stolen from Democratic Party computers by Russian military intelligence units, Mueller concluded there was insufficient evidence to show the president or his campaign criminally collaborated with Russia’s efforts.
He expressly declined to clear the president of obstruction of justice, though U.S. Attorney General William Barr later took that step.
Giuliani assailed the special counsel’s two-volume, 448-page submission, contending it was the product of an investigation conducted by “a staff of Hillary-loving, Trump hating people,” led by prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, whom he called “a hit man.”
He also took issue with the portion of the report in which former White House counsel Don McGahn claimed the president had instructed him to have Mueller removed from his post. Giuliani said McGahn had offered three different accounts. Asked if he was accusing the lawyer of lying, Giuliani told Tapper, “No. I’m telling you he’s confused.”
The president’s lawyers have assembled a rebuttal to Mueller’s report, Giuliani said. He declined to say when that document would be made public.
“There will be a point at which we’ll put it out,” he said. “Not tomorrow, not the next day. Then we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”
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