The Downfall of Rudy Giuliani: How America’s ‘Mayor’ Linked His Fate to Donald Trump and He Was Indicted
NEW YORK (AP) — Rudy Giuliani stared into the Washington hearing room as a lawyer seeking to be disbarred from office after… January 6 rebellion Asked: How did this man, who was celebrated as “America’s Mayor” after 9/11, become the leader of an attempt to overturn a national election?
“It’s almost as if there are two different people,” Hamilton “Phil” Fox III, the chief prosecuting attorney for the agency that handles discipline for Washington attorneys, said last December. “I don’t know if something happened to Mr. Giuliani or what.”
Giuliani – Honored and knighted by Time Magazine person of the Year For his leadership as mayor of New York City after the 2001 terrorist attack – his reputation robbed and his freedom now imperiled by his unwavering defense of former President Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.
On Monday, Giuliani’s fall fell to its lowest level yet With his indictment in Georgia Upon charges, he acted as Trump’s chief co-conspirator in a plot to sabotage President Joe Biden’s victory.
Giuliani and Trump f 17 other people They were charged under Georgia’s version of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The law, known as RICO, was one of Giuliani’s favorite tools when he was cracking down on mobsters and Wall Street titans as Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor in the 1980s. Now, as he approaches eighty, that could put him behind bars.
Giuliani called the indictment “an affront to American democracy” and said it “does permanent and irreversible damage to our justice system.” On his Wednesday radio show, he called the case “an atrocity” and “an assault on the First Amendment.”
How did it come to this? People who have studied Giuliani’s rise and fall see his 2008 presidential bid as a turning point.
Giuliani started out as a frontrunner in the Republican nomination, capitalizing on his post-9/11 popularity. But he struggled in the primary amid concerns from the Republican Party about his past support for abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, and questions about his personal life and business ties to the Middle East.
For years after the race, Giuliani’s political career appeared to be over. After falling into a deep depression, his biographer Andrew Kurtzman said, he and his then-wife Judith deported to Florida, where Trump placed them for a month in a bungalow at his Mar-a-Lago home.
“Trump really took Giuliani under his wing at a very vulnerable moment,” said Kurtzman, whose second biography of Giuliani, Giuliani: The Rise and Fall of America’s Tragic Mayor, was published. Then in 2016, Trump decided to run for president, he needed Giuliani and Giuliani needed Trump.
A first-time candidate, Trump relied on Giuliani’s political acumen and loyalty and made him work as a surrogate for attacks on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom Giuliani faced in the 2000 US Senate race.
The 2016 campaign restored Giuliani’s relevance, but he surprised many with the ferocity of his attacks and repeated allegations that Clinton had committed crimes. Giuliani was seen as squandering his image as an old statesman on a candidate who, at the time, was crossed out of a chance to win.
Giuliani held a position in Trump’s cabinet but did not get it. Instead, he continued as Trump’s attack dog, a role that saw him travel to Ukraine in search of damaging information on Biden’s son, Hunter.
Giuliani’s contacts with Ukrainian figures later played a role in Trump’s first impeachment trial and prompted an FBI investigation. In April 2021, Federal Agents His home and office were raidedand the seizure of computers and cell phones, but the investigation was later dropped without any charges.
Some people who were once close to him say that today Giuliani has little in common with the man he knows.
“The man I knew 20 years ago, the 9/11 hero is nothing like this guy,” said Judith Giuliani, who was by his side in the aftermath of 9/11 and his loss in the 2008 election. “I actually feel sorry for him. Sad thing. He’s just not the person he used to be to either of us.”
When Trump lost the 2020 election, Giuliani starred in his efforts to stay in the White House, which prosecutors say included illegal maneuvers to overturn results in key states.
He was mocked for holding a press conference about legal challenges in Pennsylvania outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia, an out-of-the-way location next to a crematorium and porn store, not the Four Seasons hotel in the heart of the city.
A few weeks later, Giuliani’s pigment appeared to smear on his face at another press conference, leaving him the subject of late-night TV jokes and internet memes.
The blunders followed another embarrassment: Clips from the “Borat” sequel show Giuliani flirting with a young actress posing as a TV journalist and then lying on a bed with his hand down his pants. Giuliani said he went to the hotel thinking he was going to be interviewed and had his shirt on.
After his efforts to keep Trump in office failed in the courtsOn January 6, 2021, Giuliani made incendiary remarks to Trump supporters who subsequently stormed the US Capitol, stating that they were participating in a “trial by combat”.
The New York State Bar said his words were meant to encourage Trump supporters to “take matters into their own hands.” Committee of the Bar Association of the capital unanimously recommended that it be written offsaying that his misconduct “unfortunately exceeds all of his previous accomplishments.”
Giuliani’s critics argue that he has always been hostile and abrasive, with contempt for detractors and a willingness to go after rivals.
“The real Rudy Giuliani was hiding in plain sight,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the ACLU of New York. “Just because he was the face of a devastated and suffering city after 9/11 doesn’t mean he wasn’t then an anti-democratic authoritarian bully” that he was “90% of the mayoralty” that ran from 1994 to 2001.
in the case of georgia, Giuliani is accused of making false statementsand soliciting perjury and seeking to appoint pro-Trump voters to the Electoral College. Giuliani has also been described as a co-conspirator, but has not been charged in the case of special counsel Jack Smith’s election interference against Trump.
Giuliani asserts that he had every right to raise questions about what he believed to be election fraud.
Today, he remains popular among conservatives in his hometown. He hosts a daily radio show in New York City and a nightly streaming show watched by a few hundred people on social media, which he calls “America’s Mayor Live”.
After 9/11, Giuliani founded a consulting firm that generated $100 million in revenue in five years. Recently, though, he’s been showing signs of financial stress, exacerbated by his third divorce, lawsuits and costly investigations.
To earn cash, he promotes 9/11 T-shirts for $911 and flip-flops sold by election denier Mike Lindell. He’s also joined Cameo, a service where celebrities record short videos for profit. Giuliani’s Greetings cost $325 a pop.
In July, he put his Manhattan apartment up for sale for $6.5 million.
Last year, A.J The judge threatened Giuliani with imprisonment in a dispute over money owed to Judith, his third ex-wife. Giuliani said he was making progress on paying off the debt, which she said totaled more than $260,000.
In May, a woman who said she worked for Giuliani sued him. Claiming that he owes her nearly two million dollars in unpaid wages and that he forced her to have sex. Giuliani denied allegations.
“His legacy is in tatters,” said Kurtzman, who was with Giuliani on 9/11 as they fled the falling wreckage of the World Trade Center. He’s “out of all his money”, faces prison and “will never change how he feels he’s right and everyone else is wrong”.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com