WASHINGTON ― Before Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, some of his defenders tried to distance the president from the actions taken by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. But Trump’s legal team, in its second day of defending Trump at his Senate impeachment trial Monday, embraced the man at the center of a campaign to pressure Ukrainian officials to announce an investigation into Joe Biden, one of Trump’s chief political adversaries.
Jane Raskin, a member of Trump’s defense team, offered an affirmative defense of the former New York City mayor on Monday, saying the Democratic House managers had turned him into a “proxy villain” in their case.
“Rudy Giuliani is the House managers’ colorful distraction,” Raskin said.
“The House managers might not like his style. You might not like his style. But one might argue that he’s everything Clarence Darrow said a defense lawyer must be: ‘outrageous, irreverent, blasphemous, a rogue, a renegade.’ Fact is, in the end, after a two-year siege on the presidency, two inspector general reports and a $32 million special counsel investigation, it turns out Rudy was spot on,” Raskin said, referring to Robert Mueller’s investigation and two Justice Department inspector general reports on actions taken by the FBI in its 2016 investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-candidate Trump’s campaign.
Giuliani, working closely with now-indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, ran a campaign to remove U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch because they thought she stood in the way of their efforts to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had been on the board of a Ukrainian oil and natural gas company.
Some Trump supporters have allowed that Giuliani’s actions hurt Trump’s presidency. Last week, senators on both sides of the aisle had a laugh at a clip of a former Trump adviser stating that hiring Giuliani was a way to “impeach oneself.”
Giuliani did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s text seeking comment on Raskin’s remarks, but he tweeted that Raskin was “doing a masterful job defending me in my role as defense counsel.”