"NEED A LAWYER?" the ad blared on a New York City A subway train. "Call CRAZY RUDY." It helpfully includes "Back-Channel Deals," "Cable News Appearances," and "Has NO SHAME" as assets, listed next to a photo of a surprised-looking old man with his mouth open.
That old man? Former New York City Mayor and current pro bono personal attorney for President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani. The president's counsel has come under withering scrutiny for his role in Ukraine negotiations at the heart of the recently opened impeachment inquiry, as well as his ubiquitous television appearances and tweets.
So, should you call "Crazy Rudy?"
The New York Daily News reports that the phone number on the fake Giuliani ad leads to an unhinged voicemail, and the website is inactive. That could be because the real Rudy has been very busy lately. According to a whistleblower complaint, Giuliani attended meetings with Ukraine's chief prosecutor in New York in January and Warsaw, Poland, in February, allegedly to instigate investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and his business dealings in the country.
“We're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do," Giuliani told the New York Times in May:
“There's nothing illegal about it ... Somebody could say it's improper. And this isn't foreign policy — I'm asking them to do an investigation that they're doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I'm going to give them reasons why they shouldn't stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government."
That client, of course, is Donald Trump. Although Giuliani is (in)famously representing the president at no cost. "Will work for FREE," the subway ad claims, adding, "*will work when drunk." But Rudy's motives may not be limited to providing a public service to the most powerful man in the world.
“Not only is he working pro bono for the president, for this individual, but it's costing him money," Giuliani's wife's divorce lawyer recently told a judge. “Not only does he work for free, but all of his expenses every time he goes down to Washington DC, every time he travels for the president, it comes out of his own pocket, and he won't say how much it's costing him."
Judith Nathan Giuliani's attorney, Bernard Clair, claims Giuliani is artificially suppressing his income for marital property and spousal support reasons. Savvy lawyering or scummy weaseling?
So, are Giuliani's unconventional tactics effective? Perhaps not. Giuliani will probably be called to testify in Trump's impeachment hearings, and he may not be able to invoke attorney-client privilege when it comes to conversations with foreign government officials or even those in the U.S. who aren't named Donald Trump. And there are rumors that Rudy's replacements are already waiting in the wings.
If a blustering media presence who may or may not further implicate you in additional wrongdoing and agree to testify against you "if they let me use videotapes and tape recordings that I have, if they let me get some of the evidence that I gathered" sounds like your kind of lawyer, leave a message at (347) 687-0436, and Crazy Rudy might get back to you.