Former U.S. Attorney John S. Martin slammed Rudy Giuliani and claimed he had “sold out” to President Donald Trump and he is not the attorney he was before.
“He has totally sold out to Trump,” Martin said to The New Yorker in a piece published Monday. “He’s making arguments that don’t hold up. I always thought of Rudy as a good lawyer, and he’s not looking anything like a good lawyer today.”
Martin was not the only one who was rebuking Giuliani as a lawyer in the story, titled “How Rudy Giuliani Turned Into Trump’s Clown.”
Preet Bharara, who was U.S. Attorney between 2009 and 2017 when Trump fired him, said Giuliani makes “blatant misrepresentations” on television.
“It’s sad because I looked up to him at one point, and this bespeaks a sort of cravenness to a particularly hyperbolic client and an unnecessary suspension of honor and truth that’s beneath him,” Bharara said. “I would not send Rudy at this point in his career into court.”
Trump, who hired Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, six months ago, was looking for a combative approach to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians in the 2016 presidential election.
“I thought legally it was getting defended very well. I thought publicly it was not getting defended very well,” Giuliani said in defense.
Trump early in his presidency as Mueller began his investigation apparently said, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?”—a New York lawyer who used the media to slam opponents—and found him in Giuliani.
Giuliani has since made numerous bombastic claims on television, even one that Trump discredited. Last month, Giuliani while arguing that Mueller was trying to get Trump to commit perjury, said “truth isn’t truth,” drawing ridicule, and later clarified his remark.
He calls Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” and the prosecutors in the case “thugs,” as Trump does, and his legal work backs up controversial claims the president makes on Twitter. “Giuliani, like the President, is not seeking converts but comforting the converted,” The New Yorker piece states.
Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access
Iran imposed an almost complete nationwide internet blackout on Sunday one of its most draconian attempts to cut off Iranians from each other and the rest of the world as widespread anti-government unrest roiled the streets of Tehran and other cities for a third day, The New York Times reported.
The death toll for the three days of protests rose to at least 12; hundreds were injured; and more than 1,000 people have been arrested, according to semiofficial news agencies like Fars News.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, called the demonstrators “thugs” and endorsed the government’s decision to raise prices it sets for rationed gasoline by 50 percent as of Friday and by 300 percent for gasoline that exceeds ration limits. Even after the price hike, gasoline in Iran is still cheaper than in most of the rest of the world – now the equivalent of about 50 cents a gallon.
In a speech on Sunday, Khamenei said he would support rationing and increasing gas prices because heads of three branches of government had made the decision.
Khamenei also acknowledged that Iranians had taken to the streets to protest and that some had died – however, he blamed the protests on monarchists and opposition groups trying to destabilize Iran, the Times added.
The widespread discontent on display across the country marked yet another crisis for the country. Iran has been struggling with an economic crisis after the United States exited a nuclear deal and reimposed harsh sanctions that ban Iran’s oil sales.
HASC Chairman Claims Legislation to Create a Space Force in 2020 ‘Still Possible’
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said last week that negotiations on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act are “proceeding reasonably well” but he expressed doubt that the NDAA will include language to authorize a Space Force as a separate military branch, SpaceNews reported.
“It’s still possible but by no means guaranteed,” Smith told reporters on Capitol Hill last week. When asked for specifics, Smith said, “I don’t think it would be helpful for me to make predictions.”
The biggest sticking point in the NDAA negotiations is language in the House version of the bill that restricts the use of military funds to pay for the wall that President Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border, SpaceNews adds.
There are other dealbreaker issues. The authorization of a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces is one of them, Smith said. Other contentious matters include extending the “war powers” legislation that authorizes the president to use military force, and allowing transgender people to serve in the military.
Smith said the House and Senate NDAA conference in recent weeks worked on compromise language on hundreds of provisions and “reduced the stack significantly, and we’re down to a few really contentious issues.”
Smith characterized the Space Force as a “higher echelon” issue that is proving divisive. Both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate continue to have reservations about the administration’s Space Force proposal, said Smith. “There is bipartisan concern on the proposal and bicameral concern about the specifics of that proposal.”
The House version of the NDAA creates a Space Corps and is closer aligned with what the administration proposed. The Senate bill would rename the Air Force Space Command the U.S. Space Force and does not specifically authorize a sixth branch of the armed forces.
Smith noted that the House has been a proponent of a military space branch since 2017 while the Senate had adamantly opposed it. “In their bill they didn’t have the same language that we did. But the president has persuaded them to look at it differently.”
Gunman Kills Four at California Backyard Party
Police in the California city of Fresno were investigating a mass shooting at a football game party on Sunday in which at least 10 people were shot, killing four, with five others left in critical condition and another wounded, Reuters informs.
Three men died at the scene and another died at a hospital, Fresno Deputy Police Chief Michael Reed said in a late night news conference. Six more were hospitalized, he said.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this thing,” Reed said. “This was senseless violence. We’re going to do everything we can to find out who the perpetrators were and bring them to justice.”
A gunman walked into a backyard and started shooting at a south Fresno home, where a gathering of about 35 family and friends was watching a football game before 8 p.m., said Reed. Neighbors soon flooded 911 dispatchers with calls for help, Reuters adds.
The suspect fled the scene and police were combing the neighborhood for witnesses and possible security camera footage, police said. Police did not release further information about the shooting in the city about 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles, except that the dead were men between the ages of 25 and 35.