Rudy Giuliani has warned impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump will result in a new American civil war.
In an interview with Sky News, Trump’s lawyer said “the American people would revolt” against the elitists if the president was impeached on phoney Russian collusion charges.
Sky News reports: “You could only impeach [Trump] for political reasons and the American people would revolt against that,” he said.
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Cohen admitted on Tuesday to paying hush money to a porn actress and a model at the request of a “candidate” – revealed by his lawyer to be Donald Trump – in order to influence the 2016 US election campaign.
His lawyer says it is “absolutely clear that Donald Trump committed a felony” in the run-up to the election, and the developments have heightened speculation that the president could be impeached.
Mr Giuliani, however, said he believed Mr Trump has been “completely cleared” by Cohen’s testimony, saying it was “inevitable” that he would not be impeached.
“You have this Cohen guy, he doesn’t know anything about Russian collusion, he doesn’t know anything about obstruction, he’s a massive liar,” he said.
Mr Giuliani, former mayor of New York, spoke to Sky News during a golfing trip at Balmedie on the Aberdeenshire coast, a course owned by Mr Trump.
His attempt to defend the president and discredit Cohen echoed the claims of Mr Trump and his press secretary Sarah Sanders, who have both dismissed claims of wrongdoing brought by the former lawyer.
The evidence that Mr Trump had been involved in hush money payments includes a tape recording of a conversation from before the presidential election, in which he and Cohen discuss payment to the Playboy model Karen McDougal.
On Thursday Mr Giuliani denied that the recordings were significant, saying: “The tape recordings say very clearly that Cohen did it on his own, didn’t tell the president until much later.”
He claimed the former lawyer had been “discredited” and would not be able to provide useful information to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing accusations of collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.
Mr Giuliani was also questioned over former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was found guilty on Tuesday of eight of 18 charges relating to avoiding paying $16m (£12.4m) in taxes.
“If you ask me has Paul Manafort been treated very unfairly,” he said. “The man was put into solitary confinement which turned out to be almost like civil cases not real crime, it’s not like he’s a terrorist or an organised criminal or a killer.”
Mr Giuliani has in recent days been called to defend himself for claiming in a TV interview about the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 US election that “truth isn’t truth”.