Accompanied by his attorney, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Mar-a-Lago in recent months with a personal and urgent plea to former President Donald Trump for payment of his legal expenses. Giuliani and his lawyer Robert Costello believed that an in-person meeting would allow them to explain directly why Trump should help cover Giuliani’s growing legal bills.
In late April, Giuliani and Costello journeyed to Florida for two meetings with Trump, where they discussed Giuliani’s substantial legal fees, presenting various arguments about how assisting Giuliani financially would ultimately benefit Trump.
However, Trump, who is known for being cautious with his finances, didn’t show significant interest. While he verbally agreed to contribute to Giuliani’s legal bills after Costello’s presentation, he didn’t specify an amount or timeline.
Trump also committed to attending two fundraisers for Giuliani, according to another source.
Another source indicated that Trump agreed to cover a small fee owed to a data vendor hosting Giuliani’s records. Months later, Trump’s Save America PAC paid $340,000 to that vendor, Trustpoint, as confirmed by federal campaign filings. The payment was intended to settle Giuliani’s outstanding bill with the company.
This payment was referenced in court by another of Giuliani’s attorneys, who noted Giuliani’s financial constraints in a defamation lawsuit brought by Smartmatic, a voting technology company. Giuliani’s lawyer also mentioned the one-time payment from Trump’s Save America PAC. No additional payments have been received by Giuliani since then.
Giuliani’s trip to Mar-a-Lago, previously undisclosed, highlights the financial pressure he has faced for months as his legal challenges continue to mount.
What has surprised those close to Trump is the former president’s reluctance to cover Giuliani’s expenses, considering that Giuliani could come under significant pressure to cooperate with prosecutors who have charged Trump. Giuliani voluntarily spoke with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigators and was recently indicted in Georgia.
One individual familiar with the situation noted that it’s unwise for Trump to decline paying Giuliani’s legal fees, drawing a parallel to Trump’s strained relationship with Michael Cohen during the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
As reported on Tuesday, Giuliani is confronting substantial legal bills and sanctions related to various lawsuits linked to his baseless claims about the 2020 election.
Giuliani’s legal team has asserted in court that he lacks the funds to cover potentially expensive document searches for discovery purposes, with estimates ranging from $15,000 to $23,000. To address financial strain, Giuliani is even attempting to sell a three-bedroom Manhattan apartment he owns for $6.5 million.
During the Wednesday court hearing in the Smartmatic case, attorney Adam Katz stated, “These are many bills he hasn’t paid. I believe this is quite a humbling experience for Mr. Giuliani.”
The charges against Giuliani in Georgia – a total of 13 – include violations of state anti-racketeering laws, solicitation of a public officer to breach their oath, conspiracy to commit forgery, and making false statements.
In post-indictment interviews, Giuliani has characterized the charges as an “insult to American Democracy” that will cause “irreversible damage to our justice system.”