Tuesday Talk*: Rudy, For The Defense

An admission: I’ve never thought well of Rudy Giuliani. Not when he was United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Not when he pretended to be a drug buyer. Not when he was Mayor. Not when he was anything. So understand that I will gleefully seize upon any opportunity to ridicule Rudy.

Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Alfonse D’Amato cosplaying drug buyers

But the paper of record asks whether Rudy, now pretending to be Darth Vader to Darth Cheeto, is winning his trial in the court of public opinion.

Some who are close to the man say that Mr. Giuliani’s calculated and cutthroat approach channels his client, and serves as a tactical attack on the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. Given the Justice Department’s longstanding policy and the view of many legal scholars that a sitting president cannot be indicted, Mr. Giuliani is exercising his lawyerly skills in the court of public opinion to ward against the mutterings of impeachment.

Is Rudy being “lawyerly”? Former judge cum attorney general Michael Mukasey tries to be gentle.

Michael B. Mukasey, the former United States attorney general who worked with Mr. Giuliani as a prosecutor in the 1970s, said his longtime friend “has a strategy, but he also has a client who is himself not a linear thinker.”

“In a case that will never see the inside of a courtroom,” Mr. Mukasey added, “it can disserve your client if you are courtroom-style cautious.”

Obviously, the rule of evidence don’t apply on Sunday morning talk shows. Nor do the rules of logic or physics, for that matter. And what’s so great about linear thinking anyway, except for, you know, it being remotely rational? Others are not so kind.

Michael R. Bromwich, a lawyer who served in the United States attorney’s office under Mr. Giuliani and who has publicly criticized him in recent months, said that his former boss seems to have “lost something.”

“He doesn’t seem to be well-prepared,” Mr. Bromwich said. “He doesn’t seem to have his facts straight. He doesn’t seem to be aware of the legal exposure that he’s creating for his client.”

There has long been a pervasive belief that the skills of a prosecutor not only translate into those of the defense lawyer, but in fact are of a higher quality, a better caliber. Indeed, this is one of, but not the only, reasons why former prosecutors who turn to the dark side heavily promote their former positions. It’s a huge marketing point, both for the legitimacy it provides the lawyer as well as the tacit implication that they’ve got connections they can play in the back room.

It’s all nonsense. It’s always been nonsense, but non-lawyers don’t know it, and tend to believe things that appear to make sense to the shallow and clueless. And they get away with it. A lot. So are Rudy’s mad skillz as the former US attorney winning the day?

Mr. Giuliani shrugged off suggestions that he was a discombobulated advocate, ill serving a client who happens to be the so-called leader of the free world. “You probably can’t do this without making a mistake or two,” he said, then quickly noted with evident satisfaction that “Mueller is now slightly more distrusted than trusted, and Trump is a little ahead of the game.”

His assertions may be ridiculous, clueless, often just plain flagrantly false, and yet his playing the divide between Trump’s haters and lovers by using anything he can, truth be damned, to drive the wedge deep hasn’t seemed to hurt his client’s approval rating with those for whom facts play no role in their world. So maybe Rudy isn’t as crazy as he seems?

Then, of course: “Truth isn’t truth” — a comment he later said was meant to convey the “he said/she said” quandary.

Just when you think Rudy is up against the ropes, being outed as a raving lunatic spewing idiotic nonsense, Chuck Todd goes and interrupts him for the wrong reason, causing Trump fans everywhere to high five and take a long swig of Colt 45.

Is Rudy onto something? Or if he was handed enough rope, without smirking interruption, would he hang himself?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply.

28 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: Rudy, For The Defense

  1. Guitardave

    jezus effin Chrysler …..that pic….. It’s something i rarely mention to anyone…but in my younger, and much stupider days, i hung around with a very notorious and nasty SE Pennsylvania MC “club” …if those guys met up with an idiot like that, well….it would’ve made what the Hell’s Angles did to Hunter Thompson look like a tickle fest. I think RG should stick with the Drag thing…
    ( dammit, i can’t find the pic…help me, dear host)

      1. Guitardave

        Yes, Thank you…( looking away from the screen)..sort of. …along with the star of Futurama, no less!

        1. SHG Post author

          Given the overwhelming response to this post, it appears that you and I are the only ones who find Rudy worthy of discussion. Oh well. Can’t help Rudy fans.

            1. Jim Tyre

              It’s lonely in here. Scary lonely. Hellllllloooooooooo. Anybody home?

              I’m so terribly sorry, Scott. I failed to realize that your need for validation outweighs my need to deal with the mess of a bad air conditioning leak. ‘-)

          1. Guitardave

            Yeah. ( Maybe DM-L can help with this,)… there’s a German word that literally translates to English as face-youd-like-to-punch…of course i have “reasons”..some of his “coincidental” doings in early Sept. of 2001, is a tiny one that we DON’T need to discuss…or “cleaning up” NYC, or, or, or….

