Who can blame him? The Washington Post reports this as part of a picture of Donald Trump’s resentful isolation. It sounds more like a picture of a legal client’s wisdom and discernment. After handing over control of his legal efforts to challenge the election results to Giuliani, Trump now appears very dissatisfied with Giuliani’s legal expertise and operations.
Welcome to the club:
With less than seven days remaining in his presidency, Trump’s inner circle is shrinking, offices in his White House are emptying, and the president is lashing out at some of those who remain. He is angry that his allies have not mounted a more forceful defense of his incitement of the mob that stormed the Capitol last week, advisers and associates said.
Though Trump has been exceptionally furious with Vice President Pence, his relationship with lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of his most steadfast defenders, is also fracturing, according to people with knowledge of the dynamics between the men.
Trump has instructed aides not to pay Giuliani’s legal fees, two officials said, and has demanded that he personally approve any reimbursements for the expenses Giuliani incurred while traveling on the president’s behalf to challenge election results in key states. They said Trump has privately expressed concern with some of Giuliani’s moves and did not appreciate a demand from Giuliani for $20,000 a day in fees for his work attempting to overturn the election.
Of course, it didn’t help Giuliani that Trump gave him an impossible task, but even at that Giuliani bumbled his way through it. After outside attorneys refused to present Giuliani’s arguments in the Pennsylvania case, Giuliani personally litigated it himself — and couldn’t answer basic questions regarding levels of scrutiny for the court to apply. Giuliani also famously informed the court that the Trump campaign wasn’t alleging fraud, even while it screamed fraud in press conferences.
And let’s not forget that Giuliani linked up with Sidney Powell and Lin Wood for the insanity that would become the “Kraken” lawsuits. Three weeks after the election, Chris Christie called the legal team “a national embarrassment,” and it only got worse from there.
Just how much value did Giuliani deliver, anyway? Certainly not the $20,000 a day he reportedly demanded for his services. His conduct was so bad that the New York State Bar Association wants to expel him from their membership. Small wonder that Trump isn’t keen on paying his bills.
Of course, that’s what the Washington Post reports. Jason Miller, described in the same report as one of the few in the inner circle still standing by Trump, pushed back this morning in a Trump-tweet-by-proxy:
Just spoke with President Trump, and he told me that @RudyGiuliani is a great guy and a Patriot who devoted his services to the country!
We all love America’s Mayor!
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) January 14, 2021
The Giuliani-love crowd is also a shrinking circle, whether Miller knows it or not. If the FBI begins taking a good hard look at the potential for incitement charges against Giuliani stemming from the January 6 rally — the chances for which seem remote, but not altogether impossible — it’s going to get vanishingly small.