President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani admitted this week that attacking special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump’s campaign ties with Russia is a deliberate strategy with a specific endpoint in mind: making impeachment impossible.
“To a large extent…what we’re doing here, it is the public opinion, because eventually the decision here is going to be impeach or not impeach,” Giuliani told CNN on May 27.
Since joining Trump’s legal team in April, tough-talking former New York mayor Giuliani has been omnipresent on cable news, starting off his appearances with a slew of gaffes, but seemingly developing a more pointed strategy of late.
To remove Trump from office, a majority of members of the House have to vote in favor of impeachment, and that vote needs to be upheld at trial by two-thirds of the Senate. Giuliani’s calculus seems to be that persuading Republican voters that the probe is, in Trump’s words, a “witch hunt,” would make it politically untenable for GOP lawmakers to vote for his impeachment.
Mueller, a lifelong Republican, certainly isn’t popular among his fellow conservatives. A recent poll by Global Strategy Group, GBA Strategies and Navigator Research showed 55% of Republicans have an unfavorable view of the former FBI director, and only 5% trust him to carry out the investigation.
Giuliani insisted the tactic of trying to discredit the probe has legitimate foundations, saying, “the basis on which [Mueller] was appointed was illegitimate.” He cited the fact that former FBI director James Comey had asked a friend to leak the contents of a memo, with the goal of getting a special counsel appointed.