Rudy Giuliani is having a public meltdown and raising hell for the State Department
The pressure is clearly getting to Rudy Giuliani.
As the president's personal attorney, he has never displayed composure or even much coherence — but starting with an interview he gave on CNN after the latest Ukraine story blew open, his public appearances have seemed increasingly out of control.
On Thursday, he amped up his antics even further. In a phone interview with the Atlantic's Elaina Plott, Giuliani was angry, shouting, and almost delusional. He took aim at the whistleblower who drew attention to President Donald Trump's deeply corrupt efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his enemies, including potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden.
“It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not," Giuliani told Plott. "And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero.”
Then he made an ill-advised statement that, as many legal experts pointed out, could blow open any attempt by Giuliani to claim attorney-client privilege with the president as he has inserted himself as a nefarious backchannel between the United States government and Ukraine.
“I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government,” he said. “Anything I did should be praised.”
Plott said he sounded "out of breath."
She pressed him on his connection to the U.S. State Department. Giuliani has claimed that he coordinated with the department in his overtures to Ukraine, trying to get the government to investigate Biden and the origins of the Russia investigation. But the department has sent mixed messages, at one point saying that Giuliani didn't work on the government's behalf, just as a private agent. The whistleblower complaint indicated that State viewed Giuliani as a burden to be managed, citing Ambassadors Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland.
“The State Department is concerned about my activities?" Giuliani told Plott, nearly shouting, according to the report. "I gotta believe [the whistle-blower] is totally out of the loop, or just a liar.” He said he's looking forward to seeing the department "sink themselves" by trying to cut ties with him.
Then on Twitter, Giuliani went nuclear, publishing a text he indicated (without decisive proof) was from Volker:
Why does this text and date render the hearsay so-called whistleblower useless and not credible? If you get even on… https://t.co/zxAZUuyVof— Rudy W. Giuliani (@Rudy W. Giuliani) 1569536201
"Does Giuliani not understand that the involvement of Volker and the State Department make this scandal substantially worse?" asked Lawfare Executive Editor Susan Hennessey. "Or does he know that and just wants to take them all down with him?"
Giuliani also contradicted his comments in the interview on Twitter, saying: "The Dem phony attack on my conduct as a lawyer, is intended to intimidate me in defending an innocent client. Schiff has been attempting to frame [Trump] for almost three years. He should be investigated for lying, enabling perjury, and trampling on constitutional rights."
He continued: "Democrats have told the press they are going to subpoena me. ... Suppose I was representing Hillary Clinton, there would be a civil liberties revolt about intimidating a lawyer in the performance of his duties. That’s ok, I fully expected it."
Of course, he had just claimed he wasn't working as Trump's lawyer, which would undercut legal protection he might hope to have against a subpoena.