Greenberg Traurig Fires Rudy on the One Year Anniversary of the Comey Firing

For the last few weeks, Rudy Giuliani has been on a temporary leave from his firm Greenberg Traurig in a quest to negotiate the end of the Mueller probe of Donald Trump within weeks. As part of that goal, he has been badmouthing his former AUSA Jim Comey, calling him a disgraceful liar and a very perverted man.

GT’s Chair Richard Rosenbaum just issued a statement explaining that,

When Rudy Giuliani took an unpaid leave of absence from the firm, his intent was to play a limited role, for a short period of time, to address specific matters for President Trump. After recognizing that this work is all consuming and is lasting longer than initially accepted, Rudy has determined it is best for him to resign from the firm, effective May 9th.

Let’s be clear: this was not Rudy’s decision. The reputational cost of Rudy’s antics to the firm surely drove it.

Which is to say Rudy was made to resign. He was fired, effective May 9th.

What I especially love about it is the irony of the date: Rudy was fired on the one year anniversary of Comey’s firing.


74 replies
  1. pseudonymous in nc says:

    “Within weeks”, but in infrastructure weeks.

    What was Rudy 911 even doing at Greenberg Traurig? Not lawyering, surely. And after an extended public silence, that fortnight of cablenews blabbering has sent his stock down the shitter.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I presume Rudy came on as Of Counsel or as a contract partner, a kind of retirement gig given to the well-connected.  A firm gives someone like Rudy, a former mayor and local USA, a relatively low-cost gig, with some potential for revenue for the firm.  Given that it has been decades since Rudy was last inside a courtroom or actively practiced law, he was there for name recognition and his potential as a rainmaker.

      Rudy’s performance for the Don has been so dismal, and so publicized around the world, that there was no longer an upside.  There was a considerable downside.  GT cut bait.  Smart move.

      • emptywheel says:

        Doesn’t he have foreign clients that will prevent him from getting clearance? Plus there was the whole spring-Reza-Zarrab-from-jail gig.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Until the Don loses interest in his BFF Rudy, I suppose he could waive any clearance problems.  Jared and Ivanka still benefit from that.

  2. scribe says:

    Considering Jack Abramoff was a valued Greenberg Taurig partner well into his criminal case….

      • scribe says:

        A little burn, to add spice to the shade.

        Scribe likes.

        Also considering the firm name translates to “green mountain, mournful”.

        • Michael says:

          I believe the precise translation would be “green mountain sad”. (Though my Deutsch is self-made and admittedly … um … somewhat chaotic.)

          The first I heard of Greenberg Traurig was in this EW posting. but “traurig” jumped right out because its English equivalent is one of Trumplethinskin’s favorite words.

    • orionATL says:

      ol’ jack and G-T, eh? what a sweet coupl(ing).

      and ol’ jack is coupled with ol’ ralph reed, of whom i was thinking just recently when the name of young nick ayers, v.p. pence’-s chief-of-staff, and came up in connection with a small party problem in missouri.

      miss wiki has a nice picture of Ronald Reagan meeting with young Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist in connection with the College Republican National Committee, 1981.

      what is that saying? “the nuts don’t fall far from the tree”

  3. Ed Walker says:

    I’m pretty sure everyone here thought one reason Trumpy couldn’t find white shoe white collar crime lawyers is the damage to reputation to the firm.

    • Procopius says:

      I don’t know who said it, but it was an explanation of why no major law firm wanted Trump’s business: “He won’t pay and he won’t follow instructions.”

  4. Trip says:

    He should have just retired. Never cared for him, but after a long career respected by some, this is the hill he wants to die on?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A few days.

      It’s probably time to reconsider a donation.  Trump & Co. and Mueller will be giving us a lot of things to talk about and reasons for Trump supporters to make it difficult to do so.  Plus there’s the possibility she might have to spend time in court reporting on events.  Never hurts to plan ahead.  Neither travel nor server capacity is cheap, and rates for IPA, coffee and midnight oil haven’t gone down lately.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            They do.  Works fine, I hear.

            FYI, regarding Visa gift cards and the like, their transaction costs can be high, meaning less of one’s contribution makes into the bull’s eye.  Not to speak for Marcy, but by all means, use what works for you.

