President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has abruptly parted ways with his law firm, citing the “pressing demands” of representing Trump in the special counsel’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Giuliani, whose recent media blitz on behalf of Trump stirred controversy, took a leave of absence from Greenberg Traurig last month. But on Thursday, the firm announced Giuliani’s resignation, effective the day before.
The announcement followed several interviews in which Giuliani described a settlement reached by a Trump lawyer with an adult-film star to keep her silent about an alleged affair as a standard arrangement for lawyers trying to protect high-profile clients.
In a brief interview Thursday, Giuliani said there was no acrimony inside the firm regarding his work for Trump, saying that “half the firm is for him, maybe half against — fifty-fifty. It wasn’t about that; it was about giving my full attention to the president.”
“This is a full-time job working for the president, and we’ve got to figure this out and get this over with,” Giuliani said. “That’s why the timing is right.”
In a statement, Richard A. Rosenbaum, executive chairman of Greenberg Traurig, said that Giuliani originally intended to “play a limited role, for a short period of time” representing Trump.
“After recognizing that this work is all-consuming and is lasting longer than initially anticipated, Rudy has determined it is best for him to resign from the firm,” Rosenbaum said. He added that he maintains respect for the former New York mayor’s “incredible career” and considers him a friend.
Giuliani’s decision, first reported by the New York Times, comes soon after he has not only aggressively addressed a probe by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III but also disclosed that Trump had reimbursed his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payout to adult-film star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged affair.
In interviews, Giuliani suggested that such payments were not uncommon at his law firm to calm accusations confronting wealthy and well-known people.
“That was money that was paid by his lawyer, the way I would do, out of his law firm funds,” Giuliani said on Fox News, speaking of Cohen’s payment to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election.
“Michael would take care of things like this like I take care of this with my clients,” Giuliani added.
In other interviews, Giuliani also claimed that Mueller was seeking to “trap” the president into committing perjury with a request for an extended interview about Russian interference in the election and Trump’s actions regarding the investigation.
“What they’re really trying to do is trap him into perjury, and we’re not suckers,” Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, said during another Fox News interview. “This silly deposition is about a case in which he supposedly colluded with the Russians, but there’s no evidence.”
Giuliani told The Washington Post that the president and his legal team remain undecided on whether Trump will sit down with Mueller in the coming weeks. He said that the president’s team would need to view the parameters as “narrow” and “fair.”