Rudolph W. Giuliani, personal lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump, admitted on Friday evening that an associate sent an email to campaign officials asking that Mr. Giuliani be paid $ 20,000 a day for his work after the Nov. 3 election, but he insisted he was unaware at the time.
Mr Giuliani admitted in a brief telephone interview that his business partner, Maria Ryan, sent the email shortly after polling day. But he maintained that she had consulted with another partner, Larry Levy, on what Mr. Giuliani should ask of the campaign while Mr. Giuliani was out of town.
A copy of the email, reviewed by the New York Times, showed that she had sent it from a Giuliani Partners email account.
“Sir. Giuliani started working on the case in the wee hours of the morning on November 4,” Ms. Ryan wrote. “He has a team in Washington that works in rented hotel rooms.”
She wrote that the company was working on an engagement letter and that instead of $ 2,000 an hour, “we will be contracting $ 20,000 per day, which will include all expenses for Mr. Giuliani and his staff. ” The request was sent to at least three campaign officials, at a time when the campaign was raising massive sums for a legal fund to fight the election results.
When The Times asked about the fee request in November, Mr. Giuliani turned it down. He continued to claim that it was a “lie” to demand such remuneration from the president, saying so as recently as Friday afternoon on his radio show. “I didn’t do that,” he says.
In Friday night’s phone interview, after The Times asked its spokesperson about Ms Ryan’s email, Mr Giuliani said he told White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and to Mr Trump: “This is ridiculous, I am not doing it.” I don’t want to be paid. “
Mr. Giuliani said he did not recall precisely when he had this conversation. And it was not clear whether he knew Ms Ryan had sent the email when the Times first asked him about the charges request.
“I never had a single expectation of being paid a penny,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had had a few expenses reimbursed but nothing more. He blamed Mr. Trump’s other advisers and called them “incompetent” in the run-up to the election.
“I feel extremely bad to be portrayed as some sort of ambulance hunter in search of money,” Mr. Giuliani said.
“I represented it by my sense of commitment,” he continued. “I didn’t see anything about it that was going to lead to great wealth. I saw a lot of things about it that would lead to great torture.