        • orionATL says:

          anonymous donations are very important to some. i’m one. i have never felt assured they work here, but they appear to do so elsewhere, in the commercial world. i think it just requires some intermediary.

      • posaune says:

        Thanks for the reminder, Earl.    Contribution on the way.

        Thank you Marcy and all here.    This is a phenomenal place!   Like getting a front row seat to the writing of Rise and Fall, only in real time.   So much appreciated.

  5. Rapier says:

    If GT’s Rosenbaum just leaves it at that, that Rudy resigned, then nothing is gained. Of course he will leave it at that because of business. Just like ATT gave Cohen some bucks. Just like every corporation in the world supported the tax cut which I likened to the Enabling Act.

    There was a tiny glimmer of hope when the markets tanked a bit the day before the State of the Union address. That hope is now virtually gone. It’s markets to the moon. The most powerful substantiation in our system.

    Sorry to go all Armageddon on you but we are really really fucked.

    • sand says:

      Perhaps we are, or . . .

      The rate at which our collective (consciousness? society? system? none of those seem right) seems to be digesting and passing these morsels could be a sign of strength. Our country’s institutions and people are being tested. We are the python that ate the porcupine. Now we have to pass all the needles to survive. (

      I too have despaired. At one point, I couldn’t see Trump making it to the end of 2017. Now, I’m (slightly) more patient, because we’re still better off than most. What would happen to Russia if it were run by phonies and fools and not just thieves? I’m not an historian (or lawyer or journalist or political scientist), but we got Lincoln after Buchanan and Obama after Bush. It’s a jagged line, but we were better in 1950 than in 1850, and we’ll be better still in 2050 if we survive.

      George Will called some folks out in a nice short piece yesterday, starting with Pence. ( Most snakes that eat porcupines die, but with enough pressure from right, left, and center, this administration too will pass.


  6. paper says:

    Hitching themselves to Rudy allowed Greenberg to lure a bunch of securities and white-collar attorneys over from Bracewell.  Be interesting to see if they stay.

  7. Kim Kaufman says:

    What I am wondering is: did Trump know the full extent of Cohen’s pay to play LLC? Was Trump OK with Cohen grifting a couple of million off of ATT et al and did Cohen get to keep it all?

        • Trip says:

          I think it’s HIGHLY likely he knew, if not directly benefited. But I have no evidence, of course. Yet two of Trump’s closest lawyers were intersecting with these deals, if not directly in contracts, in proximity (sharing the office and sharing the same clientele in different scenarios). Trump would have sniffed out the cash, like a pig to truffles. Then the oligarch contributed to the inauguration fund and attended.

        • Trip says:

          Are there any entities/people that gave Michael Cohen significant money that think they got what they bargained for?? Please, said people and entities, use this space. Tell us what Michael Cohen did for the money he took from you.

          They will never admit the quo. But after AT&T paid Cohen, within weeks Ajit Pai killed net neutrality and supposedly the payments ended. There was an article which stated there had been a meeting, but Pai denies this.

          The money came in four installments of $50,000, starting in early 2017 and ending in January 2018, right after Trump’s pick for FCC chair, Ajit Pai, rushed through the repeal of net neutrality, despite overwhelming outcry from across the political spectrum.

          • Trip says:

            Related? May not be. If it is, they got a lot of bang for their buck.:
            Mar 30, 2017
            AT&T Wins FirstNet Emergency Network Contract
            Will build out and maintain network, get access to spectrum

            AT&T has been awarded the multi-billion-dollar, 25-year contract to build and maintain FirstNet, the interoperable first responder public safety network proposed by the 911 Commission well over a decade ago following first responder communication failures during the attack’s tragic aftermath…Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross made the announcement Thursday at a signing ceremony. The network is a $46.5 billion public/private partnership with Commerce.


          • Trip says:

            Novartis got fast-tracked by the FDA for Kymriah, CAR-T therapy in August 2017. The first of its kind. Maybe it’s a wunderdrug. Or maybe it’s greasy wheels. Everyone hailed CEO Joe Jimenez as a genius, at the time.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      My take is that Michael Cohen is not a Paul Manafort, or a standard former-congresscritter lobbyist or white shoe lawyer.  He does not bring anything to the table.  He has no experience in accounting, health care, the law, or anything else that usually explains the quid for the quo.  He does what he’s told on behalf of the Don.

