There was a very, very long period of time when it seemed Rudy Giuliani had never met a microphone he didn’t like.
His love affair with public speaking started, ironically, as a prosecutor in New York City, and seemed to reach an apex in the winter of 2020, when he was everywhere, all the time, insisting that the 2020 election had been stolen from former President Donald Trump.
Giuliani famously, and unexpectedly, became the star of the show at a seven-hour Georgia Senate hearing in December of that year, where he falsely spoke for hours about the many ways the election had been rigged and stolen, culminating with a spliced and diced video of ballot counting at State Farm Arena that Giuliani called “a powerful smoking gun.”
Never mind that he later had his law license suspended, in part because of the “demonstrably false and misleading statements” in Atlanta. On the day he came to Georgia, he brought an entourage, posed for pictures, and was generally in full “America’s Mayor” celebrity mode for the GOP state senators who listened closely as he did Trump’s bidding.
But earlier this week, with a Fulton County grand jury investigation into Trump in full swing, a lawyer for Giuliani was in an Atlanta courtroom describing him as “a 78-year-old man who has health conditions” who couldn’t possibly return to Georgia again to comply with a subpoena for at least the next five weeks.
He’d just had two stents implanted in his heart, the lawyer explained, and he hadn’t been cleared for travel. “We just want reasonable accommodations,” he said. A doctor’s note laid it all out.
But the doctor who wrote the note about Giuliani’s heart is an infectious disease specialist in New York, the Fulton County DA’s office pointed out. And the supposedly convalescing patient went to New Hampshire days after his procedure and, smiling widely and sporting aviator sunglasses, tweeted a selfie with a beautiful blond woman.
“Having fun in the #603,” he wrote.
Along with his travels, Giuliani has been a very busy man this summer.
He’s continued to host his daily radio show on New York’s WNYC. In fact, he said he felt so well on the day after his procedure that he decided to do the full hour from the hospital on July 6.
“I feel perfect. I feel like nothin’ happened to me,” he said. “I have to be a little quiet for three or four days, but not like, in bed or anything, and then I should be ready to play golf.”
Why stop at golf? By July 8, he hosted the show from his New Hampshire trip, where he explained he’d also managed to see the Manchester Fisher Cats baseball team take on the Hartford Yard Goats.
On that particular show, like most of his shows and the podcast he’s also continued to host since his procedure, he continued to push the same election conspiracies that he brought to Georgia nearly two years ago.
“I say, ‘Stolen election,’ people say I’m crazy and should be disbarred,” he said, even though he has “thousands and thousands of facts” to prove otherwise.
When he wasn’t hosting his own show or podcast lately, he’s been showing up on other people’s.
Last week he called into Steve Bannon’s live edition of his War Room podcast from CPAC to lament Mike Pence’s refusal to reject the electors from states they said Trump won, including Georgia.
“(Trump) was ahead by 3½ percent, with 90 percent of the vote cast in Atlanta,” Giuliani said. “Enough to be declared the winner.”
“There is zero chance that (Biden) won!” Bannon yelled.
Giuliani is far from the only actor in the Trump drama who has had plenty to say about what happened in Georgia during and since the 2020 elections but has suddenly gone quiet now — at least when it comes to giving sworn legal statements to the Fulton County grand jury.
Eleven of the 16 “alternate” GOP electors who cast false electoral votes for Trump — and held a press conference after they did it — also fought their grand jury subpoenas, only to be told by Judge Robert McBurney they’d need to show up to court, anyway.
U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, who railed against the 2020 elections on rally stages with Trump and even mounted a run for secretary of state at his behest, also fought his grand jury summons. A federal judge said recently he’d need to show up in court, too, even with specific conditions.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s lawyers were in court on Wednesday, claiming that his role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee means he shouldn’t have to answer questions about his call to Brad Raffensperger as Georgia’s votes were counted and recounted.
The judge in Graham’s case seemed skeptical of his “legislative immunity” argument but will rule shortly on his case.
And of course, there are fellow Trump attorneys John Eastman and Jenna Ellis — both of whom fought Georgia’s November results in multiple courts of law, but are fighting their subpoenas as well.
In the end, Judge McBurney ruled that Giuliani does need to show up in Atlanta on August 17 or have his infectious disease doctor give a more complete explanation of why that’s not possible.
Since flying is apparently out of the question, perhaps he can ride a bus like John Madden famously did, the judge suggested. And maybe catch up with friends in D.C. on his way down. The DA’s office can even help pay for it. Make it a “gradual journey South.”
“It’s like driving to New Hampshire, times three,” he said.
So come back and see us, Rudy. It’s been too long. Even if you tell the court a fraction of what you’ve been telling your radio audience every day, it will be worth everyone’s time.
You can even catch a ballgame while you’re here.