During his piercing questioning of Giuliani on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace all but announced that Giuliani’s unhinged responses indicated Donald Trump has no good defense against the damaging revelations in the Mueller report. Or, maybe Wallace would have if he didn’t give Giuliani a “This is still GOP TV” wink at the end.
Remember that old saying about lawyers pounding the table when neither the law nor the facts are on your client's side? Well, it looked like table pounding was all Giuliani could manage in this lengthy interview. Altough he disappointed me at the end, Wallace did a darned good job of exposing Giuliani’s smokescreens in lieu of almost any substantive answer.
For example, it’s hard to imagine that anyone but the most die-hard Trumper found Giuliani’s “explanation” for Trump’s reported efforts to fire Mueller credible and persuasive, assuming anyone could make sense of them in the first place (transcript excerpts via Fox News):
GIULIANI: OK. So, number one, had he done it [fired Mueller], it would not have been obstruction of justice because there were very good reasons to fire Mueller. And the president has the absolute plenary --
WALLACE: Wait, what was the reason to fire Mueller? He'd only been on the job a month.
GIULIANI: Mueller hired a staff in which he had people that I would find very questionable as people that would be investigating Donald Trump.
He hired the chief counsel to the Clinton Foundation. Absurd. He hired someone who had been a very, very strong partisan of Hillary Clinton, that her going away party, whatever that was and had a history of ethical misconduct -- unethical.
WALLACE: But according to the Mueller report, sir --
GIULIANI: Can I ask finish, Chris? It's a complex answer. You asked a complex answer to my question, I've got to give a complex answer.
I mean, there are a lot of reasons why --
WALLACE: OK, but I understood that what you're saying is that the investigation is biased. OK.
GIULIANI: I know you don't want a long answer but in fairness --
WALLACE: I understood what you're saying is the investigation was biased.
GIULIANI: No, what I'm saying is you could perceive it that way, which would give you a good faith reason to fire him. And also, he demonstrated in the case of Comey that he could fire someone and not interfere in the investigation because immediately it was taken up by someone else.
He told Lester Holt that he realized --
WALLACE: Sir, I'm not asking about Comey, I'm asking about Mueller.
Basically the answer to almost every question was “Mueller was biased.” At one point, Giuliani responded sarcastically, “When did Mueller become God?” when Wallace noted that Mueller said there was not a need for an underlying crime for obstruction of justice to occur.
Then there was this, in which Giuliani claimed Hillary Clinton’s “guilt” was the difference between her and Trump – moments before Giuliani said, ”I’m not saying she’s guilty.”
WALLACE: I just want to ask you a question. You say that they gave -- you gave, the president gave [the Mueller team] everything they wanted. I understand you're saying they didn't have a right to testimony.
Let's look at the president's testimony.
GIULIANI: By the way --
WALLACE: No, no, no, sir. At least 37 times he said in written answers he did not recall.
GIULIANI: Oh, my goodness.
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, you say oh, my goodness --
GIULIANI: Comey says it 202 times.
WALLACE: OK. Here's what -- when Hillary Clinton did that during her investigation about the email --
GIULIANI: I know, I said it.
WALLACE: -- about the report, here's what the president said. Take a look.
GIULIANI: I said a similar thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When she was interviewed by the FBI, she claims she couldn't remember important events 39 times. So, she really didn't remember, that's a problem. And if she did remember, that's a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You've got 30 seconds. Why is that a problem for Hillary Clinton but it isn't for Donald Trump?
GIULIANI: Because Hillary Clinton was guilty of the underlying crimes. She did crush the cell phones --
WALLACE: Who made you God, as you said about Mueller?
GIULIANI: I'm not God about Mueller. I'm just the opposite --
WALLACE: No, no, you're saying that who made God -- who made Mueller God, now you're declaring whether she was guilty or not.
GIULIANI: I'm saying there's a difference between them. I'm not saying she's guilty. I'm just saying there's a difference.
As Crooks and Liars pointed out, not only was Hillary Clinton not guilty for crushing her cell phone, it was proper for her to do so. That is the way to prevent data from getting into the wrong hands.
But before you get too warm and fuzzy about Wallace, consider this gratuitous praise he offered Giuliani at the end of the interview: “I will say this -- you are a heck of a lawyer.”
Maybe there was no other way to defend Trump's venal, amoral and deceptive behavior as revealed in the Mueller report. Unfortunately, though, there are probably millions of Trump supporters who will buy the snake oil.
Watch the contentiousness below, from the April 21, 2019 Fox News Sunday.