In a new interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Rudy Giuliani claims that he never said Trump's campaign didn't collude with Russia....— Splinter (@splinter_news) January 17, 2019
Uhh, Rudy, allow us to review the tape: pic.twitter.com/zu28zhAo8J
Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani is not, actually, a good lawyer for Trump regarding the Russia investigation in the sense that what he does is anything like following a course of action to defend his client in actual courts--he's a disaster PR guy for the purposes of navigating Trump's image through a difficult political situation that can be diluted with pettifoggery. It is quite true, however, that Giuliani is not doing his best work anymore. For one thing, when Giuliani claims that he has not been trying to excuse the possibility of any collusion from the Trump campaign because only Trump is his client, there is a real problem with that: Trump and Giuliani pleaded that there had been no collusion--period!
This was actually the prior cover story Trump and Friends and been operating under--deny everything, no matter how many contacts existed. That basic omerta was violated because of the simple rule of conspiracies--the bigger it is the sooner it breaks. Someone will give, and then another one. So maybe Paul Manafort stays shtum about a lot of his business (and somehow Mueller knows he is not straight about things--so much redacted!) but it falls out that his partner, Rick Gates, is still usefully testifying.
If there was no collusion directly involving Trump, it doesn't mean he doesn't necessarily know whether anyone else in the campaign did collude, but once he started covering up for any or all of it--he was an accessory and obstructing justice, as far as I can tell. And that certainly looks like what he's been doing.
Sometimes potential sources of information slip through the grasp of justice. (I am praying for this preyed on young woman; I don't know if her story is for real or just a desperate seizing upon a situation to try and save herself, but I have sympathy and solidarity for her anyway.) And sometimes the source of information looks to be a disregarded cornerstone, but yields so very much--
And this is Cohen--allegedly. Some of the information revealed seems absurd in its small ratfuckery--paying an information officer at Liberty University to rig online polls (which are only worth so much and could be rigged by just having monkeys push buttons, anyway?) and create a fake account to make Michael Cohen out to be a sexy pitbull of lawyerly awesomeness? Which was paid for by a short bag of cash and an allegedly meaningful boxer's glove? And some is all too meaningful--Trump actively obstructing justice by directing his paid counsel to lie about acts germane to the Trump/Russia connection.
You can't obstruct justice without knowledge of guilt about what happened. Even if Trump himself didn't directly collude, he knew of it and lied about it and made others to do the same.
And we still aren't dealing with how his knowledge impacted his policies with respects to Russia, which still, in retrospect and even now, seem to be what Russia (Putin) wants.
There's nothing here that lets Trump off the hook. He is as implicated or even more so than ever. Even Bill Barr might find this within his standard of obstruction, if his hearing is any indicator.
It looks bad because it is bad. That is all I know, and all I need to know.