WEST PALM BEACH — Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, alleged Thursday in a screed delivered before an audience of thousands of students in South Florida a sweeping conspiracy in which Congress, the press and the U.S. justice system have persecuted both himself and the president while ignoring crimes by Democrats.
In a 44-minute speech delivered just 24 hours after the U.S. House impeached Trump, Giuliani said Democrats “made up” the basis for their articles of impeachment. He also claimed to have obtained irrefutable evidence that former Vice President Joe Biden profited for decades from his office and abused his power when he pushed in 2015 to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor widely regarded as being soft on corruption.
“There are five witnesses, three tapes, 35 documents,” Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney in New York, said during a speech at the Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach for conservative youth organization Turning Point USA. “I could prosecute that case in three weeks and if I didn’t get a conviction I’d resign from practicing law. He’s so guilty it’s ridiculous.”
Giuliani’s allegations — diametrically opposed to the public record and evidence delivered by U.S. diplomats during weeks of impeachment proceedings — come as he and Trump double down on efforts that over the past year have embroiled Giuliani in a criminal case in New York and Trump in a historic impeachment effort.
Giuliani, a private citizen, worked unsuccessfully in tandem with two South Florida businessmen to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations into Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that hired Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board during the administration of President Barack Obama.
Giuliani also pushed an unfounded theory that it was Ukraine — and not Russia — that hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Those efforts by the president’s attorney ultimately factored into a pressure campaign in which Trump is now accused of withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations of his rivals. House Democrats on Wednesday voted to pass articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — charges leveled against President Richard Nixon in the ‘70s before he resigned.
“There is no such high crime or misdemeanor called abuse of power. They made it up!” Giuliani said in his speech at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. “They made it up!”
The weekend-long Turning Point conference — at which Trump is scheduled to appear Saturday — kicked off Thursday evening before a boisterous crowd, with Giuliani appearing after conservative media pundit Glenn Beck and before controversial former White House aide Sebastian Gorka.
Giuliani’s Turning Point speech follows his return from his latest trip to Ukraine, which appears to have ended a prolonged period of media inactivity for the former New York mayor. He went quiet for weeks in November after his two Florida associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were indicted on campaign fraud charges and he, himself, fell under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York.
“I’m being investigated by the office I ran, and I’m probably the most successful U.S. Attorney in 100 years,” said Giuliani, who’s suspected of failing to disclose lobbying in the U.S. on behalf of foreign clients. “I dare you to find anything I did. I don’t lobby. I don’t represent foreign governments.”
Since his return to the U.S., Giuliani has resumed a media campaign, saying this week in a series of interviews that he had explosive evidence of a cover-up. He now says he lobbied Trump to remove ex-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, alleging that she was blocking Ukrainians from coming to the U.S. to provide evidence of Democrats’ corruption.
He recently worked with far-right news outlet One American News Network to produce a three-part documentary outlining his case against Biden.
But Yovanovitch and other diplomats accused Giuliani during impeachment hearings of running a smear campaign against her. And while Hunter Biden’s position in Ukraine raised concerns amid U.S. efforts to clean up government corruption in the country, diplomats say Giuliani has used the word of corrupt or questionable former Ukrainian government officials to make a case against Biden.
Biden, meanwhile, has bristled at Trump’s allegations that he attempted to quash an investigation into his son in Ukraine, where prosecutors had, in fact, already allowed the case against Burisma in 2015 to lapse into hiatus.
Giuliani, though, said the case against Biden is clear, and the lack of prosecution of Biden is destroying the country.
“It’s outrageous. It’s un-American,” he said. “And until we fix that we do not have equal justice under the law.”