Rudy’s Very Bad Week

Three things happened with Rudy Giuliani’s legal woes this week that could have larger repercussions.

As the Philly Inquirer reported, Bruce Castor, the sole noticed attorney in one of the voter fraud lawsuits against Rudy from 2020, asked to be relieved. The Inky lays out how people close to Trump asked Castor to sponsor Joseph Sibley Pro Hac Vice into Philadelphia, only to have Sibley refuse to sign something and then back out of the case, leaving Castor holding the bag. Castor complains that he hasn’t gotten paid and hasn’t gotten Rudy to cooperate at all on discovery.

But a more interesting detail may be that some unnamed lawyer recently contacted Castor to inform him he would pay for the representation, but would do nothing to secure cooperation from Rudy.

23. A lawyer, previously unknown to Petitioner, wrote to Petitioner portraying that he represented Mr. Giuliani, and Petitioner immediately inquired in a response writing when this lawyer would be assuming responsibility for defending the present case.

24. Instead, the lawyer wrote Petitioner that he would be coordinating funding for Defendants, that payment would be forthcoming, but that Defendants expected Petitioner to conduct their defense.


26. Petitioner advised the lawyer, who contacted him to relate that funding for the Defendants was forthcoming, of the motion to compel discovery, and pleaded with him to solicit substantive cooperation from Defendants (since this lawyer evidently was in contact with Defendants), in addition to simply the payment of Petitioners’ fees. Petitioner also continued to contact Defendants directly to keep them informed of developments, such as the motion to compel, further demands for payment of the retainer, and to seek cooperation in the discovery process. Petitioner unequivocally threatened both the newly revealed lawyer who was promising funding, and Defendants that he would file the instant motion to withdraw if Defendants failed to comply with Petitioner’s demands by a certain deadline.  [emphasis original]

This is a plea by Castor not to have to represent an uncooperative defendant for free. But it also reads like a plea by Castor not to force him to risk his legal reputation in a situation where shady lawyers call up out of the blue and promise to pay respectable lawyers to stall a case.

Sibley, the guy who was supposed to represent this case in Philly and who also represented Christina Bobb before the January 6 Committee, remains Rudy’s lawyer of record in Ruby Freeman’s lawsuit in DC, which I wrote about here. Depending on your vantage point, it either seems that Sibley is having as much trouble as Castor is getting Rudy’s cooperation, or that the lawyer has successfully stonewalled discovery so as to avoid increasing Rudy’s criminal liability.

I should say, had successfully stonewalled.

Yesterday, Judge Beryl Howell issued an order requiring certain cooperation from Rudy, including that he list all his devices, social media accounts, and financial assets on which he allegedly defamed Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, with deadlines attached.

MINUTE ORDER (paperless): Upon consideration of plaintiffs’ [44] Motion to Compel Discovery, For Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, and For Sanctions (“Motion”), defendant’s [51] Response to Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel, plaintiffs’ [56] Reply in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion, and the parties’ representations to the Court in the proceedings held on May 19, 2023 regarding plaintiffs’ Motion, GRANTING plaintiffs’ Motion in part, and RERSERVING [sic] ruling in part.

Specifically, plaintiffs’ Motion is GRANTED as follows:

1) by May 30, 2023, defendant Rudolph W. Giuliani shall file a declaration, subject to penalty of perjury, that details:

a) All efforts taken to preserve, collect, and search potentially responsive data and locations that may contain responsive materials to all of plaintiffs’ Requests for Production (RFP);

b) A complete list of all “locations and data” that defendant used to communicate about any materials responsive to any of Plaintiffs’ RFPs (including, but not limited to, specific email accounts, text messaging platforms, other messaging applications, social media, devices, hardware, and any form of communication);

c) The specific “data” located in the TrustPoint database, including–

i) a list identifying the source devices from which the data was extracted or obtained;

ii) for each such device, the type of device (i.e., iPhone, Macbook, laptop, iPad, etc.) and user, if known;

iii) a list identifying any social media accounts, messaging applications, and email accounts from which the data was extracted or obtained; and

iv) for each such account and application, the account name and user; and

d) What searches, if any, have occurred as to both categories (b) and (c), see Plaintiffs’ [44-16] Proposed Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion; and

