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Rudy Giuliani is 100% wrong

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President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani joined Jake Tapper to discuss the Mueller report and says there is "nothing wrong" with taking foreign information in a presidential campaign.

Posted: Apr 22, 2019 12:10 AM
Updated: Apr 22, 2019 12:10 AM

There was a time Rudy Giuliani was viewed as a crime-fighting US attorney and later as the valiant mayor of New York in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. But that Rudy is long gone. And all that remains is a man who will be best known for his work as a pathetic shill for Donald Trump.

We saw another example of this on Sunday when Giuliani, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" in his capacity as Trump's personal lawyer, gave a master class in deceit as he discussed Robert Mueller's report.

First, Giuliani tried to make Americans think there's nothing wrong with a campaign for president of the United States accepting help from Russians. This came up in the discussion of the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting attended by Donald Trump Jr., then Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner in the hopes of obtaining "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from Russian nationals.

In fact, the email to Trump Jr. that prompted that meeting promised not just helpful info from foreign nationals but from the Russian government itself, as it offered the Trump campaign, "some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father" that was all "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."

Giuliani defended the Trump campaign accepting help from Russians by stating, "Any candidate in the whole world in America would take information," causing Tapper to ask, "From a foreign source? From a hostile foreign source?" Giuliani shot back, "Who said it's even illegal?"

A few moments later when pressed again by Tapper on a presidential candidate getting help from Russians in the 2016 campaign, Giuliani responded adamantly, "No, no, there's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians! It depends on where it came from."

Giuliani then suggested the "dirt" the Russians offered to the Trump campaign would not be considered a "campaign contribution" as defined by federal law. In support, he argued that the Mueller report "says we can't conclude that [it's a contribution] because the law is pretty much against that."

Giuliani is incredibly wrong. First, it's election law 101 that a federal campaign cannot accept "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value" from a foreign national.

In fact, the Mueller report explains the rationale for this law, noting that "the United States has a compelling interest in limiting the participation of foreign citizens in activities of democratic self-government, and in thereby preventing foreign influence over the U.S. political process."

And despite what Giuliani wants you to believe, Mueller did not conclude that the information offered by the Russians at the Trump Tower meeting wasn't a "campaign contribution." Rather, the report informed us that Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort were in fact provided "dirt" from the Russian nationals at the meeting in the way of info about the "Ziff brothers" (Americans with business in Russia) who "donated their profits to the DNC or the Clinton campaign" and had allegedly been involved in money laundering.

Mueller wrote in reaction, "There are reasonable arguments that the offered information would constitute a thing of value within the meaning" of the federal law, meaning it could be considered a campaign contribution. However, Mueller did not charge Trump Jr. and the others in large part because there was insufficient evidence that they acted "willfully" to violate federal laws.

But apart from the legality, Giuliani's claim that there's "nothing wrong with taking information from Russians" is stunning, especially given that it was described in writing to Trump Jr. as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." The response of the Trump campaign to such an offer should have been a resounding "no" followed by a call to the FBI. Instead, Trump Jr. responded by email less than 20 minutes later, "If it's what you say I love it."

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney may have put it best in his statement Friday in response to the Trump campaign's apparent welcoming of help from Russia -- both directly at the Trump Tower meeting and by the Trump campaign's documented use of the WikiLeaks emails that US intelligence agencies determined in October 2016 had been supplied to WikiLeaks by Russian government hackers.

Romney wrote, that he was "appalled" that "fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained." He then added perhaps the most important comment, "none of them acted to inform American law enforcement."

But to Giuliani none of this wrong. And Trump apparently agrees since he has defended the Trump Tower meeting as the type of thing "done all the time in politics" and he cited WikiLeaks over 100 times in the closing weeks of the campaign.

While no one in the Trump campaign was charged with crimes for these actions, clearly the American people will have to decide if they agree with Giuliani that "there's nothing wrong" with Trump or any presidential campaign accepting assistance from Russians or other foreign nationals. The hope is that Americans will overwhelmingly agree that the election for President of our nation should be free from foreign interference and instead be decided solely by Americans.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
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Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
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Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
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Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
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Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
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Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
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Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
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Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
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