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Rudy Giuliani bares his financial woes at NYC meeting with creditors in bankruptcy case

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani speaks during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in Washington, Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Rudy Giuliani bared his money troubles Wednesday at a Manhattan meeting with federal officials and creditors in his bankruptcy case — where he declined to hold Donald Trump personally responsible for $2 million in outstanding legal fees owed him.

Under questioning by Andrea Schwartz from the Office of the U.S. Trustee, the former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer said his financial woes started when his law license was suspended in 2021 following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by the former president’s supporters, describing it as “a major financial hit.”

Giuliani said that after President Biden’s win, Trump enlisted him to spearhead a legal effort to investigate supposed election fraud for which he never got paid. He attributed the debt to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Convention.

Giuliani speaks to Trump supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021.

“[Trump] agreed that the entities would pay, not that he would,” Giuliani testified, adding it was a verbal agreement. Asked later if he believed he had a possible claim against the former president, he said, “Again, no.”

When asked why he’d filed for bankruptcy, Giuliani cited “the 150-or-so million judgment” he owes to a pair of Georgia election workers. The 79-year-old filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 21, listing debts as high as $500 million and between $1 million and $10 million in assets, less than a week after a jury delivered the devastating verdict for his defamation of election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss.

When Schwartz asked why he hadn’t paid his taxes for two years before the mammoth damages sum, Giuliani said he didn’t have the cash, and the only way to resolve it would have been to wipe out his IRA. He said he had arranged a payment plan with the IRS for almost $1 million in unpaid income tax from 2021 and 2022, leading him to put his Manhattan co-op on the market, which he has struggled to sell.

Despite the depressing subject matter, Giuliani cracked jokes during the hours-long meeting, at times holding his face in his hands as he struggled to recall the minutiae of his finances. He said he makes money as a radio and telecast host and sometimes earns fees for speeches and consulting.

The cash-strapped Giuliani, who admitted he didn’t have homeowners insurance for his Upper East Side co-op, said he only has a year left of alimony payments to his ex-wife, Judith Nathan, but would continue paying for her mother’s nursing home fees per the terms of their divorce. He said his time as New York City mayor didn’t secure him a pension plan.

“It’s a strange situation,” he said. “Because I only served the city for eight years, not 10, I don’t get a pension — I think … It was long enough for me to get health insurance from the city.”

Lawyers for various creditors declined to question the ex-mayor. Schwartz left the meeting open-ended, citing details Giuliani needed to clarify.

Afterward, he told the Daily News, “I have nothing to hide” and insisted again that the debt from his work for Trump, which could play a crucial role in his bankruptcy case, was not the GOP frontrunner’s problem.

“No, I believe it’s the entity. I was representing the entity. That’s what I, you know, I know that sounds like a strange difference …” Giuliani said before his lawyers cut him off.

“That will come out down the road,” Gary Fischoff said.