2) By May 30, 2023, in order to evaluate defendant’s claim of an inability to afford the cost of access to, and search of, the TrustPoint dataset or to use a professional vendor, either to access the original electronic devices seized from defendant by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in April 2021 and returned to defendant, or, alternatively, to conduct a search of the archived TrustPoint dataset, defendant is DIRECTED to produce to plaintiffs:

a) full and complete responses to plaintiffs’ requests for financial information in RFP Nos. 40 and 41; and

b) documentation to support his estimated costs for further searches on the TrustPoint dataset.

3) By June 16, 2023, plaintiffs are DIRECTED to submit to the Court an assessment of defendant’s ability to bear the cost of further searches, along with any response to defendant’s submission required under paragraph 1, above; and

4) By June 30, 2023, defendant shall file any response to plaintiffs’ submission required under paragraph 3, above.

The Court RESERVES ruling on the remainder of plaintiffs’ relief, pending the parties’ compliance with directions set out in paragraphs 1) through 4), above. Signed by Judge Beryl A. Howell on May 19, 2023.

In two weeks, if and when Rudy continues to stonewall, then Judge Howell will start imposing penalties on him.

The 3-hour hearing that led to this order was as interesting for the insane comments Rudy made outside the courthouse as anything else. The guy who helped Trump attempt a coup complained that he is being persecuted by fascists. And he claimed that he faces no legal risk from either the Jack Smith investigation or the Fani Willis one, in the latter of which he was already specifically named as a target.

Outside the courthouse following the hearing, Giuliani said he hadn’t received any communication from Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office and wasn’t worried about federal charges since he cooperated with investigators immediately after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

Asked if he had any pending federal grand jury subpoenas, he replied, “not that I know of.”

Regarding a separate probe into efforts by former President Donald Trump and allies to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results by the Fulton County district attorney’s office, Giuliani said he wasn’t worried because he was serving as an attorney at the time. Last summer, his lawyer confirmed that they’d received notice Giuliani was a target of that probe.

He said on Friday that he hadn’t heard anything from that office since he appeared before a special investigative grand jury in August 2022; District Attorney Fani Willis recently indicated that charges could come later this summer.

Sure, Pops. A judge found crime-fraud exception over a year ago, and you’re in no danger because you’re a lawyer.

Side note: I find it interesting that Robert Costello, who represented Rudy in the Ukraine investigation and before the January 6 Committee and who was involved in the “Hunter Biden” “laptop” caper, has not sued Rudy for payment. He did sue Bannon, for what must be far less unpaid work. Maybe some shady lawyer showed up and found a way to pay Costello too?

Finally, against the background of 1) the lawsuits that Rudy appears to be attempting to stonewall for free, 2) the twin criminal investigations that are expected to start issuing indictments no later than August, and 3) Trump’s attempt to win the presidency again, a former Rudy associate, Noelle Dunphy, filed a lawsuit against Rudy for sexual assault and harassment and unpaid labor going back to 2019.

This lawsuit is — and it is designed to be — eye-popping, alleging lots of drunken coerced sex, some bigotry and kink caught on tape, as well as allegations that implicate Trump just in time for campaign season.

Just as one example, Dunphy makes an allegation that exactly matches a John Kiriakou claim about Rudy selling pardons for $2 million, but unlike some of her other allegations, she doesn’t claim to have proof.

