President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, jokes about serving special counsel Robert Mueller with a $17 million lawsuit following Mueller’s failure to come to a conclusion on obstruction of justice charges against Trump.
Giuliani was interviewed on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine on Saturday, telling the network host that he should sue Mueller to “get that money back for the government.”
The segment began with Jeanine Pirro asking the former New York City mayor about statements from Attorney General William Barr where he said he and deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein did not understand why Mueller did not come to a conclusion on charging Trump.
“We first heard that the special counsel’s decision not to decide the obstruction issue at meet–at the March 5th meeting when he came over to the department, and we were, frankly, surprised that–that they were not going to reach a decision on obstruction,” Barr said during a May 1 Senate hearing. “We asked them a lot about the reasoning behind this and the basis for this. Special Counsel Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting, in response to our questioning, that he emphatically was not saying that but for the [Office of Legal Counsel’s] opinion he would have found obstruction. He said that in the future the facts of the case against the president might be such that a special counsel would recommend abandoning the OLC opinion, but this is not such a case. We did not understand exactly why the special counsel was not reaching a decision. And when we pressed him on it, he said that his team was still formulating the explanation.”
Pirro asked Giuliani if he understood Barr’s meaning of “not understanding” Mueller.
“I think I do,” Giuliani said. “Mueller has said a bunch of different things, but if you look at the report it says very clearly that he could not conclude that the president committed obstruction of justice but then he goes on to say ‘but I can’t exonerate him.’ So he actually did make kind of a decision, which is ‘I can’t decide whether he committed obstruction of justice.’ He wrote that.”
Giuliani went on to say that prosecutors decide if there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime and, if not, the person is exonerated.
“We don’t go ahead and write you a clean bill of health and say there’s no possibility you did it, I never remember ever doing that,” Giuliani said, prompting Pirro to agree.
Pirro then asked about Mueller’s conclusion and why Mueller failed to make a decision.
“It was a dereliction of duty,” Giuliani replied. “Why do you appoint an independent counsel, a special counsel? Theoretically you appoint them because there’s some kind of conflict, and they are supposed to make a decision.”
“So he made a decision about collusion, he couldn’t make a decision about obstruction. I think he should return half the money,” he continued, referencing the estimated $31 to $35 million spent on the almost two-year-long investigation. “If he did that for a private company….if someone appointed me a private investigator and said ‘well, you’ve got to come to two conclusions’ and I investigate and I come to one, but I say ‘gee, I can’t figure out the second one’ and they pay me $35 million, I think I have to probably give them about $17 million back.”
“I think I might bring a qui tam action to get that money back for the government,” Giuliani added as Pirro laughed at the suggestion.
Qui tam action is a legal term meaning that a private individual or entity brings legal action forward on behalf of the government.
“I think you should be able to get that money back,” Pirro said. “Because there’s no reason for him not to make a decision.”
“What a joke. I think Mueller has made a complete fool out of himself,” Giuliani said in reply. “Even more than, well not more than [former FBI Director James] Comey. Imagine saying ‘the report speaks for itself’ and then speaking for nine minutes and not saying anything except little hints to the fawning Democrats who want some excuse to impeach, even though the president didn’t do anything wrong. And this guy couldn’t find anything he did wrong.”
Mueller announced during his press conference that the special counsel’s office will be dissolved in the coming days and that he will be stepping down and returning to private life.
“I’m speaking out today because our investigation is complete,” Mueller said at the press conference. “The attorney general has made the report on our investigation largely public. We are formally closing the special counsel’s office, and as well I’m resigning from the Department of Justice to return to private life. … The office’s written work speak[s] for itself.”
Former Mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani speaks during the Conference In Support Of Freedom and Democracy In Iran on June 30, 2018 in Paris, France. The speakers declared their support for the Iranian peoples uprising and the democratic alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran and called on the international community to adopt a firm policy against the mullahs regime and stand by the arisen people of Iran. Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images