Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said Rudy Giuliani’s recent statements as President Donald Trump’s new lawyer have been unhelpful to his client.
The former prosecutor and ranking member on the House intelligence committee said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he was “taken aback” by Giuliani’s legal strategy in defending the president against allegations that a payment from his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels violated campaign finance laws.
Trump told reporters in April that he was unaware of the payment, which was made as part of a non-disclosure agreement. That statement was called into question after Giuliani said a few days ago that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the payment.
“His legal defense for the president seems to be a bit orthodox [sic], to start out by saying, ‘You can’t believe the president of the United States. That’s our defense. So when he says things you’ve just got to discount them,’” Schiff said. “‘And more than that, trust me, this wasn’t a violation of campaign laws.’ Neither one of those things is pretty persuasive.”
He said other statements by Giuliani have been “deeply hurtful to the president’s case,” such as his remarks about former FBI Director James Comey.
The former New York City mayor said in a Wednesday interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Trump fired the FBI chief “because Comey would not, among other things, say that he wasn’t a target of the [Russia] investigation.”
“All of these things are deeply hurtful to the president’s case and notwithstanding the efforts of damage control, I think this is a very unpromising strategy,” Schiff said.