Rudy Giuliani had a bit of a meltdown on CNN Friday morning after host Chris Cuomo played a clip of Giuliani saying that presidents must answer subpoenas. This contradicts his recent assertions that President Donald Trump could choose to ignore a future subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Giuliani told Cuomo that in 1998, he was referring to subpoenas for documents, rather than subpoenas in person. He then said that he would never have suggested that a sitting president could be compelled to testify.
Giuliani: I've never heard of a subpoena for the president's person.
Cuomo: well you said exactly that.
Giuliani: no no no.
Giuliani: let's distinguish between a subpoena for documents and a subpoena that takes the president out of the oval office and puts him in front of a grand jury or hearing... can't do it!
Giuliani added that a subpoena for a president's testimony "had never occurred" to him.
In 1998, Rudy Giuliani told Charlie Rose that President Bill Clinton should be treated like any other citizen in the realm of criminal law, at the time of the Whitewater investigation.
Rudy Giuliani says he’s never heard of a subpoena for the president before, that it “never occurred to him.” Giulia… https://t.co/8nuIxeGu8U— Kaitlan Collins (@Kaitlan Collins) 1526643008.0
“That’s really unfair!” Giuliani exclaimed as Cuomo played the recording. “That’s extremely unfair what you’re doing right now! This is the reason people don’t come on this show!” Then he called Michael Avenatti an "ambulance chaser."
“What does that have to do with this?” Cuomo replied
If the President is subpoenaed to testify, “he’s gotta do it. He has no choice.” - Rudy Guiliani, 1998 https://t.co/vpCzKYFvgJ— Rogue Melania🍸🍸🍸 (@Rogue Melania🍸🍸🍸) 1525873167.0
“You gotta do it,” he told Charlie Rose. “I’m mean, you don’t have a choice.”
Then there is a procedure for handling that. You go before a judge and a judge decides whether or not he has a recognizable exemption or privilege from testifying. And if a judge decides that he doesn’t, you have to testify. You don’t have a choice about it.
Full interview here. Subpoena remark happens at about 45 minutes. https://t.co/KUhQaTVLwT— Kaitlan Collins (@Kaitlan Collins) 1526643113.0
Giuliani also referenced President Richard Nixon and Watergate scandal, which “resolved the fact that the president is not above the law, is not able to avoid subpoenas.” Giuliani told Rose that like a defendant in any other criminal case, the president has the right to ask a judge to decide whether proper procedures are being followed.
And, if a judge agrees with that, fine. But, if a judge doesn’t, then you have to testify.
Giuliani has also hinted at the possibility of Trump taking the 5th in a potential interview with Mueller.
On Sunday, Giuliani told George Stephanopolous:
“How could I be confident” Trump won’t plead the 5th, Guiliani remarked. “I have a client who wants to testify … So he may testify and we may actually work things out with Bob Mueller,” he added.
Pres. Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani says he can't be confident the president won't invoke the Fifth Amendment if h… https://t.co/snZ4J4ygyG— ABC News (@ABC News) 1525644518.0
Trump himself has said:
The mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?
Rudy Giuliani said Trump may invoke the 5th Amendment rather than sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Yo… https://t.co/TW54F7B8s9— Bryan Dawson (@Bryan Dawson) 1525672055.0
Trump, however, has said that his willingness to sit down with Mueller extends only to the point of being “treated fairly.” Giuliani is skeptical of any benefit that would arise from Trump sitting down with Mueller.
Not after the way they’ve acted. I came into this case with a desire to [have the president talk to Mueller] and they just keep convincing me not to do it.
@kaitlancollins Then said it was unfair for Cuomo to play that clip in front of him. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA— Kirsten “Too Many Podcasts” O’Nell (@Kirsten “Too Many Podcasts” O’Nell) 1526643115.0