Report: Prosecutors Looking at Giuliani's Drinking Habits

The 'New York Times' talks to friends who claim he has a problem
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2023 2:59 PM CDT
Report: Prosecutors Looking at Giuliani's Drinking Habits
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani addresses reporters outside the Merrimack County Superior Court, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023, in Concord, N.H. Giuliani plans to sue President Joe Biden for calling him a “Russian pawn” during a 2020 debate.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

"It's actually one of the saddest things I can think about in politics," says a longtime friend of Rudy Giuliani of the former New York mayor's increased drinking. That friend—former New York City Council president Andrew Stein—went on the record, telling the New York Times, "It's no secret, nor do I do him any favors if I don't mention that problem, because he has it." As the paper reports by way of Stein and other friends, for years now, Giuliani's "consistent, conspicuous intoxication [has] often startled his company"—a report Giuliani vehemently denies. The Times' reporting is just as assertive, characterizing his drinking as "the pulsing drumbeat punctuating his descent." It's also, per the Times, a subject that has caught the attention of prosecutors in Donald Trump's federal case over attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Per the Times' source, members of the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, have questioned witnesses regarding Giuliani's drinking habits as he was advising Trump on election night and at other times and how aware Trump was of Giuliani's alleged intoxication. The Times gives context on how this could come into play, legally speaking:

  • "The answers to those prompts could complicate any efforts by Mr. Trump's team to lean on a so-called advice-of-counsel defense, a strategy that could portray him as a client merely taking professional cues from his lawyers. If such guidance came from someone whom Mr. Trump knew to be compromised by alcohol, especially when many others told Mr. Trump definitively that he had lost, his argument could weaken."

When asked about the report on Wednesday, Politico reports Giuliani was unequivocal: "I do not have an alcohol problem. I have never had an alcohol problem. [If] I have an alcohol problem, I should be in the Guinness Book of World Records," he said, offering up details from his career as evidence. "Nobody could have achieved that if they did [have a drinking problem]. ... I was working 24 hours a day. It's a big damn lie." According to the Times' sources, Giuliani generally didn't drink to excess while he was mayor or in the years immediately afterward, but it became an issue after his 2008 presidential bid flopped. (More Rudy Giuliani stories.)

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