            1. LocoYokel

              Let me Google that for you.

              Backpfeifengesicht
              A German compound word/term that loosely translates to “Cheek pipe face”.

              In common use it means something to the effect of “A face badly in need of a fist” meaning this is a person that needs to be punched. Alternate translations list the given action as “slap” rather than “punch” or the given weapon as “crowbar” rather than “fist”.

            2. Guitardave

              Thank you, LY…for some reason i didn’t think all those words would produce good results….”slapped with a crowbar”….L-ingMAO…that’s rich, now i just have to learn to pronounce it fluently. Thanks!

            3. LocoYokel

              I really like this one,

              Blaumachen

              You know that feeling you get when you wake up in the morning and you wonder if your job is truly worth getting out of bed for?

              Well that, my friend, is known as Blaumachen. ‘Sorry boss, I’m not coming in today. Blaumachen. You know how it is.’

            4. LocoYokel

              I think Scott will find a use for this one in future posts,

              Verschlimmbessern

              When you just can’t help but make the situation worse and end up digging yourself a massive hole, that’s Verschlimmbessern.

              Awks.

            5. LY

              And these

              Weltschmerz

              This one, which translates as ‘world pain’, is used for when the actual state of the world makes you depressed when compared with your ideals.

              So like when you realise some places sell Freddos for 25p now, or when you move out of home and realise there isn’t a fairy who comes along and picks up your dirty socks (read: your mum).

              Fremdschämen

              This one is sort of like second hand embarrassment, except it’s for when the person for whom you’re feeling vicarious shame is so clearly oblivious to their own faux pas.

              So like when your best friend drunkenly tells their ex they are still in love with them, then blows up their phone with texts even though they don’t get a reply back.

            6. David Meyer-Lindenberg

              You hyphenated my italicized last name!! I like this guy, SHG. We get quality commenters around here.

          2. Nick Lidakis

            Isn’t he the guy who said, “If you like your ferret, you can keep your ferret”.
            Or was it, “A fool and his ferret are soon parted*”

            *By the NYPD swat team.

            1. Patrick Maupin

              You have to admit that Rudy looks better in that picture with Trump than a couple of those other ladies that shg keeps posting pictures of.

  2. W. Justin Adams

    “His assertions may be ridiculous, clueless, often just plain flagrantly false, and yet his playing the divide between Trump’s haters and lovers by using anything he can, truth be damned, to drive the wedge deep hasn’t seemed to hurt his client’s approval rating with those for whom facts play no role in their world. So maybe Rudy isn’t as crazy as he seems?”

    I respectfully vote for “not crazy.” Imagine you could know in advance who would sit on the grand jury that might indict your client and who would sit on the jury that might try your client and that there was no ethical prohibition against influencing those people directly or indirectly before indictment or trial even began. Wouldn’t you try? That’s what you have with the House and the Senate under the impeachment clause. House:Grand Jury::Senate:Petit Jury. You know the venire in advance of any impeachment or trial and you’re ethically free to try to influence them (or influence voters to influence them) not to impeach or not to convict before the process even begins. Hypothesis: Rudy’s antics are just pre-indictment/trial jury tampering, only legal. Whether such antics would work I have no idea.

  3. Joseph

    You offered a possible defense of Rudy’s behavior in this post, but prefaced it by saying that you’ve long criticized him. I can’t help but think I’ve seen this pattern criticized somewhere before…

    Pithy remarks aside, Bannon once said that a good way to undermine trust was to simply “flood the zone with shit.” The more Guliani shouts, the more the media makes fun of him, and the more the media makes fun of him the more partisan everything looks. The more the case against Trump looks like an unvarnished partisan shitfight instead of like an impartial application of the machinery of law, the better Trump looks when fighting it.

    The jury in the Manafort case studied the evidence and carried out their civic duty to the best of their ability, but Trump won’t be faced with 12 jurors inside a courtroom tasked with applying the law: his “jury” consists of 100 Senators, who are beholden to the electorate, making the whole thing resemble more closely an exercise in politics rather than law. However poor Guliani may have been at law, he seems to have been significantly better at politics.

  4. B. McLeod

    If all he is doing is saving Trump’s popularity rating with Trump fans who don’t care about facts, that is like preventing elephant attacks in Antarctica. It doesn’t matter what he does, as he is just extra freight aboard the ship of [state/fools].

  5. Dave Matthews

    “It’s all nonsense.”

    Perhaps, but former prosecutor turned defense attorney Ken White sure gets published a lot in the major papers….

    1. SHG Post author

      That’s a good point. The papers adore titles to provide ascribed credibility, as if being a former prosecutor makes Ken’s views more credible than they would be if he was “just” a lawyer, because shallow people adore easy-bake authority. Mind you, Ken would be as worthy of publication regardless of anything, but would they be inclined to publish his op-eds if he wasn’t a former prosecutor?

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