132. He also asked Ms. Dunphy if she knew anyone in need of a pardon, telling her that he was selling pardons for $2 million, which he and President Trump would split. He told Ms. Dunphy that she could refer individuals seeking pardons to him, so long as they did not go through “the normal channels” of the Office of the Pardon Attorney, because correspondence going to that office would be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

And the allegation is not tied, in any way, to the complaints in the lawsuit. But it is one thing that has ensured the lawsuit will attract a lot of attention.

I’m sure many of the claims made in this suit are true, but packaged up as it is, it feels too convenient, just like the “Hunter Biden” “laptop.”

What makes that analogy even more apt, in my own humble opinion, is that the period during which Dunphy most credibly claims to have had damaging contact with Rudy largely overlaps with the period in which Rudy was hunting dirt in Ukraine to help Trump win the presidency, from January 21 through November 2019. She claims to have reviewed his interview with Viktor Shokin as well as his plan to accuse Marie Yovanovitch of corruption. Throughout that period, she claims have been involved in the shady pitches he received. One of those pitches — one she recorded! — involved a $72 billion gas deal in China.

See what I mean about how it feels like the “Hunter Biden” “laptop”?

Meanwhile, she suggests she’s a first-hand witness to matters that were part of the Ukraine investigation into Rudy, and that Rudy coached her to obstruct justice. She says she and Rudy discussed whether he had an obligation to register under FARA — and as proof, she included a photo from a February 9, 2019 meeting with Lev Parnas.

A week later, she claims, after reviewing the emails he had exchanged with various Ukrainian officials, she offered to file a FARA registration for Rudy, but he declined because, he said, he had immunity.

Perhaps most incredible, she claimed that in June and July of 2019, the guy who had just spent a year helping Trump dodge obstruction of justice charges, “asked Ms. Dunphy for help Googling information about obstruction of justice, among other topics.” I don’t doubt that that search exists in her Google account, but I do question whether it got there in the way she describes.

That same period, she claims, is when he first instructed her not to talk to the FBI about him — at a time when the investigation into Parnas and Igor Fruman was not yet public.

Dunphy claims that on October 22, 2019 — after the arrest of Parnas and Fruman but at a time when (at least according to SDNY’s subsequent claims) the investigation into Rudy was not overt — the FBI called and asked for an interview.

209. On October 22, 2019, Ms. Dunphy received a voicemail from the FBI regarding an investigation they were conducting into Giuliani. The FBI was apparently aware that she was working for Giuliani and sought to interview her. The FBI was clear that Ms. Dunphy was considered a witness and was not a target of the investigation.

Nowhere in this 70-page lawsuit does Dunphy say whether she ever was interviewed about all the things she witnessed firsthand when Rudy was soliciting dirt from Ukraine. She does say that within a month, on a day when the FBI showed up in person seeking an interview, Rudy promised to put her on his payroll, seemingly tying that payment to her willingness to claim she didn’t know who he was.

210. On November 19, 2019, Ms. Dunphy went to Giuliani’s home office, and they spoke. Giuliani promised Ms. Dunphy that he would officially put Ms. Dunphy on the books and would “straighten it [i.e., her employment situation] out.” Giuliani and Ms. Dunphy discussed Giuliani’s increasing legal concerns, including his fear that Lev Parnas was “turning on him” in connection with the FBI investigation. Ms. Dunphy told him that the FBI had come to her family’s home in Florida that day seeking to question her. Giuliani informed Ms. Dunphy that his friend and private detective, Bo Dietl, had already told him the specific FBI agents who were involved. Ms. Dunphy was concerned that Giuliani was apparently so powerful that his investigators had secret information, including the names of the FBI agents who had just appeared at her family’s Florida home. Giuliani demanded that Ms. Dunphy not talk to or cooperate with the FBI. Giuliani told Ms. Dunphy that they are all “after him” and that one or two of them are “going to get totally destroyed.” This situation made Ms. Dunphy confused and fearful, and added another layer of tension to a work environment that was already outrageously hostile.13

13 From this point on, Giuliani often spoke to Ms. Dunphy about he FBI’s investigation of him, and Ms. Dunphy understood that participating in these discussions was part of her work for him. He told her that if the FBI sought to interview her, she should “not remember” anything, and should claim that she did not know Giuliani. Ms. Dunphy refused to agree to lie to the FBI, which angered Giuliani.

