Remembering Rudy's Prosecutor Days

There's a 16 page article on Rudy Giuliani in the new issue of the New Yorker. Too much of a puff-piece for my taste, but this quote shows the Rudy I remember:

In 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where his ambitions and his talents fully merged.... He was one of the first prosecutors to use the perp walk as a public-relations weapon against white-collar criminals, who traditionally had been allowed to present themselves before the court for arraignment. In February of 1987, he brought charges of insider trading against two Kidder, Peabody executives. As a Wall Street Journal editorial later put it:
Giuliani had his agents burst into Kidder, Peabody, throw Richard Wigton up against the wall and handcuff him. He arranged to bust Timothy Tabor so late in the day that he had to spend a night in jail before he could post bond. Mr. Giuliani didn’t think Mr. Wigton was going to pull a knife or Mr. Tabor would flee the country. He lusted after the headlines, and hoped strong-arm tactics would coerce settlements. This is not the kind of prosecutorial zeal we need when the underlying law is far from clear.
The charges against Wigton and Tabor were subsequently dropped.

Here's another of Rudy's excesses:

The first-ever racketeering case against a securities firm also took place in 1987, when Giuliani directed a showy raid on a small investment company called Princeton/Newport. Fifty federal marshals, armed and clad in bulletproof vests, swooped down on the firm’s offices, above an ice-cream store in Princeton, New Jersey, and seized several hundred boxes of documents and tapes—evidence, Giuliani’s team of prosecutors claimed, of the firm’s conspiracy to evade taxes.

The five executives of the firm who were eventually indicted protested that the charges were really a squeeze by Giuliani. One of the defense lawyers claimed that the prosecutor’s interest was in Milken and his firm, and that he threatened, “Either you cooperate or we’re going to roll right over you.” The executives refused to help—they said they had nothing to give—and they were convicted.

The convictions were overturned three years later by an appellate judge who cast doubt on the legitimacy of the racketeering prosecution. Meanwhile, Princeton/Newport had ceased operations. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office closed down a business without really doing its homework first,” one former prosecutor in Giuliani’s office says now.

After 8 years as Mayor, the author acknowledges New Yorkers weren't sorry to see Rudy go. And that they are surprised the rest of the country hasn't seen through him.

When Giuliani’s tenure as mayor ended, in 2002, he left behind a city that was grateful, and more than a little relieved to see him go. He had achieved much of his program of radical reform, and he performed well on September 11th, but it had felt like an eight-year fistfight.

Giuliani had fought with teachers and with Yasir Arafat, with the Brooklyn Museum and with Fidel Castro, with squeegee men, tennis fans, street venders, taxi-drivers, his own police chief, and, of course, his wife. He had repeatedly chastised New Yorkers for their incorrigible jaywalking and careless bicycling. (“All of these things are part of making the city safer. There’s been a lot of ridicule about it, which is unfortunate.”) Many Manhattanites felt that when the rest of the country experienced the Rudy Giuliani they knew—the flashes of pique, the slashing remark—the celebrity glow would quickly fade.

It will happen. Like all the progressive blogs, we'll continue to follow and report on his every mis-step. Leopards don't change their spots.

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  • Display: Sort:
    But the MSM (none / 0) (#1)
    by koshembos on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 06:02:24 AM EST
    But can push the MSM to do the same? After all, no everyone reads the bolgoshpere.