Rudy Giuliani’s Attorneys In Ukraine Case Now Centered In Debt, Scandal Allegations
The firm representing Rudy Giuliani in his Ukraine case is now facing allegations of corruption and scandal of its own. During the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump, Giuliani’s connections to the Ukraine scandal led him to hire legal counsel. Ukraine was allegedly warned they would not receive military support unless they announced investigations into Trump’s presumptive presidential opponent, Joe Biden. At the time, Giuliani was serving as Trump’s personal attorney and hired his own defense counsel for Ukraine. Now, the law firm Rudy hired, Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, and the firm’s leadership are under fire in their own legal troubles; particularly the firm’s founder, John M. Pierce, who has said he and Rudy are “good friends.”
In November 2019, Rudy Giuliani tweeted, defending his involvement in the Ukraine scandal and indicated that he would be represented by the Pierce Bainbridge law firm. (Again, Ukraine was allegedly warned they would not receive military support unless they announced investigations into Trump’s presumptive presidential opponent, Joe Biden).
The investigation I conducted concerning 2016 Ukrainian collusion and corruption, was done solely as a defense attorney to defend my client against false charges, that kept changing as one after another were disproven.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 6, 2019
I am represented and assisted by Robert Costello and the Pierce Bainbridge firm in particular , Eric Creizman and Melissa Madrigal.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) November 6, 2019
This is where it gets complicated. The short version? The law firm representing Giuliani, the lawyer that advises the U.S. President, is facing allegations of corruption, drowning in massive debt, has recovered zero dollars on some lawsuits claiming damages in the tens of millions, and faces accusations of defamation from an ex-partner.
So, how is this relevant to Giuliani, who hired the firm to represent him?
According to the New York Times, Giuliani was running out of options when he hired Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP — which has since lost a number of these named partners – Beck, Price & Hecht. The title of the Times article is “Facing Investigation, Giuliani Needed a Lawyer, but Firms Stayed Away.” It suggests the traditional law firms did not want Rudy’s money.
Meanwhile, Pierce Bainbridge was suffering its own struggles, according to Law Fuel. the firm had two $50 million lawsuits by Tulsi Gabbard closed out, “…with zero dollars recovered.” On May 27, they hit an embarrassing trifecta: (i) the law firm was reported to be $70 million in debt, (ii) the firm’s $50 million lawsuit for Gabbard against Hillary Clinton was dropped, and (iii) John Pierce signed a “confession of judgment” in the amount of almost $4 million in relation to a February loan. That’s not all:
“The firm now has a reported $65 million debt to Virage Capital Management, is a defendant in seven filed lawsuits, four involving cash provided upfront against alleged firm receivables.”
Thus the zoomed-out image is of a man attached to the President, connected to allegations of international wrongdoing, desperate for legal representation and refused service by major law firms, and a law firm struggling with a hefty debt, a few cases gone expensively wrong, and facing litigation itself.
This is still a fraction of the story though. Less than 3 months after Giuliani tweeted his representation, the two Pierce Bainbridge attorneys he named left the firm, according to the New York Law Journal.
More? The firm Giuliani hired had only existed for a little less than three years at the time. It was now on its third name and already stood accused of severe financial irregularities. According to an article in Forbes, the firm faced “explosive and detailed allegations of serious financial improprieties,” including “self-dealing”, failure “to pay debts as they became due,” and “manipulat[ing] clients with gifts.”
What’s more, according to Bloomberg, an attorney who provided legal counsel to the law firm, Mark Mukasey, loaned $100k to Giuliani’s for his tax bills last year. Mukasey was previously Giuliani’s law partner at two firms. In March 2019, Mukasey began his own firm and has since represented the Trump Organization in an inquiry for financial records from New York State prosecutors. According to the New York Times, “Marc L. Mukasey, an attorney for the Trump Organization, called the inquiry a ‘political hit job.’ It’s just harassment of the president, his family and his business, using subpoenas as weapons. We will respond as appropriate.”
More still? When the two attorneys that Giuliani named as his Pierce Bainbridge representation left the firm, John Pierce, according to The Root, said he’d personally work on Rudy’s legal matters. He then took a leave of absence after, ABA Journal reports after the law firm investigated Pierce for allegedly accepting a business loan for personal use. Pierce has reportedly since returned to the firm.
Pierce Bainbridge is not the only odd link in Giuliani’s representation — Front Page Live said the President’s personal attorney is “so radioactive he’s hiring a lawyer who was investigated by federal prosecutors,” referring to the other counsel Giuliani named in his tweet — Robert Costello of Davidson Hutcher & Citron LLP. Costello has been questioned about, according to CNN, telling Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in writing, that: “I just spoke to Rudy Giuliani and told him I was on your team . . . Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.” Costello admitted that he was alluding to the President, while Cohen was being asked to testify against Trump.
Giuliani has not publicly addressed the long chain of scandals, allegations, and questionable events connected to his legal representation.