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Bernard Kerik, ally of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, meets with prosecutors Jan. 6

Rudy Giuliani

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump ally Bernard Kerik, a friend of alleged co-conspirator Rudy Giuliani, met Monday with prosecutors responsible for the case accusing Trump of overturning his 2020 election loss, Kerik’s attorney said.

The interview was largely about Giuliani’s actions in what he called an effort to fight voter fraud — and what Special Counsel Jack Smith called an illegal conspiracy to steal President Joe Biden’s 2020 election.

“Bernard Kerik sat with the special counsel’s office and told them the truth,” his attorney Timothy Parlatore said in a statement.

“Whether people agree or not, and even if some of the claims have since been debunked, the inevitable reality is that the Giuliani team tried in good faith at the time to investigate claims of fraud,” Parlatore said.

He added: “It’s a pity Jack Smith didn’t wait to complete his investigation before filing charges based on a false theory and making his own false public statements.”

Giuliani, one of the unnamed co-conspirators in the Trump indictment, has also denied wrongdoing.

But Kerik’s interview by the special counsel team, which his attorney said lasted nearly five hours, suggests prosecutors are now targeting Giuliani in their ongoing investigation into the alleged conspiracy to reverse the former president’s loss in the 2020 election. .

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Close ties, even after prison

Kerik and Giuliani have a long and sometimes close history of personal ties and political alliances.

While serving as mayor of New York City, Giuliani asked Kerik to become his police commissioner, the highest law enforcement position in America’s largest city still reeling from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Before that, Kerik was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections.

In 2020, Kerik was pardoned by Trump after convictions for tax fraud and making false statements. After Trump’s election loss, Giuliani brought Kerik on board as a top aide in his efforts to investigate voter fraud allegations and promote “Stop the Steal” efforts.

The House special committee investigating the January 6 uprising subpoenaed Kerik and questioned him at length about his role — and Giuliani’s — in those events. The more than 200 page transcript of Kerik’s interview The commission details how the former top agent acted as a coordinator for Giulani’s efforts to uncover evidence of voter fraud in as many as seven key swing states, including Georgia.

None of those efforts seemed to go anywhere, the House committee later concluded. But while Kerik acted as his investigator, Giuliani urged election officials in those states — and Republican lawmakers in Congress — to find such evidence of fraud and then use it to help Trump reverse the election results.

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In his statement to the House of Representatives committee, Kerik denied any wrongdoing and maintained that he was a firm supporter of the US constitutional system of government and would never have participated in any attempt to knowingly promote false claims.

Parlatore told USA TODAY prior to Monday that his client was willing to testify before federal investigators, as he had already done before the House committee. Also, by the end of 2020, Kerik had already turned over examples of likely cases of voter fraud to the Justice Department for further investigation, Parlatore said.

One of Kerik’s efforts was to implement a “strategic communications plan” for a “GIULIANI PRESIDENTIAL LEGAL DEFENSE TEAM,” according to his statement and documents he provided.

According to Kerik and others, that plan was designed to pressure swing state senators and other Republican members of Congress to vote against certifying the 2020 election results. It contained issues they had to highlight, including that the dead and minors had voted in large numbers and that there were widespread instances of fraudulent ballots.

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Last week’s federal indictment against Trump lists six alleged co-conspirators he says played a pivotal role in Trump’s multifaceted effort to overthrow the election. None of them are named, but Giuliani has almost admitted to being co-conspirator 1, who Smith says played a central role in the conspiracy.

For example, the indictment describes co-conspirator 1 as “an attorney who was willing to knowingly spread false allegations and pursue strategies that the attorneys for the defendant’s 2020 reelection campaign would not.”

The day after Trump’s election loss on November 3, 2020, “The Defendant turned to Co-Conspirator 1, who he announced would lead his efforts going forward to challenge the election results. From that point on, the Defendant and his co-conspirators a strategy to use deliberate deceit in the targeted states to harm, hinder, and defeat the function of the federal government, including as described below.

And according to information gathered from both the House and Justice Department investigations, Kerik worked closely with Giuliani on key elements of that alleged plot.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kerik, ally of Trump and Giuliani, meets with prosecutors Jan. 6

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