      Mickey makes arrangements, he’s a cut-out.  He is not the kind of guy those with money and who need access to the top pay, except to deliver it to or on behalf of someone else. It seems highly likely that everyone who paid into that Essential Consultants LLC account knew it. That’s why they didn’t stop their payments when “Mikey” provided so little. What Mikey had to offer was not what they were paying for.

      That suggests he didn’t keep that money for his own benefit.  If he had, he and his wife would have less personal debt, and he would probably not have had to mortgage his home at the Trump Park Avenue (and another one), as he did recently, presumably to get liquid and to pay his lawyers.  Where that money went, how and when would be of interest to Mr. Mueller.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        Josh Marshall’s latest podcast episode with Seth Hettena floated the idea that the Cohen associate moving heavily into the pot business smacked of money laundering: state-level-legal pot is a cash-only business because of federal banking regulations, and converting legit cash into a huge grow-op looks almost the same as converting dirty cash.

        In broader terms, my guess is that if you’re in the laundering business, you (ironically) have limited liquidity, because everything needs to be converted into real estate or other locked-up assets or in accounts on random Caribbean islands.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Here’s what I keep thinking:  The only reason we know anything at all about this LLC is because of Stormy Daniels.  If it weren’t for her and Michael Avenatti, this wouldn’t be a news story right now.  But this is just ONE LLC.  I think it’s more than likely that Cohen had more than one.  And the way he used this one suggests that he’s not very good at covering his tracks.  SDNY has all of his records at this point, so WE may not know about any other LLCs, but THEY probably do.  I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

      • Trip says:

        @Frank Probst, I can not, for the life of me, find it now (because google sucks, since they messed with timeline search settings), but my recall is that two LLCs were formed within days. One was set up, and not used, or the name was changed, to this Essential Consultants LLC. Unless I am losing it, this was widely reported when this story first broke. I don’t know if the other LLC was ever used or was simply abandoned or if, like I said, there was a rapid name change. I’ll try to look it up, but I keep getting current hits, even though I’m searching for older ones.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If Cohen were competent, he would have set up a host of cut-out LLCs, using different ones for each payment or class of payment, at a minimum to isolate one activity from another.  He doesn’t seem competent, which means there may be only a few LLCs.  I should think SDNY and/or Mueller are examining this in detail.

        Cohen should have made that harder to do, by using secrecy jurisdictions such as Nevada, Wyoming, Delaware, and so on, tiering them to make them even more opaque.  Apparently not.  The money trail available to prosecutors should open this up and make it easier to connect the dots.

        • Trip says:

          I think he’s a lazy grifter, like Trump. Neither worked all that hard, really, just a facade to get suckers. Add to that the complicity of politicians, giving them a free ride and a get out of jail free pass for so long, and then complacency is king. Giuliani was in the game (along with his FBI), WAY BACK, in the 1980s-90s, when people were giving him undue respect. I suspect Chris Christie as well.

        • Frank Prost says:

          I wouldn’t have known about secrecy jurisdictions, so I wouldn’t have done that, but you’re thinking is the same is mine:  Set up a new LLC for each sleazy deal, or at least each class of sleazy deals.

          But there’s STILL going to be a lot we don’t know, because this LLC was set up in late 2016, IIRC.  He was almost certainly doing sleazy deals before this one, so we’re seeing only the stupid things he’s done since late 2016.  The SDNY obviously knows a LOT more than this.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Agree.  As with Trump, this is customary, habitual behavior.  It looks cheap, lazy, incompetent, papered over by having a lot of money and knowing guys would take out a kneecap with the same reluctance as downing a shot of vodka.  That does leave more bread crumbs for a talented prosecutor to follow.

            As for using multiple LLCs, it also involves opening separate bank accounts with different friendly banks, and maintaining detailed files to keep things straight as well as separate. I suppose its the same as when a pro hit man uses a different weapon for each hit, in order to make the forensic details for each job dissimilar. Mikey doesn’t seem that detail oriented.

