Why Rudy Giuliani’s 'zombie' legal defense fund still has 'life in it yet': report

Why Rudy Giuliani’s 'zombie' legal defense fund still has 'life in it yet': report

During Rudy Giuliani’s three mayoral campaigns in New York City — the one he lost to Democrat David Dinkins in 1989 and the ones he won in 1993 and 1997 — the former prosecutor aggressively campaigned on a law-and-order platform. Violent crime was rampant in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s, and the city’s crime problem was famously depicted in films like “Death Wish” (1974), “The Warriors” (1979) and Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976). And Giuliani, a Republican in a predominantly Democratic city, bragged about how much safer he had made NYC when he enjoyed a decisive reelection victory in 1997.

But ironically, a former NYC mayor and ex-federal prosecutor who made his tough-on-crime policies a top priority now finds himself facing his share of legal worries — which journalist Roger Sollenberger addresses in an article published by the Daily Beast on August 19. Those worries are largely connected to his work as a personal attorney for former President Donald Trump during the late 2010s and early 2020s.

“As former President Donald Trump takes millions of dollars out of his donors’ pockets and puts it toward his legal defense,” Sollenberger reports, “Trump’s former top personal attorney is, once again, hat in hand for his own lawyers — and borrowing an old trick from Roger Stone. A campaign finance receipt filed recently has quietly revealed that Rudy Giuliani’s legal defense fund, all but left for dead a year ago, has life in it yet. And Giuliani, who is defending himself with multiple lawyers on numerous fronts — from a foreign lobbying probe, civil election suits, and a grand jury investigation into whether Trump interfered in Georgia’s elections — might be able to use the help.”

READ MORE: Rudy Giuliani now a 'target' in Georgia election probe and 'should expect to be indicted'

Some conservative Never Trump pundits who were major Giuliani supporters during the 1990s have remarked that the Giuliani of the 1980s — a federal prosecutor for the South District of New York — would have prosecuted the Giuliani of today. Giuliani was one of Trump’s top allies during his presidency, loudly promoting the Big Lie and the false, totally debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump.

“Giuliani’s zombie fund isn’t on the public record at the moment,” Sollenberger explains. “Unlike political or charitable contributions, donations go straight to Giuliani personally; the donors aren’t required to be disclosed. A Square donations landing page puts the fund’s address in West Palm Beach, not far from Mar-a-Lago, but other than that, there isn’t much information. However, because a new payment appeared in a Federal Election Commission report — from former Oklahoma Republican senatorial candidate Jackson Lehmeyer — it was publicly visible. The filing showed a $5000 transfer on June 6 from the campaign to the Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund Legal Defense Trust Fund. The purpose of the expense, according to the receipt, was ‘advertising.’”

Sollenberger points out that Giuliani’s defense “fundraising pages” have “remained active on” the Republican fundraising platform WinRed. However, a Beast source described by Sollenberger as “a Giuliani associate who is regularly briefed on the former mayor’s legal efforts” was unaware of the fund.

That source told the Beast, “I don’t know anything about this fund. Never heard of it. I don’t know any details — who runs it, who makes decisions, who contributes. I’m sure the lawyers are all in favor of it.”

READ MORE: 'We're living in a fascist state': Rudy Giuliani melts down as potential indictments loom

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