Giuliani admits to having been paid to lobby Romanian president

Rudolph Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and the former mayor of New York, has told that he was paid to send a letter to the president of Romania in which he called for a number of high-level politicians convicted of corruption to be amnestied, contradicting the US government’s official position.

Mr Giuliani told that his letter “was based on a report I reviewed” by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who runs a global consulting firm called Freeh Group International Solutions. “Freeh Group are paying my fee,” said Mr Giuliani, who did not disclose the fee.

“It’s official! Giuliani was paid to write the letter,” said Dan Barna, leader of the opposition Save Romania Union. “How was he paid? With money stolen from Romanians?”

In the letter, first published in the Romanian press on August 27, Mr Giuliani told President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Viorica Dancila that he was concerned about “continued damage to the rule of law in Romania, committed under the pretext of law enforcement.”

He called for an amnesty for “those who have been prosecuted and convicted through the excesses of the DNA [Romania’s anti-corruption directorate].” The leader of Romania’s ruling party, the PSD, and the country’s de facto prime minister Liviu Dragnea is one of those who would benefit from an amnesty: he was recently convicted of corruption, although he remains free pending an appeal.

The US state department quickly distanced itself from Mr Giuliani’s letter, stating that it continued to support Romania’s fight against corruption.

Last year, the controversial Romanian businessman Puiu Popoviciu hired the Freeh Group to prepare a press release condemning as “excessive and with no basis in law” his conviction for bribery and a number of other offences. Mr Popoviciu was in London at the time of his sentence, and handed himself over to the British police two weeks later. He remains in the UK, free on bail awaiting the close of extradition hearings.

The Freeh Group has also been retained by another controversial Romanian businessman, Alexander Adamescu, who owns the pro-government newspaper Romania Libera. Mr Adamescu is also in London awaiting extradition to Romania.

Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia Commons