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While Giuliani Was Working as Trump’s Lawyer for Free, He Profited Off of Advice He Gave to Since-Indicted Clients


Rudy Giuliani has been working as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney free of charge for more than a year, leaving many to wonder how the former New York City mayor was making his money. Giuliani on Monday confirmed to Reuters that he was paid $500,000 last year for work he did on behalf of a company founded by Lev Parnas, one of the two Ukrainian-Floridian businessmen with close ties to Giuliani who were arrested last week and charged with violating federal campaign finance laws.

Giuliani said that Parnas and his company Fraud Guarantee retained the services of his management and security firm, Giuliani Partners LLC, in August 2018 to consult on business technology and provide legal advice on regulatory issues. Parnas and Fraud Guarantee reportedly paid Giuliani the $500,000 in two installments.

It was first reported that Giuliani would join Trump’s legal team in April 2018. Giuliani has said that he’s working for Trump for free, but only for “entirely patriotic” reasons.

My reason for working for President Trump for free is wholly and entirely patriotic, and also because he is my friend.

The New York Times last week reported that Giuliani himself is now the subject of a federal probe in the Southern District of New York, where prosecutors at the office he once led are reportedly investigating Giuliani for possible violations of federal lobbying laws. That investigation is directly linked to the arrest of Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman. According to the unsealed indictment, two $500,000 wire transfers were sent to an account controlled by Fruman on September 18, 2018 and October 16, 2018, by an unidentified Russian businessman. The money was then allegedly used by Parnas, Fruman, and two others named in the indictment to “gain influence and the appearance of influence with politicians and candidates” in the United States. It is against U.S. law for foreign nationals to spend or donate funds in connection with U.S. elections.

Giuliani, who has denied any knowledge of an investigation into his conduct, told Reuters that he was sure that the money he received did not come from foreign nationals.

“I know beyond any doubt the source of the money is not any questionable source,” he said. “The money did not come from foreigners. I can rule that out 100%,” Giuliani claimed, though he declined to reveal the source of the money. Giuliani also would not say if payments from Parnas and Fraud Guarantee was made directly to him or if he was paid through a different entity.

Giuliani has also said that he knows “exactly where the money came from.”

[image via ABC News screengrab]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.