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Rudy Giuliani said he and Trump were selling pardons for $2m apiece, ex-aide claims

Georgia Election Investigation (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Georgia Election Investigation (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A former aide to former Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani says he told her the ex-New York City mayor and then-president Donald Trump were offering to sell presidential pardons for $2 million apiece, according to court documents.

The bombshell allegation was levied in a complaint filed against Mr Giuliani by Noelle Dunphy, a New York-based public relations professional who is suing him for “unlawful abuses of power, wide-ranging sexual assault and harassment, wage theft, and other misconduct” committed while she worked for him in 2019 and 2020.

Ms Duphy’s lawsuit details an interaction she allegedly had with Mr Giuliani on or about 16 February 2019, when he was serving as Mr Trump’s personal attorney and attempting to dig up overseas dirt on then-former vice president Joe Biden, who at the time was two months away from entering the 2020 presidential race against Mr Trump.

She writes that as they reviewed emails between him and Ukrainian government officials, she asked if he had to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and offered to do the required paperwork for him.

The former mayor replied that he was allowed to violate Fara and other US laws because “[he had] immunity”.

She then states that Mr Giuliani asked her “if she knew anyone in need of a pardon” because he was “selling pardons for $2 million, which he and President Trump would split”.

“He told Ms Dunphy that she could refer individuals seeking pardons to him, so long as they did not go through “the normal channels” of the Office of the Pardon Attorney, because correspondence going to that office would be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act,” she added.

During Mr Trump’s presidency, he frequently granted pardons to wealthy or well-connected individuals without the involvement of the Pardon Attorney, the Department of Justice official who is charged with reviewing petitions for executive clemency and making recommendations as to whether a given petition should be granted.

No evidence has ever emerged that Mr Trump or Mr Giuliani were ever compensated for any presidential pardon granted during Mr Trump’s time in office, but Ms Dunphy’s allegation matches that made by another person who once sought a pardon from the then-president.

In August, The New York Times reported that former CIA officer John Kiriakou broached the topic with Mr Giuliani during a meeting at the Washington, DC hotel Mr Trump’s company ran between 2016 and 2022.

Mr Kiriakou, who in 2012 was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for disclosing classified information, told the Times that one of Mr Giuliani’s associates at the meeting said the ex-New York City mayor could assist him — for a price.

“It’s going to cost $2 million — he’s going to want two million bucks,” he recalled the Giuliani associate as saying.

He also told the Times that he did not pursue a pardon through Mr Giuliani because he could not afford to pay him $2 million.

“I laughed. Two million bucks — are you out of your mind?” Kiriakou told the outlet. “Even if I had two million bucks, I wouldn’t spend it to recover a $700,000 pension,” he said.

Mr Giuliani did not immediately respond to a text message from The Independent seeking comment on the allegations against him.