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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Giuliani on Prosecuting Hillary Clinton

In making the case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani falsely claimed that Martha Stewart was prosecuted “for one count of lying to the FBI.” Stewart was convicted on four counts of obstructing justice and lying to investigators.

Giuliani made his remarks on Fox News’ “The Sean Hannity Show.”

Hannity, Nov. 10: There will be some Republicans that say you’ve got to focus on the agenda, this will be a distraction, let Clinton go.

Giuliani: There’s an argument to be made for that, but there’s also an argument to be made for equal justice under the law, which is how do you not prosecute some of these and then go ahead and prosecute Martha Stewart for one count of lying to the FBI?

As a reminder: Stewart sold all 3,928 shares that she owned of ImClone stock on Dec. 27, 2001, a day before the company announced that the Federal Drug Administration rejected the company’s application for a key cancer drug, according to a federal indictment. The next trading day the stock tumbled, and Stewart avoided a loss of about $51,000.

Stewart was initially charged on five counts, including securities fraud. But U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum dismissed the count of securities fraud — the most serious charge — in a Feb. 27, 2004, decision.

On March 5, 2004, Stewart was convicted on the remaining four counts: two counts of knowingly making false statements to federal investigators on Feb. 4, 2002, and April 10, 2002; one count of obstruction of justice; and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, as described in the charging document.

Stewart was sentenced to five months in jail and five months under house arrest.

She appealed, but lost. In a decision issued Jan. 6, 2006, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that “we affirm the judgments of the District Court and remand the case solely for consideration of whether to modify [Peter] Bacanovic’s sentence.” Bacanovic was Stewart’s broker.

Giuliani has cited Stewart before when pressing the case for prosecuting Clinton. The Trump campaign issued a Sept. 4 statement from Giuliani after the FBI released notes on its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. In that statement, Giuliani suggested that Clinton lied to FBI investigators when she said that she did not know that a small “C” notation in the body of three emails signified that those emails were classified.

“Either she was the dumbest Secretary of State in American history or a bald-faced liar,” he said. “If it’s the former, there is a serious question she may get the nuclear codes confused if she were ever President. If it’s the latter she should be prosecuted for the same crime as Martha Stewart by making a false statement to the FBI in violation of 18 U.S. Code section 1001.”

Stewart was prosecuted on two counts of violating Section 1001, and one count of obstruction of justice and conspiracy of obstruction of justice (in violation of Section 1505 of Title 18, United States Code).

The FBI investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information resulted in no criminal charges. “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” FBI Director James Comey said on July 5.