POLITICS

Trump Impeachment Trial Features Bipartisan Laughs At Rudy Giuliani's Expense

Republican and Democratic senators laughed at a clip of a former Trump adviser saying that hiring the former New York mayor was a way to "impeach oneself."

WASHINGTON ― Republican and Democratic senators sitting for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump might not agree on much these days. But they can all have a laugh at the expense of politician-turned-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

On Thursday, as House Democrats laid out their case for removing Trump from office, impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) played a clip of a former Trump homeland security adviser Tom Bossert in which he quipped that hiring Giuliani was a way to “impeach oneself.”

“Last year, retired former Sen. Judd Gregg wrote a piece in The Hill magazine saying the three ways or the five ways to impeach oneself. And the third way was to hire Rudy Giuliani,” Bossert said on ABC News’ “This Week” in September.

The Senate has banned independent audio or video of the floor of the Senate, only offering a video feed that gives a narrow perspective on the impeachment trial proceedings. But a HuffPost reporter in the chamber at the time spotted a number of Republicans and Democrats laughing and smiling after hearing Bossert’s line about the former New York mayor. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) smiled at each other after the clip, as did Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and James Risch (R-Idaho). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who had previously said he’s not sure Giuliani was helping the president, chuckled to himself.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment, though HuffPost’s texts were marked as read.

Serving as Trump’s personal attorney, Giuliani is at the center of the events that led to Trump’s impeachment. He’s made sweeping corruption allegations against former vice president and Trump political opponent Joe Biden, and he lobbied Trump to remove U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch because of the perception she got in the way of a campaign to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announce an investigation into Biden’s son Hunter that would benefit Trump politically.

Giuliani kept up the campaign against Biden on Thursday, tweeting that he’d release evidence that the “Biden Family Enterprise made millions by selling public office.”

Giuliani was a major focus of the House impeachment managers’ presentation on Thursday. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) laid out a narrative of Giuliani’s efforts beginning around the time that Biden announced his presidential campaign in the spring of 2019. Lofgren said government officials came to learn that Giuliani was the “key to Ukraine,” as Trump directed government employees to work with his personal agent on matters of foreign policy. They realized there was “no getting around Rudy Giuliani when it came to Ukraine” and that they “had no choice” but to deal with him, Lofgren said.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said during a break in the trial that there’s recognition on both sides of the aisle that Giuliani has brought about a number of new problems for Trump. Hirono pointed to remarks by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton that referred to Giuliani as a “hand grenade” who would “blow everybody up.” While Bolton has expressed a willingness to testify before the Senate during the impeachment trial, Republican senators voted Tuesday against subpoenaing Bolton’s testimony.

“I think we all know that Rudy runs around and I think his credibility is entirely shot,” Hirono said.

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