It’s certainly possible that Bill Barr’s very active obstruction of the investigation at that point — an effort to stave off impeachment, though Dunphy doesn’t mention impeachment — led the FBI to decide not to interview her. But that wouldn’t explain why the FBI wouldn’t interview her in 2021, when the investigation did become overt.

At one level, this lawsuit seems more like an offer to testify to the FBI at a time (have I mentioned there’s an election coming up?) when the statutes of limitation still have a year before they expire.

At another, it’s an implicit threat.

Close to the beginning of the lawsuit, Dunphy reveals that — whether because he thought it’d be a good idea or because he got really drunk and did something stupid — Rudy accessed his work email account from her computer, giving her access to a his email correspondence with a whole lot of corrupt people.

93. Therefore, Giuliani added one of his work email accounts into Ms. Dunphy’s email program on her computer, typing his password onto her computer.

94. Once Giuliani’s email account was loaded onto Ms. Dunphy’s computer, at least 23,000 emails associated with the account, including many from before her employment with Giuliani, were stored on her computer.

95. Since Giuliani gave Ms. Dunphy access to his email account, she had access to information that was, upon information and belief, privileged, confidential, and highly sensitive.

96. For example, Ms. Dunphy was given access to emails from, to, or concerning President Trump, the Trump family (including emails from Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump), Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former FBI director Louis Freeh, Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, Secretaries of State, former aides to President Trump such as Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Kellyanne Conway, former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Jeff Sessions, media figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson, and other notable figures including Newt Gingrich, presidential candidates for Ukraine, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the Ailes family, the LeFrak family, Bernard Kerik, Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, and attorneys Marc Mukasey, Robert Costello, Victoria Toensing, Fred Fielding, and Joe DeGenova.

97. Ms. Dunphy understood that she was given access to these emails because she was employed by Giuliani and the Giuliani Companies. Indeed, although Giuliani and his surrogates have argued that Ms. Dunphy was not an employee of Giuliani or the Giuliani Companies, it is impossible to understand Giuliani’s decision to give Ms. Dunphy complete access to (and copies of) these sensitive emails in any other context.

98. As a lawyer, Giuliani sent and received emails containing privileged information that could not legally be shared with Ms. Dunphy if she were not an employee or consultant. Likewise, Giuliani’s business often involved highly confidential information, and upon information and belief, there were confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements governing access to some of this information. Upon information and belief, those agreements barred Giuliani from sharing covered confidential information with someone who was not an employee or consultant.

99. Giuliani never asked Ms. Dunphy to sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.

Dunphy suggests she continued to have access to Rudy’s emails and his social media accounts — the very same social media accounts he is trying to hide from Ruby Freeman — through January 31, 2021.

And, as she notes, Rudy never asked Dunphy to sign a non-disclosure agreement about all this.

The FBI may be seeking this information. Several plaintiffs, including Freeman, definitely are (Dunphy also helpfully includes a summary of the property he owns, including five homes). And nothing prevents her from sharing it with them unless Rudy retroactively claims she was an employee, covered by non-disclosure obligations, through this entire period, with the $2 million payment she claims he promised her to go along with that nondisclosure agreement.

Not just Rudy — but also the entire Trump family (have I mentioned there’s an election coming up?), Rupert Murdoch and some of his star current and former employees, as well as a bunch of lawyers who’ve been involved in some shady shit — all of them have an incentive to retroactively make her status as an employee official, so that she won’t release these communications.

