Biden says not informed prematurely, Trump defends lawyer
New York police officers are investigating the building that houses former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani after the FBI issued a search warrant on Giuliani’s Manhattan apartment in New York City in April, USA, issued 28, 2021.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
President Joe Biden said he was not given advance notice of the FBI’s execution of search warrants on the home and office of Rudy Giuliani, one of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers.
“I give you my word, I was not informed,” Biden previously told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin in an interview that aired Thursday.
“I found out about it last night when the rest of the world found out, my word about it,” Biden said of the raids early Wednesday in which FBI agents seized electronic equipment from the former New York City Mayor and former federal attorney.
“Little did I know this was on the way.”
Biden also underlined that he had not been briefed on the Giuliani probe – which focuses on their business in Ukraine – or any other criminal investigation by the Ministry of Justice. The department is known to be investigating the tax affairs of Biden’s son Hunter.
“I made a promise not to interfere, order, or attempt to stop the Justice Department’s investigation in any way,” Biden said
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, wipes his sweat during a press conference on the results of the 2020 US presidential election on November 19, 2020 at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in Washington, USA from the face.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
“I’m not asking for information. This is the Justice Department’s independent judgment,” said the president.
Biden beat Trump for his efforts to get the Justice Department to investigate certain people and issues, and for his repeated criticism of the Department’s investigation against people connected to Trump, including his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, his former Campaign chairman Paul Manafort and GOP agent Roger Stein.
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“This last administration politicized the Justice Department so heavily, so many [prosecutors]”So many left because that’s not the role – that’s not the role of a president saying who should be prosecuted, when to prosecute, who should not be prosecuted,” Biden said.
“That is not the role of the president. The Justice Department is the advocate of the people, not the advocate of the president.”
For months after Biden’s loss to Trump in the 2020 election, Giuliani falsely claimed that Biden only won because of widespread electoral fraud. Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, said there was no evidence of such extensive fraud that resulted in Trump’s loss.
During an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Trump condemned the raid on Giuliani’s property, calling it “a very, very unfair situation.”
“He just loves this country. And they raid his apartment, it’s so unfair and so double – like a double standard, as if I’ve never seen anyone,” said Trump.
“Rudy is a patriot who loves this country and I don’t know what they’re looking for, what they’re doing.”
Craig Melvin interviews President Joe Biden TODAY.
The investigation of Giuliani by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York – a law firm he once ran – began when Trump was president and while his hand-picked attorneys general ran the Department of Justice, which oversees U.S. law firms.
Trump himself is facing a serious criminal investigation by the Manhattan prosecutor.
The New York Times reported in December that Giuliani had spoken to then-President Trump about a preventive pardon that would have protected the attorney from federal criminal prosecution. “Not true,” Giuliani told CNBC after the report was released.
Giuliani retweeted a tweet Thursday from John Cardillo, the so-called establishment Republicans who did not publicly defend Giuliani, blew up and called them “feckless cucks”.
On Wednesday, Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello accused the so-called “Biden Justice Department” of “corrupt double standards” harshly treating its Republican clients while investigating the alleged “blatant crimes of senior Democrats like Biden, Hunter Biden and the former secretary ignored by state Hillary Clinton.
“You didn’t see Hunter Biden’s house being searched by the FBI,” said Costello, a former senior US attorney general at SDNY. Decades ago, Costello had overseen criminal cases there using search warrants and early morning raids by FBI agents.
“This Justice Department behavior, enabled by compliant media and challenging the constitutional rights of everyone involved in or defending former President Donald J. Trump, is becoming the rule rather than the exception.”
In 2019, Giuliani made efforts to gather harmful information about Hunter Biden’s business relationships in Ukraine as part of a strategy to harm Joe Biden’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.
Trump was indicted later that year after pressuring the President of Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Bidens. Trump was acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate.