With his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Mar-a-Lago in recent months on a mission to make a personal and desperate appeal to former President Donald Trump to pay his legal bills. By going in person, a source familiar with the matter told CNN, Giuliani and his lawyer Robert Costello believe they can explain face-to-face why Trump should help his former lawyer with his bulging legal bills.
Giuliani and Costello traveled to Florida in late April, where they had two meetings with Trump to discuss Giuliani’s seven-figure legal fees, making several suggestions about how paying Giuliani’s bills was ultimately in Trump’s best interest. .
But the former president, who is notoriously tight-lipped about his own coffers, didn’t seem too interested. After Costello made his offer, Trump verbally agreed to help with some of Giuliani’s legal bills without committing to a specific amount or timeline.
Trump also agreed to attend two fundraisers for Giuliani, another source said.
Another source told CNN that Trump only agreed to cover a small fee from a data provider hosting Giuliani’s records. And months later, Trump’s Save America PAC paid $340,000 to that provider, Trustpoint, federal campaign filings show. CNN has now confirmed that the payment was intended to settle Giuliani’s unpaid bill with the company.
Another attorney for Giuliani referred to that payment in court on Wednesday, telling a New York state judge at a hearing that the former New York mayor did not have the money to pay additional legal costs to produce the records in a defamation lawsuit filed by the tech giant. voting company Smartmatic, claiming financial difficulties.
The attorney also mentioned the one-time payment from Trump’s Save America PAC, and a source confirmed that Giuliani has not received any additional payments since then. (Smartmatic is suing Giuliani for the lies about the 2020 election that he peddled on Fox News and other right-wing networks.)
Giuliani’s previously unreported trip to Mar-a-Lago shows the level of financial stress he has been facing for months as his legal troubles continue to pile up.
01:53 – Source: CNN
Haberman: Trump ‘really upset Rudy’s indicted’
But what has surprised those in Trump’s inner circle is the former president’s reluctance to pay Giuliani’s bills, given that Giuliani could come under intense pressure to cooperate with the federal and state prosecutors who have indicted Trump. Giuliani sat down voluntarily with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigators this summer and was indicted this week in Georgia by the Fulton County district attorney.
It’s “not a smart idea” for Trump to refuse to pay Giuliani’s legal fees, a person close to the situation told CNN, citing how Trump’s relationship with Michael Cohen soured while he was being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller.
CNN reported Tuesday that Giuliani faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills and penalties amid multiple lawsuits related to his false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.
His lawyers said in court that those legal quagmires have left him effectively penniless and that he “cannot afford” a potential $15,000 to $23,000 bill to pay for more discovery-related document searches. He even appears to have responded to some of the financial crisis by listing a three-bedroom Manhattan apartment he owns for sale for $6.5 million.
At Wednesday’s court hearing in the Smartmatic case, Giuliani’s attorney Adam Katz said, “These are a lot of bills that he’s not paying. I think it’s very humbling for Mr. Giuliani.”
00:40 – Source: CNN
Giuliani says he’s “more excited” now that he’s been indicted. Hear why
The charges against Giuliani in Georgia — 13 in all — include violations of the state’s anti-racketeering law, inducing a public official to violate his oath of office, conspiracy to commit forgery and perjury.
He said in interviews after the indictment that the charges were “an affront to American democracy” that would create “irreparable harm to our justice system.”