It’s been challenging to keep up with Rudy Giuliani’s ongoing difficulties. As recently as last month, for example, a Washington, D.C.-based bar discipline committee concluded that the former New York City mayor should be disbarred for “frivolous” and “destructive” efforts to derail the 2020 presidential election.
But as regular readers know, that was really just the start of the Republican lawyer’s troubles. Giuliani has also received attention from special counsel Jack Smith’s office; he was recently smacked with discovery sanctions; he’s facing a credible defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems; and the defamation lawsuit he’s facing from former Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss continues to be a humiliating problem.
Last night’s news, however, is qualitatively worse and more serious. NBC News reported:
While working as a federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s, Rudy Giuliani was hailed for his innovative use of racketeering laws against the mob. Now he’s facing a similar charge — violation of Georgia’s RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act — for allegedly taking part in a conspiracy with then-President Donald Trump and others in a bid to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Up until very recently, the worst-case scenario for Giuliani appeared to be disbarment, disgrace, and dramatic financial penalties. Now, if convicted, the former mayor is facing the prospect of a prison sentence stemming from a criminal charge he personally helped pioneer.
But it’s not just Giuliani. The Fulton County indictment is different from Trump’s other indictments in a variety of ways, but among the most obvious — and most important — is the fact that the former president has been charged alongside a sizable group of co-conspirators.
Among the 19 who’ve also been indicted:
- Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff who was near the center of the campaign to keep Trump in office despite his defeat.
- John Eastman, the lawyer who served as a key architect of Trump’s anti-election plot.
- Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department lawyer who helped fuel Trump’s misguided ideas about the election, and whom the outgoing-president considered for acting attorney general.
- Kenneth Chesebro, the lawyer who helped take the lead on the fake-elector scheme.
- Sidney Powell, the lawyer who advised Trump after his defeat and concocted a variety of strange and conspiratorial claims about election fraud.
- Jenna Ellis, the lawyer who joined Team Trump’s “elite strike force team,” which helped promote Trump’s lies about the election results.
Time will tell, of course, how the case proceeds, but as a Washington Post analysis noted, “The indictments could ramp up pressure on the defendants to provide information and possibly even serve as witnesses against Trump, either in Georgia or in the federal case, where charges could still be brought against them.”
Or put another way, the list of co-conspirators comes alongside an unavoidable question: Who’ll flip first?