Former Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani and then-president Donald Trump were allegedly involved in a scheme to sell presidential pardons for $2 million each, according to a complaint filed by Noelle Dunphy, a former aide to Giuliani.
The lawsuit, which accuses Giuliani of various misconduct including sexual assault, harassment, and wage theft, claims that he told Dunphy about the pardon-selling arrangement during a conversation in February 2019.
Dunphy alleges that Giuliani informed her that he and Trump would split the proceeds from the sales of the pardons, and he asked her to refer individuals seeking pardons to him, bypassing the usual channels of the Office of the Pardon Attorney.
Interestingly, the lawsuit is not the first time such allegations have been made. Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who in 2012 was sentenced to almost three years in prison for disclosing classified information, previously told The New York Times that during a meeting at a Washington DC hotel, one of Giuliani’s associates mentioned that Giuliani could help him obtain a pardon for a price of $2 million. Kiriakou did not pursue the offer, citing the high cost.
While, as of this writing, there’s no evidence to confirm that Trump or Giuliani received compensation for any presidential pardons during Trump’s presidency, Dunphy’s allegations echo Kiriakou’s claims. It should be noted that presidential pardons granted by Trump often bypassed the traditional review process involving the Pardon Attorney and were granted to wealthy or well-connected individuals.
Giuliani’s spokesperson and advisor, Ted Goodman, issued a statement denying the allegations raised by Dunphy.
“Mayor Giuliani’s lifetime of public service speaks for itself and he will pursue all available remedies and counterclaims,” he said.
The focus of the suit, however, was Giuliani’s abusive behavior toward Dunphy, who worked for him in 2019 and 2020.
The former aide said in the suit that Giuliani, who “drank morning, noon, and night,” was frequently intoxicated and always unpredictable. The former New York Mayor allegedly took Viagra constantly and that Dunphy worked “under constant threat that Giuliani might demand sex from her at any moment.”
She said that even during the pandemic, when Giuliani could not physically assault her, he demanded that she worked nude over Zoom. Dunphy also said that Giuliani would say sexist, racist, and antisemitic remarks in alcohol-fueled rants. She alleges she has recordings of many of these comments.
Parallels to Borat sequel
At this point, it’s almost as if Goodman is speaking about an entirely different person. The suit paints a picture of a man more akin to the Giuliani people cringed at in the Borat sequel.
In the movie, actress Maria Bakalova, posing as a European conservative journalist interviewing the personal lawyer of then-president Trump, ensnared a very suggestible Giuliani to return to her hotel room for drinks. There, as Bakalova removes her mic, Giuliani very casually lies back on the bed, right in front of her, and starts reaching into his pants, appearing to touch himself, before they were interrupted by Borat who came out of the closet in a pink bikini screaming “she’s too old for you!”
Giuliani has dismissed the footage as a “complete fabrication,” that he was merely tucking his shirt back in after it came off when he removed his mic.
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