Rudy Giuliani, who took the lead in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in his capacity as the former president’s onetime personal attorney, has met with the congressional committee investigating the Capitol riot.
On Friday, Mr Giuliani appeared for a lengthy interview of up to nine hours with the House select committee investigating the 6 January 2021 attack on Congress as lawmakers met to certify the election results.
CNN first reported the interview had taken place citing two sources, and it comes after Mr Giuliani, one of Mr Trump’s closest allies, backed out of a previously scheduled appearance.
Both his attorney Robert Costello and a select committee spokesperson declined to comment to the network.
The interview was conducted virtually under oath and was transcribed. The New York Times reports that Mr Giuliani took a break in the middle to host his hourlong afternoon radio show.
It is not yet known what the former mayor of New York may have told the committee, but as a key player in the bid to subvert the election, his testimony could prove crucial to the investigation.
Negotiations for Mr Giuliani to appear under oath dragged on for months after his original subpoena in January.
Earlier in May, he pulled out of a scheduled interview with the congressional panel after they objected to letting him record it.
The Times reports that he dropped this objection after the committee threatened to use “enforcement options” to make him appear — a referral to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress.
It is understood that an agreement was reached that he could testify about matters that did not include conversations had directly with former President Trump as they would fall under attorney-client privilege.
The committee subpoena alleges that Mr Giuliani “actively promoted claims of election fraud on behalf of the former President and sought to convince state legislators to take steps to overturn the election results”.
It also says that he was in contact with Mr Trump and members of Congress “regarding strategies for delaying or overturning the results of the 2020 election”.
Mr Giuliani was a central figure in plans to disrupt the Electoral College process by attempting to persuade lawmakers in contested states to draw up alternate lists of electors in an attempt to show Mr Trump had won and not President Joe Biden.
The former mayor also pursued a series of lawsuits on behalf of the incumbent president after his 2020 election loss based on conspiracy theories and at times bizarre claims of voter fraud.
On 6 January 2021 at the Trump rally at the Ellipse in Washington, DC, Mr Giuliani called for “trial by combat”, shortly before a pro-Trump mob began to storm the Capitol.
The committee has met with a number of high-level Trump administration figures in recent months, including the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, his daughter Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner, who both acted as senior advisers in the White House. More than half a dozen Republican members of Congress have also been interviewed.
In only a few weeks, the panel will begin holding public hearings. At present, the former president is not expected to be called to testify.