After raising a paltry sum of money from supporters and attracting little interest from former President Donald Trump, a web page created to fundraise for Rudy Giuliani’s legal defense fund has vanished.
According to a cached version of that webpage, the sluggish fundraising vehicle was taken offline at some point between Wednesday morning and Thursday. As of early Thursday evening, the “Rudy Giuliani Legal Defense Fund” page had yet to return.
Bernie Kerik, another Trump loyalist and a close Giuliani associate who is spearheading the former New York mayor’s fundraising efforts, did not immediately respond to questions from The Daily Beast. On Thursday evening, Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello said he had “no knowledge” on the matter.
The Fundly account, established in Rudy’s name a day before Kerik launched a website for the legal defense fund in late June, raised $9,798 before the page disappeared—far short from its goal of raising $5 million in two months. While the landing page for the Fundly account is gone, the Giuliani account still shows it’s in possession of its nearly $10,000 donor haul, with the website inconspicuously archiving donor names and amounts given. But links to the legal defense fund page they gave to now automatically redirect to Fundly’s general landing page for “politics and public policy” causes. In addition to the now-MIA Fundly page, portals at credit card processors Square and Rallypay are also advertising donations for the Giuliani fund.
Giuliani served as Trump’s unapologetic lead attorney during the Ukraine scandal, as well as during other efforts to dig for dirt on the Biden family. The former mayor also led much of the charge during Trumpworld’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election that President Joe Biden had decisively won, and Giuliani has continued to this very day to promote Trump’s lies about the presidential election outcome. Some of Giuliani’s activity during the Trump-Ukraine saga quickly attracted the unwanted attention of federal investigators.
Losing His Law License Is the Least of Old Man Rudy’s Problems
And in the weeks and months since the election, Giuliani, like Trump, has become the focus of a number of civil and at least one criminal investigation. Voting technology company Dominion Voting Systems named the former New York City mayor in a billion dollar defamation suit related to his allegations that Dominion voting machines played a role in Trump’s electoral defeat. Democratic members of Congress have named him in two civil rights lawsuits alleging that Giuliani conspired with former President Trump and others to incite the January insurrection at the Capitol.
And the Justice Department is reportedly investigating potential lobbying by Giuliani on behalf of the Turkish government in addition to the continuing criminal investigation into whether the ex-president’s former attorney illegally lobbied on behalf of foreign interests in Ukraine.
Giuliani’s mounting legal bills have been a source of tension between his supporters and advisers to the twice-impeached former president. The New York Times reported in early May that Giuliani allies had been pressing the Trump campaign to use some of the quarter billion dollar campaign fund to assist with some of his legal bills. The Daily Beast reported later that month that Trump and his team had repeatedly ignored or rejected several of Giuliani and his allies’ requests for help, including for the ex-president to release a statement vindicating Giuliani’s legal defense.
As the dispute over Giuliani’s legal bills spilled into the Times, web registration records collected by DomainTools show Kerik reserved rudygiulianifreedomfund.com, a website to solicit donations for Giuliani’s legal fund. The site warns that “the Deep State is on a mission to take down every single one of President Donald J. Trump’s closest allies,” and that “Rudy’s fate will determine if America still is a Republic governed by We The People, or if the swamp has finally amassed total control of our great country.”
The meager $9,000-plus haul from Giuliani’s now-defunct Fundly page, however, may not represent the totality of Giuliani’s fundraising efforts. The website Kerik set up for Giuliani’s legal fund offers donors the option to mail checks to an address in Florida or donate via the credit card processor Rallypay—neither of which offer public tallies of donations like Fundly.
Some of Giuliani’s closest allies and confidants have not been shy about attacking other conservative leaders for refusing to swoop in during the attorney’s time of need.
In early May, Kerik complained on Twitter that “lawyers and law firms that didn’t do shit [for the Trump campaign’s legal team] were paid lots of money and the people that worked their ass off, got nothing.”
On Thursday, Kerik tweeted that Giuliani “was there for the president and country when they needed him, in a crime infested NYC when they needed him, and there on 9/11 when the entire country needed him. Where is the @gop, @GOPLeader @GOPChairwoman @LeaderMcConnell for him?” and tagged those Republican leaders as “#RINOs” and “#Cowards.”
The Giuliani ally conspicuously left former President Trump off of his list of top Republicans who have abandoned the former New York City mayor.
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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