Many of these very same emails would have been unavailable to the FBI under a privilege claim, but unless Dunphy is an employee, then she can hand them over because Rudy waived privilege over them. I can’t decide whether I’m more interested in seeing the emails that might show Jay Sekulow alerted Trump to the false claims that were made on his behalf during the Russian investigation, or the ones that show Hannity was about to board a plane to meet with a mobbed up Russian asset in support of Trump’s 2020 election bid. But if I know of specific emails I’d like to see, then the people named in paragraph 96 surely do as well.

And that, I think, is the point — perhaps a bid to invite some unnamed lawyer to call her, too, to say he can fund certain things.

But such an unnamed lawyer will need to get there before Ruby Freeman does.

57 replies
  1. Rugger_9 says:

    Yikes. One wonders who the shadowy lawyer really is, maybe Powell or Eastman, assuming that neither Klayman, Ellis nor Epshteyn is clever enough to dream up such a byzantine arrangement. Castor is right to try to get out.

    Rudy’s behavior might be signaling another gambit, like an insanity defense. Instead of Rikers, he might be headed to Bellevue.

      • Marji Campbell says:

        Nah. I trained in forensic psychiatry and the bar for insanity defense is really high- at the time of the alleged crime, the individual was unable to distinguish between right and wrong. They had to be floridly psychotic at the time. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol didn’t count. That said, I think Rudy has “wet brain” from chronic alcohol use.

        Regarding Dunphy, I’m still scratching my head over this. Yeah, the whole thing seems fishy, but did she come up with it herself or did someone (who, why?) put her up to it?

        I don’t understand why she didn’t just quit! Why put up with all of that crazy, abusive stuff??

    • yastreblyansky says:

      The lawyer who doesn’t practice law but does make payouts to possible witnesses is Kash Patel–he’s been paying off Gym Jordan’s “whistleblowers” because “they have to feed their families.”

  2. Brian Ruff says:

    Damn. It sounds too good to be true.
    There’s a Guardian article about this out today, too.

      • BobBobCon says:

        What kind of sanctions would Howell be likely to impose? How much more rope does he have at this point?

        Does the length of time Giuliani has stalled and the tiny fraction of info he has supplied play into consideration?

        And if he claims he has no money, is that an invitation to move directly to confinement? Or is this more of an opening shot by Howell?

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Her unrecorded “pardons for $2M” conversation with Giuliani included, according to the lawyer representing her on cable news, a third participant. But that third man is Lev Parnas, not the world’s most desirable witness.

        I wish journalists would not keep leaping at this high-hanging fruit. I don’t see it falling into anyone’s hands as evidence. There’s plenty else to look at, as you point out, EW.

  3. Christopher Wilsher says:

    “At another, it’s an implicit threat.”

    Oh, I’d say it’s pretty explicit.

    [MODERATOR’S NOTE: You have been asked to use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. As a favor to you to protect your personal privacy and security, I’ve reverted the username you used to comment to that you’ve used for your previous five comments as I had suspicions you didn’t mean to use your RL name. You’re now on the auto-moderation list for failure to comply with the site’s policy, blowing off repeated requests, and for generally costing too much time to moderate. /~Rayne]

  4. ICFTLOM says:

    Tremendous Saturday reading.

    Just the right amount of factual detail always on offer here — and sometimes only here — accompanied by insightful analysis of what this might mean that was made so clear and tic-tac-toe that even I could follow along. Plus a side of macaroni.

    Great stuff.

    [Been here a bunch going on ten years. Have left a hanful of comments before. I can’t for the life of me recall what screen name(s) I used. In case anyone’s interested . . . . I’ll endeavor to memorize whichever one I just used now and then stick to it upon any future comment. Fingers crossed.]

  5. BobBobCon says:

    What kind of sanctions would Howell be likely to impose? How much more rope does Giuliani have at this point?

    Does the length of time Giuliani has stalled and the tiny fraction of info he has supplied play into consideration?

    And if he claims he has no money, is that an invitation to move directly to confinement? Or is this more of an opening shot by Howell?