  8. Peacerme says:

    Patreon was super easy and quick to use for donations! Thanks for all you do! You helped to keep me sane during “The Bush League Steals and Tortures Democracy to Death” years and continue now as they “Raise that Fascist Trump Flag and Beat All Civility in to the Ground”.  At least we all have each other. I remember how we all fantasized about a frog marching of krooked Karl. I pray that eventually we get to see some truth and justice. The fourth estate is the last thread left!

  9. Evangelista says:


    You wrote, “Let’s be clear: this was not Rudy’s decision.”

    Do you have support for this?  Or are you stating your personal hope?

    And you wrote, “The reputational cost of Rudy’s antics to the firm surely drove it.”

    In law, as in politics, bad publicity is good publiciy because it is publicity.  Lawyer antics and histrionics bring comments to law firms, which can be fielded to turn them to good purpose.  No one, as far as I know, condemns a law firm for a non-masthead partner, or an associate, being, or acting goofy, but not illegal.

    I’ll give you two more plausible possibilities, considering the nature of the matters Rudy is deaaling with for Trump:

    1.      The firm wants its partnership’s cut from fees and retainers if Rudy carries on using his “leave from law work” for doing law work, which it looks like his ‘nip over to help out’ is growing into (and Trump is a wealthy client and can afford to pay the freight that Rudy would tow as a firm associate)

    2.      Rudy is cutting over to contingency and sees deep pockets that can be dipped into (or is looking at shallow pockets his client, Donald, wants to rip down through).

    • Trip says:

      First of all, A+ on not writing one run-on sentence that turns into an 8×10 block of text. Thank you.

      “We cannot speak for Mr. Giuliani with respect to what was intended by his remarks,” the firm’s spokeswoman said. “Speaking for ourselves, we would not condone payments of the nature alleged to have been made or otherwise without the knowledge and direction of a client.”

      Then he said: “The law firm has a lot of good people and a lot of people that hate my client and I don’t particularly appreciate that”.

      That about sums it up and answers your inquiry.

    • bmaz says:

      Oh, you are back. I thought you had been dispensed with.

      So, you made it through attempts at dispatching your crap one more time. You are a determined, if truly shitty, commenter.

      And, by the way, what have YOU ever had “support” for, other than run on loquacious asinine distractionary bullshit?

      • Trip says:

        I will offer that the subtext is strong support of the great orange one and all the king’s horses asses and all the king’s men.

  10. harpie says:

    From Tim Mak at NPR, today:  “Newly obtained documents show a Russian politician [TORSHIN] traveled throughout the U.S. to build relationships with conservatives as far back as 2009.”

    […] In fact, for those observing Torshin[‘s DC speech to bankers], what he was best known for was not central banking, but allegations of money laundering. […]

    • harpie says:

      Another one today from Mak:
      FBI Warned Of Russian Intelligence Links To Oligarch In Cohen Payment Allegation; NPR; Tim Mak; May 11, 201810:47 AM ET
      [quote] The FBI warned four years ago that a foundation controlled by the Russian oligarch [Vekselberg] who allegedly reimbursed Donald Trump’s personal lawyer might have been acting on behalf of Russia’s intelligence services. 
      FBI Special Agent in Charge Lucia Ziobro wrote an unusual column in the Boston Business Journal in April of 2014 to warn that a foundation controlled by Russian energy baron Viktor Vekselberg might be part of a Moscow spying campaign that sought to siphon up American science and technology. […] [end quote]

      • harpie says:

        In Mak’s thread about the article he writes:
        [quote] Tim Mak@timkmak @jeffhauser makes the interesting point that in the time period FBI was warning about Vekselberg’s venture capital project, now-Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Vekselberg were buying stakes in the Bank of Cyprus at the same time [end quote]

    • harpie says:

      Just want to add this to my 2014 ruminations:

      Polly Sigh @dcpoll  […] 2014: Founder of Skolkovo [flagged by FBI as a Moscow spying campaign to siphon up US science & tech], Viktor Vekselberg [paid Cohen] & LUKoil CEO Vagit Alekperov [briefed on US voters by Cambridge Analytica] inked a memorandum of understanding. / […] / 2014: Cambridge Analytica fully briefed LUKOIL [including CEO Alekperov, who has close ties to Aras Agalarov] on political targeting in the US: Facebook, microtargeting & election disruption. LUKOIL became core investor of Vekselberg’s Skolkovo. / 2014: Cambridge Analytica’s Dr Kogan began advising a “research team” who “wanted to detect internet trolls” at Russia’s St Petersburg State Univ – 20 mins from Prigozhin’s Internet Research Agency [staffed mainly by St Petersburg Univ students]. 

