Today’s Daily News chronicles Rudy Giuliani’s admirable refusal to distance himself from Bernie Kerik: “Sure, there were issues,” shrugged the Republican front-runner (we’d say: Kerik is facing federal indictment), before praising Bernie’s crime-reduction record. Seriously, people, that’s integrity. Hillary Clinton, at this point, would have gone glassy-eyed and said she’d never met the guy. Which makes it all the more surprising that, immediately after defending a thoroughly tainted pal, Rudy blew up at a comparatively innocuous question: Would he release the Bracewell & Giuliani and Giuliani Partners’ client lists? “Nobody has ever accused them of doing anything wrong,” he repeated. Actually, the News points out, at issue here is not any wrongdoing but basic conflicts of interest. For instance, Bracewell & Giuliani, Rudy’s law firm, used to represent Citgo, which is owned by … oh, no … Venezuela.
When the same man who’s publicly got Bernie Kerik’s back jumps at the mention of his firm’s client list, that’s bound to pique our interest. The Venezuelan link the News cites (which would make Rudy a Fidel buddy by triple proxy) admittedly sounds tame. We do, however, know, and have mentioned before, that Giuliani does direct business with China (a country he called deserving of an “Evil Empire” designation in a speech) through his consulting firm Giuliani Security & Safety Asia. That the opposing camp hasn’t caught on to this factoid yet is an inexplicably lucky break for Rudy. But the more defensive he gets about the client lists, the exponentially greater the chance that those lists are curling out of some newsroom fax machine as we speak.