Conservative writer explains why Democrat must get Rudy Giuliani’s testimony in impeachment case
Although House Democrats have sent subpoenas to many associates of President Donald Trump in connection with the Ukraine scandal, one person they have yet to subpoena is Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Conservative writer/attorney Philip Rotner, in an article for the right-wing anti-Trump website The Bulwark, wonders why Democrats never subpoenaed him and explains why Giuliani could be a valuable witness.
“They never sent Giuliani a subpoena during the House Intelligence Committee hearings, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t ask for Giuliani as a witness,” Rotner notes. “Instead, it asks for testimony from four other witnesses: Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, Michael Duffey and Robert Blair. All well and good; some of those witnesses may have important first-hand information. But where’s Rudy?”
Rotner writes that Giuliani, more than anyone, could demonstrate that there was a “quid pro quo” between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky: military aid to Ukraine on the condition that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. But Rotner speculates that Democrats might be avoiding Giuliani as a witness because of attorney-client privilege.
Rotner is quick to add, however, that such privilege isn’t without its limitations.
“The attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply to every conversation between an attorney and a client,” Rotner notes. “It applies only to conversations conducted in confidence — meaning outside the presence of others and with an expectation of confidentiality — and in furtherance of receiving or providing legal advice, meaning that routine conversations transmitting factual information from a non-privileged source are not privileged.”
On top of that, Rotner adds, one of the “well-established exceptions” to attorney-client privilege is a “crime or fraud exception. If a client seeks advice from an attorney to assist in a crime or a fraud, the conversation is not protected.”
Despite attorney-client privilege, Rotner believes that Democrats need to pursue testimony from Giuliani.
“It’s hard to overstate how crucial Giuliani is to the entire Ukraine scandal,” Rotner asserts. “Think about it: if Trump’s demands for investigations by Ukraine were in furtherance of U.S. government policy, why weren’t they carried out by the secretary of state, the attorney general, or some other government official? Why were they carried out by a lawyer hired by Trump to defend him personally?”
Rotner concludes his article by stressing that Democrats are dropping the ball by not urging Giuliani to testify.
“The best reason to call Giuliani is because the public needs to know the truth, and Giuliani clearly knows quite a lot about what went down in Ukraine,” Rotner observes. “Congressional Democrats should insist — loudly and often — that Giuliani testify. Their case demands it, and the public deserves it.”