WASHINGTON — President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, says he is working with outside lawyers to prepare lawsuits against prominent Democrats such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Giuliani’s remarks about his legal plans were made over the weekend in a series of calls with Yahoo News, amid cable news appearances in which he continued to aggressively defend the president. That defense was blunted by news of an additional whistleblower who would reportedly corroborate how Trump allegedly pressured the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, into investigating Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential candidate.
In several conversations with Yahoo News, Giuliani dismissed at least one critic of such a lawsuit as a “nitwit,” arguing that there were no constitutional constraints on bringing such litigation against sitting members of Congress.
“I got the highest grade in constitutional law,” said Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York. He revealed that private lawyers are studying public statements by Schiff and others to argue that they were not merely prosecuting a case against Trump but attempting to “deprive him of civil rights” and were engaging in a “conspiracy to remove the president at all costs.” Giuliani charged that Schiff was seeking to “inhibit me in my ability to defend” Trump.
He cited Tlaib’s appearance at a recent town hall, in which she appeared to agree with a speaker who said that if White House officials were issued subpoenas and refused to comply with them, federal marshals should “hunt down” those officials. Giuliani said that was tantamount to witness intimidation, though it is not clear that Tlaib strayed outside her First Amendment rights.
Trump is certainly fond of litigation as a means of bringing opponents to heel, but suing sitting U.S. representatives would be an extraordinary development in an already extraordinary episode in American politics. Giuliani says that “a very established law firm” is already at work on that effort, though he would not say which one.