Friday, March 30, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Testimony by Giuliani Indicates He Was Briefed on Kerik in ’00 – New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik’s relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik’s appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.

Mr. Giuliani, testifying last year under oath before a Bronx grand jury investigating Mr. Kerik, said he had no memory of the briefing, but he did not dispute that it had taken place, according to a transcript of his testimony.

Mr. Giuliani’s testimony amounts to a significantly new version of what information was probably before him in the summer of 2000 as he was debating Mr. Kerik’s appointment as the city’s top law enforcement officer. Mr. Giuliani had previously said that he had never been told of Mr. Kerik’s entanglement with the company before promoting him to the police job or later supporting his failed bid to be the nation’s homeland security secretary.

In his testimony, given in April 2006, Mr. Giuliani indicated that he must have simply forgotten that he had been briefed on one or more occasions as part of the background investigation of Mr. Kerik before his appointment to the police post.

I have noted before that Giuliani has a Kerik problem–enough so that I thought it would be a significant part of an overall set of reason why he wouldn’t run for the presidency. I was wrong about the not running part, but still think that his relationship with Kerik could end up biting him, and biting him hard. If Kerik’s background was enough to derail his nomination for the head of Homeland Security, then there is a high likelihood that, given the strong relationship between Kerik and Giuliani, that some of Kerik’s shenanigans will become a campaign issue.

Just the information contained in this NYT piece is problematic: Giuliani was briefed on possible Kerik ties to a company linked to organized crime and he forgot about them before appointing Kerik to be police commissioner. There is no good way to slice that story: either Giuliani did know, and appointed him anyway or he was given a vital piece of information and it slipped his mind before he appointed Kerik. It is true that Kerik was cleared by the panel for the promotion, but it still doesn’t look good.

Further, given the current spate of “sorry, I don’t recall-itis” taking place in the executive branch these days, it isn’t an especially good PR situation for Rudy’s defense in this case to be forgetfulness.

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5 Responses to “Rudy and Kerik”

  1. Ratoe Says:

    Also, don’t forget that it was Giuliani who persuaded Bush to appoint Kerik to train the Iraqi police in the summer of 2003.

    That didnt work out so well, either.

  2. The Heretik : Rude Truths Says:

    [...] In the battle among the three often divorced candidates over who will best represent the Republican Party of Family Values in its 2008 tour,  bald memory rears its formerly combed over head to reveal a rude truth. Or two.  Or three.  Rudy Giuliani had a chance to know the truth about his bud Kerik and his criminal associations. And his freebies. Probably more than one.  Or two.  And the man who would make America strong by harkening back to its past in the future would prefer you forget Judith Nathan his third wife is not The Other Woman.  Judith (Now Judy to Rhyme With Rudy) is The Other Other Woman.  And before Rudy was America’s Mayor after September Eleventh TM, he was New York’s Mayor on September 10.  That will be all.  Until there is more.  Thank you. [...]

  3. B. Minich Says:

    Guilani is going to be smote by the Kerik, I can feel it.

  4. Mikef Says:

    Kerik’s name was withdrawn so fast from consideration for the Homeland Security position, that his background check must have flagged this instantly.

    Bush was furious at Giuliani for pushing him when he should’ve known better. Now we know that Bush was right. Giuliani did know – and thought Kerik was a good pick anyway.

  5. RoonDog Says:

    “Giuliani has a Kerik problem”

    He’s a Republican, he has a problem with the law. You’re surprised? Truth is, anyone who calls themselves a Republican these days is either criminal or a chicken-hearted buffoon.

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