    • Amicus12 says:

      I would suspect that you are looking at Rule 37 sanctions. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A) affords the court a broad range of sanctions such as directing a particular fact be established as proven, rendering a default judgment against the disobedient party, or treat the matter as contempt of court. Without going back and researching how the DC federal courts have handled this, one possible outcome is for the judge to find that liability on the defamation claims are proven because he has willfully refused to provide discovery on his social media accounts and devices, and leave open the issue of damages, permitting continued efforts to obtain an accounting of his resources.

      This is a civil matter and the issue is adjudicating the rights of the parties. So the foregoing suggestion would enable plaintiffs to obtain requisite relief. Throwing him in jail is an extremely unlikely outcome, in my estimation, for many reasons, and doesn’t really advance the just outcome, unless you believe in the theory of debtor’s prisons.

      • bmaz says:

        Rudy may yet see jail/prison bars, but never from this. Damages have to be established. That would also go on forever, would Rudy even have a retained attorney for that? It is hard not to laugh.

    • obsessed says:

      Yahoo News, as of late 2022, lists Rudy’s net worth at 45 million. If that’s anywhere near accurate, and he hasn’t paid so many of his attorneys, I’m hoping there may be some blood in the old turnip for the election workers. I agree that Ms. Dunphy seems sketchy. Dominion still has an outstanding suit against him as does that guy in the grocery store. I guess even if Rudy still has a lot of liquid cash reserves, it’ll go pretty quickly once the judgements start coming in. How much do the lawyers here estimate it would cost Rudy in legal fees if he’s indicted in Georgia? And there’s been a lot of criticism here about Fani Willis. If she indeed indicts everyone from Trump on down this summer, what should we be prepared to have go wrong on that? Finally, if Rudy really is hurting for cash, won’t he eventually threaten Trump to pay him for all his failed legal work in 2020? I can’t understand why the people Trump stiffs never get angry or desperate enough to turn on him legally. Every glimpse we get behind the scenes in these filings and discovery makes the whole situation seem more and more absurd.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        We may see how accurate that number is after Rudy complies with Howell’s order.

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

        IF she is a sex worker, I’d bet 400 Quatloos that Rude-E obtained her services and then being the sleazebag that she is, offered her a job on the books, to write off his ……I can’t even. It’s like my own personal Crying Game.

  6. Purple Martin says:

    I’m thinking of erecting a shrine to Judge Beryl Howell in my living room.

    Having followed Judge Howell’s work on many different cases over several years—sober, precise and always in strict accordance with the letter and spirit of the law—I remain in awe of the way she relentlessly cuts through the fog of attempted obfuscation and delay, pinning down witnesses and defendants (and sometimes prosecutors) in the remorseless glare of truth.

  7. Alan_OrbitalMechanic says:

    There is a job in agriculture where you have to have to drive your hand into the rear end of a cow up past your elbow. This is usually in the spring when they are eating new grass and evacuate diarrhea at any moment.

    It would be hard to come up with a more unappealing job description but in the case of being a Trump-associated defense lawyer I think we have managed it.

    • Max404Droid says:

      It’s called bovine palpation and it’s the way to determine if the cow is pregnant. I did not know that it is also taught in certain law schools.

      • John Lehman says:

        Ah yes…fond childhood memories of grandfather’s Holmes County Ohio dairy farm…no awkward birds and the bees explaining at the farm….of course you do use arm length rubber gloves.

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          With the people we’re talking about, I think a pressurized diving suit would pair nicely with the gloves …

  8. ToldainDarkwater says:

    I am very relieved to see that you are thinking about Dunphy’s lawsuit like I am.

    If stuff seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Indeed.

  9. jecojeco says:

    A treasure trove of RUDY dilemmas, I started reading and then switched to scan mode after a while, I’ll have to come back when I feel more analytical.

