Poor Rudy Giuliani. He was once “America’s Mayor.” He was worth millions. Now he may be jail-bound. And he’s struggling to pay ever-escalating legal fees, all because he tried to help Donald Trump overturn an election. Not that Trump has bailed him out. Last week it was reported that Giuliani flew down to Mar-a-Lago in a mostly fruitless attempt to get Trump to finally pay the millions in legal fees he owed him for his post-2020 election work. Now we’re learning more details, including that Trump simply won’t pony up.
A new report by The New York Times digs into Giuliani’s flailing attempts to get paid for his services, which reach back some two years. It started with Giuliani’s own lawyer, Robert J. Costello, reaching out to at least six lawyers with close Trump ties, to see if they could nudge the big guy to pay him. When that didn’t work, Giuliani schlepped down to the resort in which the former president now lives. There Trump made a “vague promise” to give him the money he’s owed.
So far all he’s done is cover the $340,000 Giuliani needed to pay a vendor to search for records pertaining to the Smartmatic lawsuit — one of many cases in which Giuliani got in trouble for Trump. But that’s it, even as Giuliani’s fortunes have dwindled.
Why is Trump basically stiffing Giuliani what he’s owed? He’s never given a reason, but he reportedly told aids that he shouldn’t receive “a dime” unless he won cases related to the election. Giuliani lost all of them. So, by Trump’s logic, he simply shouldn’t be paid for his hard, career-destroying work.
Maybe Trump simply doesn’t have the scratch. After all, his own political action committee has doled out around $21 million for his own legal fees, and for some connected to investigations around him. Giuliani has only received a fraction of that.
In the meantime, Giuliani has a relatively meager sources of income. His law license has been suspended, but he still earns around $400,000 a year for his WABC radio show, plus some income from a podcast he hosts, and another for a livestream broadcast. That’s not enough to stave off the avalanche of legal fees that have all but buried him.
Not even a legal defense fund set up by friends helped him. Set up in 2021, it sought $5 million. The website was taken down after raising less than $10,000. But maybe he’ll be in the clear should he sell his $6.5 million Upper East Side apartment. And yet Republicans still think it’s a good idea to get back in bed with Donald Trump.