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Giuliani Backtracks on Representing Trump

He says being a 'witness' disqualifies him
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 2:34 PM CST

(Newser) – Rudy Giuliani—who called for "trial by combat" at the Trump rally that preceded the Capitol riot—won't be representing the president in his trial by Senate on a charge of inciting an insurrection. "Because I gave an earlier speech, I am a witness and therefore unable to participate in court or Senate chamber," Giuliani told ABC News Sunday night, a day after he told the network that he was involved with the impeachment defense and would raise voter fraud allegations. Sources tell the New York Times that Giuliani met Trump at the White House Saturday night, and the president told people the next day that the former New York City mayor would not be on the team for his second impeachment defense.

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The sources say the president was unhappy about Giuliani's Saturday ABC interview, in which he said Trump might testify. Republican strategist Karl Rove said Sunday that Trump would be more likely to be convicted in the Senate trial if Giuliani was on the team, Forbes reports. "With the Rudy Giuliani defense there is a strong likelihood that more than 17 Republicans will (vote to convict)," Rove told Fox News. Rove believes that's because Giuliani has been arguing that Trump wasn't spouting "fighting words" but truth when he talked about voter fraud, so it wasn't incitement. Giuliani has asserted that "the attack on the Capitol and the attempt to end the Congressional hearing on certifying the election was justified because all these charges are true," said Rove. "Frankly, they are not." (Trump is reportedly refusing to pay Giuliani.)

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