Last week, President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, fired his lawyer, former Watergate prosecutor Jon Sale, despite being under criminal investigation for his actions in Ukraine. “It’s silly to have a lawyer when I don’t need one,” Giuliani told the New York Daily News, just after his decision to ignore a congressional subpoena.
Well, it’s been a week, and he might need one. According to CNN, Trump’s personal lawyer is looking for a personal lawyer. Though he did not comment to the network whether or not he hired new representation, CNN reports that he has been in contact with at least three defense attorneys and that “people close to [him]” have been advising him to lawyer up.
There are many reasons for Giuliani — who, according to former National Security Council member Fiona Hill, was running a shadow State Department in Ukraine — to have a robust legal team, let alone a single personal lawyer. There’s the criminal investigation conducted by the FBI and his former office at the Southern District of New York, determining if he broke any laws while lobbying in Ukraine with his two recently arraigned associates and all-around-stand-up-guys, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. There’s also the reported counterintelligence investigation, determining if his actions have undermined national security — perhaps the greatest bit of irony in the Ukraine scandal, considering Giuliani was brought on to defend Trump against similar charges in the Russia investigation.
And on Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the State Department has 30 days to release records related to the Ukraine scandal, including any forms of communication between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Giuliani. In the next month, lawyers at State and from the watchdog group American Oversight will determine which documents will be released, and which will remain redacted.
Giuliani, positioned outside the administration, is expected to be particularly vulnerable to having his communications made public. “The judge zeroed in on communications with Rudy Giuliani to be most subject to public disclosure,” said American Oversight executive director Austin Evers. “Why? Because he doesn’t work for the government.” Considering how damning the communication already released in the Ukraine scandal has been, it may be time for Giuliani to stop ignoring his friends’ advice and to start retaining a lawyer.