Rudy Giuliani throws Trump's legal team into disarray

Rudy Giuliani's public comments about President Donald Trump and attorney Michael Cohen in the last 24 hours threw a ...

Posted: May 4, 2018 8:26 AM
Updated: May 4, 2018 8:26 AM

Rudy Giuliani's public comments about President Donald Trump and attorney Michael Cohen in the last 24 hours threw a wrench in Trump's legal strategy, angering and confusing some members of the freshly formed team.

Some of the President's legal advisers felt blindsided by Giuliani's comments Wednesday night, according to multiple sources familiar with the team.

Following Giuliani's performance with Sean Hannity on Fox News, the advisers feared he was winging it and not fully prepared, sources said. Even if Giuliani had devised a plan with the President, he had not run it by all other legal advisers, according to a source familiar with the President's legal team.

Some advisers close to the President have speculated that Giuliani's statements were planned solely with the President, and they see it as more evidence that Trump is running his legal strategy.

The team is "calling it one play at a time," said a source familiar. "It's as if the players are executing the plays on their own," added the source, referring to Trump and Giuliani.

Giuliani told CNN on Thursday that he had spoken with the President both before and after his appearance with Hannity and it was coordinated carefully.

"You won't see daylight between me and the President," he said, pointing to Trump's tweets in support of what he said and did.

Giuliani was brought aboard to publicize Trump's message that he had not been treated fairly, that Hillary Clinton had received better treatment from investigators and that former FBI Director James Comey should not be believed. Giuliani also is tasked with negotiating with special counsel Robert Mueller's team over an interview with the President.

But Giuliani upended the strategy Wednesday, sources said. His comments poured fuel on the Stormy Daniels case, which is a focus in the New York-based investigation of Cohen, complained one source.

"It's a sideshow," a source familiar with the legal team said. "Why now? They're just getting in there to finish this thing. Why raise the question?"

The President has been fighting on two fronts: his connection to Cohen related to Daniels' hush payment and his intention in firing Comey. Previously, Trump said he had no knowledge of the agreement with and payment to Daniels, and has given different answers about why he fired Comey last year.

Giuliani both provided new details and contradicted previous statements about the matters. He said Wednesday night that Trump had funneled money to Cohen to reimburse him for the Daniels payoff and that the President got rid of Comey to stop him from pursuing the Russia inquiry.

Lawyers who work on the team were surprised when Giuliani appeared to veer off course from the President's previous statements about Trump's legal issues, according to sources familiar with their thinking.

As the Giuliani whirlwind took over Wednesday night -- the same day the reserved and experienced attorney Emmet Flood was announced as the newest White House lawyer managing the probe -- Trump attorney Jay Sekulow was stepping back from the spotlight, according to a source familiar with the legal team. Over the past few weeks, he had been focused on bringing in new talent to the team.

CNN reported Wednesday night that another lawyer who has worked closely with Giuliani for years was considering coming aboard as an experienced prosecutor who could temper Giuliani. That lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said Thursday that he would not join the team.

Another pair on the team are Jane and Martin Raskin, well-respected white collar attorneys from Coral Gables, Florida. They're experienced in defending clients in federal court, primarily in Florida, and lawyer-acquaintances of theirs said Wednesday that they would focus more on legal work instead of political messaging for Trump, in contrast to what Giuliani appears to be doing.

But as of Wednesday night, the lawyer team was frustrated and prevented from digging in on legal work and negotiations with Mueller's team, with not all attorneys on the same page.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7309
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1214151720
Ramsey50647870
Dakota45309445
Anoka41050434
Washington26510280
Stearns22001221
St. Louis17598302
Scott17081124
Wright15800137
Olmsted1314197
Sherburne1149085
Carver1037345
Clay809992
Rice7978106
Blue Earth742641
Crow Wing655888
Kandiyohi649182
Chisago585851
Otter Tail570178
Benton562397
Goodhue473572
Mower462532
Douglas461874
Winona451250
Itasca424353
McLeod419158
Morrison415460
Isanti412563
Nobles407048
Beltrami389458
Steele382715
Polk381068
Becker376950
Lyon358750
Carlton341453
Freeborn340229
Pine325121
Nicollet321743
Brown303840
Mille Lacs298952
Le Sueur287022
Todd279132
Cass266928
Meeker252040
Waseca236022
Martin229131
Roseau206719
Wabasha20423
Hubbard185341
Dodge18253
Renville178443
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Houston170515
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Faribault150419
Kanabec142924
Sibley142010
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Watonwan13139
Rock127719
Jackson121511
Pipestone114526
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Pope10876
Murray10609
Swift104518
Stevens89511
Marshall87617
Clearwater85916
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Lake80619
Wilkin80312
Lac qui Parle75022
Big Stone5954
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Grant5668
Mahnomen5418
Norman5379
Unassigned48993
Kittson48322
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3193
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 365306

Reported Deaths: 5923
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57333622
Linn20748334
Scott19856240
Black Hawk15765308
Woodbury15097228
Johnson1442583
Dubuque13333209
Dallas1112998
Pottawattamie11060168
Story1056248
Warren574288
Clinton552492
Cerro Gordo536989
Sioux512974
Webster511193
Marshall481375
Muscatine475399
Des Moines452366
Wapello4286122
Buena Vista424040
Jasper417271
Plymouth400380
Lee373855
Marion360775
Jones297257
Henry290837
Carroll285052
Bremer283260
Crawford265940
Boone263234
Benton255455
Washington253550
Dickinson247643
Mahaska229451
Jackson220942
Kossuth215164
Clay214925
Tama209071
Delaware208240
Winneshiek196833
Page192522
Buchanan190531
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Hardin184843
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Wright183936
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Harrison179173
Clayton169256
Butler164334
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Madison160819
Floyd160042
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Lyon157541
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Allamakee150551
Iowa148224
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Palo Alto112323
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Unassigned9760
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