Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has helped oversee a series of unsuccessful court challenges against President Trump’s election defeat, has asked the president’s campaign to pay him $ 20,000 a day for his legal work, several people briefed on the question.
The request has met opposition from some of Mr. Trump’s aides and advisers, who appear to have ruled out paying so much, and it is unclear how much Mr. Giuliani will ultimately be compensated.
Since Mr Giuliani took over the management of the legal effort, Mr Trump has suffered a series of court defeats and lawyers handling some of the remaining cases have dropped out.
A rate of $ 20,000 a day would have made Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, who has been Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer for several years, among the highest paid lawyers in the world.
Reached by telephone, Mr. Giuliani vigorously denied asking for this.
“I never asked for $ 20,000,” Giuliani said, saying the president volunteered to make sure he was paid after the deals were concluded. “The arrangement is, we’ll settle it at the end.”
He added that anyone who said he made the request for $ 20,000 a day “is a liar, a complete liar”.
There is little or no chance that any of the remaining cases will be overseen by Mr Giuliani altering the outcome in one of the states where Mr Trump is still fighting in court, let alone toppling the president-elect. Joseph R. Biden Jr. Electoral College and Popular Vote Victory. Some Trump allies fear that Mr. Giuliani is encouraging the president to continue a bogus fight because he sees a financial benefit.
The Trump campaign has set up a legal defense fund and is said to be raising significant sums to pursue legal challenges in countries like Pennsylvania and Georgia.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Mr Giuliani had demanded compensation for his work dating back to the day after polling day, when Mr Trump began to publicly claim he won despite the results, according to people familiar with the demand, who requested anonymity to talk about sensitive discussions.
At $ 20,000 a day, Mr. Giuliani’s rate would be higher than high-end lawyers in Washington and New York who can charge up to $ 15,000 a day if they spend all of their time working for a customer.
Mr Trump’s insistence that widespread voter fraud cost him the election has no basis in fact, but has fueled skepticism about the outcome of his base, including some who have violently protested last weekend in Washington.
Mr Giuliani encouraged Mr Trump to believe in a number of conspiracy theories about voting machine irregularities, according to several people close to the president who were not authorized to discuss the conversations publicly. Late last week, Mr Giuliani repeatedly insisted to the president that his other advisers had not told him the truth about his chances of success in his legal battles to overturn the election results. .
Last Friday, as Mr. Trump’s Arizona legal fight appeared to be running out of steam when the campaign dropped a doomed Maricopa County, Ariz., Lawsuit, the president told Giuliani responsibility for all election disputes and communications. for that.
On Monday, on the eve of a key hearing in a trial in Pennsylvania federal court, Mr. Giuliani expelled a lawyer who had led the case, two people briefed on the events said. This left Mr. Trump’s team scrambling for a replacement. The local lawyer currently handling the case has called Mr Biden the election winner and said the lawsuits would not change that outcome.
The judge in the case refused Monday night to postpone the hearing despite a request from the Trump team. And on Tuesday morning, Mr. Giuliani told the Pennsylvania court that he would appear personally on behalf of the president in the case.
Beginning in April 2018, in the midst of the Mueller investigation, Mr. Giuliani began representing Mr. Trump free of charge as personal counsel. Although Mr. Giuliani said he did nothing about Mr. Trump, it gave him direct access to the president and his administration – access that Mr. Giuliani used to help his other clients, including managers of foreign companies under investigation by the Ministry of Justice.
After the Mueller investigation ended in April 2019, Mr. Giuliani continued his work for Mr. Trump, focusing on attempting to develop damaging information in Ukraine about Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter – an effort that has ultimately led the House to impeach Mr. Trump.
Last year, the intelligence community warned the White House that Mr. Giuliani had become the target of a foreign influence operation by the Russian government, which sought to provide him with disinformation in hopes of undermining the campaign. presidential election of Mr. Biden.
The president refused to allow a formal transition from one administration to another to begin, barring Mr. Biden’s team from accessing the agencies they would support and receiving information about the pandemic and threats to national security in the country. National security experts have said this could put the Biden administration at a disadvantage when it takes power in January, and Mr Biden said the delay could prove costly in dealing with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. .