What Giuliani is really doing, in other words, is adding a veneer of formality to the existing, largely political effort to target Trump’s enemies. He presents his activity as being conducted on behalf of the president and ferreting out the truth while simultaneously engaging right-wing or conservative outlets in promoting the allegations. Or, at times, simply making the allegations himself on social media, where they are often picked up by Trump’s defenders.
That Giuliani is also briefing the president on the allegations he’s hearing simply offers an unusual shortcut between a rumor’s creation and its introduction to Trump. Normally, rumors filter to the president through Fox News or through random people on Twitter; in Giuliani’s case, he gets direct face time with the president in which to present his case. It’s not surprising, then, that Attorney General William P. Barr has reportedly cautioned Trump about Giuliani. But Giuliani is certainly giving Trump what he wants — and, as Trump wants, pushing it out publicly.
Graham and other Republicans have been happy to entertain (or even embrace) some of the allegations Giuliani and others have promoted in the interest of defending Trump during the impeachment effort. Graham’s suggestion that a formal presentation of evidence from Giuliani would demand vetting is therefore welcome. But it doesn’t address the real problem: that Trump himself is apparently more interested in what Giuliani says than how accurate it happens to be.