In an interview with Fox New on Saturday, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared to threaten his own client, threatening that he has “insurance” against the president if he tries to throw Giuliani under the bus for his role in arranging the Ukraine bribery scheme.
His comments drew instant outrage from attorneys and former prosecutors on social media, who pointed out that Giuliani’s threat is a massive breach of attorney ethics at best, and a federal crime at worst.
Law students, take note: It’s not a great idea for an attorney (i) to repeatedly tweet in a way (“I was only acting for my client”) that undermines your client’s interests, nor (ii) to publicly blackmail your client w/insinuations that you have info that would harm him. https://t.co/EPHExZIntc
— Marty Lederman (@marty_lederman) November 23, 2019
What “insurance” does Giuliani have on Trump?
It’s totally unethical for a lawyer to suggest that he has negative information about a client, or threaten to release it, but Giuliani has flaunted his professional responsibility for some time. https://t.co/YHuzdmleha
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) November 23, 2019
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) November 23, 2019
Blackmailing a client doesn’t seem like the kind of behavior the state bar encourages.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) November 23, 2019
Just remember: Stuff like this, the fact that we haven’t heard from John Bolton, or from Mick Mulvaney, and the fact that this investigation has only gone on for a few weeks, means that we are only at chapter one of this Ukraine scandal. https://t.co/J1AZIqAkUf
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) November 23, 2019