Former Mayor of New York Rudolph Giuliani speaks at the Cisco Connect 2013 conference in Warsaw, Poland, November 26, 2013.
Pawel Supernak/EPA

Trump’s legal team adds Giuliani, moves in an odd direction

Updated

To hear Donald Trump tell it, “many lawyers and top law firms” are eager to represent him in the Russia case. It’s difficult to believe the presidential boast, of course, given the number of prominent attorneys who’ve rejected Trump’s overtures.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 4/19/18, 9:45 PM ET

Comey: Giuliani boasts prompted investigation into FBI leaks

Former FBI Director James Comey talks with Rachel Maddow about how Rudy Giuliani’s boasts of apparent foreknowledge of Comey’s announcement about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails led Comey to start an investigation into leaks from the FBI
Nevertheless, the president’s efforts to find someone, anyone, willing to join his legal defense team have finally paid off – sort of.

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is joining President Donald Trump’s legal team, providing advice on how to deal with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election, attorney Jay Sekulow confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.

“Rudy is great,” Trump said, according to a statement provided by Sekulow, a member of the president’s personal legal team dealing with the Russia probe. “He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.”

Of course, from a different perspective, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation must continue until its completion “for the good of the country.”

Up until yesterday, Trump’s legal team effectively consisted of Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow, but they’ll apparently now work alongside Giuliani – the former New York City mayor whom Trump had previously asked to advise the White House on cybersecurity issues. (There’s no evidence Giuliani ever did any meaningful work with the president on this issue.)

They’ll be joined by Jane Serene Raskin and Marty Raskin, who manage a Florida-based law firm, and who are former federal prosecutors.

None of Trump’s new lawyers has extensive experience as defense attorneys, which would appear to be what the president needs given the circumstances.

Of particular interest, though, is the timeframe Giuliani has in mind for the future of the investigation.

According to the former mayor, his hope is that he can help bring the investigation to an end “maybe in a couple of weeks.” I have no idea how Giuliani arrived at that number, but let’s not forget Trump World’s recent track record in this area.

After all, in recent months, Trump’s legal team has said the investigation into the president would end by Thanksgiving. Then they said it would all wrap up by Dec. 31. Then Jan. 31. Then March 31. Now it’s April 20, and Giuliani is looking at a two-week timeframe.

Good luck with that, Rudy.

Postscript: Among the reasons Giuliani is a curious choice for this role is that he was apparently the beneficiary of anti-Clinton leaks, during the 2016 campaign, from likeminded FBI agents He then talked about those pre-election leaks on Fox News.

I’m not in a position to know whether Giuliani has his own legal concerns in this case, but I wonder if Trump’s new lawyer may need a lawyer. I trust you saw James Comey’s comments on this to Rachel on the show last night?

Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Trump's legal team adds Giuliani, moves in an odd direction

Updated