Rudy Giuliani Subpoena by Jan. 6 Committee Unlikely To Yield Evidence

Attempts to force Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani to hand over documents to the House Select Committee investigation of the January 6 attack will prove fruitless as he can cite a number of protected privileges in order to refuse, a legal expert has warned.

Giuliani was among four of Trump's legal team who were subpoenaed by the panel on January 18, along with his assistant Jenna Ellis, Trump campaign strategist Boris Epshteyn, and QAnon supporting lawyer Sidney Powell.

The committee said it issued a subpoena to Trump's legal team, several members of which helped push unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 Election and attempted to "disrupt or delay the certification of election results."

However, rather than being a significant development in the investigation into the January 6 attack, Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor, said subpoenaing Giuliani could be seen as "more political maneuvering" from the probe that critics already dismiss as a "witch hunt."

For Giuliani to refuse to comply with the subpoena, he merely has to cite attorney-client privilege, which Rahmani said is the "most sacred privilege" under law.

"It's even less likely to result in any tangible evidence because the protection for Giuliani and other attorneys is even greater than for sitting members of Congress," Rahmani told Newsweek.

"Attorney client privilege—confidential communication between attorney and client providing the legal advice, is absolutely protected. That's not something that law enforcement, courts, Congress, can delve into."

Giuliani's lawyer, Robert Costello, has already confirmed that his client will cite attorney-client privilege in order to refuse to comply with the subpoena. Costello added that Giuliani would be covered by executive privilege, should Trump invoke it.

Rahmani said that the committee would need to argue that the communications between Giuliani and Trump amounted to discussing criminal activity in order for them not to be confidential and protected by executive privilege.

Rahmani added that there is also a "very narrow" exception to the attorney-client privilege which means they cannot be protected if communications involve discussion of future crimes.

However, even if Giuliani were to comply with the subpoena against him, Rahmani said it is doubtful that any "smoking gun evidence" related to January 6 would be uncovered.

"I don't think there's anything that was said between the President and his advisors that wasn't made public," Rahmani said. "The voting machines, fraudulent absentee ballots—everything the Democrats need is already expressed in a very public way."

The latest round of subpoenas against Trump's legal teams, despite the protection they can invoke, also prompts questions about whether the committee is actually attempting to move the investigation forward or make a "political statement" to "embarrass your political enemies," Rahmani said.

"What's the purpose of this committee? Is it a political investigation? Is it something else? Because a lot of these moves strike me as political ones," he said.

"They're not going to bear fruit in any meaningful way, it just results in nothing but litigation for months, if not longer."

In a statement confirming he will not be complying with the subpoena issued against him, Epshteyn condemned the investigation as a "Stalinist witch hunt" against Trump and his supporters.

All four members of Trump's legal team were asked to produce documents to the panel by February 1 and to appear on February 8 for a deposition.

Rudy Giuliani subpoena
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani waits to testify before the Michigan House Oversight Committee on December 2, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Attempts to force Giuliani to hand over documents to the House Select Committee investigation of the January 6 attack will prove fruitless, a legal expert has warned. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images