As Congressional Democrats continue to insist on hearing from witnesses at the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, a conservative attorney is arguing that it’s of vital importance that one of those witnesses be Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
In a column he wrote for The Bulwark, Philip Rotner notes that hearing from Giuliani — even if he invokes his Fifth Amendment privilege not to say a word on the grounds he might incriminate himself — could sway enough Republican senators to spell the end of Trump’s presidency:
“If there is one piece of evidence that might bring around a handful of congressional Republicans to the pro-impeachment side it would be direct, first-hand testimony that Trump personally and unambiguously ordered that the release of military aid to Ukraine be conditioned upon a public announcement that Ukraine would investigate his 2020 political rival, Joe Biden. The evidence we have so far would be sufficient in any court of law, whether the standard was preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence, or beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The common link throughout the Ukraine scandal, Rotner explains, is Giuliani:
“It’s obvious that there’s one person who could easily supply the link that Republicans claim is missing: Rudy Giuliani. Guiliani was Trump’s personal lawyer, acting on his behalf, communicating with him frequently, and managing the execution of the quid pro quo. And yet, the Democratic pro-impeachment forces have been oddly hesitant to demand Giuliani’s testimony.”
All of this, Rotner continues, proves that Giuliani is the common theme and his claims of attorney-client privilege aren’t a protective blanket the former New York City mayor can use to shield himself and the president:
“While the attorney-client privilege might shield lawyers from testifying about certain conversations with their clients, it doesn’t shield them from testifying, full-stop.
“The attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply to every conversation between an attorney and a client,” he continued. “It applies only to conversations conducted in confidence (meaning outside the presence of others and with an expectation of confidentiality), and in furtherance of receiving or providing legal advice (meaning that routine conversations transmitting factual information from a non-privileged source are not privileged).”
Imagine what it would suggest if one the House managers asked Giuliani, Did President Trump instruct you to inform Ukraine that U.S. aid wouldn’t be released unless and until it announced publicly that it was investigating the Bidens?
“And then Giuliani replied, I refuse to answer on the grounds of the attorney-client privilege.
“That would be . . . not good for Trump.”
The bottom line is that Giuliani must testify if we are to ever find out exactly how deep the corruption goes.
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