  11. Frank Probst says:

    This is why I keep thinking about Emmet Flood. He’s not making an ass of himself on television, but it’s repeatedly mentioned that he’s joined Team Trump, and I’ve heard his law firm mentioned at least once on television. That’s not good publicity. It’s particularly lousy if you’re trying to hire women as new members of your legal practice. Do you think he’s really going to be able to stay in his law firm and start diving into legal matters that will bring further news coverage?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I thought Flood was being hired to replace McGahn as White House Counsel, not as Trump’s personal lawyer.  The difference may be key to both Flood and his firm.  I suspect that Flood has a deeper, wider network that holds him great regard than does Rudy, a network that would re-embrace him more readily than Rudy’s, once he is done with his stint in the White House.

      WHC represents the office of the president, not the person.  That may give Flood distance to do his job.  It doesn’t mean that once Trump finds this out that he keeps his job.

      • Frank Prost says:

        Okay, but still.  Is there ANYONE who’s gone into this White House and been better off when they’ve gotten out.  I’ve read that Flood is good for the job, because he worked on Clinton’s impeachment defense.  But if Trump gets impeached, would you want to be on THAT legal team?

  12. harpie says:

    Brian M. Rosenthal @brianmrosenthal:
    [quote] Wow: A lawyer is claiming that 2 of Eric Schneiderman’s alleged victims contacted him in 2013. He says he advised them not to call prosecutors. Instead he says he went to a journalist who then talked to… Donald Trump. And then, the lawyer says, Michael Cohen called him about it [end quote]
    That’s why the Schneiderman news came out when it did!
    Sarah Kendzior@sarahkendzior 4:08 PM – 7 May 2018 
    [quote] [Sarah Kendzior Retweeted Michael Luo] I’ve been wondering why Trump’s team seemed so unconcerned with potential NY state charges if they’re pardoned federally.
    I’m guessing this is why.[end quote]

    The country is being “run” by vicious, teenage “Mean Girls”.

    • harpie says:

      Susan Simpson @TheViewFromLL2 [Susan Simpson Retweeted Donald J. Trump] 
      [quote] And what we just learned about Trump’s intel on Schneiderman is deeply disturbing.
      Trump had serious blackmail material on the NY Atty General, who was responsible for overseeing major investigations into Trump’s empire. And Trump made sure the AG knew it. [end quote]

      This is what Trump tweeted at: 6:10AM-11 Sep 2013 [screenshot in above linked tweet]
      [quote] Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone-next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer of Weiner. [end quote]
      According to Jane Mayer, “Just to be clear: not one source for our story on Schneiderman has any ties to Trump or Michael Cohen. Our sources all are deeply opposed to Trump and deeply disappointed that Schneiderman let them and their Cause down.”

      • Trip says:

        Good thing he got booted. You don’t want someone who is compromised intentionally screwing something up out of fear of exposure.

        I wonder who the journalist is who went to Trump?

    • harpie says:

      Remember [11/18/16] when Eric Schneiderman settled his 2013 Trump University lawsuit for $25mil?

      As Matthew Yglessias says:

      Was settling this case a couple of weeks after Election Day really a smart move? Why wouldn’t an ambitious politician in New York want to be actively litigating this?

    • harpie says:

      Adam Klasfeld:

      That was fast: Judge Wood demands that Gleason supplement his letter seeking a protective order (i.e. the one with the Schneiderman accusations) with a memorandum of law by May 18, or withdraw his request.

      Could someone explain? Thanks.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Resigned, fired, retired, whatever term you want to use, I would call them a future witness.

      Preet Bharara

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