No American politician in recent memory has fallen so far so fast as Rudolph W. Giuliani. He went from being regaled as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2001, after the terrorist attacks, to being the subject of a predawn FBI raid on his home and office by the end of April. It should also not be forgotten that in order to get that warrant to search Giuliani’s office and home, investigators had to convince a federal judge they had probable cause to believe that the search would turn up evidence of a crime. The former US Attorney from the Southern District of New York is now being investigated for his – how does one put it? — incredibly sketchy work in the Ukraine, in which he may or may not have been the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence. This is not a good look, under any conceivable circumstances, for the man formerly known as “America’s Mayor.” (Averted Gaze)
How legally uncomfortable is it going to get for Rudy? Quite a bit. Electronic devices were seized (Rudy employs at least three cellphones). And his efforts to oust the US Ambassador to the Ukraine is getting renewed federal attention. Why would Rudy do such a thing? Paul Krugman of the New York Times said it best last week on Twitter. “Does Rudy Giuliani ever think about how easy and pleasant his life could have been?” Krugman tweeted. “He could have spent the last 20 years giving lucrative speeches about Leadership, consisting of a few nouns, a few verbs, and 9/11.” And indeed he could have. So much was the goodwill that Giuliani built up as the nation’s comforter-in-chief in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. But it is not within Rudy’s nature to go quietly into the night, no matter how well compensated.
Rudy has always lusted after a more Kissingerian role in American government. He essentially served as Trump’s shadow Secretary of State. Unportfolio-ed, his grubby fingerprints are smeared all over policy push positioning from Turkey to Iran to Russia. Twenty years ago, Queen Elizabeth II named Rudy Giuliani Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and our man from the Upper East Side never quite got over his elevated position on the world stage. But he was too thirsty by a half in the intervening years. His paid consulting work with shady governments would have made a Senate confirmation for SecState problematic to say the least. Senator Rand Paul – on the Foreign Relations Committee – hinted that he would filibuster a Giuliani nomination to Foggy Bottom in November 2016. So Rudy could only play an elder foreign statesman on TV and not in real life.