Rudy Giuliani joins Trump’s personal legal team

Former New York mayor aiding US president’s efforts to ‘wrap up’ Mueller investigation

 US president Donald Trump with former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani in Washington, DC, in 2016. File photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

US president Donald Trump with former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani in Washington, DC, in 2016. File photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

 

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining US president Donald Trump’s personal legal team.

“Rudy is great,” Mr Trump said in a statement released on Thursday by Jay Sekulow, his lawyer. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”

Mr Trump announced the hire six days after a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in which the Justice Department official assured the president he was not a target of any part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation or the one into the president’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Mr Giuliani, contacted by telephone, confirmed he was joining the legal team and said he was taking a “very brief” leave of absence from his firm, Greenberg Traurig LLP, to assist the president in dealing with Mr Mueller’s investigation.

“My job is going to be to try to get him what he needs to wrap it up,” Mr Giuliani said. “I know everybody involved, maybe they’ll trust me. “

Mr Giuliani added that a decision on whether Mr Trump should agree to be interviewed by the special counsel’s team will be “up to the president” but “we’ll hash that out.”

In recent weeks, Mr Trump has struggled to bring on attorneys and last month lost one of the key lawyers representing him.

The addition of Mr Giuliani, who campaigned for Mr Trump and has been an informal adviser to the president, comes after an FBI raid on Mr Cohen’s office and home.

Mr Sekulow said that Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin are also joining the legal team.

Mr Trump has few senior attorneys on his team. Ty Cobb runs the White House’s response to the Russia investigation, and Mr Sekulow, a talk radio host known for arguing First Amendment cases, is leading the president’s personal team.

The previous head of that team, John Dowd, quit last month amid disagreements about strategy. Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing were announced as new hires to Mr Trump’s team that week, but the president reversed course, with one of his other lawyers saying that conflicts precluded them from joining the team representing him on Russia.

Mr Giuliani, who was US attorney for the Southern District of New York in the 1980s and ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, was rumoured to be under consideration to be Mr Trump’s attorney general. Instead, Mr Trump named the former mayor an informal adviser on cybersecurity issues. – Bloomberg