Bernie Kerik, a close ally of former President Donald Trump who worked with Rudy Giuliani trying to confirm baseless allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election, on Monday met with Justice Department prosecutors probing the plot to overturn the 2020 election.
Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner, is the first witness publicly known to have been interviewed by the DOJ since Trump’s indictment last week for his role in the scheme to undo Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 race.
Tim Parlatore, a lawyer representing Kerik, told CNN that special counsel Jack Smith was not present during the interview. Parlatore and Kerik met with investigators for about five hours, the network reported.
Kerik was asked “mostly about all the efforts in between the election and Jan. 6th” that Giuliani and his associates took to prove allegations of fraud in the 2020 race, Parlatore said.
“Really kind of establishing that at that time, when they weren’t really able to necessarily establish proof, they had probable cause and they were pursuing investigation in good faith,” Parlatore said, speaking alongside Kerik.
Kerik was questioned about each of the seven states where Giulani’s efforts were focused, and was asked how each separate claim of election fraud was investigated, CNN reported.
Asked if he thought Giuliani would be prosecuted, Parlatore replied: “No, not at all.”
“Ultimately the idea that Rudy Giuliani was intentionally pushing claims that he knew were false is not something that’s supported by the evidence,” Parlatore added.
Giuliani appears to be Co-Conspirator 1 listed in Trump’s indictment as “an attorney who was willing to spread knowingly false claims and pursue strategies that the Defendant’s 2020 re-election campaign attorneys would not.” The document mentions a phone call Trump and Co-Conspirator 1 made to then-Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers on Nov. 22, 2020, to pressure him to help them steal the election.
Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer, last week condemned the DOJ for pursuing charges against Trump, and suggested Smith should be prosecuted for indicting the former president.
Kerik turned over thousands of documents to the special counsel following a subpoena for files related to the operation to prove unfounded claims of voter fraud.
He was pardoned by Trump in 2020 after serving four years behind bars for tax fraud and lying to the government.
Trump has pleaded not guilty to four federal charges stemming from the 2020 election case, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.
His attorneys have been pushing the judge overseeing the case to deny a proposed protective order that would bar Trump and his team from sharing evidence collected by prosecutors.