    This stealth lawyer throwing a financial offer over the transom is pure sleaze and fits trumpworld antics to a “T”. Cutler should cut n run with his payment if possible but time to make distance before he gets sucked into the trump lawyers vortex.

    RUDY has so many problems I actually feel sorry for him.As far as owning 5 places I bet they’re heavily mortgaged, that’s the trump MO, I suspect it’s also RUDY’s. His association with trump has turned his world upside down, he’ll be going through things did his final breath – but it was his choices.

  10. Ebenezer Scrooge says:

    Dunphy’s allegations are often hard to believe. I would say that the complaint has a very weak demeanor–very defensive at spots. However, her law firm (Abrams Fensterman) is a respectable mid-tier full-service New York firm, which has some reputation to protect. It’s a safe general rule that clown plaintiffs attract clown lawyers; real plaintiffs attract real lawyers. But there are exceptions …

    What this all means I don’t know.

    • emptywheel says:

      That was my thought too. These are real lawyers. But who is paying for it? They can’t be working on spec, bc it’ll be virtually impossible to get $$ from Rudy, especially if Dominion and Ruby Freeman get there first.

      I think she’s in a very strong place for leverage to get someone to cough up some $$. I’m not sure how strong the actual suit is, tho.

      • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

        Regardless of whether all of the allegations in the complaint could be proven at trial, I suspect that the theory of Mutual Assured Destruction will result in a quick settlement of this lawsuit. Unless, of course, the plaintiff has spoken to prosecutors already and has her “Queen for a Day” letter (or something similar). It would take some serious intestinal fortitude to file this complaint without having spoken with prosecutors.

        • bmaz says:

          Can’t settle if you got no money, and I’d be surprised if Rudy has any policy coverage at this point.

        • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

          I suspect the “coverage”, if it materializes, would come from the “AllTrump Insurance Company.” “You know you’re in grubby hands with AllTrump.”

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, exactly. Little chance that is coming to the rescue either. I bet this complaint could be made to go away reasonably, but these people never do that. I would imagine the plaintiff already approached and was rebuffed, but who knows?

        • Troutwaxer says:

          IANAL, but I wonder whether she filed the suit because Bill Barr’s DOJ never spoke with her, and for some reason Garland’s DOJ never followed up. Maybe the suit is intended to advertise that there’s blood in the water Right Over Here.

          Also, what’s the policy on evidence admitted to a civil suit? Can it be used in criminal court more easily, or does it have to be admitted separately from it’s evidentiary admission in civil court?

        • bmaz says:

          Not the way it really works. If it is a spurious suit, it will not go well. Evidence has to be separately admitted in every unique case. Can it help that it previously was? Sure. In some circumstances, a court “could” even take judicial notice, but that is rare. But, if admitted before, it likely will again given the foundation.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Wondering the same thing. She has a real law firm, which means real money. So what’s in those emails?

  11. Konny_2022 says:

    I wonder whether this new lawsuit might also have some international implications. The list of names especially mentioned as among the 23K Giuliani mails Ms. Dunphy alleges Giuliani had given her access to include the president of Turkiye, Erdogan
    ( When I read this I recalled that there was some matter in the early months of Trump’s presidentship. A little search revealed this NYT report of April 20, 2017: “Why Giuliani Held a Secret Meeting With Turkey’s Leader” (

    It looks to me as if Giuliani had served as some shadow-secretary of state right from the beginning, not only when Ukraine became a matter.

  12. Gatorbaiter says:

    Weren’t Toensing and DiGenova deeply involved in Rudy’s overseas jaunts? Might they be motivated to make sure Rudy’s legal fees are paid?

    • RipNoLonger says:

      If anyone fits the bill of a shadowy lawyer that pair (Toensing, DeGenova) certainly work. But there are plenty in the trump orbit.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yes. Toensing was working for Firtash.

      Toensing had a phone seized too, which got a Firtash privilege review. So if her privileged emails with him got shared publicly there could be very significant backlash.

  13. MsJennyMD says:

    So yes, I respect all human beings, I even have to respect, you know, criminals. But I’m sorry, I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.
    – Rudy Giuliani (CNN, 4 years ago)

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Rudy nicely conflates criminals and adult film actors. But as a misogynist of the first water, he doesn’t respect “a woman of substance” any more than he respects himself, or anyone else.

      The apparently self-hating Rudy is endlessly self-indulgent. He must imagine how well he would have lived during the reign of Caligula. But his days of getting by on $250,000/month are over. If he keeps on the way he has done, the rest of days may end not with a bang, but a drip.

  14. rattlemullet says:

    Rudy is a POS and has been a confirmed racist and antisemitic since his days of inciting riotous behavior during the NYPD police strike in September 1992 against then Mayor Dinkins. You can see the echos of January 6th in the Time Studios documentary When Truth Isn’t Truth. He clearly help incite a violet riot at that time. Almost everything that man has done since that time has bordered on criminal behavior. Hopefully someday he becomes a totally broken man spending time in prison. It seems, here in America, bringing fools like him to justice is very difficult. At least I can dream.

    • Shadowalker says:

      Lets not forget his stint as Federal Prosecutor @ SDNY where he would give the press a heads up on when he was going to have someone arrested in a perp walk, only to end up dropping the charges months later for lack of evidence.

  15. Savage Librarian says:

    “96. For example, Ms. Dunphy was given access to emails from, to, or concerning…the LeFrak family,…Fred Fielding,…”

    LeFrak (an actual billionaire NY real estate developer, with recent expansion in Miami) and Fielding (Erik Prince comes to mind, as does Nixon, Scooter Libby, and Ukraine/Russia) have not been part of the Trump administration discussion prior to this, have they? Both are interesting names to include. If not just a clue, it almost seems like some kind of pressure campaign. Makes me wonder who else is connected to Dunphy.

    • P J Evans says:

      They might not be connected to the former guy and his maladministration, but could be something left over from Rudy’s stint as mayor of NYC.

    • Ravenous hoarde says:

      I had to look up Lefrak.

      I chuckled to see he was also an Amherst grad. After Marcy’s weekend jokes aimed at underprivileged youth, Williams grad Ken Dilanian.

  16. Peterr says:

    Two questions that I’ve been wrestling with since reading through the lawsuit have to do with the allegation of soliciting bribes for presidential pardons.

    (1) Would Dunphy’s allegation in a sworn legal deposition but absent any other corroborating evidence (documents, emails, etc.) be enough to have the DOJ open an investigation into potential cash-for-pardons?

    (2) Would it be enough to go to a judge and ask for a subpoena for bank records of everyone who received a pardon in the waning days of the Trump administration?

    My non-lawyerly hunch would be yes to the first question and probably no to the second — but I’d love actual lawyers to chime in on this.

  17. Dunnydone says:

    I would like to call her and make an offer… Algaarov. $100k for every letter in their last name…. 50/50 payment. Filter search and send over please. Or if @Anonymous reads emptywheel…. Guys, vegas on me. Ironically the Mecca of money laundering and trafficking…. Fittingly ironic

  18. e.a. foster says:

    Rudy had a bad week? Good. Hope he has many more.

    Perhaps Rudy is hoping to delay court cases in hopes that if Trump is returned to office he will “pardon” him for a million.

    While reading this it just made me laugh. Oh how the mighty have fallen. He’s acting like a crazy old man, he most likely is, but really, this is how it all ends for those who thought they controlled the U.S.A.

    Perhaps the new crop of crazyReb. in the House of Representatives should look at what has happened to the previous crop of crazyReb.

  19. retired railroad switchperson says:

    Dunphy’s complaint lists 7 attached exhibits—mostly emails with Giuliani or vendors documenting Dunphy’s work for him (plus a FB friend request!). Is it possible to view those exhibits?

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